FISHING REPORT: Temperatures down, catches up for local anglers

MANISTEE — Cooler weather is making fishing more tolerable for area anglers.

The DNR reminds fishermen lake trout and splake season in the waters of Lake Michigan between Arcadia and New Buffalo are open until Oct. 31.

In the northwest Lower Peninsula, rivers in the region are low and clear, and rain is needed, the DNR reports.

The DNR reports most rivers have salmon, many of which are now actively spawning. The DNR encourages fishermen to fish the holes, pools and dark water but avoid actively spawning fish. Actively spawning salmon do not readily bite while those in the pools and deeper water will bite.

Perch were hitting in 11 to 14 feet at Portage Lake in front of the city launch. Anglers were having success with minnows. Bass numbers were good.

“It’s been kind of a windy week and there hasn’t been much going on,” Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee, said. “There’s been a couple of boats that went out on Lake Michigan Friday and they got a few fish. One boat had one lake trout and three cohos. In the other boat, there was some salmon, also.”

Lake fishing has been slowing down, Scharich said.

“There’s not many people fishing now,” he added.

Surface temperature readings were around 59 degrees at Manistee. Angler activity was slow.

“We’re starting to find quite a few steelhead in the Big Manistee,” Dave Barkman of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston, said.

“At Tippy Dam, there’s lots of cohos,” Gordon Park of Andy’s Tackle Box said. “There’s a lot of kings and coho. The Betsie River is blowing up, too. We have lots of fish. We’re having the best run since 2012. Some coho are being caught along with a few Chinook at Platte Bay by trolling, jigging or casting near the mouth. A good number of coho along with some Chinook salmon moved into the Platte River.

Pier fishing in front of the port has slowed at Frankfort, the DNR said, because of the temperatures and wind.

At the Betsie River, anglers are working on the river and getting Chinook salmon below the Homestead Dam. There is fair to good numbers of fish, but many have turned dark, the DNR said.

“They still are coho fishing on the Platte River and in the mouth of the Platte,” Christine Murphy of the Frankfort Tackle Box, said. “There’s plenty of coho fishing the whole length of the Platte River. They’re still catching kings in the Betsie River, all the way down to Thompsonville. Ther’s some wayward coho in there. They caught the first steelhead off the pier (on Thursday). Three of them were caught. That means they’re moving in.

“Crystal Lake is doing perch. It’s picking up. Most of them are small. We got a master angler coho two nights ago at the platte. Master angler is only by length this year. It was 32 inches long. For a coho, that’s big.”

Action has been quiet at Ludington. Surface temperatures dropped to 60 derees.

Action was also slow at Pentwater because of windy conditions and warm temperatures. Those fishing 70 to 100 feet down in 120 to 180 feet caught the occasional lake trout or Chinook salmon on spoons or paddles and flies.

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