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COMMENTARY: Michigan DNR trying to simplify regulations

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A decade ago, the Department of Natural Resources "streamlined" trout fishing regulations. The simplification set up a dozen different sorts of trout habitat, and for each variety, one set of regulations. Twelve sets of trout-fishing regulations? Right. Too much. So the DNR is proposing to simplify again.  more...

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The Life Ahead: C.J. Chivers Teaches His Children to Fish

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The transformation began in a matter of hours.

It started beside a rack of low-priced rods and a display of lures in a sporting-goods store. The selection was skimpy. But to my sons, Jack, 6, and Mick, 4, this was a portal to a secret world. For two years they had been stuck in a city. Now their fishing lives were about to begin. They wanted to know everything.

What is this? A swimming plug. And this? A jig. What do you catch on jigs?

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Homely? Catfish is quite a catch

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Michigan has quite a fishery for the whiskered channel catfish, but when many of the state's anglers do catch them, it's just by accident when they were fishing for something else.Few people would rank this 7-pound channel catfish at the top of a piscatorial beauty parade. Of course, he probably doesn't think much of our looks, either.

The fish hit a trolled plug while we were walleye fishing in Saginaw Bay, a reminder that Michigan has one of the nation's best but most underutilized and underappreciated channel cat fisheries.

Not only are the whiskered hunters excellent gamefish, they can be found almost everywhere in the state, are readily accessible to shore fishermen and are delicious table fare, as many a Southerner will be happy to tell you.

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Green Bay looks promising as developing muskie fishery

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GREEN BAY — Muskie fishing opens in Wisconsin's northern waters on Saturday, and many anglers will make the traditional trek to the lake-filled meccas surrounding Boulder Junction, Minocqua, Eagle River and Hayward.

Meanwhile, a much smaller group awaits the opportunity to tackle lower Green Bay and its ability to provide outsize muskie.

"I've got a place on Lac Vieux Desert (in northeastern Vilas County) and I always spend the muskie opener there," said Jay Zahn, president of the Packerland Chapter of Muskies Inc., which has been heavily involved in efforts to restore muskie in Green Bay. more...



Fishing  Nav and Harbors  

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Commercial fishermen are coming up empty

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TWO RIVERS — Peter LeClair and many of the other commercial fishermen in the area are wondering where all the smelt have gone.

They're also wondering how they seemed to disappear so quickly.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, commercial fishermen were able to pull more than 650,000 pounds of smelt from Lake Michigan in 2006. By 2008, that number was cut in third to just more than 208,000 pounds. So far this year, the smelt harvest has been a paltry 19,000 pounds.  more...



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Detroit River boasts wall-to-walleye action

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Fred Calandrino of Clinton Township, left, Tim Bratta of Chesterfield Township, Ron Mirek of Oakland Township and Bill Korte of Macomb Township landed 13 walleye on a recent outing on the Detroit River.Walleye fishing in the Detroit River has been fabulous this spring, with the limiting factor mostly being high winds and rainy days that have kept anglers from getting out.

In fact, it has been so good that a morning when four anglers land 13 fish up to 5 pounds is considered slow.

"There was a whole school of smaller fish here yesterday, but those smaller ones seem to move on a lot faster than the big ones, and you never know where they'll be tomorrow," charter captain Steve Jones said apologetically to the four anglers aboard his Boston Whaler, which is drifting down the Detroit River between Belle Isle and the Canadian shoreline. "They can be here today and gone tomorrow."   more...



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Travel ban placed on fish, bait, eggs

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Much to the chagrin of bait dealers and anglers, the Ohio Department of Agriculture tightened restrictions on transporting fish, bait fish and fish eggs this week to prevent the expansion of the VHS fish virus,

VHS, or viral hemorrhagic septicemia, is an invasive European fish virus that caused a large sheepshead kill on Lake Erie in 2006. It was documented as the 4B Strain, which is less virulent than European strains of VHS. more...



Environment  Fishing  

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Tasty roe put paddlefish at risk

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The American paddlefish is a survivor that predates even the dinosaurs. But now an increasingly menacing man-made force threatens the paddlefish in Indiana: the economy.  more...

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Some surprising salmon findings

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If the first month of the Lake Michigan salmon season is any indication, this summer should see about as many fish caught as last year, and even bigger ones.  more...

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Best fishing ever at Lake Michigan?

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Carl Stopczynski had reason to smile when our group stepped aboard his 41-foot Trojan early Tuesday morning.

The burly charter captain, known as "Fuzzy Bear," had just won his second straight Hoosier Coho Classic salmon tournament in Michigan City. He's the first back-to-back winner in the 35-year history of the event, and he did it with a record catch.

But that wasn't the main reason Fuzzy Bear was smiling.  more...


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Catch Big Trout Against Cutbanks With Big Wet Flies

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BIG TROUT LURK under cutbanks. There they sit like radar-equipped state troopers, perfectly positioned to nail any hapless wanderer that drifts past. These fish are not insect munchers; they’re cannibals that prey on smaller fish, and the best way to entice a strike is to offer them steak—an outsize fly that forces them to strike out of a territorial impulse.   more...



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Ready-set-go Midwest Fishing Report

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It's time. Although, my timing is way off as I was chasing Lake Michigan smallmouth today and am running late. Forgive me.

Weather is finally holding in more spring patterns and water temperatures around northern Illinois are nearing that prime range. Lilacs are blooming, generally a signal that river smallmouth are going, though water levels remain touchy this spring. more...



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Opinions vary on whether fish farming has bright future in Michigan

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Proponents of Michigan's growth potential in fish farming say the state is in good position to land the "big" one.

Promoting the fastest-growing food industry worldwide, these supporters claim aquaculture can be a source of local food, a job producer and a piece of the state's new, diversified economy. Some are pointing to West Michigan and the Lake Michigan shoreline as being prime for expansion of fish farming.  more...



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DNR report: Week of April 30 to May 6

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Wisconsin’s general inland fishing season opens Saturday, and if the weather cooperates, anglers should be able to look forward to good fishing across the state.

 Despite a cold spring in the North Woods, all lakes should be ice-free and walleyes on all but the largest, coldest lakes have finished spawning and should be in an active post-spawn feeding pattern. Water temperatures on lakes in the south have increased to the low 50s and panfish and bass have moved into shallow bays.  more...



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Angling for changes: DNR wants your take on pike

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This 24-inch northern pike caught from Kent Lake in Kensington Metropark is probably 10 years old and is typical of the pike found in Michigan lakes.Among the staples of TV outdoors programs are shows about anglers flying to lakes in northern Canada and Alaska to fish for giant pike. Most anglers are fascinated by the idea of casting to fish 45-50 inches long, 25-45 pounds and, as a fishing buddy once said, "have a head like a German shepherd."

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