Anglers hoping cooler weather improves fishing conditions

BIG RAPIDS — Anglers like what they’re seeing of local fishing action lately.

The Department of Natural Resources reports that rain and cooler temperatures have slowed fishing in some areas but the return of stable weather is expected to improve fishing conditions around the state.

In Osceola County, “fishing is good,” said Craig Walters of the Eyes Have It. “People are catching a lot of bass. There’s been a couple of walleyes caught on Rose Lake the last couple of weeks...some nice big ones, a 28- and a 26-inch. The bluegills are biting. I saw a nice catch of perch the other day but that was on a private lake.”

“I went out on Monday (Aug. 5) to Clear Lake,” said Jeff Greene of Rodney. “I caught six bluegills and five crappies. I got chased off by the rain. I was starting to catch more fish. I had a fair amount of success. That was a good day. It was first time I went to Clear Lake all year.”

Anglers are having success with bluegills on the Muskegon River, said Vic Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods.

“I’m selling waxworks for bait as fast as I would during the winter and maybe even faster,” he said. “The main spot is the Big Muskegon River, but they’re even catching them in the lakes right now. I think this cooler weather is treating it like a fall bite right now and it’s hot.”

Matt Brejcha of Big Rapids said he’s had plenty of luck salmon, on fishing at the Little Manistee River.

“It’s been good, it’s been off and on,” he said. “I’ve been using flies.”

Locally, “walleye fishing has been good at the Davis Bridge,“ Brejcha said. “They’ve been using jigging rats and spoons, going over the side of the boat. Salmon should be running up the river pretty soon. Pier fishing has been good off and on at Manistee and Ludington.”

George Tharp of Ed’s Sports Shop in Baldwin reports decent activity taking place in his area.

“The salmon have been excellent in the Little Manistee, gong on three weeks now,” he said. “We’re starting to see some salmon here but they’re mostly in mid to lower section of the river, Indian Bridge and Custer area. They’ve been hitting a lot of them down there the last few days.

“The trout scene has been going fairly decent. Bass is still hitting good.”

The DNR reports that the Pere Marquette River is getting an early run of salmon and brown trout are still being caught. Most are fly fishing but a few were casting small spoons, the DNR added.

The DNR provides the following Tip of the Week.

“Many anglers would agree there’s an excitement that comes when you’re using topwater techniques to target bass. There’s something to be said for seeing a bass strike your lure with your own two eyes. But how do you fish for this species on top of the water? It mostly comes down to location and lure selection.

“Target areas that provide good cover for the bass that have a few feet of water over them, such as weedbeds, logs, big rocks, etc. Cast a floating lure next to the cover and play with a bit before reeling it in. When it comes to lures, select those that float and are designed to resemble the favorite foods of bass, such as frogs.

“Also, top water fishing for bass works best in low-light conditions such as early in the morning or late in the evening. For more information on fishing for bass in Michigan, visit the DNR’s Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.”