Smallmouth bass will definitely eat a swimbait. You’re just going to have to down size your swimbaits to consistently catch smallmouth bass. Remember, smallmouth bass have a much smaller mouth than largemouth bass. Try using 4 to 5 inch swimbaits instead of the larger swimbaits, however, you can still catch some nice smallmouth bass on a 6 or 7 inch swimbait. Slow and fast retrieves both work well. It all depends on the mood of the fish. Faster retrieves will work better when smallmouth bass are in an aggressive mood. When smallmouth bass are schooling up on shad or other bait fish, a faster retrieve can work wonders. A slower retrieve may work better along a weed line or just above the top of submerged weeds. You may need to vary your retrieves to find out what is working best on any given day.
Best Rigs for Swimbaits
Swimbait hooks were made for swimbaits. These hooks have the weight balanced under the center of the bait, which helps give it a great swimming action.
Shaky Head Jig
The shaky head jig actually works great with swimbaits. You would have to see it in the water to see just how good it looks. The nice thing about the shaky head jig is that if you are swimming a bait near the bottom, you can stop the bait and put the tail up off the bottom right in a fish’s face that may be following the bait.
A jighead can work great with swimbaits. For the smaller swimbaits, a regular jighead will do. For the larger swimbaits, go with the longer shank jigheads and you’ll have a better hook-up percentage with the bass that eat it.