Early season smallmouth bass fishing can be hit and miss until the most of the fish start moving as the water gets warmer. You may only catch a couple bass, but the odds are they will be the bigger and more aggressive fish. While a trophy smallmouth can be caught any time during the year, the early season “pre-spawn” and “spawning” phases of a smallmouth bass’s life are the best time to catch a big one and can result in some great smallmouth bass fishing.
Yesterday, the forecast was for a relatively windy day so it was not even sure we’d be fishing. The wind was calm before sunrise, so we decided to take a chance and at least get a few hours of fishing in before the wind came up. The river is running high with strong currents in places so even a moderate amount of wind would make kayak fishing more difficult. With strong winds forecast for the next few days and the fishing getting better every day, it might be the last fishing for a few days, so we headed out and arrived on the river with a light east wind. Things started out slowly until I picked up a medium size bass but it was looking like we would have to cover some ground and hopefully, find the fish before the wind picked up. The fishing remained slow for the next hour or so as we tried out the spots that usually produce fish without much success. The wind picked up a little then suddenly went calm and it turned into a perfect day for kayak fishing. As the kayaking conditions improved, so did our luck in finding the bass. I got a big hit fishing a grub near a downed tree and hooked a nice sized fish that immediately took to the air.
It was a nice fish, might have been the biggest fish of the year so far. After releasing the fish, I cast the grub back in the same general vicinity and got another huge hit and had another fish on. I could tell that this fish was even bigger than the one I just caught, but this smallie headed for the bottom. I worked it to the surface and could see it was a big fish, but at that very instant, the bass threw the lure and got away! A couple more casts but the magic was gone, so I moved to another spot. I was still kind of thinking of the one that just got away when I got another big hit and I could tell that this was a really nice fish. The fish made several runs for the bottom and tried swimming into the nearby trees but I managed to get the fish to the surface and could see that this was a huge snallmouth bass. I think it tried to jump but it may have been too big. I tired it out, grabbed it and lifted it into the kayak.
This smallmouth bass is easily the biggest fish of the year so far and could easily wind up being the biggest smallmouth of the year. This fish is probably in the 5-6 pound, 21 inch range. Once smallmouth bass get close to twenty inches long, they may only grow another inch or two, but they get “chunkier”; this bass was pretty chunky. Exactly what we are looking for when we get out there for early spring smallmouth bass fishing.
We’ve got this great day of smallmouth bass fishing on video, so we will probably do an early spring smallmouth bass fishing video but we’ll probably go a couple more times and see if we can get more trophy bass. One of our GoPro cameras bit the dust so we have to deal with that but as soon as these windy days pass, we are back out there, for sure.