Captain Dan Charters operates out of the beautiful Belle River Marina on the Canadian southern shore of Lake St. Clair. The Belle River Marina is only 30 minutes from Windsor and Detroit. The Belle River Marina is the hub of Lake St. Clair’s trophy Musky, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass and Perch fishing hot spots. Belle River, long known as the “Musky Capital of the World” is also home to many Musky tournaments.
Numerous Sport Fishing pros and recreational fishermen, from all over Ontario and Michigan fish the hot spots of Lake St. Clair’s southern shore between May and October.
Lake St. Clair facts: Discovered by French explorers in 1679; Length: 26 miles/41.8 km. Breadth: 24 miles/38.6 km.; Average Depth: 10 ft./3 m.; Maximum Depth: 21 ft./6.4 m.; Volume: About 1 cubic mile/4.17 cubic km.; Water Surface Area: U.S.: 162 sq. miles/420 sq. km. Canada: 268 sq. miles/694 sq. km. Retention/Replacement Time: About seven days.
The Belle River Marina juts out into Lake St. Clair for several hundred yards. Public access along the western side of the pier provides an excellent opportunity to catch a sunset and access to the excellent May, June, October and November inshore fishery.
The early season walleye fishery starts in May as the water temperature reaches the mid 50’s F. Fishing the near shore mud lines and 1st drop-offs (8 to 12 ft of water) produce limits of hungry walleye just finishing their spawn. Trolling small, shallow diving crankbaits off planer boards or long-lining them behind the boat produces good numbers of walleye from all age classes. Captain Dan’s method of choice for these post-spawn walleye is to slow troll/drift spinner worm harnesses off 2-ounce bottom bouncing sinkers. Bright colored chartreuse and firetiger blades with chartreuse or green beads catch limits of walleye in these early spring waters of Lake St. Clair. Schools of young 15 to 17 inch walleye can be adjacent schools of mature 20 to 24 inch Walleye in this shoreline fishery in as little as 3 feet of water.
Early perch fishing on Lake St. Clair takes place in 10 to 15 feet of water. Seek out weed beds and keep on the move until you locate a school of feeding perch. The favorite choice of bait to catch perch are minnows/shiners.
Musky season on Lake St. Clair opens the first Saturday of June. Troll for musky in the 13 to 18 foot depths along the south shore of Lake St. Clair from Pike Creek to the Thames River. Large musky baits are trolled at a speed of 4 miles per hour from boat rods and off the planner boards. To catch unsuspecting trophy musky, try 1 to 3 ounce in-line weights with 5 ft. leaders back 20 to 40 feet behind the boards. Aggressive musky can be caught close to the boat and in the prop wash. To get into these productive musky catching zones behind the boat try 3 to 12 ounce in-line weights with 5 ft. leaders and the stiff heavy action fishing rod pointed into the water.
Smallmouth bass season on Lake St. Clair opens the last Saturday of June. The most productive area the south shore of Lake St. Clair is approximately 3 mile northeast of the Belle River marina in an area referred to as the Belle River “Hump”. The Belle River Hump is a narrow ridge of rocks that form a peninsula like structure that runs due north from shore for about 5 miles. The Hump’s width is generally about a 1/2 mile wide. Good fishing can be found all along the Hump’s length. While Smallmouth bass is the most popular species sought after on and along the Hump, good numbers of walleye and perch can be caught there to.
The summer walleye fishery is 5 to 6 miles North of the Belle River marina in 18 to 20 feet of water. Trophy walleye can be found in, around and on top of the large weed beds that develop in these mid lake areas by July. Trolling large, deep diving crankbaits off planer boards in open areas produce good numbers of walleye from all age classes. Captain Dan’s method of choice for summer walleye is to slow troll/drift spinner worm harnesses off 2-ounce bottom bouncing sinkers. This method produces good numbers of walleye from all age classes as well as jumbo lake perch, trophy smallmouth bass and musky.
If fishing is your passion, if you are one of the millions of people who make fishing their favourite pastime …You haven’t fished until you fish the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair!