Chinook salmon hitting on 'Big Lake'
Written by Muskegon Chronicle   
Thursday, 11 August 2005 13:23
The trolling action on Lake Michigan the second week of August in usually quite productive.

This year is no exception as the chinook salmon are hitting and a few coho and lake trout are being taken.

As is often the case, the better fishing is being found during the early-morning hours. Some anglers are even heading back to the dock by sunrise. Getting out early gets you into some of the better fishing action, but also increases the odds of securing a parking place on the weekend.

Top lures for fishing during the pre-dawn hours have been the glow J-Plug and the popular Moonshine Spoon with the "Flounder-Pounder" being a hot color pattern. Once the sun comes up, spoons in a wide variety of color patterns such as lemon-ice, blue dolphin and bloody nose have been working well as have the flasher-fly combos.

During the early morning, the salmon are often found in 60-70 feet, but after sunrise, the better action has been taking place 70-100 feet down out in the 80-160 foot depths. At those depths, downriggers work best, but a few anglers are using magnum Dipsy-Divers that can reach the 100-foot depths when used with one of the no-stretch super lines.

The bluegill fishing continues to be good on Muskegon Lake, White Lake and on many of the deep water inland lakes. The better fish are being found 20-28 feet down and are taking leaf worms, pieces of a crawler and wax worms.

When targeting panfish on Muskegon Lake you never know what you might catch as evidenced by the 26-inch long sturgeon taken earlier in the week by Kevin Santos. This unusual catch was taken out of 19 feet of water near the Second Street access site and released.

Good to excellent numbers of channel catfish are being caught on Muskegon Lake. Most are in the 2- to 3-pound class, but a few weighing eight pounds or more have been taken. Try drifting with either a crawler or leech.

The walleye fishing has been very good on Muskegon Lake and continues to show signs of improvement on White Lake. Crawler harness rigs sweetened with either a crawler or leech have been effective, but some of the better catches are being made by those trolling body baits or working a jigging spoon. You might also want to try casting body baits (suspending) along the outside edge of the weed beds.

The late-night bite continues to be good, but fishing during the middle of the day and early evening also have been productive for walleyes in the 4-7 pound class.

The pike fishing Muskegon Lake and White Lake has been good and seems to be getting better. Although most of the fish are being caught by those targeting walleye, try drifting with a large minnow. You may also catch a few pike and some bass.

Good trout fishing continues to be found on the upper Muskegon River with 10-12 inch rainbows, along with an occasional brown trout, comprising the bulk of the catch.

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