I had the pleasure of taking my friend Mitch out for some Lake Erie smallmouth. The weather was amazing and the wind cooperated! The day was already a success in my books; however, we were after some of that famous Lake Erie bronze to top off our incredible day. We would head out to a location that I used to frequent many years ago. over 20 years ago actually! I didn’t know what to expect, but I wanted to fish different water than I have the past 20 years in the eastern basin.
We headed out from Austin’s ramp east of Port Dover and made our way out to some off shore reefs. After a short while I hooked up a small fish on a drop shot. Then Mitch ties into an absolute tank that played possum.. until it got close to the boat and jumped a foot from the boat and shook the hook out of the Rapala DT16! We just looked at each other in shock. After we picked our jaws up off the boat floor, we pressed on and cast our butts off. We didn’t hook another fish on that reef, and we marked very little as well. The big one that got away strikes again! It will be just another fish tale to be told rather than a grab and grin photo.
We tried several reefs and breaks over a few hours only to come up short. It was a frustrating day with little action. We tried shallow on the top of reefs to deep off the last break of the reefs to no avail. I decided to pull a move in the last couple of hours of fishing that was a bit drastic, but could be fruitful. It paid off in spades a second week in a row! I moved into 4 feet of water on the shoreline and stumbled onto a honey hole loaded with smallies! They were stacked thick along a small rocky drop off that went from 4-feet to 10-feet. Our first pass only resulted in a few fish between 2-3 pounds casting a Rapala Crankin’ Rap. Our next pass would be different. Much different!
I tossed in a drop shot with a TriggerX Probe worm and it was cast after cast with smallies fighting over the worm! It wasn’t long before Mitch dropped his crankbait rod in favour of the drop shot. Insane action that lasted for about an hour before we had to work for them a bit. Then it was a fish every 5 minutes LOL. That action lased until we left, and we were ecstatic considering how the first few hours had been. I wish we had more time to explore more shoreline that was similar, but our time had run out. We were very happy and all smiles hooking about 40 smallies in such a short time frame.
The surface water temp was 66 F. The depth we saw and caught fish ranged from 4-feet to 15-feet, but most fish were in 8-10 feet. The magic presentation was a drop shot rig with a zero twist VMC drop shot hook and a TriggerX Probe worm in baby bass and muck colours. The biggest fish hit a Rapala DT16, and we also had some success on a Rapala Crankin’ Rap. I used a 7’2″ ML Rapala Concept rod with a Rapala Shift spinning reel. I used 8lb Sufix Invisiline fluorocarbon. I used my Minn Kota electric trolling motor to position us with great boat control over the structure we were fishing.
The bass fishing is heating up as the nights cool off. Get out and enjoy it while you can!