Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum

Bass Fishing => Bass Fishing Great Lakes => Topic started by: Slick on January 29, 2007, 01:03:06 AM

Title: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on January 29, 2007, 01:03:06 AM
Hello all this is my very first post and I am looking for some help or should I say all the help I can get.. I have fished the Saint Clair river for 17 years just for walleye and this old dog would like to learn a new trick and that would be to catch some of those hard fighting small mouth bass..

I would like to know whats the best methods to catch small mouth on the Saint Clair river and what are there movements during the seasons shallow or deep and what water temp get them feeding on diffrent types of baits.. I have a buddy that dives the Saint Clair river and he tells me all about how many small mouth bass there are down there..

Just to help you all understand what kind of boat I am running so you can understand if I can present the bait properly or not I am running a 18' StarCraft Superfisherman 70lb bow mount trolling motor.. I know when I am helping other people catch more walleye it makes the job a lot easier when I know the boat there going to be using..

Well guys shoot away and see if you can teach this walleye fisherman how to catch some small mouth bass.. Thanks again Cya Slick


PS..I forgot to mention that I would do a swap a trip, I would take some one walleye fishing and show them how I catch my limits and some one show me how to catch these bass.. I live right about 5 min off the river here in the city of Saint Clair..
Title: Re: New small mmouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Genie on January 29, 2007, 07:34:03 AM
Wow, can I ride along on this post?  I need to learn those waters better myself.  I think half this board will actually be riding along on this post for more information.   ;D
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: canvsbk on January 29, 2007, 09:54:48 AM
 This is a very slippery path you're on - turn back now! :D Mr. Bronzeback has been the undoing of many a good man....
                                 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Cheetam on January 29, 2007, 10:03:50 AM
So where is your buddy diving that he is seeing all of these smallmouth?  Someone may just have to check that out  ;D

There are many more qualified people to be giving advice on the St. Clair River than me, but typically, the rivers turn on in the summer when the main lake starts warming up.  Tube baits and drop shotting seem to be the preferred baits/methods for catching them.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on January 29, 2007, 11:04:09 AM
Well my buddy dives all over the river but he told me about the small mouth while diving off the board walk here in Saint Clair..

Ok I figure drop shotting is like vertical jigging pretty much, I drop shot for perch on lake Simcoe with 1 1/2 twister tails and I find it to work better than minnows.. I guess the question is what type of bait do you use with a drop shot rig for smallies in the Saint Clair river?

My buddy clued me in to this new hook I have never seen before while he was fishing a FLW walleye tournament http://www.standouthooks.com/
looks to be a great hook for drop shotting..

what size of tube and color of tube do you find to work the best in the Saint Clair river, for some reason I figure gobie color would work well? I have more than likley seen a lot of you guys out there fishing the river because I spend a lot of time on the water, at least three or four times a week.. I also have watched where the bass fisherman have been fishing while I am out there walleye fishing..

 what would be a good jig weight for a tube in that heavy current? and what is the best way to present the tube in heavy current.. Cya Slick
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Cheetam on January 29, 2007, 12:37:09 PM
Well my buddy dives all over the river but he told me about the small mouth while diving off the board walk here in Saint Clair..

Ok I figure drop shotting is like vertical jigging pretty much, I drop shot for perch on lake Simcoe with 1 1/2 twister tails and I find it to work better than minnows.. I guess the question is what type of bait do you use with a drop shot rig for smallies in the Saint Clair river?

My buddy clued me in to this new hook I have never seen before while he was fishing a FLW walleye tournament http://www.standouthooks.com/
looks to be a great hook for drop shotting..

what size of tube and color of tube do you find to work the best in the Saint Clair river, for some reason I figure gobie color would work well? I have more than likley seen a lot of you guys out there fishing the river because I spend a lot of time on the water, at least three or four times a week.. I also have watched where the bass fisherman have been fishing while I am out there walleye fishing..

 what would be a good jig weight for a tube in that heavy current? and what is the best way to present the tube in heavy current.. Cya Slick

On the drop shot, pretty much any soft plastic can be used, but finesse worms and Goby lures seem to be the go to baits for many guys.  There are many finesse worms out there, but RoboWorm and Yamamoto brands are my personal favorite.  Check out Poorboy Baits for the dropshot goby.  McCarter (also a member of this board) is working on a pretty sweet looking Goby bait that should be available by this summer as well (a mod or two to his mold and he will be all set).

