Warm weather making fish in Michiana crazy
Written by South Bend Tribune   
Friday, 14 April 2006 15:49

Good fishing can be found throughout Michiana this weekend as area lakes and rivers are warming and gamefish are getting aggressive. It doesn't seem to matter what species you fish for, there's a place in the immediate area to catch them.

On the St. Joseph River, steelhead, walleyes, crappies and bluegills are biting pretty well.
Dick Parker of Central Park Bait said steelhead fishing has been good throughout the river as fish are bedding on the gravel bars.

"Some fish have already spawned and are feeding throughout the river," said Parker. "And there's still a lot of fresh fish moving up river."

Best baits have been Hot'n Tots, spawn, flies and wax worms floated under bobbers.

As a side note, Parker advises anglers who fish Beutter Park to avoid the decorated "race" section as it has been posted "off limits" to boat anglers. Shore fishermen can fish from the bank.

Anglers working the river above the Twin Branch dam have been catching keeper walleyes near the Johnson Street Bridge in Elkhart. Mike McNulty of Midway Bait and Tackle in Osceola said walleyes measuring 20 inches and longer have been caught on jig-and-nightcrawler combinations dragged along the bottom in the current.

"A lot of bluegills also are being caught on wax worms and wigglers in the channels," McNulty added.

Crappies continue to produce hot action on the inland lakes.

"The panfish have gone crazy," said Greg Smith of the Trading Post in Edwardsburg. "Good crappie fishing is occurring in Diamond, Pleasant and Juno lakes and the bluegill are biting everywhere."

Smith said the crappies have been shallow while the bluegills are in 6-to-12 feet of water near vegetation. A few perch are being caught in deeper water, but they are suspended a few feet off the bottom.

Andy Peppercorn of the Tackle Box in North Webster, Ind. said good crappie action is found in channels of northern Indiana lakes, too. Fish measuring 11-to-13 inches are being caught consistently on minnows. Muskie fishing has picked up on Webster Lake, he added, and the bass fishing has been good around the channels and on the flats.

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