Belleville Lake

Discussion in 'MICHIGAN LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by sal_jr, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Ithaca, MI
    Vic is the man to discuss Belleville Lake with. Here's a copy of his previous words on the place, direcvtly copied from the old site. Ask him for any clarification.

    " Ok, here we go so pay attention all you Michigan Channel cat lovers:

    Belleville Lake is the best location for Channel Catfish in the Metro Detroit area and surrounding burbs.

    Making that statement might make fishing conditions a little more pressurized, but there's going to be pressure anyway to some extent. I discovered Belleville late last summer so i'm not the resident expert, but one thing I am convinced about is (a)there are large channel cats in abundance, and (b)there are no flathead catfish.(Although a fishing buddy of mine said he caught a small one last year - small as in bullhead size -don't go there with flatheads on the brain. You will be disappointed. Do go there with a positive outlook toward catching a large channel cat or two, because you will if you hold your mouth right. Personally, I have never caught a fiddler during the many nights I was on the water last year, nor have I seen one caught. All the ones I've seen were well over eating size. The largest one I caught last year was about as long as my right arm, which is just over 32 inches. So, I wouldn't be surprised if the next state record came from there, which is 41.5 inches(that's a lengthy channel cat).


    Take I-94 West from I-275(doesn't matter if you're coming from the north or south on I-275). You can take either of these three exits:
    Haggerty Road
    Belleville Road
    Rawsonville Road
    You must go south from any of these exits(left turns)to get to the lake. The perimeter of the lake is I-94 and service road(North)Haggerty Road(East)Huron River Drive(South) and Rawsonville Road(West)Most lakes have many access points to the shore, this one does not, so shoreline fishermen are pigeon-holed to a couple of spots.

    Sandy's Marina
    Take Haggerty to Huron River Drive. Turn right on Huron River Drive go about a mile or so crossing some railroad tracks. Just past the tracks is a sharp right turn that leads to the marina. There is a can't miss Sandy Marina sign there unless you arrive at night. You've gone way too far if you run in to Main Street in downtown Belleville. You can purchase bait at the marina in the form of nightcrawlers,minnows,leeches,waxworms,b lah,blah,blah. The major ommission is crayfish, which in my opinion is the best natural bait for smallmouth bass. Oops, sorry we're talking catfish, but I had to show some respect to the smallmouth in the lake. They're huge. I caught one fishing with a bluegill last year. The one's that will take a bluegill are great fighters on medium to light catfish gear.

    Sandy's Marina is a great place to go if you're alone and are extremely cautious about darkness and the type of people that come out in summer months. I have been there many nights alone with no anxiety because it is fairly well lit, and usually occupied with fishermen throughout the night. I have never noticed any raucous behavior because everyone that comes there shows up to fish(from my vantage point anyway). You can fish as long as you want, whenever you want. This is a very rocky area of the lake and you will lose some tackle from time to time. Also, the catfishing from this location seems sporadic from the shoreline. Bluegill fishing is great however, which is why I target this area to catch my bait. LOL. People do catch cats here, but most of the catting is caught in the Huron river area below the lake. Make sure you have a long handled net and alot of weight to keep the bait down because the current is normally swift. This is where everybody goes can figure it out...

    The second location I want to share is definitely not for those who are afraid of the dark, boogeymen, or any like criteria. This is my favorite spot, and in my humble opinion the best place to catch catfish from shore on the entire lake.


    Take Belleville exit south, then turn right onto service road...follow for about two miles until you pass the Diamondback Saloon;about 100 yards past that is Old Denton Road. There's a convenience store there where you can park. Old Denton is a dirt road that winds around and links up with Denton Road. Walk down Old Denton past the cemetery on the left about 50-75 yards until you see a guard railing. Enter the woodline at the guard railing and walk the beaten path downhill to the fishing hole which is another 50 yards or so. You will see a trail that runs east/west;if you followed that trail west it would take you to Van Buren Park which closes at night. If you took it east you'd just end up back on Old Denton Road. Anyway, once you get to the base of the hill there are three spots to fish. As you face the water, there's a boat ramp to the right, a spillway in the center, and a spot for two fishermen under some trees to the left. Wherever spot you choose to fish you better have some type of light, because it's dark enough that you can't comfortably fish without one. I think the spillway is the best location, even though there is only room for one angler or two if you're fishing with one pole apiece. Shad are in abundance by the thousands, and the catfish have a gathering every night on these sandy flats to take advantage of this. I believe the largest catfish in the lake hold court here on a regular basis. The other bonus is you can catch them in the daytime here as well, but the best runs are at night, bar none. If you don't believe me check the Michigan lakes info maps that features where different species are caught, and look up Belleville Lake. You can purchase this publication for around $20 bucks I think. I feel pretty comfortable sharing this info because people generally take the path of least resistance, preferring to opt for marginal results to be comfortable. If you go, do take a buddy...I don't think there's much to worry about it, but you will run into the occassional weirdo or policemen doing their "job". That happened on one occassion last year when they entered the woods and walked on our position. I didn't think they'd be that overzealous, but I was surprised. Everything was okay, they were just investigating the noise one of my fishing partners made after catching a three pound catfish. Sheesh! So if you go and hook a fish, act like you've experienced the sensation before and don't yell "fish on" except in the daytime.LOL.

    Bait to use

    Best - Cut Shad, Live fish

    Better - Leeches, Jumbo shrimp

    Good - Other cut bait

    Fair - Chicken livers, night crawlers(if the baitfish don't get it first)

    Poor - Stinkbait

    Jury is out - Goby minnows(lakes full of them and they're easy to catch with the same setup you use for bluegill; don't know if catfish like them or not)

    The reason I put live fish in the best category is you might hook anything from Tiger Muskie, Walleye, or Smallmouth in the process.

    I hope this information is helpful and maybe i'll run into you on the lake sometime. If not, may your clickers sing all night long.

    State record - Caught in 1960 and 1964
    Where - Houghton Lake, Roscommon County
    Weight - 40 pounds
    Length - 41.5 inches
    Anglers - Richard French, Dick Litarski

    Will you be the next one?
  2. papalove

    papalove Guest

    I was unaware that Michigan had any Channel cats until a gamewarden was telling me of the fish in the lake I was fishing. " Belleville". He said that the survey that the state took of the lake last year brought up a 55#. I have sence started to learn about cats and fished exclusively for them. I have been above the dam, at Van Buren park and o0ther access points. I have caught about 40 in the last 6 weeks. most were 14-18" but a few were 7&8 #, 26-28". They are fun on light tackle. The problem with this lake is the pollution. While on the web I found articles on the Huron river watershed that refered to the old ford lugoon, that emptyed into Belleville Lake has not been cleaned up. At least were it enters the lake, at the Van Buren park fishing sight, there are pcb's and other contaminates. So much for any fish fries from that area.

  3. papalove

    papalove Guest

    Welcome home brother