Bass – Smallmouth

Bass – Smallmouth

Bass – Smallmouth


  • Similar to techniques for largemouth bass, except that river fishing is also possible.
  • Typically fish by casting and retrieving a plug, spoon, spinnerbait, jig, plastic worm or live bait.
  • Bass generally hang out at the bottom, or near underwater cover (e.g. fallen log or submerged boulders).
  • Look for water about 65°F.
  • Generally retrieve slowly, near or on the bottom.

Tackle & Equipment

Tackle: Generally the same rods and reels as is used for largemouth bass but with finer line, i.e. 6-7 foot light to medium action rod with 6 to 8 lb monofilament line.

Lure & Bait


Minnows (preferred)

Also possible to use crawdads, nightcrawlers, hellgrammites, plastic worms, crankbaits, spinners and spinnerbaits. Try to match local food supply.

Hooks: 3/0 down to 4

Best Bets

Best spots include Shasta and Trinity Lakes in February and March. Other good lakes include Almanor, Black Butte, Collins, Folsom, Oroville and Pardee. Try river fishing at the Lower Feather River (from Thermolito Afterbay to mouth at Verona), or Russian River (between Brown’s Pool and Mirabel).