Lake St. Clair, Michigan; July and August

Lake St. Clair, Michigan; July and August

Lake St. Clair, Michigan; July and August

Lions, Tigers and bass.  That's Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, and elbow-jarring St. Clair smallies.  When asked his favorite summer bass fishery, Bassmaster Elite rising star Jonathan Van Dam was quick to reply Lake St. Clair.  When I asked the Michigan native why he picked St. Clair after reminding him of the manifold sky-blue-water opportunities in Michigan and neighboring states, he was quick to reply:  "It's a big fishery, it has lots of fish, and it is one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the world.  A 'good day' in the summer is 20 to 30 bronzebacks ranging from 12 inches to 6 pounds."


St. Clair smallies feed heavily on yellow perch in the summer.  Van Dam's advice was simple:  "Head  toward the middle of the lake and look for perch fisherman."  The "middle of the lake" area isn't exactly the middle, rather more like 1 to 2 miles out from the shoreline area referred to as "Mile Roads," the stretch of shoreline from Metro Park south to Ford's Point.  The water will be 14- to 19- feet deep, and the habitat will be clumps of cabbage.  Use your electronics to find groups of bass.



When he finds what he is looking for, Van Dam starts with a Strike King Series 5 crankbait.  If the crankbait doesn't produce, a drop shot or a tube gets the call.  A deep diving jerkbait always deserves time in the water.

The fish often group by size.  Keep moving until you find the quality of fish you want.  Then mark the spot with a waypoint and fish around it.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall. Bass

Using Crankbaits For Smallmouth Bass

Matt Straw - January 31, 2016

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall.

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading and HotMaps Platinum. News

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading to its Platinum+ and HotMaps Platinum cartography

In-Fisherman - April 29, 2019

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading and HotMaps Platinum.

Across the Walleye Belt, early spring is prime time to tap some of the year's best bites. Walleye

Spring is Prime Time for River Walleyes

Dan Johnson - February 22, 2018

Across the Walleye Belt, early spring is prime time to tap some of the year's best bites.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bug-Repellent Clothing from L.L. Bean

Bug-Repellent Clothing from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean No Fly Zone and Insect Shield apparel won't let bugs ruin a fishing trip. With Jeff Miller of L.L. Bean and Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Travel Destinations on Ice

Travel Destinations on Ice

The In-Fisherman staff targets all fish during each and every season, with many of our favorite winter option are on the ice.

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options. Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. 

Walleyes spawn in spring, but spring may arrive in February in Mississippi, March in Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

See More Stories

More Bass

Kyle and Tyler Bahr grew up with one thing on their mind; bass fishing. Bass

Bahr Bassin' Family

Steve Quinn - November 28, 2018

Kyle and Tyler Bahr grew up with one thing on their mind; bass fishing.

Surface lures get old but they never die. Bass

New Topwater Lures With Exceptional Qualities

Steve Quinn - June 04, 2018

Surface lures get old but they never die.

What makes intercepting a trophy smallmouth more likely? The answers might be surprising. Bass

Catching Trophy Smallmouth Bass

Matt Straw - July 01, 2019

What makes intercepting a trophy smallmouth more likely? The answers might be surprising.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×