09-12-2019 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that strong winds have hampered fishing conditions on both the Great Lakes and the inland lakes across the state. Fishing should improve once the weather stabilizes. With the cooler weather, salmon are moving into the rivers, especially to the north. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports the Black River is quite dirty and Lake Michigan has been churned up by the winds last week. As the water clears up the local bite will improve. Boat anglers going out on Lake Michigan are still catching lake trout, but have to go out to 100 – 150 feet to catch them. South Haven pier fishing is very slow but anglers using shrimp under a bobber got a few salmon. Perch fishing is slow as the wind last week scattered the fish. When anglers have gotten out on the water, they have caught a few. Ellinee Bait & Tackle at Paw Paw Lake in Coloma has reported that they have seen an increase in panfish action. The bluegills and a few crappies are biting on minnows and wax worms. Some anglers are finding success with crickets. Both steelhead and king salmon are in the Paw Paw River and anglers have been catching both at Watervliet. The Berrien Springs ladder camera shows quite a few steelheads coming through, all silver, and so must be fresh from the lake. Flathead catfish were biting on the St. Joseph River and anglers were catching them from 32 inches to 42 inches long. Those going out from St. Joseph found a few lake trout in 100 feet. Yellow perch were being found in 35 to 40 feet. Pier anglers caught a couple coho when casting spoons. The DNR fishing tip this week is how to avoid mistakes that may cost you a fish. The first basic thing to make sure your reel is filled with line. Don’t wait until it gets to half-empty and risk losing a great catch due to an inadequate amount of line. Check your knots and monitor their strength and durability after each fish. If the strength gets compromised, cut the line down a few feet and start again. And most important – set the hook – don’t forget to do this each time you even think you’ve got a bite. Why waste a great catch just because you forgot to set the hook? North Channel Sturgeon Festival coming to Clay Township September 20 – 22. This new event will celebrate lake sturgeon, an amazing, prehistoric fish that abounds in the North Channel of the St. Clair River. The festival will take place at the Clay Township Park, located at 4710 Point Tremble Road in Algonac. The festival begins Friday, September 20 from 6 p.m. to midnight; continues Saturday, September 21 from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, September 22 from 8 to 11 p.m. It will include food, drinks, live bands, raffles and a trout pond for children. There will be a sturgeon viewing tank on Saturday where festival goers can touch one of these living fossils and staff from the DNR’s Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station will be on hand to answer questions about these creatures.

Hunting As hunters gear up for an exhilarating bear hunt, they need to make sure their baiting devices follow the new regulations. New for this season, barrels are allowed on DNR-managed lands. Barrels are legal to use if all of the following apply: Barrel is at least 33 gallons in size; is steel; has a mechanically attached, securely affixed lid and no more than three open holes, each hole no greater than one inch in diameter; is securely anchored to a post or stake in the ground with a chain or cable no greater than eight feet in length. Also, the person possessing the barrel permanently affixes his or her complete Michigan driver’s license number or DNR sport card number to the outside of the barrel on a tag; there is a maximum of one barrel per bait station; barrel is placed no more than 100 yards from a state forest road or a roadway; bait inside the barrel is removed at the close of the bear season in that bear management unit; and barrels are removed no later than five days after the close of the bear season. Hunters still may use barrels on private land, but the maximum hole diameter is now one inch. Barrels are illegal on commercial forest lands and U.S. Forest Service lands. Complete information about baiting quantities, devices, season dates and location-specific regulations can be found in the current Black Bear Digest. Fall turkey hunting is open September 15 – November 14. Any limited-quota licenses that remain may be purchased by any hunter with a current base license or mentored youth license, including those who did not apply for a fall turkey license. Hunters may purchase one license a day until quotas are met. Find drawing results and leftover license availability at Michigan.gov/ Turkey. Deer hunting begins in September with the Liberty Hunt (youth and hunters with disabilities) September 14 – 15. The early antlerless firearm season is open September 21 – 22 in select deer management units. Important deer hunting changes to remember are that deer baiting and feeding is banned in the entire Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula Core Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Area. There are also new regulations in the Upper Peninsula Core CWD Surveillance Area. In addition there are also new antler point restrictions. Visit Michigan.gov/Deer for more deer hunting details.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, September 14, 2019. 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 classes, email inquiry@colomarodandgunclub.com.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on September 12 and 14, 2019. The cost of the class is $100. They will have a lawyer explaining the law pertaining to concealed carry during class. Please call (269) 468-3837 or (269) 470-9191 for more information.

2019 Harvest Full of Blessing Ride

The annual Harvest Full of Blessings Ride is an event that provides an opportunity for all motorcyclists to celebrate a safe riding season. It also offers an opportunity for camaraderie and friendship to promote a positive image of motorcycling to the community. This year’s free event is Saturday, September 21, starting at Gilson Cycle, 1492 Pipestone Road in Benton Harbor. Registration opens at 10:03 a.m., blessing at 11:45 a.m., kick stands up at noon with Berrien County Sheriff escort. There is a free meal on return from the ride at Crystal Springs Church of God, 1465 Pipestone Rd. in Benton Harbor.