Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum

Bass Fishing => Bass Fishing Great Lakes => Topic started by: scot21x on January 29, 2012, 08:56:11 PM

Title: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: scot21x on January 29, 2012, 08:56:11 PM
Has anyone fished Lake MI out of Wilderness State Park, South West of Mackinaw
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: bigmojet on January 29, 2012, 09:06:00 PM
I've never fished there, but have heard about huge amounts of Smallies bedding on the shoreline of the lower peninsula side all the way to the bridge from that parks launch.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: djkimmel on January 30, 2012, 12:59:23 AM
All these years and I still haven't fished there. I went to football camp one summer there the one year I played high school football (to get in the honor society). Almost died running up Mount Nemo every day. Apparently the highest spot in Michigan - if it isn't, it sure felt like it was! I just remember breathing pretty hard by the time I reached the top, heart about to explode and then trying not to wipe out running down the other side with rubber noodle legs.

Waugoshance Point was internationally famous for smallmouth bass fishing throughout my childhood. People would come from around the world to wade fish there for basically bedding smallmouth bass even though our season supposedly protected that ( ;D ). It was common to read about it in the must fish lists of Outdoor Life and Field & Stream magazine back in 'the day' year after year. Which probably had some impact on it getting slower and tougher for a while, along with water level changes that maybe moved the bass around a little. The catch and release ethic did not exist then and these were local populations of cold water bass.

My information is dated but I have been told it got a lot tougher up there for many years but is now coming back like so much of our wonderful Great Lakes smallmouth bass fishing. Because it is an extremely complex, large area with little boat fishing occurring, and is not easy to get out there, I don't have any specific information. There aren't bass everywhere but like many places in the Northern parts of the Great Lakes, when you find them, you usually find a bunch of them. The right time to hit it is spotty because the water stays colder and can change dramatically based on the wind direction. I've seen water temps change 10 to over 15 degrees overnight up in those parts of the Great Lakes more exposed to the open lake wind.

I found bass one year on the Lake Michigan side of the channel to Sturgeon Bay one day. Water was low to mid-50's. Wind changed directions and the next morning there were no bass to be found with the water temp sitting back near 40. It helps to have an inland backup plan.

I have no specific information on finding them after the spawn since few are talking about that. Many of the anglers who fish up there still are not the Internet talking type. There is also just so much good smallmouth bass fishing closer to our population areas. Some of the stories I've been told are hard to believe but you never know about our Great Lakes. I do know in my own searching much farther East I saw a lot of dead water and then sometimes found a bunch of smallies in a small area. Unless it was real protected with some depth nearby that also didn't change temps too fast and/or the bass are really locked on beds, they move a LOT.

I do recall being thrown into Lake Michigan by the veteran members of my football team that early August so long, long ago. It was on the Northern side of the state park off the beach. Probably Big Stone Bay. Despite the time of year, the water was only 51 degrees. Thought I was going to drown from the shock! I made sure I was a lot harder to throw after that experience! :D I was told the water was a little warmer on the Southern side of the point.

I would love to hear about someone I know going there and having a big adventure.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: djkimmel on January 30, 2012, 01:07:51 AM
You know, on Google Earth, Nebo Trail doesn't look like that big a deal. I hope you get to go but stick to fishing, not Mount Nebo.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: scot21x on January 30, 2012, 09:14:08 PM
Hey Dan,

Thanks for the Input.

I would definitely try to hit it during spawn on hopefully a good calm day.

Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: djkimmel on January 30, 2012, 11:52:39 PM
Maybe this thread will get someone to give us some scoop? Check out Google Earth and look for the most protected pockets that look partially rocky. Do you know anything about their boat ramp? I never went near it. It looks like a good-sized boat ramp but with the low water you'd want to check with them on depth. Some of the old ramps are out of the water up north. I hope you get to go and find them. Like I said, the stories I've heard are something else though most of them are related more closely to the Mackinac Bridge area.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: Jmcfarland on January 31, 2012, 09:23:36 AM
 I have never fished out there. I have duck hunted there some. That's another story (kinda like mount nebo but with a hundred pound decoy bag and a lot of mud.....) From what I have heard the fishing is coming back. The fish seem to run smaller than they did 20 years ago. My dad fished it some during the hay days Dan is talking about and 5 fish stringers of 20lbs were common. Dan is right on the money about picking your days. Here today gone tomorrow. Wind, wind direction, early spring, late spring, sunshine, clouds, rain, all seem to change things from what I've heard. The techniques are KISS simple. Soft plastics thrown to any big boulder or dark/light spots. Good sunglasses are the only fish finder you will have if your wading. There is also still a lot of catch and keep fishing going on up there. The little camp store has a contest every memorial day weekend for the biggest bass (not sure if there still open however). They could probably fill you in on some stuff like the boat ramp situation. I have heard stories of guys running along way to fish the area in some of the bigger tournaments up this way. Definitely a neat area and a nice camping trip. Bring some heavy clothes as it can be pretty cold into mid-June. If you want you can pm me if you plan on coming up.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: bigmojet on January 31, 2012, 11:53:26 AM
I was doing my research on fishing this last winter, and never got the chance. I want to tie this with a fishing trip to the Lake Superior shoreline for Smallies one June.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: rangerfan on January 31, 2012, 08:06:59 PM
I could be wrong,but I believe that there are special fishing restriction's on that area up there.....It seems that whole waugoshance point area had its own season for smallmouth.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: rangerfan on January 31, 2012, 10:06:07 PM
Upon further review......I was incorrect.Checking the DNR web site just beaver island and the surrounding islands, Garden, High, Hog, Archipelago have a restriction of fishing within a half mile of shore until the season opens on July 1....I thought it also included Waugoshance island but i did not see it mentioned.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: djkimmel on February 01, 2012, 01:21:17 AM
There was talk about a special season or a later opening or catch and release only because the big point had gone down in quality some time ago but I think it never got off the table. Partly too because fishing pressure went way down once it got tougher. I would think the increase in the catch and release ethic, the 14" size limit change and the general changes in forage may be bringing it back some.

I've never been to the islands either but I've had a couple people tell me they have long been ghosts of their former selves. They could be telling me that so I don't go out there and try it..? There's just so much great bass fishing that is easier to get to anyway!
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: bigmojet on April 27, 2012, 02:23:59 PM
I checked out this state park a couple weekends ago. Nobody there but really wanted to check out the launch. Lots of skinny water but i bet wiyh the right day/timing you could have a field day.

Beautiful view of the Bridge from the launch. I stopped at a customers Mobil station in Cross Village just about 20 minutes south and the mentioned there township just put a new launch in on lake mi. Again weather permitting it would be a couple mile ride north to the point.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: djkimmel on April 27, 2012, 11:42:50 PM
That's good to know that someone has built a new boat ramp anywhere! I should move visiting that area up on my todo list. But we have so many great places to fish.
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: PineLk 49 on November 01, 2012, 01:03:17 PM
When I first found this site, stumbled across this topic. Hopefully I can answer some questions about the park and fishing. Been fishing there for last 25 years the 3rd week of June. This year water was way down and you could walk for miles. We use waders so by the end of day we were whooped. If you found a rock pile that had fish you could catch fish for an hour straight. So many rocks that everything looks the same. 
 CMU does a study every year netting and tagging at Waugashau Pt. Been there when they pulled nets to watch hundreds of fish being tagged. Messed up fishing, those little rascals or is it Chippawas.
 You can catch fish all the way through end of July. They come in to spawn in phases. Some guys use tubes other guys use 4 inch wacky sinkos. Others swim grubs. I have tried it all. Dropshot, cranks, topwater, swimbaits, rapala type baits, but tubes seem to work best
 Taking a bass boat all the way to the point can be fun or very dangerous. 2 years ago buddy took 20 ft champ out with 2 kids and ran on a shallow reef. Rescue had to come and get them. The same year the kids were in canoes in front of park and got to far east and current sucked them towards the bridge. 4 footers and you can guess what happened. The 2 canoes flipped, 4 kids total. Well 2 made it back to shore and the other 2 hung on to canoe as it dragged them toward the bridge. Luck have it one kid put his cell phone in a baggy. Rescue had to follow the phone ping to find them. took hour and 20 to find them. They survived but had to go to hospital for severe hypothermia. Rescue said if they went another half mile under tow might have got them. Thank God for cell phones.
 Waves there are tough  to drive in because waves are so narrow. Very tough to surf a wave.
 Absolute wonderful place to camp and fish. If I can answer any questions, be happy to give it my best shot
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: djkimmel on November 01, 2012, 02:40:00 PM
I would expect it to be another area with a longer learning curve to figure out how to get around safely. Thanks for the great additional information on another great spot in our Great Lakes!!
Title: Re: Lake MI, Wilderness State Park
Post by: PineLk 49 on June 18, 2013, 07:47:17 AM
Took the annual trip and hit it perfect. Fish to be caught for everyone.It is running some what late this year because of the cool weather.

Lake Mich. is up a little, but still needs a lot of help.

If anyone wanted to take a kid or a loved one, it is such a great experience of a life time. If you need info I would be more than happy to share!!


PS. The home made donuts at the store by the camp ground are the best in the state. Thats the main reason I go.  ;)