Did you know smallmouth bass spawn in colder temperatures than largemouth bass? While not as
common in ponds as their large-mouthed cousins, these voracious predators are an exciting catch with strong fights and energetic jumps. Commonly found in both fast-moving currents of rivers and streams and calm waters of lakes and ponds, these Ohio natives are a highly desirable sport fish. Smallmouth bass will prey on anything they can fit in their mouth but have a keen appetite for crawfish. They favor cooler water and are less tolerant of hot, stagnant water than largemouth bass so ponds with steady inflows, aeration or access to deeper water (10ft +) suit them well. Gravel, rock and other hard substrate areas are essential to boost successful spawning rates and provide habitat for their favorite crustacean. Ponds stocked with smallmouth bass as the sole apex predator should closely manage bluegill populations to ensure their average size remains small enough to be taken by the bass. They can be easily recognized by their mottled olive green to brown color, small jaw size and vertical stripes (barring) whereas largemouth bass typically show more green coloration with a larger relative jaw and single lateral stripe.