Fishing heats up for long weekend
Written by Muskegon Chronicle   
Thursday, 26 May 2005 11:00
The trolling action along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan has been excellent and the fishing should continue to be strong over the holiday weekend.

Most of the fish being caught are chinook salmon in the 6-12 pound class, but there also have been a few 1-2 pound "shakers" and an occasional 15-20 pound "screamer" hooked as well.

The majority of the salmon, along with an occasional steelhead or lake trout, are being taken 35-80 feet down out in the 70-160 foot depths. Spoons have been effective, but good catches are also coming on flasher-fly combos and herring rigs.

Some of the more popular trolling spoons have been lemon-ice, blue and green dolphin, bloody nose, Natural Born Killer (NBK) and the Super-Glow Moonshine lures in the Mandarin Minnow or Blue Flounder pattern.

Those planning on getting in some salmon fishing over the Memorial Day weekend would be wise to arrive at the launch ramp early as the boat traffic is expected to be heavy. Getting out at daybreak, or a little before, often produces some of the better catches. Action also tends to pick up just before dark.

Saturday marks the opening day of bass season and area anglers should find some hot smallmouth and largemouth action as the fish are either on the beds or in the pre-spawn phase. Muskegon Lake and Hardy Pond have been very good during the early catch-and-release season and the bayous of the lower Grand River and White Lake should prove to be productive as well.

The walleye fishing near the Muskegon breakwater arms and around the White Lake Channel continues to be productive, although the fishing pressure is nowhere near as heavy as it was a few weeks ago. Muskegon Lake and White Lake have produced some fair walleye action during daylight hours with most of the fish coming on blade-crawler combos. The fishing has been slow on both Fremont Lake and the Grand River below the gravel pits, but Hardy Pond and Silver Lake are worth trying after dark.

There have been good numbers of channel cats in the 6-12 pound class being taken from the lower Grand River. Cut bait fished tight to the bottom has worked well. Terry Ankelen hooked a 29-pound, 10-ounce trophy this week on Spring Lake.

There have been some nice catches of yellow perch taken from the 6-12 foots depths of Muskegon Lake. You'll have to sort through some of the smaller fish, but there are enough in the 8-10 inch class being caught to make it worth your while. Spikes have been working well but minnows have been the best bait.

The Lake Michigan "white bellies" have been difficult to find but there are a few nice fish, including a 15-inch wall-hanger taken by John Peters near White Lake. Spikes and spinners have been working but you'll have to sort through a plethora of gobies too.

The bluegill fishing is picking up on most inland waters (Wolf Lake has been very good), as well as in the Grand River bayous. Muskegon Lake and White Lake have also been good as the panfish are starting to move into the shallow water prior to making beds.

The team of Jim Smith, Bill Kennedy and Bill Mastenbrook took first place in the Tuesday night sheepshead contest on Spring Lake with a fish that qualified for a Master Angler award. Wayne Boes and Bruce Bazany finished second, while Ankelen and Mike Mastenbrook won the big fish contest with a trophy flathead catfish.

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