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Archive | Fishing Tip

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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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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