Anglers eye strong month in August

BIG RAPIDS – The transition from July to August fishing is expected to be a good one.

In Mecosta County, “I ran a couple of trips here the last few days,” Tom Vernon of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “We were fishing the lower stretches of the Muskegon River and doing really well on smallmouth, walleyes and some rainbows. I know some of the inland lakes, they’re catching some bluegills out deep. The bait is going to be redworms or crickets. Bass fishing is still holding up pretty good.”

In Frankfort, ice catches of Chinook salmon were caught with several master anglers recorded. The Chinook were mostly hitting out front and jigs were also landing them in the bay, the DNR said.

Lake trout numbers were holding steady in the high water and off the bottom in Platte Bay. Fish were also being reported in Platte Bay in the early morning. Flashers, flies and meat rigs are effective for the big Chinook with whites and blue colors, the DNR said.

Smallmouth fishing in the Charlevoix channel was up and down, the DNR said adding some caught one or two keeper size bass, but most anglers only netted smaller smallmouth.

The DNR added some good-sized freshwater drum were also caught using the same techniques utilized for smallmouth fishing. A lot of anglers were fishing bottom with real or artificial worms or leeches.

A couple small Chinook were caught near Bay Harbor at Petoskey about mid column over 100 feet of water. There were also some caught near the breakwall. Lake trout were caught from 110 to 120 feet down over 120 to 150 feet of water.

The Bear River was flowing at a high level and a couple anglers were at the dam and they caught a couple rock bass.

“They’re catching some salmon straight out and south of Manistee in about 170 foot of water,” Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, said. “People are still getting nice catches of bluegills and crappies and some nice pike out of Manistee.

Some Chinook were caught along the shelf in 100 to 200 feet of water both north and south of the harbor at Manistee, the DNR said. Depths ranged from 60 to 90 feet down or more. Spoons, JPlugs, and meat rigs were effective.

“They’re catching them at The Shelf in 120 to 200 feet of water,” Ryan Hamilton of Tangled Tackle Co., Manistee, said. “They’re fishing 40 to 75 feet down. They’re using spoons which worked well.”

The DNR added that lake trout were caught in 100 feet of water while fishing near bottom and in the mix when fishing for salmon. A few steelhead were also netted, the DNR said The piers were slow at early morning and late-night bites have seemed to be the most effective.

“Fishing is fantastic,” Caleb Keegstra, of Captain Chuck’s in Ludington said. “It’s been from 80 foot to 150 foot of water. Salmon are good now. We’ve had some fish move into Pere Marquette Lake. Hamlin is still good for bluegills and crappies and even walleye has done all right.”

Some Chinook and coho at Ludington were caught straight out from the harbor, south toward the projects, and north to Big Sable Point, the DNR said, and were having success on spoons, JPlugs, flies and meat rigs. The salmon were anywhere from 50 to 100 feet of water straight out, around 60 to 120 south and at 100 to 170 off the point. Depths ranged from 70 to 75+. A couple lake trout and steelhead were netted.

Fishing Tip: Is your outdoor first-aid kit ready to go?

Courtesy of Michigan DNR

Do you carry a first-aid kit with you while you’re out fishing? You never know what can happen, so it never hurts to be prepared. If you’re interested in putting together a kit be sure to include the following:

• Rubber gloves

• Scissors

• Tweezers

• Thermometer

• Hemostat

• Compresses

• Adhesive bandages

• Medical tape

• Compression bandage

• Antibiotic ointment

• Hydrocortisone cream

• Antibiotic wipes

• Eye-wash fluid

• Aspirin/ibuprofen

Don’t forget to regularly check your first-aid kit’s inventory and replenish as needed.