In my first article on Sherkston I talked about some of the many things there are to do inside the park. In this article, I’ll tell you about why I keep coming back to Sherkston, the smallmouth bass fishing. As I said before, Lake Erie’s water is very clean in southern Ontario. When my father and I go out sailing, we can see the bottom when we’re in 20 feet of water. The clear water has led to a very healthy population of smallmouth bass. When I see guys out in their boats, they’re usually trolling for the smallies with crankbaits. Since I don’t bring my boat up, unless I can hitch a ride, I have to find a different way to hook these beautiful fish. That’s what I’ll share with you right now.
There is a wreck of an old barge about a mile from the beach. In the 1940s, World War II caused the value of steel to increase significantly. This price increase caused the authorities to salvage as much of the barge as possible.. They built a temporary dam to dry the lake bed between the shore and the wreck. Then they built a road out to the wreck and were able to truck a huge amount of steel back to shore. When they removed the dam and flooded the road, they left behind one of North America’s great bass fisheries. For much of the summer, the first half mile of the road sits under a few feet of water. From the edge of the road, the water immediately drops off to a depth of between five and eight feet. This is where the bass hide out looking for their next meal. My favorite fishing times are early in the morning and for the last hour before dark. Top water baits with no weight work great at these times. During the middle of the day I like to use a shallow diving or rattling crank bait. These bass will bite at any time of the day. The fact is that I’ve caught over 100 of these smallies in a day several times. The average size is 12 inches and the longest one I’ve landed was 21 inches.
Lake Erie’s smallmouth bass season runs from the fourth Saturday in June until the end of November. You have several options when it comes to fishing licenses. If you’re going to be angling in Lake Erie for a week or less, you can purchase an eight day sport fishing or conservation license. The conservation license allows you to keep up to two smallmouth a day ad the sport fishing license lets you to keep up to six fish each day. If you’re going to be at Sherkston for more than a week, you can get a seasonal sport fishing or conservation license. The limits are the same but the license is good for the year. I always catch and release so the conservation license saves me quite a bit of money.
If you need even more reasons to visit Sherkston Shores, stay tuned. In part 3 of this series, I’ll talk about some of the things you can do within a short drive of the resort. Sherkston is made up mainly of privately owned and rental cottage units. There is also a camping area where you can put up your camping tent and stay for a day, a week, or longer. There is also daily use access if you just want to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a day of fun. Don’t forget that if you’re coming from the USA, you will need either a passport or one of the new passport cards to return home after your trip. Sherkston Shores is simple to get to. Just cross the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, NY and go west on Route 3 for about eight miles. Sherkston Shores will be on your left at Empire Road. There are also signs to help you find your way.