SANDUSKY, OH. – For the second to last event of the 2022 NPFL season, the anglers and their families make their way back to the North country to take on Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay. Sandusky Bay will make for the second ever Great Lakes event in NPFL history and is shaping up to be the smallmouth slugfest that would be expected of a phenomenal fishery like Lake Erie. Hosted by the City of Sandusky, Ohio, anglers will compete starting September 1st through September 3rd and the playing field features a heavy dose of smallmouth bass with the chance for anglers to have a successful event targeting largemouth. Sandusky is located on the Western side of Lake Erie and anglers will have the ability to stay put, or run for hours in attempt to find the biggest bag of bass possible.
About the Lake
Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie combine to offer anglers over 9,940 square miles of fishable water and features some of the best bass fishing the NPFL anglers will experience. Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes in surface area with an average depth of 62-feet making it the smallest Great Lake by total volume. While most anglers expect big smallmouth to dominate, it’s likely that several anglers will target largemouth and the potential for top 20 weights are possible.
Gary Adkins stuck with his guns at stop four taking home the win by committing to Saginaw Bay smallmouth while the majority of the field focused their efforts on the fertile grass beds and caught largemouth. This week, it’s likely the smallmouth will once again steal the show and take the victory.
Noted Adkins. “I spend some time up there in pre practice and my approach was to focus on smallmouth. I believe given the time of year that smallmouth will certainly win. I spent my time in areas I thought would play and although it’s been over four years since I have fished here, it sets up how I like to fish.”
Adkins also noted that the bay holds a significant population of largemouth but to get over 16 or 17-pounds, it is a lot harder. He expects a few largemouth only anglers could crack the top 25 or higher, but to win, you have to fish for smallmouth.
“It also depends how many anglers commit to going to Erie,” he added. “I expect the winner to have 21 to 22-pounds per day unless the wind is bad enough that we cannot leave the bay. The check weight will be around 13-pounds a day.”
Timmy Reams leads the Progressive Angler of the Year race with two events remaining and has little experience fishing Sandusky even though he has spent significant time around Presque Isle Bay.
“Presque Isle is way different than Sandusky but the lack of time there could be good for me,” said Reams. “I am not worried a ton about the AOY race as long as I don’t really bomb – I just want to be in contention going into the last event (in Florida). I think being consistent here is going to be key.”
Reams visited the playing field before the cut off period and spent his time locating the structure in which he believes will be a factor this week.
“There is a ton of structure but the key is finding the ‘different’ type stuff and that is what I looked for,” added Reams. I live close and went and spent some time which is different for me. I spent some time fishing and caught fish but the sheepsheads are everywhere and I caught a lot of them too.”
With big winds and Erie going hand and hand, Reams understands that it could be difficult to move from spot to spot to fish. He noted the largemouth are going to be important if the conditions call for it and spent some time looking around shallower as well.
“The size doesn’t really equal the size of the smallmouth but weather can change things in a hurry. I think with normal conditions the winner this week will find over 20-pounds a day and probably 13 to 14-pounds average will get you paid. Sandusky can be overwhelming if you don’t have the experience and it changes day to day.
How to Watch
Check out the LIVE Weigh-ins, here!
See the Results from Saginaw Bay, here!