Smallmouth Bass


Smallmouth bass are more common in Kentucky Lake than they used to be, although, they are still a secondary species of fish compared to crappie and largemouth bass.  The east side of the lake’s rocky shorelines will usually hold plenty of smallmouth bass if you want to target them.

Spring – The smallmouths start moving shallower to spawn a little earlier than the largemouths do on Kentucky Lake.  Remember that this lake has a lot more largemouth bass than smallmouth bass, but there is a healthy enough population to go out and target smallmouths.  The key to smallmouth bass is finding the rocks.  Rocky shorelines and creek channels at the mouth of embayments are good places to start.

Summer – Smallmouth bass will be in deeper water along the main river channel as well as along the rocky bluffs.  Night fishing is very popular on Kentucky Lake during the summer for smallmouth bass.  Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and tubes will work well at night.  Dragging jigs, tubes or creature baits can be effective along the gravel bars.

Fall fishing can be excellent for smallmouth bass.  There will be some fish shallow, while others will be deep, but expect the smallmouth bass to come into the shallow to feed during the early mornings and evenings.  A school of smallmouth bass can move onto a gravel bar and put the feed on in a hurry.  At times, the bite may be strong for only 15 or 20 minutes, but you can limit out in that time if you’re in the right place at the right time with the right bait.  Crankbaits, jigs and tubes work well.  Live nightcrawlers and minnows will also catch plenty of smallmouth bass.

Winter fishing is not very popular, but some smallmouth bass can be caught in deeper water.  You’ll need to fish slow and downsize your baits.


Learn More About Smallmouth Bass


Our smallmouth bass section is huge with information on the best live baits, lures, where to catch them and how to catch them.  Visit our smallmouth bass page to learn more.