Anglers enjoying fishing success

LEROY – It’s looking like a very busy weekend for fishing.

In Mecosta County, “they’re catching some pretty decent pike, from what I’ve heard, in the lake,” a spokesperson at Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “In the river they’re catching a few walleyes.”

In Osceola County, “A lot of people are out and about and enjoying the water,” Brad Cox from Buck Country Bait Store in LeRoy said. “Bluegills are on their beds spawning right now.”

In northwest Michigan, water temperatures are on the climb at Frankfort. Alewives are starting to move around the pier heads, the DNR said, kings are still a challenge to land, but some are being reported in 100 to 140 feet of water and trolling spoons 50 to 70 down. Jigging in 100 feet of water with swedish pimples off the bottom in the Platte Bay area is producing nice lake trout catches, the DNR said.

“We’ve had good fishing lately,” Christine Murphy from Frankfort Tackle Box said. “The charters are all coming in early. They’re getting some salmon. Most everything is north.

“Crystal Lake has been producing lots of fish. What that is on a daily basis changes. They’re catching lake trout and perch and there’s a lot of rock bass already. For all the little lakes, the tourists are here now. We’re giving out lots of minnows and worms.”

Mayflies are in full hatch increasing shoreline/pier activity for steelhead in Onekama, the DNR said. Anglers trolling the Barrel are reporting good numbers of lake trout and the occasional Chinook.

“They’re still getting some nice bluegills,” Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods said. “They’re in 12 to 15 foot of water right now. They’re getting some nice pike by trolling and by body baits and spinners.”

Anglers trolling in 120 to 140 feet of water in front of the golf course are reporting a few lake trout with a Chinook or two.

A few kings were caught in Manistee along the shelf in various depths starting in 120 out to 200 and further (300+). Fish were roughly 60 to 80 feet down, the DNR said. Steelhead were caught in the top 30 feet thanks to spoons and flies, the DNR said. Lakers have also been caught in around 100 feet of water while few steelhead were caught on the north pier using alewife and shrimp.

A few kings were caught near Big Sable Point in 100 to 200 feet of water when fishing 60-to-90 feet down, the DNR said. There were also a few lakers and coho. Spoons and flies worked along with meat rigs. Steelhead fishing was decent in the top 30 feet. Salmon were also caught straight out of the harbor and south towards the projects, the DNR said.

“In Hamlin Lake, they’re catching some bluegills, some crappies and some pike,” a spokesperson at Captain Chuck’s in Ludington said. “In the big lake it’s been slow. They’ve been struggling.”

Fishing Tip: What to do when walleyes pick up

Courtesy of Michigan DNR

Many think of walleye as a benthic, or bottom, species. While this is true at times, this species will come a long way up in the water column to hit your presentation. More so, they will often suspend in the water column based on forage.

If the mayfly hatch has begun, expect to find these fish anywhere from five to 15 feet off the bottom, focusing your crankbaits or crawler harnesses in that region, instead of along the bottom. You might be surprised how well you can do.

If you’re headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you're feeling well, and it’s always a good idea to frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

There’s still time to sign up for the Outdoors Skills Academy Walleye Fishing Clinic on Saturday, June 19 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. To register, go to Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses and click on the "Purchase a license" button. Sign in (using either a username and password or your ID and birthdate), and find the class under the Outdoor Skills Academy tab.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.