Lake St Clair Mayfly Bite and Post-Spawn Tactics 2020

| July 6, 2020

We are probably past the halfway point in this year’s round of mayfly action. With the beautiful, juicy, golden color mayflies dominating the hatches, the smallmouth should still be focused on them.

The idea that an insect could alter the trajectory of the bite is probably difficult for an outsider to comprehend. Some anglers get frustrated with it and stay home. This really happens but, thankfully, trial and a lot of error have produced a refined strategy to make this period one to look forward to every year.

Eternal Angler with a post-spawn smallie caught on Sweet Green™

One of those strategies includes tube bait color selection…

In the Xtreme Bass Tackle™ lineup of baits, there are some major players. Let’s start of with the obvious one, mayfly. This tube design was the culmination of research of about five separate species of mayfly. It’s success has been long-lived due to incorporating elements of each of those species. The dominant color being the one highly sought after by smallmouth: a golden colored mayfly that has shiny wings with a chartreuse highlight running through them.

Before moving on, here is a highlight video of a post-spawn bait box that I put together for @arcasting as a thank you for helping me with the video shoot, and production:

(Disclaimer: @StClairReport and do not endorse advertising content that you may encounter)

Now you have a basis for color selection during this post-spawn/mayfly hatch period.

Bait Colors and Tactics:

  • Mayfly – Ultimate “match the hatch” bait good for all conditions during this period. Cast to feeding, surfacing smallmouth. Drag along in deep water, sight fish in the shallows.
  • Sweet Green™ – Top producing color for the early bite through the end of July, since 2015. Fast action, all year-class production.
  • St. Clair Goby NFT™ – An updated design of the original that has become a “go to” color for everyday use. This color is always on during guide trips. In a 4″ tube or drop-shot, there is no size smallmouth that is safe from its appeal.
  • Gizzard Shad – Another Natural Forage Technology™ bait that gets us into one of the hottest forage bites on Lake St. Clair: gizzard shad. Ideal to throw into aggressive schools of smallmouth that are busting the surface.
  • Canadian Mist – The all-time best selling color for bass throughout all seasons, all times of day. Known for consistency, it can be the steady player when other colors aren’t getting the job done.
  • Great Lakes Perch™ – As the goby population has declined, the perch population has exploded. The Great Lakes Perch™ tube has proven itself to be a “big fish bait.” When it’s time to upgrade from the cookie-cutter 2lb or  3lb smallies, this bait can be the best choice. It is designed directly off of the dominant and highlight colors found in yellow perch on the Great Lakes.

There are other effective colors to choose from. Bass anglers know how to match the hatch. The above selection gives them a wide range of choices to be able to match forage, or bite-range features.

You can find Xtreme Bass Tackle™ tubes at:

Nautical Mile Pit Stop – 9 Mile and Jefferson

Sportsmen’s Direct, Metroparkway (16 Mile) and Jefferson

Angler’s Point – Directly across from Selfridge DNR launch



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Category: Bass, Bass Fishing Articles, Best St Clair Tube Baits, Local

About the Author ()

Wayne Carpenter is the owner of Xtreme Bass Tackle and Combat Fishing, and author of No Secrets on Lake St. Clair.

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