This week's windy conditions prevented some boats from heading out, and the late week cold snap has thrown anglers a curveball. While fish are still in their usual lies, you may need to change retrieves or tactics to get bit. Streamers and other big uglies like the Darkness tube fly, tied with lots of marabou and fur pulse and "breathe" even when not being stripped. This motion without movement can trigger strikes from fish made sluggish by a drastic weather change.
Lake Erie: Perch fishing is slowly improving. The E Buoy, Stony Point and 22 feet of water in Brest Bay produced the best number of fish. Anglers need to move around to find fish. Emerald shiners were the hot bait. A couple walleye were caught in 16 to 20 feet straight out from the beach at Sterling State Park. A good number of smallmouth bass are still being caught.
Detroit River: A few walleye were caught in the lower river. Anglers are jigging crawlers or bottom bouncing in the Trenton Channel. A few perch were caught around Celeron Island, Sugar Island and the Cross Dike.
Lake St. Clair: Perch fishing has started to pick up, with good catches taken near the Grosse Point Yacht Club. Perch fishermen using minnows reported taking large numbers of smallmouth bass as bycatch. Musky fishing was good.
St. Clair River: Smallmouth bass fishing has improved in the channels. Anglers are using jigs or the drop shot method with plastic baits. Walleye action was slow in the lower channel but those fishing near Marysville and Port Huron did well when fishing at night.
Port Sanilac: Pier anglers caught a few smallmouth bass, pike and white bass.
Harbor Beach: The story is the same from here to Lexington. When boats can get out, they caught chinook, lake trout and steelhead in waters 60 to 140 feet deep. The wind has broken the thermocline and the fish are scattered.
Saginaw Bay: Windy conditions have kept most boats off the bay and southern Lake Huron. Walleye fishing is winding down.
Saginaw River: Shore anglers at Essexville caught some catfish, a couple walleye and good numbers of bass.
Quanicassee River: Shore anglers caught a few small perch.
How to tie the Darkness tube fly
This tube fly is a simple rabbit strip and marabou streamer that's easy to tie in a variety of colors and sizes. Originally tied for migratory gamefish like salmon and steelhead, this pattern uses heavy dumbbell eyes to keep it down in the current, and can be stripped or swung on a sink-tip line. The same fly can be fished along dropoffs and weedlines for bass, pike or musky when tied in the correct sizes. Long rabbit strip tails are infamous for fouling or underwrapping the hook during casting. Keeping the body tube just shorter than the rabbit strip reduces the chance of fouling with this fly.
Materials needed to tie the Darkness tube fly:
Thread - black
Plastic tube - cut to length
Dumbbell eyes - medium or large with painted pupils
Rabbit strip - choice of color
Diamond braid - color to match or contrast with rabbit strip
Marabou - two plumes (black and purple for this tie)
Accent feather - gadwall or mallard flank
Please click on the link to see the steps for tying the Darkness tube fly. Tight lines!