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Lower Au Sable

Discussion in 'North - North East Michigan Streams and Rivers' started by FSZ, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. FSZ

    FSZ

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    Hi all I'm looking to do a trip to the lower au sable for smallmouth (strictly catch-release) in late july or early august. I have a 16.5 lund with a 30 hp but also have kayaks and a 15' grumman sport- boat (canoe-boat hybrid).

    What do you all think the best way to fish below foote dam to the lake is? Using the 16 footer, kayaks, or grumman sport-boat? Is any of the water wadeable?- meaning, is it possible to paddle or boat a while then secure the boat by the shore and fish with waders? Alternately, can you anchor (not in the main channel or middle, rather off to the side) and fish? How deep is the water in this stretch? I understand the river is no wake.

    I'm not set on any one method, just don't know what is going to be most effective.

    Also, does this section of the river have a lot of traffic? I've read that the (presumably) shallower sections upstream toward mio get heavy recreational use. I can handle other river users, its public water of course, but I'm not interested in fishing the area if there is a ton of traffic. I would be fishing mid-week though.

    Thanks a bunch for any input!
     
  2. BigW

    BigW

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    Location:
    mid-Michigan and NELP
    "Below the dam" is a pretty big stretch that includes several kinds of water. That time of year can result in some very shallow sections from the dam to the mouth. If you're thinking of going the whole length, I would suggest you use the smallest rig you have.
     

  3. FSZ

    FSZ

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    Thanks!

    I wasn't going to go the whole length in one day. Plan on fishing a couple to 3 days and splitting it up between the dam and the whirlpool access and then the whirlpool access to near the lake.
     
  4. ausable_steelhead

    ausable_steelhead

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    Location:
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    The “lower” Au Sable would be Foote dam to Lake Huron. This sounds like the section you plan to fish. It’s deep, but wadeable.

    Rec traffic isn’t too bad in the summer, but there is some canoe, kayak, and boat traffic. The river below Foote will have no shallow areas to worry about, however, it is FULL of wood.

    There are several deep, slow holes; weed lines, rock piles, and log jams that hold smallies. Lots of methods and baits work. I always got my biggest bass on 4-5” chubs or shiners, right from the river, drifted through holes. Good luck.
     
    BigW likes this.
  5. mfs686

    mfs686

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    I fish from my kayak from Foote down to the whirpool, AFTER dinner. By then the aluminum, plastic and innertube hatch is over. I get out at several spots along the way to wade and fish as well as fish from my kayak. Lot's of 8-12 inch smallmouth but there are some bigger ones deep in those log jams.
     
    BigW likes this.
  6. Fishndude

    Fishndude

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    Any of your boats should work fine. If you use a motorized boat, you should "unlock" your motor, so it can kick up if you happen to run into wood unexpectedly. The river is quite a bit busier from Whirlpool down to town in the summer. TONS of canoes, yaks, and tubes launch at the Whirlpool.
    There are certainly some beastly Smallies in the river below Foote. But you will catch 20 undersized fish for every fish you catch over 16". If you want bigger fish, and more variety, try to target areas with logjams. There is a warning to not eat ANY fish that reside in the Ausable, below Foote dam, at all. NONE. EVER. At least until further notice, which I don't expect in the next 10 years, smh. :rolleyes:
     
    piscatorial warrior likes this.
  7. Bighunther

    Bighunther

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