High waters affecting fishing

Anglers eye lower water levels.

MANISTEE — The DNR reports rivers are high and muddy after the heavy rain. As a result, less fishermen were out because of the storms and muggy weather.

The DNR does anticipate cooler temperatures to help improve the bite for those heading out this week.

“This weekend, there was a pretty good crowd of people considering the weather,” Brad Cox of Big Buck’s Bait & Tackle, in LeRoy said. “There were people out catching them at about every lake like Rose, Sunrise, Center Lake, Diamond Lake.”

“They’re getting some bluegills at Kimball by White Cloud,” Dustin Hammer, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “They’re getting some decent walleyes in the river finally. They’re getting some perch in the river. Out back (behind the shop) they’re catching some pike in Morley Pond. They’re finally starting to see some salmon below Croton.”

At Frankfort, strong winds and heavy rain pushed the Chinook salmon into Betsie Bay with some moving up into the river, the DNR said, adding coho were reported in Platte Bay but the bite was hit-or-miss when trolling spoons.

Dredging continues at Manistee, and boat anglers are asked to watch for the buoy and avoid a wake. Chinook salmon moved into the harbor and just outside the pier heads.  Anglers had success trolling spoons and J-plugs. One angler caught a 32-pound Chinook off the north pier.

There was some movement for fish last week at the Manistee River and anglers were getting them. The river is high and muddy and it’s difficult to say what conditions are like, but the rain should have pushed more fish up into the river.

Chinook salmon were pushed into the harbor at Ludington and around the pier heads when the water rolled over.

Those using spoons and J-plugs did best.

Those jigging and trolling caught salmon but those jigging did best. Pier anglers caught a few when casting spoons.

The heavy rain should have pushed more salmon up into the Pere Marquette River, but fishing conditions are expected to be a little more difficult with high muddy water.

Inconsistent water temperatures have the salmon scattered from the dunes down to Little Sable Point at Pentwater, the DNR said. Glow spoons fished early in the morning caught the most chinook salmon while green spoons and meat rigs fished well later in the day.

In eastern Michigan, “there’s some salmon fishing up by the Betsie,” a spokesperson at the Sanford Sport Shop said. “There’s some walleyes but it’s slow conditions.”

“We’re not really on the bay with the walleye anymore,” Brandon Stanton, of Team Gunsmoke Sportfishing, of Elkton said. “We’re more into Lake Huron with the lake trout and steelhead and salmon. It’s going pretty good. There’s a lot of fish out there. The lake trout is scattered.”

The DNR provided the following statements on area fishing spots:

Lexington to Port Sanilac: “Did not have much activity due to the weather. The few that were out trolling did not have much luck.”

Harbor Beach: “Storms and windy conditions have kept boats anglers at bay. Before the storms, lake trout and a few salmon were caught straight out in 160 feet on dodgers and spin-glo’s and clean spoons. A couple Chinook were taken on spoons halfway down in 80 to 120 feet. Walleye were in 50 to 80 feet and hitting small spoons and body baits north of the harbor. Bass anglers were casting small body baits and spoons. Shore anglers caught rock bass when jigging along the rocks.”

Saginaw Bay: “Had a slow week. If it was not raining the wind was blowing so the bay was churned up and muddy. When boats could get out, a few walleye were taken on harnesses out near Buoy No. 1, in the Slot off Sebewaing in 12 to 14 feet or outside the islands. A few perch were taken off Linwood around Sailboat Buoys A, B and E, the old shipping channel in 15 feet, near the Spark Plug in 25 feet or just north of Spoils Island in 16 feet.”



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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