Smallmouth do best when stocked in a pond by themselves with fathead minnows. Golden Shiner minnows which can reach 6 to 7 in length are predators themselves and will eat smallmouth fry. Be sure that the minnows are hand sorted to remove the junk fish like carp, any sunfish, bull head catfish, etc. These can actually take over the entire pond and destroy the smallmouth population!
Smallmouth bass will do well in ponds if they are the only predator. They do not compete well with largemouth bass. And they will not hold their own in a pond that has a heavy sunfish population. If smallmouth are stocked in a pond with a thriving largemouth population, the smallmouth will be pushed out in just a few years. Smallmouth do not protect their young and do not produce as many young (fry) as the largemouth. The advantage to smallmouth is they put up a great fight when hooked, and they are not as cannibalistic (they eat fewer of their own young).
Bronzebacks are fun to catch as they give a good fight on a hook and line. It is a fish that is sought after by anglers fishing clear, cool water streams. Good live baits include minnows and crayfish. Fly fishing is very effective when surface flies, poppers or rubber bugs are used. Rocky shelves along the shoreline of lakes or streams and rocky points are usually good locations to catch smallmouth. Farm Pond Harvest, Summer 1993, pp. 31-32
It is abundantly evident that from the time of the arrival of the white man and until about 1900, the Smallmouth Blackbass was immensely abundant in Lake Erie and most inland Ohio streams. It was a valued source of food for both Indian and white man, particularly during those early years whenever game was scarce and crops poor." Trautman, Milton B. Fishes of Ohio, 1957, p. 487.