LAKE MICHIGAN FISHING
Portions of Trail Cr & the E Br of the Little Cal will be closed to all fishing from 4/1-6/15/13. This closure allows recently stocked fish to safely migrate downstream to LM. The closed season applies to: The E Br in Porter Co from US 12 upstream to US 20 & Trail Cr in LaPorte Co from the Franklin St Bridge upstream to US 35. Personnel with Mixsawbah SFH recently stocked chinook salmon in the streams & along the lakefront. Trail Cr was stocked with 57,235 fingerlings averaging 3.84". The E Br Little Cal received 57,232 fingerlings while Buffington Harbor received a planting of 54,984 fingerlings. Those fish were slightly longer in length at stocking, averaging 4.02".
Members of the pacific salmon family, the chinook or king salmon and the coho salmon can be found in Lake Michigan and its tributaries in northern Indiana. Pacific salmons do not feed during spawning, but will strike a lure during their runs. Cohos will spawn in the fall in their third year of life and die, while chinooks will spawn in the fall, winter or spring in the fifth year of life, allowing them to grow larger. The teeth of the coho salmon are set in light color gums. The coho salmon has black spots on the upper lobe of a slightly forked caudal fin with 12-15 anal fin rays.
Bait: Spoons, dodger/fly combos, bodybaits
Depth: Up to 55 FOW
Big catches of trout & salmon have been reported by boating anglers this past week in southern LM. Easy limits of coho salmon were reported out-front of MC, the "ditch" in Portage & the EC Marina. Anglers stated that cohos were caught on spoons, D/F combos & bodybaits fished 12-24' down in water depths to 55 FOW. In addition to the cohos, several nice size chinook salmon were caught as well. Anglers said the kings were caught on spoons & bodybaits in the same general area as the cohos but only trolling a little deeper in the water column. Kings up to 19 lbs have been caught.
Rainbow or steelhead trout
Ever popular among Indiana anglers is the trout family, which includes the brown, lake and rainbow or steelhead trout. Many fisherman can be spotted on the shores during spawning season when the trout begin their runs into the tributaries. Rainbow or steelhead trout have a white mouth, teeth and gums and small black spots on their backs, sides, and caudal and dorsal fins. The caudal fin margin of the rainbow or steelhead trout is square and the fish has 9-12 anal fin rays.
Depth: Up to 55 FOW
Lake: See coho report. Tribs: No action to report.
Sunfishes include some of the best-known fish in Indiana. Bluegill, redear sunfish, black and white crappie, largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass are all members of the sunfish family. The last rays on the dorsal fin of the smallmouth bass are separated from the rest of the fin. Also, the upper jaw does not extend beyond back of eye, as it does with the largemouth bass. The smallmouth bass commonly reaches 3-4 pounds.
Bait: Minnows, worms, jigs, crankbaits, small spinner baits
Depth: Up to 15 FOW
SMB action is heating up along the southern shorelines of LM. Boat anglers should concentrate their efforts along rocky rip rap that is prevalent along the outside of the Port of Indiana breakwall as well as from the city of Gary W to Hammond. With water temps in the 50’s, a slow presentation is essential in catching spring time SMB. Anglers should use jigs that resemble gobies or minnows or slowly crank bodybaits parallel to the rocky rip rap. Smallmouths in the 14-18" range are abundant with some fish up to 6 lbs caught every year. Shore anglers caught a few SMB off the fishing platform at the EC Marina while casting small crankbaits. Other effective baits & lures for SMB include minnows, worms & jigs.
Indiana anglers have long since sought perch for their tasty flavor. The yellow perch, walleye and sauger are members of this popular family. The yellow perch ranges from 6 to 12 inches long and up to one or two pounds.
Depth: Up to 50 FOW
Anglers were still catching jumbo yellow perch near Gary’s Light in water depths up to 50 FOW. Minnows continue to be the top producing bait.