Category: Hunting & Fishing

NMU Duo Wins Midwest Bassmaster Challenge

6/5/2015

Northern Michigan University students Brandon Bissell of Adrian and Justin Brown of Bear Lake finished first among 82 teams at the 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Midwestern Regional. The fishing competition was held on the Mississippi River, spanning both Wisconsin and Minnesota waters. The duo took a strategic risk on the final day to secure a come-from-behind victory and a spot in July’s national championship. Their three-day total of 44 pounds, 3 ounces was about 3 pounds more than the second-place team.

“When it was announced that we had won, I was overcome with a slew of emotions that are almost impossible to describe,” Bissell said. “It took everything I had just to keep myself from weeping with joy on stage. I had been preparing for that very moment my whole life because I had been bass fishing competitively with my father since I was about 5 years old. Since then, it was always my dream to win a major tournament. It finally happened.”

Brown also began fishing at a young age with his parents. The two men became good friends last semester as members of the NMU Bass Fishing Team, a club sport at the university, but had never shared a boat before the regional. Three allotted practice days leading up to the tournament allowed them to become acclimated to each other’s fishing techniques and the water. They formulated a game plan after exploring where the bass were and what they were biting on. The duo had the best results casting hollow-bodied frogs on the water’s surface near shallow vegetation.

Bissell and Brown were trailing the leaders by 14 ounces heading into the final day. They knew a national championship bid was virtually guaranteed because the top 13 teams would advance. But rather than coast to the finish, they were determined to win it all. They took a risk that revolved around a variance in state regulations and vaulted to the top spot.

Culling—replacing smaller fish with larger catches—is illegal in Minnesota. Once teams reached the daily limit of five fish in their live wells, they couldn’t cull the smaller bass.

“The first two days, we would catch five in Minnesota waters, then go to the Wisconsin side where culling is legal and finish the day there, swapping for larger fish if we caught them,” Brown said. “We knew most of our better fish that week were coming out of Minnesota waters, so on the final day we started there as usual. Instead of hitting the limit and moving on, we decided to release smaller fish before we hit five. We were taking a risk that we would catch bigger bass and still hit the day’s limit. You don’t get many opportunities to win a big one, so we were willing to take a chance and it paid off for us.”

The NMU duo and the remaining top 12 teams from the regional will compete in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship July 9-11 on Lake DuBay in Stevens Point, Wis.

Related Images

Pictured with some of their haul are NMU students Justin Brown (left) and Brandon Bissell. Photo by Shaye Baker.

Link to fullsize image: http://www.nmu.edu/Webb/NewsCenter/Images/Original/278495001433534020.jpgRelated Audio Files

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director
906-227-1015
kevans@nmu.edu

Full story can be found at: http://www.nmu.edu/communicationsandmarketing/news-releases?articleID=173096

Weekly Fishing Report: June 26, 2014

Weekly Fishing Tip: What to do when walleyes pick upclose-up of walleye caught in Michigan
Walleye fishing is picking up steadily in the large inland lakes in northern Michigan. Some of these lakes include Burt, Mullett, Black, Long, Grand and Hubbard.

Many anglers who fish these lakes over the years are learning that by this time of the year, it is best to troll for walleye with lines that are elevated in the water column. Many think of walleye as a benthic, or bottom, species. While this is true at times, this species will come a long way up in the water column to hit your presentation. More so, they will often suspend in the water column based on forage.

The mayfly hatch has begun on these lakes, so expect to find these fish anywhere from five to 15 feet off the bottom, focusing your crankbaits or crawler harnesses in that region, instead of along the bottom. You might be surprised how well you can do.

UPPER PENINSULA
Keweenaw Bay: Had good fishing with anglers taking a mix of coho, Chinook, rainbow trout, lake trout, splake and brown trout when trolling 30 to 50 feet down in 40 to 60 feet of water. Most are trolling between the Baraga Marina or the L’Anse Marina and the head of the bay. Some were trolling as far north as Carla’s Restaurant on U.S.-41. Trolling speed was between 1.8 and 2.3 mph. In Traverse Bay, anglers fished off Big Louie’s and Gay Point for lake trout in 130 to 180 feet with spoons but the bite was slow. A couple fish were taken by those jigging in waters 20 to 260 feet deep off Big Louie’s Point. No report for the South Portage Entry.

