Smallmouth bass mainly eat crayfish and bait fish, they have a very strong head structure and the inside roof of their mouth has a very hard pallet that allows then to crush the shells of crayfish.
The pick up on a tube bait will usually start with a few smaller hits, considering the tentacles and the hook are facing towards the surface of the water, smallmouth with strike numerous times with the intent being to injure the claws of the crayfish.
There are times where fish will dart up and attack the tube as it is sinking then dart back down, these are the fun strikes for sure ! Always make sure you set the hook nice and hard, to penetrate through it’s tough mouth and when the fish nears the surface a little tip is to dip your rod into the water, maybe half of it straight down.
What this will do is prevent the fish from jumping out of the water and we all know that smallmouth bass are notorious for jumping ! That downward pressure of the rod in the water will not allow the fish line to jump, it will potentially surface but not be able to jump.
Tubes are really great baits for smallmouth bass, white, green and brown/orange ting colours usually produce the most fish, WHY well crayfish in freshwater tend to me more green in colour during the earlier season then more brown/orange/red in the fall and white well anythign white usually catches smallmouth, still think it has something to do with them being seen as local bait fish.
Either way give tube baits a try, lots of manufacturers like Mizmo and Berkley make some great ones !
The AMFisH guy…