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Smallmouth Bass

Micropterus dolomieu

 

The smallmouth bass derives its name from the fact that the rear end of the lower jaw does not extend past the eye, while that of a largemouth does. Smallmouth bass reside where waters are cool and clear, and the bottom is rock or gravel. Ideal smallmouth habitat contains protective cover such as shoal rocks, talus slopes, and submerged logs. Their preferred water temperature is in the seventies, cooler than that of the largemouth bass.

Smallmouth bass are often called "Bronzebacks" because of their color.  Whatever you call them, anglers agree that, pound for pound, the smallmouth is one of the best fighting freshwater fish in the world.  River smallmouth bass, because of their habitat tend to be stronger than fish of the same size that spend their lives out of the currents in lakes and ponds. 

The lucky Downeast angler will run across smallmouth bass in the four pound class.  A fish of that size in a lake will give you one heck of a fight.  A four pounder in a river or stream will give you a real run for your money and, if you are not careful, will reduce you to tears. 

Smallmouth bass are opportunistic feeders and, when in the mood, will strike at almost anything you throw at them.  That is when it gets really interesting!

Smallmouth in Maine do not grow as large as their Southern cousins because the season is shorter.  The fish are not quite as large because of this but, because the season is so short, the fish also tend to feed with a greater intensity.  Add to this the fact that fishing pressure in Maine is a lot less than it is in some of the Tennessee high mountain reservoirs and you have the possibility of truly great fishing.