Fishing continues to have its ups and downs

Cooler temperatures are declining the fishing numbers in the area.

Cooler temperatures are declining the fishing numbers in the area.

Herald Review photo/John Raffel

BIG RAPIDS – Rain and cooler weather has been slowing down the fishing success rates lately.

In Mecosta County, “it’s been slow with the rain we’ve had,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “I’ve heard of walleye being caught below Croton Dam.”

In Osceola County, “small game guys are out chasing partridge and woodcock,” Brad Cox of Buck’s Country Bait & Tackle said. “There’s some deer and squirrels. As far as fishing, it’s pretty much at a standstill right now, at least for me it is.”

Salmon were still slowly coming into the Bear River. At Petoskey, the DNR said. mainly Chinook were caught, but a couple coho were around as well. A couple of smaller steelhead were spotted in the river. Fish were caught upstream of the mouth mainly on spawn, flies and beads, the DNR said. Anglers at the mouth of the river were catching salmon on beads, spawn and crankbaits.

Anglers were catching smallmouth bass in the harbor at Harbor Springs, the DNR said.

Pier and shore fishing for steelhead and coho was hit and miss in Manistee. Anglers in the early morning hours performed the best the DNR said, while most anglers were using spawn in bright colored bags.

“We’ve had a fair amount of wind, but the pan fishing is still pretty good,” Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee said. “I haven’t heard too much on Lake Michigan. They’re doing good with steelhead in the river.”

Pier fishing a Ludington was hit or miss but some nice fish were caught on spawn, the DNR said.

“It’s pretty slow as of right now,” a spokesman at Captain Chuck’s on Ludington said. They’re seeing some steelhead being caught off the stretch of the river. Coho fishing in the state park is slowing down. It’s not quite dead yet.”

Fishing Tip: Fall Great Lakes pier fishing for smallmouth

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Fall is a great time to target smallmouth bass with Great Lakes pier fishing, a tactic underutilized by many anglers. As the lakes and rivers cool, minnows will congregate around the piers. Large, educated river smallmouth migrating downstream in the fall often will drop their guard when gorging on minnows at the river mouth, allowing some very nice fish to be taken on minnows that otherwise would be very slow to bite.