Fishermen battling cold weather

Angler having good luck in various places

Anglers are braving the elements to get in some quality fishing.

Anglers are braving the elements to get in some quality fishing.

File photo

BIG RAPIDS – It may be cold, but fishermen are still active in the area.

“They’re still catching quite a few perch at 8 Mile,” Tanner Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “They’re sorting through the smaller ones. With this higher water, I’m sue fishing will slow down a little bit as it gets dirty. Right now, the fishing has slowed down a bit.”

In northwest Michigan, the DNR reported at Muskegon, Manistee and Pere Marquette rivers anglers were catching good numbers of steelhead.

Anglers reported good catches of perch on Muskegon Lake (which is now ice-free), the DNR said, but weather conditions over the past week have limited fishing pressure.

In northwest Michigan, “(Thursday) was opening day at the Little Manistee for the steelhead and anglers are excited about that,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “We’re at high flow is the problem. It’s fishable but it is dirty and it is high. The Big Manistee is fishing good at Tippy Dam for steelhead as well. It’s also at full flow.

“They’re starting to fish the beach and pier at Manistee despite the ice. There’s a few steelhead out there. They have a few perch in Manistee Lake as well. They have open water.”

“They were catching suckers and steelhead in Pere Marquette River but fishing is tough right now after the rain and snow,” Eric Budreau, of Captain Chuck’s in Ludington. “They’re getting a few perch in inland lakes. They’re getting a few brown trout in the harbor.”

Fishing Tip, courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Crappies are among the most difficult pan fish to pattern because of their tendency to suspend in the water column, except in the spring. During this time, crappie move to shallow water – sometimes in water only a couple feet deep – to spawn, so there isn’t a lot of water column to suspend in.

Crappies like both minnows and jigs. The easiest way to fish for them is to suspend the bait under a bobber, halfway between the surface and the bottom, around any sort of cover – weeds, brush, dock pilings … whatever.

Anglers who prefer a more active approach can cast with jigs and swim them back or fly fish with minnow-imitating streamers. Just think shallow in spring.

The 2022 license year goes into effect on April 1. The DNR encourage anglers to check out this year’s fishing guide for updates and regulations.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.