Bottom fishing is very popular for smallmouth bass, however, most anglers don’t think of it as bottom fishing because that phrase is used more with saltwater fishing. Smallmouth bass thrive in lakes with rocky bottoms and they feed on crayfish and gobies that live around the rocks, so you can always find some smallmouth bass relating to the bottom.
Crawl Your Baits Along the Bottom
Most anglers don’t use this technique because it such a slow and kind of boring technique to use, but it works great. This technique is usually best with a crayfish or creature bait.
Hop Your Baits Along the Bottom
Pick your favorite soft plastic bait and fishing rig and hop your baits along the bottom and you’ll catch plenty of smallmouth bass. Find some rocky areas and you’ll be sure to find some bass willing to bite.
Swim Your Baits Along the Bottom
You can have a lot of success by swimming a variety of baits along the bottom. Use a heavy enough weight that your bait maintains contact with the bottom as you are swimming it back to the boat with a steady retrieve. There is something about a curly tail grub or other type of swimming bait that just drives smallmouth bass crazy when it continues to bump off the rocks and continues to swim forward.
Dead Sticking on the Bottom
At times, you can deadstick plenty of baits on the bottom and do very well for smallmouth bass. Whether you target them on the spawning beds or around a variety of shallow water cover, this technique can be productive in the spring and early summer. Once smallmouth bass go deeper, you will be dead sticking in much deeper water, but you can still catch a lot of bass leaving your bait still on the bottom.