Fishing success continues

LEROY — Area fishing remains promising for anglers.

“I’ve heard they’re doing good on bluegills in Lake Missaukee,” Josh Johnson, of Evart, said. “My dad goes up there regularly. Bluegills are on their beds up there.”

Mark Sochocki of Evart said recently he’s been to Saginaw Bay about four times.

“We’ve caught our limit of walleye every time,” he said. “We kept 85 fish in four trips. I was in Ludington and we ended up catching 20 salmon in a morning trip. It was pretty good.”

Jason Donley at Trigger Time Outfitters in Big Rapids reports fishing in the area remains successful.

“(Bluegill fishing success) may go into July,” he said. “August last year I would say was one of the best for them. Bass has been good. There’s a lot of 4 1/2 and 5-pound bass from out of the river.”

Donley said he hasn’t had too many reports on perch and crappies but could know more early next week.

Saginaw Bay has been a popular place for area anglers. The DNR reports that it’s been solid walleye fishing in a lot of locations this past week such as in 24 feet of water north of Gambil’s Marina near Pinconning, as well as in 12 to 14 feet of water off of the Pinconning Bar. Crawler harnesses appear to be the go-to bait, but crank baits and spoons are also taking fish.

“That bay is doing really well on walleyes,” Donley said. “They’re killing perch on Lake Michigan out of Grand Haven, Port Sheldon and Muskegon.”

For anglers venturing out to Ludington for lake fishing, the DNR reports that anglers in boats are finding some salmon 30 to 80 feet down in 80 to 180 feet of water. Anglers going offshore looking for the temperature break were finding a good amount of steelhead. The DNR reports that pier fishing is slow.

Cory Mead of the Pere Marquette River Lodge, said the rivers are recovering from all the recent rainfall.

“The hex fishing is just starting to get good,” he said. “For the next week or so, it should be good hex fishing.”

Ray Maycock of Baldwin Bait & Tackle said the trout and hex fishing has taken center stage of sorts.

“The bugs are starting to hatch,” Maycock said. “That’s pretty much what everybody coming in here is doing. A lot of people that have been out bluegill fishing are doing well.”

The Department of Natural Resources reports that boat fishermen are having success for trout and salmon 30 to 80 feet down in 80 to 160 feet of water with orange or green spoons and red or purple meat rigs. The DNR adds that pier anglers are getting chinook or brown trout on live bait.

Anglers should check with local tackle shops or fly shops to see what might be hatching in their area. The DNR adds that many of the mayfly hatches occur after sunset, and anglers need to know the river they are fishing.

Tim Cwalinski, DNR Fisheries Management Biologist in Gaylord, reports walleye fishing is picking up steadily in the large inland lakes in northern Michigan. Some of these lakes include Burt, Mullett, Black, Long, Grand and Hubbard.

Many anglers who have fished these lakes over the years are finding that by this time of the year, it is best to troll for walleye with lines that are elevated in the water column, Cwalinski said, adding that many think of walleye as a benthic, or bottom, species. This species will come a long way up in the water column to hit your presentation and will often suspend in the water column based on forage, Cwalinski said

The mayfly hatch has begun on these lakes, Cwalinski reported, and anglers should so expect to find these fish anywhere from five to 15 feet off the bottom. He advises anglers to focus their crankbaits or crawler harnesses in that region, instead of along the bottom.