Fishing Reports
04

Hello again!

I hope you've had an enjoyable winter and you're as anxious for spring as I am! For the group of fishermen that I talk with the most, this has not been a good winter for fishing. Staring at thin ice and high gas prices has not made for many trips. My son was able to make trips to Hamlin and Heart Lakes but success was only fair and ice conditions were changing too rapidly to plan more than a day or two out. There have been a few fortunate individuals that have been able to take advantage of the mild winter however. Recent conditions allowed a few people to slip out onto Stearns Bayou in row boats and they were able to find good numbers of bluegills ready to fill their buckets. Water conditions on other bayous tended to be high and muddy but not Stearns. Hanging a waxworm on a teardrop in around 6 foot of water was the most productive method. Open water on Muskegon and White lakes has also produced occasional good catches of perch, bluegill and pike with southeast corner of Muskegon lake producing the best catches.

For those anxious to get on Lake Michigan, occasional warm spells have allowed a few guys to get out of Port Sheldon and they've found a few fish in the shallows and around the bubbler. Trolling small spoons and body baits has worked but no patterns have emerged yet. Reports of good numbers of young coho have been heard coming from the Michigan City area and while we discussed a St. Joe trip wind cancelled our plans. When the current cold spell passes I would think there should be some opportunities to take fish over a large area of southern Michigan piers and beaches as the mild winter should at least have a few lake trout and steelhead cruising the shallows. Remember to check the regs where you plan to fish but in the Grand Haven area, lake trout season opened up back on January 1st. Whitefish should be in the area too and typically enjoy a wax worm or two as well as small chunks of skein (spawn still in the membrane).

River fisherman have had plenty of opportunities to fish this winter and I've been told the success rates have been pretty decent. The Muskegon is giving up good numbers of fish all the way to Newaygo but most of the fish are dark and appear to have been in the river for a while. The rain and warmer weather forecast for this week should bring in some fresh runs making the fishing a little easier for the less experienced and providing some good battles for all. Spawn fished under bobbers has been the method of choice but plugs should begin to put fish in the boat too as the weather changes and the fish become more aggressive. Look for a little earlier start to the spawning period this year so get your gear ready now and take advantage of any spare time you may have.

I'm currently sidelined after minor surgery but hope to spend some of my "lay up" time sitting in a chair on the pier (my wife won't let me get the kayak down yet) while my sons wax the boat and get it ready to go this spring. If the weather cooperates I hope to be able to offer some more first hand reports soon!

Matt

 

Comments

Branden
# Branden
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:51 PM
Any reports of perch yet?
awhitney
# awhitney
Thursday, March 15, 2012 1:23 PM
Sorry for the delay in responding Branden. I don't have any reports of Lake Michigan perch action but the bridges over the local bayous have been hot with limits of decent sized fish common. You will have to do some sorting though. Check with either Fish On Bait and Tackle or Lakeview Marine for more information.

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