Fishing numbers remain low
BIG RAPIDS — Very few anglers have been out because of the weather, the DNR reports. Until spring is here to stay, those heading out, especially the boat anglers, are reminded, the DNR said, water temperatures are very cold, and hypothermia will set in fast.
Life jackets should always be worn, the DNR advises.
In Mecosta County, “it’s kind of slowed down his week because of the rain,” Tanner Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “There’s still steelhead fishing down by Croton and some guys are perch fishing up to Davis yet. They’ve been using worms for quite a bit. They’ve been looking for some (crappies) in the coves, but I haven’t heard too much yet when it comes to that. We have pike and walleye opening up (on April 27). That’s a very big weekend with the trout, walleye and pike opener.”
“The steelhead reports I’ve been hearing have been really slow,” Kurt Campbell, of Triggertime Outfitters, Big Rapids, said. ‘There’s been a few fish caught, but it’s been hit and miss. That’s about it with the weather we’ve had.”
In northwest Michigan, a warm rain should help the steelhead bite at the Manistee River. Fish have been caught at Tippy Dam.
“Water levels are pretty high so be careful when you’re wading,” Chelsea Pete of DLoop Outfitters said. “We’re still seeing a good amount of steelhead in the big river.”
“Steelhead fishing at Tippy Dam, Big Manistee, should peak out about next week,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston, said. “We’re approaching 43 for a water temperature. It’s a little bit off colored for most people’s liking. At Little Manistee, they continue to take some eggs.”
“We’re starting to get perch in Manistee Lake and off the pier,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangle Tackle Co., Manistee, said. “A few coho are starting to move into the big lake. There’s still a lot of steelhead in the river. We’re seeing some walleye down the river. Walleye season opens next Saturday.”
Ludington State Park has started raising water levels on Hamlin Lake. It will take a few weeks to get the levels back up but rain this week should help speed up the process, the DNR said. Only a couple boats had been out, and they caught bass, the DNR added. Most anglers don’t start fishing here until the water levels are up.
“They’re still getting some steelhead,” Steve Forrester of the Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia said. “That’s about it.”