Campau Lake - Grand Rapids

Discussion in 'Warm Water Fishing Inland LP Lakes' started by fishnut, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Has anyone ever fall fished Campau Lake???? I am possibly going tomorrow but wanted to know if its worth my while. I have pulled some muskies from that lake. Let me know.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. Me and a few friends hit up campau on 09/28. We fished it pretty hard for about 14 hours. Five minutes into the trip i had a musky come out of the water, and jump over my line about 15ft in front of my lure. An hour later we got our first follow, and after a few figure 8's he hooked up. Ended up being 33". Throughout the day we saw several big tigers sunning in the shallows. I had a pretty violent hit at a 9" sluggo but he didnt hook up. Several more follows on bucktails and silver minnows throughout the day. We landed one more that day, a 35". Throughout the day we saw no less than 10 skies. We had 3 or 4 follows that didnt hook up. We havent gotten back out there yet, but we have plans to. Probably later this week, or this weekend. Let me know if you head out there how you do. Just an fyi, all of our luck was on the shallow side of the launch (if you are heading out from the launch, head right). To the left there was lots of good looking cover, but not much action. Given the colder temps now, its very possible the exact opposite will be true.

  3. Thanks Jaid, we hooked up on a few muskies this summer, caught at 39" across the lake from the lauch. Did you say on the shallow side of the launch? I was using a buzzbait and I think we may stick with those tonight. Thanks for the input and I'll let you know how we do.
  4. Yea, if I recall, straight out from the boat launch you come to a small peninsula that goes back into a cove. That peninsula more or less divides the lake. On the left side of it, there is an island, and then deeper water in the 18-25ft range or so. To the right of it, its just a pretty flat portion of lake in the 4-10ft range. We caught everything to the right of that peninsula, and only saw one or two skies on the other side, with the deeper water. We caught the 33" about 50' from the launch, just to the right in thick weeds and about 1.5' of water. Could have easily casted to it standing on the shore. The 35" we got in the center of what ive been referring to as the 'right' or 'shallow' side of the lake.

    Let me know how you guys do out there. We've been fishing Bankson quite a lot lately, but the bite doesnt seem to be on. We've only caught one in the last two weeks. Cant find them in the shallows, cant find them in the weeds, cant find them in open water. Finally spotted one last night, in 1.5' of water, go figure. 35 degrees out and they head to the shallows?!

    Anyway, if they are biting at Campau, we may have to load the boat up and make a trip up there!
  5. I'll let you know how we do. Our game plan is to begin across the lake from the boat lauch and follow the shoreline to the north end of the lake (shallow end). I'm going to stick with buzzbaits I think, if their in the shallows they hate those things so it may be worth a try.
  6. I grew up on the lake. I know every nook and cranny. What do you want to know?

    I seldom fish musky in the lake, but the DNR has planted Musky, Tiger Musky, and Northern Pike at one time or another. The numbers aren't great, but this is the time of year they're easiest to catch.

    It's generally not a great bass lake since it gets a lot of pressure and there don't tend to be many big ones. It's got a public launch and it's less than a half-hour drive from the South End of Grand Rapids and Kentwood so it gets a lot of use for a small lake.
  7. Some more clarification.

    If you head left from the boat launch you go through the channel and into "Kettle" lake. It's not legally recognized as such, but it's what the locals have called it since forever. The local elementary school is even named Kettle Lake Elementary. The lake you actually launch into is Campau.

    Campau is the bigger lake and is quite shallow. There are a lot of shallows and the lake doesn't get any deeper than 15' of 16' in any location. It's especially shallow on the side of the lake opposite the boat launch. From the point of the penninsula all the way around to the North side of the lake there's a lot of shallow water that slowly drops off. In the summer Campau has a lot of weeds and a lot of Musky and Bass can be caught literally anywhere in the lake since even in the middle it's only 15' deep. We've caught just as many bass and musky just slowly trolling Rapelas through the middle of the lake as we have fishing the docks and cover for them.

    Kettle lake gets really deep. 50-60' depending on the water level. Just South of the penninsula and the small island the bottom is sandy and drops off quickly. The deepest part of the lake isn't in the geographic center but between the middle of the lake and the island. In the fall you'll often find the fish right on the sandy drop-off there. We've made killings on the crappies with minnows fishing that drop off.

