What’s the first rule of Giant Michigan Smallie Club? You don’t talk about Giant Michigan Smallie Club. At least that was the promise “Hook Shots” host Joe Cermele and co-host Eric Kerber made to long-time friend and guide Ross Robertson when they got that call to head to the Wolverine State this fall. With the promise of smallmouth action that could potentially produce 40 5-plus-pound bass in 40 consecutive casts, the crew jumped at the chance to close out season 7 with a major slugfest. And it was a slugfest they got, but if you’re hunting for a specific location, you better have a really sharp eye. This bite was so dialed in, the average angler’s dial doesn’t even go that high. However, you don’t need to know where the fellas were fishing to reap the rewards of this season finale. The tactics and methods are pretty unique, so follow along, put them to use on your home waters, and start your own Giant Smallie Club.
The Deal: In keeping with our secretive theme, here’s all you need to know: When you have a body of water largely void of structure and loaded with flats, the local smallies will congregate in the fall around any structure they can find in the desert, even if its a rock formation the size of a Volkswagen. And there can be hundreds of fish on that one tiny piece. Your job is to find these hot spots, which might mean researching back through old Army Corp of Engineers maps and really putting in your search time.
When To Go: Though the methods and approach in this episode will work year-round, they are particularly lethal when smallmouths group up as the water temps drop in fall.
What To Bring: First and foremost, bring mountains of jigheads and drop-shot rigging materials. When the name of the game is being right in the hard structure—not 10 feet to the left or right—you can bank on losing lots of hooks, sinkers, and plastics. The real mystery in the this game is finding the right structure, but once you’ve done that, crankbaits, jigs, and myriad popular smallmouth plastics will score the eats