Great Lakes Smallmouth Bass
On the Great Lakes, smallmouth and largemouth bass move shallow in the spring to spawn and are easily located and enticed into biting before they go on the beds. After spawning, bass typically move out to deeper water, though there are almost always some bass, especially large mouths, in shallow water, usually associated with cover such as weed beds, fallen timber or boat docks.
Perhaps America’s top game fish, bass are known for their spirited fight making them one of the most enjoyable catches for anyone. They can be caught with a wide range of artificial lures, and can be taken on virtually any live bait. Bass fishermen typically cast all manner of lures, from top water plugs to bottom-bumpers (such as jigs or plastic worms) with diving plugs, swim baits, spoons or spinnerbaits used in between. Similarly, bass can be taken on all types of flies, with fly fishermen often using streamers that imitate minnows or crayfish to take them subsurface.
Michigan’s Great Lakes and connecting water have excellent smallmouth populations. The whole southeastern coast from Port Huron to Lake Erie is nationally known for its size and number of smallmouth bass. Many of the lakes across the northern tier of the Lower Peninsula offer outstanding smallmouth fishing, as do many of the rivers of southern Michigan. Many of the drowned river mouths along Lake Michigan, weedy backwaters of all the Great Lakes, and most southern inland lakes have good populations of both large mouths and smallmouths.