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Lake Erie, St. Clair or Somewhere Else?

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I'm interested in a big trip up north to target smallmouth. Which lake and when would

you recommend we go? Also, please recommend a guide.

 

:party-066:

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I would fish Lake St. Clair for Smallmouth rather than Lake Erie. Lake St. Clair produces decent Smallmouth during the complete open water season.

My son is going to take me out many times in the coming year as I have predominately fished for Walleye on both Lakes Erie and St.Clair and he tells me I am missing out on a lot of great fishing.

I can't recommend a guide service as I have never used one around here.

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While St. Clair and Erie are both great fisheries, the chances that it could be too windy to fish would ruin your trip. Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior out of Ashland WI could provide a fantastic smallmouth trip. Wind could also keep you off the big lake but if it did, there are many other smaller lakes within an hour drive to fish to keep from losing time on the water. Late May is prime time for size and numbers of pre-spawn smallies. There are a number of well known guides but I’ve never used one so I can’t give a recommendation 

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Lake erie, lake ontario & Niagara river based on which way the wind is blowing. May for prespawn smallies.

 

Captain Frank Campbell 

http://www.niagaracharter.com/fishing-seasons/

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The days that are too windy to fish Lake St.Clair are the days that you can fish Rondeau Bay or Lake Erie.

I live between the two lakes and that is what I have found weather wise for years.

Just so you know, musky can also be caught on Lake St. Clair

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Northern Michigan. There's a guy named @A-Jay up there who knows the browns pretty well. I hear he's a hard guy to track down but well worth it! Rumor has it if you don't catch a 7 pounder you don't have to pay. 😎

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1 hour ago, 12poundbass said:

Northern Michigan. There's a guy named @A-Jay up there who knows the browns pretty well. I hear he's a hard guy to track down but well worth it! Rumor has it if you don't catch a 7 pounder you don't have to pay. 😎

 @12poundbass  I heard that Guy's A Hack ! 

 

:o

 

Scrubby McSrubberson 

 

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21 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

 @12poundbass  I heard that Guy's A Hack ! 

 

:o

 

Scrubby McSrubberson 

 

Scrubby is the one who guides on Menderchuck right?  I've heard he's good and will usually take cans of Spam as payment.

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1 minute ago, 12poundbass said:

Scrubby is the one who guides on Menderchuck right?  I've heard he's good and will usually take cans of Spam as payment.

Yes !  THAT's The Guy.

 

Stormy Kromer 

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5 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Yes !  THAT's The Guy.

 

Stormy Kromer 

I'm embarrassed to say as a native Michigander I've never owned a Stormy Kromer. I hang my head in shame. 😛

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2 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

I'm embarrassed to say as a native Michigander I've never owned a Stormy Kromer. I hang my head in shame. 😛

 Being one of the cool kids I'd have figured you'd be all over it.

Get with the program man . . . . . 

Is it because you're mellon's too big ? 

:P

A-Jay

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38 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

 Being one of the cool kids I'd have figured you'd be all over it.

Get with the program man . . . . . 

Is it because you're mellon's too big ? 

:P

A-Jay

🎃

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14 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

🎃

Sorry Bud - It's been one of those days.

A-Jay

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1 minute ago, A-Jay said:

Sorry Bud - It's been one of those days.

A-Jay

Lol, it's been one of those weeks! I'm still one of the cool kids, just ask my 7 year old. Ask him again in a few years and it'll be a different story. At this point in time my ego will take what it can get. 😎

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I fish St Clair at least once a year for a week straight.  Its a great lake for smallies, Walleye, Pike, and Musky. If your into White bass you can literally catch hundreds of them a day in mid may. The biggest risk was stated above.  Wind.  If it gets windy you will get beat up or not be able to fish.  I have never fished Erie.  West winds are the best to fish the lake on the US side for the main areas most guys fish.  Last year was one of the windiest years I have ever been there.  It was 10-20mph every day. 

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St. Clair > Erie... But both great. 

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St. Clair > Erie... But both great. 

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Under no circumstances should you fish the St. Lawrence, Niagara, or Susquehanna Rivers.  Any reports of catching smallmouth in them are lies.  d**n bloody lies.

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On 12/30/2017 at 6:50 AM, Scott F said:

While St. Clair and Erie are both great fisheries, the chances that it could be too windy to fish would ruin your trip. Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior out of Ashland WI could provide a fantastic smallmouth trip. Wind could also keep you off the big lake but if it did, there are many other smaller lakes within an hour drive to fish to keep from losing time on the water. Late May is prime time for size and numbers of pre-spawn smallies. There are a number of well known guides but I’ve never used one so I can’t give a recommendation 

What he said and I personally would even go fish something like the Wisconsin river or other Wisconsin rivers as well. Have caught numerous large smallmouth all over the place in Wisconsin when I lived there. Ashland is a good place but watch the weather. I have been there in May and been blasted by freeing temps and snow. 

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13 hours ago, JeziHogg said:

Lake Simcoe.

Around Georgina Island ?

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The wind on Saginaw Bay and Lake St Clair interferes in two ways, by simply blowing you off the water, and by messing up water clarity along the shores.   Pre-spawn and fall can be great, but the wind can screw it up fairly often.  The fish will be easier to find than summer, but it's not a piece of cake.  Summer, if you can find the fish in 15-18 feet, can be great, also.  But this is big water, with miles and miles and miles of what appears to be featureless, fishless,  bottom, but there are spots the pros know will most likely produce, so a good guide is essential for the fisherman new to the area.  I am fairly familiar with the deep water summer fishing, but have yet to "break the code" on summer fishing on St. Clair and Saginaw Bay.  Even with a guide, there is no guarantee.  You need to talk in detail with one of the good guides in the area to make the right decision for you.  I would do it sooner rather than later as the good guides have regular clients that fill much of their calendars.

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I watched an episode of Facts of Fishing the other night and Dave was fishing with Simon Frost on lake Erie. A quick search shows Simon guides on Erie and the Niagra drive. Might be worth checking into if he's good enough for Dave Mercer. 

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