Anglers taking advantages of opportunities

Perch fishing very attractive now

There are still good opportunities for fishing in the area.

There are still good opportunities for fishing in the area.

File photo

BIG RAPIDS – October will provide its own unique fishing challenges to the area.

In Mecosta County, “it’s mainly perch, from what I’ve been hearing, up on the river,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “They’re catching a few specs. It has been slow going but they have seemed to pick up a walleye here or two, there as well.”

At Manistee, fishing was slow as the bad weather kept anglers off the water. A few young Chinook salmon were caught along the shelf while fishing 70 to 90 feet down in 140 to 170 feet of water, the DNR added. Anglers who fished the harbor and outside of the pierheads did not have much to report.

“The rain we needed has finally come,” Chelsea Pete at Manistee Outdoor Shop said. “Pushes of fresh fish are in. Cold weather means more active fish. We’re still seeing bright kings, fresh coho and signs of steelhead.”

The DNR said at Portage Lake, the weather held anglers inside Portage Lake, where the bite was slow, but anglers were marking good numbers of fish. At Frankfort, the Chinook anglers were looking at the tail end of the run, with salmon mainly in the rivers and few being reported from in the bay. A few coho salmon were reported in the catch, the DNR said.

“Salmon fishing in the Big Manistee is approaching its peak,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “We’re slightly below 60 degrees for a water temp. The process should accelerate. We have spawning activity in the Big Manistee. It’s slightly past the peak on Bear Creek The Big Manistee is at full peak. They’re catching perch at Manistee and Portage lakes. Worms have been the ticket for that. They’re fishing Tippy Pond for smallmouth. That’s been good for first thing in the morning.”

Bow hunting

DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing likes the prospects for bow hunting which started on Saturday.

“A good frost would help with deer hunting,” Kailing said. “It’s still pretty green. Acorns are starting to fall and develop. If you can find acorns to hunt nearby, you’re in good shape. Antler development appears to be OK. We did have a dry spell during a good part of the summer. Otherwise the deer have been healthy. It should be a time to get out.”