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Probably Not the Best Idea

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To go to the St Joe fishing yesterday. Hit the road around 7AM in steady light snow and temps about 15 degrees. When we got west of Kzoo, the light snow turned into very heavy lake effect with squalls cutting visibility to 50 ft at times. Saw a number of wrecks and a couple roll overs, hope they were OK. It was a white knuckle ride the last 45 miles. Took almost 3 hrs to get there instead of 2.

Only one charter out fishing, not a single rec boat on the river, at least we had a lot of water to ourselves. Air temps warmed a couple more degrees but it was a cold ride to our first hole.


The snow never stopped and it started to pile up in the boat. Got about 4 inches while fishing.


The river was border line chocolate milk. After 5 hours on the water with no hit's at all, we pulled back to the launch with a double skunk.

We use the USGS steamflow site to gauge when the river is blown out. The gauge height and discharge looked good but it was still way to muddy with about 4-5 inches of visibility. It is a good tool for river fishing but we learned something today.


There is a relatively new turbidity graph on the USGS site. Not all monitoring sites have them but the St Joe at Niles does. As you can see, turbidity was coming down nicely but turbidity around 30 (where it was yesterday) is still to murky for fishing. Has some big spikes in the graph too. At least we learned something from this fishing trip.


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Well you can't catch fish in front of the fireplace in the living room.

I have fished the Pere Marquette a couple of times with snow on the ground, but never with 4 inches in the boat.

Sorry to hear about the skunk. Bummer way to start the fishing year.

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