If the temperature is around 80 degrees – do Smallmouth Bass move to deep water?

If the temperature is around 80 degrees – do Smallmouth Bass move to deep water?

Temperature does play a major role in determining how any fish acts, but one thing we have to keep in mind with the smallmouth bass is that it will eat whatever it can get its fins on, so if the most ample prey in the area likes warmer temperatures, so does the smallmouth bass. Ideally, if you can find a spot that is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be doing good, especially if you are paying attention to the other factors for seeking out great spots. Smallmouth also pay close attention to things like the pH balance and the oxygen level of the water, so if you are fishing in moving water it is best to find a good spot that is rich in oxygen such as a boulder in a stream with lots of gushing bubbles. However, like I mentioned, smallmouth bass go where the food is and have been known to stay in areas of 84 degrees and higher, especially if they are of the younger variety. Young smallmouth actually prefer warmer waters, and the adults likely won’t have wandered very far from where the young smallmouth flourish. The hotter the temperature of the water is, the higher the metabolism of the smallmouth, so they generally have to eat more. The best bait to use is going to be anything that resembles a plump dying minnow, because it means less strain on the smallmouth for more food. Another thing to consider is anywhere the current changes force of flow all of a sudden. This is going to mean a surge of food, cooler water, and thus a surge of smallmouth that are excited. Typically, you will notice sporadic light clusters of smallmouth in hot weather between 10-20 feet along contour changes, and any time the water rushes in all of those surrounding clusters head straight for the surge. Anywhere you notice a lot of insects is prime place to fish topwater, because even large adult smallmouth still love to feast on bugs. Cloud cover and the water clarity are only two of many other factors that can determine where the smallmouth head to, but my advice here is to really work hard not to spook any covers and otherwise just try each spot as you would in slightly cooler temperatures, just start off quiet with slower bait. If that doesn’t work, wait awhile and move on up to a faster-paced lure. If nothing else works, either try deeper water or come back again at night.


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

One Response to “If the temperature is around 80 degrees – do Smallmouth Bass move to deep water?”

  1. Shandra Huehn says:

    We’ve got to catch Leland with the Coke or the bust won’t stick!

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