I am so excited to talk with Quebec bass angler Mathieu Brossard. He catches big smallmouth on the St. Lawrence River. One of his favorite methods is using a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait. He gives us the details about how he fishes this bait on the St. Lawrence for big smallies.
With a handle of Mr. Smallmouth, you must like chasing down those brown fish. What do you love specifically about smallmouth bass fishing?
You are right. I really love chasing down smallies. There are many things I love about them.
I love the fight they don’t give up easily. If you make a mistake during the fight, they will spit your lure right at your face.
I don’t fish tournaments at the moment but it is something I have done in the past. Let’s say it was a really humbling experience. It is also something I want to do more of in the future. Around here, if you want to have a shot at winning, you need to be a smallmouth whisperer. The learning process that goes with the journey to become a competitive fisherman is something I really enjoy.
How long have you been fishing the St. Lawrence River for smallmouth bass?
I have been fishing the St. Lawrence for 6 years. I remember the first time my friend Felix brought me fishing on the St. Lawrence. He showed me how to drag tubes, and I will always remember my first hook up. The fish almost ripped the rod out my hand and after a short fight the fish got tangled in the trolling motor and got away. I got schooled by an average size smallmouth. and I was hooked.
I mainly fish the section between Valleyfield, Quebec and Cornwall, Ontario. This section is called Lake St. Francis. Water is gin clear, current is strong, and the bottom is covered by zebra mussels and gobies. What I love most about this place is the great amount of big fish that swim in these waters, 6 pound smallies are caught annually in tournaments.
When did you start fishing the Megabass Vision 110 for St. Lawrence River smallmouth?
This is my second season with the Megabass Vision 110. I bought my first one from a friend. I always thought they where over priced. Why pay $30 for a simple jerkbait when I can pay $10 for a similar one. I was so wrong.
After my first session with the Vision 110 I understood right away. I will not go over every detail about why this bait is worth every penny, but here is my short list.
- Castability. With the right set up, this bait will travel a mile effortlessly. That might be the most important thing when fishing the ultra clear water of the St-Lawrence.
- The action. This bait jumps from one side to another easily and it sits in the water perfectly, very important during the sometimes long pauses between jerks.
- Overall look and durability. This bait looks like the real deal plus the paint job is really durable. After 2 years the bait still looks brand new, apart from the hook I had to replace a couple of times, thanks to St-Francis’s brown beasts.
What times of the year are you fishing the Megabass Vision 110?
Definitely an all year bait for me. I will adjust my retrieve throughout the season.
What do you consider ideal conditions to throw the Vision 110 on the St. Lawrence?
Ideal would be water 7 feet deep or less with a river bottom that is a mix between rock, sand and a little bit of grass.
How do you work the bait?
I usually start with 5 second pauses between any series of jerks. As the water gets colder, during fall, I will slow my retrieve and take longer pauses, like 10 to 15 seconds. It is mostly trial and error for me until I find the perfect combination.
What are your favorite colors of the Vision 110 for St. Lawrence River smallmouth bass?
My favourite color pattern is perch. I fell like the smallies are feeding on gobies day in and day out so when they can feed on some perch, it is like having filet mignon when you are used to eating ground beef. The water here is so clear so I feel more confident when I am fishing a bait that is looking like the real thing.
What setup do you prefer to fish it with?
I use a 7 foot medium fast action spinning rod and my reel is an old Pfluger filled with 8 pound mono. You need a set up that will forgive a little bit. You don’t want something too stiff that will rip those little trebel hooks out of the fish’s mouth.
Overall, what are 5 piece of advice that you have for someone who wants to throw a MegaBass Vision 110 for St. Lawrence River smallmouth bass?
- Use mono. It will cast a mile. It will help your bait suspend in the water column. And it will allow you to land more fish.
- Loosen up your drag. You want to have your drag set up to the point where you can hear the clicker click just a little bit when you are jerking.
- Have sharp hooks. The hooks that come with the bait are ok at best. After a fight with a 3 pounder, it is not rare to have one bent or even broken. Always carry extra treble hooks with you.
- Make long casts. St. Lawrence = zebra mussels = clear water = spooky fish = you need to make long casts if you want to catch them. Usually when you see them it is too late. They also saw you and forget it they won’t bite anything you put in front of them.
- Focus on the pause. The pause is the most important part of the retrieve. Most of the strikes happen during the pause. Wear polarized glasses and be on the look out for followers. If you have one, stop the retrieve and wait, usually this seals the deal.
Do you have any pro staff companies?
No sponsors, I am your average weekend warrior. I would like to take the opportunity to thank a local guide, Mark Currie. He is a fishing machine, and he taught me everything I know about jerkbait fishing. You can look him up at www.advancedbassin.com.
Thank you Mathieu. Will be following on Instagram @mr_smallmouth.
Read more interviews about St. Lawrence River Bass Fishing.