Whether you’re planning on hitting the walleyes or spring fishing in Michigan for smallbouth bass, these are the top places you definitely won’t want to miss.
Most years, Miller is still ice-fishing in March. Anglers who want to catch trophy-class walleyes should follow his lead.
“There are plenty of places to catch 8- to 9-pound walleyes in Michigan through the ice but my favorite is Muskegon Lake in Muskegon County. There are many walleyes here and many big fish. We often access the lake at the Conservation Club near the mouth of the Muskegon River. The large pre-spawn walleyes are often staging in a flat not far from the river mouth. I typically catch a fair number of walleyes in a short time on ice that is still safe. There is nothing like catching a large walleye through a small hole in the ice, and Muskegon Lake is the place to do it in March.”
Miller prefers using a No. 7 brown trout Jigging Rapala or a fire-tiger Rapala.
Lake St. Clair
Joe Balog is a professional angler who lives on Lake St. Clair and knows the lake like the back of his hand. In April, he fishes the lake hard for smallmouth bass.
“The third Saturday in April is when the catch-and-release season for bass opens on the lake,” said Balog. “The smallmouth fishing is usually good during the last half of April. You have to release them but it isn’t uncommon to catch some large fish.”
Balog prefers using the Goby Replica bait he markets himself. “The large goby swimbait attracts the large smallmouth bass, and so anglers looking to catch large fish should consider trying the Goby Replica.”
May is when the fishing starts to heat up in Michigan. “The water starts warming up on inland lakes and Lake Michigan,” said Balog. “One of my favorite places to fish is out in front of the Bil-Mar Restaurant in Grand Haven on Lake Michigan. I typically fish in about 50 feet of water in an area known as the clay banks.
“The clay in this area tends to hold structure and there are open pockets in the clay that the yellowbelly perch tend to hang out in. During May, this is a great area to fish. Catching many fish in a short time is possible if an angler has a good boat and a graph of some type.”
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Suzuki’s two new four-stroke, two-cylinder portable outboards have a compression reduction system for easier starting. The 20hp tiller model weighs 97 pounds the eletric-start model weighs 106 pounds. Single overhead cam, four-valve engine with Suzuki’s Lean Burn Control and bat-tery-less electronic fuel injection. Built for running in skinny water, both motors come with five tilt pin positions and 15- or 20-inch shaft.
If you wade when you fish, Fish-N-Hunt Pro Gear designed a Tackle Tote Vest that to keep gear accessible but dry when you’re standing in deeper waters. It’s adjustable, sturdy, has lots of pockets and a modest pricetag.
Honda Marine’s BF250 outboard is a 24-valve 3.6-liter V6 that uses varia-ble valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC). Programmed fuel injection delivers the precise amount of fuel and air to each cylinder for easy starts and instant throttle re-sponse. 20-, 25- and 30-inch shaft models.
On-the-go anglers will find a lot to like in Plano’s new Flex ‘N Go Tack-le Satchel. It features adjustable built-in storage with a deep bin on one side and framework for the pair of swap-pable Plano 3600 StowAway boxes on the other, each Stowaway held with a flexible strap.
MSRP, Jacket $249.99-$269;
Cabela’s Guidewear raingear now comes in four distinct series. Bass Angler (pictured) jackets and bibs are built with the tournament bass angler in mind. Xtreme parkas and bibs will help anglers fishing Northern lakes and rivers. Tidal jackets and pants offer lightweight, waterproof and breathable protection. River Runner jackets are perfect for wading anglers.
MSRP, $18.95 per pair.
The original Gear Grabbar is a unique way to hold lures and tools at the ready in boats. But the new Lure Hangar is a step beyond. This is a 12- by 16 1/2-inch plate,m ade to mount on your gunwhale, that holds 16 or more lures. There’s enough room for a selection of jig, plugs, topwaters or whatever other baits you want to hang.
The new AV Micro is a complete underwater camera system that is the same size as a smart phone. On the boat or off the dock, use it to see where fish are hanging out. 3 1/2-inch diagonal display. Built-in rechargea-ble lithium ion batteries.
Berkley says they’ve improved a classic. New Trilene XL lines are now 10 percent stronger 20 percent more flexibility then they had been. Knot strength has also improved, said the company. Trilene XL has been around since 1972.
Abu Garcia’s Revo SX baitcasting reel is now 25 percent lighter than before. The SX frame is crafted of a strong alloy while the handle sideplate are built with weight-reducing C6 carbon. Holds 145 yards of 12-pound mono.
MSRP, jacket $349, bibs $299.
Simms designed its Contender Gore-Tex jacket and bibs for anglers who need reliability when they are motor-ing on the water at 70 mph in rain and wind. Waterproof and breathable. Cuffs are water tight and adjustable.
Anglers like their tools close by. And it’s even better if it’s connected to you so it doesn’t go in the drink. T-Reign retractable gear tethers hold onto your pliers, hemostats or landing net. Several size options. Carabiner connects to D-ring, belt loop or strap, or use the stainless steel clip on belt or pack.