Fishing getting better
BIG RAPIDS — Warmer weather should mean more anglers out this week. Whether or not it means better fishing remains to be seen.
Locally, it appears anglers are having fun.
“Guys are doing good on crappies right now,” Brad Cox of Buck Country Bait & Tackle in LeRoy said. “They’re starting to spawn. In a few weeks, it will be bluegills.”
“They’re getting quite a few crappies on the river and the inland lakes.” Dustin Hammer of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “Bluegills too. The suckers are pretty much over with. There are some guys catching a few here and there if you like sucker fishing. As for steelhead, there’s a couple on gravel, but that’s pretty much over with. Besides that everyone is waiting for bass opener, the last Saturday in May.”
The DNR reports in northwest Michigan, higher water levels made trout and steelhead fishing a little more difficult. There are still plenty of steelhead around, but things are expected to wind down soon with the warmer temperatures.
Surface temperature readings were about 45 degrees, the DNR added, at Manistee. The fish cleaning station is open and the south pier is still closed until further notice. Walleye fishing slowed, the DNR said, while adding some were caught off the piers and in the channel while jigging wax worms at night. Perch were found off the north pier with minnows and wigglers, and those trolling caught lake trout, brown trout and coho in 30 to 50 feet with spoons, rapalas and spin-glo’s.
Anglers trolling north from Onekama to Arcadia were working the shoreline with body baits and getting walleye, brown trout and lake trout, the DNR said. Pier anglers used spawn and cast body baits to get walleye and brown trout.
The inner south channel at Portage Lake produced strong walleye activity in the evenings, the DNR said. The fish were hitting on jigs, body baits, leeches and crawler rigs when trolling. Largemouth bass are being caught on the shoreline.
A few brown trout were caught in shallow waters by those trolling body baits in Arcadia, the DNR said. At Arcadia Lake, there were good numbers of large and smallmouth bass were caught by those casting crank baits and plastics. The DNR added there were good numbers of pike being caught by those trolling or casting body baits. A light number of panfish were caught in shallow waters at Arcadia Lake.
At Frankfort, water temperatures were climbing to the upper 40’s to low 50’s and anglers were getting coho, brown trout and lake trout.
Lake Missaukee is producing crappie and bluegills, the DNR said, adding at lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, fishing was starting to heat up with some solid catches of walleye and northern pike taken from both lakes.
Surface temperatures were up to 46 degrees at Ludington, while pier fishing was slow with only a couple steelhead and brown trout caught on spawn.
Lake trout fishing was improving, the DNR, said. with many boat anglers taking limit catches on spin-glo’s in 35 to 55 feet. Chinook, coho and brown trout were also caught on spoons and rapalas. A majority of the Chinook salmon were more than 10 pounds.
The DNR issued the following statements on Saginaw fishing areas:
Lexington and Port Sanilac: “Those trolling did well with body baits in 15 to 30 feet taking a good number of coho and lake trout as well as the occasional walleye, whitefish, steelhead, Atlantic or Chinook salmon. Some boats were heading deeper to 60 feet but did not do any better. Pier fishing was a bit slow.”
Harbor Beach: “Boat anglers did well when trolling in 20 to 30 feet with a good number of coho and lake trout caught. Some also caught steelhead, Atlantics, whitefish, walleye and the odd Chinook salmon. Pier fishing was slow.”
Saginaw Bay: “Good numbers of walleye including limit catches were taken off Gambil’s Marina near Pinconning. Boats were trolling body baits off planer boards in 4 to 6 feet. A purple flicker-shad was the hot lure. Walleye were also being taken off Linwood in 18 to 22 feet, around Spoils Island, and off the mouth of the Kawkawlin River. Some walleye were caught in the Quanicassee River in 8 to 10 feet. Shore anglers on the river caught a mix of catfish, freshwater drum, sunfish, crappie and the odd perch. Walleye fishing was spotty off Sebewaing and in Wildfowl Bay.”
Saginaw River: “Walleye were still being caught in the lower river from the mouth upstream to the Coast Guard Station by those trolling or vertical jigging. Shore anglers at Smith Park caught a mix of catfish, freshwater drum and smallmouth bass on crawlers. The river was a bit fast and muddy after the rain last week.”