Smallmouth Bass Fishing | Lake Erie Islands

Lake Erie Smallmouth
Lake Erie Smallmouth

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

Finding Smallmouth Bass around Middle Bass | Sugar | Rattlesnake | Ballast Island

Middle Bass Island

Smallmouth Bass fishing Middle Bass Island is good all year, however, the fish move around depending on water temperature and food. In the spring time fishing in 15-20 FOW is best off of all points on the island. During the spawn fish can be found in the protective marinas and bays on all sides of the island. After the spawn the fish will move back out to the last structure before hitting a sand bottom.

Sugar Island

Fishing Sugar Island on Lake Erie is similar to Middle Bass Island since it is in close proximity. Sugar reef and the connection between the islands can be good in the spring months before and during the spawn.

Rattlesnake Island

Rattlesnake Island can be good for smallmouth bass fishing at all times of the year. The spring is the best time to fish it for size and numbers. In April/May fish a jerkbait on the cliff walls. After the spawn, the fish will move out off of the rattles and ledges.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Ballast Island

Smallmouth bass can be found around Ballast Island all year. Specifically, most people fish lost ballast and West side of the island. In the spring the fish can be found in between the main island and Lost Ballast Island. This area is shallow and offers protection for spawning fish. After the spawn and into summer fish can be found in 17-22 FOW on all sides of the island. During the warmer months fish can be found shallow in the morning for an hour or so.

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 and Bass Fishing Kelleys Island.