Lake Antoine: Pier, shore and boat anglers have caught a good number of panfish when still-fishing or drifting with live bait. Most of the fish were smaller but boat anglers did catch some very nice bluegills, yellow perch and crappie. The bass fishery is still producing some nice large and smallmouth for those casting crank baits near the weeds.

Marquette: Dense patchy fog is making it hard to anglers to get out. A couple steelhead were caught at the mouth of the Carp River. Catch rates for salmon dropped with only a few Chinook or coho taken. Lake trout action was fair. A few anglers had good catches near the Sand River and Shot Point when using spoons in 100 to 160 feet. Those fishing deeper had little success. Catch rates were slow for those fishing near the Sand Hole and north of Granite Island towards the “Clay Banks”. Surface water temperatures were in the low to mid 40’s.

Little Bay De Noc: South to southeast winds created good walleye conditions between the Ford River and Breezy Point. Walleye anglers reported good to excellent catches using crawler’s with harnesses in eight to 10 feet. Some went south down by Round Island and reported the same in six to 14 feet. The rest of the Bay reported less action although catches were reported at the mouth of the Escanaba River, the east bank in Gladstone and the First and Second Reefs in Kipling. Most catches were in 14 to 28 feet with crawler harnesses. Smallmouth catches were down and fewer anglers were fishing them. The Ford River area is still best with fair catches in six to eight feet with plastics, spinners and crawlers. A few largemouth bass were caught in Kipling along the West Bank using spinners in 10 to 14 feet. Perch fishing was fair with minnows or crawlers in 10 to 14 feet at Kipling, 20 to 26 feet along the Narrows and 14 to 20 feet up by the Days River. No salmon to report.

Big Bay De Noc: Smallmouth bass catches were down. Garden Bay, South River, Ogontz and up near the Fish Dam Rivers all reported similar results for those casting and trolling plastics, crank baits, spinners or crawlers in six to 12 feet. The walleye started moving south and catch rates were fair. Fish can still be found at the “Boot” and out to Kate’s Bay but some are further south by Garden Bluff. Best catches were in eight to 18 feet using crawlers with harnesses. Fairport had a few anglers trying to salmon but catch rates slow. Water temperatures remain cold with surface temperatures in the mid 50’s but 70 to 80 feet down were in the mid to high 30’s.

Au Train: Boat anglers launching at the Brownstone landing continue to do best for lake trout with catches averaging from one to some parties limiting out. Fish were caught from the Shelter Bay flats along the edge in 140 to 180 feet to east of Au Train Island and near Wood Island. Most are using downriggers but some are using planer boards or dipseys and high-lines for salmon. Catch rates for Chinook did drop off over the past week but a few were still targeting them near the mouth of the Au Train River and along the shore near Scott Falls. Dense fog due to cold water temperatures has restricted anglers from venturing too far from shore.

Munising: Boat anglers caught a mix of Chinook, splake and lake trout but catch rates have slowed. Most are fishing in Munising Bay and around Grand Island. Surface water temperatures were 45 to 52 degrees. Pier angling was slow and catch rates were poor with only a couple small splake taken on worms or spawn.

Grand Marais: Pier angling dropped off as catch rates decreased dramatically. The average size of whitefish also decreased. Some did catch the occasional coho, pike or menominee. Evening was better than morning fishing. Boat angling activity has shifted mainly to lake trout fishing. Excellent catches were reported north and west of the bay from three to six miles out in the shipping channels and near Sable Point. Most of the fish were between two and four pounds but a few bigger ones were also caught and several reported limit catches. Shore anglers near the marina reported slow catch rates with only a few coho, pike or steelhead caught.

