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Author Topic:   Michigan: Drummond Island
Royboy posted 03-13-2006 04:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for Royboy   Send Email to Royboy  
How would Drummond Island be as a vaction destination with a small Whaler? There appears to be quite a few reasonable cottages for rent (under a grand/week), and I assume they're set up well for the passing yachtsmen, but how do they treat the The Fudgies? We're not interested in nightlife, just some good protected water to explore and maybe a nice tame mountain bike trail to two, and of course, some fudge. O.K., ice cream is required too, but they have that in da U.P, eh? I know the Whalering up there is second to none, but just testing the waters. Hopefully we'll be sporting a new used Outrage instead of "Ichthus", the mother-of-all 13 footers.


Buckda posted 03-13-2006 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Roy -
In an 18? No problem.

In a 130 Sport? Also no problem..most days.

Keep in mind, that water is flowing from Lake Superior. It is cold. Expect Fog, and also keep an eye out on where you are - the DeTour passage is a busy shipping lane for Canadian and US lake liners.

There are many protected bays around the island that offer great fishing, from Perch to Lake Trout and Salmon.

If you stay on the south side of the island, look out for dangerous/unforgiving and unmarked reefs and shoals. They're there! Three years ago, we wandered into a boulder patch on day one of the North Channel rendezvous. I was very happy to have my 15' Sport at the time...very shallow draft! I think Eagleman "found a boulder"...but no damage, thank goodness.

The folks at Drummond Island Yacht Haven are great and can probably give you a lot of information about fishing hot spots, etc. It is on the northern side of the island. That big bay includes many smaller islands, with great spots for fish-hunting and some nice island homes for your viewing pleasure.

If you feel adventurous one day, you may want to run upriver a ways into Canadian waters. You can find some really great areas that are very rugged on the Canadian side of St. Joseph's Island (or perhaps Neebish Island?). You could even run up to the Sault for lunch and be back in time for a late dinner. (all of this, of course, is assuming the 18' Outrage).

Let me know if you need anything else. I can loan you my Richardson's charts if you need them.


Teak Oil posted 03-13-2006 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
Lots of shoals all around the island, even on the north side. I will second Yacht Haven as a nice quiet place to stay, I stayed there almost a week a few years ago.

There is beautiful clear water and fantastic rock formations, plus some decent hiking if you are into that.

A week may be a little long on the island, its pretty quiet there. You may want to stay there 3-4 nights and spend a few around Cedarville or something similar

Royboy posted 03-14-2006 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Anybody know what the prevailing wind direction is in this part of the world in the Summer?
ConB posted 03-14-2006 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for ConB  Send Email to ConB     
Prevailing wind, SW.
Jilberts ice cream daily,eh.
PeteB88 posted 03-22-2006 07:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
We're thinking about Drummond as well - my cousin's family has a place on the island. I would be taking the 13 up there unless the Montauk finds me between then and now - which is possible. Classic 13 would get us to the Soo - not sure of distances but I am interested in any more info you all can share.

I used to go up there in the fall with my dad and his buddies for perch, walleye and ducks. Lots of memories got stranded on a small island for about six hours when I was about 7 - the old man made me run the boat - cottage rental V boat as I recall, lots of freeboard I think we were running with a 10 hp. The wind picked up and waves got pretty serious - I think it was called Propeller Island where we beached the boat until the wind died down.

I would expect excellent fishing but few beaches?

ideas, cautions (13)

Teak Oil posted 03-23-2006 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
A 13 would be fine in the St Marys River system, its pretty sheltered and only a mile or two wide. There are very few places to get fuel between DeTour and the Soo, so be prepared.

PeteB88 posted 03-24-2006 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Teak - do you know the distance between DeTour and the Soo?


Buckda posted 03-24-2006 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Pete -
Depends on the course you choose.

From Drummond Island Yacht Haven, going up and through Lake George and then over to the Sault is about 70 miles. My GPS trip log starts in Whitefish Bay where we had lunch last year and ends at Drummond Island Yacht Haven (through the locks, then out and around down through lake George and then to the Yacht Haven) marks 74.1 miles.

It is a nice long run...a nice day trip.


Buckda posted 03-24-2006 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Bring enough fuel for a 100-120 mile run. There are lots of side channels to get lost.

The good news is that there are also lots of cottages up there. You could easily approach one with people there and offer to buy some gas from's not desolate. Just beautiful.

I really recommend going the "long way" and outside St. Joseph Island (Canadian Water). You can get fuel at Hilton Beach and then again further north at Richards Landing (?). If you don't step out of the boat, no need to pass customs.

On the north side of that Island, the channel gets narrow and looks much like Georgian Bay - very rugged and beautiful.

If you chose to do this, plan on the 18. You'd want to leave early in the morning and go "up" one way and "down" another route through the channels. I'd leave first thing in the morning, plan on lunch aboard the boat or dockside at the Sault and then running back that afternoon. You'd be "home" in time for a late dinner if the wind doesn't build too much.

Long day on the boat, and about 160-180 miles travelled. Not for the newbie or faint of heart.

If you want, you could run up there and spend the night in the Sault...of course, you'd be paying double - for the night not used on Drummond Island, and the night in the Sault....but it would be fun.

Pete -
Not recommended to do the whole run in one day in the 13. Montauk is the smallest I'd do it in unless I had a Flat Calm day!


PeteB88 posted 03-24-2006 06:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Thanks Dave - my dad lived in the Soo and owned a business there during WWII. I remember fishing around those waters as a kid and have been rather fascinated by that area. I will chekc things out - I have no problem getting out all my white water river guide gear and dry bags and doing some beach camping somewhere on some journey. That's the whole idea about getting a Montauk w. forward Mills.

More later and thanks again.

