Fishing Reports


The recent warm weather has made for some pretty decent fishing out on the Big Lake. Catches have still varied widely but empty coolers have been rare even for the guys that don't get out very often. If you plan to battle the elements currently forecasted for the weekend, check the buoys off of Port Sheldon and Muskegon to help you decide where to start. Days like last Thursday when cooler water brought a lot of bait and mature kings into the 60' depths, that bit of checking paid off then and again later that day when a push of warm water sent those same fish out beyond 100' I was able to keep up with them. In any case, once you find the fish you'll likely find the following baits productive. Meat rigs of all varieties, and with names I shouldn't print, have been working well on 300 - 450' coppers and behind magnum Dipsies on both wire and braided line. We've had the best success running our rigs behind the 10" white blade with the double fish scale patterned tape but I've heard success stories about just about every Spinny combo made over the last few days. My neighbor has even done well recently by running the rig without an attractor sooooo.....whatever, just stick a herring rig in the water. Early and late in the day have also been good times to have a couple glow plugs in the water. The Wonder Bread Glow Silver Horde and Ace High Double Glow have been solid producers on my rigger set just above the thermocline and on long lines working the warmer water. Productive, standard combos have included the Blue Bubble Spinny and Fly, NBK Spinny and Frosted Fern fly and the Blue Frog or Blue Dolphin Spinny with the Last Supper fly. For my deepest rigger the Eyeball Man with any white glow fly has been hard to beat. When the sun pops up we switch over to the white, double fish scale paddle with the Oceana fly and fish it wherever we're seeing the deeper fish on the graph. For rods higher in our spread that aren't running meat, we're switching over to spoons in all the usual patterns. The UV Michigan Dolphin, UV Jager Bomb (gold and silver), Mixed Veggies (blue and green), Smashmouth, Orange Crush and Fireball have all been pretty good. Most of the action has been on standard size blades but the Sting Ray sized Stinger blade and the Magnum Dreamweaver spoons have also produced well at times so mixing them into your spread is a good idea right now. As always, keep a close eye on your speed and direction when you hit fish. Current speed and direction are changing constantly though so if a successful troll goes cold start experimenting again until you find a winning combo. Unfortunately the mature fish are getting out of bed early so set your alarm extra early and try to be set up before daylight arrives. An early start right now is adding 3 - 5 fish to the cooler and with the warm weather in the forecast this trend is likely to continue for a while. I've been lobbying the DNR for years to get them to feed the fingerlings at 9 am and 5 pm to get the fish to adopt these hours for feeding but that request went right in the trash along with my "trim their tales so they don't move around so much" and "feed them the same color pellet so I don't have to keep buying new baits every year" requests. If we can put a man on the moon you'd think we could get these simple things done but noooo!

Fish have been reluctant to move into the rivers so far this year even though conditions have been perfect on several occasions for an early run. Many of the mature fish we are taking now appear to be ready to go so if you enjoy a day on the river you shouldn't have to wait too much longer. I have heard of good trout fishing on the Muskegon River so if you can't wait to put on your waders I'd suggest bringing along some small spinners and a box of crawlers in case the big ones haven't reached your favorite spot yet. Bass fishing appears to be reasonably good in the area as I've seen a number of fish being taken by tournament anglers during recent weekend events. Perch fishing from Grand Haven is a bust right now with the warm water temps. I did see a guy trying in about 30 fow the other day but he looked like he was about to slip into a coma from all the excitement.

Now that summer has finally arrived try to get out and enjoy it before you have to put the boat away for the season.

Good luck!




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