Hello Italo. I love your show and your strong moral and family values. My wife and I have been devoted fans for a long time.I live in Welland Ontario and am thinking of heading out on Lake Erie in the Crystal Beach area for some Bass after they open. I have only a small boat 14 foot with a 20hp tiller which unfortunately has been used as a storage container in my garage for the past several seasons. I was wondering if you had any tips on locations or baits for fishing closer to shore to ensure my safety. Thank You. God Bless. Neal Campbell long time fan.

Posted on June 20th, 2014

Hi Neal…Thank you for your kind words, I receive them! Your boat needs exercise. I definitely have an area in mind for you to fish safely, and what lures/presentations you can enjoy to catch early season smallmouth bass. The area where I do really well early in the season is the reefs out from Holiday Beach, Lake Erie. That area is east of Crystal Beach and I have 2-options of launching, one at Crystal Beach, the other at the Fort Erie public boat launch located on the Niagara Parkway, just north of Bertie St., north side of Fort Erie, ON. I prefer to launch from Fort Erie since if the winds pick-up on Erie, they are usually form the south or north-west. If the wind picks up, it’s easier to go with the waves back to Fort Erie instead of head-on into the ways back to Crystal Beach, but that would be your choice. This year as you know we have had a late spring and many bass will till be in shallow water. If you start fishing about 500 yds. out from Holiday Beach you will see that it’s only 5-7′ deep with a bottom that looks light and dark (sand with rocks). If you wear polarized sunglasses, stand up and look into the water, if it’s not too wavy you will probably be able to spot smallmouth bass swimming around the vicinity of your boat! The two best presentations to use is to cast a crankbait that dives less than 10′, like the Rapala RS Glass Shad Rap in the perch color and size #5, or cast and “drag” a 3″ TriggerX tube rigged on a 1/8 oz. tube jighead along the bottom. Depending on how you do in the shallower water, you can work your way out from shore. The actual reef is in about 12/14′ of water and drops-off to about 20′. That area can be a real hot-spot, especially as the sun get’s stronger. I cast the same model of Shad Rap there, only larger in size, a #7 and I also drag the 4″ tube with a 1/4 or 3/8 oz. tube jighead along the bottom. Off the reef you also have the options of flat-line trolling with about a 50′ lead along the outer edge of the reef. If you don’t have a fish finder, just look over the side of the boat every once and a while. You will be able to see if you are on the edge of the reef by spotting some of the rocks on the bottom. If you don’t see rocks, just blue-green water, you are deeper and off the reef. Hope you have good opener…..God bless you and your family also, Italo

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