Grand river 6/20

Discussion in 'LOCAL MICHIGAN TALK' started by jspiel, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. jspiel

    jspiel New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    comstock park michigan
    I went out with RiverKat last night. Man I had the time of my life. we put in at west river dr and ran about 6 miles upstream, by the time we were done exploring. We found one 18 ft hole full of wood, and the opposite bank was a 7ft flat. (it would be a great place to beach a boat, build a campfire, and spend a fun night. We also found a long run that was between 10 and 12 ft deep for the entire length of the run. (a little over a quarter mile)

    Dan brought along his 10 y/o nephew Sam. Guess who caught the only Flathead of the night? It was a 14 pounder. Dan has some great pics of the kid and his fish. Well I have to get to work. WHERES MY COFEE.........
     
  2. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    First off, thats great. Nothing beats a good weekday night on the water when you can pull it off.


    Question: Where you guys were, did you use a fish finder the whole time?

    The reason I ask is because I'd love to drop my boat in the Grand but I need a guarantee of at leat 2.7 feet to get my boat around safely. Otherwise my prop touches, and with less of an angle in the water it is hard to control the boat. I can only imagine what it would be like in current.. since I only had the control problem so far in the fairly dead water of the Lake Cadillac-to-Mitchell canal. I really need that minimum depth or more.


    Do ya fellas know if its worth it for me to even try or is that part of the grand a safe enough depth all-around?

    sal
     

  3. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Sal-
    From what I can tell, the stretch they fished & boated can be navigated pretty safely as long as the water isn't too low, and you have some knowledge of the riverbed.
    If we go downtown, as planned, there's no problem at all with depth, so long as you stay away from the west bank.

    Jon-
    Are you in for the 7th? Is this beach-the-boat spot a place we should consider instead of downtown?
     
  4. jspiel

    jspiel New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    comstock park michigan
    the "Beach the Boat" spot is one i would definately consider, as an option over downtown, but that is just personal opinion. i dont like downtown for anything, fishing or otherwise. if you guys were to put in at knapp st and go up from there, there is only one spot that may be a bit dicey (shallow) with alot of boulders, but the stretch is only a couple hundred yards long. it was between 2&4 feet thru there. if necessary you could just tow sals boat that short distance with his motor up. once past that shallow section it flattens out to between 7&8 foot than drops off to a max of 18 ft in the center of that hole......we were marking fish everywhere in that hole. on the oposite bank about 10 feet out it dropped off to a 7 ft flat, the gradually slopped into the hole.......plenty of room around the hole for three or four boats.
     
  5. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Yeah, I know where you're talking about, and I am really scared of that stretch upstream from Knapp St.

    I spent a whole night once on that sandy beach trying to fish the deep hole on the other side, and no matter how many 3 oz pyramid sinkers I put on, all of our lines kept getting swept downstream and fouled with leaves and other debris. It's a tough spot to fish.

    I suggest we put in at West River Dr. like last time, and follow the channel to where we were last time. That way, we have the least depth issues, the least boat traffic, the least civilization, and the most safety & comeraderie.

    Who all can bring a boat? We have some landlubbers who need seats...
    Best,
    Tony

    Let's try to finish this under "July 7", our threads are starting to duplicate eachother, my bad...
     
  6. RiverKat

    RiverKat New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Michigan
    Just got home from work and saw the post Jon. I too had a great time and so did Sam. His mother was alittle P.O.'ed at me for getting him home so late. I told him if he likes to catch big fish, he's going to have lots of P.O.'ed women to deal with in the future. That's just the way it goes. Here's Sam with his fish.
     

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  7. RiverKat

    RiverKat New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Michigan
    I can see how that might be a tuff spot to fish from the bank. I think maybe a short cast made on the inside bend from the beach might be manageable with a 3 oz weight. The river is pretty low right now and current is slow. Compared to the lower Grand the current is very slow up there. I would like to try that bend from the boat, all night, with big livebaits on downlines, outlines, and maybe some kind of carrier rig to position one on the inside bend from the anchored boat at the head of the hole. There has got to be some BIG Flats in that hole. It's the deepest water for at least 10 miles of river. We marked bait from top to bottom in the hole. Lots of wood for both bait and Flats to hold in. The shallow rocky stretch below the bend probably holds alot of small Bass and panfish for feed also. It was less than 2 ft deep through there. Looks like a pretty popular spot with fisherman also. There were 4 other boats in that area last night. They probably thought we were nuts going through there wide open!! Ever catch any fish from the bend Tony?
     
  8. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    Great fish fine young man tell him I'm green with envy better be careful that cat could almost eat him:big_smile:
     
  9. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Guys,

    I CAN bring my boat for sure and can take on 3 other fishermen besides myself comfortably... but really, a 2 foot deep portion of the river will destroy my motor and scrape my hull and I dont want that. Not for this boat. There is too much invested to lose it, and cash is too tight to fix it without holding the injured boat till winter. Wether I will bring it or will tag on with Don depends wholly upon if I can be assured of safe travel, especially in the dark, and ceartainly on a river I am unfamiliar with, as is the case on that Grand River.

    If it is a smaller and more manageable area that I can be towed through or drop my kicker and go at it that way, I will be fine, so long as Im deeper than 2.7 feet. Below that, I touch bottom and damage can occur. I envision this beastly menacing log waiting for me as I cross a sand bar and I cringe.

    Can I get that assurance from you brothers who truly know?

    I gotta hammer at the question... and forgive my persistence.
     
