Outdoors: Steelhead are plentiful in region waters lately
By Dale Bowman Post-Tribune correspondent July 4, 2013 7:20PM
David Adams peers into the winning bag as Ed Czerwinski and Matt Gunningham waited to weigh-in Saturday at the Big Bass Bash at the Portage Bass Pro. | Dale Bowman~for the Post-Tribune
Updated: August 6, 2013 6:30AM
Skamania and catfish are the picks for fishing on the long holiday weekend.
“Steelhead are main news right now,” said Ben Dickinson, assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist.
Earlier this week, a strong push of skamania came into Trail Creek. He said there were at least a couple hundred in the trap on Trail Creek and many others had jumped out. Capt. Rich Sleziak of Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said plenty of steelhead moved into Salt Creek, too, according to customers.
Catfish remain a top bite inland, both on lakes and rivers.
“That is steady,” Sleziak said. “You don’t need to know nothing to do it, just (Sonny’s) stinkbait.”
The Riverwalk is a prime evening spot, but he said just about any spot on Deep River or Burns Ditch is producing. Ed Mullady of Sportsman’s Letter said catfish are good in both states on the Kankakee River.
As the next couple weeks should see the usual spike in the skamania run on the Lake Michigan tributaries, here are a couple reminders.
On Trail Creek, there is a closure year-round near the sea lamprey control barrier. It is illegal to fish on or along Trail Creek in Michigan City from within 100 feet upstream of the barrier and from the barrier downstream to the Pottawatomie Country Club Golf Course property line.
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.
Bash notes: As the years go by, I appreciate Woo Daves, more and more. He won the 2000 BASS Master Classic in Chicago, so I feel some sort of connection to him. He emceed the Big Bass Bash Saturday with the right touch, allowing fishermen to have their moment on the stage at the Portage Bass Pro.
Afterward, I had a chance to ask him if he said he was fishing off Sears Tower in 2000 because his dad had worked for Sears. He said not, just that he was confused on Chicago landmarks. He won the 2000 Classic fishing the breakwalls east of the John Hancock.
The brave 17 teams of fishermen on Saturday did far better than expected on a day with well-deserved small-craft warnings. Ed Czerwinski and Matt Gunningham of Crown Point won with five smallmouth bass weighing 19.26 pounds to earn $1,135.
The fundraiser for Warriors First Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project will be back next year.
My favorite shot of Saturday was David Adams staring into the winning bag as Ed Czerwinski and Matt Gunningham waited to weigh-in.
Fishing notes: Lake Michigan finally settled enough that boaters started getting out again on Wednesday. Sleziak said they are catching a mixed bag in 100 feet and deeper, with fish being deeper now, down 75-85. ... Perch fishermen were trying again on Thursday, but the near-shore water remains dirty. ... Many ponds and lakes have bluegill going on weed lines and in weed pockets. That’s the other holiday bite. The bite at Willow Slough has slowed down, though a 12-inch redear was caught there last weekend according to Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond.
Clubbing: Patrick Renwick, professional bass fisherman and host of “Region Bass Buzz,” speaks at the Lake County Fish and Game (lakecountyfishandgame.org) meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the clubhouse in Griffith.