Updated: July 30, 2013 8:41AM
When pushed, Shawn Myers gave me a prediction for the winning weight of five bass Saturday in the inaugural Big Bass Bash.
The two-man team benefit for Warriors First Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project will launch at 6:30 a.m. out of Portage Marina. The teams will fish until 3:30 p.m. The weigh-in is at 4:30 p.m. at the Portage Bass Pro.
“I think 20, between 18 and 20 pounds,’’ said Myers, a manager at the Portage Bass Pro.
That would be impressive. And his prediction is probably fairly close to right. It took 17 pounds to win the Angler’s Dream tournament last Saturday out of East Chicago.
Weather looks like it will cooperative with light winds forecast on Lake Michigan.
The summer weather also makes it unlikely there will be the record bags of bass caught in May around the smallmouth bass spawn.
Assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Ben Dickinson said in the harbors the spawn has transitioned over to largemouth.
I assume the winning bag will be of smallmouth. But from which state or what spot will be the great mystery. Fishermen will be able to run all over southern Lake Michigan.
Registration, which can be done right up until the start, and information is at lakemichiganbigbassbash.com.
Inland fishing: Summer patterns settle in. Catfishing is by far the best bet. Sleziak noted the outstanding catfish action in the evenings continues. The best spot is the riverwalk in Portage, but the Deep River, Lake George and many other spots also figure to be worth setting up with Sonny’s stinkbait. ... Panfish are slowing some and fewer are trying at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area. But with the weed growth, panfish are being caught in weed pockets or along weed lines on most lakes and ponds. ... The situation on the rivers is fluctuating and variable.
Lake Michigan: Capt. Rich Sleziak of Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said the salmon and trout are starting to move out and spread out, but they remain good in 65-100 feet out of the Ditch. Dickinson said creel reports indicate slow fishing off the piers, a few steelhead here and there. ... Perch fishing, usually an anchor this time of year, is very slow. “Perch is spotty as hell,’’ Sleziak said. “It is devastating.”
There’s been spotty catches east of the Donut to Michigan City. Probably the best has been off Navy Pier in Chicago for boaters, where the jumbos have started to come in the last few days. There’s been some variable perch catches at Montrose in Chicago for shore fishermen. However, Illinois shuts down its perch fishing in July for those 16 and older.
Tributaries: There were some steelhead up the streams. Then came the storms Wednesday. Dickinson said Trail Creek went from 2 feet to 11.8 by mid-day and the flow exploded from 65 cfs to a peak around 2,000.
Clubbing: Because of the holiday, the Lake County Fish and Game (lakecountyfishandgame.org) meeting was moved to July 10.
Other worlds: Mike Durfee caught an 8-pound redtail catfish, an Amazon native, in Portage Lakefront Park earlier this month.
“I am assuming somebody had it in an aquarium and decided to release it rather than dispatch it,’’ Dickinson said.
It is illegal to release fish that outgrow aquariums. Though it is doubtful that the Amazon native would survive winter water temperatures. Many reputable pet shops will either take back unwanted fish or connect with somebody who wants the unwanted fish.
Report exotic species at systemdnr.IN.gov/dnr/6373.htm or by (866) NO EXOTIC.