Originally Posted by theboz
If Diver Dan sees this I'm sure he can said some light as he fishes very cold water for smallies.
Actually I'm not much help for Winter Smallmouth. Up here they set in the very deep holes for the winter and are protected from my fly fishing attempts by a thick layer of ice.
When the ice goes out they will come shallow on the Sunny side of the river (Canada) first, but don't really get where you can clobber them on my side of the river till about May 1st give or take a few days based on weather. I've been keeping track of when they show up here for about 13 or 14 years and you can just about make a bet on not before May 1st being shallow here. I got one on the last day of April once, and heard of one other. I try and catch them earlier every year, but it's mostly just for the fun of casting, and for the Pike I get by accident.
I have pulled a couple out a tad earlier in the main river, but they are generlly still deeper and they don't seem not to hang around for the whole day.
In the Fall when you start having to dress in layers to keep from being completely miserable, they head back into the deep holes and unless you get out the spinning rod and jigs you aren't getting near them.
The very end of the not to darned cold weather in the Fall, they go after poppers pertty well.
I don't think I am going to be of much help, other than if you can hit mid river deep holes and fish really slow you might have a shot. Here you can't do it because the river is way to big and deep.