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Tag Archive | "fishing"

Post goes to Canada


The Cedar Springs Post made it to Rice Lake, Canada, on a fishing trip.

Traveling with the Post was Elizabeth Deboe, Norman Colborn, Vicki Gillispie, and Vivian Deboe, all of Cedar Springs; James Thomas, of Comstock Park; and Mike and Trish Neal, of Hastings.

Thanks for taking us with you!

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Catch of the Week

OUT-Catch-Savickas-newSince they were not able to obtain a turkey hunting license, Anthony and Linda Savickas decided to take their sons, Ian and Tyler, pike fishing in Mecosta County in early May. It turned out to be a good choice. Tyler, 16, caught this northern pike, which weighed in at 20 pounds and 43-1/2 inches. His parents had it mounted for him, with friends and relatives pitching in to help create a nice keepsake for him.

Way to go Tyler, you made the Post Catch of the Week!

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Bass fishing

Eric Payne with a bass caught on a molded worm.

Eric Payne with a bass caught on a molded worm.

by Jack Payne


Thump, thump, thump and bam! A fish hit and game on. After trying to play bulldog with me on the bottom the bass finally came up and tried shaking its head to dislodge the hook. This fish was not successful in its try to be free.

Most days you will find me throwing finesse style baits, small worms, light weights, or a spinner bait. But on the dog days of summer and leading into fall it is often best to use a larger bait and fish deeper.

We were throwing the large Garter Worm or the Magnum Bass Stopper Worm from Stopper Lures. We fished this bait very similar to the drop shot rig. In our case we use a heavy bell sinker with the plastic worm tied onto a loop knot a few inches above the sinker. One angler might fish four inches up and the other angler might try a foot. See who gets the best action and duplicate it.

We like tying on a short leader, 6-12 inches long to the plastic worm. This gives the worm some movement, some added flutter and lift. We feel that we get more strikes when fishing in this manner than compared to a very short or no leader.

Sinker weight varies between three eighth and possible up to three quarters. It depends on the wind and the depth. Fifteen feet to thirty feet is our preferred depth. Deep long points are our first target and then sunken islands, mid lake humps and other off shore deep water structures.

Yes, we basically fish with our backs to the shoreline. Not what you would expect from many bass anglers. The next difference is that we fish vertically and we drift with the boat or move slowly with the trolling motor.

Once again, using a trolling motor while actually fishing is taboo with some anglers but I fish to catch fish and enjoy myself. I grew up chasing walleye and learned the fine art of vertical fishing. For many years my trolling motor was on the back of my boat and I back trolled. It’s only been a few years that I’ve enjoyed a front bow mounted trolling motor. I still run a tiller motor and that might change in the future.

When you walleye fish you learn how to fish deep water, how to find the spot on the spot and how to finesse fish or how to fish vertically. If you don’t then a live well becomes better suited as a cooler.

I really believe that anglers would catch more bass during the late summer and into the fall if they spent more time fishing the deep water. Sharp drop-offs are easy to find with your graph, many of the points that you would fish can be located by looking at the shoreline.

The idea behind a drop shot rig or the rig that we use is in maintaining contact with the bottom and keeping control of the plastic worm. I like the leader to the worm instead of it being tied tight to the line. I like the way it floats and flutters. Some anglers like it tight because they can feel any hit instantly from a bass. Try it both ways and see which way you enjoy best.

A larger bait matches the late summer forage. In the next month you will see a direct change in the size of the baitfish with less smaller fish and larger baitfish. In addition the metabolism is higher and many game fish want a larger meal while expanding less energy to fill up.

Deep water haunts with larger baits worked near the bottom will produce bass during the dog days of summer and leading into the fall. Deep water will continue to produce bass right through the turnover period just before the snow flies. Fish with your back to the shoreline and enjoy some great bass action overlooked by many anglers.

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Weekly Fishing Tip

Catching a catfish in Michigan


Rodney Akey with record catfish.

The new state record flathead catfish caught on May 22 on the St. Joseph River has brought a relatively unheralded species into the daylight. The record flathead, which weighed 49.81 pounds and measured 45.7 inches, was caught by Rodney Akey of Niles, who was fishing with an alewife for bait. That’s one of the main differences with fishing for the flathead than other catfish species. Anglers often use live baitfish when pursuing flatheads, unlike the earthworms, shrimp or various stink-bait concoctions many catfish anglers use.

Flatheads tend to live in slow-flowing rivers where they typically inhabit deep holes. Veteran flathead anglers often pursue them at night, fishing on the bottom in the leading edge of the hole or on the flats upstream. Large minnows, small sunfish or cut suckers are preferred baits. Summer is the most popular season to fish for flatheads; what better time to get out and try your luck!

For more information on fishing for catfish, check out the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them section of the DNR’s website. Go to Michigan.gov/dnr and then click on fishing, then angler information, and then “Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them.”


