By Scott Hammer
For 15 years straight, I have made a pilgrimage to Lake St Clair in Michigan at the end of May for the Smallmouth spawn and the fantastic fishing that goes with it. We plan this trip because we can catch bronzebacks in all three stages of the spawn, depending on the weather conditions. If timed right, there is a wave of spawners on the beds, a large population staging to make the transition to the beds and some who have finished the spawn and are moving out. This offers us the opportunity to catch them using many different presentations.
Normally, one bait will excel, but there are always the old standbys that perform reliably well year after year. You’ll never catch me on the lake without a good supply of Senkos, D-Shads and my trusty dropshot baits; the Shad Shape Worm and Pro Senko.
This year, the dropshot was a stellar performer and the bait that drove them crazy was the Shad Shape Worm in color 306 - Natural Shad. As is the case most every year, we had a condition change and the normally crystal clear water got stirred up by some windy wave action. I needed to get the bait closer to the bottom and in a color the fish could see.
As I rummaged through my baits I came across some Ned Heads that a friend had poured for me and I decided to give them a try. Little did I know that as soon as I rigged the Ned Head with a Yamamoto Cali-Roll in color 925 (Green Pumpkin with small red flake) I would not be putting it down anytime soon for the rest of the week. The spade tail on the Cali-Roll added the perfect amount of action to the Ned Rig and accounted for the majority of my fish that trip. In retrospect, this was a logical combination that proved to be deadly on the healthy Lake St Clair smallmouth.