Lower Grand River (West of 231 to Lake)

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by TightLines88, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. TightLines88

    TightLines88

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    Ok so I have come to the point where I need to ask for help. I've fished all my life and if given the choice I would choose small trout streams but not everyday is a trout streams day. Anyway.. I bought a family boat a couple years ago and have been trying to fish the Lower Grand with minimal success. I'm not looking for secret spots, just some advice from others that have been successful. I have been targeting Pike, Bass and just about anything that will bite. I've thrown cranks, spoons, spinners, plastics, frogs, etc... Not catching much of anything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help!

    Tight Lines...
     
  2. -Axiom-

    -Axiom- Premium Member

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    Go to Spring lake.
     

  3. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    West of 231 you have many bayous such as Stearns and Bruce's that hold good bass, pike, Gillis and crappie. Potawatomi is a good option as well, but there is limited clearance on the bridge right now. Spring lake is good for bass and Sheephead this time of year and once you get to grand haven the rocks by the power plant discharge on the river and up the canal to the marina hold good number of smallmouth.

    I havent fished the actual river in a few years, but spend a lot of time on the bayous. Senkos and crankbaits tight to the weed lines usually produce
     
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  4. TightLines88

    TightLines88

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    Thank you!
    Tight Lines...
     
  5. piketroller

    piketroller

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    Watch the last segment of this video starting around 17:15. This guy seems to know what he’s doing in the bayous. By now, Millhouse will be choked out with weeds, Pottawattomie will be thick in places but still fishable, and Sterns and Lloyd’s will be more open. Spring Lake will be plenty fishable but it’s a zoo at times. Prime time is late April to the beginning of June.
     
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  6. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    Milhouse is done until this fall. Potawatomi is in good shape, but the only thing fitting under that bridge is a bass boat or shorter.

    Amazing that that guy and his boat look just like you and yours.

    Tightened, where have you been fishing? Heading east from 231 into bass river area is a good option as well
     
  7. piketroller

    piketroller

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    I’m on my third year of exclusively fishing SCR/LSC. The Grand bayous are the best option on the west side of the state, but I’m not over there anymore.
     
  8. Fishndude

    Fishndude

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    It is pretty tough to beat a 6" Sucker Minnow, floated 5-6 feet under a bobber, and trolled along the outside of weedbeds, or along a dropoff, to catch a bunch of Bass and Pike.
     
  9. TightLines88

    TightLines88

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    I've mostly been fishing in the river between 231 and the 31 bridge. I can't fit under the bridges so most of the bayous aren't an option.
    Tight Lines...
     
  10. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    What type of boat? Stearns has a pretty tall bridge, bruces doesn't have a bridge and bass river doesn't either.
     
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  11. TightLines88

    TightLines88

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    23' open bow jet drive (family boat) with a rack that's 4-5' tall. I've hit bass river but never had much luck, I should try again. Thanks for the input!
    Tight Lines...
     
  12. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    Should have no issues getting into Stearns. A lot of pontoons do it with the top up and boats with the wakeboard tower. Good luck.
     
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  13. piketroller

    piketroller

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    You might make it into Lloyd's as well, but there's a launch ramp there anyway.
     
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  14. CrawlerHarness

    CrawlerHarness

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    Nice video Pike.....thank you for sharing.
     
  15. Lund Explorer

    Lund Explorer

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    Sorry in advance for this fairly long post. The following comes from my experience fishing bass tournaments on that muddy old river for 20+ years. I'm going to break this down into three parts. First, the lures I found some success with, second are locations I fished, and finally an opinion or two that maybe I shouldn't have included. When I first started fishing the river, it was quite a culture shock to a guy used to fishing clear waters up north. The idea of fishing where visibility is limited to inches rather than feet can be intimidating, but it works in your favor as well.

    I would suggest starting out with three rods rigged with 1) a Colorado blade spinnerbait, 2) a T-Rig soft plastic, and 3) a 3/8 oz jig w/soft plastic trailer. Normally dark colors work the best, and throwing in a little bright colors adds to the presentation. The one main key is that the bait has to put off a lot of vibration, or it has to rattle. Noise lets the fish find the bait in poor visibility. When talking soft plastics, longer worms with big tails, craws, or large grubs can all work. This isn't a place to practice throwing a Ned Rig. When using jigs, I always used rattling jigheads with a large soft plastic craw for both vibration and noise.

    Once you've got you rods all rigged up and you are on the water, look to target anything that creates a current break, just make sure that you are fishing right up against the shoreline. 90% of the fish I caught there came from less than 2' of water. Lots of wood hung up along the shores, docks and boat lifts, and the mouths of bayous or channels all give bass a chance to hide out of the current while waiting for dinner to come drifting by in the current. As a trout fisherman, you should understand how to present your bait so that it washes down into the fish holding spots.

    Finally, there are the somewhat known "secret spots" along that river. They're called boat launches. Not just any launch, but the ones where the many tournaments hold their weigh-ins and where all those fish are released. Those bass may have come from the river, but a vast number of them came from the bayous, Spring Lake, and in some instances they came there from other lakes connected to Lake Michigan. Bottom line in my book is that the river is the last place most of those fish want to be living, but there's been a forced relocation. Once released, many of those bass tend to hang close to their release site for a few days, and others tend to slowly move up or down stream looking for the places where they used to call home. There are also other places along the river, unmarked, but used as a release spot for guys planning on fishing a tournament in the near future.

    I found one of these "secret spots" by accident a couple of years into my baptism on that river. As luck would have it, we drew a low blast off number and made it there before the other guys. They weren't happy about it, but my rookie butt didn't even know at the time that this was a self-seeded honey hole. We not only cashed money that day, but also learned that some of the local guys stacked the deck slightly in their favor.

    Long story short. Use the above baits, cover a lot of water, when you catch a bass, work the immediate area to see if more are around. You can also cut down on the odds by visiting the DNR's website and look at what tournament are being held down there. They'll tell you what launches they are going out of, and that will tell you where those fish have been released.

    One last thing...... Those release site bass are affectionately known as "Retreads".