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Michigan’s Early Spring Fishing May be Tougher Than Usual This Year

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 19, 2011

The early cold snap that covered much of Michigan with snow has helped to bring about one of the colder winters I can remember. My dreams of Detroit becoming a fresh water Cancun by the time I’m ready to retire are slowly dwindling. Global warming, get your act together will ya!

The additional ice and frozen ground moisture is likely to create a lot of run off this spring. I’m not writing a forecast but the basic idea is more snow and ice equals more water that will need to find its way out to bigger waters. The other concern is timing. The ice out and snow melt will likely last longer than normal. I think this spring will be marked by a later start to many of the spring fishing opportunities and many rivers will be muddier than in years past.

The next part of the chain reaction will be to the lake temperatures. Colder water inflow will result in delayed spring runs of many common sport species. On the flip side, fishing spots like the Detroit and St. Clair rivers may be great spots to go in late spring and early summer. A few weeks of delay can mean you get to fish in 60 degree weather instead of 50 degree weather. It’s a small plus. I’d also expect walleye to remain in the west side of Lake Erie a bit longer which is nice for those of you making long runs to go after them.

It’s far from a perfect science, just my opinion on something to watch out for. If your planning trips to rivers like the Maumee you may want to delay just a bit or take some extra time to check out the conditions.

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan, Outdoor Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What does the Michigan DNR and DEQ split mean?

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 5, 2011

Michigan’s new Governor, Rick Snyder, has split the DEQ and DNR back into two separate divisions. Simply put, the DNR focuses primarily on resource issues, land, water, wildlife, and recreation regarding them. The DEQ is geared towards the environment as it relates to pollution and chiefly is there to protect the environment.

The DEQ is an important part of the business climate in Michigan. The DEQ is a regulatory division of government so the decisions it makes as far as laws and regulations and their enforcement can have significant effects on the community and business. I see the separation as an important step because they serve very different purposes. I am hopeful that the separation allows the DEQ to focus on keeping our air, soil, and waterways clean and pristine while allowing for businesses to develop or expand. It’s a difficult balance and is a small and important piece to the Michigan economy puzzle.

For the outdoor enthusiasts this simply narrows the focus of the DNR back to where it was. I don’t think we’ll see any immediate impacts from the DNR’s end.  Michigan’s DNR has made some curious decisions in recent history but I believe we have, if not the best, one of the top  Natural Resource agencies right here in Michigan and this helps to keep the DNR focused and effective. I think it’s a win-win.

I’ve seen concern over paying additional department heads but I think that the effective management of these two divisions is far more important than the extra salary. From a percentages stand pint, the extra salary is a rather small part of the equation. How much they are paid may be a different issue to look at.

Hopefully this small and simple explanation gives you the basics you need.

Happy new Year everyone.

 

David

Posted in Economy, Fishing, government, Hunting, Michigan, Outdoor Sports | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michigan Record Book Trout Brings Up Hot Debate

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on September 13, 2009

Whenever someone achieves something special outdoors, it is inevitable that a back lash of criticism and questions will occur.

Michigan’s new record has faired no better fate.

It may not be Rompola gate, but people have never-the-less found a reason to be upset, a reason to bring something negative to the table.

“Why did he keep it?”

I don’t know how many angry comments I’ve seen about him keeping the fish. Is nothing okay anymore? Should we just settle on the fact that it’s never okay to do anything good, it’s never okay to get lucky, because there is always going to be someone who has a problem with it?

We live in a society that is filled with people that think it’s ethical to have their dog killed when it gets old, but scoff at those who kill an old fish. Some of them think it should be okay to off mom and dad for that matter.

I read one particularly hilarious comment. A guy was all bent out of shape because the record fish was no longer reproducing and spreading his seed. Let’s think about this a little deeper. The fish grew to sizes that we didn’t know was possible, which takes a few years. Just a guess, but I’d say he probably wasn’t a good little virgin fishy all his life. Who knows, I may be off my rocker, but I think there may just be a few World Record Jr’s swimming around in the Manistee.

Maybe it is just jealousy but it is a real shame we can’t enjoy this for what it is. One of the greatest fishing accomplishments we may see for some time in Michigan. State Records are special, World Records are remembered.

