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The Detroit River

Posted by admin on August 31, 2012


Well, this event is a tough one to write about since the finish was the worst I’ve had to date. I spent three full days from daylight to dark practicing; two days on Lake Erie and one day on Lake St. Clair. This is the body of water I grew up fishing


but rarely did I fish for bass since the walleye and perch were more sought after for food. When we wanted to go sport fishing we would target northern pike and musky since they were bigger. Don’t get me wrong, I caught my fair share of smallmouth growing up but they were usually caught while targeting other species. Well this is officially my third event back on these waters and I’ve yet to cash a check here from the front or back of the boat.

Day one I drew a pro from Florida, we pretty much stayed close to the ramp and tried to catch the smallmouth that he located in practice, but from what I could tell they had relocated. We got a number of bites but I only managed three keeper fish for about 9 pounds, and my pro struggled as well only weighing in two keepers for just under 5 pounds.

Although the keeper bites were tough to come by, we had a good day on the water. I caught all my fish on a drop-shot with 3/8-ounce Picasso tungsten weight, a Poor Boys Erie Darter (a local hot bait) and also a Strike King Series 5XD around some isolated rock. It was a tough day where I finished 90th place after weigh-in.

Day two I drew the Lake Erie legend Steve Clapper, for those that don’t know Steve had been sidelined for about 2½ years as he battled health issues and this was his first tournament back on the water. As anticipated, we headed to Lake Erie to fish the deep rock piles and target giant smallmouth.

Although Steve managed back-to-back 17-pound limits, it was not easy fishing. Steve admitted that he wasn’t around the fish like he was in the past, and this tournament was more of an opportunity to come back on a large scale and visit friends that he hadn’t seen in a long time.

I knew mathematically I was pretty much out of check range, and definitely out of the cut range, so I spent most of my day just trying to learn as much as I could from the master. I asked question after question about how to approach tournament fishing on Erie. As anyone who knows Steve would tell you, he is a great guy and was more than willing to pass his knowledge on to the next generation. Steve managed six keeper bites all day and culled up to 17-1. I managed four keeper bites and landed three for 10½ pounds, but lost a big smallmouth that manhandled me and broke off when it jumped.

Again, I caught all my fish on a 3/8-ounce Picasso drop-shot, this time with a smoke-colored Shad Shape Worm on a G.Loomis 7’7 Bronzeback rod.

Looking back on this event I am pretty down about how I finished in 94th place, but I think the knowledge I gained in this event will by far be more valuable than any top finish.  The season is starting to wind down and I am looking forward to a little down time. I have been burning the candle at both ends trying to fish as much as I can, work as an Engineer and trying to get things in order for next year to try to get some help to step up to the front of the boat.  Again, thanks for reading and thanks for all the emails and Facebook messages about my blog, I always like hearing from readers.

Until next time, Casey.