zee posted a topic in General DiscussionI just spent a weekend fishing while at a Christian Men's Retreat at Camp Barakel in Fairview, Mi (near Mio in Oscoda County), and I wanted to blog my experience because I could find no fishing information for the camp's privately owned Shear Lake. https://www.bing.com/maps?q=shear+lake+michigan&FORM=HDRSC4 https://www.campbarakel.org/ Shear Lake is a shallow, clear water, spring fed lake with a sandy bottom and sparse aquatic vegetation. The perimeter of the lake is peppered with many lay downs of fallen trees. While staying at Camp Barakel, the campground provided small rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats for recreational use. At peak times of the day, there can be a lot of campers using the small lake, so fisherman will need to be patient with the recreational users who are attempting to paddle around the small lake. Prior to fishing on Shear Lake, the only fishing information that I could find was that the lake contained Blue Gills. Having fished the lake last fall and this spring, I can verify that Shear Lake has Large Mouth Bass, Rock Bass, Perch (some are greater than 12 inches), and Blue Gills. The lake is rumored to have Pike, but I am not aware of any being caught while I was there. Although the lake may contain only a few lunkers (last fall, I failed to set the hook with a weedless frog on what was probably around a four pound bass), the overall Large Mouth Bass fishing seems to be quite good. Some 16 to 18 inch bass were caught while fishing from the docks. Even though the lake has sparse vegetation, the lake' shallowness makes it easy for lures that come in contact with it's sandy bottom to constantly pick up clumps of plant material and algae. Also, it's easy to get hung up on the many branches and tree trunks that line the shore. Consequently, weedless lures (like a Texas-rigged soft plastic worm), plus mid-water and top-water lures (which are fished away from the shore) work well. I caught ten Large Mouth Bass (12 to 16 inches) and one Rock Bass on a Texas-rigged soft plastic worm. Some had good luck using spinners or top water lures that worked in the mildly windy conditions, like Jitterbugs. Others had good luck with live baits such as Big Red Worms or Minnows. Last fall, I had some luck swimming small curly tail jigs, but I now now prefer to drag a Texas-rigged worm along the lake's bottom, near the many fallen trees.