Fishing activity remains favorable

It's expected to be another strong fishing weekend. (Star photo file)

It's expected to be another strong fishing weekend. (Star photo file)

BIG RAPIDS -- Fishing conditions have been fair to good for those targeting trout and salmon on the Great Lakes, the DNR said in its weekly report.

Inland fishing has been good for bass, bluegills, crappie, rock bass, walleye and catfish. Carp were on the beds in some areas.

In Mecosta County, "we were on the river (Thursday) morning," Tom Vernon, of Frank's Sporting Goods in Morley said. "We took some smallmouth and some really big rainbows. The bite is getting better. It's going to be good this coming week."

Greg Clark at Schafer's Sporting Goods in Weidman, agrees.

"There's lot of fishing going on right now," Clark said. "Chippewa Lake is pretty good, the Martiny Chain is pretty good…panfish and bass fishing is good. Walleye fishing is good at Chippewa."

In northwest Michigan, anglers at Frankfort trolling in 150 to 200 feet have caught some large Chinook salmon in the early morning and at dusk with blue and green spoons 50 to 80 feet down, the DNR reports, adding large schools of alewife were reported out in deeper waters. Steelhead and brown trout also have been good targets with the rise in water temperatures.

Anglers at Onekama have been working the Barrel to pick up lake trout 50 feet down to the bottom, the DNR said.

Portage Lake has had bass anglers still working the shoreline to pick up a few largemouth but the bite has slowed with the mayfly hatch, the DNR said.

"Out on the big lake, they're getting a lot of nice lake trout with spinglos," Dewey Buckner of Don's Sporting Goods in Manistee, said. "They're getting some salmon on flies and spoons. At Manistee Lake, they're getting some nice bluegills and a few pike and smallmouth bass. On the pier, they're getting some walleye and some nice bass, too."

Lake trout at Manistee were caught along the "Shelf" when trolling near the bottom in 100 to 120 feet, the DNR said, adding a couple Chinook salmon were caught on the north side of Big Sable Point in 100 to 150 feet and on the "Shelf" in 100 to 180 feet.

"Out on the big lake, fishing lake trout is real good," Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee said. "It's still awfully slow for salmon."

"There's still a few gills on beds at Manistee and Portage Lake," Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangled Tackle Co. in Manistee said. "At Portage Lake, I've heard they've been catching a few perch, but not a lot, and a few walleye at night."

Those fishing up high along the "Shelf" found a couple steelhead, the DNR said, while bass were caught off the north pier.

The Chinook salmon bite was slow at Ludington and mostly lake trout were caught, the DNR said.

"It's a lot of lake trout," Corey Houser, of Captain Chuck's in Ludington, said. "That's pretty much the main thing going on right now. They're finding a few things here or there."

Chinook were found around the point in 65 to 140 feet, while lake trout were found off Big Sable Point in 90 to 110 feet and to the north in 300 to 350 feet, according to the DNR.

Steelhead were caught up high in 130 to 220 feet near Big Sable Point, the DNR said. A brown trout was caught in the harbor while trolling. Perch fishing on the north pier was slow.

Fishing Tip: How to catch your own nightcrawlers

Special from the Michigan DNR

Are you interested in catching and keeping your own nightcrawlers? It's fairly easy to do - just follow these simple steps:

1. Know where to look. Scout locations such as parks, playgrounds and open, grassy areas after a good rain. Look for nightcrawler castings (the little piles of dirt they leave behind) and then plan to visit again following the next good rain.

2. Know when to collect. Nightcrawlers are best caught an hour or so after dark.

3. Bring the right equipment. Nightcrawlers are sensitive to vibrations, so wear lightweight shoes. They're also sensitive to bright light, so consider rigging your flashlight with a red cover over the lens.

Store them properly. When you catch nightcrawlers, just lay them on top of some storage bedding - don't mix them in. This will allow you to remove sick or dead ones more easily.