Fish are finally on the move
Written by South Bend Tribune   
Saturday, 27 August 2005 06:11

There's some good news developing for anxious river anglers.? Fish are starting to move, according to Rod Edgell at Bodine State Fish Hatchery.

"We haven't had any steelhead movement since late June, so this is great news to those who have been waiting,'' Edgell said.

Wednesday and Thursday, 198 Skamania steelhead were collected at Berrien Springs to be held at Bodine for spawning in January.

Wednesday the water temperature was 73 degrees, but rose to 74 Thursday.

The forecast is for warmer weather, but any rain would help cool the river temperature.

Edgell said chances are that most of the fish that have entered the river are still upstream of Indiana, so Michigan waters would offer the best chance for anglers.

The ladder at Berrien Springs also has passed a few coho and chinook salmon.

Panfish strongPanfishing in the area remains strong.

"Just about everywhere,'' Mike McNulty of Midway Marine said about the bluegill fishing success for anglers this past week. "Deep and shallow ... look for the edges of weed beds,'' he added. Red wigglers and crickets have been the bait of choice for gills generally in the 6-8 inch range.

Greg Smith from the Trading Post in Edwardsburg agreed that at area lakes "panfishing is still doing good ... crappie fishing is just starting to pick up.''

Anglers still have to go deep for success, typically in the 14-18 foot range.

Reports from Stone Lake in Cassopolis have been good with anglers even deeper -- 20-22 feet in 30 feet of water. But the gill size has been good with 8-10 inchers. Big Fish in Marcellus and Diamond Lake in Cass have produced well lately.

"Red wigglers has been the best bait to have this year,'' Smith said.

Ray Kindle at Ye Olde Tackle Box acknowledged that it's a little early for muskie fishing, but a 39-incher was taken from Webster late this week. "In three to four weeks, it's gonna be really good,'' he said.

Gills and redear in the region have done well lately at Chapman Lake outside Warsaw and the Barbee Chain, which produces a little bit of everything.

"Tight-lining over the side with an ultra-light ... a foot off the bottom,'' said Kindle for redear success and fun.

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