Details will be key at Erie

If you have any love at all for bass fishing, or smallmouths in particular, you wish you were fishing this week's B.A.S.S. Nation Mid Atlantic Divisional on Lake Erie out of Erie, Pa. Barring any of the big weather this big water is known for, Nation competitors should have awesome days of fishing.

If you've paid any attention to tournaments on Erie over the years, you'll know – or think you know – that tube-dragging was "the deal" for many years, but has since been replaced by the drop shot.

To check that assumption, we turned to BassGold. We don't have enough data in BassGold for summer tournaments on Erie out of Pennsylvania, so we generated a pattern report for July-August on Lake Erie out of New York. The result probably won't surprise you: drop shots offshore on rock.

That's what everyone has been doing over the last several years to win and place high this time of year on Erie.

But since everyone knows that, how do winners and high-placers (second-fifth) place that high, especially the ones who do that consistently? It's not luck, and the clues are in the pattern details that BassGold provides.

It boils down to finding the fish (sometimes, but not always, making long runs), and then catching the right ones.

Here are a few, all gleaned from BassGold:

  • Smallmouths tend to segregate by size, either in schools or within schools.
  • Kota Kiriyama won the 2008 Elite Series event there by drop shotting for suspended fish. That's right – not on the bottom, but about halfway down.
  • Using scent on baits has been key for a few winners.
  • A couple high-finishing folks have fished shallower with spinnerbaits ... but haven't necessarily caught them shallow on spinnerbaits.
  • Can you fish a dropshot without moving it – even in wind and swells?

Those and more nuggets are in BassGold – to which you, as a Nation member, have free access. Hope you're taking advantage of it, and good luck!

Check out, a B.A.S.S. partner. It costs less than a gallon of gas a month, and has the best digital maps in fishing. Save 15 percent on the one-year subscription price by using code BASS132 (case sensitive) when you sign up. Note that BassGold offers a three-day free trial, and that it is currently free for Nation members.


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