Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Betsie River Michigan Salmon Fishing Report : 9/1/2009

The alarm sounded at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time this morning, I sprung from the sheets and found my long johns, 41 degrees on the thermometer, the first of many days to come wearing long underwear this year.

I hoisted the kayak on the car and headed out to do some scouting on the Betsie river, as I know the King Salmon have started their annual migration up the rivers.. I put in off of Traverse road between Beulah and Frankfort. There were a couple of fellows drifting spawn and casting spinners there under a bridge who said they had been there all night with no success.

The fog was rising from the water, which was warmer than the frigid air, and there was little movement of fish to be seen. I few bends down the river I ran across what looked to be a husband and wife duo of anglers, they were fishing a beautiful 90 degree bend in the river that had a good deep channel. The woman hooked up while I was chatting with her husband but lost the fish right away. She was drifting a large hunk of skein.

I found that there were some nice log jam channels and holes around, but not like the rivers in Wisconsin. Wisconsin rivers are mainly clay and gravel, while the rivers here, such as the Au Sable, Betsie, Muskegan, Grand, and Manistee rivers are much sandier bottoms, making less riffle and rapid areas that I am more accustomed to fishing.

The technique here will be to find deep, cool, shady holes in the sand and drift spawn sacs, rip streamers, or run spinners through them. Additionally log jams can produce fish, but are dangerous as it is very easy to snap a line when a fish takes you for a ride directly into the logs.

Once I made the (much harder) paddle back up river I got in my car and promptly lost my sunglasses by leaving them on the roof. I then headed out to Lake Michigan to see if there were many boats trolling for Salmon in the harbor or at the gap in the piers. There were around 40 boats out trolling the mouth of the breakwater, most around a half mile out. Many boats were headed back in already, early limits or bad fishing... The fellows at the Frankfort Tackle Box seemed to think that the fishing was poor this morning.

I've got all my gear for trolling this week. I'm going to try for Lake Trout in Crystal Lake, and I'll probably drift for Perch as well. It's going to be a cool, sunny week, beautiful conditions for being on the water.

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