Fishing The Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that lake trout and splake season closed September 30 in Management Units MM 1 through 5 on Lake Michigan and MH 1-2 on Lake Huron. The DNR notes that the cool wet weather has helped bring salmon and trout close to shore and up into the rivers, but the bite has been a bit slow. The DNR fishing tip this week is where and how to fish for crappie in the fall. Anglers wanting to target these panfish when heading out in the coming days, remember that these fish often stay in deeper water longer than other panfish. They also tend to move around more as they target large schools of baitfish. Use baits that imitate a crappie’s food of choice to be more likely to find them. Keep in mind that crappies will get less and less active as the water cools off and they slow down. Slow presentation and offer smaller baits to keep seeing success.
BIG FISH… Tyler Jackson, of Watervliet, is pictured here with the flathead catfish he reeled in October 8 out of Little Paw Paw Lake, Coloma. This monster fish measured 46 inches and weighed 44 pounds 14 ounces. Jackson used a Berkeley Beaver Tail Creature Bait on the catch.
Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports some nice salmon are being caught in the Paw Paw River. Anglers venturing out on local inland lakes are happy with the panfish catches they are getting, but not many sportsmen are going out because of hunting season. They sold out of antlerless licenses quickly as the season opened October 1. Anglers going out on Lake Michigan from South Haven are still catching lake trout along the bottom in 80 to 100 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow, but anglers were catching perch with a decent number being caught in 35 feet of water. Boat anglers out of St. Joseph are still catching lake trout even though the action has slowed. Most were caught in 100 feet or so. St. Joseph pier fishing was slow for all species and perch fish slowed with only a few caught in 40 feet of water. A few coho, the occasional Chinook and a couple fresh steelheads was moving through the St. Joseph River ladder at Berrien Springs. Grand Haven boat anglers are catching lake trout along the bottom in 100 to 150 feet with a yellow spin-glo and flasher. Pier anglers reported slow salmon action. Grand River at Grand Rapids is producing Chinook, coho and even a couple steelheads. Most are fishing up near the Sixth Street Dam with spawn begs, skei, thunder sticks and small spoons. The DNR is conducting its 40th annual Lake Erie Walleye assessment in the west basin of Lake Erie near Monroe, Michigan from October 8 and continuing through October 12. “The data from this survey are essential for the DNR and its partner agencies to estimate walleye abundance throughout the west and central basins of Lake Erie,” according to Todd Wills, DNR Fisheries’ Lake Huron-Lake Erie area research manager. “These estimates help determine the daily possession limits for anglers who fish for walleye in Michigan waters.” Learn more about DNR efforts to study the state’s fish populations and health at www.michigan.gov/fishresearch. Do you carry a first-aid kit with you while you’re out fishing? You never know what can happen in the midst of an outing so it never hurts to be prepared. If you’re interested in putting together a kit be sure to include the following: rubber gloves, scissors, tweezers, thermometer, hemostat, compresses, adhesive bandages, medical tape, compression bandage, antibiotic ointmenReturning home after a day at work last week, I pulled into my driveway to find a blue-spotted salamander next to my parking spot. This was a nice find as salamanders are not a normal sight. This five-inch amphibian could have been looking for food, or possibly wandering from the nearby woods to a new habitat. Of the many species of salamanders found in southwest Michigan, the numerous pale blue or turquoise spots and flecks on their sides, legs and tail can easily identify blue-spotted salamanders. They are a common species in suitable habitat such as deciduous hardwood forests. Blue-spotted salamanders start their life as an egg laid in ponds by females in March or April. When they hatch, the larvae have gills and are completely aquatic. The few that survive to adulthood develop lungs and spend the rest of their life in moist areas, eating small invertebrate. On Saturday, October 13, join us for the annual Country Fair & rummage sale taking place at the Sarett Barn and Farmhouse. From 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. there will be a huge rummage sale in the barn, crafts, games, face painting, wagon rides and food available! The cost is free and any clean, salable rummage donations can be dropped off the week before the sale during regular business hours. All proceeds from the sale go to benefit the environmental education programs offered at the Nature Center. t, hydrocortisone cream, antibiotic wipes, eye-wash fluid, and aspirin/ibuprofen. Don’t forget to regularly check first-aid kit’s inventory and replenish as needed.
Hunting The DNR along with Pine Hill Sportsman’s Club and the Grand Valley chapter of Pheasants Forever will host a lady’s pheasant hunt on Sunday, October 21, at 3329 Johnson Road in Belding. Registration and coffee begins at 9:00 a.m. Participants will warm up with shooting clay pigeons on the skeet range then hunt with a guide for three pheasants, learn to clean their birds and enjoy a gourmet lunch. Beginners are welcome. Registration is limited to 12 ladies, 10 years of age or older. The cost for the day is $45.00 per person. Guns are available for beginners, if needed. All participants will go home with memories and a special gift. Pre-registration is required. Please call Scott Brosler at 616-874-8459 to sign up. Pheasant season opening dates vary by Hunt Zone. The season runs October 10-31 for Zone 1, October 20-November 14 for Zones 2 and 3, and December 1-January 1 for Zone 3 only. A valid base license is required to hunt small game. For many years, the DNR has provided a forecast of the upcoming deer seasons. In 2018 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects report, the DNR anticipates a successful year for many deer hunters, with indicators showing deer numbers to be up over last year. For more information about the 2018 deer hunting forecast, contact DNR deer biologist Ashley Auterieth at 989-732-3541. Field-dressing and processing your deer, the DNR recommends that when field-dressing your deer, you: cover all open wounds; wear rubber gloves; minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues; bone out the meat from your deer, avoid cutting through the brain or spinal column during processing; wash hands with soap and warm water after handling any parts of the carcass; wash knives, saws and cutting table surfaces immediately after processing. Also dispose of leftover carcass parts through your garbage service, an appropriate landfill, incineration or deep burial at the harvest location; bury gut piles after field-dressing a deer or dispose of them at an appropriate landfill location; avoid consuming or cooking the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen and lymph nodes of harvested animals; and request that your animal be processed individually, without meat from other animals being added.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, October 13, 2018. 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 The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on October 11 and 13, 2018. 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.