What to expect on Erie

When anglers hit Lake Erie for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open, they should expect to drop shot for heavy smallmouths hanging around rock.

That should be no surprise if you've paid even casual attention to just the major tournaments fished on the Great Lakes the last few years. In other words, if you're fishing this Open, BassGold probably won't be much help to you – unless you want to do some detailed research on what exactly has worked there and on other Great Lakes, and about what anglers have done when the conditions have changed.

A few examples:

  • Jonathon VanDam won the Open there in 2009 by drop-shotting rockpiles the first day. But in Day Three's dirty water (Day Two was canceled), he ended up cranking – yes, cranking – for the win. Keys were the shape and depth of the the rockpiles (info in BassGold), not the bottom depth.
  • Runner-up Pete Gluszek caught them drop shotting on Day Three (though doing something entirely different on Day One), but his bait had to be in a specific spot.
  • In 2008, Kota Kiriyama won the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament out of Buffalo, N.Y. by doing a couple different things, one of which was soaking his baits in Gulp! Alie juice...which other Great Lakes winners have done.

There's a whole lot more in BassGold – like tubes still work, like you'll need 20 pounds a day to win – which I found by going to the Tournament Search and typing in Lake Erie, then clicking on the tournaments in the same timeframe.

I did it that way because we don't have enough data on Erie for any individual state to generate a Pattern Report. You get the picture – speaking of which, BassGold is a great place to do some map study, too.


BassGold works because its recommendations are based on a database of winning tournament patterns, not on what should or could work. Save 15 percent on the one-year subscription price by using code BASS132 (case sensitive) when you sign up at BassGold.com. Note that BassGold offers a three-day free trial, and B.A.S.S. Nation members can get it free for a year!