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Open-Water Fishing School student and a Grand River walleye.

Big Daddy Dave and his largest top-water smallie--a 6-plus pounder from S. Lake Leelanau that ate a Rebel Pop-R

Rapid City's Denny Childs and a Lake Bellaire walleye.

All waters of the area
Monday July 28, 2008

Summer’s finally here in Northern Lower Michigan; the bug hatches are over and the water’s are warming. The water, however, is not warming too much. Most of the inland lakes are still only in the low 70’s. At least the fish are cooperating.
The smallmouth bass have been the most cooperative no matter where you go. As a self-brag, I landed my largest top-water smallie last week while fishing South Lake Leelanau—she was a 6.25-pounder that ate a Rebel Pop-R as it was “plooping” over 8 feet of water. Nice fish!
The smallie bite’s been good inBig PlatteLake, Crystal Lake, ElkLake, TorchLake, and East and WestGrandTraverseBays. Top-water fishing in the inland lakes seems to be the best. I did have a good 5-inch Kaylin’s Grub bite going on Big Platte last week, with several 2-1/2 to 3-1/2-pounders to the boat, and one over 4 pounds.
As for walleye, they’re cooperating, too. There’s been a few fish coming out of BigPlatteLake, with most coming while trolling crawler harnesses behind in-line planer boards. There a lot of bait in Big Platte, though, and it’s made this year’s bite much tougher than last year’s. LongLake has been producing fish, as has Lake Bellaire.
As for the big lake (Michigan) and the GrandTraverseBays: They’ve been giving up plenty of lake trout and salmon.Frankfort’s been good for the chinook bite, with fish coming ever closer to shore; if the wind’s right anyway. My buds have gotten some nice fish on spoons while trolling them behind ’riggers or Dipsey Divers. The Manitou Islands off Glen Arbor/Leland has been hot, too. Both East and West Grand Traverse Bays have some salmon in them, with one or two caught here and there. As always, the thermocline changes with the winds, so watch your sonar and temperature gages closely.
On another note: I attended the Open Water Fishing School put on by Mark Martin, Mark Brumbaugh, and Mike Gofron, on the Grand River and Spring Lake out of Grand Haven. The school itself went off without a hitch and there were several nice fish, including walleye, caught out of the Grand River and Spring Lake. Vertical jigging and trolling crankbaits excelled in the river, while pitching jigs was the winner in Spring Lake. The largest walleye, taken in the lower river, was 25 inches.
Well, that’s all for now. As always—BE SAFE ON THE WATER!
Dave  ~ WildFishing

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