I've got some my biggest smallmouth bass on 4" Berkley Powerbait Grub. I usually go with green pumpkin or peanut butter and jelly colors, but I'm guessing just about any color will work on smallmouth bass during spring time on Lake St. Clair. The lake can kind of the murky during spring time, so that's why I prefer darker colored baits. Most fishermen say, bass prefer darker colored soft plastics in murky/ muddy waters.
A big plus with the 4" Berkley Powerbait Grub, is the scent it gives off. For quite some time Berkley, has come out with another version called Gulp. Now they make a four inch minnow that works great for smallmouth bass. But a find that the 4" Berkley Powerbait twister tail grubs work the best during spring time at Lake St. Clair. The smallmouth Bass just can't resist the scent, action of the soft bait, and these darker colors I throw at them. Usually I will go with just a 3/8 ounce unpainted jig head. Some people like Gamakatsu jig head hooks, they are super sharp, but their barbs don't keep fish on for me. So I go with Matzuo jig head hooks, the hooks have a decent sharpness, they have really good barbs, but I must admit the wire is rather weak. But hey, you can't have everything! Mustad and Eagle Claw are other great hooks to try. When I get some more money, I just plan to pour my own jig heads.
Well for the presentation, you can see in my video that I jig the Berkley Powerbait Grub with a medium powered jerk. On the really slow days, you might want to try a slow jerk to your jig. You'll find that after you cast, sometimes fish will hit the soft plastic bait when its dropping through the water, just remember to set the hook strongly!
In the beginning of the spring, I'll fish the break walls. The smallmouth bass seem to be stacked up there, but come mid-spring, the smallmouth bass starting had out deeper into the water. This is when things are off the chain, mid-spring is usually some the best smallmouth bass fishing. On Lake St. Clair, we've caught up to 100 smallmouth bass in just one day. Just remember that it's catch and release season, so get these fish back in the water as quickly and safely as possible.
And where they're smallmouth bass, you know the muskie and northern pike aren't too far behind. These bigger predator fish, can be rather challenging to reel in when jig fishing. Both pike and muskie can easily inhale the 4" Berkley Powerbait Grub, which leaves nothing but their teeth to easily cut your fishing line. Just remember, sometimes you might think you have a smallmouth bass on, but really it's a muskellunge. So sometimes you have to real up with sort of carefulness. With other bait such as crankbaits, spinner baits, and spoons. These baits easily get caught up in their teeth of their mouth and usually don't get inhaled like jigs, so you don't have to worry as much with these other lures. Just remember with jigs you do!
Other fishermen I talked to, said they had luck with Berkley Powerbait Twin Tail Grubs, so you can give those a try too. Tube jigs I haven't used much, but I know some fishermen swear by them! But what it comes down to for me, 4" Berkley Powerbait Grub is my favorite soft plastic bait for spring smallmouth bass fishing, hands down. Maybe one day I'll get these others a try too.
If you don't have a boat and looking to do some fun fishing, try fishing the boat docks with the Johnsonn Beetle Spin. Spring time is the perfect season to fish for largemouth bass at the boat docks, but summer and fall can be just as good. Johnsonn Beetle Spin is one of the best lures in my tackle box in the great thing is, it's only a buck to pick one of these great spinnerbaits up. If you live in southeastern Michigan, you can pick up the Johnsonn Beetle Spin at Lakeside Fishing Shop, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, or even at some of the local retail stores such as Meijer, Wallmart, and Kmart.
The spinnerbait never lets me down! Every time I use it, I would say I catch a good amount of fish. Even when fish have lockjaw, I'll catch at least one or two fish with the Johnsonn Beetle Spin. When the fish are basically biting on nothing from your tackle box, reach for a Johnsonn Beetle Spin. This lure works!
I find it works great for walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike as well. I have even caught muskie on the Beetle Spin. If you plan fishing in deeper areas for smallmouth bass, you'll have to change the heavier jig head, preferably a 3/8 of an ounce. The Johnson Beetle Spin always produces for me bass fishing.
The silver bass are starting to bite in the Detroit River. I caught one and missed another, but honestly we're over there for only an hour or so. If you can locate a school of fish, I guarantee you can catch bucket loads of these silver bass on the Detroit River. We actually went over to the Detroit River, to test your luck for walleye, however the walleye didn't seem to be biting much.
