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Author Topic: Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?  (Read 1134 times)

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LennyB

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Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?
« on: February 01, 2018, 11:50:29 AM »

Hello Everyone,

I'm planning to spend a couple weeks this summer in the Port Huron area and was wondering if anyone has fished near there, mainly the St. Clair River and the South end of Huron? I've seen the FLW and BASS shows where guys have done well for the smallies in the north end for size but the numbers didn't look to good. Has anyone fished around those areas and what should I expect?

Thanks for your advice ~ Lenny B
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dartag

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Re: Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 07:37:32 PM »

If you get some calm days it is fantastic fishing above the Blue Water Bridge for Walleye and bass.  Between Bouy 3 and 5.   The water is amazingly clear.  You can see bottom in 30 feet of water.  Sometimes they are in shallow other times in 45 feet of water. Bouncing a tube or drop shot works the best.  Only drawback is launching.  There is a launch on the Black River with about a 20 minute idle out to the river.  The next closest is St Clair and run up the river.  Watch the Bassmaster event Chris Lane won up there.   It is on YouTube.  The water is really fast under the bridge but is safe.  We kayaked down the river in the Big Float Down last year.
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djkimmel

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Re: Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2018, 07:58:21 PM »

Been a while since I was last up there. I found it pretty spotty but you can get some big fish, of course. Caught some shallow on the handful of obvious key 'corners' but mostly the bass in the river are down along the edge of the channel drop and deeper.

A little crazy at times if you're out in the channel when lots of boats and ships are going by. Another amazing current spot with some weird, unexplainable behavior once in a while. Seen some odd, sideways 3 foot tall wave walls that might only be 1 or 2 hundred feet long but if they hit you they go right over the boat. Mostly seems to happen with strange combinations of large boat wakes merging along the more fast current edges. Wind combinations probably add to or subtract from it.

It doesn't happen often, but like any real strong current area - stay alert at all times. Which is good advice just for watching what the crazy tuna boat drivers are doing at all times. They seem more likely to practically run you down up there all while they stare at you like they're not sure they're seeing something real... just seems to be a worse than average area for general consideration. This is only if you're out from shore a fair ways though many years ago I had a cruiser try to run me down when I was fishing just a decent pitch from the break wall... he had an unpleasant smile on his face the whole time.

I think you can get into numbers up there if everything lines up. I have heard of people doing it. Brandon Palaniuk talked about how he caught a ton of bass for a couple days in a row off of one tiny spot he called 'the space ship' before the bass pulled a vanishing act. I think that is also common up there from what I've heard a number of times.

Not sure about the situation of fishing around the bridge now? It was a complete off-limits area with armed soldiers. I believe I still heard that you can get yelled at and/or ordered out of the immediate area if you're seen fishing for more than seconds right at the bridge but I honestly haven't heard any stories about that for the past couple seasons. Maybe there are signs - probably not.

Seems like the people who did the best up there overall started fishing a ways out into Lake Huron first, and drifted back in to the river. The obvious Coast Guard Station in the background showed where a lot of the fishing was done. Probably temps in the lake and river at the time you go, and what forage is doing this coming season will tell. The last time I was up there, I didn't do well out into the lake but the wind changed twice and really made it hard to fish very well. I tried running along the South shore of Lake Huron, but again, the wind shifted, and the further I got out the worse the waves were until I almost couldn't run them. So, back I slunk into the river.

You can launch in the Black River at the MDNR launch. I've caught some bass around the area where that river meets the big river. At times, the fishing seemed better around Stag Island to me too, but that River and The Lake almost seem to be re-invented (to me anyway) every year now.

I've heard there is good fishing along the South shore but it starts quite a ways out along the South shore. Not much farther than running from Harley to Stoney Point but the couple times I've made for it the wind forecast proved to be completely wrong and it was way too rough for me to keep going. You can see it easily on satellite view - great, big giant point out into the lake. Looks like the similar area on the far Eastern edge of Saginaw Bay. The wind seems to wrap differently out there than on St. Clair too so that may have helped me think I'd be fine but find out it was rougher than crap.

I never tried driving over there to launch somewhere local. Just didn't fit with things back in my still fishing tournaments days. I'd still like to make it there some day when the weather allowed good exploring but there's probably plenty to learn just at the head of the river and down a ways.

One thing I didn't know about until after the last time I've been up there - there's a large discharge into the river from a plant there - I believe it is the Dunn Paper plant right near the mouth. I do not know exactly where the discharge is - you can see some cool sunken ships and a barge on the satellite view in that area! I was watching a diver video (another GREAT source of information about the underwater world!!!) and they were floating down past this large, angular, milky discharge area and it was LOADED with smallmouth bass of good to large sizes!! There were more bass there than any other fish! I was thinking the whole time - HOW THE HECK DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THAT?!?

If you go, try to find that. Might be good... :) I think I saved more info about this discharge area but in my computer changes of the past few months I'm not sure where I saved it...??
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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.

LennyB

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Re: Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 08:17:37 AM »

Thanks guys for the info.
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djkimmel

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Re: Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2018, 01:33:00 PM »

I actually didn't hear as much about anglers running up there last year as in the previous recent years. I think it an be too slow for some of the anglers to run that far.

One thing I noticed in the past was that there seems to be 2 'kinds' of smallmouth bass up there though that far up the 'other' kind seemed less numerous. I always called them the 'river' bass and the 'Huron' bass.

Very unscientific decision to do so but there would be these real long, muscular, leaner bass (though still often BIG). I considered them to be 'river' bass, toned by the current and/or having come up maybe from as far as Lake St. Clair?

Then, the 'Huron' bass - FAT, FAT Footballs!! Still very strong of course, but they tend to be noticeably shorter for the same weight than the 'river' bass. I assumed these were bass bred and fed on an easier life more often out in Lake Huron.

Most likely means nothing to fishing but it was interesting to see what looked like two completely different bass out there.
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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.

LennyB

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Re: Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 08:33:17 AM »

My in-laws have a place in Lexington, about 15 miles North of Port Huron. That area of the lake looks really sterile. Not sure if any smallies are around there or not. The locals tell me the perch fishing is good.
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djkimmel

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Re: Has anyone fished the North end of the St. Clair River?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 10:35:23 PM »

There are rocks in many places but I hear almost nothing about smallies between the thumb and most of the way to Lake St. Clair. If they are out there, it's a well kept secret. I have heard rumors lately of walleye making some inroads (spotty) in that area but that's about it.
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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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