Fishing for Smallmouths on the St. Lawrence River – Featured on “Fish This”

Fishing for Smallmouths

Guided Adventures for Fishing for Smallmouths

Bass Fishing | Fishing Hotspots | By Don Manning

Fishing for smallmouth bass on the St. Lawrence River tops the fishing bucket list for many bass fishing anglers. The attraction of trophy smallies and the thrill of big river fishing both provide an unforgettable experience.
I have been to the Clayton and Alexandria Bay areas in New York many times, but never fished the St. Lawrence River. Like many anglers, fishing for smallmouths on the St. Lawrence River has been something that I wanted to do for some time. Up until now I have only heard and read about the 5- to 6-pound smallmouth bass that were being caught on this great fishery. Enough waiting, I finally made the decision to head north and book a guided smallmouth bass fishing trip.
If you are going to put together a St. Lawrence fishing trip, it all starts with picking the best smallmouth bass fishing guide. Deciding to go with a guide has three advantages. First you do not need to educate yourself on the river. Knowing a river, both where to fish and how to get around, is a life-long task and better suited for a local fishing guide. Second, there is no need to stock up on new fishing gear. Most bass fishing guides will provide all the rods and reels, fishing lures and other equipment you may need. Just bring personal items like rain gear, sunglasses and anything else that you may need in a small “carry on” bag. Lastly, your success rate is dramatically increased. Fishing for smallmouth bass in an unknown river with no prior knowledge makes it almost impossible to be successful your first time out. Pairing with a bass fishing guide who spends much of the year on the water ensures you will be catching smallmouths.
Smallmouth bass fishing

How do you find the right fishing guide? Nowadays the internet is the first place to look. I started by searching for fishing guides for smallmouths on the St. Lawrence. After scrolling through many websites and reading countless reviews, I landed on Dean Meckes Charters. Dean Meckes Charters is run by Dean Meckes who is based out of Clayton, NY. Dean has over 25 years of experience on the river and is a great fishing guide. He knows the St. Lawrence and can put you on fish, big fish.
After all the research, I booked Dean Meckes Charters. I got up to Clayton, New York the night before our fishing trip to settle in and enjoy the wonderful area. The next morning, we met Dean at the boat ramp with high anticipation of landing some monster smallies. When you first met Dean, you can tell right away that he has a passion for life, fishing and the St. Lawrence River. I felt very comfortable in the boat with Dean, and it was like I knew him for years. Dean’s experience goes back to fishing many professional tournaments with over a dozen top 5 finishes, and he has also qualified for the B.A.S.S. Elite Series. The rig we fished out of was a 20-foot Ranger Bass Boat with a 225-HP Yamaha Motor matched with all the state of the art electronics to put you on fish.
The weather kept us on our toes with some strong winds here and there, but overall what an experience. I had a great day on “The River” and caught some really nice smallies under the direction and experience of Dean. A few of our catches are captured below.
River bass fishing

Fall bass fishing

?Once you experience this River, you are hooked. Fishing for smallmouths on the St. Lawrence River is a place that every bass fishing angler needs to experience. I am definitely going back, and it will be with Dean and Dean Meckes Charters.
To contact Dean and book your St. Lawrence smallmouth bass fishing experience, visit his website at or by calling him at (315) 405-1706.

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Napa Valley Register Recognizes Dean Meckes and Quality St. Lawrence River Smallmouth

We are very humbled and thankful to have such positive press all the way on the other side of the country. We had an amazing time with Bill Ryan and Bob Berman. Two more dedicated anglers and gentlemen would be hard to find. We had a great few days on the water and some monster smallies. Below are some pics from the trip and you can CLICK HERE for the actual article in the Napa Valley Register. We look forward to helping you hunt down that 8.6 pounder next trip.

Bill_Ryan1 Bill_Ryan2 Bill_Ryan3 Bill_Ryan4

Terry and Austin – Mid Summer Bassfest!




My son and I did a two-day trip with Dean.  The first day we targeted smallmouths as we wanted to learn how to get them in deep water.  Dean did not disappoint – he put us
on smallies all day and we had some great action.  The second day we focused on largemouths and we had a great day with them as well.  Dean not only puts you on fish but he also is a teacher.  He taught us what structure to look for and how to best use the techniques he applies when fishing the St. Lawrence.  We certainly learned a lot and are already looking forward to another trip next year! recognizes Dean…

Shout out to local bassmaster Meckes

2:19 pm EDT, Aug 11, 2013 |      By Steve Wright

James Overstreet and I are off the water, after the short boat ride back to Morristown. Driving back to Waddington beats the heck out of boating back today. It’s an unpleasant combo of white caps and boat wakes.

Jonathon VanDam caught a fish just before we left that was amazingly like the other 4-pounders already in his livewell. He needs a Hail Mary, provided Palaniuk gets back on time.

I’d heard about our boat driver the last two days, Dean Meckes, long before I met him. Meckes is “the man” around here, according to Mark Zona, Dave Precht and Overstreet. It was an education just hanging out in a boat with Meckes this week. Need to get back here soon, when not in tournament mode.

Meckes, 52, has been guiding and tourament fishing these waters for the past 25 years.

“A good smallmouth bag used to be 13 pounds,” he said. “Now you don’t feel safe with 23 pounds.”

It’s rare when an invasive species, like the goby, is a good thing, but they’ve been like human growth hormone for smallmouth bass in the St. Lawrence River.

“The smallmouth bass population just exploded,” Meckes said. “4-pounders became common, then 5s, then 6s.”

If you want proof, check out

“Best Single Day of Fishing We’ve Ever Had!” – Al & John


We’ve spent a lot of time on the water bass fishing, but we’ve never had a day fishing like we had with Dean Meckes on Lake Ontario.

The day started early and Dean was there waiting for us at the dock. Dean has a welcoming personality and instantly made us feel at home on his boat. We didn’t have any bites at first, but within 30 minutes Dean moved us and we were soon reeling in some of the largest smallmouth bass we have ever seen. Each fish was bigger than the last, making that next fish the biggest smallmouth we’ve ever caught.

We can’t wait to get out on the water with not only our new favorite fishing guide, but someone we now consider a friend.

Thanks for everything Dean and we’ll see you soon!

John and Al

Rapsody Fishing Rods

Dean Meckes exclusively uses Rapsody rods… We have the option to use whatever rods we think will help us put more fish in the boat and we choose Rapsody. Unparalleled sensitivity, light weight and durability make Rapsody rods hard to beat. The recoil guides are a must for us as they can stand up to the torture of heavy use.

Rapsidy fishing rods perform. They feature cutting edge designs and top quality components. All rods are hand assembled with tremendous attention to given to every detail. At Rapsody, we cut no corners because like you, we are passionate about fishing.  Thank you for taking the time to discover The Rapsody Fishing Company. We encourage you to explore our website to learn more about our products. We constantly expand our offerings, so please check our website frequently to see what is new.

ChaumontBay Bass Guides

Lake Ontario’s Chaumont Bay is a hidden gem amongst Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass anlgers. Chaumont Bay offers diverse cover rangind from shallow rock shoals that harbor giany Smallmouth Bass to grass bays that Largemouth Bass call home and everything between. Chaumont Bay is a tricky area of water at best to get a pattern going, but once you find out what the Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are on you can put a hurtin’ on them. Dean Meckes has been fishing Chaumont Bay and Eastern Lake Ontario for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass for as long as he can remember. His knowledge of Chaumont Bay Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass allows him to put guide clients on the fish all the time. Don’t go out in hopes of getting on some Chaumont Bay Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass; let Dean Meckes, professional fishing guide, take you out on Chaumont Bay and know you are going to get on fish. Chaumont Bay offers full season Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass opportunities and there is no better Chaumont Bay Fishing Guide than Dean Meckes to help you capitalize on those opportunities. Click Here to contact Chaumont Bay Fishing Guide, Dean Meckes and book your trip now.

1000 Islands Smallmouth Bass

The 1000 Islands have been a long time famous summertime getaway for both anglers and vacationers alike. With over 1800 scenic islands and incredibly clear water, the region not only makes for one of the best smallmouth factories in the world but also one of the most picturesque fisheries to be found anywhere. This is one of the most beautiful smallmouth bass fishing venues in the world. This fishery is very diverse and the smallmouth bass are in very specific locations, based on season, weather and water temperature. There is never a dull moment fishing the 1000 Islands Region, you could be fishing within view of both Boldt Castle and Singer Castle as passing freighters navigate the islands on their way to and from their far away destinations.

The smallmouth bass population of the St. Lawrence, 1000 Islands and Lake Ontario have undergone an amazing metamorphosis over the past few years. The introduction of invasive species the round goby has served as a forage, like no other, for the growth of smallmouth bass. In recent years the average weight of smallmouth bass has increased substantially. It is not uncommon to catch multiple 4lb fish any given day on the water on the St. Lawrence, 1000 Islands or Lake Ontario. Smallmouth bass upwards and over 6lbs are not surprising anymore either. The 1000 Islands and Lake Ontario have turned into the perfect storm for smallmouth bass fishing. The area offers the perfect combination of cover, consistent forage and a healthy population of fish.

Drop Dean a line and he would be happy to get you on the water to experience first hand what the 1000 Islands and Lake Ontario have to offer the smallmouth bass angler or any other species that swims the waters of the 1000 Islands and Lake Ontario.  Click Here to contact Dean and book a 1000 Islands or Lake Ontario fishing guide trip unequaled by anyone in the region.