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Author Topic: Where to vacation?  (Read 1499 times)

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6 lb Smallmouth

Where to vacation?
« on: January 28, 2014, 09:58:13 PM »

The last couple years I have spent a large chunk of time on GTB in June and have been blessed with great fishing.  This year my wife is due in late May (I really didn't think she'd get pregnant the first month we tried....) so my June trip is out.  I haven't even been coming here since it was kinda depressing me knowing I wouldn't fish for big smallies next year.

Anyways, i just negotiated a week long trip in July.  Going solo and I'll be camping.  Got a smaller boat so I have to watch the wind and hit inland lakes if the big water gets rough.   So the question is where to go?  Thinking either GTB (not crazy about the camping and boat launch options), Door County (up by Wash Island- no inland lakes), or Big Bay de Noc (never fished it but it is the #1 new place I want to fish).  So what do you think?  Can't really go wrong with any of them.  If you think any of those places will still have some spawning fish in early July, please share.  Thanks for any advice.  Paul
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Formerly known as JerkBate

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Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 10:08:48 PM »

Big Bay De Noc can get really rough any time of year.  There are some inland lakes in the area though.
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Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 10:11:34 PM »

There's a lot of nice inland lakes around the Rose City area.
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Slipkey

Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 10:20:50 PM »

I love the Bays de Noc and go there every year with my dad for our annual trip, but July isn't usually the best time to be up there.  There are bunch of small lakes in the area to fish, though, so you'll be able to get on something somewhere.  Two places to camp are Fayette State Park on Big Bay (has a boat launch 500 feet from the campground) and Vagabond Resort on LBdN, which has a big dock you can tie up to.  It's also closer than Door County.

I fished Door County a lot when I lived in Chicago.  July can also be a tough time but Washington Island is fantastic around that time.  It can also be a beast to make the crossing when the wind kicks up.  You can stay on the island and fish fairly protected bays all day, without having to make the crossing.  Sister Bay is also a good place to stay for fishing the islands and shoals up on the NE side of the bay and there's always the State Park in Sturgeon Bay, both of which Little Sturgeon and Big Sturgeon have healthy summer populations of fish.

I don't think you're going to run in to spawners in either place that time of year.  I've fished early July in both places and much of the water is transitioning between post-spawn and summer. You're more likely to find full-on summer pattern fish in Door County than in the BdN's in early July.

Good luck and send me a message when you go.  I've got a few places I can help you out with on either water.
-J
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Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 08:48:53 AM »

There is a nice campground right on Elk lake (Whitewater) which would put you near the bay, elk, skeg, torch, intermediate and belleaire.  On torch you can probably still find spawners depending how early in july you are there.
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6 lb Smallmouth

Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 09:42:28 AM »

I don't think you're going to run in to spawners in either place that time of year.  I've fished early July in both places and much of the water is transitioning between post-spawn and summer. You're more likely to find full-on summer pattern fish in Door County than in the BdN's in early July.

Good luck and send me a message when you go.  I've got a few places I can help you out with on either water.
-J

Thanks Slipkey for the advice.  I'm surprised to hear that you wouldn't  expect the fishing to be that great in early July.  Is that based soley on postspawn?  I've had great luck with big fish in Door Co in mid July up by the tip of the pennisula.  I could easily wait till later in July or early August- do you think those times are better?

Dude- you are right about that campground. I was so keyed on the launch north of TC since that is where I always launch in June- I wasn't even thinking about Elk Rapids.  That campground is one of the nicest I've been in. 
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Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 10:54:50 AM »

 I have a friend who owns a campground with all the hookups, water,electric and sanitary.  It is just east of Manistee Lake. On 612, called The Squirrel's Nest. $25 a night gets you a vary nice and safe site. Being minnets from several good smallmouth lakes and 20 minnets from the Torch chain of lakes. If ruffing is more your stile $10 gets you a site. Call Mike at (231)384-0774. There is a gas station 1.5 miles west of the campground. With a grocery store and a pizzeria. I'm going up in July.
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Slipkey

Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 11:30:24 AM »

That's relative as the fisheries are still awesome, but my early July experience on both waters, Washington Island excepted, has been that you are fishing mostly for reaction bites.  It's kind of maddening as the times I've been up there at that time, the smallies were roaming everywhere but you really had to find the right presentation - and that changed hour-to-hour sometimes.  Jerkbaits and Senkos were usually the best bet, with jigs and dropshots pretty effective by river mouths in LBdN. This year might be different as there's the most ice cover on Lake Michigan since 1980...  

Late July and August on Green Bay can be awesome for structure fishing off the NE reefs and islands or even in big Sturgeon Bay when the wind is really pushing current in either direction through the shipping channel.  Little Sturgeon the same up shallow after a heavy summer rain.

If I were, personally, to do a summer trip, I would do late July or August over early July.

Thanks Slipkey for the advice.  I'm surprised to hear that you wouldn't  expect the fishing to be that great in early July.  Is that based soley on postspawn?  I've had great luck with big fish in Door Co in mid July up by the tip of the pennisula.  I could easily wait till later in July or early August- do you think those times are better?

Dude- you are right about that campground. I was so keyed on the launch north of TC since that is where I always launch in June- I wasn't even thinking about Elk Rapids.  That campground is one of the nicest I've been in.  
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6 lb Smallmouth

Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 06:28:47 AM »

Thanks Slipkey for the advice. 
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Formerly known as JerkBate

Nothing beats Great Lakes Smallmouth!

Got Fish??

Re: Where to vacation?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 12:32:22 PM »

 Throw a tub with no weight, hooked weedless. When the senkos bite start to slow. Jack's in Kalkaska, has a big selection of Xtreme 4" tubs in stock. These are the same tubs I throw, in the greatlakes down in southeastern Mich for smallmouth.
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