With Michigan’s long and rich tradition in fishing, it’s fitting a new World Record would come to Michigan. I don’t think it’s the last one I’ll see in my life time and I can only hope that one day I will be ridiculed and scoffed at by ignorant, elitist fishermen, who take offense to such success when it is not them who achieves it.

The truth is that if he didn’t keep it no one would have believed him. The evidence would have been ignored. He would go down in many peoples minds as a fraud and a con. It’s sad, the greatest fishing event in recent history would be reduced to a scam. Not because it was, but because people refuse to believe that luck and success happen, that records are meant to be broken, and that you or I, on any given fishing trip, could be just that lucky.

So what’s more important, a legacy, a record book achievement, a boost to the Manistee River fishery, or the loss of one of millions of Brown trout in the state of Michigan?

What makes this trout so much more special than the Gold Fish at the local pet shop? I’ll tell you what, people and there silly mind sets.

If you were forced to choose between the death of an elderly person or a young child, which would you choose? I think the vast majority would say the elderly person, they’ve had a long life, have less potential, and whatever other excuses you can come up with. The truth is we value youth, puppy’s are better than dogs, kittens more adorable than cats, children more important than adults (supposedly anyways).

When it comes to fish though, the opposite holds true? I think something fishy is going on, sounds to me like selfishness.

I think it’s about time we spent more effort appreciating a special event and a special fish. Maybe we could spend a little less time trying to ruin something special while we’re at it.

Just my two cents.

Posted in Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

New World Record Brown Trout Caught in Michigan’s Manistee River

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on September 11, 2009

Reported through multiple media outlets, it appears the Manistee River has produced a likely World Record Brown Trout.

You can click the link to read the story.

The over 40 pound trout looks more like a Salmon, which are running heavy this time of year in the Manistee, than a Brown Trout.

With the abundance of fishing waters, it’s no surprise to see a world record come home to Michigan. Hopefully, with quality management, we see more records ahead.

-Dave

Posted in Fishing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Salmon Are Starting to Run in Many Northern Michigan Streams

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on August 20, 2009

I’m hearing multiple reports that Salmon are rolling into many streams in the northern, Lower Peninsula. I plan on making a trip up north in a week to get a first hand look at the action. Stay tuned for updates.

If you haven’t been up north fishing recently, or ever, then there’s no better time to go. The economic crunch is lessening the amount of travelers. The cool weather this summer, should pay dividends. Things are shaping up to be as good as they’ve been in recent memory.

Skip fishing, go “catching”…

Posted in Fishing, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Desperation For Money Shows up in 2009 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on August 8, 2009

Let me preface this by saying I don’t get into politics very often, although I certainly pay attention.

I was at K D Outdoors in Waterford, MI (which is a great local shop) today and picked up the 2009 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide. My son later picked up the Guide because he saw wheels and tires from an add on the back page. He’s young and loves trucks. I wasn’t sure what paper he had grabbed so I turned it over.

The Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide?

In total I counted 22 adds, not including the Classifieds section. I admittedly am torn. It is great to see such resourcefulness from the Department of Natural Resources, however, it is also a deeply disturbing reminder of how much money has been diverted away from the DNR.

The truth of the matter is that hunters and fishermen pay for the vast majority of the DNR budget. License sales for these outdoorsmen have become increasingly costly over the years, while parks, ramps, and piers are being shut down.

Money from the general fund is now the equivalent of bringing home one 6″ Bluegill to feed my family of four.

It is quite odd to me that people that bike on park trails, camp on state land, pleasure boat on lakes, mushroom hunt on state land, enjoy photography, and the list goes on, do not share the same financial responsibility.

Do they deserve to use land more than the rest of us?

My point is the way things are running is so far off from common sense it is almost sickening.

I applaud the ingenuity of the DNR, harnessing the power of marketing to supplement an important program, I do not see why such measures have now become necessary.

Everyone always wants a hand out or something for free, seems like outdoors-men( and women) are the only ones willing to put the burden on our shoulders. If more interest groups had this mentality, the state would undoubtedly be in much better shape.

