Little & Big Bay De Noc

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5/20/16 @ 11:14 AM
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

I primarily fish the Ford and Escanaba Rivers early on. The Ford has been good, but most of the bigger fish are further upstream and hard to reach with a boat. Now's a good time to float the river in a canoe or kayak, from the Hyde bridge, down to the mouth.

I haven't had a chance to fish the Escanaba yet, but I've heard it's been slow so far.

I haven't seen anyone fishing the shallow flat between the Escanaba River and Gladstone, yet. That's a good spawning flat that can hold a lot of fish. Forecast for the next two weeks has highs in the mid to upper 60's, so they should be in any time now.

The regular possession season opens on the 28th if I remember right. Normally Ogantz Bay on Big Bay de Noc is good right from the start of the season. There should be plenty of fish in there now, too.

Just basic bass fishing, here. Tube jigs, Senkos, Super Flukes, spinnerbaits, and shallow running crankbaits will work in all these areas.


Good luck and let us know how you did.

Edited on 5/20/16 11:15 AM
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5/19/16 @ 9:54 AM
Ml4141
Ml4141
USER since 5/19/16

Chris how has the smallmouth bass fishing been? They up shallow yet? This will be first time on the Bay Fishing for them where are some good starting areas? Any help would be appreciated. 


Thanks 

Mike

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5/19/16 @ 7:58 AM
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

Hi Chuck. Sorry for the late reply. We've been pretty busy at the shop, so I haven't been online much.

The access you described is the Kipling boat launch. It's in good shape, and is as good a spot as any to access the upper bay. Our shop is located about 2 miles south of Gladstone, in the Bay View Motel.


The majority of the tournament fishermen will be launching from the Escanaba River, with the rest going out of the Escanaba harbor. The weigh-in starts at 3pm, so there will be no tournament boats on the water in the evenings.

Normally the upper bay is a good spot to start the season. Many of the tournament guys commented on the numbers of fish they were marking in the upper bay, but not able to catch, (you can't really believe everything they say before a tournament, though.) Try floating jigs with half a crawler or leech. Crawler harnesses with smaller blades might work well, too. There are also lots of perch to be caught right now.

We haven't had the right conditions to turn on the Ford River bite, just yet. Looking at the forecast, the south winds might be strong enough to get them going on Sunday or Monday. Drifting or trolling with harnesses and trolling with shallow crankbaits works down there.

Annual and daily licenses cover you for all species in Michigan. You do have a fair chance at catching a brown off the Ford River.

Good luck this week.

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5/17/16 @ 9:28 PM
chuckc
chuckc
USER since 3/21/14

Chris,  I am coming up Thursday for about a week.  Where is a good spot to put in for fishing the upper reaches of the Bay and the reefs ?  In the past ( quite a while ago actually), we put in just on the north side of Gladstone.  Is that your bait shop right next door to the ramp ?

Where are all the tourney guys putting in at  ( hopefully somewhere else !).

Are there normally still good numbers of walleye in the north of the bay at this time of the year or do I need to fish deeper ?  I have never fished anywhere near the opener before and am a bit leery.  Earlier you mentioned Ford River as well.  Can you give me any hints at all what I need to expect there  ( walleye)?

As a non-resident buying an annual license, does it cover all fish species or will I need additional tags for things like trout and others ?


Thanks

I will stop by the shop in a few days for bait and greetings.

Chuck



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5/16/16 @ 6:01 AM
FISHING REPORT
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

MOON PHASE (78%)
Waxing Gibbous

Pretty much the worst conditions you could ask for, for an opener. We hardly saw anyone Sunday, that could give us a report. That tells me that guys weren't burning up too much bait, and didn't need to come get more.

The few reports we did get were from the north end of the bay. One guy said they were drifting floating jigs with half a crawler in less than 20FOW, and caught a few keepers.

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5/10/16 @ 8:42 AM
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

No problem taking just about any sized boat out of there. My buddy was taking his 21 foot out of there last fall, and the water is even higher, now.

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5/10/16 @ 7:50 AM
chuckc
chuckc
USER since 3/21/14

Chris,  can you put in ( launch) a mid sized ( 17' - 18') boat at Ford River and get out into the lake ?  At one time it was iffy.  It has been a while for me.  Thanks for all your reports.

Chuck

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5/8/16 @ 10:07 PM
FISHING REPORT
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

MOON PHASE (6%)
Waxing Crescent

CONDITIONS
Sunny

WATER TEMP
51° - 55° F
A couple fishing reports.

