Anglers continue to test their skills

Fall fishing season starting to wind down

Mason Armstrong, 8, of Baldwin, had success catching sunfish during the fall season.

Mason Armstrong, 8, of Baldwin, had success catching sunfish during the fall season.

Courtesy photo

BIG RAPIDS – It’s going to be challenging for local anglers in upcoming days.

“Most guys indicated it will be their last weekend out coming up (last) weekend,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sport Goods in Morley said. “They’re starting to get their boats out of the water and get them winterized with this cold weather coming up in the forecast. It is slowing down but they are finding some perch and walleye in the river.

“They’re finding a few but it’s winding down from  what I’ve been told.”

In the Big Manistee River, the DNR said anglers reported moderate numbers of steelhead in certain areas of the river. Primary methods of fishing included drifting with beads and spawn, however, some anglers had luck using plugs and spinners. Recent rains and some windy weather should help stir up the activity, the DNR said.

“There have been steelhead pushing up the river,” a spokesman at Tangled Tackle Co. in Manistee said. “I’ve been hearing lots of reports. They’ve been doing pretty good on the beach as well as the pierhead.”

At Manistee Lake, south winds kept anglers off the lake, the DNR said. The few anglers that made it out were trolling with spoons at roughly 20 to 30 feet down. Some steelhead catches were reported.

“There’s been a little bit of stuff going on in the rivers,” Wilderness Journal TV host Kyle Randall of Paris said. “We’ll start seeing some more steelhead picking up in the rivers. But the inland fishing has pretty much died off with the cooling of the water.”

Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston agreed.

“Salmon is continuing to run its course,” Eckerson said. “There’s still a few coming up. A lot of them are old and tired. Steelhead have been right behind them. The bite has been a little disrupted by the barometric yo-yo effect. Despite that, it’s been pretty good. The wind is blowing so the perch fishermen have been kind of kept at bay, too. They were getting some out of Portage Lake and Manistee Lake.”