Early Fall on Lake Erie


Although Lake Erie offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, the fall season can be the best time of the year to land yourself a true trophy gamefish. Many anglers flock to the lake and tributaries for Steelhead, Salmon, Largemouth Bass, Perch, and Walleye. All the species are represented in the fall season with great catches to be had. Although I enjoy the other species, world class Smallmouth Bass fishing attracts my attention! If you plan your trip according to weather conditions, it is not likley that you will be dissapointed in the results from this incredible fishery. I had the pleasure of spending half a day on Lake Erie last week and was able to hook three tropy sized smallmouth that were all above 5 lbs. If you are looking to catch numbers of bass in the fall, it can be done by exploring the waters off shore in relativley shallow depths. If you have the patients, and are looking for a monster, you will want to make sure that you seek them out without the temptation of landing 50 bass in a day. I seached for about an hour with my electronics and marked several familiar humps that I have fished many times before. This homework on the water will pay off if you have the persistance. This is where a good side scan unit becomes very valuable! Realizing that the humps are actually shell and rock beds, I begin fishing them with tubes, jigs, and drop shots to mimic what they are feeding on. The monster smallmouth are feeding on the Gobies (invasive Great Lakes Species). A hump, located on the electronics, is noted to hold the Gobies by the bait signals hovering close to the bottom. On the electronics, you will also be able to spot the areas holding the giants. Noting that the smallies were holding to the upwind side of the hump, I then narrowed down my approach to hooking on to the giants. Bait patterns and presentations in the fall should coincide with the natural look of the bait in which the species is feeding on. Without the numbers landed, a truely successful day can be measured in “pounds” and not numbers. Another great trip to the big waters of Lake Erie… and as always, looking forward to that next opportunity that mother nature provides to seek out the giants of the fall… www.skinard.com

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