Outdoorsmen adjusting to changes in season

BIG RAPIDS — Fishing isn’t totally at a standstill right now, although local outdoor experts suggest the season for ice anglers has all but ended.
That’s the word from local TV personality Kyle Randall of Paris.
“The only thing I know that’s happening is there’s a few steelhead that’s been caught on the Manistee and Muskegon rivers,” Randall said. “I know that because we did it last week. It’s been slow but there’s been some nice fish caught.
“It’s getting dangerous to be on a lot of ice. It’s getting to the point where you really have to know where you are and be careful. That being said, there are some fish being caught and some nice fish. The river especially is getting dangerous.”
Ice conditions took a dramatic turn in the last 10 days.
“People forget that it’s just not the warmth and the sun that’s melting the ice, but it’s the runoff because the ground is still frozen, that melts it faster,” Randall said. “It honeycombs the ice and makes it even more dangerous. That certainly has to be considered.”
But turkey season is coming up next month.
“We’re out scouting and starting to hear turkeys moving and break up in advance of the opening of the turkey season,” Randall said. “There isn’t a whole lot else going on. I know some people are prepping boats and their motors after last week’s 50 to 60 degree temperature. It’s not hard to look forward to the spring fishing season.”
The turkey season could be a strong one.
“The birds came through this winter better than last winter,” Randall said. “The birds that are out there, there’s some nice ones. If you go out in the morning, you can hear the toms standing to gobble and split the hens up. It will be awhile before the big flocks break up. It’s a good time to find out what’s in your area.”

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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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