As spring works its way toward us, most fishermen begin to plan their first early spring trips. Around here, that usually means an excursion to either Dale Hollow or Cumberland in search of smallmouth.
As water temperatures edge upward into the 45-50 degree range, the smallmouth seem to become more active earlier than most of the other black bass species.
Beginning now, local fishermen will begin casting suspending jerk baits like the Smithwick Rattlin' Rogues or the Rapala Husky Jerk on the steeper shale or gravel points. The smallmouth will move up to feed on shad in preparation for the spring spawn.
The suspending jerk baits tend to be the lure of choice for three reasons.
* The first is because of their ability to cover lots of water quickly.
* The second is their erratic action will draw a bass' attention.
* The third is their tendency to suspend or hang motionless in the water, which seems to trigger an aggressive feeding response.