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Author Topic: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?  (Read 3892 times)

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Revtro

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St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« on: October 15, 2007, 03:01:54 PM »

Ok, who can help a brutha out?  This has been a great year on St. Clair.  Up until a couple of weeks ago, finding fish hasn't been a problem.  But something strange has happened over the past 2 weeks which has me and many of the guys I know quite mystified. (I'm not the only one... just maybe the one who'll admit it publicly)  ;D 

The Situation
3 and 4 weeks ago, there were good numbers of fish in the channels.  Fishing was good and there were many reliable patterns/locations to catch 'em.  About 3 weeks ago it was like someone flipped a switch and the channels died.  I've checked the channels during the past 2 weeks and it's been awful. A dozen of the anglers that I know (many very good ones) have the same story.  However, the South Shore has been fishing very strongly during that time right up until 2 weeks ago.  2 weeks ago we found fish moving shallow (5 FOW) and the fishing was fairly easy still along the SS.  But since then it's really tapered off... scratch that... it suddenly died!  For instance, here's what happened this past Saturday.

With the brutal Southwest winds, we decided to launch at St. Jean and fish Grosse Pointe Shores.  We found lots of rocks and depth changes.  We fished from 3 FOW out to 12 FOW and didn't come up with much.  So we moved to an area where we found a few fish hanging out in a very small area  We could see them cruising around but they had lockjaw. (Those were the only fish we found Saturday BTW). 

The winds then died down so we ran over to the South Shore.  We fished rock shoals in 9 FOW...nothing.  We fished the shallow areas where the fish were 2 weeks ago... still nothing.  The wind really started blowing, so we hit the Det. River... just a few dinky fish in deep water.  Hit a 12' hole surrounded by 6 FOW just outside the current...nothing.

1 and 2 weeks ago, we covered the Mile Roads fairly thoroughly... nobody home...shallow or deep.  It was just like GP Shores this past Saturday. 

Last week I also ran out to deep water along the S. Shore.  Fished 14 to 16 FOW.  Found a few other boats out there, but no action. 

Not a believer yet
Every year you hear fishermen talk about the fish putting on the proverbial "feed bag" during the fall.  IMHO, I think this must be a wives tale as far as St. Clair goes.  A good friend of mine who's a very good fisherman and has fished SC for 30+ years said to me the other day "fall feed bag?  I've never seen it. It seems like this is the toughest time of the year to catch 'em".  I have to agree.  I have yet to experience this allegedly awesome fall fishing on St. Clair.  I'd love to be proven wrong!!!

Where the rubber meets the road.
No offense anyone, but I would really like to hear from folks who have been out there in the past 2 weeks and have caught them.  I'm not really interested in last year's stories or stories from a month ago.  I'm not interested in waypoints.  But I would very much like to get some input from guys that will actually help us figure this thing out.  I know you're out there.  I'm not asking for your secrets.  And please don't tell me to go to Erie.  The fish can't all leave St. Clair.  They must be there somewhere.  I'm truly stumped at the moment and want to enjoy a few more weeks out there and every year in the fall, I can't figure it out.  Ok, so I suck as a fisherman.  I'm an awful angler.  I can't find fish on my own.  I'm a mooch.  Whatever.  If you believe that, thanks for reading...see ya.  Anyone else...can you help a brutha out?  All I'm asking is for an honest, no bull assessment.  If you've caught them this past weekend for instance...

1. Were they deep or shallow? 
2. What do you think put these fish in the areas they were in? 
3. What can I look for this time of year so that I can figure out where to find them?  (Please don't tell us to "look for the baitfish".  That's no easier than looking for the fish!) 
4. How do you think the water temps affect the fish/baitfish location at this time?
5. In your opinion, what's the migratory pattern happening right now?


If you're willing to speak honestly and really help, I and every fisherman I know (probably 99% of us who were out there this past weekend) who are struggling will be very grateful.  I will name my first child after you.  I'll give you my undying gratitude.  I'll give you a bubble gum pop.  I'll take you out for coffee.  I'll give you public credit for being the best fisherman ever!  What'll it take?  We spend a lot of time here at GLB helping each other with "theoreticals".  That's awesome!  But how about some really practical help? 

