Trout fishing season to start on Saturday
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Following recent winter storms that covered the area with snow and freezing rain, is there much hope that anglers will have favorable conditions for the opening day of trout fishing season this weekend? Yes, there is.
“If the prediction of weather holds it should be a pretty good opener,” said Jack Millikin of Skip’s Sport Shop. “Right now, the 10-day forecast looks pretty good.”
“Early springtime, the weather’s huge,” Millikin said.
Winter storms hit Michigan during the weekend of April 14-15. Warm, sunny weather late last week and during the weekend restarted the spring thaw process.
Before the weekend, Millikin said water levels on the AuSable River were low, and although the melting snow will raise levels somewhat, Millikin predicted that water levels would still be good for fishing conditions unless there is significant rain during the days leading up to Saturday’s trout opener.
Millikin said temperatures in the 50s and 60s will make the flies hatch, but cold water temperatures could slow down the fish.
“The water is probably colder than normal, makes the fish sluggish,” Millikin said.
Millikin said several days of warm weather “should straighten it around” with regard to the river’s water temperatures.
April 28 will also mark the start of fishing seasons for salmon, walleye, and pike on Lower Peninsula inland bodies of water. (The opening day of muskellunge has been changed to the first Saturday in June, according to the Michigan Department of Resources.)
Lake Margrethe still had some ice on it late last week, but Millikin expects it to be gone for the April 28 fishing openers. He said the fish will be sluggish and recommended that anglers “slow drag or slow presentation” or “troll a half a mile an hour in the lakes. Jig action is one of the best tactics with the cold water.”
Millikin said business has been slow but expects it to pick up this week.
“People are cooped up right now. I think they’re ready to fish, ready for something,” Millikin said.
In 2014, the Michigan Department of Resources
(DNR) changed its fishing license system, eliminating the “all species” upgrade and making all licenses good for all species. Licenses can be purchased online at Michigan.gov/dnr.
The current price for a Michigan fishing license is $26.
New this year? Anglers can have their licenses on their smart phones.
“As of March 1, 2018, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has developed an electronic license that allows an individual to display an electronic copy of his or her fishing license using an electronic device,” according to the DNR.
Who needs a license?
“If you fish in Michigan you must purchase a fishing license if you are 17 years of age or older. If you are under 17, you may fish without a license, but you are required to observe all fishing rules and regulations,” according to the DNR.