Big Water = Big Smallmouth Bass

Having the opportunities to be able to go after Smallmouth Bass, one of my favorite fish to target, in the beautiful waters of northern Lake Huron is really something special.  The Whaleback Region of Lake Huron consists of big rocks, big water, and BIG SMALLMOUTH BASS!

The first day of fishing a backcountry lake for Smallmouth Bass was extremely succesful. With the previous day being so successful we were optomistic about what the big waters of Lake Huron had in store for. With the crew from Jay’s; Travis, Spencer, and I, took flight in an awesome 20′ rig from Starcraft Marine alongside Mark Romanack, Jake Romanack, and Gabe VanWormer of Fishing 411 TV. We tried to capture the essence of the beauty of the trip but pictures and video just don’t give justice to the beautiful landscape we embarked upon.

Our first plan of attack was to search out colder water thinking with the hot summer that the smallies would be out deep rather than in the inlets. After studying the maps of the area and picking what we thought was going to be the right type of area for these fish to be holding we learned very quickly it would be a long couple of days on the great lakes if we had to fish 40-60 feet of water with the lack of bites we were finding.  This led us to think the opposite of our initial studies and head shallow in search of something else for structure/cover.  What we found was the fish were relating to isolated weeds in only 7-10 feet and 75 degree water!  This was surprising from a water temp standpoint, but having the fresh cabbage weeds for those smallmouth’s to get oxygen off from began to make more sense to us and we found a pattern.  The drop shot rig with the Big Bite Baits finesse style minnows proved to be the winning bait, but we had spent our day looking around and it was time to make a plan for the morning.

The next day we made the 15 mile boat ride back to our fishing destination through the beautiful country of the Whaleback Region to see if our plan from the previous day would pay off.  It didn’t take long and Travis found himself hooked up on a gorgeous bronzeback.  Not much further down the shore I was able to get my hands fishy, and Spencer was in search of a toothy, Northern Pike, critter to play with.

Smallmouth after smallmouth, we kept finding fish in that 3lb category and wanted something bigger.  So we moved on looking for water that was just a little different than the rest to break that goal.  Much like the day on the backcountry lake, previously on this trip, we found that as the daily temps increased so did the size of fish we were boating.  I would like to think this was from our incredible fishing skills to figure out how to catch bigger fish, but I’m thinking there was a little more to do with it than that.  We were able to finally land a 4lb+ fish half way through the day and they just seemed to keep rolling after that.  By the end, we were catching fish cresting close to the 5lb mark with some of the prettiest colorings I’ve seen on a bronzeback.  Truly an amazing experience on the water!

Bryan Darland Store Manager

Years of service at Jay’s: 13 years of service

Years as a manager: 10 years as a manager (3 as Current Store Manager, 10 Fishing Manager)

Departments worked: Started in Fishing Department in 2003….Fishing Manager 2006…..Store Manager 2013

Interests: Major Fishing interests of all kinds. Also enjoy hunting whitetails, ducks, and other sporting game.

Bio: I am an avid outdoorsman with a huge special interest in chasing fish of all species and locations on the globe. I love tournament fishing as it helps to better myself through good friendly competition and forces me to continuously go outside of my comfort zone to stay competitive and on the cutting edge. My other favorite thing is getting others involved in the outdoors whether it be friends, family (especially my young daughter), or just the general public.

What I love about Jay’s: The number one thing I love about Jay’s is constantly being able to talk “Fun” on a daily basis. Customers, friends, and staff all can join together and share stories of their experiences in the outdoors creating our definition of family. Too many people dred going to work on a daily basis, we look forward to the next outdoor experience to either have shared from our guests or to share of our own, all while loving every minute of it!

Leave a Reply