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Author Topic: Walmart BFL 6/23 Lake St Clair  (Read 1840 times)

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rufus

Walmart BFL 6/23 Lake St Clair
« on: July 18, 2012, 07:17:12 PM »

I haven't reported in a while, I don't get much computer time even with 2 macbooks, and an ipad in the house. They are always tied up by the wife and kids. It's okay though, I'd rather be fishing:) Anyway, the Coach and I headed up to start prefishing on Tuesday before the tourney.

Tuesday was spent checking old spots and found out quickly that St Clair was kicking them out. We fished from 2-18 fow with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, senkos, tubes, and most notably smoke Erie Darters. The most productive water was deep weeds in 16-18 fow where the fish were schooled up and eating the darter like it was candy. Even though it was productive it was not producing the biggest fish. The crankbait was getting the big bites. The weeds had an easy 15-18 pounds in em, the cranking area had over 20, but the bites were way fewer.

Wednesday was spent looking for new water and checking some old spots if we got close. We found more deep weeds that held fish and certain areas where the fish were larger, but I felt the areas were limited to an 18 pound sack, more was possible and there were enough 4 pounders to get 20, but it would have to be a perfect day. I always look for a 20 pound sack and am never comfortable til I find it and will take major risks and throw my practices away to go for broke. We were catching a lot of fish and averaging 45-55 keepers a day, but 4 pounders were not common.

Thursday I got a call that the tournament director wanted to tag along around 2 pm. There were severe storms predicted for the afternoon so we went to our deep weeds in canada for the morning looking for new water and found the same results as the day before. My hope was to find the gold mine weedbed, but after several new locations were found my hopes at 20 pounds in those weeds were fading.

At 2 pm we headed over to pick up Mark. We decided to take him to some areas to catch some numbers close by as storms were quickly approaching. We had to keep running north to get away from them and did catch a bunch of small ones and were finally ran in by a major storm. We waited it out at the ramp and with only an hour and a half left to fish went back out to the lake. I told Mark I would show him how awesome of a lake it was and took him to an area I've never fished. I just wanted to show him that the lake has fish everywhere. I told him it wasn't likely we would catch hawgs, but we would catch something.

It was breezy so I showed him what most guys do on Clair and that is drift. Well the first 1/4 mile we didn't have a sniff and I was getting ready to prove my theory wrong when all of a sudden we drifted into the gold mine and began thumping the snot out of 3 pounders. The GPS was getting a workout by the Coach and Mark was having a ball. It was quickly getting dark and we had to leave those fish but decided it was definitely an area that had to be checked the next day.

Friday was spent quickly checking my most productive water quickly to see if they were still there. My crankbait bite seemed to be getting stronger and the fish were pretty good ones and 20 was not out of the question with them. The deep weeds still had the bigger fish in the same spots.

My brother Darren bought a boat this year and decided to fish after a long 4 day week at work where he put in 50 hours in 4 days. He arrived at 11 am and called me to see if I could help him out. He has never fished St Clair so I gave him two coordinates from the night before to check and we would be there shortly to look as well. We arrived after he had been there an hour and immediately began catching fish.

They were all over 3 pounds up to 4 pounds and you could basically catch them at will. They were eating smoke Erie Darters like they were candy. Friday is a shorter day for prefishing as we have a meeting at 6:30 we have to attend so we didn't get a lot of time to look around, but I can tell you that this area was hot and had an easy 18 pounds and probably more if you were to keep sorting. That coupled with my cranking fish that didn't seem to bite til after 10 am and I thought I had a really good pattern.

Before I go on I need to tell everyone that the Saturday before Darren, the Coach and I spent the day on Erie just fun fishing. We whacked em landing 7 fish over 5 pounds along with many 3-4 pounders. This had never left my mind the whole practice and even though I was on something solid on St Clair the weather looked good for a long run. I knew if they were still on I had a great shot at a win.

A call from a buddy who went out there on Wednesday confirmed what my head was tellling me. He said he caught 4 big ones on the stuff I fished the week before. I was really torn though, I am not the kind of guy who likes to fish areas that I have not seen more than 2 days ago and the fact that erie was supposed to be flat concerned me as that will turn them off quick.

Tourney morning I decided the risk was worth it and I decided to take a gamble and make the run. I gave my brother the stuff I found and headed for Erie. It was a great morining run at 65-72 mph all the way there. It was a 60 mile run. My co-angler and I quickly began catching fish, but no quality bites were coming aboard. I will say I stopped by my brother to pee:) and make a few casts before the run. We spent 15 mins there and I was able to put a 3-9 in the well before the trip to Erie.

Erie wasn't totally flat, but it definitely wasn't rough as we began to put fish after fish in the boat. My co-angler was getting them on a green pumpkin tube and I was getting them on a darter and his green tube. He got a few more quality bites in the morning and had 3 just shy of 4 pounds in the box along with a couple of sub 3 pounders. I had a bunch of 2 1/2-3 pounders. I was catching smaller fish than I could have stayed 50 miles closer to catch!!!! I did hook and lose 3 solid fish due to some net mishaps that I won't go into detail on, but I know that is fishing and it happens. One was a solid 4+ and the other 2 were 3 1/2+.

I culled through 23 fish and got a 16+ bag in the well but nowhere close to what I came for. I stuck it out and moved around a little but just didn't improve. The bite slowed as the day went on and after I got done culling with 30 minutes to go I made a crucial error I have never made in 20+ years of tourney fishing. I forgot to turn the well on after culling.

I looked in the well before leaving to find 5 barley alive smallies floating. I quickly gave them air and rejuvenade and headed for St Clair in what proved to be a neck jarring ride up the detroit river. It took an hour and a half to get back with several stops to fill up the wells and add more juice.

Arriving at weigh in I found 2 fish had expired, but 3 had returned to upright and were swimming happily around. My co-angler lost one that had swallowed his tube, but the rest of his were fine. I weighed in 16-8 and lost a pound for the two dead ones. My co weighed in 17-10 and lost 8 oz for his dead one. I ended with 15-8 and 49th place and my co had 17-2 and finished 15th and cashed a check. My brother spent the entire day on the good stuff and had 19-3 for 10th place and his co had 18-15 good enough for 4th on the co side. It was definitely a disappointing day but I was a good guide . God bless everyone I will post the next tourney as soon as I get access to a computer!!!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 03:58:46 PM by djkimmel »
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djkimmel

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Re: Walmart BFL 6/23 Lake St Clair
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 03:59:35 PM »

I sure appreciate the time you take to write your detailed, informative and entertaining reports! Thanks!! Good luck with the fishing (and with the computer devices)!!
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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 The Bass Federation of Michigan.
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