Anglers battling various conditions

BIG RAPIDS — Fishermen head into July with hopes of continued fishing success.

But as always, it depends on various conditions.

“People are fishing but it was a little slow,” Craig Walters, of The Eyes Have It in Leroy, said. “They thought it was a little too cold (Tuesday). There’s a few people getting out. Bass are biting. At lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, I heard they’re getting some walleyes.”

Meanwhile, the inland lakes are producing panfish, bass, walleye, pike, bowfin and carp, the DNR reports, while adding spawning is done in most waters and very hot weather tends to push fish to deeper waters. The ideal time to fish in shallow water is early morning or late evening, the DNR said.

A 25-pound chinook salmon was caught in Manistee 35 miles across the lake in Wisconsin waters, the DNR said, adding lake trout fishing is really good north of the harbor in 80 to 100 feet. Most of the chinook salmon that were caught were small. Steelhead are starting to show up and most were caught as deep as 500 feet. A couple brown trout and steelhead were caught off the pier.

The recent increase in water temperatures at Manistee Lake had the fish moving deeper than usual and some bigger pike were caught on spinners in seven to 15 feet, the DNR said. Anglers are getting some rock bass, but those targeting bluegills found the action to be hit-or-miss. The mayfly has been in full bloom, the DNR added.

“The Great Lakes are slow out there with lake trout and salmon,” Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, said. “In Manistee Lake, they’re getting some nice bluegills in eight to 12 foot of water. They’re getting some nice pike. On the river, they’re getting some nice walleyes and trout.”

At the Big Manistee River, skamania, the summer run steelhead, are in the area near Tippy Dam. “That’s happening in fair numbers,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s in Wellston, said. “Spawn has been a big bet along with nightcrawlers and wax worms. The mayflies are starting to hex, which would be of interest to fly fishermen. Lot of people wait all year for this to start. Inland, the bluegills, I think, are trying to bed in the lakes they haven’t yet. You have your regular stream trout activity. That’s been pretty good. The water levels are in good shape for that.”

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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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