For tubes, anything 3.5 to 5 inches.  Browns and greens do well, but there are many combinations that will work (including goby variations).  Click on the Extreme ad on the right of the board for a sample of what is available.  You may also want to look at Mizmo, ISG, and Schubert's and Laketown for examples.  Depending on the strength of the current, anything from 3/8 to 3/4 ounce jig heads will work.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: canvsbk on January 29, 2007, 02:45:28 PM
 Looks like it may allready be too late - jcheetam's advice is quite fundamentally sound. Shouldn't cost you more than 3 or 4 hundred bucks to get a nice assortment of tubes and jig heads and a few packs of gobies and stuff.
 You realize of course, that your walleye rods are no good for smallies? ;) Loomis, Kistler, Airus among others make some very nice stuff just for the brown bass. A little pricey, but nice. :o A months pay should set you up pretty good.
 It won't be long and you'll want to expand your lure selection a bit. Early on those smallies like jerk baits. Lucky Craft makes some nice ones in various sizes and colors, a dozen or so should cover the basics. Figure $20 a piece. Pike love 'em! >:(
 One of the most productive and easiest lures to fish is a whacky rigged Senko. Might as well get the best. Yamamoto. Around fifty cents a bite would be the way to figure it. You'll need a couple sizes in several different colors, with duplicates, just in case. Another hundred should cover it BUT - your drop shot hooks will work here! ;D
 And then -
 Fishing a bass tournament is as much fun as you can legally have in a boat. This is where the 2nd mortgage on your house comes in....
 Good Luck! ;D ;D
(Follow around the guys in the Tritons. I'm not sure if they're smarter than everone else or just luckier, they catch the big ones!) :-*
 
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on January 29, 2007, 03:41:20 PM
Sounds great guys, I will have to pick up a few things this winter ;D, I have fished lots of tournaments for salmon and walleye in my time and won a few and I am not much into the big money tournaments anymore even tho I am putting on a nice friendly walleye tournament this summer on the Saint Clair river with guys and gals from another message board with about 34 boats..

I also do a lot of muskie fishing on lake Saint Clair and I get the biggest kick out of them small mouths hitting them big azz muskie baits  :o them small mouth are ruthless.. Well guys I need to see if I can find some of the things you guys mentioned on this website and in my hard cover Cabalas catalog..

I have two Quantum Accurist 2 reels that I like to use for jigging for walleye I would imagine they would work well for them small mouth bass, I love using this reel for jigging because of the flippin switch..

I guess I will have to pay more attention on my fishing shows when there fishing for bass because I always would fast forward it thru it to the walleye segments ::).. Alright guys keep the info coming I still would love all the info I can get and if any of you bass fisherman want to trade a trip for some walleye let me know I have lots of secrets to putting lots of walleye in the boat ;D.. Cya Slick

Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on January 29, 2007, 04:33:38 PM
Hey there jcheetam, I look in the website store and did not find any baits there and I looked to see if this poorboy baits was a sponsoring member to this website and did not find that.. So if you could point me in the right direction I would apperciate it..

While I was looking around the website I found you had a link to KD outdoors Ken is a nice guy.. He knows me from the other message board I spoke of in this thread..Cya Slick
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: fiker on January 29, 2007, 07:56:45 PM
Another sponser of the board is Xtreme tackle. 
Wayne specializes in tubes for St. Clair, and in fishing information.
You can click on the link to the right, or I know that Combat fishing will have a booth at the Lansing show.

He has written two books called No Secrets Lake St. Clair. 
In them he mentions spots in the river system as well as the lake.   Sometimes there's even pictures as well as GPS coordinates. 


 
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Cheetam on January 29, 2007, 09:34:26 PM
Slick, here's some links:
Extreme Bass Tackle (Board Sponsor): http://www.combat-bassfishing.com/ (http://www.combat-bassfishing.com/)
ISG: http://www.isgfishing.com/ (http://www.isgfishing.com/)
Poorboys: http://www.poorboysbaits.com/Poor%20Boy's%20Web%20Site_files/product%20list.htm (http://www.poorboysbaits.com/Poor%20Boy's%20Web%20Site_files/product%20list.htm)
Mizmo: http://www.mizmo.com/ (http://www.mizmo.com/)
Schubert's and Laketown: http://www.laketownmfg.com/shop/ (http://www.laketownmfg.com/shop/)
RoboWorm: http://www.roboworm.com/roboworm.htm (http://www.roboworm.com/roboworm.htm)
Yamamoto: http://www.yamamoto.baits.com/ (http://www.yamamoto.baits.com/)

