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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to rent a place on the water the week of July 8th in the Travers City area. I want on be on either Elk, Torch, or Leelanau. I plan to fish quie a bit. I'm most interested in pike, musky, and smallmouth. Which of those lakes would be my best choice for those? Looking for some opinions and if anybody knows a nice place available I'm still looking. My 30th Aniversary is that week so I want someplace decent. Thanks.
 

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All are good fishing, But Leelanau puts you closer to long lake, duck lake, green lake, and silver lake. I live on silver lake witch is only 15-20 min drive to any BUT elk or torch. I grew up in Williamsburg on Elk Lake. Send me a message when you get up here. Show ya some good Walleye spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Leelanau it is. Found a nice place on the east side about half way up the south lake. I have never been there. I assume there will be a lot of traffic during the day so the fishing will be early and late. Is there one end of this lake that is particularly better than the other? I'm looking for pike and smallmouth mainly. By the way are there musky in this lake? It'll be catch and release for me unless I try for a couple walleye or pan fish for a dinner for two one night. Not looking for secrets just a general idea what I should be thinking about. Thanks.
 

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For pike and smallmouth I would stick with the south end. Traffic wont be an issue at all, huge lake and even in july there plenty of room. Most all of the south end has a good break going from roughly 6' to 15 or so. Troll those breaks and you will catch both smallies and pike, might have to put up with a lot of 14" walleye though!

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For pike and smallmouth I would stick with the south end. Traffic wont be an issue at all, huge lake and even in july there plenty of room. Most all of the south end has a good break going from roughly 6' to 15 or so. Troll those breaks and you will catch both smallies and pike, might have to put up with a lot of 14" walleye though!

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Thanks for the help. I looked at some maps and sort of thought that break would hold fish. What is the structure in this lake like? Is it mainly hard bottom, rocks and stuff or are there a lot of weed beds? Looking forward to next week so I can check it out. First good stretch of fishing for me since Fletchers in May.
 

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I assume there will be a lot of traffic during the day so the fishing will be early and late.
Just got back from fishing the Interlochen area (which was AMAZING) and during the week the boat traffic was a non-issue. Literally had the lake to myself on Wednesday. The traffic did pick up by the weekend, but I wouldn't rule out any mid day fishing, as long as the weather isn't pushing 90+ like this past week.
 

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Surface temp on both duck and green was 79 on sunday. Much colder in both only a few feet down though.

As for the structure in leelanau, its primarily weed beds and occassional logs on the south end, north end is much harder and rockier.

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Like stated above, 79 degrees was the surface temp. We were bass fishing, but the pike and "holy cow is that a" rock bass were just as playful. And morning and evening times equaled great top water action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Does anyone know where is a good place to ramp on Elk? I wanted to stay on Elk but couldn't find a suitable place there but I might drag the boat over there one day next week and check it out. Something toward the south end would be best because I'll be coming from Leelanau. I see a township ramp on the southwest side. Is that a decent ramp? I have 17-1/2' boat so I need something i can get in and out of. The Muskie is the main draw I think because near as I can tell no muskie in Leelanau. If the pike fishing is just as good in Leelanau as Elk I'll might just stay put.
 

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Does anyone know where is a good place to ramp on Elk? I wanted to stay on Elk but couldn't find a suitable place there but I might drag the boat over there one day next week and check it out. Something toward the south end would be best because I'll be coming from Leelanau. I see a township ramp on the southwest side. Is that a decent ramp? I have 17-1/2' boat so I need something i can get in and out of. The Muskie is the main draw I think because near as I can tell no muskie in Leelanau. If the pike fishing is just as good in Leelanau as Elk I'll might just stay put.
Go to Skegemog, Baggs rd launch.
 

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Ok here's a question about the bay. For smallmouth mainly, east bay or west bay?
east bay is alway stellar for smallies, although i have had some decent days on west bay too. but i always go east bay first
 

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Great job Josh! Glad to hear you tore em up! I envy you been working a lot of hours but in August I am planning a Gun Lake assault! YOu're the man keep up the good work!
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I have been fishing Leelanau for a few days and still haven't found any smallmouth or pike. Managed to find some walleye though they're not really what I have been looking for. I'm on the south lake till Friday. The walleye seem to be around 14ft near weeds. Had the most action at the south end of the lake and near Birch point. Can't seem to pattern the smallmouth and pike or locate them. Haven't tried north lake yet. A went up there on Sunday just to look around. I see there are a bunch of deep humps near the east shore. Might run up there and give those a closer look. Water is warm. I've had up to 82 surface temps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Can anybody tell a good place to buy bait (minnows, suckers) near lake Leelanau? The place in Lake Leelanau is out and won't have them for a couple days. There must be something in Traverse City area.
 

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Gander and MC have bait on the west side of TC. Someone has to be closer than that for you but I'm no help. If you're still not getting smallies you'll kick yourself if you don't try east bay once.
 

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I think MC and gander are your closest options. I didnt get to fish much over 4th, limited bit I did I found smallies deep as so warm. 16' diving cranks were the only thing producing during the day. Early morning and late eve i got a few near the rice weed beds on surface baits. Nothing big in shallow though even late.

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