Years ago, in the very first small bass tournament I ever won, I caught my bass by vertical jigging a spoon around suspended offshore schools of alewives. I found the bass around them, and figured out how they would bite, by practicing with live shiners the week before. I haven't forgotten that lesson. These smallmouths were suspended in small key areas on a river channel edge in the middle of the lake. I noticed that they would only eat the live shiners presented while popping the rig up and around the suspended bait schools. During tournament day the next week, I kept the spoon high and moving around the suspended schools of bait, consequently catching the winning bass stringer. I certainly caught fewer on the spoon than I did with the live shiners, but it taught me a lesson that paid off that day, as well as down the road.