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Is my boat big enough?

2259 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  fishwacker
I have a 14' Sea Nymph / 20 HP Mercury. Is it safe to fish St. Clair ? Love to musky fish and would like to try. Any feedback would be great.
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It doesn't have any leaky rivets does it??

I've seen plenty of boats that size out there. I just recommend that you check the weather and wind conditions before you head out.

Wind direction can help determine where you launch. For example, if the wind is coming from the south/south west you can launch at Selfridge and fish in front of the airforce base and be protected from the wind. If the wind is coming from the North launch out of Fair Haven and fish the north end of the lake.

Aside from the winds, heavy boat traffic can also turn the lake into an absolute mess for smaller boats. You can launch out of Deckers Landing and fish the North channel and the Sni. Both of those areas have large no wake zones and good wind cover.

My boat is an 18ft aluminum v-hull with a 90hp Merc. This was my first season on St. Clair and I've experienced some of the roughest water I've ever fished. It's a little scary the first few times. Just be very careful, wear your PFD and learn what your "comfort zone" is and you'll be fine.

My first day in 3 footers scared the crap out of me. I spent some time driving in them varying speeds and hitting waves at different angles, etc just getting used to them and gaining confidence. Now, 3 footers are "just another day on St. Clair".

So do some homework, use good judgement and let fear and common sense be your guide.

Good luck,

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make sure you have a bilge pump on it. I have a 16' crestliner and it does fine, most days anyways. Been beat up pretty good in it too. Watch the wind and pick your days.
I had a 14ft sea nymph w/ a 10hp and was fine on st. clair. You have to be careful of the other boats. I would stay away from the clinton if I could ,and fish A-bay or the channels.
I agree with the comments made, and would take Mexque's advice on staying away from the Clinton (and Metro for that matter). There is some good Muskie fishing in the north end of Anchor Bay, especially in the spring. Boat traffic is not as bad. You could launch at Selfridge, or there are a few others north of that. Also, going out early will benefit you. Good luck to you
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I have a 14 ft starcraft w/ 10 horse. I concur with the above advice. East Coast said it best. Stay in areas that you can get out of the weather that can blow up in a hurry. Biggest concern in summer is pleasure boat wake waves. Selfridge launch at end of M-59 offers good muskie fishing. Caught and released a 43" 20+lb muskie and several other nice fish there this year.

Also, the DNR launch by Deckers provides easy and protected access to some good fishing in Anchor Bay and the sni. One summer day I even took the trip down the sni all the way across to fish the channel between Gull and Walpole Island. It was a hike with my 10 horse but hit some great fishing holes along the way.

Point is: 14ft is not ideal but just use your head and it will get the job done. I fish mainly during the week in the summers as there is much less boat traffic.

Good Luck, tight lines.

Just remember what the sheriff said in Jaws the first time the Shark stuck his head out of the water. As he back intot he wheel house with an incredible lok on his face:" We're gonna need a bigger boat!"
During the summer you'll want to avoid this area like the plague.

I refer to it as the Bermuda Triangle. The roughest water is caused by all of the pleasure boats going from Metro and the Clinton River over to Gull Island and Muscamoot Bay.

It's a friggin mess


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I think we should come up with a creative name for the area, like "The Triangle of Loose Rivets!"

I'd do better, but there's still 4:01 left in THE GAME!!! Gotta go.
I have a 16.5 ft sea nymph backtroller that I used to use to fish lake st clair, and while I also have to agree about that triangle area being too rough for a 16 ft aluminum boat (at times),
if you fish early in the morning and get back to the launch at metro or south river rd. by 10:00 am you can get a good 4-5 hours in before it gets crazy. the mouth of the clinton river between noon and 6:00 pm is way too dangerous for a small aluminum boat (I have learned the hard way) 3-4 ft waves coming at you from all directions!
I almost didn't make it back to the dock, with the bilge pumping the whole time.
make a friend with someone who lives in st clair shores,
they have a nice ramp south of ten mile for city residents,
there is good fishing in that area within one mile of shore,
and it runs south all the way to the det. river. there are still big waves from time to time in that area, but you will have time to position your boat to best handle the waves
as the waves won't be from all directions at once.

If you are serious about muskies than you should really think about buying a bigger boat (18 ft - 32ft).
It is a big lake and there are too many good places to fish that you can't reach safely with a small boat.
And thanks to the reckless disregard of some of the" tuna boats" for small boats (often it seems like they are not going to go out of their way to avoid swamping you).
it is never really 100 percent save for a small boat to fish lake st clair or the det. river either for that matter.
Your boat is great for inland lakes, protected island areas
(like the georgan bay), and rivers too. So keep your boat and start saving for a boat that is safe to use on the big lakes.
I caught lots of muskies in my 22.5 ft aluminum boat
this summer. both economical and safe!
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