Thanks all.  You GLBers are the best.  I'm looking forward to an excellent dialog.
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dartag

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Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2007, 03:24:34 PM »

i read someone had 24 lbs in Paul's shiver tounry.

lots of fish on Cass if you can get them to bite.

ss
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Bloomer

Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2007, 05:51:14 PM »

your guess is as good as mine, was out there on the river/channels  yesterday-fished all over-caught one fish. Fish just vanished.
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UAWBigDog

Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2007, 06:46:20 PM »

Revtro,
When we were out there on October 6, we found them in 4 to 6 feet of water hanging around boulders and weeds.  Now, I would have went right to that pattern if I would have gone there Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday because I got a late start I opted for Belleville and if you read my report it was awful. 

Now back to St. Clair.....I would have gone right to the spot we caught them at last week on the 6th.  If they would not have been there, I would have gone to the shipping channel and fished along the edge of it or opted for the dumping grounds.  I have noticed the last few times out the fishing and patterns have been very similar on St. Clair and Erie until yesterday.  You said there were no fish in those spots on St. Clair.  Was there any bait in the water.  I noticed yesterday on Erie that the bait was still up shallow but not as much.  As a result there seemed to no smallies either or I should say not as many.  I ended up back up the Detroit River catching largemouths and that pattern was off too.  No wind.  No fish.  I always try to follow the food.  Usually that has been pretty reliable.
Even up in the river there were not as many bait fish.  So I think if you find the bait fish, you will find the bass.

BD           ;D
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Revtro

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Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2007, 11:02:13 PM »

Bloomer, I can relate!  It's been craptacular out there.

BD, as soon as the wind allowed, we ran to that area and fished some similar areas also.  The fish were not shallow Saturday.  We covered the area pretty well until the wind started to kick back up.  We saw no bait the entire day.  Anyone else fish this weekend and catch them?
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UAWBigDog

Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2007, 08:01:08 PM »

Rev, did you see the article in today's Free Press.  Gostenik's, (I hope I spelled that right) been catching them pretty good in the mouth of the lower river.  I thought I saw him out there this past week.  He is right about the schoolies.  When you find them you will catch a lot of them.   :D   And there will be a small stretch of structure holding a ton of fish.

If it gets warm this weekend again, they are going to come up shallow as the weather stablizes.   ???  I hope to get out there on Erie or St. Clair and check it out.   :-\'  Conditions have changed every where.  It is going to depend on the bait.  Find the bait and you will find the fish.  I believe that there are several different temps in the water due to the way the cold weather came in so fast.  And now it is going to get warm again.  Planning on fishing Sunday and taking Monday off to fish.  The way the bait has been up shallow on Erie, I feel that with warm weather predicted and calmer winds, that could be the ticket.  However right now Sunday has 12 mph SSW and Monday has 15 mph SSW.  Hard wind for Erie.  Could get a little rough for me.  :'(   

South shore of St. Clair maybe more feasible.  I would look for many spots there or up the westside of the lake to the mile roads and GPYC.  Fish around the perch guys.  Caught a lot of Smallies doing that.     ;)

Going to son's soccer game Saturday and then to UAW Region to vote on Chrysler National Agreement and if I can leave the region by 1400 I may go to Harley right from there since I will be on the eastside.   

BD           ;D     
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Revtro

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Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2007, 06:16:26 PM »

Thanks BD!

Soooo..... no one else fishing St. Clair lately?  Hmm.
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SethV

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Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2007, 10:28:38 PM »

Thanks BD!

Soooo..... no one else fishing St. Clair lately?  Hmm.

Nope, have not been on St Clair in quite awhile.  I am going to be fishing Eildon Lake tomorrow though.  Anyone ever been there?

Seth
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BigSmallie

Re: St. Clair - Where'd the fish go?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2007, 10:46:46 AM »

I haven't been on St. Clair either.........but I can sure tell you that the warm temps have messed up the fall fishing up North.     

The Smallies just would not bite.......but the Largies were on due to the warm stable water temps.   

Once we got that cold snap last weekend.......the Smallies turned on pretty good for Sat. & Sun.

This year has been the poorest fall fishing I've encounterd in a very long time up North...........for the Smallies.

BS  ;)
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