Time of Day

Learn how the time of day affects smallmouth bass fishing.


Most bodies of water provide a very good morning bite for smallmouth bass.  At times, the bite can be incredible with anglers catching a limit of bass in 10 casts or less if you know where they feed.  During the early spring or late fall, the morning bite is usually not as good as it is during the warmer months.  If the water is above the mid-50s, you can count on a good morning bite.  In cooler water, the bite may actually be better as the sun comes out and warms up the water a couple of degrees.

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During the early spring and late fall, some of the best smallmouth bass fishing can be found during the afternoon as water temperatures warm up a couple of degrees.  Once water warms up to the mid-60s and above during the summer months, the afternoon bite can be a lot tougher in the afternoon.  The high sun in the summer makes it very difficult to consistently catch smallmouth bass.  On cloudy or rainy days, the fishing may be great in the afternoon, but sunny days make fishing tough.  Most anglers target smallmouth bass in deeper water during the afternoon.  Fish may have been active in 2 to 10 feet of water during the first couple hours of light, but those same fish could easily be holding on the drop-off in 20 to 30 feet of water during the afternoon.  Deep water drop-offs, points, humps, weedlines and reefs will hold smallmouth bass.

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The evening provides some of the most consistent smallmouth bass fishing from spring through fall.  During the colder months in the early spring and late fall, the smallmouth bass bite tends to get better as the water temperatures warm up a couple of degrees.  The water temperature tends to hold its gains through the evening, making for some consistent action from smallmouth bass.  Combine that with the lowlight conditions and you should be able to catch some fish.

With warmer water temperatures, smallmouth bass tend to make a move into shallower water in the evening.  While you may catch plenty of fish in 20 to 30 feet of water during the evening, there are usually plenty of bass that will make a move into water as shallow as 2 feet deep to feed on crayfish and other bait fish in the shallows.  Anglers have a lot of options during the evenings in the summer.  Whether you are fishing in the spring, summer or fall, it’s tough to beat the evening bite.

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Night Time

Night fishing for smallmouth bass is very common.  Most good smallmouth waters have clear water making it tough on some anglers to catch fish during the day.  A simple solution is to fish at night.

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