BTW, Welcome to the Board!
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on January 29, 2007, 10:23:19 PM
Thank you sir 8)
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: djkimmel on January 29, 2007, 10:44:21 PM
One other thing I've setup to try to make it easy to spend all our fishing money is a Basspro.com / BoatersWorld.com catalog search right here on GreatLakesBass.com. You might find this handy since Basspro has a big selection of brands and terminal tackle: http://www.greatlakesbass.com/store/glbbps.html

Sponsor D & R Sports Center - graphic link also top right - also does mail order and online - they are still building their Internet store - things are added every day: http://www.dandrsports.com

(I will be adding lures to the store eventually along with more fishing accessories...) I've been using the Standout hooks - they work pretty good for hooking and are convenient for the vertical presentation, but you have to watch how they helicopter when you reel them in - creates more line twist.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: djkimmel on January 29, 2007, 10:46:51 PM
Also - here's an article on dropshotting written by one of our forum members - Duke: http://www.greatlakesbass.com/articles/abdropshot0611.html
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: fishon1219 on January 30, 2007, 09:42:56 AM
Hey slick,
Welcome to the GLB community. I always enjoy reading your posts on the MS forums. You always know what is going on. There are lots of us here that fish the river alot and I am sure you will have several takers on your offer when the water gets soft again. I might even take you up on it, but I will for sure take you out and show you what little I know about catching smallmouth. Once again welcome to our family and hope to see you posting alot.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: bshaner on January 30, 2007, 09:59:46 AM
Hey slick,
Welcome to the GLB community. I always enjoy reading your posts on the MS forums. You always know what is going on. There are lots of us here that fish the river alot and I am sure you will have several takers on your offer when the water gets soft again. I might even take you up on it, but I will for sure take you out and show you what little I know about catching smallmouth. Once again welcome to our family and hope to see you posting alot.


True spirit of this site right there.

B
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Revtro on January 30, 2007, 11:40:17 AM
Slick, make sure you get some St. Clair Goby and Canadian Mist 4" tubes from Xtreme when you check out their selection.  For the river, these two colors meet the need just about all the time.  Once in a while you need to go to a green tube of some kind, but I have caught Smallies practically all summer long on these two colors.  They're definitely "Go-to" colors for the river. 

When in heavy current, I have learned to go to a heavier jig head.  It gets snagged a little more, but personally I haven't seen a huge difference in bites or hookups by using a 3/8 or 1/2 oz head most of the time in the current.  It just makes things so much easier.  As for location, you should definitely have your diving buddy turn you on to some spots.  That's quite an advantage.  Then mark them with your GPS and email them to me and I'll help verify if they're really good spots.   ;D ;D ;D ;D 
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on January 30, 2007, 10:45:37 PM
fishon1219 thanks for the kinds words there buddy, I know you know me from the MS forums and you know how I enjoy showing so many members on there how to catch more walleye, it gives me enjoyment to watch a guy catch his limit when he was struggling to catch his limit before I showed him what I do, I just dont go for the mentality of a lot of fisherman that say I got a secret and I am not going to tell anyone how I do it, heck with that..

Fishon 1219 your welcome on my boat any time there is just one thing you need to remind me other wise I tend to forget, I have short term memory ;D lot of irons in the fire at times..

Question of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I have picked out three diffrent colored tubes that I am going to buy that Revtro recomended from combat fishing Canadian mist, Saint Clair Goby, and a craw collored one, Oh boy I really like poor boy's gobie baits pretty sweet for drop shotting I cant wait to get a few..

well here is my question of the day??????? What type of hook do you all like useing for tube baits????????? here is the one I picked out tell me what ya think

http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=20799&hvarTarget=search&cmCat=SearchResults

Cya Slick


Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: canvsbk on January 31, 2007, 06:55:25 AM
 DJ's 60 degree jig head with Gamakatsu hooks. IMO no contest on this one.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on January 31, 2007, 07:52:15 AM
I take it your talking about these here..Cya Slick

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=002&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=120025439501&rd=1&rd=1
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: McCarter on January 31, 2007, 09:17:23 AM
I honeslty think the best hook for fishing st clair, lake erie, either of the rivers, or anywhere there are a lot of rocks, zebra mussels, is a Mustad Ultra point hook.

Dont get me wrong fellas, McCarter loves his Gammis.  But sometimes they are not the best  hook in a certain situation. 

