Archive for the ‘Fishing Spot Specs ™ News and Tips’ Category

Lake St. Clair – Live! Fishing Reports Update v10 #1

April 26, 2010

April 26th, 2010

Fishing Reports

14 reports in Fishing Spot Specs™ from 4/21 through 4/24 – Mile Roads and Anchor Bay

Marked Maps Live!™

11 Marked Map spots covered from 4/23 and 4/24 – Mile Roads, Grosse Pt. Shores, Selfridge, New Baltimore, Fair Haven

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

Lake St. Clair – To Hold ’em or Fold ’em

April 18, 2010

A classic smallmouth bite relates directly to a spot or an area and has a life span. In early season the bite on spots or in areas can be expanded and life span of the bite extended but there is usually a beginning and end. The decision to stay and hope for the bite to pick up again (hold ’em) or run to a different spot (fold ’em) is a consideration all season long.

Smallmouth stay on the move in schools, visit favorite structures and sometimes hover over them. Their behavior centers around seasonal trends, the presence of forage, wind direction, fishing pressure and more. It’s even more likely they are reacting to more than one of these factors and knowing what is motivating them can be an INDICATOR to tell us whether the bite on a spot will hold up.

Fishing Reports

Using Fishing Spot Specs™ can deliver exactly this kind of information. It’s the best fishing information search engine available and when filled with the right information can deliver powerful results. The right information is the same quality information anglers have come to expect from the Lake St. Clair Combat Bass Fishing Weekly Newsletter™. The same type of information that was in the newsletter for over 10 years is in the database of the website.

Here’s a sample entry from the Combat Bass Fishing Weekly Newsletter #5 July 2007:

“This is one of those periods where it would probably be better to stay on a spot to wait the bass out, or wait out the big bite.  Instead of running to up to 10 spots, having 2 or 3 to work should be more than enough to cash a check.  Shoot for a 17 lb. bag and you could be in the running at this point.  That will change soon as the St. Clair River fish turn on.”

I’m looking forward to providing the same kind of information and more through Fishing Spot Specs™ this year.

(c) Wayne Carpenter – Sample Report

March 2, 2010

A recent change has been made to the Fishing Spot Specs report that makes getting useful information out of it even better.  A summary section has been added to the front of the report which will give you the Location name, Report # and text from each report so we can quickly scan the listing before getting deeper into the details.

Click here for sample report

A Fishing Spot Specs fishing report is made up from a search on what you want to find in the database.  In the case of this report the search was done on: Body of Water: Lake St. Clair, Structure: All Wind Direction: N, NNE, NE, NW, NNW.  More records were returned but I selected four that matched the type of information I wanted to show which was a collection of both long and short text reports, a photo, bait and weight information.  You could have selected a completely different report for yourself based on the same search.

Your sample report will open up with an Adobe .pdf viewer and you will see the header information with the search criteria at the top.  Next will be the summary and if you see  a record that interests you, click on the report number and that will take you directly to the full report below.  You might also want to note the cross reference information at the bottom of each record which will direct you to products that you might already have (No Secrets Books, Marked Maps, etc…) with even more detailed information about what is in the Fishing Spot Specs record.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

My “Go To” Places For Fishing Information – The Short List

February 14, 2010

The blessings of instinct are a beautiful thing when it comes to dialing in on the bite.

  • The reaction to splash behind us that has us reaching for a topwater bait
  • A sudden awareness that the light levels have changed tells us exactly what to do next
  • On oncoming freighter is making its way down the river and if we time it right, the bait fish bite will be strong when it passes by
  • Our fishing partner discovers an active bait so we jump on the bandwagon
  • We interpreted the effect of the conditions on the water perfectly and everywhere we go the bite is exactly what we expected it to be.

It’s about that moment in time where we decide to switch up on bait, presentation, location or technique that turns into a game changer and from that point on it seems like we can do no wrong. Here’s are the places I go for information that can keep me “in the moment” not only on Lake St. Clair, but everywhere I go.


  • Weather is the number one thing I check before making a move to the planning stage. My preferred site is the NOAA site by the National Weather Service which offers a less distilled version of the area weather as well as marine reports.
  • Tournament results are generic in nature but give me a listing of hard data to work with telling me what I need to know about the strength of a fishery. The one I use the most is the NBAA website because their reporting is timely and coverage covers many states.
  • I use an internet based map of Lake St. Clair at Marine Cruiser to either create a plan to look at new water or more often to confirm coordinates for spots I will visit the next day.
  • An angler friendly forum at Great Lakes Bass has folks who are already sharing information and are willing to answer specific questions as best as they can. I’ve gone here many times when having to travel to new water or encounter a question from a customer about a place or topic of which I have no experience. I picked out a fishing report to check out from during the season last year: The Mayfiles are Hatching

      • Fishing Spot Specs website – Getting the latest hard data from the Lake helps to eliminate water and keep me focused on active areas, baits, etc… It is also the only source of information available which can be delivered in a format where I can plug in the conditions to get a select list of reports that work for me.
      • Marked Maps Live! – Not only are my reports there but my staff is updating this site as they go out and tell me about the action they find (or not) and adjustments to the plan can be made.

