For the love of fishing

April 3, 2014

sean_2For the Love of Fishing. A blog by Sean McDonald is brought to you by Frontier Communications. High speed Internet starting at $19.99 a month. www.frontier.com; 1-888-770-6869. 

Today, we introduce a new blog, For the Love of Fishing by Sean McDonald. Sean has lived in Lake and Mason counties for 20 years. After attending Ferris State University he found the area of the state that is a paradise for a hunting and fishing enthusiast.  He has been a fly fishing and river guide since 1994. For the past three years he has been owner/captain of the charter fishing boat Katch Me, based in Ludington.

For the Love of Fishing will run the first and third Thursday of the month.

Sean spends about 110 days on the Pere Marquette, Manistee and Muskegon rivers in pursuit of trout, steelhead and salmon. Ice fishing is another addiction. Around 35 days a winter he focuses on perch, bluegill and walleye in Mason, Oceana and Manistee counties. Sean is an avid waterfowl and upland bird hunter and has two wirehaired pointing griffons as hunting partners, Stout and Sage. 

Most anglers in the area are concentrating on the rivers for steelhead on the warmer days. Winter is still showing its strength with a recent dusting of “Fair Weather Fishermen Repellent” for April Fool’s Day. We had a tremendous run of fall steelhead including bigger fish than we have seen in about 10 years and better numbers. The theory has always been there are only so many fish in Lake Michigan- some of them show up in the fall and spend the winter in the rivers and the rest come up the river in the spring. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we have a good run of fish this spring on that theory.

sean_1The fall run steelhead are continuing to spawn on warmer afternoons and warm mornings especially in the upper sections above Walhalla on the Pere Marquette. Many of the fall steelhead have already spawned and left in the P.M. as we wait for our “springers” to arrive in better numbers. The Manistee River is currently around 36 degrees and has not reached the magic 39-42 degree temperature for them to spawn and return to Lake Michigan. Fishing the holes and runs on both rivers has been productive as new steelhead are entering the rivers every day.

Normally we have the melt off that is starting now about 10 days ago. The Pere Marquette is getting higher in level and muddier by the hour and the spring run of steelies should be on the way.  The Manistee still has good clarity and there is even more snow in the woods and the runoff is off to a slower start. The ground is still frozen and we expect good fishing well into May. The top producing lures for the week have been spawn, beads, egg flies and salmon fry patterns. I saw my first black stonefly of the year on Monday and they should start fishing well shortly.

Ice fisherman who are not willing to put their equipment away can now enjoy some of the best perch fishing of the year and have the local lakes like Pere Marquette, Pentwater, Manistee and Portage lakes to themselves.

Perch will continue to filter into our drowned river mouths from Lake Michigan to spawn. Use extreme caution when venturing onto the connecting lakes to Lake Michigan that have river currents through them. I have seen the ice go away in two days on Pere Marquette Lake.

Bluegill and crappie fisherman still have plenty of ice on Hamlin Lake among many other small lakes in our area. There has been more ice on the Lakes in Michigan than in around 20 years, including Lake Michigan itself. Concentrate your efforts at the north ends of the  lakes at last Ice- them warm up quicker and should have more active fish. Weeds will begin to grow again near the north ends of the lakes due to more sunlight, even under the ice.

Reminder: 2013 licenses expired on April 1.

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