: Detroit River springtime techniques and...
11-27-2002, 07:31 AM
I have a cousin coming in from Nebraska in mid-April. I'd like to take him down to the Detroit River, as I've heard the fishing is great that time of year. I've never been down there, so I'm looking for some input.
Assuming that the DR fishing will be about the same in April as it is most years...where are some good locations to take a crack at, and what is the preferred technique? By the way, I don't have the equipment for handlining and would really rather not try it if I can help it. Nothing against it, but my time will be limited and my cousin is not much of a fisherman...so I'd rather not have to spend a long time learning and an equally long time teaching.
If it's clean - jig, if it muddied up - run hand lines. That's what I hear.
11-27-2002, 08:40 AM
Jigging is the way to go if you dont want to handline.
But its not like jigging in most places. The Detroit can get mean to newcomers. The current is very swift, about 8 mph. In some of the most popular places, the bottom is extremely snaggy. Its full of chunks of old roadbed they dumped there when they were rebuilding roads years ago. The walleyes love to hug tight to it and ambush prey.
Boat control is the most important factor. You need a good trolling motor to keep your jig vertical, and to use as little weight as you can get away with. You basically have to hit them on the nose with your jig. You also need lots of patience, you will hang up a lot until you get the hang of it. There are places that arent as snaggy, expecially up river.
Be prepared for large crowds, try to move along with the pack as you drift down river. And please dont try anchoring.
11-27-2002, 09:45 AM
Perchjerker nailed it. You didn't mention how long you'll be here, so be forewarned that water clarity is the key. If you're committed to jigging, you'll need clean water. In mid-April, expect some blow days which will rile up Lake St. Clair and pour mud into the system. Fish can be caught jigging in these conditions, but it'll be much tougher. As far as locations, simply look for the crowds - the entire 32 miles of the river has some favorite spots, though don't be afraid to stray from the pack. Personally, I can't deal with the crowds in the lower river and rarely fish there. The upper stretches are much less crowded, deeper, and less snaggy. Because of the deeper water, I strongly recommend you spool up with a thin diameter superbraid like Fireline.
11-27-2002, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the great pointers. We'll be there for one...maybe two...weekends.
As far as jigging goes, are you using jigheads and minnows or a plastic tail...or whatever they'll take?
11-27-2002, 11:37 AM
It seems as thwe water starts to warm, jigs and rubber worms start working.
I dont know this first hand. I started handlining this year and havent touched a jig since...
11-27-2002, 12:13 PM
People catch fish all three ways:
Jig + minnow
Jig + plastic
Jig + plastic + minnow
I've pretty well weaned myself off of live bait, and fish with just a jig + powerbait most of the time. I still add a minnow when the water is muddy, but the best option in muddy conditions is handlining.
11-27-2002, 07:26 PM
guys don,t think i,m a moron here but could you explain it for me, ( handlining ) i want to know what you are doing, i,v heard a lot about it and around here where i,m from ( southwesntren P.A. ) i know of 1 person who does this but i,ve never been there with him to see what goes on, were supposed to fish togather a few weeks ago but it didn,t happen for me, one gets the impression that the name says it all but i,m certain that from person to person that things will vary, i do have a video going in my head thats showing the proper methods to handline but i want to know from you guys who are handlineing, thank all.
11-27-2002, 07:37 PM
I will email you a link to my website, I have a little tutorial about it.
11-27-2002, 07:41 PM
shadowman, do search on walleyecentral and you should find at least 3 chats on handlining. an articial from juls on handlining.
if you want more info, try dwfonline.com/articles.htm , there are guys in our club who have been handlining for more than 60 yrs...foot steering is the way to go if you want full control and both handsfree...you'll find the info there.
jigging wins most of the tourney's but NOT all. polelining is used instead of handlining...same concept.
hope that helps
11-28-2002, 06:52 AM
EBI- There's more jiggers than handliners and its very difficult to swing a 10 pounder in the boat. "hehehe"
11-28-2002, 07:36 PM
thanks my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
11-30-2002, 05:23 AM
Hey Bob, I pretty sure I seen you and John flipping a few of Detroit River Monsters in the past. lol....
12-02-2002, 08:34 AM
Not to dispute anyone's information but the top current in the Detroit River is approximately 4.5 MPH. That is still pretty fast moving water when you are trying to maintain a drift with a electric trolling motor or trolling forward and handlining. I have been handlining for 35 years and it is still is a challenging way to catch walleye. If you have the opportunity try it sometime, do so with a veteran River Rat. Hey Red how is it going ?
12-02-2002, 01:20 PM
Thanks for all of the gret input. I just want to throw this one out there to further complicate it...just because it makes sense to me (so I assume it is a bit goofy).
When handlining, I'll assume that you are pulling a plug of some sort. The weight is obviously used to take it down to a specific depth. Why couldn't you use small downriggers to do the same thing, or is the objective of handlining the ability to feel soft hits, not necessarily depth control?
12-02-2002, 03:41 PM
You need to tap the bottom with the weight, not hold it a certain depth. The bottom is very irregular in places, thus you are always adjusting the depth. Most fish are right on the bottom of very close.
If you used a downrigger, things would get ugly fast.:)
12-13-2002, 04:52 PM
I have some questions because I know nothing about handlining...Why do you use handlining when it's muddy? Also, why wouldn't handlining work all the time, even when it's not muddy?
12-14-2002, 07:17 AM
Just wondering if there's a website that I could see the equipment used. I'm interested in the ones that go on the rodholders. Plus, just how much is the panther electro-steer? This sounds fun I would love to try it here on the Fox River.
12-14-2002, 08:14 AM
Jigging will work in muddy water too, try to find places where its the cleanest. Spots to work in april are the Trenton channel below the power plant - very snaggy - 3/8 and 1/2 oz jigs w/plastic and or minnows. Up river the Great Lakes Steel plant - snaggy - 1/2 to 5/8 oz jigs and just south of there the Wyandotte area below Mud Island - less snags - 3/8 to 1/2 oz jigs again.
Call Bottom line Bait and tackle 734-379-9762 for info on the Trenton channel.
Wyandotte boat ramp for reports on the Wyandotte area www.wbramp.com or www.dwfonline.com reports page.
Fish are all over.If you are unfamiliar with this area start in with the packs.If you have time find your own fish.Snags,I loose maybe a couple jigs a year.There are area's I fish where there is not another boat in site.Water in spring can be dirty for a week or 2,it don't matter if the fish are hungry.I have caught lots of big ones in muddy water.I would say use a clip on stinger when vertical jigging.If there really bitin it don't matter if you loose a few.
12-14-2002, 01:39 PM
12-15-2002, 10:13 AM
Bob, I am sending you a link to my site. It has a page about handlining with pics of my equipment.