Cover areas

Do Smallmouth Bass prefer the same type of cover that the Largemouth Bass prefers?

No, Smallmouth Bass are much different in preferences and behavior than Largemouth Bass.  Largemouth Bass prefer weeds, lily pads, standing trees and fallen timber.  Smallmouth Bass on the other hands prefer rocks and sunken trees.


One key concept is to always remember the Largemouth Bass will often move towards the surface to strike at its prey.  The Smallmouth Bas son the other hand prefers to feed much closer to the bottom of the water it is inhabiting.  They frequent rocks because they often hold crayfish and other invertebrates the Smallmouth Bass likes to feed on.  Rocks allow offer a school of minnows a respite from the water current. This of course often leads them right into the ambush points frequented by Smallmouth Bass.


Consider also the colors of the two fish.  Largemouth Bass are predominantly green in color.  They blend in well when situated in the weeds, making them tough to see.  Smallmouth Bass on the other hands are predominately bronze in color.  They are camouflaged much better in rocky areas with gravel bottoms.


You can see the difference even in rivers.  Largemouth Bass prefers slow moving backwater areas.  When found in the main body they are often directly near the shoreline near any weed growth you can find or near fallen timber.  River smallies are found right the fast current near some sort of obstruction that holds fish. This generally comes in the form of rocks but can also be a man made obstruction like a dam.  I have fished many hours right near river dams.  You find many Smallmouth Bass  near dams but very rarely a Largemouth Bass.

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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