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Post-spawn Smallmouth Bass Tips: Never Rule Out Fishing Your Strengths

Heading into early summer when smallies have moved off the nest and get lockjaw, it's best to target them with in-your-wheelhouse tactics

 Post-spawn Smallmouth Bass Tips: Never Rule Out Fishing Your Strengths
Post-spawn Smallmouth Bass Tips: Never Rule Out Fishing Your Strengths

I can remember fishing a bass tournament on Lake Vermillion in northern Minnesota years ago. I was in the back of the boat during a pre-fishing mission and the smallies were not cooperating.

We threw every lure we could think of but were having more luck raising muskies than bronzebacks. It was early June, the fish were post-spawn, and the weather was terrible. It was one of the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had on the water.

To make matters worse, out of frustration I lowered a camera onto a rock hump we were fishing. Schools of perch, a lengthy muskie, and a huge school of smallmouth showed on the viewfinder. Dozens and dozens of bronzebacks were right under the boat, but we hadn’t caught a single fish.

That’s when we decided to stop trying to make something happen with the latest and greatest lures and just fish for the bass we knew were there with the presentations we were most comfortable employing.


For my fishing partner, that meant power fishing: spinnerbaits, crankbaits… anything chunk-and-wind. For me, it meant smaller, finesse presentations. While we did have to slow down and really work the cover, we started to catch some fish.


Since that tournament, I’ve learned when the fishing gets tough, it’s easy to try to slip outside of your comfort zone believing you’re just missing out on the right presentation.

Sometimes this is true, especially when there is an epic feeding frenzy going on around one type of food source. Most of the time, however, it’s not a matter of keying in on the magic lure. It’s a matter of fishing with confidence.

Read the rest of “Post-spawn Smallmouth Bass Tips: Never Rule Out Fishing Your Strengths” at TheSportsmanChannel.com.

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