Anglers hoping for strong summer

Fishing bait: With just a little effort, anglers can save themselves a few buck and find their own fresh nightcrawlers for bait. (Courtesy photo)
Fishing bait: With just a little effort, anglers can save themselves a few buck and find their own fresh nightcrawlers for bait. (Courtesy photo)

REED CITY — It’s officially summer and area fishermen are hoping that will mean a significant increase of their success.

Activity continues to improve in Osceola County,

“The bluegills are done spawning,” said Craig Walters of Eyes Have It fishing shop in LeRoy. “People are catching bass on Rose (Lake). I believe there’s a few walleyes being caught on Rose Lake.”

Jeff Green of Rodney said he and his grandson recently went to Jensen Lake and caught 19 fish and kept 18.

“I went out (Thursday) and didn’t do quite as well but still got a mess of bluegills,” Greene said. “It was the best week of fishing this year at Jensen lake.”

The DNR reports that cooler temperatures and windy conditions have slowed down activity and suggests that shore anglers fishing the rivers take caution since the banks may not be stable after recent heavy rains.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of good bluegill fishing on the Muskegon River, both on Hardy and Croton,” said Vic Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods. “They catching a lot of panfish, bass, pike on all the inland lakes around there.

“Everyone is pretty much bluegill fishing. They’re usually mostly worms and wax worms and crawlers.”

John Mondrella of Rodney said he’s had success walleye fishing at Saginaw Bay.

“I’ve been getting my limit every time I’ve been going,” he said.

Locally, “it’s been slow,” said John Courtright a bass fisherman. “The weather’s starting to get warm. Hopefully they’ll start biting very soon.”

The DNR offers anglers the following tips on catching their own nightcrawlers with information adapted from Michigan Outdoor News

• Know where to look. Scout areas (such as parks, playgrounds, open grassy areas) after a good rain. Look for nightcrawler castings (the little piles of dirt they leave behind) and then plan your next visit 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 light-weight shoes. They’re also sensitive to bright light so consider rigging your flashlight with a red cover over the lens.

• Store them properly. Upon catching, just lay them on top of the storage bedding, don’t mix them in. This will allow you to remove sick or dead nightcrawlers more easily.