Gamakatsu makes a super sharp, super strong hook.  Problem is, they are so sticky sharp that they get hung up on EVERYTHING!!!  I cant tell you how much money i have invested in the bottom of lake erie, st clair, the rivers, and a handful of other lakes.  I started using Mustad ultra point hooks on my tube heads when fishing around 'snaggy' areas last season.  It has made such a huge difference.

First of all, they are light wire, so they penetrate easily.  Second, they are sharp.  Maybe not as sharp as a gamakatsu or an owner, but they are sharp enough to hook any bass out there.  But they are not so sharp that they snag every little mussel or rock on the bottom.  Less snags means more fishing time.  I have fished draw events with guys who spent all day retieing and trying to free tubes from the bottom.  Plus, they cost a fraction of what a gamakatsu costs.  I have seen tube heads with gamakatsu hooks cost as much as $1.17 each.  Cmon.  I dont have that kind of money, especially with how many of those you can lose in a day.

I know some people are going to argue.  SOme may even claim the never lose any jig heads and they only use gamakatsu hooks.  Thats all fine and dandy, but if you know some secret for keeping them from sticking to the bottom, please indulge the rest of us.

I fish tournaments, not very well sometimes, but i am still putting my money on the line.  If i thought for a second that i was not benefiting by using a Mustad hook over a Gamakatsu in these situations, i wouldnt be risking it.  But i truly believe you will gain more fishing time and spend less time retieing by using Ultra POints hooks when fishing around snags.  ANd your not going to miss fish on them anymore that you would with any other hook on the market.

McCarter himself
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: joshimoto son on January 31, 2007, 10:14:10 AM
I make my own tube jigs. I do that because I have modified my jig mold so that I can put a 5/0, 90 degree aberdeen hook in them.

I lose less fish this way.

joshimoto son ;D
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: fishon1219 on January 31, 2007, 10:36:36 AM
I have to agree with McCarter on the mustad's as well. They are all I use for my tube's. Probably because I steal all of my tube heads from him. I can for sure tell the difference in how many times I retie when dragging the St.Clair river between the same weight mustad's and the Gammies.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Revtro on January 31, 2007, 12:20:21 PM
I completely agree about Mustad's.  Last year I made the switch to Ultra Point hooks for everything.  And I'm with Josh on the 5/0 hook thing.  I use a 5/0 hook whenever I can when tube fishing with the exception of 1/4 oz jigs or lighter.  Personally I seem to have a better hookup ratio with 90 degree hooks versus 60's, but whatever you have confidence with, go with it.  Maybe it's just the way I set the hook that makes the difference...don't know.  But I seem to lose less fish with 90's.  Plus they seem to snag the bottom less, especially in the river.  I gave all my 60's away.  Just my opinion... I'm still learning too.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: MaizeNBlue on February 01, 2007, 10:36:23 AM
I also started out as a walleye fisherman, so be carefull what you wish for  ;). Everyone here has offered great advice, and has put you on the right path. I would also recommend 8-12 lb flurocarbon line, for dragging tubes, and a med-heavy rod. You will need something with some backbone to get a good hookset 30ft down.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: gr@ssmonkey on February 01, 2007, 08:32:46 PM
ok...slick....i was in your position just a couple of years ago,but with a little time on the water(exclusivley in the river and ignoring the lake) this is what i have found.
  the locals called it slipping(a controled drift down river using your trolling motor to keep you more or less vertical on your lure) thats probably nothing new to u walleye fisherman.1/2 to 3/4 wieghts,of course tubes work great but lots of other soft plastics to (even a blade bait works real good but lots more work)......i think one of the best tools u can have on the river is an uderwater camera,this will save u so much time when trying to locate them and alot of the times the smallies are not far from your walleye.i think depth is the biggest key ever in the river.....i know lots of people talk about the fish moving in the river when it gets hot out or later in the year,and i'm sure a population of fish do but what i have found is early in the year there is still lots of fish in the river but they are scatterd at all depths making it hard to really catch the big sacks.....but when that 90 degree weather comes allmost all mature fish head for the middle of the river(deep 25-40 fow) this is when the bite really turns on,drop the camera down and you'll be blown away,how many smallies in huge schools are just holding down there.Now find yourself a couple of good docks and a sea wall or to 2 and put yourself a little milk run together you be catching them in no time.........and catching is learning!!!!!! hope that helps alittle remember the camera,i can't stress how much it has helped me........i just bought one at menards of all place's for $99 on sale i think it's normally $150,it's called the aqua cam and is the exact same as the aqua view....
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on February 01, 2007, 10:44:44 PM
Thanks guys for all the info, I will put it to good use when it finally starts getting warm out ;D... This artic blast will be keeping me in the house tieing crawler harnesses this weekend, I use to ice fish but not any more..

