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RumHamster

Upcoming French River Fishing Trip

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I'll be heading up to the Lower French for a few days this weekend with some buddies. We're heading out of Hartley Bay and staying at Bear's Den Lodge. 
I know there's a ton of water to cover and none of us have fished it, so I'm really hoping for some input from anyone who's hit that area before. I've done my best to comb the forums and found a few good pieces of info from years gone best, but any other advice would be more than welcome.

We're after bass, walleye, and pike. I understand walleye seems to be the big draw there, but more-so in Spring and Fall. I'm assuming with all this heat recently, the eyes have moved deep. 
 

I'd really love to find some weedy bays where we could throw plastics or topwater if possible. We're not huge fans of jigging open water, trolling, or live-bait fishing.
That said, if those are the tactics that it takes to produce fish up there, we'll make it work.

Thanks in advance for  any help you guys can offer! 

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Lower French can be tough fishing this time of year especially walleye. It's been 10 years or so since I fished it. As I remember it the run in from 69 to Hartley Bay can be tough on vehicles and boat trailers. Should be lots of weed growth. Watch it outside the channels as the rocks bite hard.

 

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I'd contact Bear's Den and find out what they suggest you bring.

Man, I haven't been on the lower French since '78!

HH

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Fished Bears Den last summer for a week nice place.   It's all about current in the lower French.   We did well on the Eastern outlet for walleye.  I was vertical jigging them up one after the other with a spoon tipped with a worm.   Watch the slot though, there's a very specific slot for the lower.   It's a bit of a boat ride from the lodge..  Be warned, once you make that right hand turn at the very bottom of the easterm towards Dalles Rapids there's a HUGE rock right in the middle of the channel.  Go slow and mark it or else you'll be saying bye bye to your lower unit.  Other then that stay in the middle of most places and you'll be good.  

The river to the west of the lodge has some really nice pads/weeds at the mouth, I had a few blow ups by some nice largies.   If you take that river all the way to the rapids there are a lot of dead heads, you've been warned lol

Edited by BillM

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14 hours ago, BillM said:

Fished Bears Den last summer for a week nice place.   It's all about current in the lower French.   We did well on the Eastern outlet for walleye.  I was vertical jigging them up one after the other with a spoon tipped with a worm.   Watch the slot though, there's a very specific slot for the lower.   It's a bit of a boat ride from the lodge..  Be warned, once you make that right hand turn at the very bottom of the easterm towards Dalles Rapids there's a HUGE rock right in the middle of the channel.  Go slow and mark it or else you'll be saying bye bye to your lower unit.  Other then that stay in the middle of most places and you'll be good.  

The river to the west of the lodge has some really nice pads/weeds at the mouth, I had a few blow ups by some nice largies.   If you take that river all the way to the rapids there are a lot of dead heads, you've been warned lol

Hey thanks a ton, man! We appreciate it. Heading out in a few hours and this was exactly the type of info we were hoping for.
I'll make sure we take it slow and keep an eye out dead heads and rocks. Some of those weedier channels and bays are exactly where we want to be. I'd rather work those for bass than go deeper and jig for walleye tbh, but we'll just have to see where the action is. 

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On 7/2/2020 at 7:32 PM, BillM said:

Be warned, once you make that right hand turn at the very bottom of the easterm towards Dalles Rapids there's a HUGE rock right in the middle of the channel.  Go slow and mark it or else you'll be saying bye bye to your lower unit.  

Is that tinnermans rock upriver from the French river lodge? 

More scars on that rock than on a Florida manatee. I think people hit it every year

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I've busted a few props from the highway to the delta.  Now I wait for a local and follow  them :)

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On 7/6/2020 at 6:03 PM, Hack_Fisherman said:

Is that tinnermans rock upriver from the French river lodge? 

More scars on that rock than on a Florida manatee. I think people hit it every year

Would be downstream from there.   

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You are brave men. We would fill a few extra 5 gallon tanks with gas and took a few extra props that we took from The South Bay to the lower French for the day, The ironic thing was we passed more than a few convoys heading our way to get a trophy Musky in our waters. The grass is always greener.

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