As we get into the dog days of the summer in Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass on the big water of Grand Traverse bay I have to be honest got tough. I knew that my first year on the bay I would have periods of “learning”. I don’t mind these periods of learning as lessons will come about, and patterns of understanding these fishes behavior are processed.
The last few with smallmouth moving to some of the deepest water has made it hard to get them to play. Finding fish hasn’t been the problem. But getting them to interact with my presentation has been the challenge. While I’ll keep testing my skills over the next 6 weeks until Steelhead Season starts on the Lower Manistee, I did jump back into the river action the last few weeks. With really low water this summer, smallmouth are definitely grouped up. Lessons learned last year with low water prepared us for what to have ready in the fly box this year.
Grand Traverse Bay Smallmouth
Northern Michigan smallmouth bass the last few weeks on the bay has been a challenge. As learning the deep tactics has been a process. But knew this process was going to take years to learn. With a high percentage of the fish in deeper water than we have fished the majority of the season, getting them to interact with our presentation has been a struggle. With water temps at their warmest of the year, learning how to find colder water has been the challenge.
Like I said I have about 6 weeks until the river calls with steelhead trips, so still have some limited time to learn how to catch the late summer smallmouth. Do have a couple tricks I want to try here in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for updates.
With the bay given me a few speed bumps we transitioned to some of my old beats, I guess you would say comfort zone. Bouncing around a few different river systems we found some good smallmouth bass fishing even with the low water. Food sources that have been working the best pre and post full moon were on two different spectrums. Pre full moon you couldn’t touch a fish on a baitfish pattern, it was all about the spicy crabs or crayfish patterns. But since the full moon, mega amounts of baitfish have bloomed and smallmouth are hunting these bait balls.
Continue to play with the Donkey Rig I talk about in this Northern Angler Fly Tying session , I need to get this tutorial done on our YouTube page. One of my favorite rigs to run late summer. Have another rig that is in it’s infancy phase, that I truly believe can work on the bay as well. Just need to dial the flies and leader setups. But fall baitfish is a key trigger on most of our lakes and rivers.
Booking a Smallmouth Trip
Interested in booking a Smallmouth Bass Trip or going for Lake Trout on light tackle, drop us a message via email, or text/call us directly 231-631-5701. We have open boats available this Summer and Early Fall for targeting Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass.