'Big Lake' fishing is still strong
Written by Muskegon Chronicle   
Friday, 02 June 2006 12:40

The weather forecast appears promising, so area anglers should expect another busy fishing weekend. Good numbers of trout and salmon already are being reported on the Big Lake, while the panfish action remains strong and the trout fishing -- browns, in particular -- has been excellent on the upper Muskegon River.

The alewives that were being found close to the breakwater arms a couple weeks ago have retreated to the deeper waters of Lake Michigan and so have the trout and salmon.

Although the trolling action out on the Big Lake has been very good, you better have a full tank of gas as most of the fish are being taken anywhere from 80-120 feet down out in the 180-320 foot depths.

Chinook salmon comprise the bulk of the catch but fair-to-good numbers of 6-8 pound lake trout, along with an occasional steelhead, also are being taken.

Most of the fish being taken out are coming on spoons with double-orange crush, natural born killer (NBK) and blue-green dolphin being some of the popular color patterns.

The Grand Haven Off-Shore Challenge is this weekend with the children and powder-puff contest, along with the Grand Haven Steelheaders big fish contest, on Friday. The featured pro-am tournament is Saturday and Sunday and additional information can be found at www.grandhavenoffshorechallenge.com.

Anglers heading out on the Big Lake are warned that the biting flies have been brutal, so be prepared.

The Lake Michigan perch action (50-60 feet of water) had been very good off White Lake through last weekend, however, the fishing was slower Monday due to the strong lake currents. Don't overlook going out of Muskegon for perch as some nice catches were being made in 50-65 feet of water just slightly north of the breakwater arms.

Excellent catches of yellow perch are being taken out of the 6-8 foot depths of Muskegon Lake. Jumbo panfish worms fished just off bottom have been effective. Try fishing between Second Street and Johnson's Point.

Other places worth a try are the break between Green Creek and Snug Harbor on Muskegon Lake and the area near the White Lake Channel.

White Lake, Hardy Pond and many of the smaller inland waters such as Wolf Lake, Blue Lake, Duck Lake and those in the greater Twin Lake area are all good choices for a mixed bag of gills and crappie.

The trout action on the upper Muskegon River between Pine Street and Thornapple has been excellent and nothing has changed this week as many limit catches of brown trout in the 11-14 inch class, along with a few nice rainbows, are being taken on minnows and to a lesser extent, flies and spinners.

The Pere Marquette, upper Pentwater and the White River all have been good for brown trout.

The opening weekend of bass fishing was excellent on most area waters. The first contest of the season, sponsored by Long Range Archery, was won by Clint Giddings, who weighed in a limit catch, plus a 4.5 pound largemouth to take big fish honors. Josh Bruek placed second and Ed Harp was third.

The daytime walleye bite has been inconsistent on Muskegon Lake, although a few fish have been taken along the break behind the paper mill.

Hardy Pond has been good for walleye but you'll have to do a lot of sorting as only a small percentage have been "keepers." Fremont Lake, Silver Lake, White Lake and the lower stretches of both the lower Grand River and Muskegon River are worth trying.

Don't overlook targeting catfish as good numbers of channels are being taken out of Muskegon Lake, Mona Lake and the lower Grand River.

An occasional flathead, some of which have been in the 22-28 pound class, are being taken by those trolling body baits.

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