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chicobass

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Hey fellas,

I am going to be taking some buddies of mine from my bass club here in Baltimore on a smallie trip this spring. As a teenager my dad & I used to fish 1000 Islands ( Chipawa Bay to be exact ) and we used to catch hundreds of them. We fished up there in the mid eighties so I'm sure things have changed. I have seen and heard of many other places that are as good or better and I would like to know where the best place is these days. I've got my reputation on the line here so please help !!

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Lake Erie is "What's Happening"

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Erie of course, the Detroit River, Mallets Bay/Burlington,VT on Champlain, and Sacandaga, NY. Sacandaga has been the place for the last couple of RI TBF/BASS SQT's. It is untouched, no pressure, beautiful, and the average smallie is over 2.5 pounds. To give you an idea of the # of 2-3 pound smallies, in one of the tournaments after the first day places 1-47 were all seperated by two pounds. Everyone had 5 fish for inbetween 10-12 pounds. It was just crazy.

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Erie and Champlain both are great but if it blows both can be uncomfortable and dangerous.

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Erie and Champlain both are great but if it blows both can be uncomfortable and dangerous.

Yup, even in the inlets of Champlain you can get 4-5 footers and the main lake can be 7-8 footers. Erie is the same way. If you are running in a boat that isn't glass or under 18 feet, I would advise to stay away from these lakes because it can be calm as glass in the morning and a few hours later you cannot get back. Any wind on Champlain straight from the north or south is deadly.

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The 1000 Islands are still good for Sm. I fish up in that area on the Ridue system in Ontario. However if you want a great SM trip. Lake Erie is #1. either the eastern basin by Buffalo, or around Presque Isle Pa (Erie Pa). If big water is not your favorite try Presque Isle Bay around may.

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Right on, Presque Isle Bay of Lake Erie in May can be fantastic. Both smallmouth and largemouth will be shallow and have the feedbags on.

It's possible to have a 100+ fish day in May between a couple guys. If the weather cooperates you can also venture out onto the main lake. Erie has close and afffordable lodging, nice ramps, plenty of eating establishments. Dependng on what time in May you go you may even tie into a steelhead or 2, pike, musky........

Feel free to PM me if you want any more info.

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I live close to Erie, and I can tell you that anything under 20 feet is considered small on Erie. The boat of choice there for bassers is a Deep V like the Ranger Fisherman series, 20 to 22 feet. The south shore smallmouth population, at least as far east as Cleveland, has been decimated in recent years by overfishing. The lake is also much clearer now, which might have something to do with smallmouth reductions in the shallower, near-shore waters. Boat runs of 25-40 miles are the norm now to get from a much-used launch area to the best smallie action. Do not try a run that long in a small or shallow boat. -- JC

Erie and Champlain both are great but if it blows both can be uncomfortable and dangerous.

Yup, even in the inlets of Champlain you can get 4-5 footers and the main lake can be 7-8 footers. Erie is the same way. If you are running in a boat that isn't glass or under 18 feet, I would advise to stay away from these lakes because it can be calm as glass in the morning and a few hours later you cannot get back. Any wind on Champlain straight from the north or south is deadly.

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the whole east side of MI is good smallie fishing.. obviously erie and Det. River... Lake St. Clair for number and Saginaw bay is thick with them too.

If you're going after the BIG ones, Grand Traverse Bay on the west side in the spring time might be the place to be. ;)

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Welcome aboard!

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I mentioned Erie and Champlain earlier but you might want to think about Winnipesaukee in NH. Winni is a big lake, 72 sq. mi. with lots of coves and sheltered water. Lots of smallies with a decent population of LM's. Smallies in the 3+# class are fairly common with 5+# daily possiblities.

Also smaller lakes in the area.

No closed season but C&R only during the spawn and limited bag just before.

Lots of rock cover on a deep clear body of water. Plenty of lodging and resturants. The area is very touristy and I don't fish the lake on weekends, although many do, after Memorial Day and not at all except on rainy days after July 4.

Closer to MD with I would guess about a 11 hour drive from DC

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I live close to Erie, and I can tell you that anything under 20 feet is considered small on Erie. The boat of choice there for bassers is a Deep V like the Ranger Fisherman series, 20 to 22 feet. The south shore smallmouth population, at least as far east as Cleveland, has been decimated in recent years by overfishing. The lake is also much clearer now, which might have something to do with smallmouth reductions in the shallower, near-shore waters. Boat runs of 25-40 miles are the norm now to get from a much-used launch area to the best smallie action. Do not try a run that long in a small or shallow boat. -- JC

Erie and Champlain both are great but if it blows both can be uncomfortable and dangerous.

Yup, even in the inlets of Champlain you can get 4-5 footers and the main lake can be 7-8 footers. Erie is the same way. If you are running in a boat that isn't glass or under 18 feet, I would advise to stay away from these lakes because it can be calm as glass in the morning and a few hours later you cannot get back. Any wind on Champlain straight from the north or south is deadly.

