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Archive | Fishing Tip

Fishing tip: Targeting perch on Lake St. Clair

When anglers think of Lake St. Clair, they often think of bass or muskellunge fishing – but during the winter months, many think of it as a yellow perch destination!

There are a few techniques to target fish on the lake, including staying on the move and focusing on areas where the perch are most likely to be found. Perch on Lake St. Clair often will hang out on the vast, shallow flats as they look for smaller fish to prey on. Since structure is limited during the winter months, they’ll use the shade of the ice cover to fill in that role. Fishing these areas can often offer anglers great success with large-size fish!

Want even more tips for fishing yellow perch – and not just on Lake St. Clair? Visit the yellow perch page on the DNR website. Go to michigan.gov/dnr and then fish, and then species information.

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Fishing tip: Where to find northern pike in Michigan

Photo courtesy of the Michigan DNR.

Most places in the state are seeing cold temperatures, but 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 Michigamme and Houghton lakes. But this species can be found in many other 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 current Michigan Fishing Guide at https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/FishingGuide2020_684742_7.pdf and on the northern pike page on our website. Go to www.michigan.gov/dnr and search for northern pike.

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Fishing Tip: Go “hunting” for fish this fall

Autumn can be one of the best times of year to seek out your favorite fish species for a day of fun angling. Several species to target this October and November include walleye, perch and trout.

Walleye are thought to be in their best condition in the fall and can often be found in the river mouth areas of larger, inland lakes. They’re gathering there to take advantage of baitfish that like to hang out as the weather cools off. Set your sights on 10 to 12 feet deep to find these guys.

Perch will also populate around these same river-mouths, but these fish will likely be much closer to the river than walleye. Check out depths as shallow as 4 feet to find them.

Trout will be available in some of these larger lakes as well during this time period, and can be found in the same areas as the walleye and perch.

Try your luck at some great angling this fall. For more information on the numerous opportunities to fish this autumn, visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.

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Finding monster muskie in the fall

This spotted Great Lakes muskie set a new record in Michigan at 55-pounds in 2009. 

FKnown as “the fish of a thousand casts,” the muskellunge can be a tough species to target. Have you always wanted to catch a big one? Check out this tip to try the next time you head out.

Consider when you’re out on the water focusing your efforts on the corners or inside turns of the lake(s) you’re fishing. These spots consist of bends in the bottom that cause a slight point to form. Muskie will often hide out in these spots, especially if it puts them close to deeper water, excellent cover, and access to food.

Want even more information on fishing for muskellunge? Check out their page on the DNR’s website.

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Fishing Tip: More hints on targeting walleye


We bring you this oldie, but goodie fishing tip from 2014. Courtesy of Cory Kovacs, a fisheries biologist out of Newberry.

From the Michigan DNR

Most anglers targeting walleye know that catching them in the spring is much easier than catching them during the warmer summertime months. In most Michigan lakes walleye in the summer typically seek cooler, deeper and darker waters while feeding in the shallow waters only at night. Because of some physiological properties of walleye, their sensitivity to bright light typically results in avoidance of shallow waters during daylight periods.

Anglers in the summer time typically target walleye during the evening and morning “low-light” periods. Targeted water depths will vary between lakes, but most anglers seek drop-offs where walleye will move up to feed in the shallow waters during the evening through morning hours. My experience fishing walleye in this fashion is usually successful by using a leech or minnow on a floating jighead weighted with a small splitshot sinker (or two). Anchoring at the drop-off or using a slow drift has been the most productive for me.

Other anglers may want to troll artificial lures or crawler harnesses along the deeper side of the contour lines in order to cover more area in a shorter time period. My grandfather always used to say, “Once you find them, you need to stay on, em.” I think there is a lot of truth to that.

Walleye fishing is sometimes a frustrating activity due to some long waiting periods between catches and finding the perfect conditions. However, once you get a bite it typically signifies something special and hopefully a memorable experience with family and friends.

Good luck in making memories, you will be glad you did!

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Fishing Tip: Fly season is quickly approaching


From the DNR

We bring you this oldie, but goodie fishing tip from 2014. Courtesy of Neal Godby, a DNR fisheries biologist out of Gaylord.

Although much of what a trout feeds on throughout the year is under the water’s surface, June is prime time for dry-fly fishing for stream trout.

Many aquatic insects, like mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies found in trout streams emerge during June making it an exciting time to fish with “dry” flies (those that float on the surface of the water). Check with your local tackle shop or fly shop to see what might be hatching in your area.

Many of the mayfly hatches occur after sunset, so be sure to be familiar with the river you are fishing, make sure your headlamp/flashlight is working, and have fun!

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Fishing Tip: Let’s catch some crappie!


Black male crappie. 
Illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri © Taken from DNR webpage.

From the Michigan DNR

Crappie are among the most difficult pan fish to pattern, because of their tendency to suspend in the water column, except in the spring. During this time, crappie move to shallow water—sometimes in water only a couple feet deep—to spawn, so there isn’t a lot of water column to suspend in.

Crappies like both minnows and jigs. The easiest way to fish for them is to suspend the bait under a bobber, halfway between the surface and the bottom, around any sort of cover—weeds, brush, dock pilings…whatever.

Anglers who prefer a more active approach can cast with jigs and swim them back or fly fish with minnow-imitating streamers. Just think shallow in spring.

For more information on crappie fishing, visit their page on the DNR’s website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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What you need to know about fishing early autumn walleye

DNR Volunteer Dick Callen with a hen walleye with ripe eggs.

 

Targeting walleye in the fall can offer some of the best fishing of the season. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you target this sportfish in the near future.

  1. In early fall, walleye can be found in a variety of locations within the water body, including deep, shallow or anywhere in between. Keep that in mind and don’t stick to one depth range.
  2. If you’re out in the morning, check the areas where deep water meets the shallow spots.
  3. As the day progresses start heading deeper, as walleye can be photosensitive.
  4. Don’t forget to try your luck during the nighttime hours! This can be a very productive time during the fall, especially along rock points and flat areas.

To learn more about fishing for walleye, go to michigan.gov/dnr and click on fishing, and then on walleye/perch.

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Fishing Tip: Catching big pike in the summer

 

Most anglers consider winter the best time to catch a trophy-sized pike, but following a few key pointers can make summer pike fishing worthwhile.

When it’s very warm out think about where pike will hide places with cooler water. These spots include along the thermocline, where coldwater streams/rivers flow into lakes, or around springs.

Look for water bodies that aren’t densely populated with pike so those present may have a chance to grow fairly large. Also consider locations that have special regulations (size limits).

Lastly, focus on water bodies that have a good pike forage base, particularly other species that prefer cooler water.

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Fishing for bass at night is fun!

 

With summer in full swing fish can become quite lethargic. No need to fret! For certain species, such as bass, you just might want to tweak the time of day you set out to target them.

Some of the best bass fishing this time of year occurs during the first hour or so after dark. Dusk and dawn can still produce fish but that first hour or two after dark can be exceptional.

After dark, bass tend to move shallow in search of an easy meal. Target them near the same areas you would during other times of the day while also casting and targeting the shallows. You’ll want to change your technique though! Since after dark you can’t see the weed line or other underwater structures, fishing subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations. After the cast, work them aggressively with a jerking motion making sure they pop and gurgle across the surface of the water during your retrieve. Pay close attention during the retrieve, watching and listening for the strike, which can be explosive.

If you’re feeling adventurous, get on the water at 10:00 p.m. and fish the shallows for bass until midnight or 1:00 a.m. The results can be spectacular!

For more information on fishing for bass in Michigan, visit their page online! Go to www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on things to do, then fishing, then bass.

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