Hug The Bank For Spring Smallmouths In Rivers

Spring means high water in most areas, due to snowmelt and high annual rainfall. And spring means movement for river bass. A plunge-pool below a dam is a classic wintering site. As water temperatures broach 50oF, smallmouths begin to wander downstream from a dam or upstream from a reservoir, toward spawning areas. Until the water reaches 60oF, most bass are scattered. And, because the water is high, they hug the banks, where current is reduced. Working overhanging grass, reeds, woodcover and eddies right against the bank with a spinnerbait tends to be the odds-on method, because it covers water fast - one of the key principles for finding scattered fish. As the bass begin to concentrate again, switch to plastics presented on weedless jig heads or Texas-rigged. Pitch right up on the bank or into overhanging grass and slip it into the water.