St. Clair: Big water, big stakes

This week is important. Held on famed Lake St. Clair, this will be the last of the 2014 Bass Pro Shops Northern Opens presented by Allstate. In practical terms, that means that it’s the last chance for some of us to make it to the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. And, it’s also one of the most unique tournaments in the B.A.S.S. tournament schedule.

I say that because of the amount of water that’s available to us. We’re going out of Detroit, Michigan, but that’s only half the story. We can legally fish Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, The Detroit River and the St. Clair River. I think that’s more water than any other tournament we’ve fished this year, and maybe for several years.

That much water does two things. It makes everything fish big and it gives us a shot at winning with smallmouth or largemouth. The big part is obvious. You will hardly know we’re out there. And, to tell you the truth, I like it that way. Plenty of water gives everyone a chance to catch fish their way. If you find a spot that suits your fancy, you don’t have to share it.

The smallmouth or largemouth part is not so obvious. There are plenty of waters around where you can catch both. At times you’ll hear guys talk about how a particular event might be won either way.

The truth is, though, that in most cases which color of bass will win is known to all of us long before the tournament starts. I don’t think that’ll be true up here. We could see some heavy sacks of brown bass, green bass and a few containing both.

I’ve been up here for several days. I wanted to have as much time on the water as possible before the tournament actually starts. I know sometimes you can prefish too much but in my case I think more is better.

Lake Erie — that’s one of my favorite places to fish in all of North America — has been tough for a few days. We’ve had a south wind which is really bad. The waves were just too much to handle. Today things were better. I made it into Canadian waters where I feel comfortable and at home.

The deal with Erie being rough didn’t hurt me much. As big as these waters are, you can trailer your boat well over 100 miles and still be prefishing legal and be within running distance on Thursday.

The bite is pretty good. I can’t say I’ve caught as many fish as I’d like but I can say the ones I have caught were big, heavyweight keepers. Things will change once the tournament starts, though. They always do.

That’s about all that’s going on this week. However, I don’t want to leave without reminding everyone that now is the time to get out on your favorite lake and do some fishing. Fall is one of the best times to bass fish. The numbers are good and the fish tend to be shallow.

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