The six days on Black Lake were very similar. The fishing has definetely tailed off compared to the first weeks after opening day. This is very common the 3rd week of July. The annual algae bloom is in full swing and the post-spawn feeding binge is over. The fishing was still good at times but instead of averaging 20-30 bass a day the average was between 10 and 15. One day only produced 8 bass and there were a couple of days where they did not catch a bass over 3 pounds. The senko was still probably the most consistent when fished on outside weedlines. The topwater worked ok some mornings. The live crayfish worked some but seemed inconsistent. I did not have time to get wild shiners to use.
Instead of 5 days all on Black Lake, I picked a nice day to take John Sr and John Jr to Chippewa Bay for something different. I tend to like the St. Lawrence later in the summer and Black Lake earlier. The smallmouth in the St. Lawrence will continually group up more in key areas on the shipping channel as the season progresses. We actually started the morning catching a few largemouth inside the bay including a nice 4lb largemouth on a senko off one of the islands. Later I took them out to the channel where I showed them how to fish a goby imitation on a drop shot. It is a hard technique to show someone for the first time because of the depth and current. But they managed to still catch several average size smallmouths with one that was 3 pounds. They enjoyed the beauty of Chippewa Bay and learning a new technique.
Overall on Black Lake, the algae bloom should begin to clear and I'm hoping the crayfish bite will pick up for the smallmouth. Right now we are kind of "in-between". The largemouth will continue to be on weedlines but should also begin to progress toward the points and deeper water. Especially if the water drops.
On the St. Lawrence, the smallmouths are definetely ahead of last year with more fish in the 40-70 foot range. The best time to catch these fish will be when they begin to drop the water level in August. The increased current really gets them to feed if you can stay on top of the fish.
Good luck to everyone.
Captain Randy Yager