Heavy rains, strong winds slow down fishing

October fishing remains strong for local anglers. (Herald Review file photo)

October fishing remains strong for local anglers. (Herald Review file photo)

BIG RAPIDS -- The DNR reports heavy rain and strong winds have once again slowed down fishing. Very few fishermen have been out.

Anglers targeting trout and salmon on the rivers need to pay close attention to higher levels and banks that are saturated and may be unstable, the DNR said.

In Mecosta County, "with the water being like they are, there's not a lot of fishing," Tanner Havens of Frank Sporting Goods in Morley, said. "Some people have brought in some pretty good bucks."

In Osceola County, "there's been a lot of people getting bluegills in the deeper holes right now," Zach Nicklas at Big Buck Country Bait & Tackle, said. "The rivers are picking up salmon."

Coho were still moving into Platte Bay near Frankfort, the DNR said, and up near the lower. But all the wind and rain this week has restricted fishing access.

"We're seeing salmon in the river and we're seeing steelhead moving in," a spokesperson at Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia said.

Betsie River still had fishing activity at the Homestead Dam, the DNR said, but the Chinook salmon were turning very dark and the numbers were dropping.

Those running out to the "Shelf" at Onekama reported steelhead were hitting near the surface.

Portage Lake did not have many anglers but those out there caught a low number of perch and bluegill, the DNR said.

"I heard they were getting some perch off of Portage Lake," Dewey Buchner, of Don's Sporting Goods in Manistee, said. "The river has a few salmon in it all the way to Tippy. Some people are getting bluegills and panfish out of Manistee Lake and some nice walleye, and that's about it."

Manistee had no reports as wind, waves and thunderstorms have kept boat anglers off the big lake, the DNR said, adding high waves kept anglers off the piers as well.

"There's big number at Tippy Dam with steelhead and browns," Gordon Park, at Andy's Tackle Box in Brethren, said. "Bear Creek is loaded with fish, mostly kings. Bait is all over floor. A lot of flies and spinners. All the bait is working. We should have three good weeks."

The DNR said anglers at the Manistee River should look for fresh fish especially after all the rain and should look for steelhead near the gravel.

"It's been going good," Rob Eckerson, of Pappy's Bait Shop Wellston said. "We've got rain, cooler temps and the flow is up. It's not blown out like the Pere Marquette is. The rivers are in great shape. Temperatures are falling. We're at 61. They say the big river is approaching its peak."

Bluegill fishing at Hamlin was consistent in the upper lake with 10-to-20 fish per trip when floating worms in 6 to 10 feet.