Friday, June 14, 2013

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report

The Great Lakes as seen from space. The Great ...

Weekly Fishing Tip: Taking great catch-and-release photos
Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?
Check out the following steps:
1. Wet your hands before you handle the fish, that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (aka slime) the fish has coating their body.
2. Remember a fish can not breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.
3. Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water not on a hard surface.
4. While holding the fish do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills.
5. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.
This tip was adopted from the Take Me Fishing online blog. 

Click on the links below to jump to the report section that interests you most:
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Upper Peninsula

This coming Saturday, June 15 is the bass opener on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River. Catch rates have been good during the catch and release season so the opener should also be good.  
Lake Erie:  Is producing walleye in 22 to 26 feet of water between Stony Point and the Raisin River buoys. A couple boats found success off Sterling State Park in 18 feet of water. They are running crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers or dipsey divers with spoons. Those launching from Bolles Harbor and Luna Pier found good numbers of fish around the Dumping Grounds. Hot colors were pink, green and purple. A few perch were caught off Sterling State Park in 22 to 24 feet of water.

Detroit River:  The white bass are starting to thin out. Perch have been caught around the northeast and southeast corners of Celeron Island. Walleye were caught between Sugar Island and Grosse Ile and off the Ford Yacht Club by those hand-lining or jigging.

Lake St. Clair:  Has very good bass fishing along the Mile Roads. Anglers are taking near limit catches of white bass Sunshine Point and Huron Point which is the tip of the Metro Park. Boat anglers anchoring off these points are also catching white bass.  

St. Clair River:  Walleye fishing remains very good for those jigging or trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. Walleye have been caught in the mouth of both the Middle and the South Channels. At Port Huron, white bass are starting to show up.  

Lexington:  Those trolling spoons and lead core in 30 to 110 feet of water have caught a mix of trout and salmon. A few walleye and whitefish were caught. Pier anglers are getting rock bass and bullhead.

Harbor Beach:  Had good lake trout fishing in 80 to 120 feet in all directions. Try dodgers with spin-glo’s or spoons just off the bottom. The salmon are in 60 to 100 feet and hitting on spoons in green, orange and black or mountain dew. For steelhead, try bright colored spoons near the surface. For brown trout, fish closer to shore with long lines and bright colored spoons or body baits. Bass were caught by those trolling or casting spoons and body baits close to shore. There is a bug hatch currently underway so be prepared when you go out. Pier anglers caught rock bass, bullhead and a few walleye off the north wall.

Port Austin:  Catch rates were spotty for Chinook, coho, lake trout and steelhead. A few anglers were targeting walleye and whitefish near the lighthouse when trolling small spoons in 20 feet. Lake trout were caught near the bottom in 110 to 140 feet.

Saginaw Bay:  Had good walleye catches at the Saganing Bar and the Pinconning Bar in 10 to 12 feet, off Finn Road in five to eight feet, at the Coryeon Reef, the Callahan Reef and the Spark Plug. From Quanicassee to Fish Point, the action seems to be moving up the Slot. Anglers are using orange, chartreuse and copper crawler harnesses. Bay Port was slow but a few walleye were caught in the weeds and near the sailboat buoy at the end of the Slot. Fewer catfish were caught.

Saginaw River:  Is still producing some walleye for those trolling in the lower river or jigging near Consumers.

Holloway Reservoir:  Was producing some good catches of walleye.

Lobdell Lake:  In Genesee County was producing some nice bluegills.

Lake Fenton:  Was producing a fair to good number of crappie for those fishing in the deeper holes.

St. Joseph:  
Salmon fishing was steady as the fish moved into shallow waters 60 to 90 feet deep. Perch fishing is slow. Pier anglers reported slow catch rates for salmon and steelhead but did catch freshwater drum and catfish.  

St. Joseph River:  Is producing catfish and freshwater drum for those using jigs and live bait on the bottom.

Coldwater Lake:  Fishing was slow but a few anglers caught some large bluegill and a few perch.

Duck Lake:  In Calhoun County is producing bluegill, bass and other panfish.

Winnipeg Lake:  Was also producing bass and panfish.

South Haven:  Fishing improved somewhat for boat anglers. A few perch were caught in waters 50 feet or deeper.  

Holland:  The harbor is currently being dredged. Boat anglers targeting salmon are struggling. Most were fishing the bottom 20 feet in 80 to 120 feet of water. Pier anglers using shrimp caught a couple steelhead. Small perch were caught in 40 to 60 feet of water.

Grand Haven:  Those salmon fishing had to work hard. Try UV paddles and flies or spoons in green, gold or blue. Pier anglers using shrimp three to four feet down for steelhead had better luck than the pier anglers in Holland. A few perch were caught on minnows.

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Has good channel cat action up and down the river for those using cut bluegills and suckers. The flathead action is picking up with the warmer water. Try fresh cut bait or live suckers and creek chubs with three to four ounces of weight. Pike are hitting on bluegills, suckers and large spinner baits. Walleye anglers have done well when drifting crawlers and leeches, vertical jigging or casting body baits. Riverside Park and Millennium Park were good for bluegill and crappie.  

