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Looking for New Buffalo Information

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I'm going to be in New Buffalo the weekend of 4/5 and I want to bring the boat and try my hand at some coho down there, which I've never done before. Does anyone know what kind of shape the NB launch and/or harbor is in with the low water? My boat's a 240 Sundancer.

Also, looking at current satellite images, it looks like the skinny water is pretty stirred up and murky down there. If it's still like that when I'm down there, should I plan to run offshore or will I still find fish in the chalky water?

Hoping we get some type of warmup before then so I'm not fishing in 35 degree water...thanks in advance!

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Can't help you on the launch/harbor info but the stained water is always better than clear water in early spring. It has to be very, very murkey to become unproductive. If you only have 3-4 inches of visibility, it will be a problem. You want to target the warmer water and the stained water is usually a few degrees warmer than the blue water in early spring.

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You can't judge it well from that sat. pic. It is not very common for the big lake to get to murky for fishing. It happens in the river plume after heavy rain but it is usually fishable outside of it. The only time it can be a problem is if there is a huge blow for a few days prior to your trip. It really has to rip.

Don't let the satellite pic make your decision. Boats will be fishing by April. Your best source of info on lake conditions will be here on these boards once a lot of guys start fishing.

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The launch/harbor could be an issue. I was there 2 years ago and it was pretty low then. They are gettign dredged so that should help... but not sure when that will actually start.

I've had success both in the dirty water and the clear water. The dirty water warms up way quicker... attracting bait so the fish are in there, just have to run bright loud lures to attract them. The clear water can be a good bet too... A few years ago it was really stirred up inside and fishing inside was much less productive inside than offshore in the clear water.

I'm going to head down in April. I have a feeling its going to be more of a 'normal' year so rather than try Holland early, we're going to make a few trips down to New Buffalo/St. Joe.

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Also know its a short ride to St Joe if there are issues with the launch when you get there with your boat in April. You can trailer there if needed.

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From the New Buffalo city website:

http://www.cityofnewbuffalo.org

2013 DREDGING WORK OUT FOR BID

Bid notices are available for dredging the Federal Navigation Channel and the Launch Access Channel. Federal Navigation Channel bids are due March 28, 2013, at 3:00 PM, and the Launch Access Channel bids are due April 9, 2013, at 3:00 PM, both at the City Clerk's Office, 224 W Buffalo St, New Buffalo, MI. In case you missed it, New Buffalo's harbor dredging situation is featured in the USA TODAY story "Low water levels bedevil Great Lakes harbors."

Trail Creek in Michigan City is very bad between Trail Creek Marina and the Swing Bridge. Not sure if there are plans for dredging yet.

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Yeah I figured nothing would be done before I was down there, just curious if anyone familiar with the harbor knew if it'd be functional as is, for my size boat.

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I had heard from others that there are areas between the launch and the bridge that are down to about 2'. I haven't personally been there, just what I've heard.

MC is waiting on a permit, but do have plans to dredge and fix the launches at Washington Park. That's great if you want to pay $10 to launch and another $10 for parking...

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Haha, SeaRay published draft for my boat is 20". 4" of clearance sounds like more than enough for me (or at least it'll make for a good story)!

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a guy i work with is going out of nb tomorrow in a bigger boat ill ask him how it went im not sure if they will use the launch yet or not he has a 24 or 25' that he is planning to get in his slip from the launch im not sure when yet

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a guy i work with is going out of nb tomorrow in a bigger boat ill ask him how it went im not sure if they will use the launch yet or not he has a 24 or 25' that he is planning to get in his slip from the launch im not sure when yet

Any info from your buddy?

I'm goin' this Saturday come he!! or "low" water!

Dave

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Here's the response I received from NB Recreation Dept:

Ok, there shouldn't be any problem. As for the launch ramp, we added large stone at the end of it to fill in the drop off that was created due to the low water levels. Boats your size should not have any trouble. At least I hope that's the case.

Matt: Any info from your friend?

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you better call ahead at NB..................last I heard they claimed that there was only about 1 foot of water to navigate with.

St. Joe is the same way.

I hope this helps some of you.

I live in Niles, Michigan about half-way between both ports.

TD

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The docks are in @ N.B. No problems for my Polar Kraft 178. The shallowest I marked was just after leaving the launch area when I navigated around a branch stuck in the middle of the narrow Galien river, it was 2.8'. Don't even bother bringing something big and heavy.

I did take some pic's but forgot the camera in the boat. I'll post them in the morning. Incredible how low the water is. As for the fishing? I had a couple quick rips but nothing stuck. A couple guys caught a few coho and 1 @ the launch had a 9 pounder!!

The only thing I brought home was a sunburn. Oh well, nice day on the water anyway.

Dave

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So you think I'd have trouble with my 24' Sundancer then? I think I could clear 3' of water without issue.

I don't think you would even get it off the trailer before you hit mud on the other side. I saw about 30 boats out, all about 18' or less.

Not saying you can't...but I would talk to as many people as you can and get their opinions also. I sure wouldn't want to be the guy blocking everyone else from getting out, or worse, getting back in.:eek:

Most of the trip through the channel is o.k., it's just the one area I mentioned that gets below the 3' mark.

Good Luck:thumb:

Dave

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Guys from work end out last weekend in a 25 footer used the public launch and got it on and off the trailer said it wasn't a breeze but its doable

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