Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that the storms that popped up throughout the state definitely altered fishing conditions in many bodies of water. But in some spots perch, salmon and lake trout action was picking up. Salmon fishing on the Great Lakes is ready to hit its stride as many species are getting ready to begin their upstream migration. The DNR fishing tip this week is that glow lures can be popular with the Great Lakes salmon. One tactic that can be particularly useful when targeting Chinook is fishing with glow lures. This species can often be caught near the surface in low-light conditions and glow lures make that opportunity even more appealing. In particular, glow lures work well in the early morning hours before the sun comes up or at night. Many believe this type of lure attracts salmon because it can be seen in the dark from longer distances and encourages them to strike. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported some nice limits of bluegills have been taken out of Paw Paw Lake by anglers using red worms and wax worms. No reports have come in on activity on the Paw Paw River, but that may change soon. Steelhead was at the Berrien Springs ladder and could be watched on camera as they get ready to move up stream. The local inland lakes in the area have been producing some nice panfish, keeping the anglers happy. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported fishing slow but steady on Lake Michigan. Anglers fishing 120 to 150 feet of water were catching Lake Trout on the bottom with Laker-Takers. A few Steelheads were reeled in; best one morning was a 15 pounder. Perch fishing has been on and off again. Pier fishing has been slow for Steelhead but anglers have been taking catfish and freshwater drum caught on night crawlers. Inland lake fishing in the surrounding area has been good for panfish and bass. Bluegills are in deeper waters, 20 to 30 feet. Smallmouth bass and a few walleye were being taken on the Kalamazoo and St. Joseph rivers. St. Joseph anglers were catching good numbers of perch in around 30 feet of water. Fish were being caught both south and north of the piers. Salmon anglers out of St. Joseph fishing in 80 feet of water were catching lake trout with spin and glows working best for them. Pier fishing was slow for all species. Sponsorship, cover photo opportunities are available in the 2019 Michigan fishing guide. More than one million Michigan fishing licenses are purchased each year, and each purchase connects buyers to either the electronic or hard-cover version of the annual Michigan Fishing Guide. The guide, in effect from April 1 of a given year through March 31 of the next year, features the rules and regulations for fishing in Michigan waters. The DNR offers sponsorship opportunities, in the form of advertisements, and in addition the DNR is still looking for the official cover photo of the 2019 Michigan Fishing Guide. The cover photo is always selected from publicly submitted options. If you have an image you think would be perfect – that focuses on places to fish, not on people or fish species themselves – please send it to DNR-Fisheries@michigan.gov. For more on the cover photo, contact Elyse Walter at 517-284-5839.
Hunting On Saturday, September 8, join the crowd in Downtown Gaylord for “100 Years of Elk Celebration”. In 1918, seven elk from the Western United States were released near Wolverine to re-establish Michigan’s elk population. Join the DNR in celebration of the successful conservation effort over the last 100 years. On September 8 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the celebration will be held at 162 S. Court Avenue. The fun begins at 5 p.m. at the downtown pavilion in Gaylord. Enjoy snacks from Gourmet Gone Wild while conservation leaders talk about the importance of wildlife management.
Early teal season opens statewide September 1-16. During this special early season, blue-winged and green-winged teal are the only ducks that can be harvested. Hunting hours are from sunrise to sunset, and the bag limit is six teal. Hunters are strongly encouraged to study their duck identification skills for early teal season so they don’t shoot if they aren’t sure of their target. With the opening of goose seasons, Canada geese, White-fronted geese (specklebellies) and Brant are now part of a dark goose aggregate daily bag limit. From September 1-30, the dark goose aggregate daily bag limit is for three geese, only one of which can be a Brant. After September 30, the daily limit for dark geese is five, only three of which can be Canada geese and one of which can be a Brant. This change was made to make it easier for hunters to harvest any of the goose species they encounter during the season. An aggregate bag limit is also in place for light geese, including snow, blue and Ross’s geese. Hunters may harvest 20 light geese per day during goose seasons. The North Zone season is September 1 to December 16; Middle Zone – September 1-30 and October 6 – December 21. South Zone is September 1-30, October 13 – December 9, December 29 – 30 and January 26 – February 11, 2019. The Allegan County Goose Management Unit (GMU) is September 1 – 16, November 3 – 13, November 22 – December 9 and December 15 – February 14, 2019. The Muskegon County GMU does not open until October 16 – November 13 and December 1 – 22. The statewide Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend will be September 15 – 16 for properly licensed youth 16 years of age and younger. Ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and moorhens may be harvested. Accompanying adults are not permitted to harvest these species during the hunt unless hunting during the September portion of the Canada Goose hunting season or the early teal season. The daily limits and species restrictions are the same as those allowed in the regular waterfowl hunting season. Youth 16 years of age also must possess a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp. Contact the DNR at 517-284-9453 with any questions.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, September 9, 2018. Class registration is held on Sunday, September 2, 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.
Watervliet Rod & Gun Club All first-time hunters born on or after January 1, 1960 are required to take and pass a hunter safety course. No one will be able to purchase a base license (other than an apprentice license) unless they can prove successful completion of a hunter safety course. The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will be offering a class this September and now is the time to get on the list. Even those taking the course by mail or on line still need to have a field day to complete the course and get certificated. For more information contact Ron Sefcik at 269-487-8567 or John Andrasi at 269-861-1824.
Stand on the beaches along Lake Michigan and look up. You will be a witness to the natural phenomenon of the monarch buttery migration. Summer’s last generation of monarch butterflies is larger and stronger than earlier hatching relatives. They have to be able to fly 2,000 miles to Central Mexico where they will enter diapause, a fancy word for insect hibernation. This generation of monarchs is sexually immature when they emerge from their chrysalises. They reach maturity in Mexico and then mate in late February or March. The males die afterwards. The females begin the spring migration north. Along the way, they stop to lay eggs, usually in southern portions of the United States. These females die (a lifespan of nine months compared to the usual five weeks); their offspring complete the northward migration. All are invited to join a naturalist at Sarett Nature Center for a program about vultures of the world on Saturday, September 1 at 3:00 p.m. Learn about different types of vultures and threats facing their populations around the world, and meet Val, Sarett’s resident education turkey vulture. Regular admission fees apply.