Fishing activity remains light
BIG RAPIDS — Fishing is light, right now, but with a warm up expected, this would be a good time to head out, the DNR indicated.
Pier anglers target steelhead and whitefish this time of year, the DNR said. The pike action is also favorable with the fish going on a feeding frenzy before first ice.
The DNR reports rivers in the area are low and clear once again which makes fishing much more challenging. Skim ice, the DNR adds, is starting to form on some of the inland lakes.
Locally, fishing is very light.
“It’s dead down here,” Dustin Hammer, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “There’s some guys on the river but they’re not catching many. Everybody is waiting for the ice.”
Kurt Campbell of Triggertime Outfitters agrees.
“It’s really slow,” he said. “I haven’t sold anybody softwater bait in a couple of weeks.”
Pier anglers were still at Manistee, and are getting the occasional steelhead when still-fishing with a spawn bag, the DNR said.
“There’s still successful fishing for steelhead below Tippy Dam,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “The Little Manistee is still open and they’re fishing for steelhead there as well. There’s some holdover coho in both places, the Big and Little Manistee, as well. There’s no ice fishing yet.”
Steelhead fishing at the Manistee River was difficult, the DNR said, since the waters are low and clear. Fish are in the river but aren’t biting because of the lower water levels. But the DNR expected conditions to improve with rain by the weekend.
“We’re doing OK on the big river for salmon and steelhead,” Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangled Tackle Co., said. “They’re still getting some coho in the little river. They’re still getting steelhead in the big river.”
Steelhead fishing was slow at the Pere Marquette River, with the low and clear water conditions, the DNR said, adding a few fish were found in the deeper holes.
“Fishing is kind of at a standstill right now,” Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina said. “They were getting a few steelhead in the river. (Lake fishing) has pretty much shut down for the season.”
There’s some nice steelhead but a slow bite at the Pentwater River, the DNR said.