2018-07-19 / Outdoors

Fish to be had in Lake Leelanau


RYAN SIEFFERT prepares to clean his catch on Friday morning after a successful day out on Lake Leelanau. RYAN SIEFFERT prepares to clean his catch on Friday morning after a successful day out on Lake Leelanau. According to two sources, fishing is starting to pick up around Lake Leelanau.

Those sources are the Siefferts, son Ryan and father, Kevin. The two fished every day for a week ending Sunday, catching about 20 walleye and smallmouth on each trip.

“We have a few spots that are our go-to spots,” Ryan said. “Today we caught our fish on the far south side of the lake, and yesterday we caught some near the northern part of the lake.”

On Sunday the duo kept the two legal-size walleye they boated — releasing three small ones — and one smallmouth. The Siefferts, residents of Midland, are regular attendants at the Lake Leelanau RV Park.

“We use crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers or tadpoles,” Ryan Sieffert said. “For the colors, we use purple, blue and green. These seem to do the best job for us.”

The Siefferts said they caught more fish in the week than they ever have.

“We easily caught over 100 fish over the week,” Kevin Sieffert said. “It was a great week for us, with beautiful weather out on the lake.”

Ed Martin, also a frequent fisherman of south Lake Leelanau, has been a bit too busy for fishing as he’s working on his house. But when he does get out, he usually brings home dinner.

“I caught one just north of the RV park last week. It was the first time I had fished north of the park. It was about 18 inches,” he reported.

Martin has been netting 3-inch emerald shiners at a neighboring lake to use for walleye bait.

His family has enjoyed better success, as his son had fun casting plugs and crank baits last week. He caught more smallmouths over walleye in about a 4-to-1 ratio.

Some smallmouths, though, have been trophy size.

“He caught a couple big hog smallmouths, and I’ve caught a couple five, six-pounders,” Martin said.

And his granddaughters cast off the family dock one night to catch enough smaller perch to feed the family.

Still, he characterized fishing on the lake as somewhat average.

“(A neighbor) caught one yesterday, and I got one a couple days ago. Nothing to light a fire,” Martin said.

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