Sunday, August 21, 2022

Summertime Smallies

Locating Hot Weather Smallies In Iowa

The tug on the line and in the next instance a miraculous jump above the water...smallmouth bass.  This is always the first image in my mind when someone says smallmouth bass.  They are no doubt the most exciting fish that swims in our waters of Iowa.  They are known for the jumps, dives, long runs and huge topwater blasts.  All of these reasons make them a favorable fish to chase after all over the state.  Spring and Fall smallmouth bass act very similar, but in the hot days of summer when water temperatures climb over the eighty-degree mark they act very different.  I hope these tips and baits will make your summer days of smallmouth bass fishing some the best you have ever had.

The most abundant areas to start looking for summertime smallmouth bass isn’t very far from where you live.  The many interior rivers of the state hold very good populations of smallmouth bass, and some pretty good sized ones too.  The best thing to do is to take a look at the rivers in your area, grab a Sportsman Atlas and find those areas that have public access.  Whether you are on shore or in a small boat, you can catch smallies not far from where you are located.  Smaller rivers offer smallmouth bass their favorite food, crawfish.  Typically in smaller rivers the diet of a smallmouth bass will almost entirely be made up of crawfish, minnows make up the rest of the diet when available.  Crawdads spend their lives in two basic areas of rivers, tucked into rocky shorelines and/or buried in the muddy banks.   These areas are great to look for summertime smallies, most likely you will find both of these main shoreline structures along the swiftest of water flow.  This may not be the typical place you would look, but it should be during the hot days of summer.  You simply cannot fish too much current when looking for small river smallmouth bass.  

Now that we have the location of where these smallies will be spending their August days, what can we throw at them to entice some bites?  We need to go back to their food source, the crawdad.  Nothing imitates a fleeing crawdad better than a crankbait.  These baits dig down into the rocks, rattle their way past fallen trees, and are irresistible for smallies waiting in the current.  Another great bait to use is a small jig with a chunk trailer.  This bait can move much more slowly along the rocks and muddy banks while looking like the next meal for a smallmouth.  Depending on current weather patterns the fish may want something faster or slower, having a few crankbaits and jigs is always a great start to building your small river tackle box.

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