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Fishing, Wildlife Stories

Adventure Fishing in Northern Michigan

Adventure Fishing was the theme last weeked. Dedicated to trying new waters I took a simple approach. Ask friends for recommendations where to fish. And try it out. The pay-off was an unforgettable weekend.

Decent Largemouth Bass

Friday morning started with a quick 1 1/2 hour trip on familiar waters to warm up my casting arm. We were fishing in Badger Lake at Lost Lake Woods club near Alpena. brother and I hooked into 4 largemouths using StormThunder sticks, (color pattern 122), and a green albino fluke made by Zoom baits These baits were most effective when worked slowly as top-water offerings near both weedbeds and flats with access to deep water. After we lost two of the bass at the boat it was time to moved on to phase two: Fly Fishing the Holy Waters of the Au Sable River.

old fly fishing sign

Zeus, my brother and our friend Steve headed west from Lost Lake on M-72. Just east of Grayling, near Burton’s Landing, we got in the river to cast dry flies for brook trout. This was Steve’s first fly fishing experience in the Au Sable. He managed to hook two little brookies. I caught two as well using an elk hair caddis and Adams fly. 

 man fly fishing in the au sable river

Wading the Au Sable is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. Access to the river is made easy with numerous parking areas along M-72 all featuring good fishing and amazing scenary. We saw mallards, a greater merganser and a small racoon but the best site was watching a trout rise to a dry fly. Zeus provided some humor when he got into the water to help me land a trout. 

 Zeus the black lab standing in the river

Saturday I headed out to another lake on the property of Lost Lake Woods Club called Deer Lake. Creeping along the trail in my Silverado I drove right up on a mature black bear. He was standing along the side of the trail and was just a startled to see me as I was to see him. He appeared to be as long as the hood of my truck is wide. Before I could get the words “holy sh*t” out of my mouth he jumped into the woods and simply evaporated into the brush. It’s amazing that a critter that large can disapper so quickly. I’ve never seen a black bear in the wild so I was impressed to say the least. 

With clear skies and a SE wind it was a warm and sunny day. The bass held in the deepest hole in the lake and bit slowly trolled crankbaits and stickbaits (again, the same green ThunderStick and some smaller Rapala’s). The water was very clear so natural bluegill and perch patterns worked pretty well. My little boat hold it’s own on these small inland lakes.

The Boat

The weekend culminated in trolling for walleye and casting for bass back on Badger Lake. It rained all night and the water had really clouded up driving the fish into deeper water. My dad hooked a nice walleye using a Storm Hot-n-Tot (color 122) over about 30 fow. 

Fishing new waters, or getting reaquainted with a lake you haven’t fished since you were a kid, can help you be a better fisherman. I personally pay more attention to features in the water and my presentation on new water. A fresh perspective makes you get some baits out of the box you haven’t used in awhile. Or slow down the presentation with a jig to hone in on what triggers the fish. It’s easy to become complacent fishing the same spots all the time. Challenge yourself. Go Adventure Fishing. Just be ready with your camera in case you catch a glimpse of a bear.


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