Anglers looking forward to stronger spring fishing

BALDWIN — Anglers fishing this weekend in Lake County will have to contend with the Blessing of the Bikes celebration.

But they’re also hoping to have plenty of success with their fishing talents.

Local reports indicate fishing is slowly but steadily improving.

“Fishing’s been good,” Jake McMillon at Baldwin Bait & Tackle said. “Water clarity has been playing a big part in it. We still have some steelhead in the system. They are awfully shy. They’re kind of almost a one-cast fish during daylight hours.”

He added fish aren’t 100 percent keyed-in on surface activity.

“They’re still eating residual eggs and the salmon fry we have left over,” McMillon said. “Streamer fishing had been pretty good because of the salmon fry. Evening fishing has been a little more productive once the water kind of gets peak temperature.”

Joe Neumann, of the Pere Marquette River Lodge, acknowledged while the steelhead run is basically finished, there are some holdovers, and even some fresh ones.

“It’s a little unusual, I think,” Neumann said, “at least as many as we’re seeing this late. What I’ve been telling people on the phone is that instead of going steelhead fishing with a surprised trout, you’re better off going off trout fishing with a surprised steelhead.”

Plenty of insect activity is taking place.

“The dry fly fishing is picking up,” Neumann said. “Browns have been rising. They sure are. Streamers are hot.”

It’s the middle of May and Neumann agrees fishing fever is starting to spread.

“It is trout season now,” he said. “It is picking up some. Good weather brings them out. The river was pretty low and clear (prior to rains last weekend). Rain will help. The trout are a little bit spooky.”

Doug Loomis of Ed’s Sport Shop noted that recent water temperature at the Pere Marquette has been 56 degrees and cool.

”Steelhead fishing reports have slowed but there is still some fish to be caught,” Loomis said. “We can use some warmer river and we’re getting that.

”It’s reported that bluegills are on the beds. Bass have been caught, but it’s just starting.”