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Casting for Lake St. Clair Muskies

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Casting for Lake St. Clair Muskies

Jim Saric with a monster musky caught casting Lake St. Clair.

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Lake St. Clair is a musky angler's paradise. It has one of the largest populations of muskies anywhere across the muskie range. With 2/3 of Lake St. Clair in Ontario there are a lot of incredible areas to fish. Whether you stay in Windsor or any of the towns along the south shore such as Belle River or to the North near the St. Clair river such as by Wallaceburg you are in a position to quickly hit the water and contact muskies.

For years, Lake St. Clair has always been considered a troller's paradise, since the muskies frequently roam large areas. Further, when trolling it's possible to contact giant schools or packs of muskies and catch a bunch of them in a hurry. There is no question that trolling is an effective way of catching muskies. Unfortunately, Lake St. Clair has been tagged a "trolling lake" which has kept many muskie anglers away from the water. However, there is no question that you can also catch muskies while casting Lake St. Clair.

In summer there are lots of great places to fish in Lake St. Clair and contact muskies while casting. Certainly the northern area around Anchor Bay holds muskies all year round. The main shipping channel from the north along with the many branches of the St. Clair River where they enter the lake all offer classic spots to find muskies. In the southern portion of Lake St. Clair you can find muskies a couple miles off-shore in from of various river mouths such as the Belle and Thames Rivers. Also, the muskies will relate to weeds along the entire south shore as well as the weeds that are essentially located in the center of the lake. These are all areas that have more traditional musky cover, yet the spots are large and take some time to fish.

There are some muskies that suspend and roam while following schools of shad. This is where trolling or talking to one of the charter captains can help. All you need to do is get in the general area where some are trolling and then start making long drifts through those same areas while casting. You may go several hours without contacting any muskies and then you'll encounter an entire school or pack of muskies. Catching several fish and having many follows is the norm. If you use your electronics to save those locations you can stay on a pack of muskies for the entire day.

So, what baits do you want to cast when fishing Lake St. Clair? Since the spots and muskies are large, I recommend using large baits. Pounder Bulldawgs, Cowgirl Bucktails and 9-inch Shallow Raiders all get the nod on Lake St. Clair. These lures all have a giant profile, exude tremendous vibrations and trigger strikes. I wouldn't get too hung-up on lure color as you are often fishing for groups of muskies located in a large area rather than a singular fish or two from a small spot. Yet, make sure you have an assortment of lures in white, gold and black patterns.

Right now, Lake St. Clair is one of the top muskie fisheries anywhere throughout the musky range. Whether you are a caster or a troller this is simply a fishery you don't want to ignore. It's big water, so you have to watch the weather and respect the lake, but it also has giant packs of big muskies awaiting your offering.

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