07-25-2019 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stated that the hot temperatures last week warmed water temperatures and slowed the bite especially in the afternoons. As the water warms, fish become sluggish especially on the shallower inland lakes so try fishing deeper water. Early morning or later in the evening is usually best. Perch fishing by South Haven continued to be good. Some nice fish were caught south of the piers in 30 feet of water. Pier anglers casting spoons caught freshwater drum, but the steelhead fishing was slow. Inland lake fishing continued to be good, but slowed during the hot part of the day. Anglers going out onto Lake Michigan out of South Haven found salmon fishing was slow. A few lake trout were caught and the salmon that were found was in 90 feet and deeper. Inland lake fishing around the Tri-City Area was slow because of the heat, but mornings and early evenings the bite would pick up. St. Joseph boat anglers targeting salmon reported slow fishing. A few trout were caught in around 80 feet of water however the salmon seem to be very deep. Most fish were caught on spoons. Perch fishing by St. Joseph was inconsistent as anglers had very good fishing one day and struggled the next. Most perch were in 20 to 30 feet of water. Pier fishing for steelhead was slow but anglers were getting freshwater drum and catfish with crawlers on the bottom. Out of Grand Haven boats continue to catch good numbers of lake trout along with the occasional salmon and steelhead 45 to 90 feet down in 100 to 180 feet with green and blue spoons. Lake trout were hitting yellow and green spin-glo on the bottom. Pier fishing was slow except for channel cats or freshwater drum caught on alewife. The DNR fishing tip this week is a simple method for summer lake fishing. Sometimes we want to go fishing and it is too hot to work at it much. Here is a laidback way to cover water and find fish you might otherwise miss, without needing complicated gear or a fancy boat. All you really need is basic fishing tackle and watercraft. Rig your rod with light line (four to eight-pound test), tie a small hook on the end of the line (#4 or smaller), and add a split shot or two about a foot above the hook. Favorite baits for this method include half a night crawler or a baby crawler, leeches or even some of the heavily scented artificial leeches or small plastic worms. Hook the bit in the center of one end so it doesn’t spin when you gently pull it through the water. Position your boat so the prevailing breeze will carry it along a drop-off or across any area with water depths of at least 12 to 20 feet. Let out enough line, or adjust the amount of weight on the line, so your bait will stay about 12 to 20 feet deep no matter how deep the water is. Then set your rod down against the side of the boat, relax and watch the tip of the rod for a bite. Drop the rod tip when you see a bite and count to three before reeling in and setting the hook with a firm pull. Many fish such as bass, walleye, yellow perch, crappie and larger bluegill will move into deeper water and suspend at their preferred cooler temperature during the hot summer months. Slowly drifting larger, natural bait at these deeper depths will often get you more than you bargained for. Hunting Hunters, remember you have through August 15 to buy 2019 antlerless deer license applications. Hunters may apply for one public-land or one private-land license. License availability is limited by quotas established for each Deer Management Unit. Young hunters, 16 and under, can buy antlerless deer licenses over the counter now thru August 15. Any leftover licenses that remain after the drawing will go on sale September 10 at 10:00 a.m. Find additional deer hunting information at Michigan.gov/Deer. A Bear Hunting Clinic will be held Sunday, August 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will be held at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac. The class will cover habitat, gear, stand placement, baiting, rules and regulations, carcass care, and hide care. Cost is $25, which includes lunch, door prizes donated by Michigan Bar Hunters Association and a DNR bear patch. Registration is required. Conservation officers are investigating two poached deer in Branch County. Both bucks were left to rot in the alfalfa field where they were killed. This crime occurred off Himebaugh Road between St. Joseph and Mallow roads in Noble Township. Anyone with information is asked to call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800, or use the online reporting form. Anyone providing information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s) will be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Class registration is held on Sunday August 4, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $105. For more information on the CPL class or Hunter Safety Class, email inquiry@colomarodandgunclub.com.

Hazards of high Great Lakes water levels

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers strongly urges individuals to use caution around breakwaters, piers or jetties in the Great Lakes and to adhere to posted warning signs. Do not swim near or jump off any structure – the life you save may be your own. The Great Lakes are currently experiencing higher than normal water levels. High water levels create safety hazards, such as submerged breakwaters, dangerous rip currents and electric shock risks. Residents and vacationers enjoying Michigan waters are cautioned to closely supervise children; wear life jackets when on any structure; not jump, dive off, or swim near structures; stay off structures during high winds or when waves are washing over them; avoid walking upon wet slippery areas; stay away from the edge; and not run or climb upon structures. When water levels, wind and waves increase, so does the risk of dangerous currents. Rip currents and structural currents are a common cause of drowning. To get out of a rip current, it is advised to “Flip, Float, Follow” until the current subsides to save your energy and reduce your risk of drowning. Electric shock drowning is an increased risk due to high water levels. Water-overtopped docks at marinas or public areas may have electrical hook-ups, which have the potential to shock someone that has come in contact with the water. When immobile due to shock, the risk of drowning increases. Be aware of these hazards and use safety around water to avoid an accident.

The prairie is a great place to observe insects in July. One group of bugs easily seen on prairie flowers but not commonly identified is long-horned beetles, in the family cerambycidae. These small to large, sturdy-looking beetles have long antennae, usually over half the length of their bodies, and distinct markings, allowing for easy identification. Look on the flowers of goldenrods, daisies, and yarrow in the prairie. These beetles are strong fliers, but pose no harm to people or pets. The adults feed on flowers and other plant materials and lay their eggs in trees, which the larvae feed from as well. The red milkweed beetle is one of the more common species in the family, seen regularly on its host plant. Look for a bright red-orange beetle with four black spots. They can sometimes be found sharing space on a milkweed leaf with a monarch caterpillar. There are over 200 native species of long-horned beetles in Michigan. One long-horned beetle to look out for is the non-native and invasive Asian long-horned beetle, brought over through trade on imported lumber and shipping crates. The 1 to 1-1/2 inch adult beetle will feed on hardwoods and can decimate the trees. Join a naturalist Thursday, July 25, at the nature center, for a 30-45 minute program starting at 3:00 p.m. about the turtles that live at Sarett. Adult members & kids are free and non-member adults are $5.

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