Warm weather impacts fishing

BIG RAPIDS — Fishing is getting ready to hit the dog days of summer, and it appears anglers are meeting a wide assortment of success reports.

“They’ve been getting some walleyes over the weekend, I heard,” Tanner Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “One guy got his limit on the river. There was a tournament at Croton, from what I heard. Everyone did well on that.”

“A lot of fishing is going on,” Doug Loomis of Ed’s Sporting Goods in Baldwin said. “Trout are hitting on crawlers and spinners with most reports from fishermen being sparse. Hex hatches is gone. Fishing for bass and northerns has been excellent.”

At Manistee, surface temperature readings were about 56 degrees, the DNR said, and anglers are reminded the south pier is closed.  Off shore, fishing slowed way down and the fish were scattered.

“There’s been a summer run or two of the skamania steelhead in the Big Manistee,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “The other rivers are going for trout fishing. The grasshoppers are starting. The mayflies are hatching. Bluegills have been pretty good. They’re starting to bed. Bass fishing is coming up strong.”

The DNR adds a small number of Chinook and lake trout were caught on spoons in 120 to 300 feet, and anglers fishing off the north pier caught Chinook and steelhead. Those trolling in the channel caught a few fish, the DNR said.

“The summer run steelhead have hit the dam in small numbers this week,” Gordon Park at Andy’s Tackle Box in Brethren, said. “The run has started and it might take two weeks to tell you how good it’s been. Other than that it’s pretty slow like a typical June. The fish we’re seeing are at the dam.”

Surface water temperatures at Ludington were near 54 degrees. A few Chinook along with a couple steelhead and lake trout were taken on spoons in 85 to 250 feet.  Pier anglers were basically inactive.  Baitfish are in the harbor and those trolling caught Chinook, brown trout, steelhead and the occasional lake trout.

Chinook catches are picking up in at Onekama, the DNR said, and around the “Barrel” and in front of the golf course when trolling green spoons and flies in the top 25 to 65 feet of waters 250 to 300 feet deep. Lake trout and steelhead were also caught.

There’s still no mayfly hatch to report at Portage Lake so anglers were taking good catches of bass and panfish.  Perch were found in 18 to 25 feet off Eagle Point, the DNR said, adding bluegills were found in the weed beds along the east end and bass were being found in all areas.

“Everything is pretty slow right now,” Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee said. “They were getting some bluegills and crappies on Manistee Lake. They were doing good on salmon but it slowed down this week. At Hamlin, they were getting some nice bluegills.”

A few walleye were caught by those trolling a crawler harness at lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, the DNR said. The panfish were in shallow and were hitting on spiders, small flies and artificial baits.  Crappies were caught with a slip bobber in eight to 12 feet.

At Frankfort, east winds pushed the warmer water out deep and anglers were getting good catches of Chinook salmon and lake trout in 550 to 650 feet and working the top 80 feet with green flies 150 to 200 feet out with copper and green or blue.

“The trout fishing is still really good.” Dave Rommell, of Frankfort, local fishing observer, said. “It’s been good all spring for lake trout. The salmon fishing was good for about 10 days, but now they’re a little bit scattered.”

Pike and smallmouth bass are still being caught though the bite is slow at Arcadia Lake.  Some anglers were targeting perch and other panfish.

Chinook, steelhead and lake trout were caught 20 to 60 feet down in 80 to 160 feet at Pentwater, the DNR said.

In eastern Michigan, “The bass are pretty much off their beds right now,” Cody Ison, of Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare said. “You have to go deeper for bass fishing. Everything is kind of going deeper for bass fishing. Panfish are kind of off their beds now and everything is headed for the deeper water slowly but surely. They’re under shelter to get away from the sun.

“Fishing has been kind of mediocre with the heat. It’s been scorching. Everybody isn’t able to get what they normally get right now.”

“Fishing hasn’t been good but it hasn’t been bad,” Woody Raymond, of Sanford Sport Shop said. “I went out Monday at Sanford Lake. My buddy and I got one walleye and two pike. We got about 10 bass we threw back. We only got two crappies and six bluegills. I haven’t heard much of anything. I think the heat has everybody shut down.”

The DNR issued the following statements on area popular fishing spots:

Lexington and Port Sanilac: “When boats can get out, they caught Atlantic salmon, lake trout and walleye in 44 to 53 feet. Atlantic salmon and coho were caught in the harbor at Lexington and some nice Atlantics were caught from the wall at Port Sanilac when using live minnows.”

Grindstone City: “Shore anglers and those wading caught smallmouth bass in the harbor when using tube jigs.”

Saginaw Bay: “Had excellent walleye fishing when the wind stops blowing and boats can get out. Good catches were reported off Gambil’s Marina near Pinconning in 23 feet, and around the Old Dumping Grounds. Excellent fishing was reported in the Slot from Quanicassee to Sebewaing and near the weed beds in Wildfowl Bay.  Most have switched over to crawler harnesses, but a few are doing well on spoons, Flicker-Shad, and other assorted crankbaits.

At Caseville, walleye anglers were exploring the waters around the Charity Islands and along the reefs between Caseville and Port Austin.”

Saginaw River: “Those trolling in the lower river caught walleye as far upstream as the Coast Guard Station. This is the place to go if it’s too windy to fish out on the bay.”

Fishermen hope for a big weekend.


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.

Leave a Reply