Fishing The extremely hot temperatures we had last week affected both anglers and fish across the state the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said. The better fishing had been in the early morning or late evening when the fish came into the shallows to feed. The rain and cooler temperatures should improve the bite this week. River and stream fishing had been a challenge due to the lower water levels but bow fishing had been good under those conditions. The much-needed rain will raise the levels and improve river fishing. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported perch fishing has slowed down since the water turned and got cooler. Anglers were catching them in anywhere from 15 to 40 feet of water south of the piers. Lake Michigan anglers are still doing well in 90 to 130 feet taking lake trout on the bottom with Laker-takers, steelhead around the top 40 and a few king salmon were caught. Pier fishing in South Haven was good with anglers taking steelhead on shrimp. The Black, St. Joseph and Kalamazoo rivers were producing some smallmouth bass and a few walleye on the St. Joseph River. Panfish are being caught on the inland lakes, but they are in deep water now. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Big Paw Paw Lake located by Coloma reports a steady stream of anglers going out for panfish. This is the time of year you see a lot of families going fishing. Fishing has been good on the surrounding inland lakes, but the fish seem to be smaller in size. Anglers going out onto Lake Michigan out of St. Joseph are still getting trout and salmon in waters 100 feet and deeper. A couple steelheads were taken by pier angers using alewife or shrimp. Those anglers casting jigs and spoons caught freshwater drum. Grand Haven anglers are still catching lake trout in Lake Michigan just off the bottom in 110 to 160 feet on yellow spin-glo with chrome flashers. The salmon and steelhead action is slow but some good size Chinook were caught on spoons 45 to 90 feet down in 100 to 180 feet. Hot colors were orange, yellow and green. Grand Haven pier anglers caught freshwater drum when casting silver spoons. This week’s fishing tip from the DNR is the basics of using downriggers. This tool is ideal when fishing the Great Lakes as it allows for controlled-depth fishing and targeting species suspended in the water column. Here are three things to keep in mind if you’re considering using a downrigger in the future. Manual vs. electric: Making a choice between manual and electric depends on how much you want to spend, how often you fish, and how big your boat is. Manual downriggers are less expensive then electric but require more work on the part of the angler. Cannonballs: This is the weight lowered by the downrigger that is attached to your lure. These weights usually range from four to 14 pounds, make your selection based on how deep you intend to fish (the deeper you go the more weight you need). Leads: This is the amount of line between your cannonball and your lure. It also determines how your lure acts in the water. The deeper you fish the shorter the lead needs to be. If you want more information on fishing the Great Lakes, check out the DNR Roadmaps to Fishing. Thanks to a new partnership with Adco Fly Cast, LLC, the Southwest Michigan fish ladder webcam at the Berrien Springs Dam ladder on the St. Joseph River is back in operation. The webcam provides real-time, close-up looks at steelhead, salmon and other fish as they move upstream through the fish latter. The webcam went live June 28. It can be found at paddleandpole.com or on the DNR’s www.michigan.gov/fishing webpage in the Additional Resources section. For more information, contact Brian Gunderman at 269-204-7009 or Elyse Walter at 517-284-5839. Charter fishing is a great option to spend a few hours or a whole day fishing this summer on Lake Michigan. Licensed charter captains provide the boats and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed for a fun half-day or day on the water To find a fishing charter for a specific location you can search online for charter operators and regional charter fishing organizations, contacting the local chamber of commerce or city tourism office, or visiting the Michigan Charter Boat Association website at michigancharterboats.com. For more information contact Donna Wesander, 231-547-2914 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839. Hunting The DNR reminds hunters to get their antlerless deer hunting applications now through August 15. Junior antlerless deer licenses also can be purchased over the counter. For hunters planning a fall turkey hunt, that application period ends August 1. For questions, call a local DNR Customer Service Center. The DNR Outdoor Skills Academy will run a series of bear hunting clinics over the next few weeks. The clinics, at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac will be held on July 29, August 5 and August 11. The Clinics offer an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of bear hunting. The $30.00 class includes lunch and door prizes (donated by the Michigan Bear Hunters Association), and will cover habitat, gear, stand placement, baiting, rules and regulations, carcass care and hide care. For more information about the bear hunting clinics, contact Ed Shaw at 231-779-1321.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, August 11, 2018. Class registration is held on Sunday August 5, 2018 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 $100. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370.
BCYF still exhibit registration deadline Aug. 1 The deadline for still exhibits to be registered for the 2018 Berrien County Youth Fair is August 1. The Exhibitor Handbook is available online at www.bcyf.org. Registration is open to any Berrien County resident, ages 5 to 20 years of age. The exhibitor age is as of January 1, 2018. Online registration is free for all departments! Once registered, exhibitors can return to the program and add more entries up until the deadline. Families can register under one e-mail and password. The exhibitor’s printed email confirmation will serve as the traditional yellow copy of the entry form and is required on entry day, just as the yellow copy of the traditional entry form is. The link for online entries can be found at www.bcyf.org. Entry forms may be brought to the Fair Office between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday on or before August 1; postmarked on or before August 1; or placed in the drop box outside the fair office after office hours until midnight on August 1. The Fair Office will be open Wednesday, August 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Baked Fruit Pie Contest and Antique Tractor Pull, both are open to adults and youth (see specific rules in exhibitor handbook), registration deadline for both of these classes is also August 1. No late registrations will be accepted. Fair dates are Aug. 13-18.
This week is animal trivia that can be used to amaze summer visitors. Sloths move so slowly (in a tree it only moves nine feet in one minute) that it needs a good defensive camouflage. It has green fur that allows it to blend with the tree leaves. The hairs are not actually green. The algae that live in the grooves on the hairs give the sloth its green color. The mirror orchid attracts pollinating wasps by displaying flowers that look, smell and feels like females of their species. When the male wasps land and try to mate they move the orchid’s pollen. To prevent caterpillar destruction of its leaves, the passion flower vine produces growths that resemble butterfly eggs on the leaves. Butterflies looking to lay eggs will bypass these leaves. The spine-tailed swift of eastern Asia can fly up to 100 miles per hour. A bumblebee bat is one inch big and weighs less than a dime. A lichen from Antarctica is thought to be older than 10,000 years. Twenty-five of the world’s tiniest plant, the Wolffia arrhizal (a tiny floating duckweed), would fit across a fingernail. The horn of a rhinoceros is not bone. It is made of tightly packed hair-like fibers. Meet some of Sarett Nature Center’s animal ambassadors today, July 26 or Thursday, August 2 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children are free.