Fishing on the Big Lake is picking up

May 23, 2014

image-3For 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.; 1-888-770-6869.

Fishing on the Big Lake is picking up! We are seeing our first spring kings show up on the traditional time- the weekend after Mother’s Day. The water is still very cold for this time of the year. The problem we are having is that there is not a concentration of them in any one spot at this time.

Some fishermen are targeting strictly kings off the shelf in 80-90 feet of water and the landing percentage is much better since they are rigging with heavier line and lures with bigger hooks. We have been catching a few kings that are mixed in with the nearshore browns and lake trout in 10-20 feet of water.

When fishing shallow water for browns we use Rapala or other stick bait lures  and smaller Mini Streak Spoons.  A 12-20 pound king is likely to bend the hook out of a Rapala or Mini Streak. If we change the hooks and split rings out they do not seem to run as well. A king caught in the spring in the cold water will fight a whole lot more than the same king caught in August. In August they normally give up when they hit the warmer surface temp and do not have as much oxygen.

A spring king will mess your tackle up and they will fight to the end. When they get near the boat, the fight is not over. They can wrap your line in a diver or downrigger wire and escape in the blink of an eye. Try to prepare for this after you hook up with one and swing your downriggers off to the side and move rods out of the way to create a bigger cleared landing area in the back of your boat.

Trout fishing on the rivers is also starting to pick up. We have had very high water all spring and tough trout fishing. The theory is that the trout are full. They have had plenty of steelhead eggs, salmon fry and worms to eat. Now that the water is dropping we are having some better streamer fishing in the upper sections on the Pere Marquette during the morning.

During the second half of the day Sulpher mayflies are hatching in the afternoons and evenings now. The Sulphers are a size #16 and #18 yellow bodied mayfly and will get the small and medium sized trout rising.  Memorial weekend is normally the start of my favorite hatch on the rivers in our area- the Gray Drake mayfly. It appears the hatch should be right on schedule. When fishing the Gray Drake hatch plan on being on the river at about 7 p.m. until dark. On rainy cooler or overcast days the Gray Drakes can suddenly appear from the trees and hover above the river at any time. Nobody really knows where the Gray Drakes actually hatch from and we target the hatch when the adults come back to the river to lay their eggs on the surface of the water. A few fishermen have said they have seen Gray Drakes hatching from slack water near a backwater area of the river but I have never witnessed it. When this  “spinner-fall” happens you will be amazed at how many trout there actually are in the river- including the bigger fish over 16″ will be rising for the evening feast. The Gray Drake pattern of choice is a size #10 clipped hackle spinner with a gray body. Concentrate your efforts for the Gray Drake Spinner-fall below a riffle in the river.  The broken surface of a riffle seems to attract the mating and egg laying Gray Drake spinners. The thing to keep in mind about fishing hatches and dry fly fishing is that insects hatch at the most pleasant part of the day. If it is a really hot day outside things may not happen until dark. If it is cooler then they may happen around 3 p.m. at the most pleasant time of the day.


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