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The Blade Fishing Report: 6-20

06/20/2014, 12:00am EDT

Best angling information from area experts

Maumee River: The fly fishermen are taking advantage of the mixed bag of fish species the river serves up, even when rain muddies things a bit. Quinn Logsdon, a regular fly-tosser on the river, said he recently coaxed a number of drum, white bass and a few smallmouth bass to smack orange articulated marabou flies and orange crawfish patterns. His fishing partner had success with a chartreuse bunny fur streamer. River watcher Joe Roecklin reports some action below the Providence Dam for spin-casters, where white bass, a few walleyes, and a lot of catfish have been taken. The area is also teeming with gar, Roecklin said.

Sandusky River: Catfish are the top target for anglers in the lower stretches of the river, where they find the standard baits fished on the bottom or drifted under bobbers are connecting with big cats. The sections of the river above the Ballville Dam flat water have produced smallmouth bass and some panfish for anglers patient enough to work spinners and twisters until they find fish.

Lake Erie: Captain Dave Spangler aboard “Dr. Bugs Charters” reports the return of the “up-and-down” pace that walleye fishing seems to follow each year at this time. One day is phenomenal, and the next struggles to be mediocre. Capt. Dave said the mayfly hatch is at “epic levels” and the walleyes are gorged on the freebies. He recommends moving around to locate active fish, and suggests the areas along the shipping channel and northeast of West Sister Island, fished by casting weapons or trolling spoons.

Islands, bays: The angling experts at Jann’s Netcraft remind everyone that the Ohio bass season on the Lake Erie waters remains closed until June 28, so all smallmouth and largemouth from these areas need to be immediately released. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass action are finding great sport while working tube jigs, crankbaits and jerkbaits in water less than 25 feet deep where there is a rocky bottom. Largemouth are attacking crankbaits and jerkbaits spray-casted in the marinas and shallow bays.

Irish Hills: The bluegills are still around the beds, and eager to strike live crickets when the wind allows the fishermen to follow their floats. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are on the move in the near-shore areas and on the sandbars, and seem ready to strike a variety of offerings. The tactics and techniques vary a bit from lake to lake in this area, but it remains a fishing hotspot that is hard to beat.

Detroit River: Windsor-based guide Jon Bondy has three decades of experience working this water, and his custom-designed “Bondy Bait” has been inducing regular strikes from big muskies when jigged in 20-28 feet depths.

Lake St. Clair: Guide Jon Bondy said the smallmouth bass have started working the surface, taking advantage of the prolific mayfly hatch. He is finding fish in 6-14 feet of water.

U.P. Waters: The heavy ice and snow of our uber-winter blanketed the Upper Peninsula lakes into the spring, but the significant fish kills many feared do not appear to have taken place. The Bays de Noc, long renowned as a walleye producing factory, is also earning a reputation as a place to catch trophy smallmouth bass. Bassmaster will bring a tournament to Escanaba early this fall to take advantage of the developing fishery.

Adrian Fishing Team: The Michigan College Bass Circuit continued its summer competition with an event on Oakland County’s 1,000-acre Kent Lake last weekend. Nine Michigan and Ohio schools were represented, with Michigan State taking first, and the new varsity fishing team from Adrian College finishing fourth.

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Tag(s): Matt Markey