Normally I would never say that, well unless maybe I was talking about ice fishing at times. But seriously is prespawn Lake St. Clair even real? Because after our trip there this week it certainly doesn't feel like it. The weather lined up and Dave, Kyle, and I made the trip from the west side to St. Clair. It's always a very long day coming from the west side, but if you are into catching it can be well worth it.
It's too bad Lake St. Clair is surrounded by Metro Detroit. That unfortunately makes the whole trip a hassle. But we did fair much better than several of my buddies who also made the trip the week before. We had no traffic or mechanical issues which is always a major positive. I will say that is my last single day trip over there, it's multiple days or I'm taking the relaxing and shorter drive to northern Michigan instead.
We are very fortunate to have a fishery like St. Clair. I didn't have the highest expectations since the last time we went we caught 205. How could it get any better than that right? Well I was wrong, it was crazy again. I don't think there are many other places in the world where you can catch 225 fish and a bunch ranging from 4 to just under 6 pounds and literally have accomplished nothing (and feel like you didn't really catch them that good). Generally if a bunch of fish over 4lbs come aboard the boat in a days time I feel like I've done something. This place is almost artificial there are so many smallies eager to eat. I will say we had to make some very important adjustments to catch that many and were running a very specific pattern. We definitely weren't just drifting around aimlessly in a pack of boats, there was a slight bit of intuition and effort involved. I'm intrigued by what the place is like once the spawn is over and the fish become tougher to find. It seems like there is just so much to learn about that lake that is different from most places in the world. I was a little bummed the bite was centered around baits up in the water column. Swimbaits (ClearH2O Tackle has the ones you need) were the deal for us, but I did get to crack them on a tube for a little while. Unfortunately it died because catching them on a Dobyns 735 and 15lb P-Line fluoro is my favorite thing to do there.
I've been fishing local quite a bit too and it has been good. I'm still waiting on the day I get to go smash largemouth with a flipping stick. Seems every time I go it is 40 degrees (even on May 12th) and I'm about over that. In all seriousness though it is going to be an interesting spring with how the spawn shakes out. I'm getting to the point where I am just done going out to catch them. It is time to start putting some work in. This spring has been all about numbers and that has been a lot of fun, but things need to get a little more challenging to keep it interesting. There have been a lot of notable days with big numbers, giant fish, and lot's of laughs. The most notable fish of the spring for me though aren't even fish I've caught and one isn't even a bass.
I've got to get a lot of credit to the FishSens SondeCAM for one of them. It gave away exactly how these fish were positioned and gave us a clue of the right bait to present to them. Without having an actual look at what was going on down there, I don't think we make the right presentation. I lined Trevor up and he put on a clinic including breaking his PB smallie or maybe PB overall twice. He's in 8th grade and doesn't have a great deal of time on smallmouth waters so 5 pound smallies are a big deal!
The other fish was caught by my buddy Bryan (who finally made it out here to fish again) and while he caught some big bass while he was out here. An ancient flathead catfish was the star of the show. Despite him wanting to break it off because it would just sit on the bottom while he was reefing on it with 12lb P-Line Fluorocarbon. If that isn't a testament to the strength of that line I don't know what is. It was a good thing there were 3 of us on board that day because when Bryan finally was able to get the fish off the bottom it took 2 of us to get it on board. I got its head in the net and Dave grabbed its tail. I don't have a scale with that capacity on board so we never weighed it but I have no doubt it was somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds. It was crazy to be able to stick both hands in a fishes mouth and still have room. It is on my list of species to catch but finally getting to see one in person was pretty cool.
I also want to wish a happy Mother's Day to my mom, mother in law, and Amanda. It has been a crazy year with Mabel and Amanda is an awesome mom. It has been a ton of fun but also incredibly difficult at times when Mabel has been sick. She had ear tubes put in last week so hopefully between that and the nicer weather she can stay healthy for awhile. We are all looking forward to summer and spending some more time outside!