Lake Pend Oreille: What Smallmouth Eat in the Fall

Ever wonder what smallmouth bass like most as the water cools down at the end of summer? If you’re a fisherman, you have. Here’s what came out of a 1-pound smallmouth bass near the end of September: a 4-inch+ crawfish, turning color like the leaves on the ground. The color change signifies a crawdad heading into the time of spawn. But this bass interceded.

Smallmouth bass love to eat. They'll stuff themselves and then some. This 1-pound male took a 4.25 inch crawfish, stuffed himself to the gills and still hit my lure. Photos and commentary by Dwayne Parsons

Smallmouth bass love to eat. They’ll stuff themselves and then some. This 1-pound male took a 4.25 inch crawfish, stuffed himself to the gills and still hit my lure. Photos and commentary by Dwayne Parsons

Smallmouth Bass Fall Diet in Pend Oreille Lake

Just about every small mouth bass you catch in these waters that’s over a pound in weight is plump, any time of the year. They eat well in this largest of the big three North Idaho lakes.

This smallie was little more than a pound in weight, but it coughed up this 4.25-inch crawfish when caught. That’s what you call a freshwater lobster!

The crawfish in this photo is just entering it’s beautiful spawn colors. Earlier in the year, they are olive green to dark green in color.

I could have stretched this crawdad out to a full 4.5 inches, but I let it lie in a natural curl, right at 4.25 inches. Pretty big meal for a 1-pound smallmouth bass.

I could have stretched this crawdad out to a full 4.5 inches, but I let it lie in a natural curl, right at 4.25 inches. Pretty big meal for a 1-pound smallmouth bass.


A plentiful population of crawdad’s, as they are also called, is one of the reasons Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River are both excellent smallmouth bass fishing waters.

See Also: Pend Oreille River Bass Fishing and Abundant Water, Great Fishing and Where Canadian Fishing Guides Vacation

Dwayne Parsons, the owner/editor of SandpointPR
is also a Realtor with
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Century 21 Beutler & Associates

208-765-5554 Office
208-691-6816 Fax
208-290-2300 Dwayne’s mobile phone