Great Lakes smallmouth bass often spread out across thousands of acres of expansive flats, making them a challenge to locate. Tennessee River ledge expert, Mark Rose, is no stranger to finding offshore bass. He explains the need to find subtle change areas such as points, rock patches, or changes in bottom composition. While your graphs are a big part of the search, so too is your lure. Finesse paddle tail swimbaits are an excellent tool for combing flats and triggering smallmouth keyed on gobies and other baitfish forage. Here’s a breakout of Rose’s program:
- Target smallmouth around the edges of flats. Hone in the search when you locate isolated rocks, bottom changes, and subtle points and pockets in the contours.
- Fish finesse paddle tail swimbaits to cover water and contact fish quickly.
- Use a longer medium-power spinning rod to achieve greater casting distances when covering water offshore.
- Select a small diameter braided mainline and light fluorocarbon leader to get the bait to depth and keep it there when fishing in deeper water.
- Strike King Rage Swimmer Swimbait
- Strike King Tour Grade Football Shakey Head, 3/8-ounce
- Lew’s Pro Ti Speed Stick Spinning Rod, 6’10” Medium Power
- Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spin Spinning Reel
- Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braided Line, 15lb
- Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon, 8lb
- Humminbird SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI+ G3 Fish Finder