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A piece of bass Heaven on Lake St. Clair

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A piece of bass Heaven on Lake St. Clair

Dale Hainer casting into the shallow weedy waters of Lake St. Clair’s Mitchell’s Bay. • Credit: Dale Hainer

the author and son-in-law fish for largemouth bass with Bass haven outfitters

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Lush marshes and deep weedy flats surround the north shore of Lake St Clair. We slowly exit the access channel from Bass Haven Outfitters into shallow Mitchell's Bay and see no reason to get the boat up on plane. My son-in-law, Troy McAdams, drops the bow mount trolling motor and we start fishing.

It's late summer and the visible marsh vegetation has started to turn brown. This pushes the fish off that structure and into the surrounding weed flats and channels. It doesn't take long to confirm the presence of 2-pound pike and largemouth bass. Not only is the sun keeping the shallow waters warm and the fish aggressive, it allows me to peel off my jacket and absorb the late-season warmth.

largemouth bass
(Photo credit: Dale Hainer)

Bass Haven Outfitters

Bass Haven began operating in 1910 and has been owned and operated by Dennis and Cathy Shaw since 1989. Year-round outfitting services include 14-foot aluminum boat and motor rentals, boat launch, mooring docks, live bait and tackle store, as well as three rental cabins, three rental trailers and 30 serviced RV and trailer sites.

Mitchell's Bay is well-known for great panfish, pike and largemouth bass fishing. I cast a spinnerbait in a bluegill pattern. 'Gills are prominent in these flats, as forage and as a target species for anglers. I like the way the big Colorado blades move a lot of water and attract attention; minnows and small fish constantly scurry out of the lure's path, telling me the area remains loaded with baitfish.

We continue to cast across the submerged weeds but I am aware of the approaching deeper channels known as Canoe and Whitney Cuts. Larger predator fish like to use these transitions from shallow to deeper water as ambush points. I switch spinnerbait colours to a perch pattern to attract more attention.

Northen Pike
(Photo credit: Dale Hainer)

Surrounded by Silver

Schools of chunky silver bass have taken up residence in areas of these cuts and, although they are fun to catch and tasty to eat, they are so aggressive it's difficult to catch anything else! Troy and I work along the edge until we find larger pike and bass. The trick is to cast our spinnerbaits onto the shallower flats and retrieve them across the deeper channel drop-off. The predators are hanging on the channel edges and waiting to ambush anything that swims out.

When the schools of white bass find us again we continue along the break. I see a partly submerged log and cast beyond it. Expecting it to be a perfect ambush point for largemouth, I retrieve with anticipation. The waters swirl, minnows dance and a three-pound largemouth takes hold. I laugh to myself as this scares up a small school of black crappie that goes airborne as they flee.

With tired arms and yet another fifteen miles of river channels, marsh and weed flats to explore, we call it a day. There is just too much productive water here to cover in a one outing.

Lake St. Clair offers world-class fishing opportunities and a great escape in Ontario. OntarioTravel.net has some excellent guide and accommodation packages for your Bass Fishing getaway.

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