Trout fishing season to start on Saturday
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
For many anglers, it’s a holiday. The first day of trout fishing – the last Saturday in April in Michigan every year – is slated for April 29 in 2017. What can anglers expect early in the fishing season on area rivers?
“The water is going to be high. The water table is up. It’s more normal to what it used to be 10 to 15 years ago. We do need the water, so that’s good,” said Jack Millikin of Skip’s Sport Shop.
Millikin said the warm weather early this spring has water temperatures and fly hatch activity a little ahead of other recent years.
“As long as the weather is decent it should be a pretty good opener,” Millikin said. “Hope the water clears up a little bit. If everything holds the way it’s been, should be decent.”
Millikin said Hendrickson mayflies have been hatching on the AuSable River mainstream from Grayling to Burton’s Landing. He said bead head nymph flies should also be effective early in the season.
April 29 will also mark the start of fishing seasons for salmon, walleye, pike, and muskellunge. Fish are not expected to be especially active for the opener due to cold water temperatures in area lakes, but there may be some decent fishing opportunities.
“Usually Lake Margrethe is slow on the opener because the water temperatures are still low. The temps slow the fish a little, make them sluggish,” Millikin said.
Millikin said anglers might have success still fishing or jig fishing, drift fishing, or fishing while anchored, and “slow trolling once the temperatures come up a bit.” He said bluegill fishing at Lake Margrethe should pick up in a couple of weeks in the shallows, approximately six to 12 feet of water “where the water is a little warmer.”
Millikin said anglers have been catching crappie and bluegill on Houghton Lake in the “canals and little lagoons and shallows.”
“The biting has been good to great,” Millikin said.
In 2014, the Michigan Department of Resources
(DNR) changed its fishing license system, eliminating the “all species” upgrade and making all licenses good for all species.
“The current structure creates a simpler, more fair and efficient license buying process. All fishing licenses are ‘all species’ licenses. There is no longer a restricted license type,” according to the DNR. “You must purchase a fishing license if you are 17 years of age or older to fish. If you are under 17, you may fish without a license, but you are required to observe all fishing rules and regulations.”
The current price for a Michigan fishing license is $26.