Smallmouth Bass


Smallmouth bass are in a few lakes, but they aren’t the dominant species of fish, so don’t expect to catch a bunch of smallies on a trip here.  Mille Lacs Lake is an hour away though and it is one of the best smallmouth bass lakes in the United States, so you can easily spend a day on the big lake while visiting this area.  Take a look below to learn more about the area lakes that have smallmouth bass in them.


Roosevelt Lake


Roosevelt Lake covers more than 1,500 acres and has a maximum depth of 129 feet.  This lake is a solid fishing lake for a variety of fish.  Northern pike, largemouth bass and walleye have been the primary game fish in this lake.  Muskie were stocked in this lake in 2011 and they plan on consistently stocking the lake on even-numbered years, which is great for muskie anglers.  Smallmouth bass are also available in the lake.  Panfish include bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.

MN DNR Lake Information Report


Washburn Lake


Washburn is a 1,554 acre lake located about 3 miles northwest of Outing, MN in Cass County.  The lake is comprised of 3 distinct basins.  The maximum depth is 111 feet and about 48% of the lake is 15 feet deep or less.  Game fish include walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.  Panfish include bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.

MN DNR Lake Information Report


Thunder Lake


Thunder Lake is a 1,330 acre lake located 7 miles south of Remer in Cass County.  This lake is deep and the shoreline drops off rapidly.  The maximum depth is 95 feet and only 17% of the lake is less than 15 feet deep.  This lake is heavily developed.  There are currently good numbers of walleye in the lake.  Northern pike, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are also available.  Panfish include bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.

MN DNR Lake Information Report


Some of the Bigger Bodies of Water That Aren’t Too Far Away


Mille Lacs Lake


Mille Lacs Lake is Minnesota’s second-largest lake and it covers 132,000 surface acres.  Mille Lacs is a great lake for outdoor recreation, but it has been known for its outstanding walleye fishery over the years.  There was a walleye collapse and they are hoping to be coming out of that now, however, there are plenty of restrictions on the lake as far as keeping walleye throughout the seasons.  This has been a huge debate on the lake.  Fortunately, the smallmouth bass fishing is off the charts good right now which is helping make up for the walleye issues.  Mille Lacs also offers good fishing for a variety of other fish such as muskie, northern pike, perch and even largemouth bass.  Crappie, bluegill and other sunfish round out the fishery.

Visit our Mille Lacs Lake Section


Best Baits for Smallmouth Bass


Smallmouth bass will eat a variety of different baits.  Minnows, nightcrawlers and leeches are definitely the best live baits for smallmouth bass.

When it comes to artificial lures, you have lots of options.  Soft plastic crayfish, twin tail grubs, worms and minnow baits are very effective.  Hard baits such as  crankbaits, jerkbaits and spinners also work great.

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Live Baits for Smallmouth Bass

Lures for Smallmouth Bass


Best Rigs for Smallmouth Bass


With so many different soft plastics to use, you have so many different rigs that work great for smallmouth bass.  The drop shot rig, a simple jighead, standup jigheads and scrounger jigheads are some of the best rigs for smallmouth bass.  To see our full list, take a look at our best rigs for smallmouth bass page.


Best Techniques for Smallmouth Bass


There are so many different techniques you can use for smallmouth bass since they can be found shallow, deep and anywhere in between.  Anglers usually cast for them, but jigging, drop shotting and drifting are also some great techniques for smallmouth bass.

To learn more, take a look at our best techniques for smallmouth bass page.


Learn More About Smallmouth Bass


Our smallmouth bass fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.

Visit our smallmouth bass fishing website to learn more.