Anglers, hunters looking for cooler weather

MANISTEE — The DNR points out that unseasonably warm weather has not been nice for anglers or hunters. Warm water temperatures have once again slowed the bite on the inland lakes and rivers, the DNR said, while pike and musky fishing are good this time of year.

The season to take frogs, toads, salamanders and mudpuppies closed on Nov. 15.

In the northwest Michigan area, boat anglers at Portage Lake were doing well for yellow perch when using shiners, the DNR said, while encouraging anglers to try the west side of the lake near the channel in 12 to 18 feet. Many were smaller but anglers found fish up to 14 inches.

A few anglers were out enjoying the nice weather at Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell while most were targeting bass and walleye and some bluegills were also caught, the DNR said.

“We’re still looking for some steelhead,” Chelsea Pete of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston said. “The water is clear lately. They bite a little harder. We look forward to seeing some cohos coming in.”

Surf and pier fishing for steelhead should be good at Manistee, the DNR said, while Manistee Lake continues to produce some steelhead and coho between the Stronach Launch and the Packaging Corporation. Out in the open portions of the lake, they’re getting some coho, the DNR added.

“We still have the steelhead thing going on,” Rob Eckerson, from Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston, said. “The salmon fishing is winding down to not much. There’s coho at the Tippy Dam and steelhead as well. The water is becoming low and clear. The Little Manistee reopens below the weir on Nov. 15. Perch fishing has been good at Portage and other lakes.”

Anglers at the Big Manistee River were getting a steady stream of steelhead from Bear Creek down to the M-55 Bridge, the DNR reported, while artificial baits included beads and flies, and anglers were taking more fish than spawn.

“They’re still getting steelhead in the river,” Bud Fitzgerald, at Tangled Tackle Co., in Manistee said. “The lack of rain has made the river very clear. You have to work hard to get them. Beads are still popular. The beach has been producing.”

Tippy Dam was the scene where those chasing steelhead have caught fish but the numbers were low. Casting above the coffer dam provided better results but anglers were putting in their time. Flies and wax worms were working for fish up river.

The DNR reports at Frankfort, surf and pier fishing for steelhead should be good.

“It’s too rough to get out on the pier,” Christine Murphy of the Frankfort Tackle Box said. “There’s still steelhead in the Platte River.

Surf and pier fishing for steelhead should be good at Ludington. Boat anglers just outside the piers found fish in the top 30 feet when using very small spoons.