Some attribute the smallmouth explosion to the clear water brought on by zebra mussels or the new food source of the goby. Whatever the reason, fishing for smallmouth on Lake Saint Clair is an awesome experience. Anglers consistently catch four and five pound fish and seven and eight pounders are not unheard of.
Professional anglers from all over the country travel to Lake Saint Clair to try their luck smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Saint Clair. If you are a beginner, do not let this intimidate you. Although some of the biggest names have fished Lake Saint Clair, you do not have to be a pro to catch big smallmouth.
During the spring, the action is hot and anybody can hook fish. Many big fish are caught by anglers that don't even know how to use a bait-cast reel. Smallmouth can be caught all over the lake but some spots are better than others. The Belle river hump, the firecracker lighthouse, anchor bay and the mile roads are all good spots for smallmouth.
If you are new to fishing Lake Saint Clair, I would suggest starting at the mile roads. Take 94 until you hit 9 mile and then exit to the east. Take 9 mile until it ends and you will run into a boat launch. There is a little walk back to your boat from the parking lot but it is worth it.
Anglers can legally target smallmouth on Lake Saint Clair from the last Saturday in April until the season opens in June. This is called the catch and release season. During this time, an angler can target smallmouth and largemouth bass but the fish need to go right back in the water. A quick picture is allowed but please try to get the fish back in the water as soon as possible.
When the catch and release season starts, the fish are either spawning or just finishing up. The fish will be concentrated in shallow water on or around their spawning beds. During the spawn, smallmouth bass will make beds out of gravel or weeds to lay their eggs in. Once this happens, the bass will hover around the beds protecting them from predators. As the temperature rises, the fish will begin to move deeper to find cooler water.
The key to catching smallmouth is to be where the fish are at. Smallmouth are active feeders and can eventually be coaxed into biting. In the spring, It is a good idea to start shallow and then to work your way out to deeper water.
Once you find active fish, make a note of the depth you are catching them at. Most days, the active fish will be found at the same depth level. Once the bite stops, go to another area and drift your boat along the hot depth. The odds of finding active fish will be in your favor.
Once you locate the fish, you will need to catch them. In the spring, the number one lure for catching smallmouth consistently is a natural colored tube bait. Crank-baits and minnow imitations will also catch fish but tube baits seem to work the best.
To fish a tube, tie a 1/8 ounce or heavier (depending on wind conditions) jig and tube to eight to ten pound fireline. Cast the presentation into the water and let it sink to the bottom of the lake. If a fish doesn't take the bait on the drop, slowly drag the bait back to the boat bouncing it up a couple of feet along the way. Try different colors and alter your retrieve speeds until you find what the bass like that day.
During the spring, catching bass on Lake Saint Clair is as simple as being in the right place at the right time. You don't need thousands of dollars of fishing equipment to catch smallmouth after smallmouth. You just need to get your lure in front of one of the million bass in the lake.
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