River Bass Fishing - Tips for Catching Bass in Rivers

By: Daniel Eggertsen

There are two main species of bass you can catch in rivers. The Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass often inhabit the same river. Each of these species however are quite different and inhabit different section of the river. As a result of their particular traits you need to fish differently for each of them.

Largemouth Bass do not enjoy the areas of the river that have heavy current. When fishing for this species your first place to look is for backwaters off the main river. Most rivers have several small creeks that branch off the main river and then reenter the main river downstream. It is not enough to know only to fish the backwater creek. You need to know where to fish on these creeks. The best place to fish is the closest clam spot near the entrance to the creek. Largemouth Bass prefer to allow the water current to bring small morsels of food into the creek where they can pounce on it. The second prime spot in these creeks is areas of heavy weeds. Weeds are not as common in rivers as they are in lakes. When you find a calm area in a river with weeds you have truly found a prime fishing area for Largemouth Bass.

Smallmouth Bass have much different preferences. Unlike their larger cousin this species loves fast moving currents. The key piece of cover to look for with this species are rocks. The larger the rock the better. Smallmouth Bass feed off crustaceans that inhabit the rocky bottom of a river. The lure of choice for this species is definitely the crankbait. You want to select a crankbait that is relatively small yet will swim near the bottom of the river. If you can get it to bounce of the rocks this is excellent. Unlike the Largemouth Bass this fish does not prefer to be near the shoreline. If conditions warrant they will hold near shore but they are just as likely to be found in the middle of the river if conditions dictate holding in such an area. They are a far more versatile fish than the Largemouth Bass. You can and will find Smallmouth Bass in prime areas for Largemouth Bass. The opposite will almost never be true.

A great place to look for both of these species are islands. Most rivers have many islands throughout the water. They key is where to fish each of these islands. Largemouth Bass should be fished in the slack area created by an island. Better yet is a situation where you find a series of islands bunched closely together. Smallmouth Bass on the other hand true to their nature will hold downstream from an island. They will be looking for their food to be brought to them by the current.

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