      Electronic Guide Service has downloadable fishing reports by spot. FROM THEIR WEBSITE SITE: Our pro staff is continuing to grow, along with our product list. Currently, we have products for Lake St. Clair, Saginaw Bay, and many Northern Wisconsin Lakes. Let us be your online fishing guide… You can link up and view everything they have to offer at: Electronic Guide Service

      Personal notes and log books are an invaluable tool. Many times I’ll be working on a plan for the next day and the instincts will kick in to find a single piece of information from a log book for a particular year. This has saved a lot of wasted fishing time and helped to point me in the right direction.

      Running the plan through a friend can yield some excellent yet unpredictable results. It’s the stuff I didn’t think of they bring up and sometimes it turns out that they were at the spot that day and can give me accurate feedback. Knowing each others’ tendencies and skills makes the process more effective yet.

      Not having the right information can make for a long day when covering dead water while trying to get a read on conditions. Having the right information doesn’t take anything away from using my instincts but sharpens them. Even a bad decision can lead to the right conclusion a lot quicker when I have accurate data in hand.

      (c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter – Dial In Spots with Temperature

February 14, 2010

It’s no secret that temperatures drive the action in the bass community so it should be no surprise that some of the best fishing information flows from them too. As the Fishing Spot Specs(tm) (FSS) database grows more complex with information that runs both wide and deep simple searches begin to deliver better results. One of the most effective searches can be on temperature.

In most regions there is a rise in early season temperatures, a leveling off during the months in the middle of the season and falling temperatures late. This creates a parameter for data of its own.

Rising temperatures nearly always have a lower, ineffective limit. Fish just aren’t as active in cold temps but their metabolism speeds up with the rise and the evidence of this shows up in fishing spots. One of the best elements of this type of search is that the results are almost universal from year-to-year. This means that if current temperatures have risen to 65 degrees then a search done in FSS with a temperature range of 60 to 70 degrees during the same time period (May for instance) across all years should return spots that are active now.

During the middle months these temperature differences aren’t as dramatic but you can still do a couple of things to get good returns on spot information. First off, be sure the water temperature you are dealing with is stable. If frontal conditions create a rapid rise or drop in water temperature it isn’t a good time to rely on temperature values only. Give a change like that at least three days to set in. Next, tighten your range. Instead of a 10 degree spread go with a six degree spread like 62 to 68 degrees.

Treat late season falling temperatures the same as early season and a search on temperature can return the highest percentage spots available for that day. v.s. The Lake St. Clair Combat Bass Fishing Weekly Newsletter

February 13, 2010

While entering in historical information from my notes and the Lake St. Clair Combat Bass Fishing Weekly Newsletter (1999-2009) into Fishing Spot Specs (FSS) it has become clear that FSS will be an information source of a higher magnitude. I had forgotten about how the notes were edited over the years to fit into the newsletter and in some cases, paring down text to fit along with all the side notes and diagrams made in my notes that wouldn’t fit into the newsletter. There were a lot of things left on the cutting room floor. Not any more.

While fishing one major piece of structure I was reporting on we would go over and hit some smaller spots. The information may have made its way into the pre-fishing edition or worked into other parts of the regular edition but now each spot is covered with a full range of companion data like water temperature, wind speed and direction, catch rates and more. The search engine puts us in a zone that dials in multiple spots with multiple variables and outputs easy to use text reports which are exactly on point.

It’s also comforting for me to know that I can go to the search engine and in seconds compile years of information for my own use. Hopefully at some point I’ll get all of this historical stuff in the website and spend more time enjoying the fruits of years of effort and spend more years hooking up on Lake St. Clair.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

The Lessons of 2009

February 6, 2010

Every year the overall health of the fishery is bantered about and it usually starts with what the bite was like the year before. Even in the midst of a season it’s not always evident how the rest of the year will work out. Looking across an entire season does help to provide a good overview of the action but it doesn’t always carry a clear message as to what it means. 2009 was definitely one of those years.

The years with the most definition and clarity are the “hot” years. Record 90 degree days group the bass up into nice neat spots where any angler can have qualified success with a minimum amount of information or access. Hardly anyone goes home without having at least a part of their day filled with a stretch or two in smallmouth heaven. Last year however qualifies as one of those seasons that was “spring all summer long” and patterns didn’t hold up, structures weren’t holding good numbers of bass in the same year class and a lot of water needed to be covered to put together a good limit. There were some exceptions to this though and if there was one item that sticks out as universal, some anglers caught some of the biggest bass of their lives.

What we generally don’t have from a year like that is information going forward to compare to this year unless 2010 is a “spring all summer long” season as well. Last year anglers were perusing classic spots, coming up empty and perhaps making a late season adjustment to start to bring in some good fish. If we get a “hot” year those same anglers might give up on the classic spots because of the frustration they went through last year and miss the bite by fishing for last year’s fish. How do I know this for sure? I’ve been there and done that. Because we work hard at what we do to find fish it’s hard to give up that knowledge on a macro level, unless we recognize the signs.

