Salmon and Bass Fishing in Traverse City, Michigan, October 24, 2016

boardman-river-traverse-cityLet me state up front: I caught no fish. This was not surprising seeing as the weather was cold (40s) and blustery, and I had no salmon lures. I also had only had a few hours as I was in Traverse for an alcoholic beverages conference. (Really.)

But, oh, most definitely there are fish to be had in Traverse City. Plenty.

Small-mouth are in the Boardman River year ’round. Trout also can be found. (That there are two fly fishing shops in downtown Traverse City is no accident.) Hannah Park is one place to score bass. There are plenty of good spots to cast from, and it is a short walk from the Park Place Hotel. Go west on E. State St, turn left on S. Union, then right on 6th. Voila!

Especially exciting is that salmon and steelheads run in the late summer and early autumn. My late October arrival came at the end of the run. I did get to hang out with two locals and watch them pull three 30- to 36-inch salmon from the Boardman, which snakes right through town. These guys were landing the salmon behind Front Street between Cass and S. Union Streets. Shiny spoons (maybe 3- or 4-inches in size) scored two of the salmon. They also were chucking various hard baits that look like thin or fat minnows. Seeing a hooked salmon leap from the water was really something.

I must get back there. The chance to score a salmon and then stroll to one of Traverse City’s pubs or eateries afterward is too appealing to be resisted.

salmon-spoon

How to Texas Rig or Wacky Rig for Bass Fishing

This video explains how to do it. If you need weight for casting, you can slide a cone-shaped bullet worm sinker on the line before tying the hook and putting on the worm or soft lure.

Another way to rig soft worms for bass-fishing is the wacky rig.

 

And these two videos show how to fish the wacky rig Senko. In short, flick it into covered areas (under trees and docks) or cast it into open areas and let it sink to the bottom and reel it up, then flutter down, then reel it up. If you keep getting hung up on the bottom, you can slow reel it in. To garner more bass attention, reel and stagger-jerk it as you bring it in.


Bluegill, Sunfish, Large-mouth Bass, and Small-mouth Bass Fishing In Silver Lake, Ohio, July 5, 2016

This lovely, private lake —you cannot get in unless you are a member or a guest of a member—has a little dock that one can fish off, and rowboats and kayaks may be borrowed for free.

There are lots of lilly pads, but the seaweed is not bad. The sunfish and bluegills are plentiful, and love little hotdog chunks (bobbered or not). In three hours we landed about 10 sunfish, along with a small mouth bass. The catfish lines put out there (hot dog, shad, cat-chow bait) got no bites. (A 16-inch catfish did hang around the dock, trailing a rig and line from its mouth.) A young boy near me caught a 12-inch large-mouth bass on bobber and hot dog chunk.

This advice came from Robert Heydorn, who knows the lake better than anyone:

“It’s mainly a bass lake, largemouth bass to be specific. It also has bluegill and sunfish and black crappie and channel catfish. If you want to fish for the bass he recommends 7 inch plastic worms that are dark colored on a Texas rig. The kids can fish off the dock with little bits of hot dog on a 12 or 14 inch hook using a bobber. Walmart also sells bait now and they have a red worms or wax worms which they called butter worms that he says are really good. For catfish, I use hot dogs, but others use store-bought catfish bait, chunks of old chicken or liver, or night crawlers. Off the dock you can catch lots of panfish and occasional bass. Catfish in the evening. Bass better then too. If he is bass fishing in a boat, tell him to hit the edges of the lilly pads all around the lake.” It was great fun to fish here and I would enjoy trying to work the lake from one of the rowboats.

ABK and small-mouth bass

Small-mouth bass caught from the dock at Crystal Lake.