Where is Mitchell's Bay?
Lake ST. Clair
The smallest lake in the Great Lakes system, Lake St. Clair is not considered to be one of the "Great" lakes, however, it is part of the Lake Erie basin.
Lake St. Clair is shallow, averaging 10 feet (3 meters) deep. St. Clair's maximum depth is only 21 feet (6.4 meters). Recent rises in lake levels because of heavy rainfall have been welcomed by marina owners and anglers alike.
The water surface area is shared by both countries being; U.S.: 162 sq. miles / 420 sq. km and Canada: 268 sq. miles / 694 sq. km.
Lake St. Clair boasts millions of smallmouth and largemouth bass that grow to an average of 2 lbs. This large population of North America's favourite game fish thrives by no accident or coincidence. The 'lake' flushes itself into Lake Erie an average of every seven days, taking as little as 2 days or as long as 30 days to push the flow from the St. Clair River, through the Detroit River. This flushing provides plenty of nutrients for the small forage fish and creatures that make up the diet of resident bass. It also helps keep this shallow lake somewhat cooler than you would think, considering it has an average depth of only 10 feet with the deepest section being the shipping channel at 27 feet.
The Canadian northeastern portion of Lake St. Clair is an extensive delta system, the largest within the Great Lakes, making the Mitchell’s Bay area ideal habitat for many species including large and small mouth bass. Lake St Clair is considered the second most popular sport fishing destination only to salmon in all of the Great Lakes and realizes 50% of all the sport fishing that takes place in the Great Lakes.
In 2013, Bassmaster Magazine rated Lake St. Clair in its 100 Best Bass Lakes as the Best Bass Lake of 2013. Also reported in Bassmaster Magazine: “It’s no secret that this storied fishery is nothing short of a smallmouth factory. Elite Series pro Kevin VanDam knows it, as this is his favorite lake to fun fish. “In my opinion, there is no better place in the world to catch huge numbers of huge smallmouth, especially in the fall,” VanDam states plainly. But to be ranked No. 1 on this list, a lake has to be great year-round.”
Bassmaster has announced its 2015 schedule and once again Detroit is in the series. There has been a change to the Detroit dates which places it right after the Mitchell’s Bay Open. This could spell good news for the Mitchell’s Bay Open as we could be a prime pre-tournament option. See link http://www.bassmaster.com/news/2015-opens-schedule-announced
In 2014, the Mitchell's Bay Open 1st Annual produced great results. The top 5 teams came within a few pounds of each other. First place weighed in 10 fish over 2 days at 40.65 pounds, second place with 39.67 pounds, third place with 39.06 pounds, fourth place at 38.74 pounds and fifth place at 37.53 pounds. The Big Fish weighed in at 5.69 pounds.
We also look at our tournament as a community event. On the Thursday before the first day of fishing we treat all of the anglers, our sponsors and our volunteers to a 100 mile dinner. We are fortunate to live in an area that boasts the best farm land in Ontario and our farming community steps up to donate ingredients for a full course meal.
We want to use our tournament to promote the sport of fishing to our community and to that effect we aligned with our local Big Brother and Sisters Association. We chartered 3 boats and took children whom otherwise may not have the ability or the means to experience fishing out for a day of fishing. We packed them a lunch and provided a barbeque on their return. We had an awards ceremony on our weigh on stage and then gave each child new gear to include rod, reel, tackle box and tackle to further pursue the sport.