St. Mary’s River: Fishing is getting better for Atlantic salmon as we approach the month of July. Eight and 10 pound fish are being caught throughout the day casting fly type baits or trolling slender crank baits four to six feet below the surface along the entire length of the discharge side of the power plant. Lake whitefish are also being caught drifting wax worms on the discharge side. In the bay off Lake Nicolet, a few walleye were caught in the evening in four to six feet when using bottom bouncers, gold spinner blades with crawler harnesses. Lake George had excellent pike fishing when trolling six-inch crank baits in and around Gem Island and Hay Pointe. It seems the walleye fishing has slowed. The water is still cold in Raber Bay and near Lime Island. No walleye to report. Maud Bay is producing some nice smallmouth bass 16 to 18 inches. Try jigging tube baits off the rocky points in four to six feet.

Detour: Had no reports on walleye off Sweets Point. Again, cold water temperatures seem to slow the bite. Those heading out caught a few Atlantic salmon, lake trout and Chinook around the lighthouse when using blue, green and white or gold spoons.

Cedarville and Hessel: Those fishing with chubs for pike are doing well along the south and east shores of Hessel Bay and off the marina pier early or late, in Musky Bay, Middle Entrance, and along the north shore of Government Bay. Perch fishing in Cedarville Bay is fair, and bass fishing remains good. Try casting spinner baits in shallow water.

St. Ignace: The city launch and the Carp River have been slow.

 

Weekly Fishing Report: May 8, 2014

UPPER PENINSULA
Lake Superior still had ice from Keweenaw Bay to Whitefish Point with most of the Canadian side and towards Duluth with open water. Winds have been primarily from the north and pushing the ice.

Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates are still extremely slow. Anglers fishing off the rock dock next to the L’Anse Marina did manage to catch a couple Chinook, coho or rainbow trout. There are rumors of a handful of smelt taken in the Silver River and the Ravine River.

Marquette: Ice is still present in the Lower Harbor. Some areas are starting to show some black ice near shore and by the fishing pier at Mattson Park. Shore anglers at Mattson Park have caught lake trout in the pockets of open water near the breakwall when jigging or casting spoons. Water levels were high and catch rates were poor at the mouth of the Carp River.

Little Bay De Noc: Rapid River, Gladstone and the Ford River launches all have docks in. The rest should be in this week with the exception of Aronson Island as the Harbor is still iced over. Rain fell most of the week adding to the rivers already overflowing situation. Perch anglers launching out of Rapid River reported fair catches out from the Day’s River using minnows or crawlers in 13 to 24 feet. Those fishing near Strawberry Island reported a few catches when using crawlers in six to 14 feet. Anglers were marking perch about 30 feet down in the “Narrows” however few fish were caught.

Big Bay De Noc: The docks are in at Garden, Fish Dam and Ogontz. The rest should be in this week. Garden Bay is open and perch anglers have done well near Hermes Fish House. They are using minnows in six to eight feet. Though lots of small ones have been caught several limit catches were also reported. Perch anglers heading out to deeper water near the mouth of the Bay in the early morning reported fair to good catches with minnows in 20 to 30 feet.

Au Train: Ice along the shore of the rivers is slowly starting to melt. Anglers fishing the mouth of the rivers for coho and steelhead had little success except for a couple coho taken on spoons. Those trying spawn or a single egg for whitefish had no luck.

Munising: The bay had few anglers and slow catch rates. Ice remains throughout the bay but was not fishable. The only fishing activity has been around the mouth of the Anna River and Bay Furnace Creek. Small boats floating out and jigging along the ice did catch a few whitefish, splake or small steelhead.

Grand Marais: Was still pretty much iced in. Pier anglers were fishing the north pier however north winds will push ice into the area. Catch rates were slow. A few fishing the mouth of the Sucker River did catch a couple trout and salmon. Streams in the area are running high and stained.

Two Hearted River: Access roads are open. Steelhead are in the river however the high dark water makes fishing difficult.

