Big Day on a Big Rig

It was 2:18 p.m. last Monday and my last class of the day had just ended. I drove home, and as I pulled in my driveway, my buddy had our twin Jackson Big Rigs all loaded up and ready to go fishing. It was the warmest day yet in Southeast Michigan, a whopping 80 degrees, so why not go out on the mighty Lake St. Clair for a few hours?


We decided go to the 9 Mile launch in St. Clair Shores and paddle to Ford’s Cove. As we made our way down the launch canal, we saw groups of baitfish by the rocky shore. So I picked up my baitcaster and made the longest cast I could to parallel the shore. My crankbait never made it to the water as it got hung up in a tree. I was quite convinced it was going to be one of those days.

My buddy and I paddled to the cove and started to fish. Two hours went by without a single bite. Changing my plan of attack, I tied on a senko and pitched it under a tree, and finally hooked up with a decent fish; a 17 inch largemouth. I was relieved to get the skunk out of my boat, but I was hungry for more.
My buddy paddled up next to me and told me about a fish lost due to an extended conversation with a nearby boater. The fellow angler complimented the Big Rig and was excited to review all of the kayak’s features. He could not believe how stable it was and explained how excited he was to get out on his brand new Big Tuna with his two year old son. He further elaborated on how much he fished this area last year with his wife in their Kilroys. Apparently, my buddy and he had a nice long conversation about Jackson Kayaks and kayak fishing in general.


We then decided to paddle out to investigate the many boats gathered at the mouth of the cove. At that point, the lake was dead calm, a rarity on Lake St. Clair. My previous experience on this lake told me at this time of the year deeper water would produce, so my buddy and I paddled out past the boat traffic and fished in 9 feet of water knowing smallmouth would be there; and that they were.

The first smallmouth was caught on the first cast in our new spot by my buddy, an 18 inch fish. I then tied on a jerkbait and got my cadence down pat. The first fish I caught just about yanked the rod out of my hand. I brought it in, and it was a beautiful 19 1/2 inch smallmouth.


We had to be back at the boat launch by 8:00 p.m. in time for the gates to be locked. When we caught the first smallmouth, it was 7:00. I got a little carried away with my fishing, as I landed eight more solid smallies in the next 45 minutes. This coming from roughly around 20 casts. The key to this successful trip was the ability to stand up on my Jackson Big Rig and twitch and retrieve the bait slowly back to my kayak. Not a single fish was under three pounds, the biggest weighing 5 pounds even, making it my best day on Lake St. Clair ever.Measurement

We started our paddle back to the launch, at which point the wind started to get nasty. Our Big Rigs handled the waves like champs. However, because of our unwillingness to stop fishing, the damage was already done. By the time we got back to the launch, it was 8:09 and the gates were closed. I was starting to regret the terrible ending to a fantastic fishing afternoon when we had an idea to get us out of our dilemma. We called our local police department and thankfully, they were nice enough to unlock the gate so we could load up our Big Rigs and head on home.

Did I mention that my buddy on this trip was actually my mom and one of my fishing mentors. Yes, I belong to an angling family. We have many, many fishing stories and memories. My Mom and Dad combined have thousands of hours on the water and many years of experience and advice that they have willingly shared with my sisters and me. From shore fishing when I was a small lad, to salmon fishing on the Great Lakes, and now paddling our Jackson Kayaks, we are a family of fishing fanatics.

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