Fishing remains strong right now

REED CITY — It appears that now is as good a time as any to have a fishing pole in your hands.

“There’s lots of fishing going on,” Jolyn Hildabridle of the Eyes Have it In Leroy said.

Fishing conditions haven’t been ideal lately, but August could present a whole different ballgame.

The DNR reports that with storms, a strong cold front and northwest winds, fishing was not off to a good start last week especially since some rivers were high and muddy.

It’s been cold, but since it’s still summer, experts expect that fishing should pick back up very soon.

In Osceola County, Craig Walters of the Eyes Have It, has been smiling at the increase in temperatures.

“It’s finally warming up so people are going to get out fishing,” he said. “Fishing has been pretty slow. But the bass are biting. At Rose Lake, we had a tournament last Wednesday, and with a three-fish limit, we had quarter bags of over 11 pounds. Bluegills are biting but they’re deep, 18 to 20 feet.”

Jake Johnston of Trigger Time Outfitters in Big Rapids also had some positive news.

“They’re catching a lot of bluegills along the river, by Brower’s,” Johnston said. “Walleye have been slow. Bass fishing has been good on the lakes. Up by Hardy Dam, I know they’ve been catching a lot of pan fish.”

Others have also heard some favorable reports.

“We do see a few people in here getting bait on the weekend,” Irene Kane of East Bay General Store in Chippewa Lake said. “I know a couple of weeks ago they were getting bluegills. I know they were getting bass. That’s what I’ve been hearing.”

Jim Warren of Baldwin also likes what he’s been seeing. His grandson, Tyler Clugston, recently won a local fishing contest.

“The last day of the contest, we were out fishing for bass,” he said. “The contest closed at (6 p.m.). A quarter after six (at a local private lake), he caught a bass that was 23 inches long and weighed five pounds, and about five minutes later, he got one that was 20 inches and weighed 4 1/2 pounds. We never did get to enter them.”

Warren isn’t seeing too much luck his way with bluegills.

“We’re not getting any at all,” he said. “I think it’s the cold weather.”