Outdoors: Anglers Dream tournament produces record catch
By Dale Bowman Post-Tribune correspondent May 9, 2013 11:16PM
Updated: June 11, 2013 4:35PM
You know you have a big bag of fish when a guy hides behind to hold up the fifth smallmouth bass.
Mike Myers and David Adams still don’t know who was behind Adams in the photograph of Saturday’s tournament-record catch for southern Lake Michigan. In the Anglers Dream tournament out of East Chicago Marina, they weighed five smallmouth at 25.72 pounds. All but one smallmouth was 5 pounds or heavier.
“We weren’t fishing anything special, but we were catching them,’’ said Adams, a bricklayer who also owns Hoodz, a kitchen exhaust cleaning company. “We couldn’t do anything wrong. We couldn’t lose a fish.’’
They fished a community hole — “The Ponds’’ at Lake Street — primarily with a well-known smallmouth bait — Poor Boy Erie Darter in Steiger Ice. The color is from Capt. Ralph Steiger, the great young captain on Lake Michigan.
“We were throwing 4-pounders back,’’ said Myers, a Local 4 bricklayer. “It was crazy.’’
While the basics were common, subtleties mattered.
“Contact with the wall meant everything that day,’’ Myers said.
They went lighter on the jighead to 3/16 of an ounce. They cast tight to the wall. If the jig did not fall straight down, they recast. The reason was they were imitating gobies moving up and down tight to the steel walls.
After the 6 a.m. launch, they ran about 20 minutes to Lake Street. By 7 a.m., they were already culling fish.
“We had 21 pounds by 7, 23 pounds by 8 and 25.5 by 11,’’ Adams said.
The biggest smallmouth weighed 5.5 pounds.
“No one has been fishing where we fish for three days because of the north winds,’’ Adams said.
They knew they had a freak weight, so, to be sure, they came back two hours early and fun fished near East Chicago Marina.
Myers looked in the live well and saw crayfish and gobies to 7 inches coughed up by the monster fish.
“I kept telling Dave, ‘Dude, we are losing weight,’ ” Myers said. “It was just a perfect storm. That may never happen again.’’
Morels: Given the forecast rain overnight, this should be the prime weekend for hunting morel mushrooms. LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area property manager Ken Bisacchi said, “Saturday I saw a decent bag.’’ Staff at Willow Slough reported “a bunch’’ being found. Remember to stay out of the woods until afternoon, when turkey hunters are finished.
Turkey hunting: Spring season runs through Sunday. Willow Slough and LaSalle are behind pace. Kingsbury with 24 birds killed on site by Wednesday morning is on target with last year when 28 were bagged.
Lake Michigan: Beside smallmouth, coho are the hot fish on Lake Michigan. Assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Ben Dickinson emailed, “Coho have really started to show up (finally!), from East Chicago all the way to the Michigan state line. I have heard good things about the hole-in-the-wall, and out of the Ditch as well. Fast action in 20-60 feet for the cohos, with some 4-6 pound steelhead mixed in out from Michigan City. Some boats are running into pods of steelhead and doing quite well.’’ There’s some browns around and even the occasional Chinook. Lakers are still around, but most fishermen are targeting coho.
Inland fishing: Crappie fishing is improving all over, they even moved in for shore fishermen in the Willow Slough boat launch. ... Willow Slough remains the prime destination for bluegill fishermen. ... Rivers are back to near normal levels and serious fishing beginning.