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Discussion in 'Big Lake Cold Water Fishing Reports' started by us18188, Sep 11, 2017.
I will be on 68 if I get anything I will announce it
I think we are heading to the river somewhere in the morning
I was checking the Muskegon River from the bridges in and around Newaygo and didn't see a single fish, living or dead. If the adults had already run, where are the carcasses?
Maybe because it wasn't stocked, there are no fish (ok, very few). It will show that natural reproduction on the river may not be as good as originally thought.
Well, they were a little off in the predicted 1' or less wave forecast. A bit too choppy for me out solo. I did set up in 60' and managed to get 3 lines down and made it out to 75', but, common sense got the better of me and I pulled everything and came back in after about 45 minutes of bouncing around in that chop.
Marked several bait balls, again, in that area. But, no hits, and marked very few fish.
I think the choppy conditions forced many boats into the channel last night as it was fairly busy in there. Several jiggers, too, but, I did not see any nets go in to the water.
I motored over by the sand docks, and very few marks there, as well.
Weird end of the season in Muskegon, for sure.
The state reports its stocking by location at: www.michigandnr.com/fishstock/
If I am reading it correctly, the report states (starting in 2010) approximately 60K chinook salmon were stocked yearly until 2012. Then stocking dropped to around 18K every year since. Says the fish were released at: Muskegon Lake Outlet Muskegon Lake Outlet Net Pen (10N 17W 28). Granted numbers will be reduced by mortality and catches on the big lake. In theory the fish should be there.
I am still watching this thread closely and appreciate you sharing your thoughts and observations. I hope there will be salmon to be found in the inland lakes and rivers within 30 minutes north or south of White Lake at the end of the month.
There was a pretty decent amount of kings that came through the channel labor day weekend and they were not biting to say the least. The majority of those fish are in the river already. The channel and arms were loaded up on a couple of occasions that weekend but IMO the warm water had them turned off. I've been fishing Muskegon for 20 years and I have seen it like this one other time about 10 years ago. Then it was the same, push came through and you couldn't buy a bite. There are still a few pods of fish coming in each day, last Sunday evening there was a decent amount of mature fish in the mud just outside the pier heads and I heard a few were caught. If you want to tangle with a big one I believe there will be few around the pier heads for a week or two yet, first and last light. Otherwise 150' has been decent fishing 70 to 120 down for trout and immature kings.
One think to remember about rivers with natural reproduction & stocking is that the natural reproduction numbers may be dependent on the TOTAL number of fish that show up in the fall. This would included natural fish & stocked fish. If the numbers of stocked fish go down - the numbers of natural fish will also go down. What I'm saying is planting 1/3 of the fish may actually lead to much lower returns. 1/3 planted could mean 1/6 of return.
So in that case are we only looking at a few thousand kings this year?
Well folks, I received an interesting email regarding the salmon and the run the past few years and I may or may nit post it due to where and who it came from.
But here is the riddle for all of us. Due to lack of food for the last couple of years a lot of the fish DID NOT run the last couple of years due to maturity issues and slow growth. That being said, some of the really large fish caught this year were 6 to 7 year old fish. Supposedly the kings will not actually run if they ARE NOT mature or healthy enough.
That could explain some of the lack of decent returns or runs of salmon the last couple of years in all ports.
Don't shoot the messenger but curious on all thoughts on this as well. For some reason I do think this is possible.
We fished out to 110 Monday and Tuesday morning ..Tuesday evening we was restricted to the channel and sand docks .we had one hit on Monday night and that was it for about 18 hours on the water ...0-2days..jiggers aren't catching anything either ???? I don't get it I was marking fish everywhere lots of bait balls
I've never really noticed any undeveloped skeins in Kings the past years during mid-late summer, so they wouldn't even develop eggs then correct? Seen quite a mix of fish in the rivers this year with hens ranging 12lbs-Giant. Seems normal to me the past 3-5 yrs in the river.
Are you getting this data from a scale sample? I'd be curious to know ages by scale samples of a couple of the kings caught in the high 30's to low 40's.
I have asked for more information
I am hoping to get out this evening but most definitely this weekend. I hope the fishing improves and if we do any good or bad will post a report. Hope everyone gets into the fish.
Thanks for all your thoughts on this topic folks!
Age to maturity is dependent on growth. In good growth years, we see more kings mature at age 2 and age 3. In poor growth years, it is more age 3 and age 4 with some age 5. An age 4 could be 10 pounds or 40 pounds. I have seen age 2 kings in the 20's.
I have never seen a Lake Michigan king older than age 5, and I have aged thousands from the late 1970's to late 1990's. It is possible though and I would like to know the source of the age.
These fish are big because there are fewer kings for the amount of bait, which is rebounding nicely with 3 year classes of alewife. Runs are down because the number of adult kings are down. Most of the run was early cause mostly wild fish that grew well so ran earlier. Less stocked kings in southern rivers so runs are low there and typically later due to low water levels and warm water.
Coho and steel are big this year too indicating rebounding bait.
I am currently waiting on a response to the questions of age and the source of their information. What you are saying however, is right on with the information I was given in the email I received. Thank you for confirming what I thought and received!