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Weekly fishing tip: Fly Fishing Frenzy

June is the month in Michigan for fly fishing after dark, with big bugs for big trout. The month’s hatches start with the brown drake mayfly, followed by the isonychia mayfly, and rounded out by Michigan’s biggest mayfly, the hexagenia. Each bug can be expected to hatch in one to two weeks on a given water body, with some overlap. With the warm weather so far in 2012, the hatch schedule has been accelerated in Michigan so the hatches this year may be more intense and last fewer nights that usual.

Bugs will begin to emerge in the evening after sunset and can continue well after dark. Roughly 48 hours later those same bugs will return to the water they hatched from and die. Both events cause a feeding frenzy in the fish community and provide a lot of fun for the anglers that take advantage of the feeding fish. Contacting a local fly shop or bait shop is a good place to look for information on hatch activity on a specific water body. For information on fishing for trout in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

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Weekly fishing tip

Taking great catch-and-release photos


Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

* Wet your hands before you handle the fish—that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (aka slime) the fish has coating their body.

* Remember that a fish cannot breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.

* Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water and not on a hard surface.

* While holding a fish, do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills.

* Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.

This tip was adopted from the Take Me Fishing online blog.

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Weekly fishing report

Below is the weekly fishing report for May 17, for the Southwest Lower Peninsula. For other areas in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on “weekly fishing report” on the left hand side.

Good numbers of crappie have been caught on the inland lakes. Bluegills should be on the beds soon. Northern pike are being caught in the rivers. Lots of bass are being caught and released.

Saugatuck: Salmon fishing was slow. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum. Try crawlers on the bottom.

Holland: Pier fishing for salmon has slowed but boat anglers continue to catch a good number of fish in waters 120 feet or deeper. The fish were scattered. White perch action was slow.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers are targeting 130 to 230 feet of water for salmon. Set downriggers 60 to 140 feet down or divers 200 to 275 feet back with green and blue magnum spoons or white spin/fly combos.

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing catfish along with a few pike and walleye. Those fishing over near Portland did well for catfish. Bass fishing has been good along the entire river.

Lake Lansing: Is producing bass and a few pike.

Michigan Center Lake: In Jackson County is producing largemouth bass and panfish.

Coldwater Lake: In Branch County is producing good numbers of large crappie.

Duck Lake: In Calhoun County is producing bass and pike. Some nice crappie were also caught.

Prairie Lake: Also in Calhoun County is producing crappie, bass and pike.

Morrison Lake: Bluegills were starting to show up on the beds.

Sessions Lake: Is producing bluegill and crappie on spec minnows.

Muskegon: Salmon fishing slowed but should pick back up. Anglers are using downriggers 60 to 140 feet down in 135 to 230 feet of water. Try green or blue magnum spoons or spin/fly combos. No perch to report.

Whitehall: Had good salmon fishing in 150 feet of water and the fish were right on the bottom. Pink and blue were hot colors. Alewife have moved into the channel. Pier anglers caught chinook, coho and brown trout on stick baits or Cleo’s that glow.

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Michigan suckers are popular with spring anglers

Suckers have been given a bad rap.

Michigan’s world-class fisheries are numerous and well-known. Michigan boasts exceptional fishing for many of America’s top game fish – muskellunge, smallmouth bass, walleye and brown trout, among them – and is a popular destination for tournament fishermen seeking those species and others.

Another popular fishery exists for some less heralded specimens as well, including one that is heating up right now as sucker fishing comes to the fore. In spring, many species of suckers head upstream to spawn in the state’s rivers and creeks where plenty of anglers are ready, willing and able to challenge them.

“On some streams, sucker fishing produces more angling effort than anything else,” said Department of Natural Resources fish production manager Gary Whelan.

Thought (incorrectly) by some to be “trash” fish, suckers have been given a bad rap. There are those who believe they compete for food and space with more desirable species. They’ve also been blamed for eating the spawn of other species. However, there appears to be no scientific basis for these beliefs. Suckers have evolved side-by-side with most species of game fish and seem to coexist quite nicely with them. Most species of suckers demand relatively high water quality; in fact, excellent sucker fishing is available in some of the state’s premier trout streams.

“They are not carp,” Whelan said. “And they shouldn’t be thought of in those terms.”

Whelan said that suckers are an important component of the food chain, serving as prey for numerous species, especially northern pike and muskellunge.

Michigan boasts 15 members of the sucker family (Catostomidae), including the endangered Western creek chubsucker and threatened river redhorse. These spirited fighters are generally medium-sized fish – closely related to minnows – though some of them grow to significant sizes. The state-record black buffalo, for instance, weighed 33 pounds, 4 ounces.

The DNR’s Master Angler program recognizes seven species of suckers: redhorse;

bigmouth and black buffalo; quillback carpsucker; and longnose, northern hog and white suckers. A 2-pound longnose (22 inches for the catch-and-release category) or a 3-pound white sucker (20 inches) will earn a fisherman the DNR status of Master Angler.

Whelan said that suckers have an inferior mouth positioned to optimize feeding on the bottom. For the most part, suckers feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans and worms, though some species prefer feeding on snails or algae.

