Combat Bass Fishing Lake St. Clair
Sample Friday Edition (CF2003)

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FORDS COVE- The Spot on the Spot

June 15, 2001 - Issue #1 of 16

Sunrise 5:53 AM Sunset 9:10 PM

Ford's Cove:

9 Mile Tower is just North of the cove

Depth: 2 to 10 ft.
Water Temp.: 70
Water Clarity: Light Stain
Fish Available:
Largemouth, Smallmouth
Rock and sand, some weed
Good Presentations: Tubes
N42 27.320
W082 52.100

The Spot on the Spot

Ford's Cove and the 9 Mile area could be considered a border between the sandy/weedy Lake St. Clair and the rock and sand version of the same. Even if you didn't know the structure first hand, a look at the charts would reveal the dramatic breaks that begin here.

The underwater shoal that marks the 9 Mile area originates near the Ford's Cove area. In front of the cove you have a shallow rock bottom that deserves respect when boating. The bulk of the rock starts about 25 yards from shore with about 4 feet of water on top with dropoffs on the shore and lake side. It's the lake side where the quality smallmouth will be this time of year.

There is some spawning activity here but the advantage of fishing this structure comes with the narrow target area that it offers. Once on top of the shoal, you can move toward the lake and find a drop that goes to 7 feet deep in a hurry. Here is where we discovered post spawn fish on the feed.

Over the last couple of weeks I only caught short fish here but Tuesday a 3 1/2 pound smallmouth was the reward for about 10 minutes of work. Small largemouth and rock bass are present too but it shouldn't take long to cover this structure and decide if it suits your angling needs.

This spot sits almost dead center between the Mile Roads and the Grosse Pointe Shores area so you have fast access to other parts of the U.S. side of the Lake. This is no secret spot but fishing pressure has been very light here over the last two years. It may offer a good alternative to the parking lot that you are sure to find at the Mile Roads this weekend.

Weekly Update

Water Clarity
The best clarity came in the Grosse Pt. Shores area but everything South of Anchor Bay was good to excellent. For a change the Clinton River spillway wasn*t discharging ugly water. What we did find there was the biggest mayfly husk slick yet. It was a brown line about 5 feet wide that ran for about 25 yards. The hatch started about two weeks ago and now is in full swing.

If you decide to do the Grosse Pt. Shores/Windmill Pt. Area then be advised that the rock down there is a real threat to your outboard. There can be other surprises waiting for us out there but running in 7 ft. or less can be trouble. Once at that depth it would be prudent to power down and trim up. I would definitely be on trolling motor power only under 5 ft.

Weed Growth/Environment
The best weed growth we've seen is around the Windmill Point area, up on the shallow flat and around Gino's, 400 Club and Memorial Park. The bay at Selfridge also has a better pattern of weed growth than it had last year.

My favorite set of ruins are in the bay by Anchorville (N42 41.312 W082 41.316w) but a shallower set in the bay by New Baltimore (N42 40.788 W082 43.632w) held the bigger fish on this trip. Be careful when running up on either of these because there are submerged pilings in the area that don't show.

Selfridge - This is the first time in a couple of years where this bay held up until the opener. The flats are still holding good quality smallies and the breaks (from 5 to around 8 feet) are the next place to check.

Goulette Point (North end of the bay) has a rock wall (N42 39.105 W082 45.690w) that extends out about a 1/2 a mile. You can see it in the shallow water but will have to use feel out deeper. I didn't catch a thing here this week but the weed growth is in its' prime for the smallmouth bite. The exit of the Salt River into the bay was totally dead when we were there on Monday.

One of my top picks is the break that comes off of the end of the Clinton River at Harley Ensign (N42 35.527 W082 45.795w). In five minutes of fishing I boated a 3 1/2 pound smallie in 7 feet of water. This year I have seen more big smallmouth here than I've seen for some time. It used to be a top spot but it is largely ignored as most bass anglers fish the North edge of the channel and others won't tolerate the traffic that area attracts.

If you want a fast keeper there should still be largemouth at the Metro Launch shortcut seawall corners N42 35.022, W082 47.226). The smallmouth bite hasn't materialized but the largemouth have been there for at least two months. Better get there first though and don't burn more than about 10 minutes on this pattern.

The flat area between the Clinton River and the Black Creek traditionally holds good numbers of good size smallmouth in as little as 3 feet of water during this time of year. We fished it for about 45 minutes and only came up with small fish.

The Black Creek has quality smallmouth and largemouth in it all the way back to the island near the launch. Smaller crankbaits worked as well as the Float 'n Fly. All the fish caught were spawned out but big enough to take to the scales.

Marker 1 coming out of the Black Creek had a lot of small smallmouth on it on Monday. The same goes for the flat in front of Point Huron.

Memorial Park (the band shell) will be loaded with boats this weekend but keep an open mind. If you go just North of the band shell (N42 31.617, W082 51.601w) you can find similar water away from the crowds and largemouth starting in around 5 1/2 feet and the smallmouth starting in about 7 feet.

At 12 Mile we made contact with keeper fish in 6 1/2 feet of water. Once I changed over to a chartreuse on chartreuse spinnerbait the bite picked up. At 11 Mile (blue seawall) I found fish in 6 feet of water and the one 3 lb. smallie that I had hooked had a friend following.

Grosse Pt. Shores is holding a lot of 4 lb. fish. This is the norm as this area runs a week or two behind the Mile Roads. In the backwater areas we found many spawning females on Tuesday and that pattern should hold up for a week or two. Up on the flats look for dark spots that can be rock piles or weedbeds (weeds even better sometimes). If you are unfamiliar with the area, a blind trip during a tournament could be tough.

Most of the Shores area, down to Windmill Point is primarily rock and all of it is close to the shipping channel and cooler water. The rocky flats produce well but presentation is tricky. The best bait I've found is the Float 'n Fly system (a hair jig under a bobber). The baits suspends forever and that seems to help when the water is only 3 to 5 feet deep. Jerkbaits excelled on Tuesday and the smoke with small gold and purple flake tube was the big winner as usual.

Tackle Strategy
Everything is working since the post spawn feed has begun. Four hot presentations have been topwater, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and crankbaits. One of those will produce the better fish for you so keep an open mind. A lot of limits will be at the scales this weekend and if you cycle through those presentations, the difference between 2 or 4 lb. fish on one of those presentations should be clear. When I switched to a chartreuse on chartreuse spinnerbait, the bite picked up for me. If the water gets calm you may want to consider throwing soft jerkbaits, light weight- slow falling tubes or topwater. Even in the middle of the day.

Technical Information

NOTE: GPS coordinates are from standard receivers unless indicated. Small d for differential and small w for the WAAS system (ex: N42 33.001 W082 32.543d).
F.I.S.H. (248) 280-2507 - Email: wayne@combat-bassfishing.com



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