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Time for another discussion. I mainly fish inland lakes that are 1000 acres or less. I'm looking to fish the Detroit and St. Clair rivers in the next year. How do you know where to fish on rivers that are 30 miles long like the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. Do you break the river down into sections and go from there, or do you just pick spots on the whole river that look good????
 

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What a question. You can fish the rivers the same as any other place you fish. Structure is what you fish and that is what you look for. If I were to go back into Bass fishing all the time I would spend most of it fishing the mouths of all the channels. A very good spot is at the mouth of the north channel across from Deckers landing. As you go out toward Grassy island there is a sand bar near the end of the channel on the left side that has steps into deeper water that the Smallies travel most of the year. There are hot spots up and down both rivers it is just a matter of finding them. The Main Lake and Anchor Bay are better as far as I'm concerned. The whole shoreline is hot for either Smallie's or Largemouth's. I wrote a book that is still in some stores titled Bass In' Lake St Clair II. Find a copy some where and I'm sure it will help you. Bob
 

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I think what you'll find the most diffulcult to learn is how FAST you move, the current there is around 7 miles a hour. So adjusting to that is what you'll have to do, you just simply crank down those rivers. Even on calm days. So if you use jigs you'll need to go heavier. Say 1/2 oz. or so. Learning the current your in is going to be your biggest challenge. Fishing the rivers and channels is always a bonus on those windy days.. Oh yea watch for freighters, The boat traffic will cause some rockin and a rollin. So try and pick your days.

h2o<------says be patient big fish in rivers and channels that's where the cool water is during summer. Always listen to MuskieBobSr. He has a Masters Degree on the lake he is the Professor!!!!
 

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Think,.."Eddies" and "Current Breaks".....fish are most likely to hang out behind or close to the drops and the weeds, boulders, piling, wrecks, or whatever "structure" is present that is causing the water to look like it's "boiling".....the slack water behind these areas (eddies) are where the fish will be positioned. They dart out and grab food as the current whisks it by them, so when your bait is coming out of the current and into the slack water,....that's a prime location for a strike. Big Smallmouth will also be located anywhere from a foot deep to 30feet (bottom of the channel) so be prepaired to cover a lot of water to find them. Many a tournament angler has fished the river without a bite for hours on end,...and then you'll find that one spot where you'll get 5 TOADS off the same spot in a matter of minutes!!! River fishing is a whole science in itself.....but concentrate on eddies and current breaks as a starting point.

Mac
 

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Both the boys are right. The Rivers are fast not to mention very deep. I have fished with Mac and he is one of two that have outfished me for Bass. The other being Minie of course but that is only once each so I have another turn coming. The docks that dot both sides of the rivers and channels are good holding areas. There are also weed flats along the edges that will have fish on them at most times of the year. One bait that I really like for river fishing are the Bill Lewis Rattle Traps. Try the Blood Red and the different Crawdad color's. The spot I mentioned in my first reply has a really big Reed Bed on it that the Smallies feed in at night. I catch Bass there most of the time. It is also a great Muskie hangout. I'm sure you will see one of them if you get into a few Bass there. Also fish along the weeds that are on the ten foot drop on the Norhteast side of the Channel. Tubes and Gitzits work here as well as on other areas of the River. Everyone that knows me can tell you what my real favorite bait for Bass is. I won't catch as many on it but they are usually the big girls out of the schools.. Pay attention to all the fellows that post here for you as they will all give you good advice but remember we all also share so it will be your turn one day. Good Fishing nad Have a great Christmas and New Year. Bob Brunner.
 

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QUOTE(h2o @ Dec 19 2003, 06:15 AM)Also look at where other boats are and use your binoculars to see what fish there catching,, always watch for other boats and join in the pack.
Please be aware that if you are using this tactic you may be offending some people. While this practice is generally not a bad idea if you are a perch or walleye meat hunter, there are many others that frown severely on this. Most people do fish for the relaxation and solitude of the sport and do not think highly of "someone rolling in on them" when they are hooked up or even "glassing" them from a distance.

Do a search on this site for Ben Trodder and I think you will see what I mean.

