I am writing this on July 15, 2013 and the water surface temperature has just reached the mid 80s during the day. I have talked to many fishermen this year and most seem happy with the fishing regardless of what they are fishing for.
Many fishermen have taken advantage of the better than average Bluegill and Red Ear fishing. These fish are some of our best eating and most the resilient fish populations. I always encourage people who want to eat fish to focus on Bluegills. People are also catching Bass but not as many big fish as in years past. This population is rebounding from the fish kill in 2011 and seems to be healthy and increasing. The people I have spoken with are also taking some walleye and pike while fishing for bass, with few people directly targeting Walleye. I have caught quite a few Walleye this summer trolling jigs. Many of them have been just under the legal limit, which is a good sign for this fall and winter.
The Crappie fishing is also seeming to improve with a bigger year class (2010) reaching a good size later this year. We have caught a number of 12 inch plus fish which is considered a good Crappie anywhere in Michigan.
There are many other species of fish in the lake that are not typically sought after but are also being caught, one of those species that is present is Dogfish or Bowfin. This native species, a tough fighter, but not considered a good eating fish. I have had several reports of people catching this fish this year and they tend to be tolerant of lower oxygen environments and warm shallow water. These fish are not harming our other fish and help keep our sunfish population in check. I would expect to see less Dogfish after dredging is completed as this will reduce the type of habitat they prefer.
Fishermen can send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have something positive or negative to report about the fishing.
Walleye -- This is a popular fish that we frequently stock. These fish represent a true put and take fishery as they are unlikely to successfully spawn in Lake Somerset. In October 2013 we plan on stocking 2,000 fingerlings. This fish seems to be more sought after during ice fishing and I would expect a good season if we get good safe ice this year. Fishermen should also consider looking for this fish to move into shallow weed structures as the water cools in the fall. In the winter try looking for them on drop-offs and weed edges using minnow imitation baits.
Northern Pike -- Another popular sport fish for some anglers. This fish is the second most stocked fish in our lake. We stocked an additional 400 in June this year (all we could get) and will try to stock again in 2014. These fish are very active during the fall and winter months. Many of our larger pike are caught during the winter season, and they can be caught using minnows fished on tip ups.
Largemouth Bass -- This is most common predator fish in our lake system. I saw lots of midsized fish in the 12-16" range caught this summer and they are also very active in the fall feeding heavily for winter. Remember, Bass season closes on December 31.
Sunfish (Including Bluegill, Red Ear & Pumpkinseed) -- These fish are doing well on the lake, reproduce very well, and in some case may spawn multiple times in the summer. Look for these fish to move shallow in the fall and then deep in the winter. They are easy to catch once you find them in the winter but can be challenging to find. Try small jigs and Ice fly's tipped with bait through the ice. Start in 7-10 foot of water and move deeper if you are not finding fish.
Black Crappie -- The crappie will stay on deep water edges most of the fall and then transition to deeper water. When looking for these fish through the ice a depth finder that can show suspended fish is very helpful. Crappie will take a small jig retrieved slowly in the fall and will take minnows and small jigs through the ice.
Finally a word on fish habitat. Fish use structures like weed edges, rocks, down and decaying wood to hide, reproduce and ambush prey.
On a multi-use lake like Somerset with a highly developed shore line, we have a lack of structure in comparison to a lake with a natural or undeveloped shoreline. We are looking at options to increase fish habitat in 2014 after we can assess the depths and bottom structure in the areas that will be dredged. One thing to consider -- placing some structure under your dock to help the smaller fish have a place to hide and to provide a place for some of our minnow species to spawn.
Boat Parade 2014
A revival of the annual 4th of July boat parade is highly anticipated for 2014.
Click on the link below for a previous fishing report.
A map furnished by George Rausch showing Lake Somerset with depths indicated.
A chart furnished by George Rausch showing the history of fish stocking in Lake Somerset since 1984 is available as an Adobe PDF.
Questions or Comments? Contact Webmaster.