Combat Bass Fishing Guide Service – Grinding it out to Success

Our day started with a few smallies at nearby rock pile . This shallow shoal is composed of mostly small, smooth boulders sitting isolated with nothing but sand anywhere near it. It was clear the bass weren’t going to be big here but the bite got us off to a good start.

Isolated structure looked like it would rule the day so we took a trot out a wreck that is composed mostly of wood and sits in 7 feet of water with nothing but sand in every direction. Other than a small hit, nothing else was keeping us there so we moved on to a strong seasonal hot spot.

We worked a flat with subtle weedlines and isolated weedbeds that fishes strong in the summer months. A light current flows over this bass attracting structure that can hold some of the biggest near-shore smallies you’ll find. In spite of the easy spot access to each angler on the boat I was only able to put together one average smallmouth which told us it was time to move on.

While Matt and I probed the shallows and mid-ranges of a sandy point it was here where Dave began to make his run. The action wasn’t fast but maybe Dave was on to something with one quality smallmouth.

Our next stop was likely to be productive as we pulled up to a deep rock shoal pattern. This structure is generally consistent and reliable but it was just not meant to be on this trip. The patterns were thin so it looked like a good time for a big change of structure.

The big change took us into strong currents in over 20 feet of water. A good amount of weight was needed to get control of the presentation. While Matt and I jigged Dave was set up with a 3-way rig and caught the biggest bass of the day up to that point. The cool part is that this fish was the first one caught by an adjustment in structure and technique so things were looking up. Still, getting these fish was too much like work. I wondered out loud if largemouth would be something worth chasing because there was a pretty lucrative spot nearby. There was mild agreement on board so it was off to see about loading up on largemouth and we set out in that direction.

Working toward this spot we happened to find some surfacing fish so now perhaps, we were going to see some fast action. It was action we got as Dave connected with a surfacing fish alright, a gar pike. Now this just doesn’t happen everyday. Gar will chase, gar will bite but hooking a gar is a completely different matter. The best part of all was that the gar wound it’s nose up on Dave’s line and it wasn’t going anywhere but into the boat to get untangled. Since bass were our target we trudged on but not before Dave accomplished something that has been tried by many, but rarely done.

It was time to head for largemouth territory and get a new presentation into the hands of our on-board phenom: the wacky rig. It wasn’t long before Dave made a cast by a boulder on the shallow flat and pulled up a better smallie yet. Really now, this story is getting old and it’s time for a change.

The largemouth we were chasing love this flat and love buzzbaits but they were striking short. Pretty soon though Matt lights one up on a spinnerbait and that’s when years of training and experience kicked in, and kicked in big time.

We began to see bass and catch them regularly then Matt, who was clearly on a different frequency than Dave or I started lighting up the smallmouth in just over 18” of water. I had no sooner said, “We should go over a shallow zone and then start getting into them” when Matt proved that idea was not entirely on track by hitting it big in the shallows. Sure, Dave and I did OK but Matt had the hot hand. It was clear it was Matt’s time but he even went us one better and pulled out a bubble gum tube. This color is well known for bed fishing and for floating worms in the spring but since he was already beating the averages, why not try? Matt immediately hooked up again and the rest is history.

The potential to get out on Lake St. Clair and wallop on one monster smallie after another is always there. It’s those tough days that call on anglers to put their finest skills to the test. This was one of those days where a blue collar effort prevailed and the reward was a fast bite on a shallow flat at the end of the day that will always be remembered.

A special thanks to our water warriors Matt & Dave for permission to share this article.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

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2 Responses to “Combat Bass Fishing Guide Service – Grinding it out to Success”

  1. Andy Says:


    What are you daily rates?


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