Early season fishing is a good example. We get 100 fish days, the bite is strong and it seems like every bait we are throwing is working. If we happened to hit schools of four pounders with some frequency the assumption is that it will be a good year and that the bass will be positioned in similar spots. A different angler under the same conditions might be getting the 100 bass but they are all in two pound or less range. Neither angler is seeing the whole picture but each is making a call on what the rest of the season will be like based on some very easy to catch schooling fish. The real test is the summer period where bass to begin to fall into predictable patterns which can be measured against all previous years. It’s at that point a fair comparison can be made.

So as far as 2009 goes we might as well just throw it out for statistical purposes until we find another year that matches it in low intensity temperatures. 2010 could go that way but traditionally we don’t have two of those types of years back-to-back. It would be a good idea to keep close tabs on the LIVE information coming out of Fishing Spot Specs and the Marked Maps Live! sites and see what adventures the bass lead us to this year in this great smallmouth fishery, Lake St. Clair.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

Bass to the Future Seminar at Outdoorama

February 3, 2010

We’re gearing up for a new round of Bass to the Future seminars at the upcoming Outdoorama show at the Rock Financial Showplace. What you can look forward to is more data files to choose from in Fishing Spot Specs, in-depth look at the new Marked Maps Live! website, some FREE stuff you can use online to help with your personal research, SeaViewer ™ underwater camera video and demo along with info about the new Xtreme Bass Tackle baits for 2010: Mayfly, Muskegon Goby and the new creature bait in St. Clair Crayfish.

That’s a lot for one seminar so be ready for a fast paced format with two screens and live internet. If you’ve seen this seminar at the Ultimate Fishing Show it might pay to see it again. I’ll have new video clips plus updates on how to use the new search engine at Fishing Spot Specs.

The seminar is free and questions are welcome. Post your question on this blog, let me know what day you will be coming to the show and have it answered at the seminar. If you comment on the blog you qualify for a 2-4-1 pass into the Outdoorama. Just send your name and address directly to me at: and I’ll get it out to you.

Seminar times will be posted first on the Outdoorama site at:

See you at the show!

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter – Combining Other Information Products with the Search Results

February 2, 2010

Fishing Spot Specs ™ (FSS) is a powerful stand-alone product generating LIVE spot information to use on the water, but there’s more. At the bottom of each .pdf report there is a Cross Reference section showing where additional reference information about your specific report can be found.


If you own other information products such as books or maps they can serve well as reference material to enhance an FSS report. The most common way this happens is when a spot is mentioned in the report there may be more information which could include a GPS coordinate, spot detail and seasonal trends. If you already own the book or map you can see the Cross Reference on the report and go look it up. If you don’t own the book or map the link will take you right to the website where you can get them.


What we have been used to in the fishing industry is a high level of product availability but a low level of product support. What information there is about a product is buried in articles and ads that are strong in hype and weak on data and statistics. FSS represents a new wave of support products that not only deliver the tools but integrates with current available information.

The Cross Reference section in an FSS report is that kind of support. If you already have the book or map no additional purchase is necessary to bring an FSS report and book or map info together. This is a product enhancement that you are not likely to find anywhere else. It works both ways. If you already have the book or map then FSS delivers the finishing touch with LIVE information to put you on the best fishing spot available.

I’m Capt. Wayne Carpenter and in my case there are three reference books, No Secrets on Lake St. Clair vol. 1 and vol. 2, Smallmouth Confidential and a set of 27 Marked Maps ™ of Lake St. Clair. When you get an FSS report my Cross Reference information is on it and will point you to any of the books or maps that connect with the report.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter – Using Water Temperature to Generate Accurate Data

January 31, 2010

Temperature is one of the most widely used and understood data items for bass anglers to close in on their prey. In the early season the warmest temps are sought out to find the most active fish. Temperature ranges for the spawn are usually well known by local anglers then beyond that, temperatures that are too hot are good for use as an upper limit also to eliminate dead areas. With a powerful search engine like (FSS) available, you can use water temperature to narrow the search down to exactly the type of data that can help you the most.


When we follow the overall temperatures over the course of an entire season the changes on a graph might resemble a bell curve. Low on one side, high in the middle then sloping down again to match the lows. The key is to be sure you are dealing with a stable temperature. For instance…A temperature can be temporarily altered by a strong cold front. This lower temp isn’t consistent with the long-term temperature so a search on the lower temp could return results which are less accurate. One way to compensate for this is to add in “Cold Front” into the search criteria. If the temperature data you have available is stable and consistent for that part of the season it can seriously tighten up your FSS report results.


Be sure to evaluate the temperature information before using it for a search. If the temperature you have available is from the middle of the lake it probably won’t translate well with the water temperature in a shallow bay. You can still use the middle of the lake temperature along with a little accurate guesswork to work out a range to search on, instead of an exact number. If the middle of the lake temp is 70 degrees and the shallow bay is at least as warm, and probably warmer, then search on a range of 70 degrees to 75 degrees. The information returned on that bay or other shallow bays like it will be very close to reality. You can use the same technique when estimating the temperature for the weekend based on an exact temperature that is a couple of days old. Search on a range and it can return some very accurate results.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter