Beaver Island fishing report- July 1st

Beaver Island has the latest smallmouth opener date in Michigan- July 1st. In these clear waters of northern Lake Michigan spawning smallmouth make too easy a target for anyone wanting to harvest them. Smallmouth are reluctant to leave their nests and aggressive toward most baits during the spawn. Spawning bass are common through June on the islands because of the cool waters. This unique opening date is a big step toward protecting this incredible smallmouth fishery.

Steve and Kevin headed out at the crack of 8am for the smallmouth opener. Uninterested in the smaller, schooling fish that are common in the shallow back-bays, they checked all of their favorite “big smallie” haunts. Turbulent weather had all the fish in deeper water. They found some good fish in 15 to 20 foot of water but they weren’t eating.

Striking out in the morning, they headed home for a little lunch and developed an evening strategy.

When the shadows arrived, they fell on the start to a perfect evening: a nice breeze and a mixed cloudy sky. They launched the boat after 8pm and headed straight for a point that Kevin, the week earlier, had spotted a huge smallmouth. Motoring up to their evening spot they ran right over a mixed heard of drum, carp and smallmouth where nothing had been that morning, a good sign. A quick glance at the electronics also showed that the sun and breeze had brought the water temps up 8 to 10 degrees since morning.

Within the first few casts they were into several smallmouth. Even with no monsters landed, it was still considered a perfect evening (eds. note: pretty sure these fish would be monsters anywhere else in the country). Steve and Kevin each got into several nice smallies and the sunset got better with each minute.

Kevin’s fly of choice on this trip was the Morlock’s Goby. Click here for the recipe.

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