Was going through pics on my phone the other day and I came across one of the biggest bass I've landed.... This was in late August of 2011. I knew very little about fishing (still don't know much but getting better.) and it's one of the biggest reasons I'm obsessed with fishing now...
For a few days, I was up in Laconia NH lucky enough to stay at a family friend's summer house right on the lake. I planned on fishing every morning we were there. 1st morning I decided to sleep in and hang out with the fam all day knowing I had 3 more days to pull in a monster that I've always wanted to catch. The next two days poured and I couldn't do much. So the last day I'm up at 4:30am. Step outside to some light drizzle but I'm ready to fish. Head to the jetty with some worms for awhile but I'm getting only rock bass and 2 1 lb LMB. Nothing to write home about, that's for sure.
I decided to try near a drainage in between two docks. I put on a fairly large white swim bait with awesome tail action. After the 3rd or 4th cast, I'm reeling about 5-7 ft in front of the drainage when I see it come out of nowhere and gobble up my lure!! This things definitely the biggest bass I ever caught (and at this time, I haven't caught a ton in my life) and it's giving me the fight I was looking for. It takes me a good 10 min to land him although he was just a mere few feet from me. The thing was a good 4 lbs. Not the biggest but by far my personal best. Still pumping with adrenaline, I pull out my sh*tty phone and take a pic, trying to get the thing in full frame while the battery is flashing low. Still remember it like yesterday!
Here comes the M. Night Shamalan twist! As I'm going through the old pics I show my buddy. At this point, I've only really have gone fishing with him and his dad. I'm usually there for them to laugh at me while they pull in whoppers. We have a good time tho. The few times I've been my myself I've come up empty handed. Ok, anyways, I showed him the pic telling him this was the big one I landed that I told you about. It takes him a split-second to say "that's a huge ass smallmouth!" So as pumped as I was, seemed like I should've been more excited that I hauled in a smallie this big.... Here's my question, by the pic how can he tell that it's a smallmouth? I know LMB's mouths come farther back past the eye. From the pic, I can't tell. Sorry for the ignorance, but how else can you tell/what do you look for?
Nice Smallie, she's a pig!!! bloomagoo explained the differences. The smallmouth fight so much harder I always think the fish is twice as large as it actually is when you hook a smallmouth, great fun...
The mouth is always the giveaway but there are other differences. For example, smallies don't usually have the black back and they have subtle vertical tiger stripes down their sides compared to LMB which usually have a pronounced black lateral line. Also, the body shape is somewhat different, the smallie has more body length relative to the head and looks squarer. Once you've seen a few it's easy to tell them apart. It's like looking at pickerel and pike. From images and photos it's hard to tell them apart unless you know what to look for. Once you've seen a few in person the differences become evident.
The ranking score is used to determine how "popular" a trip or location is. It is calculated based off of a weighted average of the number of reviews and the user ratings. For example, a trip with 2 reviews and an average rating of 5 will have a lower "ranking score" than one with 10 reviews and an average rating of 4. This is because even though the first trip has a better average rating, it has not been reviewed as much as the second trip, so it is not as "popular". In the future we may modify the ranking score to take in additional factors, such as the number of views, comments, and photos.