By Doug Clifford
Not ready to climb into your treestand yet? Former B.A.S.S. Elite pro Michael Simonton says Lake Erie’s Western Basin bass will bite through October, and even longer, weather permitting.
“Lake Erie winds arrive in late September and the lake becomes unsafe,” advises Simonton.
He added that fair weather days can provide a great time to target the lake’s smallmouth bass.
“Start in 12 feet or less if you have 4-5 feet of visibility,” says Simonton.
Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and traps fill out his brown bass lure lineup. If the water is dirty in this area, try fishing 18 feet deep with a dropshot presentation in all your favorite summer smallmouth spots.
“If you find fish at this depth, stay on top of them, because the smallies bunch up this time of year,” Simonton said.
If the wind blows away your smallmouth plans, head for the harbors and switch gears for shallow water green bass, Simonton says. He catches largemouth bass in the canals that run through West Harbor with a white or blue/black jig and pig combo.
“Don’t be afraid to go far into the harbor. Find a bank and fire that jig,” said Simonton.
He prefers a jig over soft plastics this time of year for two reasons. First, it works, and second, it saves him time from constantly realigning soft plastics every time a bass hits.
Keep an eye on the Port Clinton forecast and your bass boat ready to roll for a fall run to Erie.