Local anglers eye a productive September

BALDWIN — It’s September and the mere mention of the month has many anglers excited.

Lake County Sportsman Club members like Rick Delamater and Clay Cooper continue to keep an eye on the salmon run in their area.

“The salmon come when they’re good and ready, not when the sportsmen tell them too,” Delamater laughed.

“For a couple of weeks, they’ve been quietly slipping into the river bend. It’s going to hit hard this week. It starts in mid-September and goes until that first week in October. Sometimes the fish have already been here.”

No two salmon runs are alike, Delamater pointed out.

“The peak is different year to year and it changes,” Delamater said.

“Last year it was quick,” Cooper said.

“According to the guides, a lot depends on the rain you get into the system...and it starts cooling off at night,” Delamater said. “There’s a lot of different factors. They’re here. That’s a good sign.”

The Department of Natural Resources recently issued the following fishing report on the Pere Marquette River: “Water levels were good. Salmon were caught on flat fish. Those fly fishing reported slow catch rates.”

In Osceola County, “fishing is slow but it’s really starting to pick up now,” said Hal Hutchinson of Evart.

“It’s due to the cold temperatures, lower water conditions, you can find them in the holes. Walleyes are starting to pick up. I usually fish as long as I can.”

Hutchinson said he fishes the Muskegon River up to three times a week.

During the summer “everything was back two months because of the weather,” he said. “Smallmouth fishing didn’t pick up until later. Right now, it’s starting to pick up nice.”

Some anglers like Jeff Greene of Rodney and Ben Upham of Big Rapids haven’t fished locally in a while but are looking forward to future weeks.

Upham was an avid panfish angler in recent months.

“At the beginning of the summer, it was very good,” he said, indicating that the cooler weather had an impact.

Greene mentioned that he and his wife took an enjoyable trip to northern Ontario where they fished for walleyes. Now that he’s back in Mecosta County, “I’m looking to get some bluegills,” Greene said.

In Lake County, it’s still the extremely early phases of the 2013 salmon run but it appears it won’t be too long before the season kicks into high gear.

TIP OF THE WEEK

The DNR offers the following tip taken from Michigan Outdoor News:

“Did you know there are typically two populations of bass in a water body; one that lingers near the shore to feed and one that hangs in deeper water and moves through structure to feed? Both populations provide great opportunities for fishing, but many anglers overlook the bass in deeper water.

“The next time you head to your favorite bass lake, consider fishing deeper water, particularly around larger weedbeds. Fish will often hang out in the weedbeds and move up through the depths to feed.”