Marty Teifke of Holland caught this huge muskie recently while fishing Lake St. Clair in the evening. The fish measured 51½ inches and weighed an estimated 30-plus pounds.
■ Lake Erie: The walleye fishing in the western end of the lake has slowed a bit, but all experienced anglers on the big lake know that a lull in August means good fishing is ahead. As the water cools, walleye migrate back in this direction, which should translate into more good-sized keepers in the catch. The dedicated trollers are still taking fish, and still going through the arduous sorting process as small fish continue to dominate the catch, but after feeding like crazy all summer some of those former “shorts” have now stretched to keeper size. It might be best to carefully release them anyway, and let bigger fish fill that bag limit. The experts at Netcraft report the best walleye fishing has been taking place from around the “H” can of the Camp Perry firing range, northwest of West Sister Island, and from North Bass Island to Gull Island Shoal. On the perch fishing front, the action has been steady, and the average size has been strong, with many fish in the 8-10 inch range. The experts at Netcraft report that the perch action has been consistent around Green and Rattlesnake islands, northwest of West Sister Island, and around the “A” and “B” cans of the Camp Perry firing range. There have also been promising perch fishing reports from Niagara Reef and from the north side of North Bass Island. The proven approach for perch has been minnows or worms fished near the bottom on spreader rigs. Check with John or Kevin at Netcraft for the best advice on sizes, weights, and colors.
■ Maumee River: The water level has dropped in recent weeks, exposing much of Side Cut Creek and giving anglers a narrower field on which to focus their approach. While the catfish anglers stick with their proven locales at the Rossford Marina, off the Middlegrounds Metropark and in the deeper holes below Weirs Rapids, other fishermen are finding cooperative smallmouth bass, white bass, and an occasional largemouth bass on the edges of the faster water, and around the stands of vegetation. Mid to late summer is also an ideal time for the walleye spawning run anglers to scout the exposed river bed, take pictures, and map out the locations of the pockets and holes that will very likely hold spawning run fish seven or eight months from now.
■ Sandusky River: The river is at a mid summer normal level, according to Bernie Whitt at Angler’s Supplies in downtown Fremont, with good water clarity. That means all areas are fishable, and the options are open for smallmouth bass in the runs and moving water, crappies in the brushy shoreline areas, and catfish in the deeper holes. Whitt is selling goldies to the perch and crappie fishermen and said this go-to substitute when emerald shiners become scarce has been working well for anglers. Catfish anglers are taking fish with night crawlers, cut baits, and shad.
■ Ohio strip mine lakes: Guru Outfitters guide Corneilus Harris reports from the AEP lakes in southeastern Ohio that the largemouth bass bite has been solid, with top- water buzz baits and jerk baits fished in the morning hours producing numerous fish. Harris said fishing the edges of the weed beds with swim jigs has also been productive in recent outings. He hikes his clients in to more remote waters that experience very little fishing pressure and consistently puts them on big bass.
■ Irish Hills: As the water temperatures creep near 80 degrees, the normal late-summer pattern might be slowly coming into view on this collection of lakes in southeast Michigan, where the bluegill anglers are starting to find more fish in the deeper water. The best fishing should come in 18-22 feet of water, but that pattern can change just as soon as we think we have it all figured out, so a flexible approach is best. Worms and live crickets have been the proven baits, fished on slow, wind-driven drifts that allow the anglers to cover more territory. The bass anglers have been working the lakes in the low-light hours, casting crankbaits along the breaks, and using jerk baits, senko worms and rooster tails to entice strikes on the edges of the weed beds.
■ Cold Creek lottery: The ODNR is holding a lottery for mobility-impaired anglers interested in learning the art of fly fishing at one of the state’s top trout facilities. The winners will take part in a free clinic at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery on Sept. 8, but entries for the lottery must be postmarked by Sunday. In addition to fly-fishing instruction by ODNR Division of Wildlife staff and volunteers, attendees will be able to test their skills fishing for rainbow trout and the occasional brown trout that inhabit Cold Creek on the hatchery property. There are 10 permits available for both the morning and afternoon sessions, which run from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1-5 p.m. To apply, applicants must submit a postcard listing their name, address and customer ID number, and phone number. Only one postcard per applicant is allowed and no duplicates may be submitted. Postcards should be sent to: ODNR Division of Wildlife District 2, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, OH 45840, Attention: Mobility Impaired Fly Fishing Clinics. Successful applicants will receive a letter with additional details, and each successful applicant must bring a nonfishing attendant with them.
■ Costa Rica: Toledoan Scott Kozak has put a new 42-foot Sportfisher in the water out of Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica. The “Pacific Fly” is 13 feet, 6 inches wide and rigged for fishing for blue marlin, black marlin, stripped marlin, sailfish, mahi mahi and tuna. For information on fishing the rich waters of the Pacific Ocean with Captain Kozak, contact him at the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Kozak has a wealth of experience on the ocean as a competitive billfish angler, and he has extensive familiarity with the waters off Costa Rica.