Michigan Free Fishing Weekend this February 2018

Experience #MiFreeFishingWeekend Feb. 17-18 and enjoy the outdoors

Grab a fishing rod and enjoy some of the finest fishing Michigan has to offer during the 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18. On those two days, everyone – residents and non-residents alike – can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.

In addition, during #MiFreeFishingWeekend, the Department of Natural Resources will waive the regular Recreation Passport entry fee that grants vehicle access to Michigan’s 103 state parks and recreation areas. Several locations also may be hosting official 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend events that are perfect for the whole family.

Michigan has been celebrating winter’s #MiFreeFishingWeekend every year since 1994 as a way to promote awareness of the state’s vast aquatic resources. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a perfect match.

read more

 

Charter fishing operations offer great options for novice and experienced anglers

For those who don’t have a fishing boat, may not have the correct fishing gear, don’t know how to fish, are new to an area, or are just looking for a day of fun, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests considering a charter fishing trip. Charter fishing businesses are located throughout the state and offer a great way to experience Michigan’s world-class fisheries.

Lake Erie walleye charter aboard the Stray Cat Monroe, MI 48145

Sam walleye fishing Lake Erie

Licensed fishing charters make a full or half-day of fishing easy and enjoyable, as they provide the boat and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed for a day on the water. Fishing charters are for anyone, children or adult, from the first-time angler to those who are experienced. Charter businesses in Michigan help anglers of all experience levels enjoy memorable experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying one’s hand at catching a new species.

In Michigan in 2016, more than 70,000 anglers participated in more than 17,000 charter fishing trips on Great Lakes and specific navigable waters. These anglers caught more than 244,000 fish of various species, with about half of the fish caught being trout and salmon.

read more

What do Walleye really See

14 TWINE LINE

2016 SUMMER EDITION

Watching Fish See

New Ohio Sea Grant research aims to improve Lake Erie’s walleye fishery

by Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant Communications

No matter how useful it will eventually be, sometimes science just looks silly. In Dr. Suzanne Gray’s lab at The Ohio State University, a fish in a cylindrical tank slowly swims in circles as it follows the black and white panel rotating around the outside of the glass. Gray and her Ohio State collaborators, Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter and Eugene Braig, are studying how well fish can see both prey and predators underwater, and how that ability is influenced by changes in water clarity. They hope that the research will help Lake Erie fisheries adapt to algal blooms that reduce underwater visibility, which is important to visual hunters such as Walleye. Those important sport fish, along with prey fish like Emerald Shiners, are the current focus of the project. “We wanted to integrate this really basic science – visual physiology – with the people who are out there catching the fish,” Gray said. “Walleye fishing in Ohio is close to a $1.8 billion industry, and Walleye are going to be influenced in some way by changes to the visual environment that happen with the algal blooms in the late summer and fall.” PhD student Chelsey Nieman already completed a pilot study for the project at Stone Lab, working out details like setting up tanks for various experiments and taking care of the fish used in the study. Her two months at the lab were funded by Ohio Sea Grant’s Small Grants Program, which provides up to $10,000 in research support to applicants. “Chelsey will be the first graduate student working on this project,” Gray said. “She actually has a Master’s degree that is interdisciplinary, so it included fisheries, but also incorporated a social science component. So she’s really excited about using her expertise for the citizen science work on this project as well.” That work will focus on Lake Erie charter boat captains who regularly take clients out to fish for the species of interest to the project.

Lake Erie WalleyeThe researchers will use surveys and interviews to draw on the captains’ expertise in selecting lures, based on years of fishing experience, and test those lures in the lab setting to provide science-based data for anecdotal knowledge of what lures work best for which fish under varying conditions. “Our goal is to create a citizen science project associated with fishing success, with different colors or types of lures, under different turbidity conditions,” Gray explained. “We’ve had a positive response from the fishermen, who want to do anything they can to understand the fishery better. Which makes sense; it’s their livelihood and these blooms are potentially harmful to their business.” The project also received letters of support from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit, which helps manage Fisheries in Lake Erie, and Ohio Sea Grant Extension, which educates the public about sustainable local fisheries.

Charter Fishing Operations offer options to Michigan anglers

Walleye fishing aboard the charter boat Stray Cat Lake Erie Michigan

Grandpa walleye fishing with his Grandson aboard the charter boat Stray Cat Lake Erie Michigan

Experience Michigan’s world-class fisheries.
Licensed fishing charters make a full or half day of fishing easy and enjoyable as they provide the boat, all the equipment, plus the knowledge necessary for a day on the water. Fishing charters are for anyone, children or adults, from the first-time angler to those who are experienced. Charter businesses in Michigan help anglers have memorable experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying one’s hand at catching a new species.

