Panfish anglers having success in area spots

Salmon fishermen also having luck

Anglers continue to have all kinds of success.

Anglers continue to have all kinds of success.

File photo

BIG RAPIDS – Fishermen seem to have had various kinds of success in recent gays, depending on who’s doing the reporting.

Jeff Greene, of Rodney has been focusing on three Mecosta County Lakes in recent days.

“Hillview Lake slowed down a bit from last week,” he said. “If you fish in the center of the lake you have no weeds to contend with. Gulp minnows and worms caught mostly white crappies and a few bluegills.

“At Clear Lake, I fished on the west side near M-20. I drift through water from 20 feet to six feet deep. Using gulp minnows and worms, I caught the most fish in 12 to 16 foot depths and about equal numbers of crappies and bluegills. The bonus is a few largemouth bass on the minnows.”

The third spot for Greene was Rogers Pond.

“Rogers Pond is always fun because you never know what species of fish you will catch,” Greene said. “I picked a calm morning and caught some real nice sized bluegills but no crappies. The bonus was several smallmouth bass that always give you a tussle and like to jump out of the water. The bad thing about Rogers is that you always fight weeds and usually have several break-offs.”
Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods, said fishing has slowed down.

“They’ve been getting a few perch, bluegills and walleyes, mainly on the river,” Havens said. “It’s definitely a slow time of the year.” 

In Northwest Michigan, the DNR said, at Frankfort anglers were reporting good activity from the Herring Hole to Platte Bay while trolling in 100 to 150 feet and working the top 60 to 90 feet. There were good-sized Chinook and some younger ones were reported, the DNR said.

Anglers who were jigging reported good action around the car ferry landing and the mouth, the DNR said. Coho were showing up in lower numbers, but the sizes were above average with several 12 to 15-pound fish being weighed in.

At Onekama, the early morning bite in 120 feet of water on flies and spoons was producing good numbers and impressive size Chinook off the golf course and through the barrel, the DNR said.

At Portage Lake bass fishermen were reporting moderate numbers off the drops, the DNR said. Water temperatures were warm and perch catches slowed down.

Chelsea Pete from the Manistee River Lodge, in Wellston, indicated fishing action has basically been unchanged from the past week.

“We’re accumulating salmon at Tippy Dam,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “We had a little thundershower Friday afternoon so that’s going to help our waterflow. We’re still a little bit on the warm side. People bluegill fishing have been doing good. Surface lures for bass have been pretty productive. Trout fishing has been going good with the little rains we’ve had. Jigging in Manistee Lake has been good.”

Chinook and some coho were caught straight out along the shelf in 120 to 175 feet of water when fishing 40 to 60 feet down at Manistee, the DNR said. After the wind and rain, a few Chinook were caught in the harbor and just outside the pier heads out to 40 feet of water. Green spoons and plugs were effective. A salmon or two were pulled in from the piers, the DNR said.

“For salmon on the pier, they’re starting to get them late at night,” Dewey Bucher, of Don’s Sporting Goods, in Manistee, said. “It’s like 3 in the morning onto morning. They’re getting some during the day.”

Salmon were caught straight out at the point and south off the projects at Ludington, the DNR said. Anglers fished anywhere from 40 to 70 feet down. A salmon or two were reported from the piers. Pere Marquette Lake produced some nice Chinook for those jigging, the DNR said.

Fishing Tip: Fishing for bass at night

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Some of the best bass fishing this time of year occurs during the first hour or so after dark. You still can find fish at dusk and dawn, but that first hour or two after dark can be exceptional.

After dark, bass tend to move shallow in search of an easy meal. Target them near the same areas you would during other times of the day while also casting and targeting the shallows.

You’ll want to change your technique, though. Since after dark you can't see the weed line or other underwater structures, fishing subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations. After the cast, work them aggressively with a jerking motion, making sure they pop and gurgle across the surface of the water during your retrieve. Pay close attention during the retrieve, watching and listening for the strike, which can be explosive.