10-05-2017 Outdoors

Fishing

Recent hot weather has not been making fishing easy for anglers, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said. A statewide cool-down would definitely help. On inland lakes in the southwest Lower Peninsula, panfish were post spawn and could be found in deeper water.

Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported slow fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan. Lake trout could be found in 120 feet of water, on the bottom and were biting on spin-n-glows. They caught one small king while out.

Perch fishing had been really good until the big blow came in and scattered them again. Limits of nice size perch had been caught in 27 feet of water, south of the piers, in front of the first sand dune. Pier fishing has been quiet. Some salmon were being caught up the Black River. The Kalamazoo River and Allegan Dam had coho, kings, brown trout and a few walleye.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported panfish have been good on the local inland lakes. Because of the heat, you have to fish deep to catch them. A few salmon have been caught in the river, but most are not biting. Some rain and cooler weather would help the bite. Rivers are running low in the area.

Boat anglers going out of St. Joseph to Lake Michigan continued to catch lake trout in 110 to 140 feet of water. A few perch were caught in 40 feet both to the south and north of the piers. Coho were running with fish caught at the Berrien Springs and Pucker Street dams on the St. Joseph River.

Hunting

Here is a list of current and upcoming deer seasons: Early Archery, October 1 – November 14; Late Archery, December 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018; Regular Firearm, November 15 – November 30; Muzzle loading Zone 1, December 1 – December 10, Zone 2, December 1 – December 10 and Zone 3, December 1 – December 17; Late Antlerless Firearm, December 18, 2017 – January 1, 2018.

Find a place to hunt by using MI-HUNT. This is an interactive map application that includes both public hunting land and private land open to the public for hunting.

HAP – Hunting Access Program is also available to help you find private lands open to public hunting. It is a voluntary land-leasing program and there are thousands of private-land acres across the state that is open to public hunting. More on MI-HUNT and HAP can be found on the DNR web page. Questions can be directed to 517-284-9453.

The DNR announced that a 3-1/2 year old female deer taken during the Youth Hunt is likely to be the 10th free-ranging deer in the state found to have chronic wasting disease (CWD). The DNR is awaiting final confirmation from the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The deer was taken in Montcalm Township in Montcalm County.

Starting November 1 several new check stations near the new Core Area will accept deer for CWD testing. A complete list of check stations, including locations and hours, as well as weekly CWD updates are available at www.michigan.gov/cwd.

Here is a list of current and upcoming goose and duck seasons: Goose season in the North Zone started September and continues to December 18; Middle Zone, September 1-30 and October 7-December 22; South Zone September 1-30, October 14-December 10, December 30-31, and January 27-February 12, 2018; Allegan County GMU (Goose Management Unit) September 1-10 and November 11-February 15, 2018; Muskegon County GMU October 17-November 14 and December 2-30; Duck Season Dates in the North Zone September 30-November 26 and December 2-3; Middle Zone October 7-December 3 and December 16-17; South Zone October 14-December 10 and December 30-31.