2018-09-06 / Outdoors

Perch bite starting to pick up

by Grant McPherson
of the Enterprise staff


GLEN LAKE graduate Drake Parker holds up his 37-inch pike he caught on Bass Lake in Leelanau County. Photo: Sunny Charpentier GLEN LAKE graduate Drake Parker holds up his 37-inch pike he caught on Bass Lake in Leelanau County. Photo: Sunny Charpentier Perch and salmon fishing is picking up.

On Glen Lake, perch are starting to enter their fall feeding routine, according to Carl Oleson.

“I’ve been out perch fishing and doing fairly well on Glen Lake,” he said. “We are doing really well with them, but the rainbows are kind of spotty.”

Little Glen Lake is starting to give out a healthy dose of trout according to Oleson. Big Glen Lake has shown the rainbow trout and others have been biting, but it is spotty.

“Some of the guys are having some success with rainbows and trout,” Oleson said. “The fish are biting and we are catching some lake trout and the perch. In Little Glen, some guys are catching some four to five pound bass but they put throw them back because they aren’t the best eating.”


TOM LAUER, John Lauer and Bob Fieber, from left, show their catch keepers from a morning of fishing on Lake Michigan. The three were aboard the Fast Break captained by Jeff Tropf. The group said with the warmer water and recent storms, the charters have had to go out deeper in Lake Michigan to find their catch. TOM LAUER, John Lauer and Bob Fieber, from left, show their catch keepers from a morning of fishing on Lake Michigan. The three were aboard the Fast Break captained by Jeff Tropf. The group said with the warmer water and recent storms, the charters have had to go out deeper in Lake Michigan to find their catch. Oleson isn’t alone.

““A lot of fishing is going on at Glen Lake,” he said.

Fishers on other inland lakes have found success as well. For instance, Drake Parker, a Glen Lake High School 2018 graduate, caught a 37-inch pike on his first cast of the day on Bass Lake.

On the big lake, recent storms have churned up the water.

Charter captain Jeff Tropf, who works off his boat Fast Break, said the fish have noticed.

“There was a lot of heavy wind on Lake Michigan, but we caught four salmon and lost one,” Tropf said on Friday morning. “It has been a little tough this year to find the salmon, especially fishing after a storm. All in all, it was pretty good for the conditions.”


TEAM NOW HIRING, comprised, from left, of Cody Pattison, captain Shawn Tice and Seth Tice, all from Traverse City, won the amateur division of the 2018 Salmon Classic. The team caught 10 salmon that collectively weighed 218 pounds from Grand Traverse Bay. The 2017 winning amateur team weighed in with 200 pounds. Classic organizers did not have a list of teams entered from Leelanau County. Photo: Steveo Joslin TEAM NOW HIRING, comprised, from left, of Cody Pattison, captain Shawn Tice and Seth Tice, all from Traverse City, won the amateur division of the 2018 Salmon Classic. The team caught 10 salmon that collectively weighed 218 pounds from Grand Traverse Bay. The 2017 winning amateur team weighed in with 200 pounds. Classic organizers did not have a list of teams entered from Leelanau County. Photo: Steveo Joslin Tropf said water temperatures are staying warm close to the surface, and west winds have pushed the warmth to the Lake Leelanau mainland.

That’s been good for swimmers but tough for charter captains, who have had to venture father out and set down riggers deeper in Lake Michigan to find water temperatures conducive for trout and salmon.

“Water moves by temperature and density, and we normally fish in the 50 to 60 feet deep range with the downriggers,” Tropf said. “Today, we went down to 160 feet. We are fishing extraordinarily deep to find the cold water.”

That’s rare, Tropf continued.

“We are looking for that 52 degree water. It’s 69 on the surface and it’s still 69 degrees at 110 feet down because the wind piled all the warm water on the shoreline.”

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