About the Fishing
satelite View of Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Lake St. Clair - Smallmouth Bass Fishing

It has been 14 years since launching Great Lakes Bass Fishing Guide Service. In that time I have built the #1 Smallmouth Bass guide Service in Michigan and perhaps the entire Country. Hard work and time on the water along with a passion for fishing and people have been the keys to success. I look forward to every day on the water and never take it for granted. Michigan and the Great Lakes system are one of the top Smallmouth Bass destinations and offer fantastic opportunities for not only Smallmouth but Largemouth Bass, Walleye and Musky. While most of the fishing takes place in the Metro Detroit area, Multiple day trips to Northern Michigan (Traverse Bay, Alpena and Indian River) are also available for those looking for a unique fishing experience.

satelite View of Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Pre-Spawn on Lake St. Clair

Late April-May. This is considered the pre-spawn period. Many fish are coming out of their winter haunts and tend to be schooled tightly during this time of the year. Smallmouth tend to be very aggressive during this period as they prepare for the rigors of the spawn. Rat-L-Traps and jerk baits really shine as many of the fish are on shallow flats near the areas where they will spawn. Big number days and big fish are possible during this part of the season.

satelite View of Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Spawn on Lake St. Clair

May-June. Many bass on the St. Clair system are spawning during this period. Spawning takes place from the first week of May all the way through the month of June depending on what part of the lake you are fishing. Remember on the North end of St. Clair cold water is coming in from Lake Huron. There can be as much as 10-12 degree temp difference from the North end of the lake to the very Southern end. This is a very exciting time to fish as many of the smallmouth are visible and aggressive. Topwater Baits and Super Flukes are some of the most productive baits during this phase. This period also offers the fly fisherman the best opportunity of the season to catch numbers of smallmouth.

satelite View of Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Mayfly Hatch on Lake St. Clair

Late May-July. Unique to the great lakes is the Hexigina or Mayfly hatch. This is a very important food source for many of the fish in the Lake St.Clair/Erie system. It comes at a time when many of the fish are spawning and offers them a nutrient rich diet when they need it most. Don't believe the old myth that the fish don't bite when the hatch is on. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the smallmouth in the lake are feeding on the surface and the hatch offers some of the best top water action of the season. Pop-R's and walking baits are very effective at this time. This is also another excellent time for fly fishing with hex imitations.

satelite View of Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Summer Period on Lake St. Clair

July-mid September. Once the smallmouth finish spawning and gorging themselves on flies they start grouping up in schools and moving offshore to spend their summer feeding. Because St.Clair/Erie system is unique an understanding of smallmouth behavior is critical during this time of the year. Gone are the easy days of May/June when the majority of the fish are shallow and easy to catch. 2011 marked the third season I have been perfecting the summer bite on St.Clair as was evident in my nearly 26LB 5 fish limit taken July 18. The summer pattern is my favorite time to fish with the warm stable weather and active biting fish in both size and numbers.Anglers can expect 25-50 bass days during this phase.

satelite View of Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Fall Feeding Frenzy on Lake St. Clair

Late-September-October. As the lakes Temperatures start to fall this triggers a migration of bait fish to the shallow water. Smallmouth are never far behind them. The fish are still schooled and are feeding very aggressively now. The key to locating the fish is finding the bait. 2011 was a good Fall. The bait did not gather as it usually did due to an unusually warm season so locating them was a little more challenging than in years past. Once found the fishing was great. It seemed like a 20 pound stringer was routine almost every day out. Hard vicious strikes were awesome as the big fish went on their feeding frenzy to prepare for a long winter ahead.

satelite View of Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Cold Water Period on Lake St. Clair

The Cold Water Period (Late October-Dec). As the water temps start to fall from the 50's into the 40's the bass start moving from the shallows to their winter haunts. Location at this time of the year is critical. The fish are very concentrated and once found are very easy to catch. Tubes and Silver Buddies are about all that is used now. The biggest fish of the year come during this phase. The weather is cold but the fishing more than makes up for it. If you are after a true trophy smallie this is definitely the time for it. 2011 saw some fantastic November weather with nearly dead calm conditions and clear water. When this happens it's lights out fishing.