Buckda posted 03-24-2006 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Pete -
That may be difficult to do. Most of the property up there is private, I believe. As for camping aboard, you could probably to that with a coleman stove or something and find a quiet cove to anchor out in.

Georgian Bay and the Eastern portion of the North Channel are much better suited to the type of activity you describe.

In fact, West of AIRD ISLAND and near the Whalesback Channel (just beyond Blind River) there is a great spot for just that if the wind is right.

However, you definitely want a 17. Perhaps you should talk with Pat for a great 17 with canvas...We're trying to talk him into a 22' Outrage (not that HE's the one in the family that needs convincing...).

PeteB88 posted 03-24-2006 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Dave, I saw Pat's boat, I know he is sincere in wanting it to go to the right person, I even told him I would agree to a stipulation he could use it on occasion and mean it, maybe that's nuts but I would absolutely consider his boat . . . just what I have been looking for, timing needs to be right.



Royboy posted 03-24-2006 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Pete, when are you looking at going? We're planning for the last week in July, but not sure yet if we're going to Drummond Island or stopping short in Cheboygan.


PeteB88 posted 03-25-2006 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
My wife has a conference on Macinaw Island like June 26 for a few days. We were thinking of taking the 13 up there and perhaps launching at Cheboygan and going over to the island if possible to find a place to dock it for a few days. It would be fun to have it there for messing around after conference hours for them.

I would be game to run from Mac City across but have not ever done that.

In any case, I see that time as an opportunity to scout for a trip later in the summer. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I don't think the Montauk will have found us before end of June but you never know.

best and thanks!!

Royboy posted 03-25-2006 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
We've been spending our vacations in Cheboygan the last few years, and boating in the Inland Route and in The Straights of Mackinaw (weather permitting) in our 13 Sport. The waters between Bois Blanc Island and the mainland are often calm, since they're protected from North/South winds. It can kick up in a hurry however, so keep a good handle on the weather. Crossing from Bois Blanc to Drummond is some 40 miles of open water. A bit much for my 13. There's plenty of excellent boating around Cheboygan though, and the trip to Bois Blanc or even Mackinaw on the right day is certainly withing reason. Duncan Bay, just east of Cheboygan, is a splendid piece of planet Earth. Sandy Bottom, clear, Relatively warm warm water, State land on the Eastern shore to explore, and a wonderful small wreck that's easily snorkled from shore or boat. The wreck is charted and easy to spot in the clear waters of Lake Huron. On the Western side, there's a ruin of a very old (logging era) pier that is a superb place to land a trophy smallmouth bass. It's pilings are also on the chart.

Today I booked a waterfront cottage on Drummond Island, for the last week in July. It's on Potagannissing Bay, so the boating should be excellent from there. hopefully, the walleyes will cooperate as well. Now we've got some outstanding Whalering to look forward to!

13 Sport

Buckda posted 03-28-2006 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Roy -

The protected waters of the Les Cheneaux Islands are only 18 miles (direct) from Mackinac Island, so it is not too much of an open run. The remaining 25 miles or so from the East Entrance of the Les Cheneaux to DeTour Village is mostly about 1 mile offshore and in the lee of the Upper Peninsula....however there is little shelter along this shoreline after BeaverTail point/Bay just past the Les Cheneaux...and there are a couple reefs. (The Poe Reef Lighthouse (about 5-7 miles East of the Les Cheneaux) is a good spot for fishing as well...but be careful of that shallow reef!! Even in your 130. And watch out for Indian fishing nets in that area.)

You may also choose to hug the shoreline all the way across from St. Ignace. I hear that St. Martin's Bay offers some great Northern Pike fishing in the evenings, however, I've never had opportunity to give it a shot.

Picking your days is important, of course, but I ran the run from the Island (Mackinac) to the Les Cheneaux several times in my 15' Sport.

Again, a Montauk is recommended, however. Better yet, an 18' Outrage....which is why I ended up with one!


Royboy posted 03-28-2006 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Dave, I think we both need to read closer. I thought Pete was saying he was going to run from Cheboygan to Drummond (not sure how I got that Idea, excpet the subject line of course).

Apparently, you thought he meant from The Les Cheneaux Islands to Mackinaw, but alas, he was talking about going from Cheboygan to Mackinaw.

This would be pretty easy in a 13 on the right day, as long as you were in no hurry to get back should the weather change whilst over there. Basically, from Cheboygan, you just run out to Bois Blanc island and then skirt its Southern then Western Shore and the Western Shore of Round Island, then straight into Mackinaw Island. You'd never be more than 6 miles or so from land.


PeteB88 posted 03-28-2006 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
I'm game for anything - my wife has a conference on Mackinaw IS in June and she wants to take "her" 13 up there and has big ideas about going over to the island in it and tying up for a few days. During that time we would mess around with the 13. She thinks we can take it from Mackinaw City over across to Mackinaw IS!! She probably thinks she can troll for jumbo perch on the way across!!!! she is obsessed however has not connected certain critical dots - yet, but she will.

I suppose we could take it across on a nice day but I am not taking that chance. That is why I thought Cheboygan to launch.

She loves that 13, perhaps I GO FOR IT with the 13 and see how she can handle the rough stuff all wet etc.

Anyway, all preliminary and plan B we are thinking about Drummond for a week of fishing and snooping around. We have friends with a place up there on the water.

best - stay tuned.

Buckda posted 03-28-2006 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Pete -
If you want to cross in your 13, might I suggest trailering across the bridge and launching from St. Ignace?

They have a very nice launch facility...take the first exit after the bridge, tow through downtown and turn right on the far side of town. Overnight parking is allowed.

The crossing is a bit shorter from this side, and also in the lee of the peninsula.



dfmcintyre posted 03-29-2006 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Pete -

One word:




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