Grand River at Lansing:  Has good smallmouth bass fishing below the dams. Those fishing off Riverside Park have caught bass, pike and catfish. Try golden shiners for the pike and bass. Bluegill and crappie are being caught at Moore’s Park. Catfish are hitting on live bait, cut bait, crawlers, leeches or chicken liver.

Jackson County:  Lakes were producing near limit catches of panfish. Northern pike and largemouth bass have also been caught.

Reeds Lake:   Is producing bluegill for those sing leaf worms and wax worms. Pike, crappie and bass were also caught.

Muskegon River:  Had good trout fishing with a lot of keeper size rainbows. Walleye have been caught in the Hardy Dam Impoundment. Many were small but anglers have taken some keepers.

Whitehall:  Pier fishing was good for steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are still-fishing with alewife or casting silver spoons.

White Lake:  Those seeking panfish have done very well for bluegill and perch.  

Bass fishing on area lakes has been very good, producing some smallmouth bass in the six pound range. Brook trout fishing has been good on area streams and rivers.

Mullett Lake:  Walleye catches were sporadic.  

Rogers City:  Lake trout action is in full swing with limit catches reported from Swan Bay, Adams Point, the “Humps”, Seagull Point and Forty Mile Point. Water depth and technique vary day to day but most were in 40 to 80 feet. Some days you need to fish right close to the bottom while other days the fish were suspended. Green, blue, chartreuse and yellow spoons were good right along with dodgers and spin-glow’s or tube baits. Try large cowbells near the bottom. Pier fishing was slow. There are lots of smallmouth bass and rock bass in the marina.

Presque Isle:  Has good lake trout action but some days are still better than others.  Most of the fish were suspended and not on the bottom. Try 30 to 70 feet with dodgers or cowbells with spin-glo’s or spoons. Try the Lighthouse, straight off the Red Can, and south towards Stoneport. Look for Atlantic salmon as well. Successful anglers are looking for structure. The lake trout are stuffed with gobies and smelt.

Rockport:  Was producing some lake trout around Middle Island.

Alpena:  Those fishing the Bay caught a few catfish, walleye, smallmouth bass and lake trout. Try crawler harnesses and leeches for the walleye. Bigger lake trout were caught around Thunder Bay Island.  

Harrisville: Is producing the occasional Chinook, lake trout or steelhead. Water temperatures are still cold so you may need to go out to waters 50 to 80 feet deep and fish higher in the water column. Planer boards, dipsey’s and lead seem to work best. Hot colors were orange, blue, and green.

Oscoda:  Steelhead, salmon and lake trout are being caught in 60 to 80 feet of water. Try planer boards, lead and copper lines. Walleye are starting to come in good numbers. Use crawlers, leeches and body baits.

Au Sable River:  Is producing brown trout for those fly fishing. The brown drake hatch was taking place.  

Lake Margrethe:  Those trolling rapalas or drifting crawler harnesses caught walleye.  

Higgins Lake:  Is producing some nice rock bass.  

Houghton Lake:  Had decent fishing for walleye and panfish.

Lake St. Helen:  Is producing a fair to good number of panfish.

Tawas:  A few boats trolling near Buoy #2 and beyond did catch a couple walleye. Pier anglers caught smallmouth and catfish.

Tawas River:  Is producing some walleye, bluegill, bass and catfish. Try crawlers on the bottom or under a bobber.

Au Gres:  Has been the hot spot with many limit catches of walleye. Anglers are trolling crawler harnesses in 35 feet of water between Pt. Au Gres and Point Lookout. A few perch or catfish were also caught.

Au Gres River:  Is producing catfish. Try crawlers or cut bait.  

Because of the cooler temperatures, the bluegill and sunfish are just starting to spawn on the inland lakes. Local streams are finally starting to drop to normal levels.  Wading will be easier but the fish will spook easily with the clear water.

Harbor Springs:  Boats were traveling five to six miles north of the boat launch or fishing around Harbor Point for lake trout. Fish were caught to the north by those using spin-glo’s and cowbells 100 feet down in 150 feet of water.

Petoskey:  Lots of anglers are fishing the breakwall and D Pier at the mouth of the river and taking smallmouth bass, walleye and even a few pike. Those on the D Pier caught rock bass on crawlers. Boat anglers caught lake trout but no salmon. Lake trout were 10 feet off the bottom in 70 feet of water in front of Bay Harbor. Many were fishing 60 to 100 feet down between the pier and Bay Harbor. A couple lake herring were also caught.

Bear River:  Had few anglers but one was lucky and caught a steelhead above the dam. A couple small brown trout were caught on spinners.

Charlevoix:  Walleye were still being caught in the channel at night but other than that, pier fishing was slow. Try jigs with rubber worms or deep diving crank baits. Boat anglers searching for salmon had no luck. Lake trout were caught between Fisherman’s Island and Nine Mile Point. The fish were scattered throughout the water column. Try cowbells with orange or green spin-glo’s, spoons and body baits.  

Lake Skegemog:  Had good bluegill and bass fishing.

