09-22-2016 Hunting & Fishing

hunting and fishing head angie stair 9-10-09

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) report that the windy conditions on the Great Lakes last week were preventing boat anglers from getting out.  The waters of Lake Michigan turned over with the strong winds and fish were caught closer to shore in 40 to 80 feet of water.  Salmon runs are just getting started and will only get better as the temperatures drop.   The DNR recommends using Trout Trails to really enjoy Michigan’s fall fishing.  Michigan’s autumn months can be an ideal time to hit a lake, river or stream for some fantastic fishing.  For those who are eager to target Trout, the DNA’s Trout Trails online application can be a helpful tool when planning a trip.   Trout Trails features biologist-verified Trout waters that are often lesser known.  The application currently features nearly 200 locations hitting many corners of the state; including the southeast, southwest and northern parts of the Lower Peninsula and the western and central parts of the Upper Peninsula.   Each location on the Trout Trails application features detailed descriptions and photos – with more locations being added each year.  It is a great resource to bookmark to help you plan all your Trout fishing trips.   With the closing of Pyle’s Porthole we needed another source to let us know what is happening on Lake Michigan out of South Haven.  Captain Kenny Bard, owner of Rampage Fishing Charters based in South Haven, has agreed to give us updates on the fishing in the South Haven area.   Perch and pier fishing has been very slow, but a few Kings have been taken on the river.  Some were getting their limits on Lake Trout which were really biting well in 100 to 150 feet, toward the bottom.  A few Steelheads were taken in the same areas at about 40 to 80 feet down.  Inland anglers were doing okay with Bluegills; with Eagle and Maple Lakes seeming to be the best.   Ellinee Bait & Tackle reported some good fishing on Paw Paw Lake.  One angler had been taking Bluegill, Perch and Crappies.  He also got a Smallmouth Bass and had a Pike on the line, but they got away.  The angler said the secret to his success is to use very light tackle, as the fish are biting very lightly.  Steelhead and Coho are being taken out of the deep holes in the Paw Paw River in Watervliet.   Weather has hampered fishing out of St. Joseph and few boats were able to get out.  Perch fishing was very slow and so was pier fishing.  Those trolling the St. Joseph River have caught a few Salmon on spoons.  Kalamazoo River anglers out at night have caught Catfish on crawlers and cut bait near Comstock.  Salmon have moved closer to the river mouth as fish were caught out in 40 to 80 feet.  A fair number of Steelhead was caught off the mouth of Swan Creek when using crawlers under a bobber or drifting yarn on the bottom.   The Smallmouth Bass state record was broken by Robert Bruce Kraemer of Treasure Island, Florida.  Kraemer has a cottage in Indian River and has been fishing Michigan waters since 1965, but this is his first state-record catch.    Using night crawlers for bait, Kraemer landed a 9.98-pound, 23.10-inch Smallmouth Bass while out on the Indian River.  The record was verified by Tim Cwalinski, a Michigan DNR fisheries biologist in Gaylord.  For more information on fishing in Michigan, including other state-record catches, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.   The DNR will offer free tours to the public and school groups this fall at the Boardman River Weir, The Little Manistee River Weir, and the Platte River Weir.  Tours are available through the end of September and throughout October.  To schedule a tour at any of the locations, visit www.michigan.gov/huntfishcenter and click on any of the three locations.  Please note that all tour dates are subject to change based on fish movement.


The DNR announced that the Lake Superior Sportsman’s Club will offer its 7th Annual Trappers Workshop on Saturday, September 24 at the club’s facilities in Ontonagon County. “This workshop is designed to give participants a basic understanding of how to begin trapping or, for those seasoned trappers, to get updated on new techniques and to rub elbows with other trappers,” said Don Harris, workshop instructor and one of the club’s directors.   Pre-registration is suggested, or for more information on the event, call Don Harris at 906-885-5245.   Several small game specie seasons opened this past week.  The DNR offers a glimpse into some of the small game hunting opportunities Michigan has to offer.  A base license, which allows hunter to hunt small game, can be purchased online at E-License or anywhere licenses are sold.   Rabbit season for Cottontail rabbits and Varying (snowshoe) hare is open September 15 to March 31, 2017, statewide.  The daily bag limit is five in combination with a possession limit of 10.  Cottontail populations are good throughout their range over much of the state.  Snowshoe hare populations are down from historic levels.  Look for them in the northern two-thirds of the state.   Squirrel season is September 15 to March 1, 2017.  The daily limit is five per day with 10 in possession.  Both fox and gray squirrel populations are at moderate to high levels across much of the state.   Ruffed Grouse season is September 15 to November 14 and December 1 to January 1, 2017 statewide.  The bag limit is five per day and 10 in possession in the northern two-thirds of the state (Zones 1 and 2), and three per day and six in possession in Zone 3 (southern Michigan).  Grouse populations are cyclic, typically rising and falling over a 10-year period, and indications are that we are beginning the upward trend of the cycle.   Grouse and woodcock hunters are asked to assist the DNR in monitoring populations by reporting their results.  Cooperator forms can be found on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/hunting.  Woodcock season opens September 24 to November 7 statewide. The daily bag limit is three with a possession limit of six.  Michigan is the number-one woodcock harvest state in the nation.  All woodcock hunters must obtain a free woodcock stamp in addition to a valid base license; the endorsement stamp is available at all license agents or online at E-License.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on October 8.  Class registration is held on Sunday October 2 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 $100.00.  For more information or to be put on the list, call 269-621-3370.

Watervliet Rod