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Bait Fuel

Bite Me! Jigheads

By Louie Stout

How weather has stymied what was a pretty good steelhead push into Lake Michigan tributaries, but it seems to be heating up the perch bite on Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan Biologist Ben Dickinson said anglers had been catching steelhead pretty good off the pier and by trolling the 40- to 70-foot zone the past few weeks but it has slowed down with the rising water temperatures.

The same is true for the steelhead run up the St. Joseph River. A couple hundred fish were counted passing through the South Bend Ladder but higher river temperatures has slowed the progression of fish into the river.

By Louie Stout

Mark Zona with large walleye

Will we see a new Zona fishing show next year… like maybe, “Zona’s Awesome Walleye Show?”

Not likely, but our celebrity Michiana resident hooked him a good one Thursday while fishing with his dad, Big Al, on Klinger Lake.

Zona, who grew up on Klinger and lives near White Pigeon, Mich., is the host of “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show” and co-host of “Bassmaster Live.”

By Louie Stout

Hey guys, we need to take better care of tournament fish we catch and that means doing more than tossing them off the end of a boat dock after a weigh-in.

I was contacted by a DNR official recently who told me he visited a northern Indiana public access the day after a tournament was held there. He counted 11 dead adult bass within 50 feet of the ramp. He said that was the second time in two years that he’s seen dead bass near the ramp after a tournament was held there.

The fish were released in a shallow channel where water quality was suspect.

“The fish now are stressed from the rapid water warmup and the spawning season,” the official said. “Please inform your readers to take extra precautions at all times, especially right now, when releasing fish.”

By Louie Stout

The Indiana DNR isn’t buying up much land to create new public access sites, but they are trying to improve the ones they have.

In fact, northern Indiana waters of Webster, Otter, Bear and Pretty lakes will be getting facelifts this summer.

Weston Zurbrugg, the DNR’s north maintenance supervisor, said he hopes to get on these sites sometimes in July or August, depending upon availability of the excavator that the DNR uses. The access site will be closed for 2 to 3 weeks during construction.