posttrib
A-OK 
Weather Updates

Pier heads a good place to start for skamania run

Updated: July 16, 2013 6:24AM



Ben Dickinson had some advice for the early part of the skamania run.

“I guess, if it was me, I would hit the piers before the streams,’’ said Dickinson, a fisherman as well as the assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist. “I have seen six or seven total (at the lamprey barrier) and I have heard of more than that caught off the piers (in Michigan City). I would start at the pier heads.’’

On Sunday, the closed lower ends of the streams reopen to fishing.

The East Branch of Little Calumet River from U.S. 12 upstream to U.S. 20 and Trail Creek from the Franklin Street Bridge upstream to U.S. 35 have been closed since April to protect the stockings of young salmon and trout.

“I think we got a little less rain than what they first said,’’ Dickinson said. “(Trail Creek) did bounce up (to 220 cubic feet per second) and is a little dirty, but not much.’’

In fact, the rain was good news to him.

“I would say that we are at the start of the run,’’ he said. “As a fishermen, I am looking to this little bit of rain.’’

The skamania run typically peaks in July.

A map of shoreline access for Trail is at in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/Trail_Creek_Public_Access_Map-Current-6-1-07.pdf. The gage for Trail at Michigan City is at waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?04095300.

Inland fishing: Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area remains the most consistent spot for bluegill and redear, but even there it varies with the way the weather has gone this spring. ... Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said catfishing with Sonny’s dipbait is good in many areas. He has a photo of a customer with a 25-pound channel catfish. One better spot is at the Riverwalk evenings and nights in Portage. ... He said there’s still good panfish at Pine Lake, but, with school out, the kids are out and about, so there are the usual more notable weeds churned up in the water. ... We hear there’s some good largemouth bass action at Black Oak Bayou at LaSalle FWA. ... Because of the varied and spotty nature of the rains, some rivers and streams are in decent shape, others are at or near flood.

Lake Michigan fishing: The salmon fishing has been wonderful, especially for coho, from Chicago to Michigan City. Sleziak, who charters out of Portage, said he has been catching coho with a few Chinook mixed in anywhere from 10 down down to five feet off the bottom. For coho, it is Dodgers and flies. Adding spoons or meat rigs to the spread will bring in other species. “We have seen the first 1-year-old Chinooks come back in the last week,’’ Dickinson said. ``I don’t know where they have been.’’ Those are the small kings of 16 inches or so. ... Dickinson said the steelhead, being caught by charters earlier this month, slowed over the past few days. ... Perch reports are sparse in Indiana. The perch bite for boaters in the weeds off Navy Pier in Chicago is just beginning. The shoreline perch fishing at Montrose Harbor in Chicago is variable.

Bass fundraiser: The Big Bass Bash fundraiser for Warriors First Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project is June 29 out of Portage Marina. Weigh-in is at the Portage Bass Pro Shop. Information is at lakemichiganbigbassbash.com.

Note: Hunting and fishing license sales will be shut down in Indiana on Saturday for maintenance.

Showtime: The second Chicago In-Water Boat Show (chicagoinwaterboatshow.com) runs through Sunday at the 31st Street Harbor.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.