All over North America, river smallmouth bass fishing can be absolutely phenomenal if you know where to look.
Smallmouth bass love fast-moving water – rivers, creeks, anything that has moving water. Many smaller rivers have tons of smallmouth. On some of the smaller rivers, you can go catch 50-100 smallmouth in a day, but a three pounder might be good one on those smaller systems. When you get into a bigger river, you might have a shot at five pound fish. The rule of thumb is the bigger the river, the more environment, the more big fish. That’s pretty typical.
But smallmouth love running water, they love it.
Do you know what else I like about smallmouth fishing in rivers? They bite all year long. it’s an easy target – you can always get some good ones.
Here in Minnesota, we had more snowfall than we’ve had in 15 or 16 years, so we had a lot of water this winter and spring. What does that do? It just causes rivers to push and flow.
If you’ve had real high water for a long period of time, the fish will migrate toward the sources of current. First they get out of the channel, come in shallow, and get in the backwater. Then they keep moving toward the areas of current flow. On big bodies of water like I might now, there’s a dam not too far up from here.
Big populations of the smallmouth bass have moved up here because the waters been running so high so long.
If you have smaller rivers dumping into a bigger river, a lot of the smallmouth bass will move up into those smaller rivers. Within those smaller rivers, the fish will gather around the mouth of the little creeks that flow in. Anywhere you have current coming in, there’s going to be fish in the area. Those fish could be within a half a mile of the area around it – it’s like a fish magnet!
This is a great time of year for river fishing for about any fish across Upper Midwest, but there aren’t many opportunities as fun and action packed as smallmouth bass. Get your favorite river smallmouth baits rigged up and follow the current!