I look forward to our fall season each year for a couple of reasons. The 1st is the annual steelhead and trout migrations into our Great Lakes tributaries and the 2nd reason the hot smallmouth bass action before freeze-up.
One of my favorite locations to target fall smallmouth is definitely moving water and I’m talking big moving water like the Niagara & St. Lawrence Rivers. Smallmouth Bass in rivers can move around as much as river walleye but if you have good electronics and you know what to look for in the fall, you can find feeding smallmouths consistently.
Underwater structure in 20-30′ are my “go-to” locations. These areas not only act as current “breaks” along the bottom, but they attract smaller fish like the invasive Goby, and a variety of bottom dwelling baitfish and even young gamefish that a hungry smallmouth won’t think twice about grabbing.
I fish both as close as possible to the bottom either dragging them or gently jigging them. Often times the pick-up feels light a snag until the rod starts to bounce, then I know I have a Smallie on.