Lake St. Clair – Local Names #1

Those who live and fish around Lake St. Clair have pet names for areas in the Lake which have been passed down through generations.  Some of these names can be a logical means to condense a vast area that fishes well, some defy that definition and others are meant to obscure the exact location of a favorite fishing hole.  No matter what their purpose they have become conventions used to communicate between anglers who frequent the Lake.  They are handy to know:

Selfridge – Selfridge Air Force Base is located on the U.S. side in the northern part of Lake St. Clair.  It’s possible that when someone says they were fishing “Selfridge” they were anywhere in the bay by the base but it’s most likely they were in the south west corner near the base itself.  After 9/11 there was a 1/2 mile zone that was marked off limits with yellow buoys.  That has since been taken down.

Metro Beach – When someone says they are fishing Metro Beach it could mean a lot of different spots.  It’s possible they were out in front of the beach itself but it’s more likely they were somewhere else.  The beach is part of a large Metropark that includes a point that wraps around L’anse Creuse Bay to the north.  On the other side of the point is the Black Creek which goes into Metro Beach Metropark and gives you access to the park and the boat launch.  Any part of that could be considered “fishing Metro Beach.” If you look at the arrow on the graphic there are a series of seawalls that run north and south just above the entrance to the Black Creek.  When anglers are fishing the seawalls or anywhere in front of them they often say they are “fishing Metro Beach.”

The Sturgeon Hole – Of all the Sturgeon holes in all the world, this is the most likely one that people are referring to.  If you are having the conversation with someone who is pointing you in the direction of the “Sturgeon Hole,” better get the part of the river or even better yet, which river they are talking about.  Those anglers who don’t fish the Detroit River have their version up in the St. Clair River and might not think to mention that.

Mitchell’s Bay – Although Mitchell’s Bay is in the far north east corner of this part of the Lake anglers who “caught their fish in Mitchell’s Bay” could have been fishing anywhere out in front too.  The convention here is as long as you can see Mitchell’s Bay, you were fishing it.

The Stakes – The stakes that surround the First Nation Territory are a visible boundary which to fish inside of it, requires a separate license.  The area marked with “stakes” goes from the Lake, up the South Channel of the St. Clair River and down the Chenal Ecarte.  When an angler talks about “fishing The Stakes” though they are referring to the long line of stakes in the Lake.

The Channels – At the end of the St. Clair River it splits into three main channels: North, Middle and South.  If someone is “fishing The Channels” it almost always means they are fishing in one of those.  If they are above the point where the river splits into the North and South Channel then it is normally said that they are fishing the river.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

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3 Responses to “Lake St. Clair – Local Names #1”

  1. Everest Trekking Says:

    You need to add a retweet button to your blog. I just tweeted this article, but I had to do it manually. Merely my $.02 🙂

    • Wayne Carpenter Says:

      Thanks for the $.02! I appreciate the tweet on this. I’m not tweeting anything yet and need to get up to speed with that. Not whining but I’m the owner, accounts payable, accounts receivable, shipping manager, developer, advertising dept., quality control, etc…lol Someday I’ll get on board. From what you are saying it sounds like it could help my business. Thanks! Wayne

    • Wayne Carpenter Says:

      Hi Everest:

      It’s been a long time since you posted a comment on my blog about tweeting but I thought you should know that my social media platform is finally up and running. Thanks for the encouragement and you can find me @stclairbass. My blog posts now show the buttons at the bottom. Capt. Wayne

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