According to the compendium in game "Smallmouth Bass are commonly seen in the northern rivers. They prefer natural baits, such as crickets, over lures. Larger and tougher than Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass can put up quite a fight once hooked. They seem to be most active during the rain. A Legendary Smallmouth Bass is said to live in western Big Valley"
According to the compendium in game "Using natural baits will increase your chances of a catch"