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Author Topic: need detailed st clair info  (Read 8094 times)

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Ranger 373V

need detailed st clair info
« on: April 10, 2013, 11:18:41 PM »

hey yall ive spent 2 days searching online trying to plan a trip for the last weekend in may... but im not familiar with the area, id like to go somewhere on the south side of the lake to fish the detroit river and south st clair.... i found a ramp finally, a st jean launch ramp.. is this a good area to leave the truck in a parking lot all day? but what about a cheap hotel? im splitting the cost with a buddy... but we dont wanna pay $100 a night for a room... as a last resort i found a hotel in canton days inn for $40 a night...but i dont want to drive 35 minutes a day to fish... any help would be great. going for smallies, and i have no idea where to fish so if yall got suggestions for a better ramp and locations to fish please help!
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Slipkey

Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 12:13:28 AM »

There's quite a few on here who know fishing south St. Clair and the northern Det. River better than I do, but since I live on the west side of Michigan and camp or stay in hotels whenever I visit, I can help a bit there.  I'd suggest looking at Roseville for hotels (Map). I've stayed at the Super 8 there ($69 per night) and there's also a Red Roof that's reasonable, if not quite as nice.  It's about a 10-15 minute drive to either the Harley Ensign Launch or St. Clair Metropark - two of the best launches on Western Lake St. Clair.  If you want to camp, check out Algonac State Park.  You can launch in Algonac and be out into Anchor Bay in 5 min.  You're getting in to more of the NW Lake there, but there's also plenty of fishing to be had in the U.S. channels of the St. Clair River.  Algonac has a few smaller hotels with reasonable rates as well.

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Cy

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 11:16:19 AM »

Ranger,

Here is something to look at.  It is the best way to cut your learning curve down on St Clair.  Might even be better than having a guide.
http://xtremebasstackle.com/Catalog/Store.mvc.aspx/IP/IPMMHD
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fiker

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 11:35:05 AM »

I've used the St. Jean launch.  I still will when fishing the south shore in Canadian waters. 
Having said that though, it is not a very good launch in my opinion. 
It is steep, making retrieving a little odd.  there also seems to be an odd current even though it's protected.
The docks are all but falling in the water and have been for years. 
I always worry about the security.  When I launch in the AM there's always an attendant there to take my money.  When I come back around 1 or 2 there's nobody there. 

The launch is close to the mouth of the river across from Belle Isle. 

If I was staying around St. Clair shores, I'd use either the DNR launch at Crocker & Jefferson, or Harley Ensign, or Metro Beach.  I'm thinking that at the time you are coming you'll be closer to the fish out of these launches, although it always depends on the weather too.
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thedude

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 01:33:05 PM »

there are launches at 9 and 11 mile as well. You have to pay but convenient if you are just fishing the mile roads and don't want to burn gas in the boat.  I forget which one, i think its 9 mile, you have to walk like half a mile from the ramp to the parking lot however.
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huston

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 04:21:34 PM »

You're right, nice walk about 9 mile ramp and one ramp in and one ramp out. Blossom Heath has a ramp also but you have to idle a long way to get to the lake. 11 mile in back of the library isn't bad. My choice is Crocker,(Clinton River cut off. You can go up or down the US side and also fish canals.
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Got Fish??

Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 04:33:36 PM »

I myself don't like StJeans. It's not in  a  good area. Pay the extra $ and  put in at StClair shores 11 mile and make the run north or south? When you come out of port, you will be at the blue wall. Not a bad place to start.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 04:39:23 PM by Got Fish?? »
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Ranger 373V

Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 11:47:12 PM »

can anyone help out with a few spots to fish on the south end? i guess im staying in canton at my buddies house instead of a hotel.

also how does fishing in canadian waters work? ive never been here..are you able to with a MI licence? is the border in the lake marked? im going to look up some more ramps that yall mentioned
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mikesmiph

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 07:36:40 AM »

NO, you cannot fish in Canada with a Michigan license. You have to have a Canadian license. They are easy to get if you decide to go there. They also have an 800 number you have to call before entering their waters. The border is primarily the shipping channel. There is plenty of water to fish on the US side. Don't bother with Canada on your first trip. Just my opinion.
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fiker

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 08:11:02 AM »

You stated earlier that you were coming in May.  The Bass season in Ontario doesn't open until the 4th Saturday in June. 

There are no marker buoys in the lake showing the international border, but it should show on your GPS map chip. 

I agree with Mike however.  There's plenty of water to fish on the U.S. side.  It's really a question of what depth are they in, and then find the structure pattern they are relating to at that depth.  On Clair, if you have side imaging it's not too hard to find areas with rock/boulders.  Not a bad place to start looking. 

