Anglers ready for long spring season
BALDWIN — Some ice is still sitting on area lakes but area fishermen understandably are anxious to talk about spring fishing.
That was the emphasis recently when the Triggertime Outfitters of Big Rapids hosted a three-topic seminar. One of those seminars featured Eric Lund, the owner of the Esnagami Lodge of southern Ontario who focused on walleye, pike and trout and advanced fly fishing.
“We have brook fishing in what is like a steelhead-sized river,” he said. “It’s very sweet to do. Brook trout fish, we do flies for them. It’s very similar to the way you brook trout fish here in Michigan with spoons and spinners, jigs...the key to anywhere you go, and a lot of brook trout fishing is quite guarded in this area. Everyone has their favorite hole.”
Preparation tends to be the key for successful brook trout fishing, Lund said.
“First of all, you need to be in an area that has fishing potential,” he said. “You’d be surprised how many people go into an area and don’t look into where the fishing is and how it is. Do a little bit of homework and get to a region that you’re looking for.”
The second key in preparation, Lund added, is finding out what works with your pole.
“Get your local knowledge,” Lund said. “Any of your local outfitters should have lots of that information handy. When you get there, get a map of the lake, have whoever is there tell you where and how and be specific on where to catch fish that time of the year. Hopefully,you’ll maximize your opportunity.”
Pike and walleye tend to be the big “bread and butter fish” of the north, Lund commented.
“Pike I would say, over the last 10 years has definitely increased in its draw, just because it’s big and nasty,” Lund said. “If you want to target bigger northerns, what I’ve learned over the years is big fish are very lazy and efficient eaters.”
With big pike, two people can cast the same exact bait, “how ever you present the bait is really important,” Lund said. “Every time you twitch it, that bait rolls and rolls. It gets their attention first of all when you’re twitching it, let it sit, you get their attention and you have to make them feel that they’re going to get that bait.”
Even when it appears it’s time to move to a new spot, anglers need to be patient.
“Always take a few minutes and put on something different,” Lund said. “Put on a big bait. Put on a big crank bait or a big spinner and take a few minutes to fish that hole of weed bed using that bigger bait. Half the time, you may not hook them, but if you do that, you’ll pull up a whole different kind fish. If you like to target big fish, they’ll go after the big meal. Especially with pike, you want to slow down the way you fish.”
Lund is a fan of using big spinners.
“If you do some pike fishing around here, don’t do what everyone else is doing,” he said. “Change it up. Sometimes, it can be very rewarding.”