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Big lake producing ‘second to none’ Perch fishing

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Updated: December 24, 2012 7:26AM



Capt. Rich Sleziak said he knows three guys who unwinterized their boats so they could put in again to fish perch on southern Lake Michigan.

It has been that good.

“Perch is second to none,” said Sleziak for Slez’s Bait in Lake Station. “Unfortunately, it had to happen this late in year.”

The question is if the front today will mark the beginning of the end. Even so, it sure has been a bonus to be thankful for.

“That has been excellent,” he said. “There is a ton of small ones, ton of decent ones, and a few monster jumbo pigs.”

Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond said the best bite has moved to outside of Portage in 40-42 feet off the reef. Others are finding them, depending on the day, in 37 feet out of East Chicago Marina, in front of the blow-out at Lake Street and in 46 feet off Gary Light.

Starcevich said glow flies and large fatheads are working most consistently.

Deer stories: At Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area, site staff report an average deer hunt so far with 37 deer harvested in the firearm season by Wednesday morning. Indiana’s firearm season runs through Dec. 2.

One of those harvested was a freak for a public site. On Sunday, a hunter killed 10-pointer, which field dressed at 220 pounds and was aged at 5 1/2 years.

A nine-pointer has been the best deer taken from LaSalle FWA area so far in firearm season. Site staff report about an average pace for deer hunters.

Fishing notes: The lake trout bite is back on the reef outside of Portage. Robert Buckmaster caught an 18.2-pound, 37.25-inch laker last Friday on a Dodger and blue and silver Spin-N-Glo in 18 feet of water. The Chesterton man was fishing with his buddy Robert Stroh of Oak Lawn, Ill.

“First quality laker I’ve caught in a couple of years,” he emailed.

Sleziak said the bite is on the sunken reef out of the Ditch and almost to the Port of Indiana. He said it is primarily jigging, in part because so many boats are out that trolling is tough.

Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert said a few more winter steelhead are being taken from Michigan City harbor. “Expect to see some additional steelhead move into the tributaries over the next two weeks,” he emailed. Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet said Trail has the most steelhead in it.

Starcevich caught a 4-pound whitefish in the past week. “Expect to see some whitefish after Thanksgiving as well from the (Michigan City) pier head as temperatures dip a little,” Breidert said.

Sleziak said the crappie fishermen are doing well at Deep River and below the dam at Lake George.

Breidert said some nice brown trout were taken in the Little Cal this week.

Hunting notes: The hope is the front today will bring fresh, uneducated birds for waterfowlers. The north side of LaSalle FWA continues to be limited by the low water. ... Indiana’s second dove season ends Sunday. ... Woodcock season in Indiana ends Wednesday.

Clubbing: Salmon Unlimited of Indiana will hold its annual swap night at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Indiana Harbor Yacht Club.

Official note: The Indiana Natural Resources Commission gave final approval this week to an electronic reporting system for hunters to check harvested white-tailed deer and wild turkey. CheckIN Game (checkINgame.dnr.in.gov) has operated on a trial basis since April.

Wild things: On Tuesday, the count of sandhill cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA was its highest this fall (10,513). Best viewing is around dawn or dusk. More information is at in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3109.htm.



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