The Changing Ecosystem – Excerpt from the Book, No Secrets on Lake St. Clair Vol. 2

Lake St. Clair as seen on Marine Cruiser

An excerpt from the book, No Secrets on Lake St. Clair Vol.2

From the chapter: The Changing Ecosystem

If you turn back the clock, Lake St. Clair turns into a fishery with stained water and a potentially stained reputation as a sister to the then much polluted Lake Erie basin. The fishing was great, however. These were the days where you could pull up on almost any weedbed in the Lake with a spinnerbait and hook up with a steady supply of two-pound bass. A lot has changed.

As the encroachment of exotic species grabbed the headlines, smallmouth fishing kept getting better and better. Subtle changes in presentations went largely unnoticed as average weights began to climb at the tournament scales. The Lake became clearer and clearer as the water levels began to fall.

Today, the patterns have become tighter and many of the long established hot spots known as “community water,” have lost their appeal. Although some anglers consider these spots “fished out,” it is more likely that significant changes to the bottom structure have either discouraged large populations of fish or created new opportunities that we have yet to uncover.

Graphic from LakeMaster

One of the best examples of this is the “Mile Roads.” This is the stretch of water that is bracketed by 9 Mile road through 14 Mile road (these streets end at the shoreline). Back in 1995 there was a wall of weeds at 11 Mile in 16 feet of water. We would position the boat at the edge and work schools of smallies that were using it as a highway. In 2002, those weeds have become just a memory and finding fish holding structure here is possible, but flat bottom and scrub weed are the order of the day.

12 Mile Road was also on fire “back in the day.” Many times you could fish away from the crowds here and improve your catch. A couple of well defined weedlines in the 3 to 6 foot range would hold big fish and the drop used to hold clumps of cabbage with ideal space for roving smallies. The shallows further North had dense, largemouth holding weed growth.

Get more on this topic from the book No Secrets on Lake St. Clair Vol. 2 at:

You can order No Secrets on Lake St. Clair Vol. 2 by calling TOLL FREE at (877) 485-2223


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(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

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