Fishing start to slow down

BIG RAPIDS - Anglers are starting to find out things are slowing down in mid-September.

In Osceola County, "it's been pretty slow," Brad Cox, of Buck's Country Bait store in LeRoy said. "There's a few guys still making it out. A lot of them are getting ready for bow season. The customers I do have are going to the river salmon fishing."

In Mecosta County, "the rain kind of messed up the fishing this last week," Vic Havens of Frank's Sporting Goods in Morley, said. "They're just starting to get out and do more fishing. They're catching some perch on the Muskegon. The walleye bite has been slow this week. We have the early doe hunt this weekend and have small game season starting (on Sept. 15)

In Manistee, fishing was slow with mature Chinook heading into Manistee Lake and the rivers the DNR report. Boat anglers were catching Chinooks and coho in 180 to 220 feet of water on spoons. Fish were marked around the harbor, but few were caught in boats or on the pier, the DNR.

The Manistee River and Manistee Lake were producing decent catches of adult Chinook, the DNR said. The highest catches in Manistee Lake were from jigging. Offshore anglers did well with green and blue glow spoons early and late.

Offshore fishing produced some Chinook and coho, the DNR said, adding the best fishing was in 100 to 150 feet of water.

"We have salmon at Tippy Dam," Rob Eckerson of Pappy's Bait Shop in Wellston said. "We're warming up which is not the best scenario. All in all, fishing as been good at Tippy Dam with blackflies, leeches and trout beads. A few people are fishing inlands lakes for perch and bluegill. That's been OK."

Boat anglers and pier anglers saw many but caught few in the channel and Pere Marquette Lake. Jigging produced the highest catch rates in Pere Marquette Lake, the DRN said/ Offshore anglers did well with spoons and flasher fly combos in green.

"It's going good," Bud Fitzgerald of Tangle Tackle Co in Manistee said. "There's still a lot of fish in river. There's a lot of fishing at the dam. There's fishing being caught out on the big lake. Numbers are going down but they're still fishing big water."

A few perch were caught in Northport, Suttons Bay and at Bowers Harbor, the DNR said.

The average size fish was small, the DNR said, and most anglers were doing a lot of sorting to find keeper size perch. Salmon were still being caught in the hole. J-Plugs were catching most of the salmon and a few were caught on flasher/fly and spoons the DN said. The smallmouth bass bite started to pick up but very few people were fishing for them.

The cisco bite was good on the East Bay out of Yuba and in front of the white walls the DNR added. Jigging performed the best but those trolling for cisco were doing well also. Fishing in 130 to 160 feet of water were the best depths.

"There's a lot of fish in the river and a lot fishing in east bay," Bill Labelle at Frankfort Tackle Box said. "There's some in the harbor and they're catching them on Crystal Lake. Fish is everywhere."

Fishing Tip: Help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species

Courtesy of the DNR

Anglers and boaters can do their part to help make sure Michigan's rivers, lakes and streams are protected against invasive species by following these some simple steps:

CLEAN boats, trailers and equipment.

DRAIN live wells, bilges and all water.

DRY boats and equipment.

DISPOSE of unwanted bait in the trash.