mallmouth bass have a reputation for being
hard to figure out. They are a nomadic spe-
cies compared to their largemouth cousins
and tournament anglers frequently lament how often they move from one day to the next.
Professional bass angler Luke Clausen grew up in
the smallmouth rich waters of the Pacific North-
west and has a keen understanding of how they
migrate and why.
THEIR WORLD IS FLAT
According to Clausen, smallmouth prefer to spend time on flat surfaces looking for food. This is especially true of big smallmouth bass, where smaller sized fish spend most of their time on steeper banks. “The bigger ones could really spend their entire lives on the flats if the temperature didn’t get too cold. As the water temperature drops, they are forced to move to steep banks or long points in deep water, but they still won’t be too far from the flats,” believes Clausen.
The prime locations during the colder months are deep, rocky banks that are adjacent to shallow flats. These areas congregate baitfish of all types during the winter and the smallmouth will follow.
As the smallmouth begin to move from the flats to the deeper water, the jerkbait is an excellent way to catch them. “I like to use a jerkbait on both sides of the cold water periods, the transitions from late fall to winter and again from winter to early spring. These are the times when the fish are on the move and actively looking for food as they head to their winter areas and the jerkbait is a great way to catch them,” says Clausen.
He utilizes a variety of Megabass jerkbaits and varies them based on depth the fish are in and also the forage in that body of water. “It’s hard to beat the original Vision 110, but I use the Vision 110+1 when the fish are a little deeper,” adds the Washington pro. He fishes the jerkbaits on the Megabass Orochi XX 6’8”