Grassmonkey slipping yep I know it well, it's pretty much the same thing when your jiging.. I just dont want to waste such a good fighting fish when there right here in my back yard..

The only bass fishing I use to do was when I was a kid fishing for large mouth bass on harsens island in the spring, use to tear them up..

Here is one more question for ya how many of you eat small mouth bass?? Cya Slick
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: fiker on February 02, 2007, 05:16:11 AM
Another technique for the river, or in the Lake for that matter when there is a little current. (like by the Firecracker) is to use a 3 way rig. 
With this set up you can allow the texas rigged tube a little freedom, and still keep in down in the column.  Choose sinker type as to bottom conditions. 
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Revtro on February 02, 2007, 10:54:20 AM
I've tried Smallmouth a few different ways back in the days before I got conservation minded.  Yuck!  Mushy and fishy.  If I'm looking for a fish to eat, I go Walleye fishing and leave the Smallies in the lake so that St. Clair stays one of the top Smallmouth fisheries in the world. 
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: bassackward on February 02, 2007, 11:51:31 AM
I also agree with McCarter on the Ultra Points, the points on these Mustads are cone shaped, so that when they penetrate they produce a round hole. When a point is ground or filed, they most often leave more of a rip than a cut. When the Ultra Points puncture, the hole they do leave is no larger than the base of the cone.  I have also found that though these hooks are not the sharpest, the do stay sharp the longest.  As to the question, How to fish the river? all I can really say is try not to drag to much, throw on a tube and think walleye.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Revtro on February 02, 2007, 04:02:39 PM
That brings up an interesting question:  I have done a lot of vertical jigging with a tube, but recently a few guys that I know are good fishermen have told me they drag more in the river than keep their jig vertical.  Any insight on the best way to present a tube in the heavy current?  I'd like to get better at this.  Hope this isn't a subject change.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on February 02, 2007, 09:41:05 PM
Hey guys look what I just picked up look like I got a good deal what do ya think?????? Cya Slick

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSAA:US:31&Item=330081229272
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Cheetam on February 02, 2007, 10:15:55 PM
Hey guys look what I just picked up look like I got a good deal what do ya think?????? Cya Slick

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSAA:US:31&Item=330081229272
I think you're going to catch a boat load of smallies!
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on February 03, 2007, 11:09:21 AM
I was just watching Al Linder talk about where smallies stage in river during the cold water season, he was saying deep and in low current areas.. I am not to sure about where they spawn but I figure if I can put there habits togeather and with my knowledge I have of the river I should be able to figure some of the best area's of the river to fish for them..

I also like the idea of the under water camera, that should save me a ton of time finding the smallies as well..

Thanks Jcheetam I hope your right.. Cya Slick
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Slick on February 04, 2007, 03:34:36 PM
Hey guys I just got done ordering some tubes from  Wayne at Extreme Bass Tackle nice guy, I talked to him for a few minutes enjoyed the chat and I feel a littler better about how well I am going to do chasing these small mouth.. Cya Slick
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Bassman on February 26, 2007, 03:08:41 PM
Hey Slick,

I found that a number of smallies like to go for a green pumpkin purple 4" Yum dinger.  I have won a few bronzeback tournaments on Devils Lake and Round like by wacky riggin' a four inch yum dinger.  I also use an 1/8 bullshot about a foot up the line for wieght instead of inserting nails into the soft plastics.  By putting the bullshot on the line the Yum dinger flutters behind it with a slow fall.  This presentation will allow you to probe the shallows as well as deeper water with little change.  If you find fish in deep water try using a heavier bullshot on the line.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Dan on February 26, 2007, 04:29:40 PM
Ok, I give. What is a bullshot, or is it just a type o?  I have a number of buddies that are full of bullshot.
Title: Re: New small mouth bass fisherman needs advice
Post by: Cheetam on February 26, 2007, 04:39:21 PM
Ok, I give. What is a bullshot, or is it just a type o?  I have a number of buddies that are full of bullshot.
We must have a few of the same buddies  :D

Bullshot is a bullet-shaped splitshot:

http://www.watergremlin.com/history.htm (http://www.watergremlin.com/history.htm)