Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass Fishing Charters
Other Names: Micropterus dolomieu
The smallmouth bass has a moderately compressed, elongated body. There are 3 spines in the anal fin, and 9 to 11 spines in the dorsal fin. The smallmouth bass sports an olive green body above to yellow-white below, typically with 8 to 16 dark brown vertical bars on the side. The mouth is large, with the posterior edge of the maxilla extending to beneath the eye.
Fry and juvenile diets consist primarily of zooplankton and insect larvae. Adults have a more diverse palate, subsisting on such varied foods as crayfish, amphibians, insects, and other fish. Adults also cannibalize young of other parents. Although large adults are often the top predatory fish in their habitats, young adults and juveniles are often preyed upon by other fish, including other smallmouth bass and turtles.
Today, smallmouth bass are very popular game fish, frequently sought by anglers using conventional spinning and bait casting gear, as well as fly fishing tackle. The smallmouth is highly regarded for its top-water fighting ability when hooked - old fishing journals referred to the smallmouth bass as "ounce for ounce and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims".
The smallmouth bass is found in clearer water than the largemouth, especially streams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs. The smallmouth prefers cooler water temperatures than its cousin the largemouth bass, and may be found in both still and moving water.
Because it is relatively intolerant of pollution, the smallmouth bass is a good natural indicator of a healthy environment, though it can better adjust to changes in water condition than most trout species. Carnivorous, its diet comprises crayfish, insects, and smaller fish, the young also feeding on zooplankton.