I must respectfully disagree.......some.

As I mentioned, the Erie PA area has the best of both worlds. Conditons permitting, an angler in an 16-18 foot boat can run just outside Presque Isle, less than 2-3 miles, and have all the smallie action they want. If the wind blows, stay in the bay and catch largemouth and possibly smallmouth depending on time of year.

Other Erie area launches can put someone with 1 mile of great action.

I would have to disagree that the smallmouth population is "decimated" East of Cleveland. The Erie area is alive and quite well, Barcelona, Dunkirk, Buffalo areas are also doing well, just look and the results from the BASS Elite series event held there this year.

I will agree that a v series boat may make it better on rougher days but I run an 18 foot ProCraft and do just fine in waves up to 4 feet.

Ya just have to keep an eye on the lake condtions and forecast, if it's starts to get bad it's time to go.

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I live in Erie, PA and that obviously makes me a smallmouth nut!  I have fished out of 16-18 foot boats out on the lake and done very well but i have also feared for my life on other occasions.  A 19-22 foot boat is best.  I chose a 19 footer because i also fish many inland lakes as well and fishing shallow water and in and around docks is much more difficult with anything larger.  I also second Presque Isle Bay!!!!  It is by far the best fishery in the world for smallmouth(given time of year) and largemouth bass.  Day in and day out you can go out there and catch 50 to 200 bass a day, most of them being 2-5lbs.  This spring i will be starting a guide service focusing on catching largemouth and smallmouth bass on Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.  It will be the cheapest service in my area and I GAURANTEE you will be you will be so worn down by the end of the day that you will need an ice pack for your shoulder!!  If you are looking for a little bit smaller inland lake then I highly recommend Chautauqua Lake in western New York.  Smallmouths can be caught anyway you like: flippin', crankin', spinnerbaits, drop shot, tubes, topwater, grass, rocks, docks as opposed to dragging a tube or drop shot out on the lake for hours.  this past spring i won a tournament on chautauqa lake with 24 lbs. and my partner came in second with 19.  Let me know if you are looking for more information or current updates.

Ben

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Champlain would be Third...........not enough big fish

Erie is a close second................ lots of #'s

Lake Simcoe Ont................#1

A fish under 4lbs is just another fish,7lb smallies almost every tourney.

Eastern Division will be on this lake 2009.

Garnet

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Thanks a lot fellas for all the response. I have more than enough info to make my decision now.  I'l keep you all posted when I get back !

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I live close to Erie, and I can tell you that anything under 20 feet is considered small on Erie. The boat of choice there for bassers is a Deep V like the Ranger Fisherman series, 20 to 22 feet. The south shore smallmouth population, at least as far east as Cleveland, has been decimated in recent years by overfishing. The lake is also much clearer now, which might have something to do with smallmouth reductions in the shallower, near-shore waters. Boat runs of 25-40 miles are the norm now to get from a much-used launch area to the best smallie action. Do not try a run that long in a small or shallow boat. -- JC

Erie and Champlain both are great but if it blows both can be uncomfortable and dangerous.

Yup, even in the inlets of Champlain you can get 4-5 footers and the main lake can be 7-8 footers. Erie is the same way. If you are running in a boat that isn't glass or under 18 feet, I would advise to stay away from these lakes because it can be calm as glass in the morning and a few hours later you cannot get back. Any wind on Champlain straight from the north or south is deadly.

I must respectfully disagree.......some.

As I mentioned, the Erie PA area has the best of both worlds. Conditons permitting, an angler in an 16-18 foot boat can run just outside Presque Isle, less than 2-3 miles, and have all the smallie action they want. If the wind blows, stay in the bay and catch largemouth and possibly smallmouth depending on time of year.

Other Erie area launches can put someone with 1 mile of great action.

I would have to disagree that the smallmouth population is "decimated" East of Cleveland. The Erie area is alive and quite well, Barcelona, Dunkirk, Buffalo areas are also doing well, just look and the results from the BASS Elite series event held there this year.

I will agree that a v series boat may make it better on rougher days but I run an 18 foot ProCraft and do just fine in waves up to 4 feet.

Ya just have to keep an eye on the lake condtions and forecast, if it's starts to get bad it's time to go.

I agree. I have a 18'6 champion and it does well. I have also been on the water in about every other bass boat brand. It can get dangerous, but just be smart and drive safe, if theres 4 andd 5's out there you just got understand your gonna go slow. I made it back from Canada, 30 mile run to Sandusky, in 7 and 9's, in a Z20, never want to do it again, but slow and steady gets you back. Just watch the weather and remember it will always be a lot rougher comin back in the afternoon.

P.S. Wear a life jacket even if its not a tournament day.

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