St. Mary’s River: A few coho and rainbow trout were caught off the canal bridge at the power plant. Anglers are using two to four ounce sinkers with a 24 inch leader above the sinker and frozen spawn. Some are drifting red and chrome flatfish near the railroad ties on the west bank. The city docks are in however boat anglers need to watch for large chunks of ice floating on the upper river between the City Park and the Sugar Island Ferry Boat. Both docks are in at Raber Bay but there was still some ice just out from the docks.

DeTour: Anglers were catching steelhead just west of the Albany Creek.

Cedarville and Hessel: The ice is out of Musky Bay but the west end of Hessel Bay was still frozen. Pier anglers are watching for trout and salmon. Perch have been caught in the west end of Musky Bay and along the north shore in 10 to 14 feet.

Carp River: Anglers reported some smelt. Water levels are still a bit high, but receding.

Black River: In Mackinac County has steelhead and some smelt. High water levels are making it difficult to fish.

Fish Stocking Creates Abundant Fishing Opportunities Throughout Michigan

The Department of Natural Resources announced it is in the middle of its new fish-stocking season. This spring, DNR trucks will be spotted pulling up to hundreds of lakes and streams throughout the state to release prized, recreational cargo.

Fish stocking is a valuable tool used by fisheries managers to restore, enhance and create new fishing opportunities in Michigan’s inland lakes and streams and the Great Lakes. The DNR’s Fisheries Division accomplishes this task by rearing fish at its six fish-production facilities located throughout the state, cooperatively managing up to 50 rearing ponds and 12 Great Lakes net pen locations, and maintaining a fleet of 17 specialized fish-stocking vehicles.

Over the course of the year, the DNR will stock roughly 26 million fish weighing nearly 370 tons, including eight species of trout and salmon and four coolwater species such as walleye and muskellunge. DNR fish-stocking vehicles will travel nearly 137,000 miles to stock more than 1,100 locations.

Michigan anglers have access to four Great Lakes, 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams. That puts residents and visitors no more than 10 minutes away from great angling opportunities and world-class fisheries.

Visit the DNR’s website at www.michigandnr.com/fishstock for information on local fish-stocking locations.

Don’t Miss The Chance to Hunt Wild Turkey This Spring

Missed the application period for a spring turkey license? Opportunities for licenses are still available. New this year, spring turkey hunters may purchase a Hunt 234 license, a statewide hunting license valid for all open areas except public lands in Unit ZZ (southern Lower Peninsula and Beaver Island). Hunters can purchase a Hunt 234 license through May 31.

 

Turkey hunters may also purchase a leftover license for areas where licenses are still available. For a list of available licenses, go to www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings. Licenses will be sold until quotas are met.

 

“Michigan has been ranked top ten in the nation for turkey harvest on an annual basis by the National Wild Turkey Federation,” said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist. “The DNR’s goal for the spring turkey season is to maximize hunting opportunities and maintain satisfactory hunting experiences. Over the years, Michigan hunters have consistently exceeded turkey hunter satisfaction goals.”

 

New this year, all hunters will need to purchase a base license, which includes a small game license. Base licenses are $11 for residents, $6 for youth and $5 for seniors.

 

After purchasing a base license, Michigan residents can purchase a spring turkey license for $15, while seniors can purchase a spring turkey license for $6. To purchase a license, go to www.mdnr-elicense.com or visit any license agent.

 

It is unlawful to obtain or purchase more than one spring turkey hunting license. Those hunting private land should receive permission to hunt before purchasing a private-land-only license.

 

Youth hunters 9 years old and younger can participate in the spring turkey season through the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. The mentored youth hunting license is $7.50 and entitles the youth hunter to hunt turkey during the spring and fall seasons in any open hunt period or location, on either private or public land. This license gives mentored youth opportunities for small game, deer (one tag, any deer), furbearer and fish (all species) during the appropriate seasons. Please go to www.michigan.gov/mentoredhunting for mentor requirements and information.

 

For more information about spring turkey hunting, visit www.michigan.gov/turkey.

