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Bite Me! Jigheads

By Louie Stout

Best Bet for Quality Bass? Try Bruce Lake

If you're looking for a diamond-in-the-rough bass lake, put Bruce Lake on your radar.

The 245-acre lake on the Pulaski/Fulton County line, seven miles southeast of Winamac, Ind., yielded a good population of quality bass during a DNR survey there last year.

"We turned up 30 bass over 18 inches in four hours of electroshocking," said Indiana District Fisheries Biologist Tom Bacula. "The biggest we saw was a female that was 6 pounds plus. There are some real studs in there."

The survey was conducted at the end of April last year.

By Louie Stout

Will Stocking Changes Impact Lake Michigan Fishery?

Indiana’s updated stocking plan may put smiles on Lake Michigan anglers’ faces, but it does raise some curious questions.

Lake Michigan biologist Brian Breidert announced last week that Indiana will get 40,000 brown trout from Michigan to replace the fish it couldn’t get from Illinois this year. He also said it also will stock 7,000 more king salmon this year and additional 15,000 next year.

The brown stocking is a great deal. Michigan browns are bigger (6 inches) compared to the fingerlings they we were getting from Illinois, so survival should improve.

Unfortunately, none of those are going into the St. Joseph River. Some 30,000 will go into the East Chicago Marina and the remaining 10,000 into Trail Creek at Michigan City.

“Stocking browns in the St. Joseph at South Bend is something I am thinking about for the future,” said Breidert.

By Louie Stout

Lake Manitou on the Rebound

Lake Manitou is making a comeback.

An R&B Circuit Open bass tournament held there last weekend under rough weather conditions produced four limits including the winners’ five-fish, 12.43 pounds.

The big bass for which Manitou was once famous didn’t show up but it wasn’t bad considering what the lake has been through over the past decade.

It’s been slow, but fish biologists are beginning to see some improvements in the 735-acre lake in Rochester, Ind. in Fulton County.

Here’s some background to what has happened there the past 15 years and what recent fish surveys are beginning to show.

By Louie Stout

Steelhead, crappies and coho are providing Michiana anglers with the best action this week as area waters start to slowly warm up.

The St. Joseph River trout and salmon run is pushing record portions. Indiana Lake Michigan Biologist Brian Breidert said this week that the 2017-18 river migration is the second greatest since stocking efforts began some 20 years ago.

From June through April 5, more than 20,000 trout and salmon have passed through the South Bend fish ladder. That includes more than 6,000 coho that came and left last fall.

The steelhead numbers are what counts right now. Since June of last year, nearly 8,000 steelhead have moved up river. As good as that is, this season still trails last year when nearly 15,000 passed.