White Lake is only about 20 miles from Muskegon Lake, but it provides a sharp contrast in shoreline views. As opposed to the industrial sites around Muskegon, White Lake has long been a popular summer vacation spot and is surrounded by lakefront homes. There's plenty of docks to fish.
Chicago is only a four-hour drive away, so this area is popular with Chicagoans.
White Lake is about half the size of Muskegon, somewhere around 2,100 acres. It's approximately 7 miles long and a mile wide.
In the photo above, you can see the inlet to Lake Michigan, just above the trolling motor on Mike Ebach's boat. Ebach is Hank Cherry's marshal today. Since Cherry has a cameraman in his boat, Ebach is following them.
Hank Cherry has moved down the bank and offshore from where he started, and he has switched to a swimbait. That's what produced bass No. 2 for him just now - a 2 1/4-pound smallmouth.
He's fishing a big flat that has a sharp drop on the edge - "kind of like a Kentucky Lake ledge," says Mike Elkins, our boat driver and local angling expert.
It's been fun hanging out with Elkins this week. He knows all the underwater structure in both Muskegon and White lakes. He's able to add some insight to what every angler is doing, which is always helpful to a hillbilly like me.
Photo by Mike Ebach
Hank Cherry put two in the livewell in the first 45 minutes on the water. Off to a good start!
Hopefully there will be clear weather ahead.
Photo by Jeese Weener
It didn't take long for Hank Cherry to put a bass in the boat this morning. He ran about a quarter-mile out of the no-wake zone at the takeoff area, shut it down and started throwing a topwater bait down the bank. He had a big blowup on his third cast. Four or five casts later he put a 2-pounder in the boat.
Takeoff was at 7:15. Cherry landed his fish at 7:30.
It appears he's throwing a Pop-R type bait.
If White Lake is as good as everyone says it is, that 2-pounder might not be in his livewell very long today.