Fishermen facing many challenges

BIG RAPIDS — Fishermen are having various challenges during this part of the summer.

Area sporting goods businesses said fishing activity has been slow.

Anglers in Osceola County are catching panfish at Center and Sunrise lakes, said Lynn Shively of The Eyes Have it of Leroy.

Others have found the action to be available, depending on where it’s at.

“It’s been really hot,” said Chad Bleeker of Big Rapids, an avid area fisherman. “My dad (Randy) is on vacation now at Fremont Lake, He said he went out at 7 a.m. and by 8:30., he had to come in because it was so hot. They caught some good fish. They caught probably five fish in an hour and a half, anywhere from three to four pounds. But he had to get off the lake it was so hot.

“Fishing has been good,” he added. “Dad and I just fished a tournament on Cadillac a couple of weeks ago and caught 16.9 (pounds) for five fish. Fishing’s been good. We’ve been fishing Cadillac, White, Muskegon.”

Bass were also being caught during a Castaways Bass club tourney last week at Chippewa Lake, Bleeker noted.

Bleeker said Zac Swears of Big Rapids fished the upper Manistee River and caught some brown trout.

“Fishing’s been fair,” Bleeker said. “They haven’t been jumping in the boat but it hasn’t been dull either.”

Vic Havens of Frank Sporting Goods in Morley agrees.

“It’s been pretty slow,” Havens said. “It’s primarily been bluegill fishing, at Big Muskegon River...a few guys on private lakes, they’re still using regular worms and wax worms.”

At Roger Dams, bass, pike, northern and smallmouth, plus nice catches of crappies and bluegills have been highlighted, Havens noted.

“The fishing was going well but not in the last couple of days because it’s been so hot out. Everyone else seems to be doing well.” said Brenton Goldthwaite, another local fishing observer. “A majority of people are going to the (Muskegon) river because it’s deeper and water is cooler. A lot of people have been catching walleyes lately.”

The DNR indicated, in its weekly fishing report, that extremely hot weather is causing some natural fish kills, in the inland lakes, the fish should be in deeper waters anywhere from 10 to 20 feet down depending on the spot.

Fish are a bit sluggish and not very cooperative in the warm water rivers. Walleye and other game fish are moving out deeper to find cooler water temperatures in the Great Lakes, the DNR adds.