Targeting Spring Smallmouth Bass with Blade Baits

Wired2Fish caught up with lakes Erie and Ontario fishing guide, Joe Fonzi, for a lesson in how to find and catch staging prespawn smallmouth bass. In addition to massive acreage, the Great Lakes feature diverse geology that if understood, can quickly narrow your search down to productive areas. Joe explains the importance of targeting staging bass along extended bottom composition transitions between differing rock and sediment types.

-SteelShad Blade Bait (Tackle Warehouse):
-SteelShad Blade Bait (FishUSA for additional colors):
-Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor:
-Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel, 2500:
-Lowrance HDS 12 Carbon:

Fonzi opts for blade baits over spoons for covering water quickly and the ability to adjust retrieve methods to the mood of the fish. Blade baits also feature two hooks for better hookups and don’t twist your line as much as spoons. Fonzi alternates between ripping blade baits to coax reaction bites and using a more measured lift and fall. Just be sure to follow the bait down on a semi-tight line as strikes often come on the fall.

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