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Archive | Fishing Tip

Remember to report all caught muskellunge and lake sturgeon

From the Michigan DNR

With the statewide muskellunge possession season opening Saturday, June 2, anglers are reminded that a new registration system is now in place for any fish you reel in.  

The muskellunge harvest tag is no longer required or available. If you do harvest a muskie (meaning you catch and keep the fish), you must report it within 24 hours, either:

Online at michigan.gov/registerfish.

By calling toll-free 844-345-FISH (3474).

Or in person (with advance notice of your arrival) at any DNR customer service center during regular state business. Fish registrations won’t be accepted at any state fish hatcheries or DNR field offices, only at DNR customer service centers. 

The same process is now in place for lake sturgeon, too, although no fishing and/or possession seasons open for that species until July 16. The lake sturgeon fishing permit and harvest tags are no longer needed or available. 

Both of these changes went into effect at the start of the 2018 fishing season, April 1. 

For more information on Michigan fishing licenses and regulation, check out the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide – available at license retailers or online at michigan.gov/dnrdigests, and the online version is always up to date and available to download – or contact Cory Kovacs, 906-293-5131, ext. 4071 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839. 

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Fishing Tip: New fishing regulations began April 1

There are several regulation changes this year creating many new fishing opportunities for anglers. The new regulations went into effect April 1, including the following: 

  • Muskellunge harvest season has changed statewide to the first Saturday in June and includes a new catch-and-immediate release season open all year.
  • A new suite of waters has been added where anglers may retain an additional five brook trout in their daily possession limit of trout (10 Brook Trout Possession Waters).

Additionally, a new registration system has been put into place for anglers who harvest a lake sturgeon or muskellunge. The lake sturgeon fishing permit and harvest tag and the muskellunge harvest tags are no longer required or available. An angler who harvests a lake sturgeon or muskellunge is now required to report the harvest within 24 hours and can do so online at Michigan.gov/registerfish, toll-free by calling 844-345-FISH (3474), or in person at any DNR Customer Service Center during normal state business hours with advanced notice of arrival. Please note fish registrations won’t be accepted at any state fish hatcheries or DNR field offices, only at DNR Customer Service Centers.

For more information, check out the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide online at Michigan.gov/dnrdigests

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Fishing Tip: Fishing Michigan’s piers and breakwalls

 

Michigan’s numerous piers and breakwalls offer great fishing opportunities throughout the year. Anglers often participate in this activity to target a variety of species, with trout and salmon being two of the most popular.

If you decide to partake in this type of fishing you’ll need a high-quality rod and reel. Technique-wise you’ll want to vary the depth and speed of your retrieves and consider fan-casting as opposed to casting perpendicular to the pier/breakwall. 

There are lots of bait options to consider, including spawn bags with steelhead, trout or salmon eggs; live alewives; or night crawlers. You’ll also want a long-handled net to aid in landing your catch!

As always, take plenty of safety precautions when fishing piers and breakwalls. 

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How to target popular fish species through the ice

 

Professional angler Mark Martin recommends tip-ups for walleye fishermen.

Are you getting anxious for thick enough ice to head out fishing? Consider using the following tips when targeting four species popular with anglers in the winter.

Walleye

Early-ice walleyes are known to be active and aggressive. Use tip-ups at varying depths around the lake (anywhere from 15 to 35 feet deep) to appeal to this species. Regardless of the depth, always set the live minnow under the tip-up to swim 12 to 15 inches off the bottom.

Crappie

Consider using plastic bait, rather than live bait, when fishing for crappie. Focus on weed lines to find them. A lot of times crappie will hang out in the middle of the water column, half-way between the ice and bottom.

Northern Pike

You’ll find these aggressive fish near off-shore structures and weed lines, so try these types of spots on your favorite pike lakes first. 

Yellow Perch

Attract bigger perch by using tip-ups with minnows, that’s what they’re primarily eating this time of year. Sticking a minnow on an ice fishing rod is also very productive.

For more information on fishing during Michigan’s winter, visit Michigan.gov/fishing

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Fishing Tip: Where to find northern pike in Michigan

From the Michigan DNR

As the temperatures continue to cool, fishing for northern pike will continue to pick up. Pike are extremely popular during the ice fishing season but are readily available throughout much of the year. 

There are many notable northern pike fisheries located throughout Michigan, including on Muskegon, Portage and Manistee lakes and also Michigamme and Houghton lakes. But this species can be found in many lakes and virtually all larger rivers in the state. 

