Fishing Reports


Sorry for the long absence, I'll see if I can still write one of these. The last couple of weeks have presented some pretty good challenges as the water temps rollercoaster their way through the month. Currents have been tricky and the fish have been here, gone and back again in 2 to 3 day's time. I've been using the Holland and Muskegon weather buoy's to tell me where to start on almost a daily basis. The two things I focus on are the water temps at both ports, primarily the bottom temp and getting an idea of the depth of the thermocline from Holland, and the current directions and speeds at Muskegon. Remember when reading current directions that a NW current is a current traveling to the northwest coming from the southeast. It's just the opposite of reading wind directions that indicate where the wind is coming from. Southerly currents are a good thing as they cool the water down. Watching the different current directions and speeds at the depths you want to fish will help you choose trolling directions and starting points before you even leave the dock. Now if I could just get the fish to play by the rules I'd be all set.

The strong winds from the north will be putting plenty of cold water into the channel as I'm writing this and if you have a chance a couple laps in the river might be a good way to spend the evening. Don't try it alone though as 40 mph winds can send you across the channel in a hurry and a fish isn't worth that. If you do get out, good bets are chrome/red head, double glow wonderbread, pearl w/black dot, mongoose and grinch patterned plugs in sizes equivalent to a number 3 or 4 J-Plug. The 11" white paddle with an Illusion fly should probably be down too. Run your baits as far back as traffic will allow and remember that when the cold water is pushing up the river, your bait is actually traveling with the current as you head up stream. Watch for successful boats and try to match their speed if you don't have a method of monitoring your speed at the ball. The southerly gale force winds winding up right now will likely make the river warm a bit by Thursday afternoon but more north winds by the weekend should keep the fish from getting cooked in the channel before Saturdays Salmon Festival Contest. The cooler weather will also help river temps remain a bit more moderate than they were earlier this month.

For those of you that want to brave the Big Pond, I'd suggest setting up in about 60 or 70' of water and going west (remember to check the buoy's). We've been seeing decent numbers of younger kings, steelhead and lake trout anywhere from 120 to 240 feet of water the last couple weeks after these windy periods pass. Enough mature kings and cohos have been mixed in, plenty of which don't appear quite ready to run, to keep things interesting if you still want a big fish for the contest. Check the buoy's to get an idea of how far down to set your gear and at this time of year I look for the 60 degree mark for my highest rig and go deeper from there. Hello Darlin Super Slims have been very productive lately and the Dreamweaver White/White Paddle with the Illusion fly has been hot on brighter days with the Pickled Sunshine and Oceana flies working well early, late and on darker days. Wire divers with meat rigs have been producing steadily and double glow plugs have been very effective on long lines.

Pier anglers have been present in good numbers lately but the number of fish around them has been less consistent. When conditions are safe enough, I would think the current forecast should put plenty of fish in the shallows to keep pier fisherman happy for the next week. If it's too rough Linear Park should be an option as fish like to hold around the water discharge near the power plant.

The recent rains should help increase the number of fish in the northern rivers but until we get a substantial soaking it won't make getting close to spooky fish any easier. Floating or wading a river is still a great way to spend a fall day though and you won't catch a big one if you sit at home. Try to arrive in the dark, fish until breakfast sounds good then head home, watch your favorite college team play football, take a nap and call it a great day.

Inland waters, at least if you can find water in the bayous, should start to produce decent catches of blue gills, pike and bass as the waters begin to cool. Nobody I know has had the opportunity to try this yet but it's a good bet that a couple hours effort will result in a tasty lunch. I like light tackle with teardrops and wax worms but a worm and a hook is usually all it takes as the fish start to go on their fall feeding binge. Call the local tackle shops as they'll be up to speed on this fishery if your searching for flat water this weekend.

Have a great weekend and good luck!





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