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Captain Chris Noffsinger with a nice smallmouth bass from Benzie County's Crystal Lake.

Jeff Samsel with a 4-pound walleye from the Upper Big Manistee River.

A NW Michigan brookie and brown moments before breakfast was served.

All waters of the area
Thursday June 12, 2008

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been; I’ve hit the lake and rivers hard, including those on an island in the middle of Lake Michigan.


The best way to do this, I guess, is to go in reverse, from the latest trip, back.


I hit the waters of Benzie County’s Crystal Lake yesterday, with Captain Chris Noffsinger, for smallmouth bass. Not a bad day on the water as we landed nearly 20 smallies, with the largest about 4 pounds. The fish were anywhere from 4 to 20 feet of water. We caught ‘em on tube, rubber worms, and spinnerbaits. The water temperatures are warming, now about 61 degrees, and it looks like the majority of the bass will spawn this next week, in the light of the full moon. And for you odd balls, such as me, who like to catch them, there’s plenty of rock bass—big rock bass—to be had with those smallies. We landed about 30 rockies, the majority were Master-Angler-Award-size fish well over a pound.


Before that, I was on Beaver Island for a few days, while attending a gathering if the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association. I hit Lake Geneserath for walleye, but only caught northern pike. We were in the middle of some funky weather system and the walleye just were not cooperating the day I was there (that’s my excuse, anyway). I liked what I saw, though, and I will be back!


Walleye walleye, walleye… That’s what we’re catching on South Lake Leelanau right now, with 30 fish days NOT an uncommon occurrence. The sizes of the fish, though, are small (averaging 14-1/2 inches). You can still sort through the little ones and squeak out a limit, if you work at it. The fish have been shallow, in 4 to 8 feet of water. Jig-and-rubber-worm combinations have been my best lure, so far.


Before that, I floated the Big Manistee River, up by Sharon Road, a few times. We’ve caught and released several brown trout up to 22 inches, and, had a couple larger monsters go after our stick baits, which failed to hook up. We’ve taken a few northern pike and some nice walleye out of this section, too. The biggest walleye so far has been about 5 pounds.   


I’ve also been hitting the creeks around northern Michigan. These been plenty of resident brook- and brown trout dangling on the end of my line. A couple even went into my fry pan. (Shhhhh, don’t tell anybody!)


Hopefully you’ve been able to get out and do a little fishing. If so I hope the fishing’s been as grand for you as it has for me.


As always, be safe on the water!


Dave ~ WildFishing Guide Service

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