The product recommendations on our site are independently chosen by our editors. When you click through our links, we may earn a commission. Thanks for helping us do what we love.

Tips for Finding and Catching Smallmouth Bass on New Water

Finding and catching bass on a new lake can feel intimidating but it’s easier than many think. Pro bass angler Brent Ehrler explains his highly effective process for finding and catching summer and early fall smallmouth bass using a host of modern fish finder technologies and a handful of proven finesse baits.


The search process begins with console graphs and side imaging (SideVü) to locate prime grass and rock areas and 2D sonar and DownVü to mark the fish. When a group of fish is located, Ehrler takes to the bow and makes accurate casts to bass with either a drop shot, Neko rig, or finesse swimbait with real-time sonar (Garmin Panoptix LiveScope). By tracking the fish in real-time, you can determine their response to your bait and movements along a structure or in open water. With Panoptix LiveScope, you’re essentially sight fishing at depth, which allows for constant contact with the fish and smart lure experimentation.