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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a new to me 12' aluminum rowboat and Evinrude 5 1/2 outboard. Boat is V-hull and fairly deep. Motor seems reliable.
I'm wondering if this is enough boat and motor to fish the Elizabeth Park / Trenton Channel area in the spring?
I'm not concerned too much about the boat. I've fished southern Lake Huron for many years from a similar rig and have experience handling a small motor driven rowboat in both natural waves and boat waves. I should be okay if I pay attention to what's going on around me.
I'm more concerned about the current and whether or not the 5 1/2 HP will have enough power to push us back upstream.
Obviously, every rig is different and it is hard to make accurate predictions based on a brief written description, but some of you folks fish the Elizabeth Park area frequently and may have observed small boats operating successfully and unsuccessfully.
I would appreciate your thoughts.

Lindsey
 

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You won't go fast but it will do the job.
When I started fishing the river I would rent a 14ft at Tommy's (Alter Rd.) and throw a 6hp on it and run to the RenCen and back. It took 30 to 45 minutes each way but it worked.
 

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I have put in Elisabeth park probably 50 times in my life. You should be ok, if you stay close to the park I would not recommend that do not head around the point near Sugar Island as the big boats comming up and off of plane put up big wakes. And always wear your Life vest and have a bucket in case you get wet. I know you are experienced on Huron but the waves combined with the current can challenge even the most experienced sportsman especially if the wind if wipping and you have a 8lb walleye on. LOL.

But it would be a good river rat boat. My dad had a friend that taught him the ropes in the late 1970s that had a similar set up and he outfished even veteran anglers 2 to 1.

I might recommend putting an electric motor on it so you can be vertical and also to help you navigate around the boats. It's like a bowling alley in
the spring, I have pretty much abandoned it because of the madness.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to both of you for your replies.
I'll give the rowboat a try river on the river in the spring.

Bruce, I'll keep my life jacket on. Thanks for the reminder. That's always been the family rule when out in little boats.

Hotwired mentioned Tommy's at the end of Alter Road. I used to ride my bicycle to the Detroit park across the street to fish back in the late 60's and early 70's. Tommy's had the best french fries back then, always fresh, hot and heavily salted.

Lindsey
 

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Great on the life vest. I set a state record in the 200 free style as a senior High School Swimmer but my Dad always made me wear one when we were on the Detroit River. He was a rowsman with the Wyandotte Club and really saw some disturbing things in the spring when his crew rowed out of that club.

Still to this day I put on a vest when I am on the Great Lakes, especially when I am by myself. It keeps you warm and it is a no brainer with this c razy Michigan weather.
 

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The boat and motor should be fine. I have use a 16 foot with an 8 hp. when I fished long ago, up in the north channel by Decker's, I would rent a boat and use my 2 hp . Talk about slow but it did work. If you have doubts make your first trip up river. that way it would be easy to get back to the ramps if needed.

On you 12 foot boat. I don't know the year of the boat, but lots of older boat were built with little or no flotation in them. If this is the case you may want to add some. It could be as simple as strapping an orange life vest under each seat. One dangerous situation that occurs on the river Is when the wind blows hard up current. It pushes against current and can chop up the river with rollers real quick. These wind can come out of nowhere in the spring. It would be a good idea to keep a close eye on the weather. A boat a few foot longer with enough power to stay on top of the waves helps in this situation.
 

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Ha, me, my dad, and my bro went out hundreds of times on our old 12 foot aluminum with 5.5 hp "Ted Williams) motor(VERY old) back in the day.
 

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I love fishing out of small boats. I have a 14' Lund "A" series that I take out on the river and out into Erie a lot. It is really neat because when you are in it, it feels like you are really 'in" the water. That being said, of course, you want to avoid really being in the water! As long as you use good sense and take the right precautions, you should be fine. The 3 biggest things:

1) Do not overload your boat. The weight capacity plate is a very important guide. The max capacity includes motor, passengers and all gear. Exceeding the capacity of a small boat makes the very unstable and once they start going over, there is no saving it.

2) When underway, always have the kill switch lanyard on your wrist. This likely saved my life this past Summer (do a look up on a post I did back in early September).

3) Spend the money on a real good, comfortable life vest and wear it.

Small boats are really cool because they are cheap to run, easy to handle, fun to fish out of and very easy to maintain. I absloutely love my little Lund, but you have to use good sense.

Jim
 

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Pick your days right, watch the weather and use a little common sense.

Make sure you have the required PFD's, required Safety Equipment and a good pair of oars.

Don't even attempt going out on days with a good wind coming from any point from the south as you will see the conditions that Ed Michrina detailed in his thread.

If you are fishing the Edison Stacks (a really short run from Elizabeth) and have a problem you can easily paddle or row your way into Humbug island/Marsh for help at Humbug Marina and Gibraltar Boat Yard. The average depth of the marsh is not more than 3 to 4 feet with a mucky bottom.

Rowing or paddling would be a worse case senario since there are usually a number of other boats fishing the area which can and should provide you assistance if you need it. I usually tow in a couple boats into Elizabeth during the spring season.

If you want to fish the Sugar/Fox Island and Cross Dike area you can cut through Gibraltar Bay (aka: Airport Bay) and take the canal through Grosse Ile Yacht club (Hickory Island) or the East River Road Bridge to bypass navigating the south end of Hickory Island and Devils Cut.

The only hard part would be getting to Airport Bay since you have to navigate a good stretch of water from Elizabeth. There are ways to get around that stretch of water too. ;)
 
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