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Going to Michigan at Thanksgiving


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My son lives  near Grand Rapids. Going up there for a few days around thanksgiving. He has been there less than a year, but has caught a few bass here and there. He doesn’t have a boat yet…

I’ve never fished in michigan, but want to give it a try , especially for smallmouth. ( I’ve never caught one).

Any suggestions  would be appreciated!!

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11 minutes ago, GaryH said:

Thanksgiving “ dress warm” good luck Mike.

That's what I was going to say.

Might be a little late by then.

Either way, perhaps contact a local guide.

They'll be able to tell you what's what & when.

I have no affiliation or experience with these folks but here ya go. 

They are experienced in fishing that area. 

https://www.gettingbitguideservice.com/

Good Luck

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Haha. Thanks!  I’m sure I’ll be a “fish out of water”?

Just now, A-Jay said:

That's what I was going to say.

Might be a little late by then.

Either way, perhaps contact a local guide about.

They'll be able to tell you what's what & when.

I have no affiliation or experience with these folks but here ya go. 

They are experienced in fishing that area. 

https://www.gettingbitguideservice.com/

Good Luck

:smiley:

A-Jay

 Thanks A-jay. My son was talking about getting a great lakes  guide , and tbh it didn’t appeal to me.  I’ll check these guys out…

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You’ve got the Grand River all over in the area and I know there’s smallmouth in it but I don’t know if they’d be biting. If you really wanted a good time go to the 6th st dam in downtown GR and try your hand at some steelhead. I see plenty of guys out there recently fishing for them. 
 

If you’re really wanting smallmouth I’d try the Grand by Allendale/Eastmonville or  some of the parks in the Grand Rapids area (I’ve never fished these areas but they look enticing. If you’re up for a 30 minute road trip you could try the Flat river in Lowell or Belding. I’ve caught plenty of smallmouth out of the Flat but not in these areas but have talked with plenty of guys who have.

 

@MIbassyaker is from the GR area so he might have better advice where the smallmouth might be. 
 

Like others have said, bundle up! ?

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Not being used to that weather you are going to be cold! You may even find yourself fishing in a squall or two. Those days are long over for me! 

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On 10/14/2022 at 7:47 PM, 12poundbass said:

You’ve got the Grand River all over in the area and I know there’s smallmouth in it but I don’t know if they’d be biting. If you really wanted a good time go to the 6th st dam in downtown GR and try your hand at some steelhead. I see plenty of guys out there recently fishing for them. 
 

If you’re really wanting smallmouth I’d try the Grand by Allendale/Eastmonville or  some of the parks in the Grand Rapids area (I’ve never fished these areas but they look enticing. If you’re up for a 30 minute road trip you could try the Flat river in Lowell or Belding. I’ve caught plenty of smallmouth out of the Flat but not in these areas but have talked with plenty of guys who have.

 

@MIbassyaker is from the GR area so he might have better advice where the smallmouth might be. 
 

Like others have said, bundle up! ?

 

I have never fished here later than October!  There are a lot of places to catch smallmouth from shore in the rivers in the warmer months.  but honestly I have no idea where they are that late in the year. It's pretty cold.  We sometimes get our first blizzard around Thanksgiving.

 

The best access to smallmouth in the Grand Rapids area are the Grand, Thornapple, & Flat rivers.  

 

But it's going to be Steelhead season, and they may be more plentiful than smallies in many places. There might even be some crowds, especially at 6th st dam. There is good shore access to the Grand around the city (Riverside park, Canal park, Fish ladder park, and Millennium park).  You can also go west to Eastmanville bayou 20 min west of town, or east to Chief Hazy Cloud park in Ada. 

 

To the SE, the Thornapple can be fished at Reuhs park in Alaska or the 84th st dam.  One of my favorite spots for smallies in Spring is the Flat river at Fallasburg Park, a little quiet & pretty place north of Lowell, 30 min east.  But no idea whether these are good spots for smallies in November.

 

 

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Well, We’re coming next wednesday. We will only fish friday or saturday so… Im just hoping the weather isn’t too bad, fishing or not. Icy roads are pretty intimidating to this deep south boy!  At least my son has had a winter under his belt already.

I forgot… he made me nervous driving with me in Florida! ?

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3 hours ago, Don51 said:

Being a FL boy you are not going to enjoy that weather! I couldn't do it!


He’s in for a trip. Where he’s going there’s close to 2’ of snow dumped in the last 72hrs and supposed to get another 6” in the next 24hrs. 
 

Where I am, as usual we’re on the line of getting dumped on with lake effect or not. We’ve received 10-12” and we’re supposed to get another 4” today. 
 

To add to this mess, the wind is going to be brutal with 30mph gusts so drifting could be bad in some areas. 

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@N Florida Mike, I don’t think you’ll be doing much fishing! Haha. Then again maybe for trout/salmon up a river could be an option. Or track some critters thru the snow, that’s my favorite cabin fever remedy when I’m in the north country. I also go into cabelas and feed the bait monkey 

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We made it to Michigan. It’s 38 at the moment, and high is supposed to be 49. No breeze. I don’t see any reason to hinder me from fishing. We plan on going tomorrow and/or saturday. 

We’ll be bank fishing and have some spots that y’all mentioned.

What would be your top baits for smallmouth? ( I’ve never fished for them).  We plan on taking some worms just in case. Might try for steelheads too. 
Thanks.!

 

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2 hours ago, N Florida Mike said:

What would be your top baits for smallmouth? 

Rage Menace, T-rigged,  3/16 bullet weight

Rage Structure Bug, 3/16 bullet weight

Rage Baby Craw, 3/16 bullet weight

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4 hours ago, N Florida Mike said:

We made it to Michigan. It’s 38 at the moment, and high is supposed to be 49. No breeze. I don’t see any reason to hinder me from fishing. We plan on going tomorrow and/or saturday. 

We’ll be bank fishing and have some spots that y’all mentioned.

What would be your top baits for smallmouth? ( I’ve never fished for them).  We plan on taking some worms just in case. Might try for steelheads too. 
Thanks.!

 

They will eat your largemouth lures for the most part. They sure love a plastic worm, tube, rattle trap, etc. They are just hard to get that far north this late in the year but it can be done

 

oh yeah and slow roll a 2.5 or 3 inch paddle tail near the bottom 

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Thanks. The trip has been great . The weather has been good too.

We went to fish ladder park for a little while yesterday. My son had caught some smallies there in the summer I think. There were a lot of steelhead fisherman there that weren’t catching anything.  We didn’t get a bite either, but we only stayed for a short time and had to leave because  his girlfriend’s family were coming over…

We plan to go in a little while - Riverside park looks like there’s a lot of access- is that pond there any good? Also looks like a lot of fishable water at Millennium park…  Im looking at the other spots on google map too…

Thanks for thinking of us…

Mike

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1 minute ago, N Florida Mike said:

? .  

We could easily have gotten a deer… I didn’t want to buy a license. Someone said it was 400+ for an  out of state one…

D5F083DC-9ED1-4298-B744-0CD287BCBD41.jpeg

26BBA32B-F712-40CF-ADA8-D25FCF7E5C69.jpeg

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$170 for non resident.

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