Warmer weather exciting for anglers

Action expected to get better

Area anglers are getting in the mood for some good fishing action.

Area anglers are getting in the mood for some good fishing action.

File photo

BIG RAPIDS --- Warmer weather is giving anglers something to be excited about.

In Meosta County, “it’s been kind of slow to start off with,” Tanner Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods said. “We’ve been catching a little bit of everything. We’ve been catching some panfish. They’ve been doing some walleyes. Steelhead is going pretty good below Croton Dam. The trout fishing is good in the creek. They’re just starting to pick up.  They’re getting specs and bluegills in the ponds.

“It seems like it’s starting to get better as the weather get warmer. It’s been slow right now.”

In northwest Michigan, the DNR reported at Portage Lake that with the warmer weather, the perch numbers were picking up near the mouth.

“Everything is open for fishing except for bass,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “The steelhead activity is a little bit past its peak. It’s doing good in the Little Manistee and Big Manistee. Fishermen did OK over the trout. Small lakes have been slow. It continues to develop.”

The DNR adds a few brown trout, lake trout and even a couple king salmon were caught while trolling near the harbor and along the Manistee shoreline. Lake trout tended to be in slightly deeper waters, the DNR said, adding a couple brown trout and a coho or two were caught off the piers while using spawn. Perch fishing remained slow, the DNR said, although a few were caught off the north pier. A few walleye and pike were also reported from the piers.

At Ludington, Anglers trolling for brown trout caught a few north and south of town and in the harbor, the DNR said, a few lake trout were caught in 50 to 60 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow. A couple smallmouth were reported from the harbor as well, the DNR said.

“There’s some browns being caught around the harbor,” Ludington area charter fisherman George Freeman said. “There’s an occasional coho and a couple of kings. Some lake trout are being caught in 60 to 100 feet of water. Not much is going on because it’s been so cold.” 

Fishing the piers at Frankfort were reporting activity with a good mix of brown trout, walleye, northern pike and whitefish, the DNR said. Fish were hitting on spoons, spawn, smelt and body baits. The DNR added anglers trolling inside and outside were reporting pike, walleye and brown trout on mostly body baits.
Fishing Tip: Taking great catch-and-release photos

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

Here are some steps you can follow:

--Wet your hands before you handle the fish; that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (or slime) that coats the fish’s body.

--Remember fish can’t breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.

--Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, so if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water and not on a hard surface.

--While holding the fish, don’t pinch or squeeze it and don’t stick your fingers in its gills.

--Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.