If you start in the area between 11 mile and 13 1/2 mile you'll get a feel for what's happening.  Other boats will give you an idea of how far off of shore to start.  Sometimes it's fairly close, and other times you'll be miles off of shore.  It all depends.
Spring is taking a long time coming this year, so who knows where they'll be in late May.  They might still be spawning in Anchor Bay, or it may be as far south as Windmill point, or it may be mostly done by then.  They can be in 3 FOW or they might have moved out to 13. 

A good piece of advice though, and well worth the money, is to contact Wayne Carpenter at: http://www.combat-bassfishing.com/.   He sells marked map sets of Lake St. Clair.  You can purchase just one page at a time if you wish.  If you buy the map called, "The Mile roads", it will get you going nicely in late May.  There's a lot of thought and research that goes into his maps.  I've literally had days that stunk until I pulled out his maps and went where he said to go.  You can actually save the cost of the map in fuel savings in the first day or so.  And you'll have more fun doing it.

I also highly recommend Wayne's first book "Smallmouth Confidential I".   It is a great primer on Clair.  It also gives marked way points to try fishing. 

Wayne also sells baits through Xtremebasstackle.  At that time of year 4" tubes in the Canadian Mist, Slither, or formula G3 colors would cover most situations.

I know this has become a Wayne Carpenter commercial, but I really believe in his products.  And, for the record, I'm not sponsored by him.  I just own almost everything he sells cause it works so well.
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So much water.  So many lures.  So little time.

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huston

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 09:48:20 AM »

Amen to Wayne's products.......
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Got Fish??

Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 06:09:11 PM »

Hello ranger373V. I think maybe you don't realize how big  St Clair is. Start out in spots that have other boats, don't stray to far on  your own. There is good fishing close to the ports  where you will launch your boat. I recomend a map of the lake , and a GPS. The lake can get worked up fast. Before you no it you can be in  real trouble.
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thedude

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 11:03:55 PM »

its really not that big of a deal to run from the river (far south ) all the way up to anchor bay. When i make day trips out there, we usually launch at the mile roads and fish south, then trailer up to selfridge and fish anchor bay. Even by boat, its really not that far.  I wouldn't get too hung up "staying south". The whole western basin has great fishing.   The mouth of the river, the large flat (delphine) outside the river, the mile roads - especially around fords cove and out around the large point at 9mile and most of the west end of anchor bay will all produce fish.  Start with tubes and change colors up until you find one that produces and keep track of where you get bites.   It seems like in may when the water is cool yet, starting out deeper and working your way shallow as the day goes on is a good rule of thumb on where to find them. Watch the other boats, you'll notice guys out deep or in shallower are catching fish - good indication of which direction the fish are moving.
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djkimmel

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2013, 12:49:34 AM »

hey yall ive spent 2 days searching online trying to plan a trip for the last weekend in may... but im not familiar with the area, id like to go somewhere on the south side of the lake to fish the detroit river and south st clair.... i found a ramp finally, a st jean launch ramp.. is this a good area to leave the truck in a parking lot all day? but what about a cheap hotel? im splitting the cost with a buddy... but we dont wanna pay $100 a night for a room... as a last resort i found a hotel in canton days inn for $40 a night...but i dont want to drive 35 minutes a day to fish... any help would be great. going for smallies, and i have no idea where to fish so if yall got suggestions for a better ramp and locations to fish please help!

Frankly, 2 days isn't a lot of time to research a lake this size. You've been given most of what you need to start. Please search the past St. Clair fishing reports. Plenty of details previously posted there to help you.

Please also search Ontario nonresident fishing license and border crossing requirements. Everyone bears the responsibility to be familiar with local regulations. Bass fishing is illegal in Ontario waters until the last Saturday in June. Until we can get that changed someday. The phone number to call as soon as your boat crosses the border is 888-CANPASS. Make sure everyone in the boat has proper ID - an enhanced drivers license or passport.

Near the end of May the bass fishing is real good in Anchor Bay and along the west shore of St. Clair. Plus it is legal to catch and release bass in these Michigan waters. That alleviates any concern about launching at St. Jeans which can be safe 10 times and then your tires get slashed and windows smashed. If you launch there do not leave anything visible of any value. Many have launched many times without incident while others launch once and get broken into. I suspect some of the people collecting launch fees don't even work there. It removes the border crossing and fishing out of season risk too.

