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Katelyn Beaver fishing Ford River

Delta County Bass Fishing

Best Bass Rivers in Escanaba

by: Coty Perry 

Fall Bass Fishing

While bass are highly overlooked in the Escanaba area, both largemouth and smallmouth bass are a popular catch if you know where to look. Smallmouth dominate the area accounting for over 90% of the population though.

There are few things more enjoyable than a fight with a smallmouth so I highly recommend checking out some of these bass spots throughout Escanaba Michigan.

Escanaba River

Escanaba River

What better place to start than Escanaba River?

While it’s primarily known for its trout fishing, a lot of people aren’t aware that it has some of the best smallie fishing in the state. The lower river is a great smallmouth fishery and Boney Falls Dam is stocked with brown trout each year.

A lot of anglers prefer fishing craws here along the soft-bottomed areas in the lower portion of the river. Crawfish initiating soft plastics and plugs are great during the warm up in the Spring when the water is heavily stained. Work these lures quickly throughout this area and you should have a lot of luck. Pounding hard lures off the bedrock is another way that people catch smallmouth here.

The river is also a great option for kayak angling if that’s your game. There are plenty of small streams flowing from the main river which opens up opportunities for trout fishing as well.

Little Bay De Noc

Some of the best bass fishing in the area is on a lot of the little rivers and streams that flow from the little pay. The rocky shorelines make it easy to wade into the river but just be careful you don’t slip.

Terrace Bay Hotel on Little Bay de Noc

Around Terrace Bay Hotel you can find a lot of weed pockets and areas where it’s ideal to drop some soft plastics or topwater plugs. You can fish the weedy areas for smallmouth and find plenty of four pounders in this area.

Throughout the summer months is when the bass fishing really heats up. Consider switching over to faster moving baits like spinnerbaits and lipless cranks during this time. Work these quickly along the shorelines and in the weedy areas for smallmouth. This area produces a great bite all summer long.

Ford River

Ford River

Ford River is another great spot about 6 miles out of Escanaba. There are a ton of smallmouth reports from this river making it one of the most popular options in the area. It’s a great spot for smallmouth, pike, trout, and walleye.

The river features a number of cliffs and steep drop offs that create dramatic changes in structure which opens the door for a lot of hiding places for smallmouth. Smallies prefer to hang around hard structured bottoms so look for rocky changes in structure and overhanging brush that casts shadows over the water.

The experts recommend that you hit the river early in the morning because that’s when the bite is the best. Fishing here throughout the summer is a solid bet but you can expect to catch smallmouth bass during the spring and fall as well.

About the author: Coty Perry is  a third-generation angler part of the team at, he has a lot of knowledge and experience on the water and he loves sharing what he knows.

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