Fall fishing producing some memorable moments
BIG RAPIDS – The DNR said this past week has been very windy, which has limited many anglers’ opportunities to get out.
This has resulted in limited reports on fishing for this week, the DNR said, while advising anglers to make sure to get out while the weather is good if you can. The scenery is spectacular, and the fishing in fall can be good, the DNR said.
The DNR points out all anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.
In Mecosta County, “they’ve definitely been starting to catch lot of salmon below Croton Dam, now that the salmon have started running,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley. “They’ve been catching good numbers of those. They’ve been using flies or spawn, it’s typically what they use. I know some guys are landing some steelhead during that time, too. They’ve been catching those on the wax worms as well as spawn.
“There’s a tournament this Saturday for walleye on the river. There’s been a few guys pre-fishing for that. I’ve been hearing some good numbers from that, with vertical jigging, catching some walleye and some good sized ones too. That’s been very productive for them on the river. Perch fishing is doing really good on perch minnows and wigglers on the rivers and weedbeds. They’ve been catching bluegills here and there in the shallows as well.”
Billie Milligan, from Paris Archery, has also heard favorable reports on perch fishing on the river.
“It’s some good sized perch, too, from what I hear, and crappies,” she said.
In northwest Michigan, Salmon fishing in Platte Bay is winding down.
Good numbers of Chinook salmon were in Betsie River, with most turning dark.
“They’ve been catching a lot of steelhead off the pier,” Christine Murphy, of Frankfort Tackle Box, said. “They’re catching coho off the beach in Frankfort. Somebody brought me some coho. The river still has fish in it. They’re still fishing at the 31 bridge all the way up to the dam.”
Steelhead are starting to show up in the lower river, the DNR said.
“They’re starting to get some steelhead in the river,” Bud Fitzgerald, from Tangled Tackle Co., in Manistee, said. “There’s still a lot of kings up at the dam. A few steelhead have been caught at the beach with spawn and a few floaters in it. Bluegills are about done. I haven’t heard of any perch. We should be getting some perch.”
Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods, Manistee, said the wind continues to be a factor.
“They’re starting to get some steelhead in the river and on the pier when the wind’s not blowing,” Buchner said. “They’re starting to get some nice perch, bluegills and pike out of Manistee Lake.”
Favorable salmon fishing was reported in the Manistee River with steelhead starting to show up in the lower river.
“Fishing is going pretty good and the guys seem to be having a lot of funk,” Art Fraly of Hank’s & Sons in Brethren said. “We have a new batch of coho in. There’s new fish coming in every day.”
Below Hodenpyl Dam, anglers have reported good catches of rainbow trout while using fish eggs.
Salmon fishing has been good over the last week in the Pere Marquette River, the DNR said.
Some steelhead are starting to show up in the lower portion of the river.
Fishing tip: Finding steelhead in the thick of fall
Courtesy of the Michigan DNR
Although many folks have hunting on the brain, there are some anglers who are enjoying a few more trips to the streams right now to find steelhead. Those having success are probably following a few basic tips:
• Target lesser-known streams that may have been stocked by the DNR in the past few years.
• Don’t fish on the weekends – when everyone else is – and instead, focus on midweek if you can.
• Tough out the weather. Some of the best fishing occurs when the weather is the worst.
• Focus on going in the early morning or at night.
Want even more information on targeting steelhead? Check out the steelhead page on the DNR’s website and Trout Trails for lesser-known locations for steelhead.
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. Practice proper social distancing (at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household) and keep a face covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.