Where have all the big fish gone at Little Bay de Noc near Escanaba, MI? That’s the comment from the few anglers we encountered at our recent fall fishing trip to LBDN this past weekend. Chris Burns and his friend, Phil Hardy, joined me for our annual fall trip to the Bay last Thursday. I pulled Chris”s Ranger 620 up the road to the Terrace Bay Inn at Escanaba. We arrived late afternoon, changed into our cold weather gear, and headed out to Little Bay. Unfortunately, our first night was rainy wet and colder as the evening went on. We did manage to pull a nice ‘eye on one of my original Storm Purple Prisms for the night out on First Reef. That was it. We came off the water about midnight and worked to get some rest for Saturday’s outing. The temperatures dropped during the day but the wind had let up enough for Chris to take us out mid-afternoon to check out some spots for potential fish in the dark. We were all set up at dusk and started back at First Reef–we pulled five walleyes in a short two hour period on Chris’s Smithwick Rogues and one of Phil’s Live Target lures. The Reef Runner Ripsticks did not get bit like they have in past years–too much action, we wondered? Another cold weather front moved in and our bite died. We came off the water a little earlier with hopes for a better Saturday night. However, Saturday morning the temps were around 12 degrees with a 20-30 mph wind from the northwest. We decided to head home and not chance the tough fishing conditions we’d find on Saturday night. The ride home gave us plenty of time to talk about our short outing and look ahead to ice fishing! Many walleyes were taken by illegal netting nearly four years ago in the Little Bay area. There has been a real effort to restock the fishery and improve angler fishing success. We know there have been some good fish caught during November on Little Bay based on the conversations with local guides and some locals who fish the Bay each fall.
We’re hopeful the fishery will continue to recover and get back to the “glory days” we experienced over 15 years ago. Thanks, again, to Chris and Phil for making the time together worthwhile in our pursuit of the LBDN walleyes! Spike