Canadian Mist & Smallmouth on the Niagara River

September 11, 2014

by Matt Kar, St. Catharines, Ontario

Matt Kar with a Niagara River smallmouth

Matt Kar with a Niagara River smallmouth

We were originally fishing the eastern Lake Erie basin but couldn’t seem to find the big ones we were looking for. With upcoming tournaments we figured it was a good day do due some scouting in the river. We didn’t have much luck at the usual spots but I had remembered the rough location of a rock out in the middle of the river. We used our electronics to locate it and never looked back.

We caught 2-3 fish a drift… Basically all depended how long it took you to reel the last one in. Anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5 lbs. All in all we caught about 15 fish between 12:00pm-1:30pm in 14-22 feet of water. We only stopped because we had to leave.

Canadian Mist and St. Clair Goby NFT™ tubes rigged on a 3/8oz jig were the ticket!

CLICK HERE to order Xtreme Bass Tackle products

Xtreme Bass Tackle Canadian Mist & St. Clair Goby NFT helped to make this good day into a great day!

Xtreme Bass Tackle Canadian Mist & St. Clair Goby NFT helped to make this good day into a great day!

St. Clair River Channel Smallmouth Range September 2014

September 3, 2014

The biggest pattern for bass in the St. Clair River is depth. Once you dial that in you can run up and down the system and be on or around smallmouth everywhere you stop. In hot summers it is not unusual to hook bass in as deep as 55 feet of water but cool summers you need to make an adjustment.

In the big picture we can make that adjustment as deep or less deep and be pretty close. If you are fishing in competition, a tighter read on the quality of smallmouth at a specific depth can mean everything. What we have here are video cuts of smallmouth seen on a single drift (about 100 yards) in 26 to 33 feet of water. We made a drift before this in 18 to 25 feet where we didn’t see nearly as many. If you look closely at the video you will see one bass that is the biggest.

Another factor in river fishing is the presence of other species. Catching a walleye or a drum is a solid indicator that the smallmouth are nearby.

For more video about fishing on Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River get the No Secrets on Lake St. Clair DVD™ on the Xtreme Bass Tackle™ website.

Xtreme Bass Tackle Grand Opening at Sportsmen’s Direct, Lake St. Clair

August 22, 2014

Storefront w XBTYou can now get Xtreme Bass Tackle™ closer to the major launches than ever before. Sportsmen’s Direct at Jefferson and Crocker has a full lineup of XBT products. We are excited to be in this new venue where you can get expert advice and support from Justin Clark and while you are there have access to so many other quality products that bass anglers look for.

Go here for Xtreme Bass Tackle™ drop-shot tubes, 4″ or 5″ tubes in:

St. Clair Goby NFT™
St. Clair Goby Classic™
St. Clair Crayfish™
St. Clair Goby™
Muskegon Goby™
Canadian Mist
Formula G3™
Great Lakes Craw™
Brown Craw™
Emerald Shiner™
Sand Craw™
…and more!

The store is right next to the Clinton River Cutoff DNR ramp on the same side of the street. If you are going to Harley Ensign or Lake St. Clair Metropark and get off at I94 and Metropolitan Parkway just take a right at the first light (Crocker), take it until it ends at Jefferson then make a right turn and you are there. It’s just minutes away from those launches.

Sportsmen’s Direct
36072 Jefferson Ave
Harrison Twp, MI 48045
Phone: 586-741-6052
Hours: 6am – 6pm Daily,
adjusted seasonally

Lake St. Clair Smallmouth Bass Summer 2014

August 22, 2014

August 28, 2014

The bigger bite seems to be picking up this week and it should continue to strengthen into September. A lot of the bites are “swimming pickups” which makes setting the hook difficult. One thing to help with that is to put a little pressure on the bass by lifting the rod tip, then set the hook.

