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Traverse City's Mike Flynn with a 7-pound hen steelhead taken on spawn from the Big Manistee on Saturday.

Another drift boat on the Big Manistee, Saturday, with one of the few fish caught on the system that day

All waters of the area
Friday December 5, 2008

As of this report there are only 15 more days 'till the official start of winter. You’d have a hard time convincing me that winter’s not already here, though, as there is two-plus-feet of snow (not drifts) in the yard. Already I yearn for spring.


And because safe ice has yet to form on the lakes, there’s not a whole lot of fishing to talk about at the moment.


River steelhead is probably the best bet at this time. A bud and I hit the Big Manistee River this past Saturday (November 30) while floating in a drift boat, from High Bridge to Bear Creek landings.


We landed two steelies, with a 7-pound hen the largest, and one small brown trout. All the fish came on small spawn bags suspended just off bottom with a float while fishing with center pin equipment. We drifted wax worm and wigglers, too, but the spawn won out.


All others we talked to on the river that day were also having a tough time producing strikes. The bite did pick up after noon, once the sun came up over the trees and warmed the water a bit.


The Boardman River’s producing a few very small skippers. The adult-sized fish are few and far in-between, though.


There were three boats spotted fishing in West Grand Traverse Bay one day last week, during one of the few days Mother Nature allowed boat anglers to get out.  My guess, by where they were, is they had found a school of perch.


As for ice forming, the little lakes in the area, such as Arbutus, Spider, the south end of Intermediate, and Skegemog, have a covering on them. Looks like there’s been a few brave souls hitting the ice with spuds on a quest for to ice fish. No ones been able to make it out very far yet.  Remember: ALL THIS SNOW IS NOT GOOD FOR MAKING SAFE ICE. Snow is a great insulator and makes frozen slush over solid ice.




Dave ~ WildFishing

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