John Rankin

Visit Lake Erie’s Presque Isle Bay in April for Smallmouth Bass Action

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I love fishing Lake Erie. Be it the walleye, yellow perch, or for the tremendous smallmouth bass fishing, I try to get in a few trips to this huge fishery a few times a year. Fortunately, I live a short 4 hour drive from Lake Erie and have relatives who live close to the lake, so visiting and the fishing is always a great time.

The smallmouth bass action on Lake Erie really begins with the arrival of April. The temps warm, ice melts, and the smallmouths migrate from deep water to the inlets, bays, and shallow flats in preparation of spawning.

Bronzeback Heaven

For those who are first time visitors to the lake it can be a bit over-whelming deciding where to fish due to the sheer size of this Great Lake. You can hire a guide, or go where the vast majority of April smallmouth bass action is: Presque Isle Bay. This spot, located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, is a fishing bonanza for smallies during the April warm-up.

The thing I find amazing is those fishermen who live on or close to the lake, and a large majority of visiting fishermen ignore the smallmouth bass for the most part. They target other species to the point the local city of Erie, Pa. Bass Club rarely has more than ten to fifteen active members who fish exclusively for smallies. But what the heck, this means more smallmouth action for those of us who find this species the most exciting of all game fish to go after. It also means you never have trouble finding a great location on the large Presque Isle Bay during the spring spawn.

Smallie baits

A few of the best baits for snagging an arm tiring number of smallmouth bass include tube jigs, jigging spoons, blade baits, and curly tail grubs. From these four categories we can expand to different sizes, colors, and styles. Bring along spinnerbaits and the normal selection you would use in other waters for when the smallies are acting finicky, although most of your fish are going to hit one of the baits in the four category group listed above.

Water temps to watch

As the smallmouths disperse on the flats keep a close eye on the water temperature. 45 degrees Fahrenheit begins the migration into the bay, and when the water has hit 55 degrees the action will be non-stop. Vary the presentations from jigging when the water is cold to fast moving retrieves as the water temp climbs.

Can you have fun on Presque Isle Bay?!

Mark the famous Presque Isle Bay on Lake Erie down as a must do fishing trip. You will have a great time, meet friendly people, and enjoy one of America’s best bodies of water for some serious smallmouth bass action.

Do you fish Lake Erie? Please share you experiences with our readers in the space below.

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