We'll be fishing out of a 2007 Stratos 200 Pro XL with a Mercury Optimax 225 Pro XS.
In April, the Detroit River gets one of the largest walleye runs in the country. Fishing is usually tough in the beginning of the run, but the chances of hanging a large female is better. As more fish enter the river the fishing heats up. Limits upon limits of walleye are caught each day. This is a great opportunity to load up the freezer with fillets. This is the only catch-and-keep fishing I allow. Fishing will involve vertical jigging with artificial baits along different stretches of the Detroit River.
The early season bass fishing is phenomenal as well. Fishing can be pretty easy usually on Lake St. Clair. Fish can be had on various baits but jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and Provider Tackle tubes being tops on my list. In late April, the fish will be cruising shallow areas looking for places to begin spawning rituals. This type of fishing will continue through the spawn and into June and July.
Fishing in the summer can be spotty. Fish start moving around to their summer haunts and there are a variety of ways to catch fish. The lake can be very good but spotty. Lake St. Clair is a big bowl and there are not a lot of off shore structures like there is on Erie. The lake is expansive and sometimes fish are hard to pinpoint. When fish are found, tubes and dropshots get the nod for me, although there are times when fish will come up and eat spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and other reaction types.
Fish also migrate into the channels and into the St. Clair River. The St. Clair River offers people the opportunity at a true trophy smallmouth. Last year I caught many fish approaching the 6 lb mark and I caught my personal largest smallmouth a 6-2 beauty. Fishing is not usually fast and furious up there but for a true trophy hunter it may be the place to be. Fishing up there is similar to jigging for walleye, but I like to use the normal standby tube and dropshot rig. Experimenting with other baits can be productive as well, as pressure begins to add up by more and more people fishing the river.
Fall time is a great time to be on the lake but weather can hinder the fishing. Fall weather usually means windy weather and that will leave the lake in a muddy mess. The south shore of Lake St. Clair can be very good and there is a shallow movement of fish. Catching big smallies on rat-l-traps this time of the year is my favorite way to catch’em. Again, tubes will also work, as well as other reaction type baits.
When packing for a smallmouth trip, if you want to bring your own equipment, bring some tubes. Check out www.providertackle.com for any terminal tackle you’ll need for a trip with me. As far as colors go, bring tubes in greens, browns, smokes, and pearls. Bring an assortment of spinnerbaits and reaction type baits. I will provide tackle, but if you have your own preferences feel free to bring your own.
As far as rods, I recommend a couple of 7 foot medium power spinning rods and a couple of 7 foot medium heavy and medium casting rods. These will cover most of the fishing we will be doing.