Lake Erie Metropark at the mouth of the Detroit River provides quick and easy access to Lake Erie’s western end where trophy smallmouth call home. It’s also the site of plenty of picnic shelters, a wave-action swimming pool, a play area for the kids and an 18-hole public golf course, not to mention the Marshlands Museum and Nature Center.
The habitat here is unlike the reef fishing done elsewhere on the big lake. The strong current flowing into Lake Erie from the Detroit River tends to keep the bass shallow. You’ll catch many of them less than 12 feet deep from mussel beds that hold gobies and along the edges of rocky ditches and submerged weedbeds. Another key spot is the mouth of the Raisin River at Monroe.
Tubes matched with 1/2- to 3/4-ounce jigs are needed to combat the current near the Detroit River. Drop shot rigs and crankbaits also do well. Walking topwater stickbaits goad explosive strikes during the Mayfly hatch. Smallmouth bass up to 5 pounds are common, and they have been taken in excess of 7 pounds here.