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i'm going to be fishing st clair in late september. does anyone have any info to share about catching the smallies that time of year; where and how? i heard the smallies are out of the st clair river then, and into the detroit river, any truth to that? any info is appreciated. Derrek
 

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Why would they leave the St. Clair River? They're still in there just fine. They may also be in the Detroit River. I don't fish there much. The south shore can be awesome some years as fall progresses. Find lots of forage and you should find some bass.
 

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Your so correct Dan. The Channel Mouths are also very good. Spring and Fall.
 

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Tore them up in the St. Clair channels this weekend. Two of us landed 80 to 90 keepers up to 4 pounds Saturday and Sunday. Also landed the biggest musky ever for me. It jumped like a smally...only a LOT bigger. It was probably an average musky for the guys who actually fish for them, but it was close to 50" long.

It hit a 5" St. Clair Goby tube on a 5/16 jig in about 18 feet of water in the shipping channel. Couldn't figure out why the smallies weren't biting on that spot until my line slowly plowed into the current. That's my 3rd musky this year on the 5" St. Clair Goby tube. They must like them. The smallies sure do, along with my favorite green pumpkin, chartreuse and purple flake and the always good smoke, gold purple flake.
 

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Dan,

I've never responded to one of you posts, but I read them all. You are very open with your fishing reports. Far more open than any other tourney angler I know.

I heard mention of the South Shore being productive in the fall. I'm know the area around the hump very well. I find the South Shore to be a very general term that is throw around a lot. Is this the Askins Pt/Pike Creek area. What kind of depth? There are two pronounced depth breaks along the entire SS.

Thanks.
 

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Pike Creek is always good for Smallies. The whole shoreline is productive. In fact most of the shoreline in the whole lake is good. This is a class AAA Smallmouth lake.Bob
 

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Hit the Detroit River/Erie on the Canadian side Monday morning. Water was cloudy/off white. Fished about 5 hours and only catch 1 smallmouth. Marked a lot of fish but nothing was biting. The weather did stink! Didn't see any baitfish. I was planning on making the run down there for the fish-off, now I'm having second thoughts. Anyone else experiencing similar fishing conditions on Erie? Sounds like Dan has them figured out in the St. Clair channels, you fishing the fish-off this year? Should we expect another day-1 20 pound bag?
 

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You know, that's a tournament from the past I love and hate at the same time for obvious reasons. I think this year, I'd be happy with a huge bag either day, but I'm on way more keeper spots this time. The wind will have a lot to do with how quick I can get a limit each day and then how much time I have left to try to get those 3 to 5 bigger bass bites.

It's a lot harder to find schools of big bass this year, but many schools of keepers have a big fish or two or three mixed in with them. Seems to be a common norm now. Running up from Erie in the BFL has cost me fishing time, but it's mainly been wind changes and the luck of who gets the key bites (and doesn't lose them) to whether or not the limit is 11 to 13 verses 15 to 18.

There are still small groups of bigger bass out there, but they are just harder to hit when you need them. I've been catching them off and on. I like the wind forecast so far. Even on Erie, there's been a lot of the back seat guy weighing a huge bag while the front seat guys struggles and a little of the opposite. It will be interesting, but I do expect to get small limits pretty quick each day unless the weather really goes nuts.

As far as 20+? It's possible, but low probability based on the average size of the larger bass coming into the boat, the number of smaller bass we're wading through to get them and that some are going to the front guy and some to the back guy. No magic guarantees.

For the South shore, Askins Point rock bars can be awesome, but have been inconsistent enough for me this year that I've haven't gone done there in a few weeks. In the fall, 8 to 10 foot is a good starting depth, but part of the fall will see bass in very shallow water around rock bars and any decent weed beds. I like Pikes Creek better this year and have caught a ton of keepers out there. Haven't been there in a few weeks either, but last time we got them in 7+ to 9+ throwing spinnerbaits across scattered rocks, dragging tubes among the same, and casting tubes to rock bars and rock piles we comes across. I fish mostly within a mile of the mouth of Pikes Creek in a semi-circle. I have favorite key areas, but there are really bass scattered all over out there. There are bass out much farther and deeper, and some bass will go shallower as the water cools.

Belle River to Ruscom River has some scattered rock bars in the same depths, but they aren't as consistent for me and much spottier. When you're out there, you might as well hit the Hump.

Stony Pt is a huge area of rock bars from 5 to 13 feet or more. The main pivotal areas are about 7 feet deep. Basically follows the contours of the shore itself. It attracts a huge number of bass, but because of it's size, takes more time to start to understand movements on.

There really are areas scattered all along the South Shore. I think everyone develops their comfort zone and areas based on what they like to fish. All of it has some current and it's stronger the closer you are to the Detroit River. I always think that current bass tend to average shallower than calm water bass. Just a generalization.
 
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