FLW OUTDOORS MAGAZINE
TOP FIVE SMALLMOUTH FISHERIES
1. Lake Erie
If you know what your doing, catching 5 pound smallmouthby the boatload is more predictable in the fertile waters of Lake Erie than anywhere else in the country. While big smallmouths can be found throughout Lake Erie,
it's the Western Basin that has the most famed reputation.
Each spring shortly after ice-out, smallies can be caught
in numbers on offshore rock piles and humps while the
water is still cold. As summer progresses to fall, some of
the best action of the year takes place. Many bass will be
moving into the river systems, such as the Detroit, to
2. Burt and Mullet Lakes
Michigan natives often use their hand as a map when showing new friends where there hometown is located. Somewhere near the tips of the index and middle fingers is a smallmouth fishery, which Northern anglers have apparently been keeping secret. Burt and Mullet lakes are twin fisheries, connected by the Indian
River, and part of the 40-mile Inland Waterway,
which eventually ends into Lake Huron. Perhaps
such close proximety to the Great Lakes has
kept the lakes under the radar, but for Wal-Mart
Bass Fishing League anglers, the secret was out
in June. Nine of the top ten finishers at the Wal-
Mart BFL Michigan Division event on Burt Mullet
sacked at least 20 pounds. Burt Lake is collectively
recognized as the place to hang a monster smallie,
but Mullet is more reliable for numbers. Don't
expect much competition on the lake though; it's
not uncommon to spend 5 days alone on the water.
3. Lake St. Clair
With 275,000 surface acres of fishable water, Lake St. Clair offers smallmouth bass plenty of area to gang up and feed. For the most part, it's
a shallow water smallmouth paradise. The lake only averages 10 feet deep,
although there are spots that are deeper than 30 feet. The blue waters are
not only easy to pattern, but massive schools
can be found when anglers do there homework.
If you like to burn a spinnerbait or snap a jerk-
bait for smallies over spacious flats, then St.
Clair is your destination. It usually takes 20-25
pound limits to win tournaments on the lake,
and anglers can expect more 3-5 pound bass
than they care to count, with 6 pounders
becoming more common than in years past.