06-07-2018 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said the extremely warm weather helped improve fishing conditions especially on the inland lakes, across the state. More anglers were out however, catch rates were best in the early morning or evening when the heavy boat traffic slowed. Bluegills are on or just moving off the beds. The crappie action slowed as hot weather pushed the fish to deeper water. Bass were caught along the shoreline and around structures. Pike and carp could be seen in the shallows. The DNR fishing tip for the week is how muskellunge is a premier challenge to catch. Known as “the fish of 10,000 casts,” muskellunge are a tremendous 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 so. 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. Tackle requirements for muskellunge are stouter than equipment generally used for walleyes and bass. Larger bulkier lures and fish that exceed 30 pounds or more call for heavier lines and stronger rods. It should be noted that muskie fishing success usually requires more dedication and persistence than for other species. For more information on muskellunge in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/ muskie. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports the salmon fishing has slowed down some. Boat anglers on Lake Michigan were taking a decent number of Lake Trout and Kings, along with a few coho and an occasional steelhead. The Kings were caught in 40 to 80 feet, while the other fish were caught in 100 to 150 feet of water. Most were caught on spoons and Laker Takers in the top 60 feet. Black River and the Kalamazoo River have been quiet with a few catfish being taken. In the Kalamazoo River they were catching smallmouth bass and walleye. The Allegan Dam has been quiet this past week. The inland lakes of the area are all on fire, with good catches of bluegill and crappie on all. A couple of favorite lakes are Eagle and Scott. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports great fishing on all the inland lakes, bluegills, crappie, walleye, and bass are keeping the anglers busy. Some really nice size walleye were taken out of Little Paw Paw Lake this past weekend. It was a cloudy, blustery day, but the walleye were biting like mad. Bass have been good on most lakes. The Paw Paw River is running high and there haven’t been any reports of catches. Anglers out of St. Joseph have been taking a decent number of Chinook on Lake Michigan in 120 feet of water. Spin-doctors and flies seem to work the best. Anglers by St. Joseph were starting to catch some perch in 50 feet or so, but the bite was very slow. St. Joe pier anglers are getting some catfish and freshwater drum. Statewide muskellunge possession season opened last Saturday, June 2, and anglers are reminded that a new regulation system is now in place for any fish you reel in. The muskellunge harvest tag is no longer required or available. If you do catch a muskie, you must report it within 24 hours, either: Online at www.michigan.gov/registerfish.; by calling toll-free 844-345-3474; or in person (with advance notice of your arrival) at any DNR customer service center during regular state business hours. 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 18. Both changes went into effect at the start of the 2018 fishing season, April 1. If you don’t have a boat or you are tired of heading out on a big lake why not try seawall fishing? These shoreline-hugging infrastructures can offer great angling opportunities and in plenty of parts of Michigan. Most of the seawall fishing opportunities on Southern Lake Michigan (Southwest Lower Peninsula) are located immediately upstream of Great Lakes piers. In St. Joseph seawalls are located on the north and south sides of the St. Joseph River. At South Haven seawalls are located at the city parks on both the north and south sides of the Black River. At Grand Haven there are seawalls on both sides of the river. In Holland there is a seawall on the north side of the river at the Holland State Park. A trail from the park extends upstream along the shore of Lake Macatawa and has multiple fishing sites. The fishing opportunities at all of these sites change seasonally due to movements of fish from Lake Michigan. At all sites, there are seasonal fishing opportunities for steelhead, Chinook salmon, coho, brown trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish, walleye, freshwater drum, lake whitefish and round whitefish. The Lake Macatawa seawall in Holland is a better choice for angers looking to catch bluegill or largemouth bass.

Hunting Applications for the 2018 Bear and Elk Hunting seasons closed on Friday, June 1; watch for the results of the drawings which will be posted online June 25. To find the drawings, go to www.michigan.gov/ and add bear or elk to check the results. There were 7,140 licenses available for bear and 200 available for elk. When you are out enjoying the outdoors, you may come across a fawn. If you do, enjoy the experience from a distance. Please remember that although the fawn seems alone, chances are, the mother is nearby. A mother deer will hide her fawn, who was born with very little scent, and return periodically to care for it. If you are certain a fawn has been abandoned, do not try and care for it yourself – contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators may possess abandoned or injured wildlife. Otherwise it is illegal to possess live wild animals, including deer, in Michigan. A list of current rehabilitators can be found at www.michigan.gov/wildlife.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Class registration was held on Sunday June 3, 2018. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370.

Some of the naturalists sat and watched a bout of WrestleMania… frog-style. Two male green frogs were vying for the attentions of a female. The first one declared his intentions with an explosive gunk that sent ripples through the water. That call was answered by the other interested male as he hopped a bit closer. The female… just sat there. With each call, the males hopped closer in a race to be the first to reach the female. She… just sat there. Suddenly each male realized how close his opponent was; they jumped on each other. They furiously tumbled around in the water for 10 seconds. The female… left. The males separated and went in search of other potential mates. When you visit Sarett, check out the front ponds. Look for frogs with yellow throats and large ears (the disk located behind the eye). These are the breeding males. If the day is warm enough and you are patient enough, you too may have a ringside seat at WrestleMania! Check out www.sarett.com for a list of our summer classes for children ages 4-12. We offer beginning kayaking, classes about animals, and many other fun nature-theme classes! Starting Thursday, June 21 and every Thursday during the summer at 3:00 p.m., Sarett naturalists will present Wildlife Wonders and use our education animals for a short program. Cost is $5 per adult, members and kids are free.

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