First, Gentry identifies mudflats that are prime smallmouth spawning areas using a lake contour map or Google Earth. The soft substrate is also a favorite of the crawfish and shad smallmouths are feeding on heavily this time of year. The trick, he says, on a body of water you don’t know well is to identify where deep water meets those mudflats. “Then I’ll look for the ditch lines that channel fish from the depths to the shallows. Smallmouths spawn in 10 to 15 feet of water, unlike largemouths that will spawn much shallower. Any deeper ditch lines within that depth range are prime territory to find some prespawn trophies.” Gentry’s top lure choice is a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper swimbait in White Trash, matched with a 1⁄4-ounce minnow-shaped leadhead. He’ll also use crankbaits in crawfish patterns if he needs to cover more water.