Action heating up on Lake Michigan
Written by Muskegon Chronicle   
Friday, 06 May 2005 13:34
Early May is when when the salmon action picks up on Lake Michigan and this year it's no exception.

"Big Lake" anglers are reporting catches of king salmon, many in the 15-16 pound class, taken off Grand Haven, Mona Lake and a few near Muskegon Lake.

Coho, lake trout and a few steelhead were reported as well.

Most of the Lake Michigan salmon have been taken out of the top 40 feet of water on spoons used with downriggers, sliders, lead-core (very hot) and Dipsys, but body baits and flasher-fly combos have also proved to be effective.

The walleye opener last weekend was disappointing for those targeting the smaller lakes and rivers, but the action continued to be strong in Lake Michigan and the channel walls.

Muskegon seems to be attracting the majority of those trolling for walleye after dark, but good catches also are being made off White Lake, where casting from the channel walls seems to work well. The ports of Grand Haven and Holland have walleyes feeding at night, but the angling pressure has been light.

The walleye action on the Grand River was slow and few were taken from the lower Muskegon and Grand rivers.

The steelhead run is over on most of the major rivers, but you can find a fair number of spawning fish on many of the smaller tributaries, such as Crockery Creek, the North Branch of the White, upper Stony Creek, Cedar Creek and the upper North Branch of the Pentwater.

The spring crappie fishing continues to be very good on Pentwater Lake around the bridge, Spring Lake under bridges at Smith's and Petty's Bayou, Mona Lake around the 'willow tree' and the Henry Street bridge and Hart Lake. Minnows under a float, a minnow with a tiny BB shot, or a marabou jig have been effective presentations.

Yellow perch are being taken out of the 6-12 foot depths of Muskegon Lake around Snug Harbor. Minnows and wigglers are being used.

Some nice catches of 'white belly' perch are being taken just south of Grand Haven. Those willing to move around until a good school of fish is located are coming home with a 35-limit catch, but there are others, less willing to move, who didn't catch anything. Spikes, mousies and wigglers are being used.

The catfish action on the lower Grand River has been excellent. Try the deeper pools anywhere from Indian Channel downstream to the U.S. 31 Bridge. Cut bait from sucker meat has been working very well, but crawlers and leeches also are effective.

The bluegill fishing has slowed with the cooler weather, but look for the good fishing to resume with the warmer weather being predicted for this coming weekend.

The opening week of trout season produced a fair number of brookies and browns, but with the water being so low and clear the fish tended to be a little "spooky." Look for better fishing when we get a little rain.

The pier and channel wall fishing (other than casting for walleye after dark) has been very slow this week, but the early-season bass fishing has been good on Muskegon Lake and Hardy Pond.

and on many other area lakes and bayous where anglers have had to play catch-and-release with fish that were "inadvertently" caught.

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