Fishing remains slow

BALDWIN — A lot of would-be fishermen have been hunting in recent weeks, the DNR said, and the weather has made it difficult for those wanting to fish. Between the strong winds, rain, snow or cold there was not much to report for the last week, the DNR said, adding that the catch and release sturgeon season on the Great Lakes and Connecting Waters closed on Nov. 30.

“They’ve been getting a few steelhead, but it hasn’t been very good,” George Tharp, of Ed’s Sport Shop, said. “They’ve been doing well on wax worms. There’s not a whole lot to tell you. Deer season was pretty good. We’re waiting on the ice.”

“For steelhead fishing, the river is up and there’s a lot of fish throughout the system,” Frank Willetts, of Pere Marquette River Lodge, said. “We have a steelhead school coming up here Dec. 18.”

“Nothing much has changed,” Marissa Kelly, of Baldwin Bait & Tackle, said. “There’s steelhead in the river, mostly downstream. There’s still some brown trout spawning.”

Manistee has provided fair to good steelhead fishing for pier anglers and those surfcasting, although it all depends on wind direction. Pier anglers are floating spawn while those surfcasting are throwing orange spoons and spinners, the DNR said.

“They’re still catching steelhead and coho on the beach and pier using fresh spawn,” Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangled Tackle Co. in Manistee, said. “There’s fish in the river. Guys at Tippy on the dam are starting to use maxi jigs with wax worms. Those are starting to move in.”

Those fishing the Big Manistee are getting steelhead between the mouth and Tippy Dam, the DNR said, while pointing out the better numbers were coming from the lower end of the river.

“There’s nothing new,” Gary Melzer, of Schmidt Outfitters in Wellston, said. “But with the rain we got (Thanksgiving night), the river has gone over the bank. Fishing conditions aren’t the greatest.”

“I haven’t heard anything,” Gordon Parks, of Andy’s Tackle Box in Brethren, said. “It’s slow out here in the Tippy Dam area.”

Pier and shore fishing has been fair to good at Ludington, depending on wind direction, the DNR said, adding anglers caught steelhead and the occasional brown trout.

Pere Marquette River is producing steelhead throughout the river, the DNR said, including some nice silver bullets hitting on spawn under a bobber, live bait or flies.

“There’s perch fishing going on at Crystal Lake,” Dave Rommell, of Big Bob’s Outfitters in Frankfort, said. “That’s been pretty decent whenever the wind allows it. Steelhead on  the Betsie has been slow. The big lake has been good. Anyone making it out on Lake Michigan are doing well on steelhead.”

Pier anglers at Charlevoix were getting some steelhead, the DNR said, adding at Frankfort, pier anglers got a fair number of steelhead when floating spawn.