Smallmouth bass reach trophy proportion by conserving energy. They do this by establishing strike zones. As they mature with age, they become less likely to go after prey beyond their strike zone. Instinct tells them to stay put instead of chasing down everything they see; it is a primitive but effective way to survive.
Instinct also tells them the best way to gain energy is to not pass on easy prey coming within striking distance. Hunger affects striking distance for sure, but so does the depth, velocity, temperature, and clarity of the water.
So what’s in this book for you? Smallmouth bass behavior and stream ecology, the perks of a career in aquatic biology. Much of what you need to know to catch smallmouth bass in streams.
The first edition of Smallmouth Bass and Streams dealt strictly with fly-fishing, the second edition does not, included is a chapter for anglers who prefer traditional tackle. More important is the information presented; it is focused on finding fish and making presentations, regardless of tackle used.
You can’t catch them if you can’t find them; it doesn’t matter what kind of tackle you use. The author learned as a biologist where to find the big ones with electrofishing gear, the most effective means ever designed to sample fish.
The information in this book is mostly text with approximately 40 photos. Each photo taken by the author to help visualize what is important to learn more about streams. You will not find illustrations pointing out where to cast; fishing is not an exact science, but if you want to learn more about streams, or you simply want to catch more and bigger smallmouth than ever before, this book was written for you. Here are a couple of excerpts.
“Two of the biggest mistakes smallmouth bass anglers can make is disregard depth and not focus on current breaks. And when it comes to current breaks, it’s not going to be wood.”
“… the most important reason to use a weighted dropper. You can reel in nice and slow, the weight keeps the bait down near the bottom. The bait floats back up every time you stop cranking, diving down again each time you start cranking. The presentation imitates a fish or shad that is feeding, sick, or wounded; it does a remarkable job of making an offer a smallmouth can’t refuse.”