AjaxLoading  Loading... Please wait...

St. Clair Tournament Tip with Matt “Bass” Ball

Fishing Online

Posted by

Matt Ball St Clair Smallie

I just returned from a wonderful weekend spent exploring the waters of Lake St. Clair in Michigan. I traveled there to fish in the KBF trail event held there with my Dad as well as my good friend and FishingOnline teammate Russell Johnson. Spending time with friends and family has been the most rewarding part of my tournament career but one thing that has recently came to mind has been how much I have learned as an angler through fishing around the country in different bodies of water. This trip was no different and I would like to share one of the things that I learned that has made me a better angler and hopefully will help you as well.

Smallie Underwater

To set up this tip I will give you some background as to the type of water and conditions that we faced on Lake St. Clair. We arrived at the same time that a strong cold front was making its way across the area. The weather had been abnormally warm for this type of year and the temperatures had dropped with heavy winds. These conditions made fishing the open water very difficult so we, along with the other competitors, had been limited to looking for safe places to fish that protected us from the heavy wind and waves. We were lucky enough, despite these conditions, to locate some of the Smallmouth bass that this lake is known for. I learned a lot on this trip and ultimately it landed me a top 10 finish. What was the key to getting the bites and finishing strong? Weight! These fish were staging up in anywhere between 20 to 28 ft. of water off steep ledges. On the top of the ledges were underwater grass beds which dropped sharply to the 20 ft. range. On our fishfinders were the telltale arcs of the bass we were looking for. The problem was not so much the depth of the fish but the fact that the wind was blowing us one way while the strong current was pulling our bait the other, making fishing out of our Jackson Kayaks quite a challenge. The answer to our dilemma was using enough weight to have control of our bait as well as contact with the bottom. We were using 412 Bait Co. tubes with ⅜ oz. jig heads and drop shots with ½ oz. lindy sinkers. We spent the night before the tournament searching for anything we could find that would give us the weight we needed to get down and feel the bottom. Without bottom contact the bite was nonexistent. Most of my fish came off the dropshot. I feel the ability to get down to the bottom and stay there, with the heavier weight while still being able to present my finesse technique effectively, was the key to landing fish.

So, if you are like me and have struggled with confidence dropshot fishing, try increasing your weight until you have a good contact with the bottom. You will have a much better feel and be able to keep your bait where it is needed. This may be the change you need to start having success!

Matt Ball St Clair Smallie 2

View Comments

Anchor Wizard Spotlight by Matt Ball

Driving home from this past weekend’s KBF New River two day tournament I had a few hours to reflect on my 5th place finish and think about what I did right and what I could have done a little better to improve my finish. I will leave the things that I could have done better [...]

Read More »

Bonafide Kayaks - A First Look - Best New Fishing Kayak

Bonafide Kayaks are the most anticipated fishing kayak to ever hit the market. These new kayaks will provide you with ultimate fishability. The anticipated ship date for the SS-127 is December 2017 and will cost $1,599. The SS-107 model will be available in 2018 and will cost $1,299. These kayaks are built from the ground up [...]

Read More »

Kayak Fishing West Virginia

Kayak fishing is the fastest growing sport in the world and West Virginia is one of the leaders in promoting this great sport. West Virginia offers abundant angling opportunities for the kayak fishermen, but none greater then the famous New River. The New River is known across the nation for its turbulent whitewater, beautiful landscapes, [...]

Read More »

Inshore Kayak Fishing Charter

I wanted to start the New Year off right. I was in Florida for a short family vacation for New Years Day and wanted to try for any saltwater fish I could hook into. When I came across Deep Blue Kayak Fishing (a Florida based kayak fishing charter company) and saw these huge saltwater fish [...]

Read More »

NRS Product Reviews from a Kayak Angler

In today's market there are many apparel companies dedicated to performance and function in the kayak fishing world. Everyone has their favorite company, brand, and clothing that they use on the water. Well, I have been putting a certain brand of boots, splash pants, and wet socks through the grind this year and want to [...]

Read More »

The Ned Rig is the Ultimate Bass Fishing Rig

You whip that pool cue of a fishing rod and send your 2 oz swimbait what seems like a mile, splash. Plop, plop, plop it goes that near musky sized topwater bait that you just know will catch the big one. You start that steady slow retrieve and wait for the tug. Send a few [...]

Read More »

Kayak Fishing Tournaments - Taking Time to Enjoy Yourself

Kayak fishing tournaments were very easy for me to jump into when I first began fishing from a kayak. Since starting, I have fished all over the state of Pennsylvania along with many other states, even making my way as far south as South Carolina just to chase tournament trails. Some tournaments I have done well [...]

Read More »

The Versatility of the Chatterbait

Call it competitive nature or call it a tackle addiction. As anglers, we are always looking for the next best lure that hits the market. We all watch the videos from ICAST of the newest baits that are set to be released, because we think they will give us an upper hand. We think it [...]

Read More »

Tips for Bass Fishing with Senkos

Since the invention of the  Senko by Gary Yamamoto, the stick bait has become a staple in the bass fishing community. Regardless of location or time of the season, you can be sure a Senko will generate some bites. Today we will cover some of the basics of this versatile bait. Rod, Reel, and Line Selection: I personally [...]

Read More »

Sign up for our newsletter