  10. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Great Photo, Dan! You should have it made into a poster and give it to him for his birthday!
    Frankly, I have not done well at that hole.
    As good as it looks, there truly must be fish there, BUT...
    I used to work part time at a major local sporting goods store (mostly to supply my hunting/fishing habit at a 20% discount) I met a lot of good fishermen, and EVERYONE knew about that hole. I have to believe that savvy anglers deplete the resource pretty regularly. Some guys took Fred Trost there once and he blabbed the location all over the state on his goofy show.
    You have it nailed, be best to boat fish it to get on top of the best water. I did that just once, but I learned too late that the night before the giant mayflies had swarmed the area, so I think every game fish in the area was stuffed with those. We caught nothing all night- and we had top quality bait that night, too.
    I'm done there, at least until I get my Alumaweld Sportjet, at which time I'm going there right after a significant rainfall, which I believe re-arranges fish into the best holding areas. That first 200 yards up from Knapp Street is treacherous, especially by that little island near the west bank.

    The bottom line, for me, is that I have better luck fishing marginal habitat that attracts less fishing pressure, than fishing prime spots that get hammered all the time. An overlooked 7' hole in a long 3-4' run seems to produce better for me than the "hotspot" everybody knows about.
    Tight lines & strong knots,
    Tony
     
  11. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Sal-
    Guarantees are impossible, there's always a risk with rivers.
    Having said that, I will tell you that my boat draws a lot of water, and I get through there no problem all the time- even in the dark.
    Others may back me up on this, anyone who knows someting I don't, chime in.
    The worst part is right by the ramp. I always row accross almost to the opposite bank, where the trough/channel is. Then I power up and get just barely on plane until I'm past the bridge (150yds). Then I speed up, and stay 10-15 yds off the south bank the remaining 1/2 mile or so to where I start fishing. Unless the water is really, really low (it's low, but not bad here right now), I'm in 4-10 feet of water all the time.
    If it will make you feel better, you can follow right behind me all the way. I just bought a new sonar & battery, so I'm back in business.
    Returning to the ramp, you just have to raise the motor and row, drift, paddle, or wade & pull the last 30-40 yards to the dock. Its not a long trip back to the ramp, either, so your kicker will move you downstream just fine, too. (I always fish UPSTREAM from the ramp I use, can't be too careful).
    16 years ago, before I knew better, I bought a 40 HP long shaft for my 13' Boston Whaler. Sticks down way too far, but now I'm stuck with it, so I've learned to get familiar with the river and fish the waters I know.
    This ramp is 5 minutes from home, so its the water I know the best.
    Your call.
    Tony
     
  12. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Ok,

    That sounds assuring enough I suppose, given the variables that rivers are masters of.

    The next question... (god I sound like an obsessive anal retentive guy at this point)

    The area between the ramp and the channel- you say 30-40 yards, how shallow are we talking? Can I even get the boat in the water off a trailer?

    This sounds like a broken record, I know... but the boat is over one ton, and dragging it across sand and gravel sounds like Im in for hell. If I can get enough water under it to float and I lower the kicker to the same depth at the skeg as the boat transom, I think I could possibly make some progress. What is that area like and do you think that will work?
     
  13. RiverKat

    RiverKat New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Michigan
    OUTSTANDING response Tony. I agree everybody and their brother knows of that spot. Probably spooking all the big boys with their sub par tactics. I too have seen high water relocate fish and we need it bad right now. Your right on track fishing the overlooked spots.

    Best to you.
    Dan
     
  14. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    A TON?
    Good Grief, if this is a 24' Sea Ray with twin 260 IO's you're out of luck- have fun on the Big Lake!
    On the other hand, If it's an 18' runabout with a 150 horse outboard, you'll do fine.
    2.7' is about 32", and I'm pretty sure we can get that there & back without any damage.
    IF the water is way, way low, the shallowest stretch from ramp to channel might be about 20 yards of 2' water. You can make that with the kicker, can't you?
     
  15. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    ok. Ill just drag er down there and see what happens.


    See you on the 7th! Don- you can pop on my boat. No need for yours!

    Still seating available.

    Sal
     
  16. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    OK bud I'm in was kinda waiting for sparky to sound off but i think he is in the u.p.
     
  17. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Hey,
    Save a spot for Jon, the other FHV (flat-head-virgin), too.
    So really, how big is this yacht?

    I'm thinking we should launch between 6 & 7 PM, if we can be there & have enough bait.
    Y'all wanna make it an all-nighter?
     
  18. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Dont know where Sparky is!

    Odd... I did a west-mich trip this weekend last july as well with Sparky & jross. Maybe this year will be more fruitful.


    Sal
     
  19. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Its not really so big as it is a deep boat.

    Its a 19'5" super deep V center console Lowe. It is the last of the center consoles that lowe produced in Aluminum. And the motor is a 115 merc with a 7.5 kicker.

    It just sits low in the water. It was designed for salmon.
     
  20. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Bait availability is an issue. Never have had any good luck catching 'gills in that stretch. Rockbass, SM's, & suckers yes, but not gills.
    Bring as many as you can keep alive, and I'll try to get some from the park pond. We can buy some gold plated suckers from the Barefoot Baitshop near the ramp if we must.

    With enough boats, Brothers, rods, & baits- the only things I can imagine skunking us is mayfly hatches, extreme low or extreme high water, spawning issues, pestilence, earthquake, or nuclear holocaust. In the event of the latter, all size & bag limits are no longer in effect.