By Todd Ceisner
Aside from winner Jonathon VanDam and a handful of other anglers, the Lake Michigan Elite Series was the first time many Elite pros had launched their boat at that particular Great Lake.
Once they all got their bearings on the big water, an old-fashioned clear-water smallmouth derby broke out with pros relying on the dropshot to catch a good portion of their fish. Other typical smallie techniques played as well, such as jerkbaits (both soft and hard) and topwaters. One angler even went the hair-jig route.
A commonality among the top finishers was most of their fish came out of less than 20 feet of water and in most cases, less than 10, as they found the fish either heading up to spawn or on their way out to the first deeper water after their annual ritual.
Here’s an overview of how the rest of the Top-5 finishers put fish in the boat.