Lake Erie Fishing Report July 2 - 8, 2017
Zach with the Best Catch from His Guide Trip with His Dad on 07/08/2017
Got back on the big pond, Lake Erie, July 4th after spending the last week and a half in Brewerton, NY for the Bassmaster Northern Open on Oneida Lake. It was a crazy past week and I’m grateful for having good friends and a big support network. After being struck by another boat during official practice, I had to borrow my good friend Ben Wright’s boat for the tournament. Thankfully, I was able to get a bit of quality practice in before official practice. Unfortunately I was unable to pull off the finish I was looking for and am looking forward to the next Open on the James.
I truly have some of the greatest friends. I was able to borrow my good buddy Jeff Hippert’s boat to do a couple of guide trips now that I am home. My girlfriend, Meghan, and I drove from our home in Grove City, PA to Buffalo, NY to pick up his boat the evening of July 3rd and hightailed it back toward Erie that evening to Erie to get a day in on the Fourth. We decided to have some fun and made an impromptu camping trip in Northeast, PA. We stopped for the night with our dog, Bama, roasted some marshmallows, and slept in the cab of the pickup.
SCOPING OUT ERIE & PRESQUE ISLE
The boating traffic on Lake Erie is always crazy on the Fourth of July; despite that, there were still bass to be caught. I spent a good portion of the morning fishing the main lake which was pretty slow going. Around lunch time, I headed to the bay. Once I made it to Presque Isle things quickly turned around.
The smallmouth are on their way out of the bay after completing their yearly spawning ritual, but you can still catch em as they work their way out. I quickly hooked up with a fish which ended up being a Walleye – it made a great appetizer for the next evening, haha. Soon thereafter, I caught a number of quality largemouth and smallmouth from a small area on drop shots and crankbaits.
BIG FAT BASS ON LAKE ERIE
Over the weekend I cancelled a trip for July 6th because at that point I was unsure if I would be able to get a boat. Luckily Jeff came through. Big Fat Bass Guide Service’s next trip wasn’t until Saturday the 8th.
I arrived bright and early Saturday morning, 6AM, to meet Zach and his father Bill. We departed from Presque Isle Bay and started our day within its confines. It was a cool day with a Northwest wind pushing through – it never quite got above 70 degrees. Zach and Bill caught a number of two and three pound largemouth in the 8–15 foot range.
After spending a few hours in the bay we decided to take a trip out to the lake. We were greeted by strong winds pushing in toward shore. After hitting a couple spots, Zach connected with a quality smallmouth on a drop shot. Soon after his catch, we headed into rougher waters in search of more Lake Erie bronze. Not too long after stopping, we hooked up and manage to catch a few more including the big fish of the day caught by Zach.
It was a fun day and I really enjoyed the company – Zach and Bill were great. Zach was very knowledgeable about bass fishing. One of my favorite things about being a guide is sharing my knowledge and passion for bass fishing with others and every once in a while you get a guy like Zach that already has a lot of skill and passion for the sport. Bill earned the Sheephead’s crown for the day by catching crazy piles of sheephead throughout the day.
DROP SHOT RIGGING 101
For more on the technique that led to catching some quality smallmouth, check out my article for Mystery Tackle Box: Drop Shot Rigging 101 – Unraveling The Mystery Of Drop Shot Fishing.