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Where are the smallmouth bass?


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I fish from Ontario down to Sodus and the Bass have been getting harder to find during the last 5 years or so on the south shore, with the abundance of Gobies the bass that I do catch are huge, but can't remember the last time I caught a Smallmouth under 15".. Some years ago we would catch a hundred a day drifting live bait or trolling deep diving crankbaits like wallydivers in 26 to 30 feet of water, but now a days you need to work for them it seems.

 

I have a friend that has dove on the lake shore for years and said he would always swim through schools of bass on the wrecks he goes to, but the last years very few bass are there, and the ones that are there are huge.. Wonder if the Gobies are eating the eggs causing the reduction in small bass, but offering forage for the mature bass to gorge on?

 

Softshells are bass candy and are expensive but I mange to catch a few here and there but keeping the Gobies off them is a challenging..Drifting Senkos along the bottom has been productive occasionally, but the Gobies pound it while its down there as you can feel them constantly nailing the bait.. 

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This year has been very different but if this is a trend that you're noticing over several years, I would look at the combination of Gobies predating on Smallmouth nests along with the growing Cormorant population! Cormorants can eat up to a pound of fish every day and Smaller Smallmouth makes up a large percentage of this.

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You can catch smallies consistently in Lake Ontario if you fish structure.  The best spots are the water pipes.  Look on a map to find the general location,  use side imaging to pinpoint the pipes and fish them with drop shots and those small dropshot plastics.  Right now where I fish they have been in 12 to 14 feet of water.

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Thanks Ernie, its funny you mentioned pipes in your post. I was talking to a diver that was just coming off the water Saturday and he mentioned he is seeing bass on the pipeline. 

 

I went out for a few hours Saturday drifting bass minnows anywhere from 20 to 30 feet. Had a few hits, and caught a slob. If you get the live bait too low, Gobies get it and the bait gets slimmed. Got to keep it just off bottom where the little critters can't get it, and it can't get the green slime on it. Are you seeing Gobies in 12 to 14 feet of water?

 

Trolled deep divers for a while but when the fleas or algae or whatever gets on the line quickly, and collects it kills it...Hopefully the fleas or whatever will die down in a few weeks.

 

 

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West of Sandy Creek is the Pump House.  The intake pipe is approximately 2 feet in diameter and runs about 100 yards out into the lake.  Its easy to find and holds fish.  East of Sandy, just past Cowsucker creek is the Green Can.  Wautoma shoal is inside of the can.  drift in 10-30 feet of water, bass are there as well.

Edited by whaler1
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