Fishing remains slow areawide

MANISTEE —Windy conditions have kept anglers off the Great Lakes for the most part, the DNR reports. Salmon are turning dark in many areas, while steelhead fishing is picking up as more fish are starting to move up into the rivers.

“About the only thing I can tell you is walleyes are biting,” Craig Walters of The Eyes Have It bait shop in LeRoy, said. “That’s at Rose Lake and at Cadillac. There’s not a lot of people fishing right now.”

“No one’s been doing any fishing lately,” John of Trigger Time Outfitters in Big Rapids said. “Everyone’s been hunting. It will be slow, I’m guessing, until the end of rifle season.”

In Northwest Michigan, the DNR reports the rivers are low and clear, which makes steelhead fishing more difficult. But a few were still caught in local rivers such as the Betsie, Manistee, Little Manistee and the Pere Marquette. The better action right now was pier and surf fishing at Frankfort, Manistee and Ludington.

At Portage Lake, boat anglers were taking some perch but also sorting out the small ones, the DNR said. Anglers were suggested to try 12 to 18 feet off Portage Point or Crescent Beach.

“There’s a few coho being caught on the lake,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co. of Manistee said. “I haven’t heard much about the beach. I haven’t heard much about the perch on Portage. I think that’s about done, or slowing down a little bit. We need some rain.”

The few boats still heading out from Manistee have caught steelhead. Pier anglers and those surfcasting should find fish in the early morning or late evening, the DNR said.

“The numbers of coho are going down,” Chelsea Pete of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston, said. “We may get a push of fish next week with colder weather.”

Those trolling at Manistee Lake, the DNR added, have caught a couple good size coho and steelhead. Most were trolling body baits like flatfish. Those same anglers have also caught the occasional pike but most were too small.

“They’re still catching steelhead and browns are starting to spawn like at the little Manistee,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s in Wellston said. “We need water flow. It’s kind of clear and low with winter conditions where we’re at. We’re still getting some perch when they can get on Portage and Manistee Lake.”

Water clarity at Manistee Lake has increased throughout the lower section while steelhead were hitting in the early morning but were bothered when the sun comes out. Flies and beads seemed to be the most consistent.

“Steelhead fishing in the river has been good,” Dave Rommell of Big Bob’s Outfitters in Frankfort said. “Perch fishing has been good at Crystal for awhile. It’s slowed down now.”

Hunting update

Some area deer hunters seem to be having success since the firearm season opened on Tuesday. But it’s been iffy for others.

“Not many hunters can move the deer is kind of a complaint,” Eckerson said. “They’e seeing them on their game cameras at night coming to their bait. Daytime movement is limited.”

“One of my buddies got a nice 10-point by Brethren,” Fitzgerald said. “Most of the guys I know have gotten their deer. There’s a few guys that are trophy hunters.”

“Hunting has been good,” Rommell said. “There’s a lot of nice big bucks taken this year. The warm weather has slowed down hunting a little bit.”

The firearm season ends on Nov. 30