Anglers excited for bass fishing

Pan fishing going strong

Anglers are getting ready for huge weekend of fishing.

Anglers are getting ready for huge weekend of fishing.

File photo

BIG RAPIDS – Fishing has been picking up and anglers couldn’t be happier. Plus bass fishing has started.

In Mecosta County, “for the most part, guys are still fishing the panfish in the shallows,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “They’ve been catching some bluegill and specs. The opener of bass should be pretty big this weekend . They’ve been using mainly worms and jigs.”

In Osceola Country, “fishing is going good ,” Brad Cox of Bucks County Bait & Tackle in LeRoy said. “They’re getting panfish. The bass are on the beds right now. Bass season started (in late May). The bluegills should be on their beds.”

In northwest Michigan, the DNR reports at Portage Lake, bass and panfish numbers were picking up but the bite was still on the slow side.

The DNR adds at Onekama, anglers were getting lake trout around the banks of the barrel and off the golf course. The DNR said there was a report of a Chinook caught.

At Ludington, anglers trolling for Chinook got a few in the harbor and just outside the pierheads while trolling spoons. Decent catches of Chinook were caught at Big Sable Point in 80 to 150 feet of water when fishing 40 to 80 feet down, the DNR reported, adding spoons and flies were working best. A few lake trout were located in 80 feet of water, outside the harbor and at Big Sable point.

Anglers at Manistee were getting chinook along the shelf and south of the port towards Big Sable Point. The DNR reported depths ranged from 90 to 130 feet of water and out to 200 feet of water while fishing 30 to 70 feet down. Anglers said spoons and flies were best. Although there were a lot of bait around the harbor, pier fishing was slow, the DNR said, adding a brown trout was caught but no Chinook were reported.

“It’s progressing slowly,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait shop of Wellston, said. “Steelhead is still continuing in the Big Manistee at Tippy Dam actually. It’s hung in there pretty good. Water temps are at 61. Hopefully that goes up in 60s. Perch fishing at Manistee Lake has been hit or miss. At Portage Lake, they’ve caught a few perch, it’s down from what it should be this time in the season.”

At Frankfort, alewives were reported throughout the area as the water temperatures started to increase. Anglers were marking fish, but the bite was slow due to the amount of bait fish in the area. Lake trout, the DNR said, were hitting good up north off the bottom in 80 to 120 feet of water.  

Fishing Tip: How to catch your own nightcrawlers

Courtesy of the DNR

Are you interested in catching and keeping your own nightcrawlers? It’s fairly easy to do – just follow these simple steps:
•    Know where to look. Scout locations such as parks, playgrounds and open, grassy areas after a good rain. Look for nightcrawler castings (the little piles of dirt they leave behind) and then plan to visit again following the next good rain.
•    Know when to collect. Nightcrawlers are best caught an hour or so after dark.
•    Bring the right equipment. Nightcrawlers are sensitive to vibrations, so wear lightweight shoes. They’re also sensitive to bright light, so consider rigging your flashlight with a red cover over the lens.
•    Store them properly. When you catch nightcrawlers, just lay them on top of some storage bedding – don’t mix them in. This will allow you to remove sick or dead ones more easily.