Saugatuck MI area recommendations?

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Gunnar
Gunnar's picture
Saugatuck MI area recommendations?
<p>Will be in Saugatuck for a couple days in early October. It&#39;s a family trip, so I won&#39;t have a lot of time to fish. I will likely get one or two chances, and probably only one of them will be solo and focussed. Even that will only be a few hours. No boat. Ideally I would want to be able to get from my bed in Saugatuck to the water in under half an hour. Don&#39;t want to waste fishing time driving.</p> <p>Last year I fished the park at the end of Old Allegan Rd. and caught cats, drum, panfish, bass.</p> <p>I know there are sturgeon planted in the Kalamazoo, but not sure (haven&#39;t looked yet) of the regulations or their status. I know there are redhorse there, but only because I saw a dead one. My number one wishlist fish for the trip would be a sturgeon, but I&#39;m open to anything interesting. Not really interested in bass, trout, etc.</p> <p>I posted this before last year&#39;s trip but I didn&#39;t save the responses, so had to ask again.</p> <p>Thanks.</p>
Dan
Dan's picture
There are only a handful of

There are only a handful of adult sturgeon that enter the Kalamazoo each spring to spawn.  Last year some eggs were collected and young were reared for stocking in a streamside rearing facility.  Unfortunatly, the sturgeon ran a bit early this year with the March warm up and were not ripe when biologists collected them at the dam.  The end result was no young fish to stock this year.

Also, targeting sturgeon in the river itself is not legal (not that it would be very productive anyway).  Once in a blue moon someone catches one off of the pier.  Fishing for sturgeon in Lake Michigan off of rivermouth piers in west Michigan is legal, and now is as good a time as any to target them.  Virtually no one targets them, though, since finding one is like finding a needle in a haytack and coldwater fish offer good fishing from piers as lake temps cool.

The pier is probably a good bet for you with limited time.  Water has been too warm for salmon to show up in good numbers, but this is great if you are targeting freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and maybe the odd flathead if you fish at night.  The drum are huge and very aggressive.  Fish the muddier water where wind pushes river water back to the Lake Michigan shore.  They hit lures readily.

A state record black buffalo was recently taken from the K'zoo, but I have no idea where to look for them.

 

 

cornbread
I agree with Dan, the peirs

I agree with Dan, the peirs would be a great bet.  You can use three rods here so I usually set two out with bait rigs and cast spoons or spinners with the other.  I have been doing very well on anything that looks like a goby as well. 

Dan
Dan's picture
Carp

There are some huge carp in the lower Kalamazoo, too.  I see them rolling in other rivers between pierheads all the time but have never had luck getting them to bite (they appear to suspend over deep water for some reason).  Evening would probably be best for them as they seem to turn off during daytime this time of year in other local waters.

Gunnar
Gunnar's picture
Thanks for the tips, guys. I

Thanks for the tips, guys. I hadn't thought of the giant LM drum option, but now I remember seeing photos of some huge ones (were those Cornbread's photos on this site last year?) and that sounds like fun. Not a lifer, but with limited time available I should probably focus on enjoyment rather than lifers. Plus, the lake and river mouth are a lot closer to the house I'll be staying in, so less time will be wasted driving and more time will be used properly fishing.

 

Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers: moxostoma.com


2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

cornbread
Drum

Hey Gunnar, yes I have posted a couple pics of some the drum we have caught off the peirs.  I got two or three this year that pushed the 20lb mark. 

Gunnar
Gunnar's picture
What sort of setup are you

What sort of setup are you using for drum that big? I'm thinking my salmon gear would work. First drum I ever caught, years ago, was on a big spinner while fishing a Chicago pier for salmon. It was maybe 5 lbs, though, not 20!

 

Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers: moxostoma.com


2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

cornbread
I use a 7 foot medium light

I use a 7 foot medium light rod with ten pound test P-line, the water can be very clear at times and they spook real easy.  I have had good luck with goby style tube jigs with a dark top and light belly.  They will also hit spinners and spoons.  Salmon gear would work great. The zebra mussels are hard on line so I re tie often and check for nicks or scratches every cast.  I have lost many big fish due to laziness. 

Gunnar
Gunnar's picture
Thanks.

Thanks.

That sort of laziness is my #1 achilles heel. I hate retying, and I don't know why. I guess just because it's time that could accomodate another cast or two, and every cast could be THE ONE. Gotta get better about that.

 

Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers: moxostoma.com


2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

Dan
Dan's picture
Redhorse

I was at the Pentwater pier two days ago and saw something I didn't expect.  The water was clear and hundreds of redhorse were packed between the pierheads.  There are always a few shortheads grazing on mussel-covered rocks and seawalls, but this was an impressive congregation that included silvers and goldens, too.

Oddly, there were no drum around although there had been dozens a few weeks earlier.  The river temperature is just starting to run cooler than the big lake so maybe they are dropping out of rivermouth lakes now.  Some huge bass were hanging around the rocks, too. 

cornbread
I have been seeing the same

I have been seeing the same thing, redhorse everywhere.