Topwater continues to rock along channel edges. Mark Hill picked a nice four pound smallie up at one of our first stops this morning. Later I picked up a decent three pound plus in 17 feet then we finished in the Lake in eleven feet and picked up one at four. On a research day like this we don’t work the areas hard but catch a couple to gauge the bite.

Mark Topwater Wayne 17 feet Wayne Lake 11 ft

August 22, 2014

It hasn’t been a hot year so a full summer smallmouth bass pattern has yet to develop. We see a glimmer of it in the St. Clair River, the Channels, the staging areas in front of the Channels and in the Lake. I suppose we could call it the “cool summer pattern.”

What’s frigid about it is the way bite patterns come and go. We can get the bass going on a bait presentation in certain areas on one day and the next it’s like they were never there. Deep lake patterns seem to be the most consistent and a lot of the weights in tournaments have come from these areas.

St. Clair Goby NFT™ drop-shot tube by Xtreme Bass Tackle™

St. Clair Goby NFT™ drop-shot tube by Xtreme Bass Tackle™

One consistent bait has been St. Clair Goby NFT™ by Xtreme Bass Tackle™. It doesn’t matter if you throw it in a drop-shot tube, a 4 inch tube or a 5 inch tube…this bait is hot! Since the development of this bait based directly on the change in the color of gobies in Lake St. Clair this bait has been a strong producer but never quite like this. The best smallmouth of the day came on the five inch tube that was thrown after a hit-and-miss on the drop-shot tube. With the drop-shot tube still in the water it picked up another smallmouth and I had to ask for help to bring in the “double.”

The quality of bass has been good. We are catching more keepers than short smallmouth and most of the bass have been 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. Getting the bigger bass is the product of a lot of hard work and covering water be it in the shallows or on deep drifts. In the river hitting multiple spots to find the best bite has been effective.

You can get Xtreme Bass Tackle products now at:
Sportsmen’s Direct, 36072 Jefferson Ave Harrison Twp, MI 48045
Phone: 586-741-6052
Hours: 6am – 6pm Daily,
adjusted seasonally
(Click here to see announcement of the Grand Opening of XBT products at Sportmen’s Direct)

St. Clair Goby NFT™ drop-shot tube caught this 3 1/2 pound smallmouth out in the deep water

St. Clair Goby NFT drop-shot tube caught this 3 1/2 pound smallmouth out in the deep water

This smallmouth at four pounds or better was caught on a 5" St. Clair Goby NFT

This smallmouth at four pounds or better was caught on a 5″ St. Clair Goby NFT™

Lake St. Clair – Those Other Fish (Multi-species #2)

August 20, 2014

May 20th, 2010

Andy Nester of Fenton, MI get\’s one that\’s a fish of a lifetime


Last Saturday also brought on a huge influx of those other fish that had no clue we were just fishing for bass.  It’s a good thing too!  Some anglers caught the fish of a lifetime and it just goes to show how diverse a fishery that Lake St. Clair really is.  That wasn’t the only one caught off of that boat Saturday.  A second musky was caught and released and the day had plenty of bass to keep it interesting in between.

Matt Bird has a lifetime of fishing experience behind him and appreciates a quality catch like this

After doing a fair share of pike fishing over the years lifting one out of the water by hand became something I was used to. Still, those toothy critters deserve some respect. It’s kinda like a backlash on a bait casting reel. I’ll make 200 casts then on cast 201 my concentration will lapse for a split second then the next thing you know I’m picking at the mono (or flouro, or braid) to get the loops out of the backlash. Well, picking up a pike or a musky can be the same kind of skill. No matter how many times you do it there isn’t much room for error as you can see in the last picture. In this case it isn’t my thumb but the thumb of one of our intrepid duo above. The last time this happened to me was when I was holding the musky under the gill area and it thrashed. I never lost control of the fish but its teeth grazed my thumb and that’s all it took to cut through the skin.