    The best ice fishing in the winter is in Kettle even though most people don't know that and fish Campau. If you've got a fish finder you can find the crappie through the ice in Kettle it's great fishing. Generally it's only an okcay icefishing lake though since there aren't hardly any pike and no walleye. Icefishing is for panfish only. (The DNR may have planted a few eyes one year but they didn't take hold.)

    I'd avoid the little channel on the very northwestern end of Campau. It has a ton of lilly pads and cover in the summer, but it gets narrow very quickly and turns into nothing but a swamp. (Great for catching turtles if you're a kid) People who don't know better have torn up props and gotten boats stuck back there. The people who live there keep the very middle clear up to the last dock, but there's often a lot of submerged timber back there. Great cover for bass and musky, but not worth it since even if you hook up you'll most likely lose it after it wraps you up on a log.

    Let me know how you do. Most of the people I know who target Musky in the area gave up on Campau/Kettle lake and fish the Thornapple now.
  8. Well our trip to Campau was a total loss. We fished for about 3 hours and no takers, not even an follow-ups. We fished everthing in the box from buzzbaits, to Yamomoto worms, to crankbaits. We saw a few muskies surface in the shallows but no takers. I think that Campau is nearing "turn-over" and that may have a big difference on the action of the fish. If anyone goes out anymore this year, let me know how you do. I will plan on ice fishing the lake this winter.
  9. Thanks for the update fishnut!

    We hit up bankson again last night, had one hookup but lost him right at the boat, looked to be in the 30-34"range. The deep water shows tons of debris on the fish finder, so im guessing the deep water is already turning over. The shallows are amazingly clear though. We cruised around with the trolling motor from about 9:30pm to 11:30pm covering the entire west shore with the spotlight. In that one pass, we saw 3 walleye, one of which was very good sized, and 5 muskie(and countless bass and bluegill). None of the muskie were tremendously large, but at least we know they are still in there. The last one we saw, had something wrong with his mouth. Upon closer inspection, we noticed the lip of a crankbait sticking out of his mouth. Looks like his mouth was hooked shut also. No leader or line on the crankbait, im wondering if a bass fisherman didnt want to deal with it and just released him with the lure. Either that or this guy (~25-30") managed to straighten out the clasp on a leader. We spent a good 15 minutes trying to net him. He was in about 3' of water, and pretty docile. We got close once, my friend actually rubbed him with the net, and he took off. Next thing we know, we hear a big splash, look back and he had jumped out of the water, and was charging directly at the side of our boat. Hows that for aggression! After that we lost sight of him, so unfortunately, hes probably going to be belly up in a couple of days if he cant shake that crankbait.

    Another oddity, we saw a baby muskie. He wasnt more than 12", if that. It was hilarious to see the little guy looking all tough sitting in the weeds a few feet away from a school of bluegill.

    If you get a chance, you might want to try bankson. During the week the fishing pressure isnt bad, the weekends have been pretty busy lately though. I think the MMA has a tourney out there this Saturday.
  10. We fished that lake a few times years ago, and the biggest muskie my buddy and me ever saw was in that lake! We where out at nite inthe summer by the island and there was a full moon out. we where casting and I noticed a "v" in the water heading towards our boat. This "v" was putting out a nice little wake and I thought it might be a beaver coming to our boat thinking it was a island and was going to climb in. Well I told my friend and he grabbed the spotlight and the "v" got next to the boat and oh my lord! It was a big muskie! This thing was close to 5 ft long.. I kid you not! It was huge! It slowly cruised next to the boat as we watched it. I threw body baits out as it was leaving, but nothing.
    This fish was between 4 to 5 ft and I would bet my house it was closer to the 5 mark.
    Good luck on oyur next trip.
  11. We saw a Mexican guy catch a musky a few years back that must have been a state record. My little brother was 4'6" tall at the time and this fish was longer than he was and fat!

    The guy didn't speak a lick of English and we didn't speak a lick of spanish. We tried to tell him to report the catch to the DNR but he just kept trying to show us his liscense. (He must have thought we thought he was fishing illegally.)

    Sadly, that monster was probably eaten and not reported or mounted.

Share This Page