Back on the FLW tour

One thing about where we live in Sunset Country is if you like to spend time in the outdoors, there isn’t a much better place to be.
In fact, you couldn’t pay me to live anywhere else. I just love everything about Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake too much! Not to mention all of the smaller lakes and rivers across the region, which offer endless opportunities for doing anything you could imagine on the water.
The only problem we have is that the summer goes by way too fast!
I’ve been busy over the past couple of months fishing in bass tournaments just about every weekend. I live for fishing in these tournaments, along with a bunch of my good buddies who share this passion.
This week has me on the road in Detroit, Mich. getting ready to do my second of four FLW Tour Opens that I’m fishing this year. My first FLW event down in Florida back in February went really well and I left with a 20th-place finish.
This week, the tournament is running out of the Detroit River, which separates top smallmouth waters Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. We have the option of fishing either body of water.
These are pro-am style tournaments, where a boater is partnered with a non-boater each day of the tournament. Each angler fishes in their own division and catch their own five-fish limit.
As well, the non-boaters only are allowed to fish off the back of the boat.
I’m lucky that I have my dad down here with me this week to help me pre-fish. We actually only are allowed to pre-fish with anglers who are signed up to fish as non-boaters or immediate family, so this worked out really well.
Also, my dad has been hot this year in the local tournament circuit, with a win at the Shoal Lake bass tournament in July and a second place last week at the Shaw KBI. So, hopefully, he will be a good coach!
After a couple of days on the water, all I can say is “Wow!” There is some serious water here! I spent my first day fishing on Lake Erie and the second two days fishing on Lake St. Clair.
Going out on either body of water is just like going out on the ocean—they are absolutely huge! We have some big lakes at home, but we have islands that break things up so even if it’s really windy, we still can get around for the most part.
If it gets really windy here, you aren’t going anywhere! Fortunately, we’ve had great weather this week with light winds, so travelling around hasn’t been a problem.
As for the fishing, it’s been pretty good. This area has some of the best smallmouth fishing in the world and it hasn’t disappointed this week. We had an okay day on Lake Erie and caught some big fish, but it was one here, one there.
We would catch a nice fish every couple of miles, so we were spread out quite a bit and we didn’t find any big schools of fish.
The next two days on Lake St. Clair were better. We managed to find some areas that seem to have some large groups of fish in them and if they can stick around for me for a few more days, I should be able to have a good tournament.
We’ve been catching fish really good on crankbaits, as well as some on tubes and drop-shot rigs once we find them. The best crankbaits have been Rapala DT10s and DT16s.
Lake St. Clair is really different from any other water that I’ve fished because there is not a lot of structure. This huge lake (about 35 miles across) is only about 20 feet deep at the deepest point and there are clumps of weeds all over the lake that the fish relate to, so we’ve been spending a lot of time running around the lake finding the right kind of weeds.
We also have caught muskies, walleyes, drum, and a few largemouth bass this week.
You can follow the tournament online this weekend at www.flwoutdoors.com (it starts Thursday morning and runs through Sunday).
The entire field fishes for two days, the top 20 fish on Day 3, and the top 10 fish on Day 4.

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