This weather may seem cold but it brings hot small smallmouth action.
Smallmouth bass are one of the few fish that become really active in cooler water. Many smallmouth anglers look forward this time of year to look for trophy size ‘smallies’ in shallow water and close to the banks.
Smallmouth bass love to follow large shad schools this time of year and pick off the easy targets and put on fat for the winter months. This is most definitely a trophy fish time of the year and when some of the biggest smallmouth of the year are caught.
There are a couple of things you can do to increase your success rate on a smallmouth fishing trip this time of year. One is to take time to search well-known winter smallmouth lakes for recent action — lakes such as Lake Cumberland, Laurel River Lake, and my favorite, Dale Hollow Lake. All of these and several other lakes are great smallmouth winter lakes.
Check for the most recent fishing reports for smallmouth on these lakes. Most of the time they will be guide reports updated regularly. The best pattern that I have heard for now is to work shad-colored crank baits and spoons slowly behind the boat or cast to the bank and work the bait parallel to the bank.
If you can tough out the cold, you might be rewarded with some of the best smallmouth bass fishing action of the year.