Fishing Reports

Hello again,

It's been a while but I didn't think you wanted to hear about how every time I wanted to go fishing the weather wouldn't cooperate and I wound up chasing ducks or deer instead. From what little I've heard though the fishing from the pier and surf has been pretty good when the weather has cooperated. Plenty of nice steelhead and tasty whitefish have been taken this fall with spawn sacks accounting for most of the steelhead and single salmon eggs and wax worms have been the hot ticket for the whitefish during daylight hours. The big story lately though is the jigging for whitefish here in GH as well as at both Muskegon and Whitehall. The evening bite starts around sunset and as near as I can tell it continues until you're tired of catching fish or the sun comes up. The biggest challenge is refining your technique so that you catch the fish that are biting instead of catching the fish that are just swimming along as the schools of fish in the channels are very thick. We've found a smaller, 5/8 oz. glow spoon with a slow(ish) lift and drop worked best within 18" of bottom. Lighter spoons are carried downstream by the current and will make your neighbors cringe. We still accidently foul hooked fish (and threw them back) but this method was much better than when we started out jigging like we were fishing pike or walleye (this is our first season and we're still learning). I was using a 7' medium / light action spinning rod with 15 lb test braid. Mono leaves way too many spoons stuck in the rocks. Another tip is to trade out any strong hooks with softer hooks that can be straightened out when you hook up with the bottom of the channel. A head lamp is an invaluable tool as netting fish after dark is tricky at best. 

These fish are excellent fresh, I can vouch for this personally after 4 straight nights of whitefish dinners, but as I haven't found anyone with a good method for preserving them, limit yourself to what you can eat or give away to be eaten within a couple days of your fishing trip. The fish we've been catching have ranged from 3 to 6 lbs so it only takes a couple fish to feed a small family. Fresh fillets do make nice early gifts to friends and family though and with a legal limit of 12 fish you can make for a lot of happy people and have a great time doing it! If this sounds like fun to you, give it a try soon as I've been told this fishing is only going to last another 10 days or so.

I'd like to also tell you about the great perch fishing on Muskegon or White Lake and the buckets of bluegills being taken on the local bayous but I haven't been hearing any rumors indicating that this is happening. My friends and family have been busy trying to fill deer tags for the last couple weeks fishing pressure appears unusually light on the nearby bayous but the 25 to 40 mph winds might have more to do with that than the fish.

Lastly, I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hopefully I'll have some more good reports to write before St. Nick arrives but you never know. 

Matt Whitney


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