4 smallmouth bass fishing tactics to use in Indiana

Smallmouth bass are some of the most energetic and challenging fish to catch. This is what makes them so incredibly appealing to all types of anglers and Indiana is a great place to reel in a nice catch. The Smallmouth didn’t get their name from their overall body size so don’t think these guys are tiny. They get their name simply from their mouths being smaller than their counterpart, the largemouth bass.

A smallmouth bass will pull and jerk away when they are hooked and without patience and paying close attention to your line, they’ll succeed in swimming away with your bait leaving you with an empty hook. They’ll put up an amazing fight and keep you on your toes but that is what makes reeling them in so exciting.

4 Tactics to Use When Fishing for Smallmouth’s in Indiana

A big part of reeling in a nice catch is using the right tactics. Tactics is simply the method or the approach you use to catch the fish. This is a smart species so you have to be smarter. You need to find where they’re located and then entice them to strike. The 4 smallmouth bass fishing tactics below work well to help you accomplish this when fishing in Indiana:

1. The trick to catching a smallmouth bass is to get their attention with the bait you use. Tease and temp them with something that captures their attention making them want to strike. Half the battle is getting them to take your bait but once you find something that gets their attention, you’ll have no problem getting bites. Just be ready for the fight so you don’t lose them once you get one hooked. Some of the best baits to use include live baits such as hellgrammites, minnows, crayfish and worms. If you don’t like using live bait, then there are some great artificial lures that will also get excellent results as well. These include plastic minnows, plastic worms, buzzbait and streamer flies.

2. Fish areas with structures where the fish can hide out and wait for a good meal. Smallmouth bass can be found around sharp drop offs and ledges, deep holes, grassy and weeded areas. You can also find them around piers, rocks, bushes and sunken trees.

3. This species will sometimes take their sweet time before striking so you must exercise lots of patience. If you move around too often or jerk the bait around you’ll ruin any chance of reeling them in. Don’t get in a hurry but if you’ve been in the same spot for about 20 to 30 minutes with no bites, then you can gently move to the next area. Just remember to avoid disturbing the water or you may scare off the bass in the area where you’re headed and you don’t have to go very far.

4. Pay close attention to your presentation. Smallmouth bass are very smart and they can see and hear very well. Due to this fact, you should make sure your bait isn’t moving awkwardly or in a way that would seem unnatural. If it doesn’t look right to the fish, they will just completely ignore it. Keep your voice down while fishing for this species. If they hear loud talking or the sound of a tackle box being dropped, then they will scatter and you will have lost your chance for a bite.

Combine the tactics above with the right technique and you should have a very productive fishing trip in which you’ll have many great stories to share.

More about Indiana Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass tend to travel in schools with others of the same size. This means that if you reel in a 2 pounder, you will probably only catch bass around that same size in that area. However, the same is true whenyou reel in a big one. Therefore, you can use the size of your first catch in an area as a guide
on what size bait to use and this will help increase the number of bites you can get.

When fishing for smallmouth bass in Indiana you can use techniques like still fishing, casting, vertical fishing, drift fishing, fly-fishing and trolling. Any one of these will work great so choose a technique that you’re comfortable with but try different things from time to time for variety.

Trying a variety of different techniques will help you to achieve the most success because the way the bass respond to your bait and the technique you’re using, will depend on the weather, temperature of the water and when you’re fishing. Some techniques get better responses than others in certain conditions.

When fishing in a new area, use a map to help you learn your way around. You can also consider using a guide service the first few times until you learn the area. Smallmouth bass fishing in Indiana is fun and exciting so you’re sure to have a wonderful time.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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