Once you catch a bronze back, you are hooked. A 2lb smallmouth feels like a 4lb largemouth. Smallmouth live in waters too warm for trout. These proud fish live in creeks across the U.S, as well as deep reservoirs and lakes.
Wait, deep reservoirs and lakes? Why not shallow? There is a reason that you don't see smallmouth in those shallow 1 acre ponds, teeming with bluegill and largemouth bass. Smallmouth prefer colder water than largemouth (though not as cold as trout). Although they are feisty and aggressive fish, they don't seem to compete well with warm-water game fishes, such as orders of bluegill and largemouth bass. However, in cold water, they seem to dominate.
Above: Small creek smallmouth live in streams like this one. Picture from wikipedia.org
In small creeks, the role of the bluegill as a main forage fish for bass is taken over by creek chub or various other minnows. Notice the creek minnow taken in the picture below, part of an YFS display tank, is slender and soft finned, while bluegill are disc shaped and have sharp fins. In the creek that the minnow was caught from, the minnow was the main forage fish for the smallmouth bass.
Above: Slender minnows are a typical forage of smallmouth bass.
Smallmouth bass seem to not like to eat bluegill at all. They seem to grudgingly eat them, to my observation, while the largemouth bass, despite preferring slender and so finned fish, will eat bluegill. I have creek fished next to a friend with a Storm Live Bluegill, a really realistic bluegill swimbait. I was using a soft plastic jerkbait, which was long, white and slender, resembling an injured creek minnow. Guess who was seriously outfished? I think a reason that smallmouth don't do well in ponds is that they really don't like eating bluegill, the main forage fish in ponds.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.