Meeting Up With Dave Lefebre
I woke up incredibly early the next day, the drive was painful but the excitement of getting to fish with an Elite Series Pro kept me awake. I met Dave at his beautiful home with a cliff side view of Lake Erie and immediately had his cameraman in my face with a much larger camera than I was used to. After getting to the launch, I even got a walk through of his amazing truck and boat!
“After getting to the launch, I even got a walk through of his amazing truck and boat!”
After meeting the team, I got mic‘d up and we took Dave’s boat along with the camera boat and launched at Shades Beach. Dave was filming for his TV show while we were filming for the final episode of ANGLR tour so it was cool to see both dynamics.
Lake Erie Smallmouth Fishing
We got on the water fairly late but we knew that wouldn’t matter much. It was pretty choppy out on the main lake, but we weren’t going far.
“It was pretty choppy out on the main lake, but we weren’t going far.”
We pulled up to a shelf and were concentrating our casts to 17 foot of water. We could see fish hugging bottom on Dave’s Lowrance graphs.
It didn’t take long before Dave stepped back and set the hook into a solid smallmouth! Once it was in the boat, I set the hook and hooked into a freshwater drum that fought like crazy!
“It didn’t take long before Dave stepped back and set the hook into a solid smallmouth!”
We were using dropshots right off the side of the boat with a 3 inch Gary Yamamoto Senko the entire day. We would see a fish on the graph and drop right down from the boat and vertically move our dropshot rigs. The fish would swim over and then you’d feel the bite! It was awesome to fully experience “video game fishing.”
Catching My PB Smallmouth
Within a few more casts, I felt a heavy tug on the end of my line. I set the hook and the drag began to scream! After a few arial shows and plenty line getting ripped off the drag, I was able to land my personal best Smallmouth Bass!
“After a few arial shows and plenty line getting ripped off the drag, I was able to land my personal best Smallmouth Bass!”
After that, we continued to catch fish after fish. I took a cast and suddenly as my bait was making its way to the bottom, Dave said “Set the hook”. I was confused, but set it anyways. I ended up hooking into my biggest fish of the day! Another personal best! He helped me land it and we got some awesome pictures of the fish, weighed it, then released it back into the depths of Lake Erie.
Dropshot Smallmouth: “Ghost Bites”
Dave explained how he knew I had a fish on after we released it. He calls it a “Ghost Bite.” Basically, as the bait is falling, the fish eats your bait and swims directly at you. Combining that with the 2 foot swells, it is hard to detect the bite.
I had no idea that I was about to miss a 5 pound smallmouth, but luckily Dave was there and knew exactly what was happening. After the new PB, we continued working our baits on the contour lines around chunk rock bottoms. We caught some more solid smallmouth and a few more sheepshead.
After filming for about 5 hours, we had caught over a 20 pound bag of Lake Erie smallmouth!
“After filming for about 5 hours, we had caught over a 20 pound bag of Lake Erie smallmouth!”
When we decided to end the day, we took a rough and wet boat ride back into the marina. It was truly one of the most epic fishing days of my life! I’ve never gotten into constant smallmouth action like that before. I owe a huge thanks to Dave and his team for allowing me to have such a great opportunity!