I applaud my fellow hunters and fishermen and women, your commitment to the resources of this great state are commendable, appreciated, and vastly undervalued.

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pumpkinseed That Started My Search For a Michigan State Record.

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on August 8, 2009

I thought this picture was long gone but I was lucky enough to find it on an obscure memory card. This is the fish that started my quest for a State Record. This Pumkinseed Sunfish is 10 1/8″ long, and weighed 0.97 lbs. according to my Berkeley Digital Scale. ( I still think the scale doesn’t work properly. The other day it told me a nice 20″ bass weighed under 3 lbs., um??? I don’t know about that.)That's me and my fish....

 

 

 

 

 

I still think this fish may have been closer, if not bigger, than the current State Record in my home state of Michigan. I have caught a few other fish since then that were around the 9″ mark but none with the mature dome-like head that the bigger fish develop.

Below is a 9″ Gill next to the Pumpkinseed.

10 1/8" Pumkinseed next to 8 3/4" Gill

 

So the quest continues……

 

1.35 lbs and 10″+ is the mark.

Posted in Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Summer Bass Fishing: Boat Docks and Cover

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on August 1, 2009

I went to a large private lake not far from my home in South East Michigan. The lake is clear and sandy over most of it’s bottom. It has significant weedy flats and strong weed lines in many sections. The size of the lake gives it a lot of variety although the sand and moderate weed cover dominates the underwater landscapes.

I set out in my small 14 ft. row boat and made my way to a small weed line near a drop off to start my mid-morning fishing(read: catching) trip. It was approximately 6-9 ft. in that location. I had a texas rigged Zoom finesse worm in watermelon red on a 4/0 eagle claw wide gap worm hook with a 1/4 oz. tungsten weight in green pumpkin. I was running 20 lb. Power Pro braid on the rod/reel I had on me.20.25" and approximately 5 lbs. 12 oz.

I also had another reel in my bag spooled with 30 lb. Power Pro braid but I did not need it. The lake has only a handful of spots where the heavier braid would come in handy and I did not plan on visiting them this trip.

I was not having much success to start out and the wind was creating some problems. I decided to make a big move, well big for a row boat, and I oared my way directly into the wind that was blowing steadily out of the South West.

There is a sunken island out towards the middle of the eastern half of the lake so I went there. I switched my presentation to a screw-in style football head jig. It was a 3/0 standard hook with no other dressings, just the jig head, hook, and a spot to screw your bait on. It was brown with red eyes and 1/2 oz. in weight. The wind made the weight necessary.

I made several casts across the top of the sunken island, trying to hit holes in the weeds. After several casts I decided another move was in order. I headed across a small saddle to a point that extends from the south shore out towards the sunken island. I could not fish the saddle as it sits underneath a ski course. It is typically a nice sandy spot to find a few small mouth bass. This lake has both large and small mouth bass along with rock bass.

I worked the point and missed on a hookup. Bites were tough to judge with the constant waves from the boat traffic and the persistent winds of about 10-15 mph.  Gusts near 20 mph were the main problem though.

After fighting mother nature I decided the best place to fish was the south shore, where I could tuck into the shallows away from the worst of the wind. Two bays on the south shore provided lots of room to fish away from most of the wind. I slowly oared my boat into position in between two docks.

The shore line on the south shore often has dark patches of bottom with moderate weed cover, including the occasional lily pad patch. Old tree stumps are located through the shallows as well. They do not hold fish but are used as cover for fish that are on the move. The occasional meal found by these structures cause bass to check them out regularly. The cloud cover became a little thicker around this time, approximately 11 a.m. I switched back to a texas rig with the same 4/0 wide gap worm hook and 1/4 oz. tungsten weight. This time I employed a Zoom Brush Hog in green pumpkin.

With the sun still showing strong the dull color looks realistic still. A little color or flash can turn fish off in high visibility situations.

I made my first cast over a lily pad patch. Instead of letting the bait fall I quickly popped it p to the surface of the lily pads. I twitched it along the surface of the pads and up onto one. You want to do this as quick as needed when you have weight on there. The pad patch was only 6 or 7 feet across and 9 feet wide. I stopped near the edge closer to me and twitched the Hog on top of the pad trying to draw attention. I then pulled it back through the remaining lily pads. Just as it reached the edge a big explosion occurred.

