Final stop on FLW Tour

The seventh and final stop of the FLW Tour regular season takes place this week at Lake St. Clair, along the Michigan/Ontario border, which is one of the best smallmouth lakes in North America.
When the schedule was announced last summer, this was the lake that excited me the most because it’s not very often we get to fish on these northern smallmouth lakes, where I am a lot more comfortable than I am on the southern lakes we frequent.
It has been a good season for me and I’m looking pretty good for making the Forrest Wood Cup championship event later in August, so this event will be a little more stress-free than most of the tournaments.
As I’ve mentioned in past columns, we get points based on where we finish in each event and the top 40 anglers in points from the 185-angler field qualify for the Cup.
Heading into this tournament, I am in ninth place overall so as long as I catch a few fish, I’ll earn enough points to make it.
My younger brother, Ben, lives in Toronto so he made the four-hour drive over to pre-fish with me this week, which has been nice. We don’t get to fish together as often as we used to so we’ve been having a good time.
It’s a huge help for me to have a second line in the boat.
After a couple of days, the fishing has been pretty good for us and I’m looking forward to getting the tournament started. But it is a huge lake so it’s a challenge trying to learn as much as we can about it in the three days we get to practice.
As part of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair is known for having trophy-sized smallmouths. In a local tournament last weekend, it took 23 pounds to win. Expect to see similar weights at the top of the leaderboard for our tournament this week.
We have been catching good numbers of fish and some nice ones, but not quite that calibre. We still have a little more time to look around,though, so we’ll see what happens. Maybe we’ll get lucky and find the lucky spot!
It is a hard lake to fish because it is literally a big bowl with very little structure. It’s only about 25 feet deep in the middle so it’s fairly shallow, as well. We have been doing drifts for a couple hundred metres at a time and if we catch a fish or two, we mark the location with a waypoint on my GPS and keep going.
I’ve been about to go back to some of the waypoints and catch fish, but it’s very random. It’s not like pulling up to fish on a specific spot like a reef or hump like we have at home. The shorelines are all very shallow so virtually all of the fishing is done offshore.
Fortunately, there are a lot of bass in this lake and if you find some, they seem to be biting pretty good.
It should be a fun tournament to follow because a bunch of big smallmouths are going to be caught. There are a couple of local anglers that fish the FLW Tour who are going to be favourites heading into this event, as are my fellow Canadians, Chris and Cory Johnston, who are well-known Great Lakes experts.
Benny and I are staying with them this week in Windsor, on the Canadian side of the lake.
Follow the results this weekend at FLWfishing.com

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