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Catch bait???
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm taking a week off near the end of August and going to head into Michigan, preferably near one of the great lakes. I really don't want to drive to the UP.... but I'm willing to go all the way to to the nothern lake shore!

Just curious if anyone here knows of rivers to canoe and fish, with my girlfriend. I've searched the web a lot, and all I find is fly fishing stuff. We'll be using spinning gear, simply arn't into fly fishing.

Ideally I'de like to smallmouth fish, nothing spectuarlar as far as size and quanity goes, just typical "Ohio" smallie fishing. Regardless of fish species and quality I'de like to find a river thats ha sa canoe livery and has a fishing prospect for you're run of the mill spin caster :D

So, any recomendations?!
 

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Did a little research, and found the Cass River, in southern Michigan. Opportunities for smallmouth, northern pike and panfish are good to excellent, per Tom Huggler's book
Fish Michigan -- Fifty More Rivers, pub. 1996.
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Here's an excerpt from this book, regarding a couple of stretches of the Cass River:

"Caro to Vassar (about 15 miles). From Caro to Vassar the river flows over a mixture of sand, gravel, mud and rocks, some of which are the size of small cars. This beautiful stretch, with its hardwood-forested hills, is popular with canoers, who put in at Caro, fish the riffle heads for smallmouths and the pools for northerns, and take out at the county park at M-46. Here, the river flows over a bottom similar to that described above, is 70 to 75 feet wide, and about 2 feet deep. Cover is better thanks to a few logs in the stream, along with some overhanging bankside vegetation, and pools to 4 feet deep.
Vassar to Frankenmuth (about 10 miles). From Vassar to Bridgeport, neckdown areas make for riffles and light rapids, which hold scrappy smallmouths that average 10 to 12 inches, but can grow to 20 inches and 4 pounds plus. To a small black jighead, pin black or grape-colored plastic worms from 4 to 6 inches long and toss them into the faster water. Another good Cass River smallmouth lure is the Fuzz-E-Grub in white or a yellow Mister Twister. We have also taken smallmouths on Rapalas, Mepps spinners, and small Thompson spoons.
One of my favorite stretches is the 5-to-6 mile float between the community park on Saginaw Road (also called Huron Avenue) in Vassar and Tuscola, taking out at Bray Road. Smallmouth bass reproduction is very good, thanks perhaps to incoming Perry Creek. The entire river is wadeable, and it doesn't take much anchor weight to hold a canoe below hot-looking slicks and riffles to make your cast."

Sounds pretty good. Hope you get the chance to check it out.

Pappy
 

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You might also want to check out the North Branch of the Kalamazoo River, for smallmouth. According to Jim Bedford in his Flyfisher's Guide to Michigan, the stream flow is very stable, and stays clear unless there is extremely heavy rainfall. He says the river is floatable below Concord.

Here are a couple of canoe liveries. Not sure if these are on the North Branch, or in other sections of the Kalamazoo River.

Old Allegan Canoe Rental, Inc
Fennville, MI
616-561-5481

Whispering Waters Campground & Canoe Livery
Hastings, MI
616-945-5166

Enjoy your trip.
 

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Catch bait???
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the links guys. If anyone has any personal experiance up there let me know.
 

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I would highly recommend fishing the AusSable river. It is Michigans longest river and flows across the state. Excellent smallmouth, trout, pike. Area near Glennie, Mio are excellent spots for these fish. I have had excellent luck every time on these waters. Not to mention some beautiful scenery. Mio has many cabins and campgrounds within walking distance of the river.
 

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Catch bait???
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Exactly what I was thinking, probably going to start in Mio and work East to the Alcona area.

What baits did you have success with? Still everything I find is fly fishing stuff!!! Figured I cast tubes and my girlfriend will probably just use in-line spinners.
 

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I would stick with wacky rigged plastics, in line spinners, as well as small cranks and tubes. 1/8th oz gitzits in crayfish colors.

Ultra light tackles is a blast on this river as you can catch some large smallmouth and pike. Always fun on light tackle.
 
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