The Crash

Only at Black Earth Angling Co.

Home of "The Crash"

In 2012, Kyle Zempel first witnessed the phenomenon and was so intrigued with it, he dedicated the rest of the summer (and a few outboards) to searching it out and learning more about it. Now, years later “The Crash,” is a highly sought after experience by fly anglers of all kinds. It is often referred to by BEAC clients as one of the (if not the) most unique smallmouth fishing experiences they have had.

What on Earth is "The Crash"

“The Crash” is a term created by Black Earth Angling Co. to describe the natural phenomenon that occurs on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway. “The Crash” is when Smallmouth bass, and/or other fish, work in schools to corral baitfish. This occurrence is often identified by the violent surface activity of numerous fish devouring baitfish in the top 6” of the water surface. Many times it is heard before it is seen. Many anglers relate this to “nothing they’ve ever seen” or the striper bait blitz out east. It is fierce, exciting, and very visual fishing, that most smallmouth fishermen/women have never experienced. If you enjoy intense, fast-paced top water fishing this is the epitome, at least in fresh water. Throw out what you know about classic smallmouth fishing when you step foot in our jet boat, we do things alittle differently than you may be used to. Don’t be scared. Embrace “THE CRASH!”

Real Fishy Stories

  • How would you describe a Smallmouth Crash? Well, let's see — unbelievable, awesome, knuckle-smacking, finger-cutting, tense, exciting, anxious, awfully quiet and then BAM! Shouting, big smiles, great pictures and appropriately funny sunhats! Now that's how I would describe The Crash! There is nothing like it and it's

    an absolute must on your bucket list!

    — Russell, Chicago, IL
  • I met these guys at a fly show a few years ago…they mentioned this unique phenomenon they call “The Crash”. It sounded cool, so I booked a trip. HOLY SH*T!

    I have been a „Crash“ junkie ever since!

    The “Crash” is like nothing you have ever experienced before. Pods of large smallmouth aggressively herding minnows to a frenzy! The action is frantic, the stakes fantastic! The most fun you can have with a fly rod! Kyle, I always look forward to spending time in your boat.

    — Mark, Batavia, IL
  • Kyle has done something special here. He is already a stand-out guide and he hasn't even hit his thirties. He has created a unique experience in a world-class fishery that most have passed up. He has invested and rigged a jetboat that allows him to access the lower Wisconsin Riverway like a magic carpet ride. Flying over sand bars and navigating through an ever-changing landscape it is truly a world-class experience that matches anything in
 fly fishing.

    If you want to catch big smallies on top on a fly, Kyle is your guide.

    Not one aspect of the experience is neglected. Lunch is fantastic, his vibe is fun and he will help you develop new fly fishing skills. He provided me with a perfect day that I will never forget (19 inch smallies on a fly).

    — Phil, Monona, WI