Area anglers have plenty of choices
Written by Muskegon Chronicle   
Friday, 08 April 2005 06:30
Early April is when the local fishing action heats up and this year has been no exception as excellent catches of perch, steelhead and suckers are being made.

The yellow perch, most of which are in the 6-8 inch class, have been hitting on Mona Lake around the Henry Street Bridge. Those in boats are also locating good schools of fish near the public launch site. Try using spikes with spinners, minnows, or a small jig. The yellow perch have also been plentiful, but small, around Smith's Bridge and the Petty's Bayou Bridge on Spring Lake. Wolf Lake, Hardy Pond, White Lake and Muskegon Lake are also worth trying as the "yellows" are close to spawning.

There have been some good catches of Lake Michigan "white bellies" taken as well, but most of those fish are being found in the deeper water of White Lake (try the 70 foot depths near Long Point), at the west end of Muskegon Lake near the old sand docks (53 feet of water on minnows) and in Pentwater Lake where good catches were being made right up until last ice.

A few "white bellies" have also been taken from the Grand Haven channel walls this week but the action has been inconsistent.

Fair to good catches of bluegill are still being taken from White Lake, Muskegon Lake, Wolf Lake and Mona Lake as well as from many of the smaller inland lakes. A wax worm under a light float works quite well. Look for the better fish in 4-8 feet of water.

Area rivers are high, but sucker action is close to peaking. Good numbers of blacks, red horse and whites are being taken from the Grand River around Indian Channel, Crockery Creek, the Muskegon River and the White River around the fishing bridge located close to the river mouth.

Leaf worms, crawlers, and wigglers are being used, but those jumbo red worms have been the best bait for spring-run suckers.

The menominee action hasn't been hot yet, but a few fish are being caught from the White Lake Channel walls. Single boiled eggs, wax worms and small pieces of fresh cut spawn are being used.

Good to excellent catches of channel cats are being taken out of the Grand River around the old Holiday Inn. Try using cut bait taken from a sucker.

The brown trout and steelhead fishing from the breakwater arms and channel walls has been spotty, but look for the fishing to show sharp improvement as the near-shore waters of Lake Michigan begin to warm.

A few brown trout and steelhead have been taken from the channel walls by those using spawn presentations and frozen smelt but some of the better catches have been made by those casting spoons or body baits such as the Rat-L-Trap.

The trolling action out on the Big Lake is just getting started as a few brown trout along with an occasional steelhead are being taken. Look for the best fishing to be found between the first and second sand bars in 15 feet of water or less. When trolling in shallow water it's best to use planer boards or troll long lines in a serpentine pattern.

A few walleyes have been taken near the pier heads by those casting or trolling body baits. The action will get better once the post-spawn fish drop back to feed.

The early catch-release bass season has been productive for those targeting largemouth and smallmouth on Muskegon Lake and Hardy Pond.

Spec (crappie) anglers are starting to pick up some nice fish near the "willow tree" located at the east end of Mona Lake. You may also want to try under the Henry Street Bridge and the Petty's Bayou Bridge on Spring Lake. Minnows and light jigs are being used.

Weekend events: This Saturday there will be two steelhead tournaments: Dawn to Dusk will be sponsoring their first spring tournament and it will feature cash prizes for the top five teams or individuals. Please call (231) 767-9708 for additional information. That same day will be the annual river-surf contest sponsored by the Michigan Anglers Association (MAA). The entry fee is $5.00 and the top teams will receive custom patches rather than cash prizes. For more information call (231) 777-1555.

Also this Saturday is the conference on the status of the chinook salmon in Lake Michigan. This seminar, sponsored in part by the Michigan Sea Grant, will be held at the Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor. Please call (616) 846-8250 for more information.

 
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