Update on Great Lakes fishing

By: Mike Breunling
By: Mike Breunling
     There are plenty of fishermen and women across central and northern Wisconsin.   I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you while ice fishing on area lakes the past few years.  Some of you may know I am a native of southwestern Michigan.  I spent many hours as a kid fishing Lake Michigan...often from the piers of the local harbor.  Over the years I caught plenty of perch and some salmon, including a 26 pound Chinook on a light spin-cast rod with only 8 lb. test! 
For several years the perch population in at least portions of Lake Michigan has been in decline.  There have been several theories put forth to explain the situation, ranging from the competition of invasive species such as the zebra muscle and gobie, to poor recruitment classes over a few years .  The situation became serious enough that daily catch limits were greatly reduced by the DNR's of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, with reductions also placed on the harvest by commercial fisherman. 
There are indications the perch population is making a come-back, at least in waters off the southwestern coast of Michigan,  Included below are a series of photos of the "fishing action" taken by my cousin and a fishing buddy through the summer.
The first photo shows their boat headed out the St. Joseph River.  The piers in the distance are where I spent a lot of my summers.
The next photo is of a "double-header".   In waters adjacent to Michigan, two hooks per line are allowed.  The fishing action is
good when you can get a pair!
The next photo is a view of the fish graph.  At the time the depth was 26.3 feet and the near-surface water temperature was 71 degrees (F).  The bottom is indicated by the more solid red-colored area.  But just above the bottom the graph is showing a nice school of fish!
The next photo shows there are some nice-sized perch available:  13" is considered a lunker for us Michiganders.
The final photo shows the results of a successful outing.  A cooler of perch and a surprise Steelhead that was in the area
even though the water was quite warm that day.  As you can see, there is quite a nice variety of sizes of perch in the cooler, an indication of different year-classes in the schools.
If you would like more information on fishing in the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan off the Michigan shore, please send an email to me:  mbreunling@wsaw.com










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