Salmon fishing hitting its stride

Anglers are having success

Anglers are expecting to have a good weekend.

Anglers are expecting to have a good weekend.

File photo

BIG RAPIDS – Salmon seems to be the big ticket for anglers right now.

In Mecosta County, “I haven’t had too much going on this week,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods, in Morley, said. “The perch are still hitting on the rivers. A lot of guys have been attacking that lately. The salmon are starting to move up into the river into the salmon and little PM. They’ve been catching a lot of stuff in the river. They haven’t hit Croton yet but they’re hitting some in Hesperia too.”

In Manistee County, “the water at the Manistee River is warm,” Chelsea Pete, of Manistee River Outfitters, said. “It’s pretty clear. We need some rain; the bite has been slow since the water is clear. There’s a good mix of fresh and a push of kings.”

“Everyone has salmon fever,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “It continues to drop in temperature. We’re down to 68 for night temp. The flow is low and that’s a limiting factor. We’re accumulating fish at Tippy Dam. There’s been a steelhead or two reported in the lower river.”

In Ludington, the DNR said salmon were caught at Big Sable Point in 90 to 160 feet of water while fishing 70 to 100 feet down, straight out, and off the projects at various depths. Fish were scattered. Green and glow spoons, flies and J-Plugs worked well, the DNR said. Some smallmouth bass were caught from the piers. Salmon action in the harbor and channel slowed as water temps were warm, the DNR said. Pere Marquette Lake also slowed down for those jigging as water temps were warm. 

Fishing Tip:

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

Here are some steps you can follow:

=Wet your hands before you handle the fish; that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (or slime) that coats the fish’s body.

=Remember fish can’t breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.

=Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, so if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water and not on a hard surface.

=While holding the fish, don’t pinch or squeeze it and don’t stick your fingers in its gills.

=Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.