09-19-2019 Outdoors

FISHING The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that the wind made things tough again this week for fishing across Michigan – but Salmon are really starting to move! If the weather cooperates, anglers should be able to find Lake Trout, Steelhead, Coho and Chinook. The DNR also reminds all anglers 17 years of age and older they are required to have a fishing license. Ellinee Bait & Tackle shop located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported catching panfish last week was good. A lot of wax worms and red worms went out to lure them with. The Paw Paw River was busy with anglers catching Steelhead, but the warmer weather moving in may slow them down this week. One angler that was fishing for Bass complained that the weed killing they have been doing on Paw Paw Lake doesn’t seem to be helping. The algae and slime from the kill-off hamper the Bass fishing, in his opinion. The Chinook and Coho runs have begun! A lot of Coho and Steelhead moved through the Berrien Springs fish ladder this past week with a few Chinook starting to trickle in. Pier anglers caught a few Salmon and Steelhead with the most productive technique being the casting of spoons and spinners.

The Salmon runs have begun on the Kalamazoo River with catches being made at the Allegan Dam. South Haven boat anglers continue to catch Lake Trout in depths between 80 and 100 feet of water. Perch fishing by South Haven was spotty, but a few fish were caught in 32 feet of water both north and south of the piers. The DNR fishing tip this week is to have some fun with fall fishing. Many anglers will tell you that fall is a wonderful time to go fishing as fish prepare for the colder months by ramping up feeding efforts. Most will target Salmon, Walleye, Perch, Panfish and Bass with much success when doing so. For Salmon, check the Salmon page on the DNR’s website for tips on spots to locate them. Walleye, large schools of this species will move from the Great Lakes inland. By the end of September these fish will really be biting. Visit the DNR Walleye page to learn more about techniques for targeting them. Yellow Perch in both Lake Michigan and Lake Erie provide great opportunities for Perch fishing during the fall as the large schools’ head to shallow water. Check out the Perch Page to find some great spots to fish for them. New catch-&-immediate-release Lake Sturgeon seasons on three Michigan water bodies was approved at Thursday’s (Sept.12), meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Marquette. September 13 was the opening of the hook-and-line, catch-&-immediate-release season. This season will close after March 15, 2020. From that point forward the season will run from July 16 through March 15 of the following year.

The water bodies that are open to this new season are; St. Mary’s River (Chippewa County). From the Soo Locks/Compensating Works downstream to the De Tour Village and Drummond Island ferry terminals to the south, and from Hay Point to Cherry Island then north to the international boundary for the northeast. Also Portage and Torch lakes (Houghton County). This includes Portage River, Portage Canal and north and south entry. All Lake Sturgeon caught in these waters must be released immediately. The 2019 Michigan digital Fishing Guide will be updated online to reflect this change and can be found at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests. The DNR’s fishing regulations hotline (888-367-7060) also will be updated.

HUNTING The 72nd annual Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival will be held Saturday September 21 and Sunday September 22, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Brownstown Township. The festival is one of the longest-running events of its kind in Michigan. This important tradition allows waterfowl hunters to come together to practice the art of waterfowl hunting and network with other waterfowl enthusiasts. They will have an outdoor trading post with more than 100 exhibitor booths, arts and crafts, Huron River dog jump contest, kids’ games, Goose calling contest, duck calling contest, Bull’s-eye Championship Shoot, and much, much more.

The Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend will be September 21 – 22 statewide for properly licensed youth 16 years old 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. The daily limits and species restrictions are the same as those allowed in the regular waterfowl hunting season. Youth 16-years-old also must have a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp. Hunters will take to the woods this weekend, September 21 – 22, for the early antlerless firearm season – open on private lands in select Lower Peninsula deer management units. Page 40 of the 2019 Hunting Digest shows open DMUs. Archery deer hunting is open statewide October 1 – November 14 and from December 1 – January 1, 2020.

Deer Hunting forecast -Southern Lower Peninsula The numbers: Winters generally have little impact on deer in the southern Lower Peninsula, and this past winter was no exception. Deer numbers appear to be similar or higher than last year, and there seems to be excellent fawn production. The deer are in great shape. Food: Rainfall totals were high for nearly all of southern Michigan, causing many crops to be planted late or not at all. Harvest will undoubtedly be late this year and the amount of fallow and unplanted fields may have a direct impact on deer movement his fall. Thus far, it appears to be an average to above average year for production of both acorns and wild apples. Scouting to find these areas will be important. Bucks: Deer, including bucks, are abundant in many areas. Observations coming in show buck numbers and condition are similar to last year. Bachelor herds are being seen with some nice 2.5 and 3.5-year-old deer in them.

COLOMA ROD & GUN CLUB The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Class registration is held on Sunday October 6, 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