Bass Fishing Lake Erie | North Bass Island

Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass

The following video describes in detail the information needed to have success fishing around North Bass Island on Lake Erie. In this video we describe specific spots, timing, and baits to catch Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass.

Locating Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass fishing North Bass Island is good all year, however, the fish move around depending on water temperature and food. In early spring, fishing in 15-20 FOW is best off of all points on the island. During the spawn, fish can be found in the marina on the South side and in Manila Bay located on the West side. After the spawn the fish will move back out to the last structure before hitting a sand bottom.

During the summer months Smallmouth can be found on the South Shore underwater points. There are two distinct underwater points that extend to the South. Fish will be found on top of the points in the morning and off the edges as the sun gets high. Dragging a 4″ tube jig or casting a dropshot are the best baits to use in this area.

Fishing on the East side of the Island can be great before and after the spawn. Before the spawn fish in 15-22 FOW in heavy structure. After the spawn weeds will start to appear on this side of the Island. Fish the weeds in the early morning hours then deeper as the sun gets high

West Reef

West Reef located on the West side of the Island is the most popular spot. Walleye and Smallmouth can be found around the structure on the West Side. The reef has individual humps that helps position smallmouth in the morning and late evening. During the heat of the day, smallmouth will move out of shallow water and position themselves in deep current on the North and South sides of the reef.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures


Fishing a dropshot for smallmouth bass is the most productive way. On Lake Erie, most choose to fish a smaller profile bait with a 1/4-3/8 ounce weight depending on current and depth. A good dropshot lure to try is a halfshell. Fish the dropshot bait on a #6 hook.


In late spring and summer, a swimbait can be a fun way to catch Smallmouth Bass. With a swimbait you can fish points and underwater structure. Cast the swimbait out and reel in touching the bottom. A 3.8 swimbait works best on a 1/4 ounce head. When a dropshot or Tube jig does not work, a swimbait can be productive.

Tube Jig

A tube jig is an all around good bait to catch smallmouth bass. On Lake Erie, most fisherman are using a 3/8 ounce head and a 4″ bait. If the fish are neutral, switch to a 3″ tube. Green pumpkin works best. Drag the bait slow over the structure, don’t pop it. If you pop a tube you will have by catch.

If you like this article check out our other article on Fishing South Bass Island, Bass Islands Fishing, and Bass Fishing Kelleys Island.