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Archive | Fishing Tip

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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Great places to target muskellunge in Michigan

Are you interested in targeting muskellunge this summer? Many anglers would place the four water bodies listed on their lists of top spots to visit.

1. Tahquamenon River in Luce County

From below Tahquamenon Falls all the way to Lake Superior produces great muskie fishing.

2. Thornapple Lake in Barry County

Muskies can be found on the east or west ends of the lake. Please note there’s a 50-inch minimum size limit on this lake.

3. Skegemog Lake in Kalkaska County

A good spot to focus on here is the edges of a deep hole that’s off the entrance to Elk Lake.

4. Lake St. Clair in St. Clair County

Lots of inlets and outlets on this lake provide ideal conditions for muskies.

If you harvest a muskellunge, don’t forget you have 24-hours to register it. This action is required and can be done 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.

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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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