No hookup.

So I repeated the same sequence a few feet left. Same explosion, same result. Time to switch it up. I casted further left, just off to the side of the lily pads and brought the Hog up next to the far corner of the patch. I let it sit, motionless for about 15 seconds. I gave it a slight pop, just enough to get it up and out of the weeds, and let it settle back down. I watched as a bass came out from the lily pads and stopped right next to my bait. I gave it a subtle twitch. The bass began to swim slowly back into the lily pads as I drove the hook in.

Like a race horse out of the blocks, he exploded out of the lily pads and gave a picture perfect head shake. I dropped the rod and worked him to my right. The braid was more than enough to bring the 19 inch bucket mouth to the boat. I lipped him, admired him, then let him go back to his patch.

I continued down the bank in much the same fashion. Checking spots on the spot. I would fish small spots like the lily patch, focusing on corners or structure within weed patches or shady overhangs. I pulled another bass from under a raft, only about a 14 inch large mouth. Moving on I found another small weed patch next to some lily pads. I dropped my Hog on the back corner and let it sit. One twitch and Boom! Another nice fish, this one about 18 inch put on a good show before I let him go.

Further down the bank I came across a large oak tree that lost a limb into the water. It was still attached and was covered in green leaves. I swung my rod tip low as I casted. I was off to the right side, moving right to left down the shore. I skipped my lure under the back side of the tree and gave it a few mild twitches. This time nothing happened. I thought for sure I would catch one there.

I began to retrieve my lure through the open water about 5 feet from the tree when something caught my eye off to the right. I stopped reeling and let my lure fall to the bottom. Right across the open water I saw a nice bass swimming towards my lure. I waited, he must ave seen it fall and went to inspect it. I waited until he acted like he may turn around and I gave the Hog a quick solid twitch.

It was like the fish was made of lightning. He covered about 4 feet of water in a flash and began to swim back the way he came. I drove the hook in hard and the fish used that same lightning speed to drive towards the weeds. He was pulling considerable drag, despite my aggressive setting, until he turned towards the boat and made a bee line for it. He took a lap and a half around the boat and then performed some water acrobatics about 4 feet from the side of the boat. He was getting some serious air too.

I had enough of that and went to landing him. I quickly pulled him up into the boat with my rod and lipped him to take the hook out. A small mouth, which would explain the fight and show. He had a minor injury to his eye but was still as beautiful as ever. He was a healthy fish other than that and measured about 17 inch, maybe slightly more.

What a treat. Small mouth bass have become a big favorite of mine of the years.

Next I continued down the shore and began to get back into the wind. I had to use my anchor to keep my boat in place long enough to cast and make a decent presentation.

I was almost out of Zoom Brush Hogs and switched to a comparable 4 inch Berkley Tube in green pumpkin color. It is a little darker and has less character than the creature bait. I flipped the shallows and caught a few large mouth bass in the 11-14 inch range. I even caught two rock bass. You have to admire a 7 inch fish that eats a 4 inch bait.

I decided to go back to the Brush Hog when I came across a nice area with multiple types of cover. I threw a few casts and wasn’t catching anything. I casted to small section of dock under an oak overhang and had a bite, but missed a hookup.

I ripped a low cast under the tree, there was approximately 5 feet of clearance under the tree that extended over 20 feet out from shore. I landed my Hog about 3 feet past a large section of dock that was laying flat on the bottom in about 3 feet of water. I popped the lure up onto the dock and paused. It was far away but my instincts told me something had moved up there. I twitched my lure and felt a very slight pressure. Acting on instinct I slammed the hook home.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

My reel began screaming, as if to tell me to chill out or something. A big bass began diving into the weeds. Despite the tight drag, the bass took the line he wanted and tried to dive into pieces of cover as I pulled him towards the boat. After several attempts to bury himself, the big boy ran under and circled the boat. I followed him around and guided him back to the side of the boat. Perhaps finally wearing down he relaxed for a brief second. I quickly dropped down and lipped him.