I recommend the book No Secrets on St. Clair V1 for low budget shortcut to catching more bass much easier around the lake or for 10 to 15 year learning curve cut and a huge savings in boat and truck gas buy the entire Marked Maps HD GPS chart book. Both are sold on the GreatLakesBass.com Store. www.greatlakesbass.com/store/
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 05:07:22 PM by djkimmel »
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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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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2013, 12:55:49 AM »

My advice is designed to help you get the most out of this website and the most risk free enjoyment from your trip to St. Clair. You may want to look at our May MadWags Memorial Members tournament too under that forum board. It is a cheap and fun way to get to know each other and learn some about one of the best bass lakes in the world!
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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.

Ranger 373V

Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2013, 11:37:03 PM »

thanks for the replys, yeah i was just curious about canada... i really dont look to go to far out, being its my first time out there. i got the 998 side imiage to find stuff. ill look up in to that area in st clair shores for a hotel maybe to cut down on the half hour drive a day.

i know its a big lake and it demands respect. but as with okee or erie..keepin cool and not getting in over your head is a must. im going to look more in to the north side of the lake.
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fiker

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2013, 06:50:39 AM »

I would still purchase Wayne Carpenter's book "No Secrets on Lake St. Clair Volume 1".  List price $14.95.
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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 12:43:36 AM »

thanks for the replys, yeah i was just curious about canada... i really dont look to go to far out, being its my first time out there. i got the 998 side imiage to find stuff. ill look up in to that area in st clair shores for a hotel maybe to cut down on the half hour drive a day.

i know its a big lake and it demands respect. but as with okee or erie..keepin cool and not getting in over your head is a must. im going to look more in to the north side of the lake.

The time of year you are talking about, you do not have to go far from shore. You can usually fish pretty easy other than a strong east wind. With the multiple public boat ramps from 9 Mile Rd north to Selfridge, you can usually launch fairly close to the fish too. The main challenge sometimes being a mudline after heavy rain or wind, but with all the current going on out there, you can usually run in or out a little, or north or south a little and find some bass.

I would stay away from St. Jeans, especially early or late in the year. Despite the anglers who launch there all the time without incident, I'm aware of many incidents including a close friend who's Suburban was cleaned out the day after I launched there my first time. The only times I have really launched there in the past 6 or 7 years was when there was an event there with known staff present all day.

After my first day ever out of that ramp years ago, I came in to find my old camper okay but several cans of fixaflat and 5 piles of auto glass on the ground nearby. Some slightly scary person (no shirt, line of old bullet scars) told me it was okay, someone just went a little crazy after a breakup and took it out on 5 or 6 vehicles... ::) Next evening my friend called me about his expensive break in. It's hard to fish, even on St. Clair, wondering all day if your stuff will still be there when you get in... ;D

I haven't fished for bass out of season in Michigan or Ontario for a number of years now, but in Ontario, you rarely see a wildlife officer. But when you do, they are pretty clear that no license is a ticket, whether you left it in the truck or not, and they can and sometimes will take the gear you were fishing with as evidence. This happened to a boater I drew years ago in a tournament who left his Ontario license in his wallet at Elizabeth Park. Failure to show is a ticket. Plus, he had no ID so they discussed for a while if my vouching for him was good enough or would they take him (and his boat) in?

This was before all the border changes made things more strict. They were very friendly, but very business-like. In the end, they let me vouch for him and took pictures of his gear. I imagine the delay in getting back to fishing and the risk of losing gear has gone up, so I recommend staying in Michigan waters. The fishing is really good in Michigan waters that time of year.

Ontario bass on St. Clair opens the 4th Saturday in June (Zone 19 includes St. Clair River, Detroit River and Lake Erie - full 2013 regs: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@letsfish/documents/document/286927.pdf).
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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.

Ranger 373V

Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2013, 04:32:10 AM »

I see this was moved...when did st clair become a great lake? Not what i was taught in school...lol jk. Thanks for yalls help. Got a hotel by lake a super 8. Gonna launch at st clair metro park. Is there good large mouth fishin in all these little eivers i see coming in to st clair and the st clair river its self?
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fiker

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Re: need detailed st clair info
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2013, 07:11:47 AM »

There is.  You can fish for large mouth all the way out to the Lake.  On windy days when you get blown off of the lake you can fish the canal systems that are around.  There is also good large mouth water in Anchor Bay on the west and north sides.  However.....

When I fish Clair, if I have to give up on smallies and fish largies I feel cheated.  I can fish for large mouth bass here at home without the time and expense of driving an hour +.  But the small mouth fishing on Clair is fantastic, and so is the fish. 
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So much water.  So many lures.  So little time.

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