Might I add though, we did get over to the Detroit River rather late in the day. I guarantee if little woke up early, we would've definitely caught some nice size walleye. But honestly I hate waking up early for fishing.
After the short fishing trip on the Detroit River, we headed over to the Grosse Pointe Little Club to fish for smallmouth bass along the break wall. This always seems to be a good spot for smallies. We nailed a few, then decided to do some trolling. We caught a few more smallmouth bass, a nice size 4 pounder, then called it a day! It's always a privilege fishing Lake St. Clair in the Detroit River, even if we didn't catch much on the river, there's such beautiful scenery over on the Detroit River.
With the abundance of largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill spawning in the boat docks during spring time on Lake St. Clair. You know Predators will be on the hunt for the smaller fish, what particular species am I talking about, northern pike! Pike can be so aggressive this time year, with smaller fish spawning, northern pike will fit on just about anything. I'm using a Johnson beetle spin willow leaf spinner blade, but you can use just about any type of spinnerbait in these boat wells. Even Mepps spinners are good! And if you love the use crank baits, try using long shallow diving crank baits like the Rebel Tracdown Minnow. But honestly I prefer using spinnerbaits!
You can catch a large assortment of largemouth bass using spinnerbaits as well, both big and small. If you're a big pike fishermen and live in the southeastern Michigan area, give Lake St. Clair boat docks a try for northern pike in the spring time. I'm telling you, you won't be disappointed! Have been catching pike from the boat docks for many years, pike a lot bigger than this one in the video. Believe it or not, I also caught a walleye in the boat docks as well!
Just like the Muskie population in Mille Lacs Lake, the northern pike population has exploded as well. The Pike population has never been like this in the last 30 years, this year the pike are very abundant. The decision by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was to increase the bag limit and season lenth for northern pike. I know there's a good portion of fisherman that don't like to fish for them, but northern pike present a relatively untapped potential for fishing fun. They will give up a decent fight, especially when they reach enormous size like the one seen in this photo. Anglers can keep 10 northern pike, including one longer than 30 inches, which represents an increase of seven fish more than last year's limit.
165 fishermen registered for the 9th Annual Striped Bass Tournament. Out of 22 fish that weighed in at the tournament, Bill Peaslee's 32.1 pound and 41 inches long Striper took him the 1st place win! This time of year, is prime time fishing for striped bass. Striped bass will follow the herring from the ocean all the way up to the Hudson River to Troy, making it easy for anyone willing to cast there line out for a big Striper. This year proceeds from the 9th Annual Striped Bass Tournament will be donated to Military Moms in Action as well as the Troy Flag Day parade. Over 220 fishermen participated in the tournament this year, some traveling from other states. It was a great time this year, hopefully the next one is just as good.
Just recently at the California Delta, fisherman Vijay Malhotra set a record for the most solo cashes at the 2014 Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge. He cashed in with five hourly fish, including not one but two first place finishes and the Overall Big Fish check. The event drew in anglers of all ages and skill levels, over 270 people fishermen competed in the tournament. It was a great day to be Vijay Malhotra!
Connor Griffin caught this massive largemouth bass on Carlyle Lake, after putting the bass on the scale, it came in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces. After Veteran fisheries biologist Barry Newman laid his eyes on the fish, he knew this was the biggest bass he had ever seen from Carlyle Lake. Newman has been managing the Lake since 2001. Now it's only a matter of time till the fish goes down in the history books. There were other great catches at the tournament, but this one was definitely the highlight!
In the last few years, a dearth of water and abundance of vegetation turned Orange Lake from a great bass lake to a bass bust. Now with the recent rain to replenish the lake's basin, Wildlife Conservation Commission has just added 100,000 baby bass fingerlings to help make a turnaround. This time around, bass fishermen are hoping that the water will stick around for a long. Not every little bass will survive, some will end up in alligators bellies, also by other birds and fish. But the Wildlife Conservation Commission is pretty positive this will be enough fish to help start a thriving bass community again. Right now there is rules, were any bass between 15 and 24 inches must be released immediately. Most fishermen believe all the bass should be released, regardless of their size, to help Orange Lake make a comeback. I totally agree with him!
Huntington's own Keith Combs took a commanding lead at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic with this 8 pound 8 ounce bass you see in the picture. Combs later in the day picked up another a pound bass, which added up to 110 pounds for the whole tournament, Combs ended up winning the tournament. The winning prize package was $150,000, man wouldn't it be nice to win some money like that?