In 2015, more than 68,000 anglers participated in more than 17,000 charter fishing trips in Michigan. These anglers enjoyed catching more than 205,000 fish of various species.

Find a fishing charter for a specific location by searching the web, contacting the local area Chamber of Commerce or city tourism office, or visiting the Michigan Charter Boat Association web site. For an even more individual experience and enjoyable end of the fishing trip, customers can try a “Catch & Cook” charter. Upon returning from a trip, customers take their cleaned, fresh fish to a participating local restaurant, which will prepare and serve the catch for the customer. Participating “Catch & Cook” charters can be viewed at michigancatchandcook.com.

read more

Fishing Report Lake Erie Monroe, Michigan 05-13-2016

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up again around Stoney Point. The water temperature is in the mid 50’s. Trolling Thunder Stick Jr. in purple, or darker colors seemed best from 16 to 24 feet of water.

Lots of spikes over the dumping grounds with a few nice keeper walleye. The water was murky from recent storms and run off. Take it slow on the speed the fish are still a little lethargic but the water temp. is on the rise. My buddies caught a few trolling from “E” buoy towards Bolls Harbor yesterday, but again lots of spikes. Keep checking your lines because it’s hard to tell when your loaded up with the lil fellers!

Lots of boats fishing between Turtle Island and the Toledo Lighthouse, some jigging some trolling. Success rates vary due to water clarity and run off from the Maumee River. If you fish this area make sure you know where your at, you may want to have an Ohio fishing license on board, the Michigan Ohio boarder runs right through the middle of Turtle Island and heads North to the Detroit River

Walleye and Perch fishing should be very good in 2016

Time to book a walleye and perch fishing trip

 The daily bag limit will be six walleye from May 1 through Feb. 28, 2017.

A 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season for walleye. The yellow perch daily bag limit will be 30 from May 1 through April 30, 2017, with no minimum size limit. Lake Erie anglers can find walleye and yellow perch bag limit information at ODNR offices, in special publications at bait and tackle shops and at wildohio.gov.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources points out that walleye and yellow perch fisheries in Lake Erie are managed by a quota system that involves Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, as well as Ohio. Ohio’s catch limits are set after the state gets allocations from the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Walleye


Lake Erie charter fishing Stray Cat Fishing Charter Lake Erie, Michigan

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter

Ohio walleye anglers will catch fish mostly from the 2014 and 2013 hatches, with some fish from the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 year classes. Additional fish from 2007 and 2003 will also be harvested by anglers. Walleye from the average 2014 hatch will range from 15-18 inches, while walleye from the 2013 hatch will be between 16-20 inches. Fish from the 2003 and 2007 hatches are likely to carry most of the Central Basin fisheries, and a good number of these walleye will be over the 26-inch range. Large walleye from strong hatch in 2003 will continue to provide “Fish Ohio” opportunities (greater than 28 inches), with this year class nearing the size that may give Ohio a new state record walleye. Additionally, in 2016, anglers should see a number of smaller (less than 15 inches) fish from the excellent 2015 hatch.

Yellow Perch


Derek with a Lake Erie double perch

Lake Erie double perch

Expect good perch fishing in 2016, with improving numbers of fish in the Western Basin. Perch anglers should encounter fish ranging from 7 to 13 inches from the 2014 through 2008 hatches this year, with major contributions from the 2014, 2011 and 2008 year classes. Fish from the average-to-better hatches in 2007 will contribute fish in the 10-plus inch range.

“In 2015, yellow perch fisheries flourished in the eastern portions of Ohio’s Lake Erie, and we expect this trend to continue into 2016,” said Jeff Tyson, Lake Erie fishing program administrator.

Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe Michigan 8/27/2015

Walleye fishing has been very slow this past week. A captain friend has been fishing the North end of the Michigan dump. Tuesday he took 18 walleye, Wednesday 4, and Thursday 16 all on wiggle warts 80 back (Superman, Green Spec, orange Spec and Gold w/black back and red bill) – low divers set at 1 1/2 with any gold colored Jr. Streaks.

