Here in NE Ohio, we are truly blessed to have such an incredible native smallmouth bass fishery. Lake Erie boasts one of the healthiest trophy smallmouth bass fisheries in the world. Pound-for-pound smallmouth, sometimes called “smallies” or “bronzebacks”, are some of the hardest-fighting fish in freshwater and are extremely apt to eat a fly! This fun filled fish can be targeted in a variety of ways and vastly different areas, we break them down into two distinct categories; Lake Run and Resident.
Lake Run Smallmouth Fishing (April-June)
Living near Lake Erie, we get an amazing opportunity each spring to target trophy-sized smallmouth bass in Lake Erie’s bays, break walls and beaches, as well as its tributaries. Reaching sizes of trophy stature (20+ inches), these giant Lake Run smallies emerge from the depths of the lake and make their way into the shallows and up the rivers to spawn. This annual migratory behavior allows us as anglers to target these awesome sportfish year after year. We target our amazing lake-run smallmouth in two ways:
Classic and timeless… Whether it be from a break wall, pier, or knee-deep in the waves, shore casting or surfcasting is a genuinely unique opportunity to target trophy smallmouth. Casting from our beautiful sand bluff beaches, historic lighthouse piers, and urban city skylines as backdrops you can hook into some of the best smallmouth action IN THE WORLD.
As these trophy-caliber smallmouth head up our rivers, we also follow their migratory trip upstream. Casting baitfish, crayfish, or topwater flies from both drift boat and from foot, lake-run smallmouth offer incredible fishing opportunities inland as well.
-Spring is a fantastic time to be on the water floating or wading the streams with our seasoned and knowledgeable guides targeting these hard-hitting and hard-fighting fish.
Resident Smallmouth Fishing (May-October)
Lake Erie’s tributaries, as well as other inland rivers, creeks and reservoirs, host stellar populations of smallmouth which stay inland year-round, thus why we call them residents. Fisheries toting both quality and quantity exist locally. These beautiful, smart, and slow-growing fish are as sporting of a quarry as they come. One of the most fun fish to catch on the fly, resident smallmouth presents some amazing topwater opportunities. Known for their hard, drag-peeling fights and numerous leaps, inland bronzebacks earn their stripes as “the most sporting fish in North America.”
-Targeting trophy smallmouth is a quest we take very seriously! Come for a float or wade trip and see what Ohio has to offer