August smallmouth are fed up, set up

Local fishing guides will tell you that late August and early September are the best times to catch a big smallmouth bass from the St. Lawrence River. Plus there’s the fact that one of the two New York record smallmouth bass, weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, was caught from the St. Lawrence River on August 28, 2016. (The other 8-4 came from Lake Erie.)

As Brandon Palaniuk put it, “These fish are fed up and set up.” In other words, they’ve been gobbling gobies since the spawn ended and are bunched mostly around deep structure in the river, rather than being scattered from deep to shallow like they were the last time the Elite Series came here July 20-23, 2017. They’re in a full summertime pattern now.

You can see the evidence in the chart below. Most telling is the fact that the average bass weighed on Day 1 this year was exactly a half-pound heavier than in the 2017 tournament in July. The average bass weighed yesterday was .41 heavier than on Day 2 a year ago.

Day 220172018

Heaviest limit                                                  

25-025-13
Big bass                                              5-11 6-9

25-lb. limits

12

20-lb. limits    

1334

50th place                                         

 34-1338-11

Total lbs. weighed            

 1,767-13    1,887-14

Ave. wt./bass                         

3.32 lbs.    3.73 lbs.

Day 120172018

Heaviest limit                                               

 24-5  27-12

Big bass                                            

   6-1   6-12

25-lb. limits              

07

20-lb. limits          

2052

50th place                                         

 18-0   20-3

Total lbs. weighed                   

1,855-1 2,081-6
Ave. wt./bass                        3.45 lbs.     3.95 lbs.