After that being said, to start I would get a cood hydrographic map of the river you plan to fish and concentrate on flats that break the current near deep water, the ones that are near wrecks/obstructions or weed lines are going to be especially good. But you cannot overlook the bare sand breaks either, I have caught some pretty big bass from seemingly "nothing" breaks.

Mini
 

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When there is a pack what's one more.

h2o<---says not the lone fisherman
 

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H2o,
I guess you could call that the trickle effect eh.
Do as Mini stated, look up "Ben Trodder"

Its much more fun to find your own "Sh_t" anyway...
 

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QUOTE(h2o @ Dec 19 2003, 11:07 AM)
When there is a pack what's one more.

h2o<---says not the lone fisherman
Well with the sheer amount of fishing pressure its alot like the shampoo commercial....

Told two friends and she told two friends and so on and so on....lol

Mini
 

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Don't get me wrong. Always respect your fellow fisherman, But when you see a bunch of boats packed together the fish are there. Nothing wrong with joining the pack. That's good information for someone wanting to learn where the fish are. He might go to that spot and be the only boat the next day.
 

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Lots of overlooked spots in the Detroit river.Lots of big changes since the water levels have dropped also.Spawning grounds are now sand.Watch where you run your boat.One important point is this river is man made & dug out in the 20's by the corp of engineer's.Lots of spots that are not on any map.Fishing in the past few years though is tougher due to low water levels.Used to be lots of 4-5 pound fish.
 

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As for following people......A few years ago when the Canadian Open was won on a small spot way out on St.Clair, some clown followed the eventual winner out there on the last day. The next week there was a BFL event and it was quite easy to see where the spot was because there were about 6 boats casting in towards a spot that was about 20 yards across from my estimation and was not far from the shipping channel. If I remember right, in the BFL, 2 in the top 5 came off that spot that day. If my story is all true and you were one of those fishermen fishing that spot that day, and you found it by following someone else, you should get up and walk to the nearest mirror and you will see a loser.
 

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DRP Good for you. It is so true. I more than likely have had more boats follow me around than anyone else on the lake. Believe me it gets old after awhile. It has been as many as fifteen to twenty boats move in on me on any given day. That is one of the reasons I sold my boat. I'm going out in disguise from now on out. I know I have to blame myself for some of this as I have been giving spots away for years but I still have some I only visit when I'm alone. You should at least give someone on a spot a few hundred feet. There is hundreds of square miles of water out there and you should be able to fish in peace. Again I support your comments. Bob
 

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There's really very few rules everyone needs to know and follow to be a good person. The main one that applies here is to treat others as you want to be treated. You have have to show and give respect to earn and receive it. It's really very simple.

As many persons who don't seem to get it there are, realistically, I think there's still quite a few anglers who are decent. Examples and all this 'talking' haven't been for nothing.

As far as fishing the St. Clair river for bass goes, I'm all for it. I love rivers. Man, there were some huge stringers out of the river last year.

The thing about rivers is current breaks. Anything that breaks the current can hold smallmouths - from 1 foot to 40+ although I get impatient below about 24, but that's just me. The most exciting thing for me in 2003 was fishing old spots new ways. I found some large numbers of nice bass that I never would have caught last year just by adjusting how I fish certain areas.

Some of it had to do with looking at how everyone else fishes all the 'community' spots and then using my graph and my 'gut' to fish the spot differently. Now, I'm spending all winter wondering if all those bass have been there all along just waiting for me to find them? Guess I'll have to find out next summer.

I think some lighter-fished stuff was hit a lot harder this year than before, but I'm willing to bet there are still some bronze-mines out there to be found yet in those channels. I like prospecting. Research, investigation first. Then taking some samples. And then, the motherlode!

That's how you hope it works anyway. Often, you just find a few 'nuggets' and sometimes you only find fools-gold (or bronze in this case), but every now and then the effort does pay off.

Most bigtime pros recommend breaking large water down into smaller sections. They do this based on seasonal patterns. The rivers are no different. A good plan would be to concentrate on the lower ends early in the season and work your way upstream as the season progresses, but you can catch a lot of bass much of mid-summer into fall just by concentrating on one section or channel.
 
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