Regional Reports-Midwest

Lake Michigan

Winter fishing often means ice spuds or augers, and spending the day peering into a dark hole while sitting on the ice. When the action's steady, you don't notice the cold. Once bites become sparse, however, it seems to penetrate to the bone. A few anglers have found keeping warm isn't a problem, however. They've discovered virtually untapped fisheries on the Lake Michigan side in the warm-water discharges from nearby power plants. The power companies allow anglers access to these streams and discharges, as long as fishermen follow the rules. Some favorite spots include the ponds at the State Line Generating Station on the Illinois-Indiana border and at the Amoco Oil Co. plant off 119th Street in Whiting. Both plants allow day and night fishing. Two plants operated by Northern Indiana Public Service Company offer dawn-till-dusk fishing on their ponds. One is off Clark Road in Gary, the other is at the end of Wabash Street in Michigan City. This type of warm-water discharge often produces good catches of brown trout, with cohos, steelhead and chinooks also taken. Drum and smallmouth bass round out the opportunities. Favorite attractants include crawlers, spawn bags and small alewives, along with Little Cleos and Rapalas in sizes 7 and 9. A good and timely mix of baits will give you the best fishing from December through February. Contact: Indiana Fisheries Division (317-232-4080).