Anglers excited with fishing openers

Walleye, trout and pike season opened on Saturday

BIG RAPIDS – Saturday is a fun day for fishermen. It’s the first day for trout, walleye.

“I’ve got opening day for walleye or trout,” avid fisherman Josh Johnson, of Evart, said. “I’ll be somewhere. It’s looking like a beautiful day to catch fish. I doubt the water temperature on Lake Cadillac is where it needs to be to catch walleyes. I’ll probably find some trout somewhere.”

“Crappies are doing good on the lakes and rivers from what I’ve heard,” Tanner Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “It’s sounds like they’re in about five foot of water and getting up into the shallows. They have been catching some bluegills. Of course we’ve got all the openers kicking off on Saturday in the creeks. I’ve selling a lot of bait and licenses in getting ready for that.”

“They’re just getting started,”  Greg Clark of Shaffer’s Sporting Goods in Weidman said. “It’s been windy, cold and miserable.”          

In the northwest Lower Peninsula, anglers at Portage reported catching panfish, bass and perch, but reported low catches in cooler waters.

The DNR said anglers trolling Bar Lake caught a couple brown trout but the action was slow. The DNR added at Manistee, fishing was hit or miss but a few brown trout, lake trout and the occasional coho were caught while trolling the shorelines. A couple cisco and whitefish were caught off the north pier. Perch fishing was slow. A few brown trout and lake trout were caught off the south pier while using spawn.

“Steelhead fishing continues,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston. “We’re slightly past the peak at least in the Big Manistee. The DNR finished up their egg take in the Little Manistee. They’re ditching some perch in Manistee Lake. Minnow and worms have been the trick there. Most of the other smaller lakes are struggling to warm up. We’re anticipating bluegills being shallow and sunnying themselves.”

At Frankfort, anglers trolling inside the walls saw some brown trout activity, but the weather was not cooperative. Due to high winds, there was limited pier fishing, the DNR said.

At Little Traverse Bay, the docks were not in at the boat launch earlier in the week. Anglers fishing the breakwall and the city dock did not have any success, the DNR said.

There was a lot of pressure at the mouth of the Bear River, the DNR said. Anglers were mainly catching brown trout and there was one small pike caught and a few suckers. Some 15-to-20-inch brown trout were caught from the dam down to this area. 

Fishing Tip: Season Reminders

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Here are a few of the upcoming season dates. Fish on.

Statewide: Possession and fishing season (inland) Type 1 and Type 2 streams and possession and fishing season (inland) Type A and Type D lakes.

--Trout: April 30; Lower Peninsula - Inland Lakes; Walleye and Northern Pike: April 30.
 
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