Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wishes everyone “Happy Holidays. This will be the last fishing report they will do until January 9, 2019. They reported that the anglers are ice fishing in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula and in the Upper Peninsula. Caution still needs to be used especially during the warm ups. The DNR reports that the ice conditions were still not safe in Southwest Michigan. Most lakes had open water for the most part. The only fishing activity has been steelhead anglers targeting the rivers. The DNR fishing tip this week is to relax while ice fishing by using tip-ups. Tip-ups are a perfect technique to use for the entire ice fishing season in Michigan. This method allows anglers to sit back and relax, yet still experience the thrill of the catch.
TROPHY HUNTER… John Yetzke shot this 9-point buck Saturday morning, December 22, 2018 with his muzzle loader. He now has 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, & 12-point racks mounted on the wall, including his 1993 Commemorative Bucks of Michigan record holder. Yetzke lives in Bainbridge Township and works part-time at Watervliet Hardware.
Early in the season stick by shallow structures where species like northern pike and walleye will congregate. Try a variety of depths to figure out where they are targeting exactly. However, if you are walleye fishing, the minnow should be hung 12 to 15 inches off the bottom. For pike the minnow should be hung three to seven feet off the bottom or just above the top of any vertical aquatic plants. The minnows should be hung in these positions for walleye and pike regardless of the over water depth. Tip-ups become even more productive later in the season as less-aggressive fish are drawn to your presentation. For more information on fishing during Michigan’s winter, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing. The 2018 Water Strategy Annual Report shares accomplishments, steps to achieving a shared vision. Highlights in a year of work by state agencies and partners to protect Michigan waters, strengthen community capacity and build a culture of Water Stewardship are featured in the 2018 Michigan Water Strategy Annual Report. The report links actions and accomplishments to a set of nine goals encompassing a body of work set to achieve healthy water resources, sustainable communities and collaborative governance. Michigan’s Water Strategy, developed by the Office of the Great Lakes in partnership with state agencies and informed by a statewide listening tour, sets a shared vision for the future of Michigan’s water resources. Read the 2018 Water Strategy Annual Report online.
Hunting The DNR reminds the hunters that there are still hunting opportunities available. Archery season is open through January 1 for the entire state. Extended archery season, which is for the Urban Deer Management Zone at Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, is open through January 31, 2019. Late antlerless season opened December 17 and ends January 1, 2019. It is open on private lands only. For a list of open/ closed counties and for details on available over-the-counter antlerless licenses, see the late antlerless season map at the DNR site. You must have a valid antlerless deer license issued for the deer management unit in which you are hunting. EXCEPTION: If hunting on private land in the Lower Peninsula Core CWD area and CWD management zone or in DMU 452 and DMU 487, any valid deer hunting license may be used to take an antlerless deer during this season. Alpena County late antlerless hunt is January 3-6 and January 10-13, 2019 south of M32 in Alpena County on private land only. There is less than a week left to get your Pure Michigan Hunt applications before the Dec. 31 deadline. The drawing is next month and a lucky winner will take home hunting equipment valued at over $4,000, as well as licenses for elk, bear, spring and fall turkey, antlerless deer and first pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area. Each $5 Pure Michigan Hunt application helps fund Michigan’s wildlife habitat restoration and management. Results will be revealed via Facebook Live video on Jan. 18, 2019 on the DNR Facebook page. Visit www.mi.gov/pmh to apply or for more information.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Class registration is held on Sunday, January 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 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 January 10 and 12, 2019. Registration is on January 8, 2019, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and 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.