DRIFTWOOD OUTDOORS: Smallmouth are big fun

Stream fishing appeals to many

Ben Shadley catches another smallmouth from a kayak in a small stream.

Ben Shadley catches another smallmouth from a kayak in a small stream.

Smallmouth bass are one of the most prevalent game fish in North America. Often regarded as the pound-for-pound the toughest fish swimming, these feisty fighters are found in lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams from Maine to Montana and Alabama to Oregon.

Although smallmouth may grow larger in reservoirs and big rivers, many smallmouth anglers prefer chasing “bronzebacks” in small streams.

Stream fishing for smallmouth appeals to so many because it usually takes place in serene natural environments where motorboats cannot go. With the exception of walking in, canoes and kayaks are the only way to access small streams. Also, smallmouth are a warm-water fish, so during the warmer months, wet wading is an enjoyable option.

Chances are there is a smallmouth stream within a short drive of your home.

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