Outdoors: Local anglers still hoping for 30-pound king
By Dale Bowman Post-Tribune correspondent October 10, 2013 11:52PM
The Lake Michigan tributaries in Indiana are putting on a variety show, drawing viewers from far and wide.
The stars are the big 4-year-old Chinook making their final runs up the streams. But coho and steelhead do their star turns, too.
On Saturday, Steve Bonk of south suburban Oak Forest, Ill., was fishing an orange spinner on Salt Creek and caught a 16-pound steelhead.
“This fish hit hard!!’’ he emailed. “Jump after jump,even did a nice tail stand like the dolphins at the show!! By far the best fight I’ve had in a while.’’
Orange spinners are a stand-by for stream fishing. As are spawn sacs and skein. This year is no different.
What was different this year was the hope by many of us that somebody would land a 30-pound king from shore or up a stream. But, with every new day, that hope wanes.
Though Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert emailed, “A 28-pounder was reportedly caught on Sept. 29 in lower Trail Creek. We also measured and weighed a 28-pounder at the sea lamprey barrier [on Trail], middle of last week. I have heard of a 37-pound fish up in Michigan.
“So there is still a chance to hit th e30-pound mark down but, as the days go by, that reality begins to pass. We have quite a few 22-25 pound fish in the stream right now.’’
Shoreline salmon slacked off some, but there are still some being taken at the Hole-in-the-Wall and outside of East Chicago Marina. Early morning, well before dawn, has been best.
Youth waterfowl: The youth waterfowl hunt in Indiana’s north zone is Saturday and Sunday. On Wednesday, site staff at Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area were brushing blinds.
The mild weather means most of the effort will be for local wood ducks and a smattering of Canada geese back from the molt migration. But LaSalle FWA property manager Ken Bisacchi said, “We picked up some [blue-winged] teal this week.’’
He said LaSalle is holding its usual 800-1,000 wood ducks and “maybe a handful of mallards, nothing to speak of.’’
Staff at Willow Slough FWA said the site has a few ringnecks, a few geese, “30 mallards at most’’ and “the usual 500 woodies.’’
LaSalle holds its draw at 5 a.m. and noon for a dozen spots. Kingsbury holds two drawings: 4:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Willow Slough has a 5 a.m. draw.
Fishing notes: Staff at Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond reported good perch in 35-40 feet off the point of Inland earlier this week; and off Mount Baldy. “Perch are still biting in the usual haunts as weather has been good for the boats,’’ Breidert emailed
He said the St. Joseph River has been very good for salmon and steelhead.
The last day of fishing at LaSalle is today. Only bank fishing is now allowed at Willow Slough.
Hunter ed: Spots are open for the hunter’s education course on Oct. 19 at the Hammond Cabela’s; a few spots remain on the same day the Michigan City Izaak Walton League;. All registration is online at indianahuntereducation.com.
Hunting notes: There is starting to be some concern about the lack of water, the week before the regular waterfowl opener on Oct. 19. Willow Slough is down a foot. At LaSalle, Bisacchi said,``We need one of those one and half or two-inch rains.’’
Warm weather has limited the effort by deer hunters in bow season. . . . Hunting for coyotes, striped skunk and gray and red foxes opens Tuesday. . . . Fall firearm turkey hunting opens in select counties on Wednesday.