they migrate to seasonal patterns just like anything else
I know earlier this year that me and my partner caught smallmouth on one certain bank for about six weeks straight before we lost them. Had similar luck in other places just not quite that long. If food and the the right cover is there I believe they will stay until its gone and then move on.
they migrate to seasonal patterns just like anything else
I once Asked Billy Westmoreland that question at the Strader Show.. and Billy believed that truly LARGE Smallmouth do have places where they stay. It may be an area of 1 to 2 acres but when they find a home with good forage and good temps they stay put. They tend to become the king of the domain unless run off by a larger fish or a predator.. like Muskie or Pike.
This is only my opinion on this topic and it is probably wrong but it is my conclusion until I learn more on the topic. I do believe that Smallmouth stay in the same general area most of their lives. I think the early years of their lives they may travel a little more to "find their roots or find the best place to live" but the older they get and they find that dream home location the more they stay in that area. Kind of like humans when we move from apartment to apartment earlier in our years then more established homes then our final dream home so to speak. If a smallmouth can find shallow spawning grounds, next to a point with some rock to hold a few crawdads, next to deeper water where shad will school up in winter and summer there is no reason for them to travel anywhere else. When you also consider June, July, August, December, January and February are months that the smallies are in deeper water and their metabolism is slower they are not going to chase food so they are not going to travel to use up energy just because. This is also why they like points and spawning areas next to deeper water for they can travel up and down in the water column by the quickest route thus using less energy. I was told once that "All Smallmouth in Dale Hollow are near the dam in the winter time because that is where the clearer / deeper water is located". I don't believe this for a second. If you think a smallie is going to leave 50-60 deep water at the mouth of Illwill and travel 15 miles or so to the dam to find 70 -80 feet deep water, your mad. Deep water is all relative. Smallies can live in 30 foot deep water in the winter just as good as 70 foot deep. Hell I don't think there would be many if any fish living in 70 feet deep water. Somewhere along the line the oxygen or somthing would run out and they could not survive that deep. I hear of people catching the "Good" smallies in 40-50 foot deep water using tailspinners and silver buddies. Grant it, fish that deep will be the "Good" 6-8 pounders. I do think the big fish get big by staying in deeper water. It is sort of like the spawn. The really big girls that have done it over and over are not going to go shallow several days and wait to shed their eggs. She is laying in deeper, 6-8 foot water just outside the spawning ground then ready she runs up lays her eggs and is guarding just long enought after then back to deeper water. A female human that has had 9 kids is not going to the hospital at the first sign of a contraction. She is at the house sweeping, mopping or whatever else to get the contractions going closer and closer before going to the hospital to spit out the kid with as little delay time as possible. Whereas the first time mom has been at the hospital for 2 days after the first sign of a small pain and she is waiting and waiting. The longer the fish stays shallow the more likely that she will be caught. I personally think the bigger fish stay deep almost year around and therefore avoid the bank beaters therefore avoid being caught most of the time. Bank Beaters know that spring and fall are the best times of year to fish. This is because spring and fall are the only time the fish come shallow, therefore bankbeaters are in the right place. Summer and Winter #### to these same bank beaters for it is the "Dog Days" of summer or too cold in the winter. I am learning this deep water summer fishing and have caught more bigger fish this year "Deep" than total shallow in my life. I also catch more bigger fish in the winter, as proven last year, than total in my life. I can't wait for winter to arrive again. I know I sort of got off the topic, but I do think Smallies stay in the same general area all their life after say the first year. Upto the first year, I would say they travel around a bit more. I do believe the BIG FISH are defineately homo bodies and travel very littl. They have a spot that gives them all they need to survive and have no reason to go elsewhere. When somebody finds this spot, they will catch a monster, No Doubt.
all this is is an opinion nobody can prove it if why do you think they stay in the same general area? when whales, salmon and other water species migrate hunreds and even thousands of miles.
who has the backround knowledge to say whether or not? NOBODY
if you say fish are like humans humans are all different some travel in there later years and some find that dream place like you were talking about
NOBODY KNOW BUT THE DANG FISH!
Speaking for small creeks and rivers I've found that they don't move very far at all from season to season. Lakes, a whole different story - I don't know what they do there.
Fishyboy, I'm not sure you can compare whales or salmon to bass.
no they follow the food source most of the year except during the spawning season this has been documented by the use of telementry devices implanted in the fish. john
I agree somewhat...I believe what Billy believed about BIG smallies in a TVA lake like Dale BUT, I do not believe this is true with river run lakes and large bodies like Lake Erie.
Another thought that makes sense to me...On a lake like Dale, they don't have to move far to get from 10ft. to 50 ft. on a 45 degree bank or even bluffs.
Nobody may actually know but, who better the "Smallmouth Hunter" himself...Billy Westmoreland of which BTW I learned most everything I know about smallmouth.
You believe what you want sir. :P
As the Transmittert implant study was conducted on the Elkhron a few years ago. In a round about way. Some traveled, some didn't
It's easier to let the cat out of the bag than put it back in
As a smallmouth guide on the New river in West Virginia for 8 years I can honestly say they do both. We tagged several hundred fish over a 12 mile stretch of river in a 3 month period. Fish from 12 inches to 20 inches, and the conclusion we came up with is that 65%(recaught) stayed within 1/2 mile of the tagging. The strange thing is that about 40% of the larger fish tagged moved over 2.5 miles of the tagging. The kicker was the movement was all upstream of the tagging site. This was all conducted during summer months, low water periods. Now some of the fish were actually caught out of the same eddies as tagged. So its kind of up in the air about the travel habits. Still recording fish from the tagging as we speak. As for lakes I think that travel is much more limited. Most of the time they have all they need in a smaller area, unless major drawdown of the lake occurs or the baitfish travel longer distances.