No tricks here: Anglers can expect treat for Halloween
Written by Muskegon Chronicle   
Thursday, 27 October 2005 10:59
It appears that area anglers will be in for a treat over the Halloween weekend as the panfish action has been exceptional, the walleye and pike fishing has shown sharp improvement and steelhead are being taken from the surf and channel walls.

On the days when the perch anglers can safely get out on Lake Michigan, limit catches (35) continue to be the rule rather than the exception. The best fishing is being found just south of the Grand Haven Channel in 60-65 feet of water. A few good schools of fish have also been located in water as shallow as 45 feet so it pays to move around ... especially if you happen to be anchored over a school of gobies.

The perch anglers have been taking "white-bellies," most in the 8-11 inch class, on a variety of baits. Minnows, eyes, wigglers, cut bait and spikes have all been working well.

Muskegon Lake and White Lake also have been productive for the native "yellow-belly" perch. Try fishing close to the weed beds in 8-12 feet of water with pieces of a crawler, minnow, cut bait or a couple spikes.

The bluegill action continues to be very good on White Lake, Muskegon Lake and the bayous of the lower Grand River as limit catches (25) of fish in the 7-8 inch class have been common. Try fishing just off bottom in 14-22 feet of water with jumbo red worms, pieces of a crawler, wax worms or a couple spikes.

It's wise to pay close attention to your electronics as quite often the better panfish are being found suspended up to four feet off bottom. If you are targeting crappie, try using a minnow on a No. 8 hook either suspended 6 feet under a light float or cast out using a small split-shot.

There are large numbers of salmon along with some rainbow trout being found on the upper Muskegon River between Thornapple and Pine Street. Most of the chinook salmon are either dead or in the process of dying but there are a few fresh fish being caught as well. The crowds have been thick, especially on the weekend, but those fishing out of a small boat should be able to locate some nice schools in areas where there is less fishing pressure.

The White River between Pines Point and Hesperia is also holding large numbers of salmon along with a few steelhead that have been feeding just below the spawning chinook.

The pier and surf action is starting to heat up as the steelhead have started to come in. The fishing has been best when there is a 1-3 foot chop and very slow when the lake is flat. Try using floater spawn bags close to the elbow on the south arm of the Muskegon breakwater, on the outside of either channel wall at White Lake or Grand Haven, or off the beach between the sand bars.

The walleye and pike action is picking up on Muskegon Lake. A few nice fish have been taken near the channel on Hopkins Spoons, but most of the walleye are being taken just before and after dark by those casting or trolling body baits such as the Countdown Rapala (black-gold), Husky Jerk or Shad Rap.

A few salmon in the 3-to-12 pound class are still being taken by those trolling Lake Michigan. But with the price of gas, many Big Lake trollers are reluctant to go out that far ... especially with good numbers of perch along with some steelhead being found much closer to shore.

Spring Lake has been very good for both bass and sheepshead this week. Jigging spoons have been working well.

Muskegon Lake anglers should note that all the docks, except for the one having handicap access, have been pulled at Fisherman's Landing and at Hartshorn. At this time the docks are still in place at Grand Trunk and Cottage Grove.

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