Interesting Lake St. Clair Fishing Facts:
Captain Dan Charters operates out of the beautiful Belle River Marina on the Canadian southern shore of Lake St. Clair. The Belle River Marina is only 30 minutes from Windsor and Detroit. The Belle River Marina is the hub of Lake St. Clair's trophy Musky, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass and Perch fishing hot spots. Belle River, long known as the "Musky Capital of the World" is also home to many Musky tournaments.
Numerous Sport Fishing pros and recreational fishermen, from all over Ontario and Michigan fish the hot spots of Lake St. Clair's southern shore between May and October.
Lake St. Clair facts: Discovered by French explorers in 1679; Length: 26 miles/41.8 km. Breadth: 24 miles/38.6 km.; Average Depth: 10 ft./3 m.; Maximum Depth: 21 ft./6.4 m.; Volume: About 1 cubic mile/4.17 cubic km.; Water Surface Area: U.S.: 162 sq. miles/420 sq. km. Canada: 268 sq. miles/694 sq. km. Retention/Replacement Time: About seven days.
Belle River Marina juts out into Lake St. Clair for several hundred yards.
Public access along the western side of the pier provides an excellent
opportunity to catch a sunset and access to the excellent May, June, October
and November inshore fishery.
Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations that you need to know to fish Lake St. Clair: Possession limits for each fishing license: Walleye (6), Musky (1) Smallmouth bass (6), Perch (50); Minimum Size Limit: Musky (44 in.) Tackle: 1 fishing rod per license.
The early season walleye fishery starts in May as the water temperature reaches the mid 50's F. Fishing the near shore mud lines and 1st drop-offs (8 to 12 ft of water) produce limits of hungry walleye just finishing their spawn. Trolling small, shallow diving crankbaits off planner boards or long-lining them behind the boat produces good numbers of walleye from all age classes. Captain Dan's method of choice for these post-spawn walleye is to slow troll/drift spinner worm harnesses off 2-ounce bottom bouncing sinkers. Bright colored chartreuse and firetiger blades with chartreuse or green beads catch limits of walleye in these early spring waters of Lake St. Clair. Schools of young 15 to 17 inch walleye can be adjacent schools of mature 20 to 24 inch Walleye in this shoreline fishery in as little as 3 feet of water.
Early perch fishing on Lake St. Clair takes place in 10 to 15 feet of water. Seek out weed beds and keep on the move until you locate a school of feeding perch. The favorite choice of bait to catch perch are minnows/shinners.
Musky season on Lake St. Clair opens the first Saturday of June. Troll for musky in the 13 to 18 foot depths along the south shore of Lake St. Clair from Pike Creek to the Thames River. Large musky baits are trolled at a speed of 4 miles per hour from boat rods and off the planner boards. To catch unsuspecting trophy musky, try 1 to 3 ounce in-line weights with 5 ft. leaders back 20 to 40 feet behind the boards. Aggressive musky can be caught close to the boat and in the prop wash. To get into these productive musky catching zones behind the boat try 3 to 12 ounce in-line weights with 5 ft. leaders and the stiff heavy action fishing rod pointed into the water.
Smallmouth bass season on Lake St. Clair opens the last Saturday of June. The most productive area the south shore of Lake St. Clair is approximately 3 mile northeast of the Belle River marina in an area referred to as the Belle River "Hump". The Belle River Hump is a narrow ridge of rocks that form a peninsula like structure that runs due north from shore for about 5 miles. The Hump's width is generally about a 1/2 mile wide. Good fishing can be found all along the Hump's length. While Smallmouth bass is the most popular species sought after on and along the Hump, good numbers of walleye and perch can be caught there to.
The summer walleye fishery is 5 to 6 miles North of the Belle River marina in 18 to 20 feet of water. Trophy walleye can be found in, around and on top of the large weed beds that develop in these mid lake areas by July. Trolling large, deep diving crankbaits off planner boards in open areas produce good numbers of walleye from all age classes. Captain Dan's method of choice for summer walleye is to slow troll/drift spinner worm harnesses off 2-ounce bottom bouncing sinkers. This method produces good numbers of walleye from all age classes as well as jumbo lake perch, trophy smallmouth bass and musky.
If fishing is your passion, if you are one of the millions of people make fishing their favourite pastime ...You haven't fished until you fish the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair!
from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans website)
Muskellunge (Musky) (Esox masquinongy) is the accepted common name of Canada's largest freshwater game fish. It is also known by its original Indian name, maskinonge, which is the official name given it in the statutes of Canada and those of Ontario and Quebec. Anglers often refer to it as the musky. The muskellunge (Musky) has been exclusively a game fish in Ontario since 1904 and in Quebec since 1936 due to the intensity of sport fishing for it and the decline in catches.
A close relative of the northern pike, the muskellunge (Musky) exhibits the same long body shape with dorsal and anal fins set back near the tail, the long, flat-topped snout with undershot jaw, and the large mouth armed with rows of strong, sharp teeth. Early in the century, this fish was known to exceed 45 kg in weight. The largest Musky on record weighed 50 kg and was netted by commercial fishermen in Michigan state waters in 1914. The world's record Musky by an angler was taken on the St. Lawrence River in 1957 and weighed 31.5 kg. Today, muskellunge are most often caught in the length range of 71 to 122 cm and weight range of 2.3 to 16.3 kg.
The overall colour of the muskellunge (Musky)
varies with the geographical area. Its flanks usually show dark
spots, bars or wavy lines on a light background in contrast to the northern
pike, which has light markings on a dark background. Its back, head, and upper
sides usually vary from greenish brown to slate grey, shading to greenish gold
or silver on the lower sides and white over the belly. Its scales are very small
and unlike the northern pike, Musky
has no scales on the lower half of its cheeks.
In Canada, the range of the muskellunge (Musky) extends throughout the St. Lawrence River and all of the Great Lakes and to many inland waters of Ontario and Quebec. Musky has also been introduced in eastern Manitoba and although still limited, has spread naturally in that province.
preferred habitat is warm, heavily vegetated lakes, stumpy, weedy
bays, and slow-flowing, heavily vegetated rivers. Like the northern pike, it has
a voracious appetite for other fish such as yellow perch and white sucker.
Few Canadian game fish are as popular with sport fishermen as the
muskellunge (Musky). Its leaping, fighting tactics and unpredictable behaviour make it
a worthy opponent for the most experienced angler. It is caught by trolling or
casting with a plug, spoon, and spinner or with live baitfish. As with other
sport fisheries, legislation imposes season, size, daily bag and possession