In spite of the dangers catching these freshwater barracuda is still amazing, but there’s more… Check out the photos from the DK Open on Saturday and you will see a couple more musky and a drum:

DK Open on Great Lakes Bass

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

Lake St. Clair – Those Other Fish (multi-species #3)

August 20, 2014
This pike was caught in the South Channel

This pike was caught in the South Channel

Another South Channel monster

Another South Channel monster

We were getting a good supply of three pound smallies today but then ran in to a couple of fish that didn’t know that we were bass fishing. The first was a 38″ pikc caught on a 4″ St Clair Crayfish tube. It was a good fight that lasted long enough that we thought it might be a musky. The next cast I switched over to a 4″ Xtreme Bass Tackle Alewife tube and hooked up with this channel cat that went clearly over 20 pounds. This fight lasted for at least 15 minutes and we couldn’t quite tell what kind of fish it was. In this case I was using a spincast rod that was freshly spooled up with a monofilament that I was trying; Berkley Solutions 10 pound test. I have to say that the line held up perfectly. It was the first channel cat that I have caught on Lake St. Clair. It was a very good day!

Tom Billings Continues to Catch Big Lake St. Clair Smallmouth

August 17, 2014
St. Clair Goby NFT™ drop-shot tube by Xtreme Bass Tackle™

St. Clair Goby NFT™ drop-shot tube by Xtreme Bass Tackle™

Tom Billings comes up for a fun trip this weekend and in spite of some high winds and boat chop manages to put together a livewell full of smallmouth at 4 1/2 lbs. or better all caught on the Xtreme Bass Tackle St. Clair Goby NFT drop-shot tube.

Although the river is your traditional pick for big fish this time of year he was able to get all of those bass in the Lake and on the U.S. side. That’s good news for any bass angler who is coming to Lake St. Clair to compete, or just enjoy this fishery!

Tom Billings 08-16 Tom Billings 8-16 SCG NFT DST
Day two of Tom’s trip on Lake St. Clair he continued to catch smallmouth but then hooked the biggest fish of his life. This Middle Channel sturgeon was estimated to be 6 ft. long and took one hour to bring up to the boat. See video of the fight (not the whole hour of course) at Facebook (click on this link).

A sturgeon in the Middle Channel caught on 4" St. Clair Crayfish

A sturgeon in the Middle Channel caught on 4″ St. Clair Crayfish by Xtreme Bass Tackle

It’s St Clair River Smallmouth Time

August 7, 2014

Wayne 5 Plus 08-07-2014Every year we go through a cycle which starts with “ice out” and continues through the summer period we have now where the smallmouth begin to occupy the St. Clair River.  I was out today with Lowell Reich working the St. Clair River and came up with this…a five pound plus smallmouth! Marked Maps Live! customers can log in and see exactly where this smallmouth was caught and under what conditions.  The photo might not be great but this bass was.  It fought every way it could below and above water and provided us with a great moment to share about a day on Lake St. Clair!

Xtreme Bass Tackle Grand Opening In Canada!

July 8, 2014

Maple Leaf

Go to Hastings Marine in Norwood, Ontario to get the tubes you need to catch those finicky smallmouth!  The store is freshly stocked with tournament proven colors like Triple Threat™, St. Clair Crayfish™, Formula G3™, Canadian Mist and more.  Fill up those tubes with Mustad Ultrapoint 4/0 black nickel round bend hooks while you are at it too!

Hastings Banner New1456 Drysdale Road, Norwood, ON K0L2V0

Hastings Map Zoom OutCLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS FROM THEIR WEBSITE

We welcome Hastings Marine to the Xtreme Bass Tackle family!

Call in to WJOB 1230 AM (Indiana) for Wayne Carpenter on Lake St. Clair 6:30pm

June 27, 2014

That’s right!  Tonight on WJOB at 6:30pm (7:30pm est) I will be talking Lake St. Clair and smallmouth bass fishing tactics on the “Stray Casts” radio show.  Call in your questions at (219) 845-1100.  You can stream the broadcast at this website: http://www.wjob1230.com/

Click here to go to the WJOB website then click on the “Listen Now” button


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