Few experiences are more thrilling than watching a smallmouth bass leap through the air at the end for your fishing line. Wading or floating an Ohio stream is a great way to experience nature and an opportunity to catch this exciting fish. Naturally reproducing smallmouth bass populations are found in reservoirs and streams in Ohio. Catch rates are often higher in streams because smallmouth bass are more common in streams than reservoirs and the stream fish are often concentrated in specific areas.
Smallmouth bass use pools to rest and feed and will move to runs and riffles below pools when most actively feeding.
Wearing old shoes will protect your feet when wading or portaging canoes or kayaks.
Stream bottoms are owned by the landowner; get permission to wade through private property.
When a bass strikes, raise the tip of the pole to prevent the fish getting to cover.
In summer bass avoid direct sunlight when they can. Fish deep pools, cover and shaded areas of the stream.
Cast past your target and retrieve bait to intended area.
Light-to-medium spin-casting outfit with 4- to 10-pound test fishing line or a 5 or 6 weight fly rod.
Seasonal Fishing Approaches
PRESENTATION– Use crankbaits and plastics that imitate crayfish. Retrieve with a motion that will allow the bait to hit the bottom to simulate a swimming crayfish. Chartreuse jigs with spinners are also good.
LOCATION– Active fish are in runs and where riffles and pools meet. Work jigs in runs and riffles around rocks and eddies. Shady areas can be good.