Weekly Fishing Report: March 20, 2014

UPPER PENINSULA
Marquette: The Lower Harbor had no anglers but the ice remains solid. Strong winds in the Upper Harbor are shifting the ice while cold temperatures were making new ice. Only a few anglers were out but no fish were caught.

Carp River: Winds have shifted some of the ice and other areas froze over because of temperatures below zero. Some of the river is open slightly between the bridge and the discharge area below the Highway-41 Bridge. A few anglers have tried fishing here but had no success.

Au Train: Had only a handful of anglers fishing and they had no success. Some areas took the entire length of the auger to get through the ice and slush. The mouth of the Rock River and the Au Train River were still iced in.

Munising: Had more anglers out fishing but catch rates remain slow. Solid ice remains but fresh snow may make travel difficult. For whitefish, try bouncing eggs off the bottom in 60 to 70 feet. Some reported a fairly steady bite between 6 and 8 p.m. The fish ranged eight to 13 inches. Splake were caught however many were small. For bigger fish, try off the City Pier or Sand Point. Coho anglers could be found off Sand Point but catch rates slowed. Those fishing near the mouth of the rivers caught herring, menominee and steelhead. Fishing in Trout Bay has declined with only the occasional coho, lake trout or steelhead caught.

Menominee River: Warmer weather followed by extreme cold turned the parking lots, walkways and the river into ice rinks. Some were fishing the open water on the Michigan side for steelhead and brown trout. They are drifting spawn, yarn and flies near the rocks or casting lures off the Cat Walk. Catch rates were slow.

Little Bay De Noc: The last week of walleye season was one that anglers have not seen in years. Many were not able to reach the water without an extension on their auger because of the ice thickness. Anglers caught jumbo perch along the “Narrows” in 40 to 50 feet and off Vagabond Resort in 24 to 30 feet when using minnows or wigglers. Those fishing Butler Island reported a lot of small fish along with a few keepers. The next several weeks should bring some very good perch fishing opportunities if it warms up.

Munuscong: Anglers caught perch off Grassy Island. Catch rates should pick up soon off Dan’s Resort and near Grassy Island.

Cedarville and Hessel: Perch anglers are taking fish off the west end of Musky Bay and towards Duck Bay in seven to 10 feet. Fish were also caught from the east end of Hessel Bay and Government Bay.

DNR Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

UPPER PENINSULA
Anglers are actively ice fishing the inland lakes as well as the Great Lakes.

Menominee:  Ice anglers were targeting whitefish. Catch rates were fair to good in 30 to 40 feet of water when jigging minnows or wax worms. Access was found from Henes Park in Menominee or Red Arrow Park in Marinette.

Menominee River:  Anglers are still marking walleye through the ice on the Wisconsin side near the Hattie Street Dam. A few fish are still being caught but catch rates have slowed. Some are still targeting pike near the Mystery Ship launch when jigging artificial bait or using tip-ups with minnows. Catch rates were slow. Those seeking panfish are jigging wax worms at the Mennikaunee Launch or behind K-Mart however no fish were caught as the water was low and cloudy.

Little Bay De Noc:  Travel has been limited because of snow. The deep snow makes moving shanties very difficult and some have been unable to reach them because of drifting snow. There was a large pressure crack and no vehicles are traveling over it. Anglers are venturing as far south as the No See-um Creek area. The best walleye catches were reported near Portage Point when jigging rapalas or using tip-ups with minnows 40 to 50 feet down along the break. A few walleye were caught near Gladstone in 30 to 40 feet. As for whitefish, fair to good reports came from Sand Point when jigging minnows or spawn in 75 to 85 feet or off Gladstone when fishing off the bottom. Perch anglers have struggled as catch rates were down. A few jumbo perch were caught near Saunders Point but only small fish were caught near Butler Island.

Munuscong:  Those fishing east of Roach Point in waters 25 to 27 feet reported fair catch rates. Only a handful of perch were caught in four feet of water.

