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I was wondering if anybody has been out on the pier at St. Joe? I usually start getting browns and whitefish this time of the year and heard the river was pretty much ice free. Seems to be best before the major run-off starts.Also, if you were there. Which pier seemed to be doing better , North or South?
 

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I don't know about St. Joe but I drove out by the peir in Saugatuck yesterday and the lake was still frozen a LONG way out.

Mitch
 

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I haven't made my first trip this year yet, but I can guess we have a few weeks to wait.
 

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From the webcams Ive seen, Grand Haven looks to be more open than South Haven right now. Havent seen one of St Joe. I dont think we have long to wait. All we need is some more above freezing temps which are in the forecast, and some good wind to break things up. Think spring!
 

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The Saint Joe River is open. There is alot of ice chunks floating around the lake. I saw about six guys fishing on the south pier this afternoon
 

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Who is going to be the first to try the big lake for some shallow water trolling action for the browns at St. Joe? Is it to early still? I am aching to get out there.
 

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you risk everything by trolling out there right now. Do Not try it. The sudden spring wind shifts will trap you in ice berg land and you'll be very sorry. The warmer river water will draw the early fish. Be sensible and try your luck there untill the ice has left the lake.
 

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I fished the St. Joe pier for the first two times on 01/02 and 01/03 and did decent with 3 whitefish and a small brown. I could not believe how many people were there but it was quite warm. I plan on going back in the next few weeks, but I have one question. I read through some old reports and it seems a lot of people fish the river side of the pier. When I was there, there was no one fishing the river side. Why is it different in the spring. Do the whitefish go in the river along with the cohos? That sounds a bit strange. Can anyone comment? Feel free to PM me.

Zob
 

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I'll,second what spanky said,I'd wait for shore ice to diisapate back on MARCH 11, 2001 knockoff and I went out on a nice calm morning,the wind shifted and picked up,we had to use my boat as a ice breaker to get it the river mouth.
 

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I'm headed down to Indiana waters with these warm southerly winds.;)
 

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I hear ya..I am planning on going to Shamrock right now. I am sure that is where I will end up. Thanks for the warning. I am not a very daring person...I will not be the first to try it.
 

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ZobZob, in the spring, we always fish the river side for the first couple of weeks, that is where the fish are. The river is usually 3-5 degrees warmer, sometimes even more. This weekend when the sw winds push the ice back in the lake will be 34-35 degrees and the river will be in the low 40's at the end of each day. The bait and fish will be in the warmer water.
As a general rule, once the lake ice is all gone(melted) the fish will be more active on the lake side.
Don't forget the different size and creel regs for river fish and lake fish while on the pier. The river is considered upstream from intersecting lines of the two shorelines across the river. I have seen tickets issued on the pier for too many fish or too small of fish when fishing the river upstream from the beaches!
 

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I got a good report from the St Joe peirs today.There slammin big browns.The east wind has peeled the ice from that side of Lake Michigan.Spawn is the ticket.:D
 

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Spanky, thanks for the info. It makes sense the river water would be warmer. I'm 50/50 on making the trip Sunday. I'll have to see how Saturday's ice fishing goes.

Zob
 
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