Hot weather, cool fishing USA

Hot weather, cool fishing – Anglers always seem to have something to complain about and this week it is the temperature.

While some of us think it is never too hot to go fishing, the near-record temperatures did keep some folks at home. The heat may have altered the approach of some folks to fishing as well, driving the fish deeper and to cover in the form of weed beds.

Dave at Young’s in Alanson reports Burt Lake anglers found some walleyes very deep – way down there at 45 feet. The best bet seems to be a crawler on a harness, drifted really deep behind a bottom-bouncer. Crooked Lake has been giving up some smaller perch and Pickerel Lake has produced some walleye fishing for mostly under-sized fish, around the deep weed beds.

Larry at Pat and Gary’s in Indian River reports fishing has been fairly quiet up that way with little feedback from anglers. Those fishing either Mullett Lake or Burt Lake have had some success in the evenings when the fish move into the shallows.

Flo at the Boyne River Bait Company in Boyne City reports the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix is still good for walleyes. Bass fishing is apparently good all over Lake Charlevoix and on Walloon Lake as well. Some anglers have caught some nice lake trout on Lake Charlevoix recently and some more out on Lake Michigan. The leading walleye in the contest now is a fish of 7.9 pounds and more than 30 inches long. The leading smallmouth is a fish of 5.5 pounds and 20.5 inches long.

Tom at Tom’s Tackle in East Jordan reports the Hex hatch is still on Lake Charlevoix and it has spread to the Jordon River now, making for some great night fishing for big brown trout. Walleyes are still hitting fairly well on the South Arm. Bass fishing may be slow now, since he has had little feedback on that subject. Ellsworth, Six Mile and Intermediate Lake have been good for walleyes recently.

The Department of Natural Resource’s Creel Census worker Tom Bagwell reports anglers in the Charlevoix/Petoskey area are catching some salmon and lake trout, although only a few anglers have been out lately. Charlevoix anglers are fishing mainly around North Point, the cement plant and Michigan Shores, while Petoskey area action has been concentrated north of Harbor Springs. Best depths now seem to be 70-85 feet down over 80-130 feet of water.

There are a lot of baitfish in the area now so anglers should look for concentrations of bait when searching for the right depth. Tom says green and silver spoons seem to be the most productive lures right now. Inland lake fishermen are concentrating on smallmouth bass now, but that fishing hasn’t been really productive. On Lake Charlevoix, anglers are starting to pick up some perch on shallow weedbeds.

Bass fishing has been sort of on and off on the small inland lakes. They seem to hit well one day, but not the next, reacting poorly to any sort of cold front. Bluegills simply have not bedded on some lakes meaning the loss of the entire year class on those lakes. Early and late in the day, bass have been hitting top-water plugs well with deep-running plugs better during bright hours.

The deadline for applying for an elk permit is July 15. There are two significant changes in the process this year. There will be an additional hunt period in August and September in the fringe areas, but not in the core of elk country. This hunt is designed to cut the population outside of the core area. There may also be a special agricultural control hunt in January, depending on the number and location of elk observed during the regular December hunt and the number of animals taken during that hunt.

This is the first year for the new weighted lottery for elk hunting licenses. This year, applicants can have their names in the hat up to three times, if they applied unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2003. Since 40,000 people have applied each year, recently, and most of them have probably applied every year the chances for an individual may not be altered much this year. In future years, however, the applicant who keeps coming back every year should have a significantly better chance than the applicant who is in for the first time. Since this is the first year of the weighted lottery, it is likely that the number of applicants will be unusually large, going well over the usual 40,000. After a few years, we might speculate that the total number of applicants will shrink somewhat as people realize that there are many others in the lottery with improved odds.

George Rowe may be contacted at 547-4138, or at georgerowe@racc2000.com.

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