9-year-old Rylan Bernhardt, and proud dad, Jeremy, with Rylanís first-ever deer taken during the youth hunt last weekend.
As a noted expert in my field, I get lots of questions. One question that seems to come up with some frequency is ďWho is it that notes you as an expert?Ē Hmmm. Good question. I think my dogs believe I am an expert, but they might be biased by the fact that I always know where the treats are located; apparently in their estimation one can possess no greater skill. So, I guess I can claim to have no particularly notable expertise, but I still do get questions. This week Iíll take a crack at answering a few.
Q: Dear Cy, I am interested in trying to fish for salmon during the fall run, but I am not sure when I should go, can you give some tips on when is the best time?
A: A good indication that the salmon are on a hot bite is to watch the number of boats fishing in the narrows at the end of the lake where the river enters. When you see a dozen or more boats in that area in the morning or evening that is a pretty good indication that the run is going strong. But the most important skill to learn is the ability to recognize my boat. If you happen to see that green Lund out there you should find something else to do because the fish will not be biting. As soon as you hear that I am out of town, get on the water immediately, you donít want to miss the best fishing of the year.
Q: Cy, Why is a catfish named after a cat? Sure itís got whiskers and a tail, but so do lots of animals.
A: It has nothing to do with the whiskers. Catfish are so named because, like their land bound namesakes, they love to eat stuff that smells absolutely awful. Seriously, open a jar of that catfish dough-bait and a can of cat food, both stink to high heavens, but it must smell delicious to both kitty cat and fish because they will seek it out from half a mile away.
By the way, dogfish are not named for their resemblance to manís best friend either, but I understand that if you train them in a calm, assertive manner, they can be taught to fetch.
Q: Cy, I am a pleasure boater, not a fisherman, but I wonder if you can answer this dilemma. When I approach a navigation buoy that I must pass on the left to keep from running aground and there are two guys in a fishing boat just 20 yards to the left of that same buoy and another half mile of open water to the left of the fishing boat, where should I pass?
A. It is best to pass directly between the fishermen and the buoy rather than use all the open water. That way you can let the fishermen see how very nice your boat is, and of course fishermen are always looking to have some lively conversation while on the water, and Iím sure they will engage you in a friendly discussion about the weather or other topics of mutual interest.
Q: Cy, Fishermen are all a little odd, but it seems that fly-fishermen are especially goofy, why is that?
A: Entomologists have discovered that excessive exposure to freshly hatched insects can cause bizarre behavior. An overwhelming interest in life forms that are attached to the bottom of rocks develops. This is followed by an intense desire to own a wooden handled net. There is no cure.
Q: Cy, I have a stretch of water that I like to fish for steelhead on a nearby river and it has two really nice deep holes. I always arrive before first light, but I am never sure which hole to start fishing first. It seems I always pick the wrong one and by the time I move to the second hole another angler always seems to beat me there. How can I avoid this?
A. I found just what you need in the latest outdoors catalog to clog my mailbox. Technology is the answer. A remotely operated game calling system that replicates animal sounds can be had for less than a C-note. Put it in the woods near the second hole and program it to sound the call of an angry black bear. If I hear a bear in the woods I usually find another spot, not so much because I am afraid of bears, but I know what they do in the woods and donít want to step in it. Of course if it happens to attract another bear you might want to let him fish the hole undisturbed.
Q: Do you really get letters, or are you making this stuff up?
A: Of course, did you really have to ask?
I welcome all your letters, including those that ask for advice, although actually taking my advice makes me think you might have been exposed to too many insects. See you on the water.
White Lake Ė Lots of fish have moved up into the river, spawn seems to be working well when drifted through deeper holes. Some fish seem to be stacked up just outside the narrows. Try trolling or casting fire-tiger rapalas of hot-n-tots. For the latest info on White Lake call Johnsonís Great Outdoors at 231-893-6688.
Whitehall/Montague Ė Few anglers had been out early in the week due to high winds. Pier anglers are catching a few but the action was spotty. Blue and silver spoons worked best.
Muskegon - Wind and wave conditions have made salmon fishing on Lake Michigan almost impossible. Walleyes are slow.
Grand Haven Ė Pier anglers were getting chinook, coho, steelhead on cast spoons in orange and yellow.
Pentwater - No boat anglers to speak of, just too windy. Pier anglers were few and far between even though a couple salmon were caught on glow spoons either late at night or in the early morning.
Hamlin Lake Ė A few anglers are finding bluegills but lots of small fish. For up to date Hamlin information call Hamlin Grocery at 231-843-2058.
Ludington - Boat anglers were fishing around the harbor. Those trolling caught salmon on chrome or glow J-plugs. Pier anglers caught fish in the early morning or late evening when casting glow or white spoons. Surfcasting was slow.