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Author Topic: Eradicating the funk on Lake St. Clair 9-27-2017  (Read 217 times)

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djkimmel

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Eradicating the funk on Lake St. Clair 9-27-2017
« on: October 16, 2017, 01:11:43 PM »

I think cameraguy and myself both had bad tastes in our mouths after the last trip or two to Lake St. Clair. Add to it those other trips I made before Round Lake seemed to show I still know how to catch bass and there were lots of questions with few answers (along with that bad taste...).

To get the bugs worked out, the joints greased, start off a little easy... however you want to put it, we decided to start shallow and try some fast fishing to get us going before we headed out to deeper waters looking for the elusive, wandering big bass of Lake St. Clair!


Oh no... the first cast keeper curse?!? We stopped at random along the Point Huron sand break and I picked up a Lucky Craft Pointer 100. Almost at the boat this decent keeper smallmouth bass came up on the jerkbait, and as soon as I paused the minnow the bass ate it and started jumping and cavorting around the boat!! I love to catch bass, particularly smallies but I always wonder about the first cast curse. I posted it on the social web and said stay tuned...

Started to wonder if there is something to this 'curse' because we fished quite a bit of the area moving in and out without getting any more bites?? Well, catching one on the first cast is nice but confusing and unhelpful when you don't get any further bites.

One other slight concern was the wind was blowing a lot harder than either of us remembered being forecast! It was mostly westerly but it was blowing hard enough that you didn't have to go real far off shore to start getting bounced around or even wet. Looked like we might get rained on too. We did but it wasn't much in the end luckily.

We left the area since nothing else seemed to want to happen for us. cameraguy was thinking about where to look. What to try. He pulled up out from the spillway. I made a quiet comment that this is a great choice! If you like muskie!!! ;D You know this year I was thinking of myself when I said that since the toothy critters just LOVE me this year!!

Sure enough, I was reeling in a deep crankbait when a medium-sized muskie came roaring in on its tail all the way to the boat!! I had to reel very fast and snap the crankbait out of the water to keep it from being a missing crankbait! I literally ripped it out of the water as the muskie's jaws snapped shut where it had been! WHEW!!

Close call... but did the muskie leave? No... it sat there right at the back corner of cameraguy's Ranger turning left and right looking for its victim! Just to see how hot it really was I dropped the crankbait into the water and only did a figure one and the muskie lunged after the crankbait!! I ripped it out of the water again just as the muskie's jaws snapped shut again!!! That was one determined muskie...

I could have caught that one no problem. Or gotten bit off of course. I guess I really have caught enough toothy critters already this year. Maybe if I had something tied on that I didn't value as much and was easier to hook, land and get the muskie off the hook. After this little excitement, cameraguy decided we could try another spot.


After giving up on the shallower water we moved out deeper and cameraguy started getting his Lake St. Clair drop shot on by catching this small keeper on a Case Plastics Lil Magic Stick. He was happy and excited to get it to start working since he hasn't drop-shotted a lot.

Interesting too that a few anglers are saying there are few small bass or small keeper smallmouth bass being caught this year. Well, I guess they just need to be out fishing with us because we found plenty of small keepers and dinks as we have in previous years. Multiple trips now too that we've seen lots of young of the year smallmouth bass mostly hanging around shallow weed beds, though we've seen some out deeper as well.

We still weren't getting any number of bites out deeper along the Mile Roads yet so we decided to head shallower, basically to a spring spot to see if we could find some bass roaming around up there. Part of the time we were up shallow the sun even came out so we could see shallow dark spots well, and even some bass.

It was a fun move that definitely boosted my morale!! I started whacking small smallies, a dink largemouth and a couple small keepers one after the other on the ghost minnow Lucky Craft Pointer 100! cameraguy is right that it's just fun to catch some fish!! I had a big smile on my face. The action was was and fun for little while - mostly while the sun was out.


Then I sight-fished this chunky little keeper on the 'Flanders' (Ned rig)! I could just see well enough to spot some of the bass moving from one dark spot to another. I saw this nice looking bass and made a short flip of my version of a Ned rig out in front of it, and moments later the fight was on!! Always entertaining to go toe-to-toe with a Lake St. Clair smallmouth bass on light spinning tackle!!