Please note there are many regulations for northern pike regarding minimum size and possession limit. Be sure to read up on this species in the 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide. Download a pdf of the guide at http://www.eregulations.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/16MIFW-LR-17.pdf.

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Fishing tip: Fishing with crankbaits

 

From the DNR

Many anglers love to fish with crankbaits (also known as plugs), a type of hard-bodied fishing lure. Below are some criteria to think about when selecting a crankbait.

Body Shape

Fat-bodied crankbaits that are shorter will displace more water and create more vibration. Many anglers prefer this type of crankbait when fishing in dark water or at night.

Thin-profile crankbaits glide through the water with minimal resistance. This option is great when fishing clear water and targeting species that are sight feeders.

Buoyancy

Crankbaits with less buoyancy are better suited for water with minimal cover and clean bottoms while those with more buoyancy are better for fishing around cover.

Crankbaits can be a great lure option when targeting walleyes, bass or muskellunge (among other species). Consider trying one out during your next fishing trip!

 

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Fishing Tip from the DNR 

Fishing for muskellunge is a premier challenge

Known as “the fish of 10,000 casts,” muskellunge are a game fish native to the lakes and streams of Michigan. They are a prized catch to many anglers, but present many challenges when trying to do target them. But, if you do your research and are patient, you too could possibly land a big one!

Muskie anglers can choose from a variety of methods such as trolling, casting or still fishing with live bait. Muskellunge tackle must withstand the larger, bulkier lures required, as well as the fact these fish can exceed 30 pounds. Anglers should use much heavier line and stronger rods. It should be noted that muskie fishing success usually requires more dedication and persistence than for other species.

Want to learn more about this valued game fish? Check out their section of the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website at https://tinyurl.com/michiganfishcatchthem.

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Using stick/body baits when fishing for trout

 

 

From the Michigan DNR

Trout season is well under way with many anglers using dry flies and spinners. But what if you’re interested in waging a battle with the largest trout in the river? Have you considered using stickbaits or body baits?

Many avid trout anglers swear by using these types of lures if you’re looking to catch big stream trout. Stickbaits and body baits mimic the minnows and small fish many trout species love to eat.

Keep in mind you won’t catch large quantities of trout when you’re using this type of bait, but the ones you do find may be high quality and worth the effort. Consider fishing with lures you’d normally use when targeting bass and/or northern pike and stick with natural colors for the best chance of success.

To learn even more about fishing for trout in Michigan check out the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website at https://tinyurl.com/michiganfishcatchthem.

 

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Fishing Tip: Try your hand at spearfishing this winter

 

Starting December 1, the spear fishing season for Northern Pike and Muskellunge began on all waters through the ice except designated trout lakes, designated trout streams and other specific waters. No muskellunge spearing is allowed on Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, the Detroit River or the St. Clair River as well. Many anglers will try their hand at this historical method of fishing until the season concludes on March 15.

Spear fishing is much different from general ice fishing. Anglers will cut larger holes in the ice and fish from tents or small shanties. The shanty blocks the light, allowing anglers to see down into the water in order to spear the fish.

Anglers who spear fish generally dangle decoys or large live baits (such as suckers) in the water to attract their target fish. They utilize spears that typically have a substantial weight to them and have seven to nine tines on the end of a seven-foot handle.

Other species besides Northern Pike and Muskellunge are also allowed to be speared throughout the state. See the Michigan Fishing Guide for a list of opportunities. Go to www.michigan.gov/dnr and type “Michigan Fishing Guide” in the search bar.

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Fishing tip: Targeting northern pike at first ice

First ice of the season is a good time to catch northern pike. Photo from the Michigan DNR.

First ice of the season is a good time to catch northern pike. Photo from the Michigan DNR.

From the Michigan DNR

Many anglers will agree the first ice of the winter season often produces some of the best northern pike fishing you can find.

There could be a couple of reasons why this is so. Perhaps it’s because there is plenty of baitfish for them to target thanks to a decrease in weed cover, or perhaps it’s because first ice is often clear and allows the sight-feeding fish to target their prey more easily because of the penetration of sunlight. Regardless, the coming weeks (weather permitting) are a great time to target this species.

You’ll want to use a tip-up for this type of fishing, with a minnow or small panfish on the end of your line. Keep in mind you can catch small panfish in the lake you’re fishing and legally use them as bait in the same water body.

Target similar areas that you may have fished for northern pike when there was still open water and you might see some success!

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