An early look at Lake St. Clair

I spent this past weekend on Lake St. Clair. It’s one of the great fisheries in the country, and it’s the site of an Elite Series tournament – the Plano Championship Chase – that’s coming up in late August. I wanted to get a little practice time in before it went off-limits.

Memorial Day is the traditional start of summer. That’s a big deal in my part of the country. It’s also a day we should all think about. If it wasn’t for the men and women who fought and died to protect our nation, we wouldn’t have anything called professional bass fishing. We’d be slaves to a dictator of one sort or another.

At first I thought Tracey was going to go with me. She said she was. I was really looking forward to that. It gets lonely on the road sometimes.

She even went so far as to buy a new bathing suit. (Those of you who are married will understand the seriousness of a wife buying a new bathing suit. It’s a long process of trial and error to get everything just right. It is not a casual process.) But it didn’t work out. Mother Nature put a damper on things.

The weather turned really cold up there. It was so bad that the weather people put out warnings to the campers. There are always a lot of people around staying in small tents. They fish, socialize and party around the campsites. I guess the government was afraid they would freeze to death.

It was downright cold at night and in the early morning. They were right about that. The days were very nice, though. Spring-like is what I would say about them. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing and it was cool. I’d say it was perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

The smallmouth bite was great. St. Clair is one of the best brown bass fisheries I’ve ever fished. The bass are big and there are a lot of them. All I can do is hope that my bite is as good in August as it was over the weekend, at least in the mornings.

Things got a little rough in the afternoon. The weather wasn’t responsible, though. It was the pleasure boaters that finally drove me off the open water and into the marinas looking for largemouth.

If you’ve never been to St. Clair or any of the Great Lakes, it’s hard to appreciate what pleasure boats look like. They aren’t ski boats. Some of them are 60 feet long. They look like they could travel to Europe. For all I know, maybe they can. They throw one heck of a wake. If you don’t treat them with respect and pay attention to what you’re doing around them, you’ll get into serious trouble before you know it.

Anyway, it was a good weekend. I caught a lot of fish and generally had a good time. It would have been better if Tracey had been there but I guess you can’t have everything.

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