Lake St. Clair

Lake St. Clair is the smallest lake in the Great Lakes system.  It is not considered as one of the “Great Lakes,” however, it is part of the Lake Erie basin.  Lake St. Clair is shallow, with an average depth of around 10 feet and the maximum depth of 21 feet.

Lake St. Clair offers some excellent fishing.  You can catch trophy smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, perch and muskie.  This lake is unique in that so many different species are targeted by anglers.  There are many anglers that target smallmouth and largemouth bass, while others target the great-tasting walleye, and some anglers go crazy over the muskie in these waters.  Local anglers believe that St. Clair is the best smallmouth bass lake in the state.

Smallmouth Bass

This is one of the best smallmouth bass lakes in the country.  For numbers and big fish, it’s tough to beat Lake St. Clair.  This lake can be tough on first time anglers due to the fact that it’s a fairly flat late that lacks the obvious structure that most good smallmouth bass lakes have.  It’s just one of those lakes where you need to cover some water to find the active bass and once you find them, you may catch fish up to and above 6 pounds on this lake.  Fish in the 2 to 4 pound range are common on Lake St. Clair.


Lake St. Clair is one of the best big fish lakes for muskie in the country.  The charters there are known for consistently boating 3 or 4 fish per day by trolling and many are over 40 inches with 50 inchers being fairly common.  Trolling is key to cover water on this lake and this deters many muskie anglers from coming here because casting for muskie is a lot more popular.  If you are up to doing some trolling, it could be some of the best muskie fishing you’ll ever experience if you hit it right.


Perch are available in Lake St. Clair, however, most anglers will target them with live minnows and end up catching a bunch of smallmouth bass as well.  There is definitely a fishable population in the lake and if you are willing to put in the time to sort through the smaller ones, you should be able to find some bigger perch to keep.  Whether you use minnows or nightcrawlers, you should be able to catch some perch and get some nice smallmouth bass action as well.


Lake St. Clair has some good walleye fishing available and there are several charters that target walleye on this lake.  Smallmouth bass have been getting so much of the press on this lake in recent years that the walleye are often forgotten about by many anglers.  Try trolling with live bait rigs and crankbaits to find the active walleye on Lake St. Clair.

White Bass

Lake St. Clair does have a good population of white bass in it and many anglers do target these fish that are known for schooling up in huge numbers.  When the bite is on, you can catch them in huge numbers here.  Many anglers fish for them when they head into the Detroit River in big numbers to spawn.

Largemouth Bass

There are some decent largemouth bass in this lake and you could target them if you wanted to fish for largemouth here.  Most anglers come here for the smallmouth bass, so largemouth bass are usually under fished here.  You won’t find the numbers of largemouth bass like you will with the smallmouth bass here, but there are some quality fish to catch.