Anglers looking for strong month of fishing

Anglers hope to have plenty of fishing opportunities this summer. (Star file photo)

Anglers hope to have plenty of fishing opportunities this summer. (Star file photo)

BIG RAPIDS - Saturday, May 29 was the large and smallmouth bass opener on the Great Lakes and inland waters.

The large and smallmouth bass season opener on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River is June 19. Muskie season opens on June 5.

In Mecosta County, " fishing is phenomenal right now," Tom Vernon of Franks Sporting Goods in Morley said. "Inland lakes are all on fire. I ran three trips trips this week and we got a lot of fish."

The DNR reports that in the northwestern Lower Peninsula, although the area did get some rain, the rivers are still a bit low and mostly clear which makes fishing much harder. Dry fly fishing picked up as the hot weather prompted some good insect hatches. Water temperatures on the inland lakes warmed, especially the shallow dark bottom lakes, the DNR said.

"The kings are being caught out 150 feet pretty much using small spoons and flies," Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co. "There's still some lake trout up north. I'm not hearing a lot about walleye. They were catching a few in Portage Lake. That seems to have turned off a little bit and ones on Manistee Lake. Bluegills should be turning on anytime."

The fish cleaning station is open at Frankfort, and the construction has been completed. Young salmon are starting to show up as anglers are trolling south along the shoreline through the Herring Hole, the DNR said.

The fish were 30 to 50 feet down in 60 to 80 feet and hitting on spoons. Very good numbers of lake trout were reported up in Platte Bay, the DNR said.

Anglers at Onekema were trolling north to the golf course and in the "Barrel" reported the occasional small Chinook salmon as well as good lake trout catches higher up in the water column, the DNR said.

At Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, the warmer weather produced good fishing for panfish, bass and walleye, the DNR said.

"They're starting to get bluegills on the beds, and crappies," Dewey Buchner of Don's Sporting Goods in Manistee said, "and they're still getting some nice pike. Everything else has been real slow."

Fishing was hit-or-miss for those trolling at Manistee the DNR said. "A few lake trout were caught outside the harbor and straight out along the "Shelf" when fishing near the bottom.

A couple Chinook salmon were also located 55 to 75 feet down in 120 to 170 feet. Most were using spoons and flies but pier anglers had no luck, the DNR said.

"Salmon are starting to show up in Lake Michigan," Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee said. "It's starting to be pretty good for salmon and lake trout. This week has been pretty good for salmon."

Fishing at Ludington was slow with only a few lake trout taken straight out of the harbor and near the projects the DNR said, adding pier fishing was slow.

"Kings are off the banks right now in 180 feet of water," Caleb Keegstra of Captain Chuck's in Ludington said. "For inland lakes, bass are on beds and panfish were recently on beds. Some have moved off. Crappies are in 8 to 12 feet of water."

Fishing Tip: Use a spinnerbait to target bass

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

As water temperatures rise, both largemouth and smallmouth bass will start to hang out in shallower water and stick close to areas with cover. Want to know a great tool to target them there? Try a spinnerbait.

Seek out cover; such as logs, boulders or weed patches and cast your spinnerbait in that direction. Often you'll entice a bass ready to strike unsuspecting prey.

Want to learn more about one of Michigan's most popular fish species? Check out their page on the DNR's website.

If you're headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you're feeling well, and it's always a good idea to frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.