The dog days of summer may be over! Good catches of bluegills, perch, and crappies were reported from most area lakes. Limits of bluegills were reported on Barton Lake, Sugarloaf Lake, and Gull Lake. Good catches of perch were also reported on Barton Lake.
The bluegills and crappies are beginning to gather in 12 to 18 feet of water. Gills seem to prefer pieces of night crawlers over trout worms and crappies always prefer a lively minnow. I’m personally having good luck with Berkley Gulp Alive 1” minnows (chartreuse body on a small pink jig).
Now is the time to troll for crappies in open water. Rapala ULS-4 minnows, Slider Grubs, and small Bomber crankbaits are all producing nice sized fish on Cedar Lake, Barton Lake, and Gull Lake. Good catches of Bass and Pike are still being reported as well. Don Oman reported a 22” bass and two pike while trolling for crappies the other day.
Lake Michigan fishing gets better each day as the mature kings begin schooling off the river mouths at St. Joe, South Haven, and Saugatuck. The warm water has pushed fish out to 120 feet of water and beyond, but if you can find cool water there is fish to be caught. Captain Matt Strong of Strong Performance Charters reported several fish over 15 pounds last week. The next two weeks should be the best time for big lake success. The best baits have been Spin Doctors with Strong Flies, J-plugs, and meat rigs.