Cooler weather means mixed results for area fishing

BIG RAPIDS – The DNR reports that much cooler weather has improved fishing for some species but has slowed it for others.

Trout and salmon fishing continues on the Great Lakes while the inland lakes provide walleye, pike, bass and panfish.

Locally, “it’s been fairly good,” Thomas Donley of Trigger Time Outfitters of Big Rapids said. “Down on the river and the Croton Hardy  area, they’ve been catching quite a few bluegills and some walleye, I believe. The inland lakes, the fishing seems to be a little slow. I was fishing the Tri-Lakes last weekend. There wasn’t much going on out three. A lot of people fishing but not too many people fishing catching them. The river seems to be the hot spot at the moment.”

“A majority of guys are bluegill and walleye fishing on Hardy Pond,” Vic Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “A few inland lakes, they’re catching some nice bluegills with bass and stuff like that. Predominately, most of the fishermen are at Hardy Pond still.”

At Lake County, “It’s been pretty decent,” Josh Mead of Pere Marquette River Lodge said. “Hopper activity has improved dramatically. We’re getting rain right now (on Tuesday) so that will probably bring up a push of salmon. I don’t know how big, probably a small push.

“There’s a few of them in PM Lake, some of them close to shore. A majority of them are off shore still.”

Mead said it’s been a busy summer. In mid-September, the numbers will grow as the salmon run hits.

“Last year was good, the year before was mediocre,” he said. “It’s hard to say, you never ever know year to year.”

The Pere Marquette River also is productive for those fly fishing, the DNR said, adding that anglers are getting steelhead and brown trout.

“Trout have been caught on live bait,” and by other lures, Alycia Tharp of Ed’s Sports Shop in Baldwin said. “The bite has not been hot but it is still good.”

Anglers also are getting bluegills locally, Tharp added.

“Bass fishing has been excellent on rubber worms, topwater lures, spinners and live bait,” she said. “Crappies are being caught on minnows, and jigs. Pike fishing has been fair on live bait and lures.

Jay Frank of Baldwin Bait & Tackle said it’s been slow.

“It’s the dog days of summer,” he said. “There’s a little trout fishing going on now. The month of August is generally slow. They get a few walleye out of Big Star Lake. They know where to find them this time of year.”


Bill Maxfield of Hersey has clarified a statement he made about fishing the Hersey River in the Aug. 9-10 Pioneer. Maxfield said his correct comment would be only that “there is some nice brook trout,” in the Hersey River.