It seemed like the shallow bass were quickly getting used to your presence so we started working our way north following ridges and dark patches. cameraguy whacked a nice smallmouth bass on his swim jig! Probably the best one we landed in the area. It had a follower or two but we are apparently rusty at catching the follow up bass because I didn't get it to bite before it vanished. During this little hot stretch followers were common but we kept not connecting. It was all fun though while it lasted!

Then someone flicked the switch off hard! The bite seemed to just vanish! I'm wondering if it was a simple as the sun going back behind the clouds again?? We wandered around a little bit. Worked our way back to where we started where I was whacking them on the jerkbait. Worked our way out a little deeper too but that was the end of it. Like I said, fun while it lasted though.

cameraguy picked a shallower hump way out off the Mile Roads for our next stop and that was were I finally decided maybe the funk really is gone!!


I think I may have thrown the deep crankbait again a little but after a short time I switched to the drop shot again - the one I had a fluke-like minnow on. I was pitching it a short ways from the boat and alternating between short little hops or letting it float down on a semi-slack line when I hooked a nice feeling fish! You know those Lake St. Clair smallmouth bass!! Just when you think you've got them it's off to the races again!! You get to fight 'em 2, 3, 4 times!! One of these days maybe we need to start bringing the net, though I guess it increases the adventure having such a difficult time actually getting these strong bass in to the boat!!


I did land the solid mini-toad after several failed tries to get my thumb on its lip!! Put up a really nice fight, that's for sure!! I was feeling much better now...

Though... the toothy critters weren't through with me yet, unfortunately... I didn't get any more bites on the drop shot for a few minutes. It looked like there were more fish in the area from what the graph was showing.

So I picked up the spybait to try to cover the water around us a little better with something they would hopefully think is a helpless minnow oblivious to the danger. My efforts were answered... but not the way I hoped. Something snapped up the spybait but I lost it shortly after - an issue I've been having all year with spybaits.


I kept throwing it that way. Something grabbed my spybait again down near the bottom and started swimming slowly, heavily and steadily around the boat. But it didn't come up and jump...?? It did come up after a short, hard fight and it was another one of those bigger offshore Lake St. Clair pike that have been following me around this year.

I guess to prove that it happened so I couldn't deny it even to myself, cameraguy was snapping pictures while it happened. Though, he is the cameraguy, so I shouldn't be very surprised...


The darn pike did me one favor by doing its last minute re-fight at the boat then jump beside the boat tossing my spybait back to me. No bite off and I got to keep my Spinbait 90!! So it wasn't that bad, I guess.


After that, it was getting very close to time to leave, and I was thinking I don't want to lose my Spinbait to these pike that are following me. So I picked up my other drop shot rig with the Case Plastics Lil Magic Stick - Marcel's worm (watermelon seed). I just made another short underhanded pitch about 20-25 feet from the side of the boat. About the time it made it to the bottom I set the hook because my primitive brain told me to and SNAP ZING I had on a Good One!!! My biggest smallmouth bass of the day! Another great fight with a couple jumps to end a nice day of bass fishing - not stellar, but way better than the previous trip or two!!

Plus, we actually had on a double as cameraguy hooked a decent keeper too and was wanting a picture, but right then I hooked my TOAD and couldn't set down the rod for a picture... :) I should have told him to do a selfie for the fishing report!

I'm thinking the funk is over for sure. Now we are just in the regular fall fishing period when fishing is challenging but well worth it when you figure them out for that day on that body of water. My favorite season for bass fishing!
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

WishingIwasfishing

Re: Eradicating the funk on Lake St. Clair 9-27-2017
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 07:19:06 AM »

Sounds like a fun day on St. Clair. Did you weigh that last one?
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djkimmel

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Re: Eradicating the funk on Lake St. Clair 9-27-2017
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 06:18:33 PM »

No. I either forgot my scales - that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't anyways... - or because it is so iffy I didn't want to stress the big fish out anymore. It seemed like it used up all its energy in the fight to the boat. cameraguy doesn't have a scale in the new boat. Yet - I think... First I may think about reminding him to grab a net. Maybe reduce the excitement factor a little but also reduce the chance of getting certain kinds of hooks stuck in us!
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.
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