Lake Erie Perch fishing charter trip

Ben’s first double Lake Erie perch

Perch fishing has been very good all week. I’ve been fishing between the Michigan and Ohio dump earlier in the week and had limit catches each day with 5 to 6 people on board. Wednesday I fished between “S” buoy and the Toledo lighthouse and took 180 perch in about 4 hours, we had to weed through lots of small 5 to 6 inch perch. I burned up a lot of bait, so make sure your purchase about a third more than you would normally purchase. Today (Thursday 8/27) I had 3 guests and took the largest catch of the week size wise  near Mineikes Marina and the lighthouse. I moved around a few times and ended up near the marina in 14 feet of water. The light North East wind didn’t seem to bother the perch bite. I did get checked by the Ohio DNR, make sure you have your Ohio fishing license with you- it’s 30 per person and 2 rods per person. One of the guests on a charter boat out of our marina forgot his license and was ticketed today. Another captain fished on the line between “E” buoy and the second set of cans North of the lighthouse they caught 150 perch between 7 and 10 inches, he also burned lots of bait up on small perch. North of Stoney Point in 24 to 26 feet of water has produced a mixed bag of perch yellow perch and white perch.

Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe Michigan 08/21/2015

There is still some walleye to be caught over the Michigan and Ohio dumping grounds. Wiggle Warts 70 to 90 feet back and low divers set at 1 1/2 – 22 feet out seemed to be the ticket earlier in the week. A captain buddy docked near me has walleye fished eariler in the week and managed to take 15 to 20 fish on each trip.

Lake Erie perch fishing charter trip aboard the charter boat Stray Cat near Monroe, Michigan

Lake Erie perch fishing charter trip aboard the charter boat Stray Cat near Monroe, Michigan

Perch fishing has been good all week. I have fished in the Turtle Island area and caught lots of Yellow Perch but really had to pick through them for keepers. There are a ton of fish in the area from Turtle Island to the 3 stacks in any where from 12 to 14 feet of water (Luna Pier). Take a little extra bait. Stoney Point has been on again and off again. West of Sputnik was good in 24 feet of water on Sunday and Monday with an average of 7 to 9 inchers. It started of with small ones but the size increased the longer we fished. I’ve been having to purchase extra bait to weed through smaller perch and small White Perch. I have caught some jumbo White Perch, kept them and ate em. Mixed in with the Yellow Perch no one could tell the difference.

Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe MI 8/10/2015

This past week the walleye bite really slowed down! There are some fish in and around the dump but the large school seemed to move out to deeper water.  A captain friend found some out between McDonalds and West Sister Island but they have been hugging the bottom. We believe this has do to the weather we have experienced since Thursday. Blasted north east winds for 3 days!   He’s been running 40 jets deep and dipsey divers, turned to 3, out 70 feet.

Walleye fishing charter trip aboard the Stray Cat Monroe, Michigan

Start them off right with a Lake Erie walleye fishing trip!!

I started my perch fishing trips Tuesday and have had great success with limit catches of perch between 8 and 9 inches with a few over 10 inches between the dump and McDonalds, on both sides of the line. Thursday it started blowing out of the North East and by noon the water was so muddy the fish just quit. Friday and Saturday the lake was still torn up and fishing sucked. Sunday the water started to clean up but the perch were not really in the mood. A couple of us captains jumped in the boat on a scouting mission. We left out of the Raisin River went north and east till we hit clean water past Sputnik. All we caught were white perch and silver bass. We worked our way back to McDonalds stopping 8 or 9 times to check for perch. We caught perch at every stop but never hit the mother load. Our best spot was around the #1 buoy off the Raisin River. We still caught lots of junk fish along with some keeper yellow perch. Purchase extra bait to make sure you don’t run short. W- buoy is a sure bet for perch and close to home. I’ve had some reliable reports from out in front of  Luna Pier but have not fished the area yet, but I will this week.

Don’t forget the Bolles Harbor public DNR launch will be closed until September 4th. They are repairing the road. Woot Woot!!!

Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe MI 07/30/2015

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip near Monroe MichiganDespite the hotter temperatures a fair amount of walleye are sticking around North of “E” buoy to the Raisin River and along the Michigan / Ohio boarder. I’ve been fishing with wiggle warts 70 and 80 feet back. Seems like everyone I’ve talked to has a favorite wart color. Green and orange speck seem to produce on my boat. Some of the guy’s are still running spoons and divers with great success but they are catching more white perch and small walleye. I’ve run small salmon spoons on my high and low divers and that helped keep off some of the smaller fish and it’s also taken my larger walleye. Silver Streak mini spoons in Malibu Barbie, Mixed Veggies. You’ll have to keep checking the divers frequently for small fish your your wasting your time running them.

Perch fishing has also been good around “W” buoy and “C” buoy inside the Michigan dump. Off the #1 buoy of the Raisin River and out in front of Bolles Harbor in 20 plus feet of water. Remember if you don’t start getting bites within a 10 minutes or so move a little. Sometimes you only have to move 100 yards. If you see someone catching perch resist the urge to anchor up by them. Experience has shown you will never pull the fish from the other boat, Better off to find your own school of perch.