Fishing, Food, and Fun on the St. Joseph River
The St. Joseph River is a waterway that winds through northern Indiana and southern Michigan, joining Lake Michigan at the lake’s southern end. It was an important waterway for Native Americans and colonial exploration in the 18th century. Today it is a popular fishing destination, and those lucky enough to enjoy riverfront property in St. Joseph County appreciate a peaceful atmosphere and stunning views of Michigan’s natural beauty, as well as choice selections of local produce and homegrown hospitality.
Fishing St. Joe
The St. Joseph River is 206 miles long. Sometimes referred to as the “St. Joe,” the St. Joseph River Watershed drains 4,685 square miles from fifteen different counties. A variety of fish can be found in the river, including salmon, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and brown trout. St. Joe is a world leader when it comes to steelhead populations; each year, anywhere between 14,000 and 19,000 steelhead are caught, and up to 17,000 more are caught and released. If fishing is your passion, a St. Joseph River property is the perfect place for you.
While some anglers do wade fish or shore fish, boat fishing is the most popular method to land a catch. If you plan to wade fish, you may prefer to stick to tributaries; the main river flow can be too fast to wade comfortably in some places. First-time St. Joseph anglers should hire a guide to point them to the best spots for their desired catch. For example, steelhead prefer low temperatures and will head to cooler tributaries when the water temperature rises above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. An experienced river guide will know just where to go, depending on current conditions. You can book a guided fishing expedition with Coho Bob’s Sportfishing Charters.
Enjoying St. Joseph County
Because the St. Joseph River is over 200 miles long, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a riverfront property. If your St. Joseph River property is near Centreville, on the south side of the river in St. Joseph County, you will be near the Island Hills Golf Club. This course has 18 holes and was designed by Raymond Hearn, who is an award-winning golf course designer. Apart from being a popular golfing destination, the golf club has a pro in house, a driving range, rental clubs and carts, bathrooms on the course, and some nice touches like a golf cart stocked with a towel, bottled water, and cooler filled with ice.
The town of Three Rivers spans St. Joe. If you choose a St. Joseph River property here, on either side of the river, you should be sure to stop by Corey Lake Orchard and Farm Market. This is the perfect option for people who want to find the best fresh produce to bring back to their river property and have a taste of Michigan. Families with children can even pick strawberries themselves. Beyond all of the delicious fresh produce, the market has a bakery with mouthwatering baked goods like pies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and muffins. You might even be able to pick up a frozen pie for the road to cook in your oven at your St. Joseph River property. Finally, you can get a wide sampling of Michigan products like meat, artisan cheese, and coffee from Mill Lake Farms. Mill Lake Farms also make their own brandy and hard cider, with flavors ranging from blueberry to “peck of peppers.” One of their most popular choices is their oak aged apple brandy.
When you stay in a St. Joseph River property in St. Joseph County, you not only get access to exceptional fishing, but you’ll have an array of options for food and fun at your fingertips.