Sucker fishing explodes in Omer

Kevin Bunch
Nathan Schultz of Linwood casts his line on the Rifle River April 5 as he tries to catch suckers.
Kevin Bunch
Linwood’s Brady Bernreuter holds up a sucker in a net that Drew Schultz just reeled in.
Kevin Bunch
Shane Woodford of Gladwin came out to Omer to try his hand at catching suckers.
Kevin Bunch
Will Sever of Twining shows off a sucker he caught.
Kevin Bunch
Preston and 5-year-old Josh Guilbeaux of Merrill showcase a sucker Josh caught with a little bit of help from his dad.
Kevin Bunch
Omer residents Clark Davidson and Ron Neil smoke suckers off the Rifle River.
Kevin Bunch
Kelli Fields and Maria Felt came out to Omer from Waterford to go fishing on the Rifle for suckers.
Kevin Bunch
Alex Fields of Goodrich looks on as Steve Malis of Waterford gets his line ready.

OMER — Anglers lined the Rifle River last weekend as the sucker run finally began in full force.

According to local sucker fisherman Mike McLavy, the run had started Easter weekend but died down shortly afterward for a few days before picking back up Thursday, April 4. He expected the run to continue in force for another weekend before the number of suckers begins to drop.

McLavy said the late start this year was unusual, but worked out well for sucker fishing enthusiasts, especially as the sucker dip net season was moved this year from April 1 to March 20.

“Last year since we couldn’t dip suckers until the first of April, and by then they were all gone, this is a much better year,” McLavy said. “We could start ealier and the ice stayed in late, so the early starting date wasn’t important this year, but I’m sure it will be in future years since (the ice) usually goes out well before the first of April.”

He added most hook and line anglers are using sponge or worms as bait to get the suckers.


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