I had a good time perch fishing with my buddy, Gary, on Mothers Day, (guess we must be treating our gals right, since they let us go fishing!) Anyway, we found good numbers of fish just south of Saunder's Point in 30 to 40 FOW. Bite started a little slow, but as the wind picked up in the afternoon, the fishing got better. We ended up keeping a couple dozen nice perch, and 6 big rockbass. Wigglers were the best bait, with no action on worms. Most of the fish were barfing up small gobies, so small minnows might have worked well. Predicted southerly and easterly winds thru Friday should have that area cranking this week.

My dad was trolling off of Ford River and Breezy Point while I was perchin'. He hooked into a 22 inch brown before he even got his second line in the water. He went on to lose a second one at the net, about the same size. He also caught a smallmouth, a pike, and a steelhead! All the years we have trolled off the Ford in the spring, that's the first steelie we've caught there. He was trolling a mixture of a Bomber and some shallow running Rattling Rogues.

There's more to Little Bay de Noc than just walleyes. Get out and enjoy it!

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5/7/16 @ 7:03 AM
FISHING REPORT
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

MOON PHASE (1%)
Waxing Crescent

CONDITIONS
Partly Sunny

WATER TEMP
51° - 55° F

Drew must have had a good time last weekend, because he drove up again to fish with me Friday. Conditions seemed good to try trolling off the Ford River area. First off, the midges have started hatching, and the downwind troll was brutal! I swear, I can still feel the little bastards crawling all over me! Luckily, the wind picked up and helped keep them at bay.

Lost a nice brown right behind the boat. That was the only bite we had in about two hours of trolling.

After that, we joined the crowd at the mouth of the river to catch some bass. We caught several on chartreuse and white tube jigs. Drew also picked up a nice walleye on a tube jig.


Water temp was in the mid 50's in both the lake and river.

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5/3/16 @ 7:30 AM
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

chuckc

However you like to fish for walleyes, will probably work on LBDN during the first part of the season. Drifting or slow trolling with crawler harnesses or floating jigs is typically the most popular, though.

The upper bay near Center Reef, off the Gladstone campgrounds, the Escanaba River, and the area off the Ford River are normally the best areas.

Just a heads up - the Cabela's National Team Championship will be here May 18th thru the 21st. On top of the already busy opening week crowd, there will be an additional 200+ boats on the water. If you don't like fishing with a lot of other people, you may want to wait another week. Typically, the walleye bite is good thru mid to late June.

Good luck.

Edited on 5/3/16 7:32 AM
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5/3/16 @ 7:09 AM
FISHING REPORT
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

MOON PHASE (14%)
Waning Crescent

WATER TEMP
46° - 50° F

Still lots of perch off the Vagabond in 35 to 40 FOW. Water temp was up to 50 degrees, Monday. Had to sort thru lots of small fish between groups of keeper sized perch. Wigglers worked the best, but worms worked well, too. When the wind switched to the south, we headed south of the Gladstone campgrounds. Marked some decent numbers, and caught more keeper sized fish on average, before they shut down around 6pm. All the fish I've caught so far were females, and most are spawned out. That means there are still lots of fish up shallow, spawning. Still lots of good perch fishing to be had in the bay this spring. Get out and enjoy it.

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5/2/16 @ 6:39 PM
chuckc
chuckc
USER since 3/21/14
How do folks generally fish the Lil Bay for the opener ( assuming they are fishing for walleye). Is there any one prime method that is used more than any other ? Chuck

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5/2/16 @ 10:36 AM
FISHING REPORT
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

MOON PHASE (23%)
Waning Crescent
My friend Drew was up from the Green Bay area, Sunday. We tried trolling off the Ford River for browns, but the wind died just as we were setting lines, and all we caught was on 28 inch walleye. Temps in the lake were from 47 to 51 degrees.

Switched gears and fished for bass in the mouth of the river. Caught a bunch of smallmouth and a couple pike, mostly on chartreuse tube jigs and Senkos. Had 53 degrees in the river.

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4/30/16 @ 11:44 AM
FISHING REPORT
chris wahl
THE BAIT SHOP GUY
USER since 4/10/02

MOON PHASE (44%)
Waning Crescent
Good perch bite on the upper bay, mostly around the Days River in 20 to 25 FOW, and just south of the Vagabond Resort in 35 to 40 FOW. Tough to beat perch rigs with wigglers, right now.

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4/23/16 @ 8:15 AM
Kupti
Kupti
USER since 6/15/01
Thanks AGAIN !!! Same advice as last year but I thought I'd check in to see if there was anything new blowing in the wind ...

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