Fishermen eyeing cooler temperatures

Cooler temperatures will helping fishing conditions

BIG RAPIDS — Warm weather is not exactly a fisherman’s best friend right now. Water levels are low and clear in many rivers and streams and the water temps are too warm.

For that reason, the DNR says anglers should expect slower catch rates for trout and salmon. More rain and cooler temperatures are needed for good fall fishing.

At Manistee, the DNR reports surface water temperatures were about 65 degrees and fishing has been slow, meaning fewer fishermen were out.

There are a small number of Chinook and coho caught in 120 to 160 feet of weather when heading north of the port. There were some Chinook caught in the harbor and in Manistee Lake.

“Our in Lake Michigan, they’re getting some salmon and some lake trout,” Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina said. “It’s picked up a little bit. There’s not so much going on in the river, but in the big lake, there’s fish being caught.”

The Manistee River has been productive in the lower part, the DNR said. Coho have been caught up at Tippy Dam.

“There’s been bluegills on the south end of Manistee Lake,” Scharich said. “There’s a few fish in the river, but not a lot. They’re catching fish in about 250 to 300 feet of water, 120 feet down, in the big lake. That will change when it gets clear next week. If the temp drops and we get rain, we’ll probably get another push of fish up the river.”

Pier anglers at Onekama are saying there’s coho off the north and south piers. Anglers should try spawns or spoons in the early morning to late evening. Perch numbers and sizes have improved over the last week.

The bigger fish were hitting on minnows.

“Salmon fishing has been very strong in the Big Manistee River, for both coho and king salmon,” Dave Barkman of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston said. “We’re looking forward to the arrival of steelhead.”

“They’re getting some fish in the pier but mostly all the fish are in the rivers, the salmon anyway,” Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods, in Manistee said. “They are getting some perch and walleye on Portage. Manistee is getting some nice bluegills and perch, and the pike fishing is better.”

Platte Bay has coho in close during the early morning, the DNR said, and they were hitting on smaller spoons. A few more coho have shown up in East Platte Bay and were getting caught by anglers trolling, jigging or casting. The mouth of the Platte River has been dredged but is still open. The DNR reports there were still a lot of fish in the river below the weir and a few above the weir.

At Frankfort, chinook moved into the harbor but fishermen were having a hard time getting them. At the Betsie River, fishermen were getting a good number of fish.

Water temperatures were also warm at Ludington and fishing was slow. There were some Chinook caught in the harbor, the DNR reported.

 

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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