Most suckers will win few beauty contests. They tend to be drab in color—gray to mottled brown—though male longnose and white suckers develop a rose-colored lateral band during their spawning runs. The exception is the redhorse, which is a bright silvery color with orange or red fins.

“Fishing for suckers is typically a low-tech sport,” said the DNR’s Whelan. “All that’s necessary is a hook and a sinker, and earthworms make ideal bait. Cast out a line, let the bait sit on the bottom, and wait.”

Often, while steelhead anglers are wading or boating during the spring run, they encounter sucker fishermen – often whole families – sitting on the bank, rods propped in forked sticks, fishing in the same stretches of stream. Generally, sucker fishing is best in places where there is a break in the current: around obstructions or below riffles. Deep holes are popular with sucker anglers.


That said, anglers can make sucker fishing as complicated as they like. Fly fishing for suckers is becoming more popular all the time. Suckers will willingly take nymphs, yarn flies or even streamers fished on the bottom. They can be as selective as trout, and many a trout fisherman has been disappointed when he discovered the big brown he thought he’d hooked turned out to be a big white sucker.

Anglers are divided on suckers as table fare. Some turn up their noses (no doubt because of the trash fish/bottom-feeding reputation), while sucker aficionados swear by them—especially in spring when their flesh is firm. Suckers are bony fish and anglers have devised a number of methods for dealing with the bones. They are popularly pickled, canned, smoked or deep-fried. Folks who deep-fry them typically score the bones to make them easier to eat. Some people grind them and use the flesh to make patties or fish cakes.

“They’re good eating,” said Whelan, who says he’s eaten them pickled, fried and made into patties.

There is a small commercial fishery for suckers, though they are primarily a by-catch of commercial fishermen targeting other species or being caught for the pet-food industry. They do not command a high price, as global competition in the fish market has driven down demand.

Suckers may be taken with hand nets (of any circumference and handle length) from the Great Lakes, connecting waters and tributaries up to a half-mile upstream, March 1 to May 31 south of M-72, and April 1 to May 31 north of M-72. They can also be taken with dip nets (measuring no more than 9 feet by 9 feet) from Lower Peninsula non-trout streams from April 1 to May 31 and Upper Peninsula non-trout streams May 1 to 31.

Spearing suckers is a popular pastime, too, legal on non-trout streams April 1 to May 31 south of M-46; April 15 to May 31 between M-46 and M-72; and May 1 to 31 north of M-72. Bows and arrows may be used as well as lights. In the Great Lakes and connecting waters, suckers can be taken by spear or bow year-round.

The sucker fishery is one of the first to catch fire after the ice has melted, but by the time many anglers start thinking about fishing, the spring sucker run has already begun to fade.

Learn more about fishing for suckers and other Michigan species at www.michigan.gov/fishing. To sign up for the DNR’s weekly fishing report and other popular topics, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on the red enveloped labeled “Stay Connected.”

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Weekly Fishing Tip

From the Michigan DNR

Check out the DNR’s weekly fishing tip, obtained from various angling resources throughout the country.
December 1, 2011: Have You Fished for a Muskellunge Yet?
As we’ve been sharing in many tips this fall, the autumn season is a great time to fish for specific fishes – including muskellunge.
Many lakes you might visit to pursue muskies are fairly empty – leaving you plenty of opportunities to fish for this unique species. It’s recommended that you use large crankbaits – larger than eight inches – and large jerkbaits – larger than 10 inches.
You can fish for muskellunge in most waters right now, but keep in mind the season on the most popular spots of Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River will close on Thursday, December 15.
For more information on muskellunge, visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-214034–,00.html.

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Weekly fishing report

From the Michigan DNR

This is the time of year when fishing reports are harder to come by as most anglers turn their attention to deer hunting. Those heading out for the firearm season are reminded that late fall and early winter offer prime fishing on inland lakes for hungry walleye, pike and bass. It is also a good time to catch big perch, bluegill and crappie.
Southwest Lower Peninsula (as of November 10):
St. Joseph: Pier anglers are catching whitefish on a small hook with a single egg. Steelhead were caught in the harbor in the early morning or late afternoon.
St. Joseph River: Has prime steelhead fishing right now even though angler numbers were down.
Kalamazoo River: Had good numbers of steelhead all the way up to the Allegan Dam. Those fishing below the dam caught walleye.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Salmon fishing is pretty much done but the steelhead action continues to grow with some large fish caught between Fulton Street and the dam. Try spawn under a bobber, small spoons or flies.
Grand River at Lansing: Steelhead were reported in Prairie Creek near Ionia and below the dam at Lyons. No reports for Lansing.
Muskegon River: Has lots of steelhead downstream from Newaygo. Some are fly fishing while others are floating fresh spawn. Walleye and pike were caught near Hardy Dam and smallmouth bass were caught upstream of the dam.
For other areas in Michigan, or to get it in your email, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on fishing, then weekly fishing report.

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