The biggest bass of the day was a 21 inch beauty. The large mouth had a solid body and held good weight. I estimated him to be a shade over 4 pounds.

I continued on with my Brush Hog and Berkley Tube and caught several more fish as I made my way back. In one spot I skipped the Hog up under a double wide dock. About 6 feet under the end of the dock a nice 19 inch fish hooked up and came to see me. 20 feet down the side of the dock and 4 feet under, another nice bass, about 17 inches, took the offering. A nearby weed patch produced a 16 inch and 15 inch bass.

In the heavy waves also took advantage of a small break along a sea wall to catch another nice 18 inch fish.

I finally gave into the wind and let it push me back towards my dock. Along the way I tested some weed patches across some large flats, catching one decent 16 inch bass and two smaller fish, 11 inches and 12 inches respectively, before I left.

All in all it was a very successful trip. The standard summer pattern of boat dock and cover fishing near shore proved to be the right pattern for the day.

I hope I can return one more time before the summer ends to try another section of shore.

If you want more detailed information about cover and dock fishing in shallow water, leave me a comment here and I WILL GET BACK TO YOU.

Remember to share your passion for fishing with others and take someone fishing if you get the privilege to do so.

_David

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Successful Fishermen Understand the “Why?”

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 7, 2009

I always like to tell people that I am not going fishing. I’m going catching. There’s a big difference.

I do still go fishing, I love to experiment, experience truly is the best teacher (if you are paying attention).

So what’s the difference between fishing and catching? What makes some anglers successful, while others struggle?

It’s an understanding of the “Why?”.

So what is the “Why?”? Simply put, it’s the reason you are doing what you are doing. If you can answer these questions every time you are fishing then you may be close:

  1. Why am I using this lure?
  2. Why am I presenting it this way?
  3. Why am I fishing it in this spot?
  4. Why am I using this line?
  5. Why is it working or (more likely) not working?

I will elaborate more on these subjects (continued from Bleacher Report) in the near future but I will address them some here as well.

  1. Each lure has purpose, it may be used in many ways, such as a plastic worm, or it may be more specific like a chatterbait. If you are going to fish a lure you should know what purpose it has. The catch here is that you give each lure purpose. Which leads us to the next point.
  2. The way you fish a lure can be the main difference between catching fish and just casting a lure. Crankbaits and stickbaits can be jerked erratically, walked steadily, and anything in between, soft plastics can be rigged in a seemingly endless array of presentations. It is important to understand why a presentation will be successful. Are the fish active? Is one weight going to keep the lure in the strike zone longer?
  3. Location, Location, Location, right? Yes, it is that important. If you Find the right spot, and use the right lure and presentation, then you are very likely to be successful.
  4. Line type fits in with presentation. Clear, open water usually calls for smaller diameter flourocarbon and mono. Thick weeds and brush usually calls for heavy braid. Fish can see line when it’s obvious. It is important to learn how to use what you need. If you are vertically jigging in 30 feet of water for small mouth bass with no weeds or structure around, you may only need 10 pound fluorocarbon line. Fishing in heavy weeds for the same fish may require 65 pound braid. If you know which lure and how you want it presented for the spot you chose, then make sure your line matches.
  5. This is the most important question to answer. The more times you answer this question, the better you have become. When you can successfully identify why something is working, you can use that knowledge to catch fish another time. Likewise, you can learn a lot from what does not work as well. Figure out if it’s the lure, the color, the presentation, or just a bad location. Experiment, pay attention, and learn to be a better fishermen.

Next time your out, pay attention to the “Why?”, you’ll be a better fishermen if you do.

Posted in Fishing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Top Ten Bass Fishing Lures for 2009

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 7, 2009

Summer bass fishing has it’s own personality. The water temperatures, light penetration, weed growth, forage movement, and fishing pressure all have significant impacts on bass fisheries. From one weather condition to the next and from one time of the day to the next, the following slide show is a showcase of the best bass lures in use today. No. 8 landed this bass in the spring of 09′, along with three more just like him!

Check it out here!You have to love spring fishing here in Michigan.

Posted in Fishing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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