Lake Hudson, a 502-acre impoundment on Bear Creek in Lenawee County, is located entirely within Lake Hudson State Recreation Area. That means a trip here can consist of numerous outdoor activities; including camping, geocaching, hunting, swimming and wildlife watching – as well as fishing, particularly for muskellunge.
This lake is one of the few waterbodies in southeast Michigan with a population of muskellunge, and in numbers higher than normal. According to Jeff Braunscheidel, a fisheries biologist out of Waterford, fish up to 40 pounds have been caught there.
“It was used as our muskellunge broodstock lake for many years,” he explained. “It’s not active currently – but we still stock it regularly with muskellunge to maintain the fishery and for future brood stock use.
Walleye are stocked in Lake Hudson as well, with the last effort occurring in 2011 with more than 15,000 fish put in.
“That means those walleye are probably at keeper size right about now,” shared Braunscheidel. “Based on a recent creel survey we estimate anglers caught more than 200 walleye in 2015 so they’re definitely around.”
He said most anglers troll the lake when targeting walleye and muskellunge – it’s a very turbid water body due to its clay banks so casting is not as productive. Visitors should focus on the deeper areas of the lake (maximum depth is 30 to 35 feet with average depth of 10 feet) and now would be an ideal time to do so.
A DNR creel clerk was stationed on Lake Hudson during 2015. Between the creel survey and the most recent fisheries surveys Braunscheidel shared that the lake is loaded with crappies.
“Most of them are small – but there are some very large crappies in that lake,” he said. “We’ve caught a few in our surveys that fall between 16 and 18 inches.”
After crappie spawn they tend to move out to deeper water so anglers heading to Lake Hudson in the coming weeks may want to troll for them with minnows or jigs in the deeper areas. Nighttime fishing for them can be lucrative.
Additionally, many folks catch-and-release largemouth bass on Lake Hudson – according to the creel data more than 13,000 of them in 2015.
“I would recommend fishing for them in the shallows with noisy lures due to the turbid water you’ll find there,” suggested Braunscheidel.
Yet another opportunity you’ll find there are channel cats – previously stocked (but not currently) – fish up to 20 pounds have been reported there with anglers primarily targeting them with live bait on the bottom. Braunscheidel said the narrow portions of the lake can be fruitful for this species.
Other insight into this southeastern Michigan waterbody is the fact it’s not heavily fished so it never feels very busy. And with Lake Hudson State Recreation Area’s no-wake rule you’ll never encounter speed boats darting around. Motors are allowed, but boats must be going slow enough that they produce no wake.
So if you’re looking for a leisurely day of fishing this July or August – don’t hesitate to plan a trip to Lake Hudson. Enjoy!