Cedarville and Hessel:  There is a lot of snow on the ice and the plowed trail was blown shut. Perch fishing in Musky Bay and Cedarville Bay was poor with very few fish caught. Anglers were using wigglers or minnows in 10 to 13 feet. Hessel Bay was a little better with a few bigger fish taken. Try minnows in 10 to 14 feet. Hessel Bay did not have as much snow but travel on the ice was still difficult. 

Weekly Fishing Report: January 16, 2014

UPPER PENINSULA
Menominee: 
  A few whitefish were caught in front of Hennes Park however the ice is very rough which makes for difficult travel.

Menominee River:  Anglers had fair to good catch rates when jigging for panfish at the Menekaunee landing area and off the Foundry parking lot. They are using wax worms and minnows. In front of the Mystery Ship Marina and boat launch, anglers were targeting pike and walleye but the bite was slow. Steelhead were caught in the open water near Stephenson Island when casting spoons and rapalas or drifting spawn. Open water on the Michigan side near the Hattie Street Dam was also producing some steelhead. Anglers are fly fishing, casting rapalas or drifting spawn and wax worms. Some nice walleye were caught through the ice on the Wisconsin side. Anglers are jigging minnows or wax worms and the bite improved after dark.

Little Bay De Noc:  Still has ice but the warm weather caused the pressure cracks to open up and getting across them is causing some issues especially for those taking motorized vehicles out. Anglers still need to use CAUTION especially in the southern part of bay where the ice varied more than the northern end. Walleye catches were fair to good between Aronson Island and Portage Point for those jigging rapalas or using tip-ups with a minnow in 25 to 35 feet. Fish were also caught near the mouth of the Escanaba River in 20 to 35 feet. The perch were active but most caught only small fish. Try out from Brach’s Cabins in 15 to 24 feet with wigglers or minnows or out from the Day’s River in eight to 26 feet. Good catches of whitefish were taken at Gladstone in 30 to 40 feet with minnows or spawn.

Munising:  Anglers are catching splake and whitefish in the bay.

Manistique Lake:  Is producing some yellow perch and pike. Walleye were slow, but a few have been caught.

Munuscong:  Has more snow on the ice than Cedarville and Hessel. Perch fishing was fair but the walleye were spotty for those fishing tip-ups with minnows in three feet of water near Grassy Island.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Musky Bay and Hessel Bay are slow. Anglers are seeing fish and trying a variety of baits but catch rates were slow.  

Weekly Fishing Report: December 3, 2013

Weekly Fishing Tip: Are you ready (and prepared) to go ice fishing?
Several parts of Michigan should hopefully have ice in the coming weeks, thus providing anglers with an opportunity to go fishing. Will you be joining them? Then it’s time to get prepared to head out safely on the ice!
Young boy ice fishing during Michigan's winterEquipment
You’ll need some special equipment if you head out ice fishing. Take stock of your spud/auger, skimmer, shelter and apparel to have an enjoyable experience out on the water.

Techniques
Pick your preferred ice fishing technique and the species you wish to target and brush up on your skills – whether that is hook-and-line fishing for bluegill, sunfish, perch or crappie; using tip-ups for northern pike, walleye or trout; or spearing for northern pike, muskellunge or sturgeon.

Safety
You should always stay safe when heading on the ice. These five tips can help: 1) Never fish alone; 2) Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return; 3) Always test the ice with a spud; 4) Take the appropriate emergency items, such as a lifejacket and ice picks; and 5) Take a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help. Keep it in a plastic, sealable bag to make sure it doesn’t get wet.

Want more information on ice fishing? Visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.



Weekly Fishing Report map

 

 

Great Lakes Temperature Map

There is no new fishing report for this week. Please watch your email inbox next Thursday, December 12, for the latest information on fishing conditions in Michigan.

Weekly Fishing Report: November 28, 2013

UPPER PENINSULA

Little Bay De Noc:  This will be the final report for 2013. Very cold temperatures have started the ice making process but no fishing yet! Anglers are waiting and if the cold weather persists, ice fishing will not be too far off. More anglers are now targeting whitefish.