Traverse City:  The East Bay has good smallmouth bass fishing for those using tube baits. Lake trout and cisco were caught when casting or jigging in 30 feet of water.  The lake trout were scattered. A few whitefish were caught. Those fly fishing on the flats caught carp. In the West Bay, lake trout and cisco were caught in shallow waters 10 to 20 feet deep. Those jigging for lake trout caught fish in 100 feet of water. Smallmouth bass fishing was good.

Elk River:  Despite dredging in the harbor, smallmouth bass fishing has been fairly steady. Try live bait or tube baits. A couple late steelhead were caught.  

Boardman River:   Had good smallmouth bass fishing. Carp, suckers, rock bass and a few northern pike were also caught. Use live baits like crawlers, leeches and minnows.

Lake Leelanau:   Had reports of good yellow perch fishing.

Frankfort:  Trout are still hitting in and outside the breakwalls. Early morning is best with small body baits. Chinook salmon have arrived. Some were caught near the piers but most were taken 120 to 200 feet down in 170 to 350 feet of water.

Onekama:  Chinook salmon are in the area however the cooler weather has them out in deeper water. Try 120 to 200 feet down in 200 to 300 feet.  

Portage Lake:   Has good fishing for all ages. Largemouth bass were hitting near the drop-offs on the east end. Perch, sunfish and bluegills were caught near Little Eden. Rock bass can be found near the buoys. Smallmouth bass were caught in the southwest corner between the inner pier and the marina. Crawlers work best. The mayfly’s have not hatched yet so the fish are out a little deeper.  

Manistee:  Catch rates were difficult as the fish are scattered. A few salmon were caught 45 to 110 feet down in 100 to 250 feet. Try UV paddles and dolphin colored spoons. A few fish were caught really deep on meat rigs.

Ludington:  Had slow catch rates. A few salmon were caught 45 to 150 feet down in 80 to 225 feet of water with orange or green spoons and meat rigs.

Pentwater:  The trout and salmon are scattered and hard to find. A couple lake trout were taken by those trolling 45 feet down in 160 feet of water. Pier fishing picked up with all the baitfish in the channel. Anglers have caught pike and smallmouth bass.  

Keweenaw Bay: 
  Anglers caught salmon when trolling from the head of the Bay northward to the Keweenaw Roadside Park. Try 25 to 60 feet down in 20 to 70 feet of water with spoons. Some caught a mix of Chinook, coho and lake trout. Lake trout were caught near Farmers Reef, Newton’s Reef and Big Reef. Lake trout and Chinook were found between the entry and the red rocks. Chinook and coho were caught near the Lighthouse when trolling 30 to 45 feet down in 40 to 50 feet. In Traverse Bay, those trolling or jigging caught lake trout near Hermits Cove, the Gay Stacks, Big Louie’s Point or Five and Six Mile Reef. Try 130 to 160 feet of water when slow trolling or 130 to 220 feet when jigging with cut bait.

Marquette:  Catch rates were average with anglers getting no fish or up to five with an assortment of Chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout. Best area for Chinook was outside the Lower Harbor breakwall or towards the Chocolay and Sand Rivers. Try spoons and stick baits in less than 60 feet of water. Lake trout were caught near the “Sand Hole” and north of Granite Island in 180 to 200 feet of water. Some caught coho on high-lines 20 to 50 feet down. Stannard Rock is producing lake trout.  

Lake Independence:  Is producing a fair number of walleye.

Menominee:  Had slow walleye fishing. No Chinook were marked or caught.

Menominee River:  The river seems to be more productive then the bay for those targeting walleye. They are trolling crawler harnesses and rapalas or jigging with minnows between the mouth and Stephenson Island. Shore anglers near the Hattie Street Dam caught walleye, smallmouth bass, rock bass and freshwater drum. Muskie anglers did fair when drifting or casting muskie baits.

Cedar River:  Shore anglers are targeting smallmouth bass but few were caught.

Little Bay De Noc:  Water temperatures were still 54 to 58 degrees. Walleye fishing was fair in the northern parts of the Bay. The better catches came in 14 to 28 feet of water however the exception was near the mouth of the Whitefish River where anglers did well in eight to 12 feet when drifting or trolling crawler harnesses. A lot of fish were marked along the “Black Bottom” but few were caught. Walleye and perch were caught in the “Narrows” in 20 to 30 feet of water. The Kipling Flats produced some perch in 17 to 23 feet. Catch rates for smallmouth were fair.  

Escanaba River:  Catch rates slowed however walleye were still caught.

Ford River:  Had fair to good smallmouth action along the river and just off the mouth. Most were casting plastics or crank baits along the shoreline.

Big Bay De Noc:   Walleye anglers were struggling with only a few fish caught in six to 14 feet of water near Ogontz. Smallmouth bass fishing was fair to good throughout the Bay especially near South River, Kate’s Bay and Garden Bay. Try plastics or crank baits in three to 10 feet of water. The bass were on the beds even though water temperatures remained cold. At Fairport, salmon anglers were few. Look for catch rates to pick up between the middle and the end of June.

Au Train:  Had fair catches of Chinook and lake trout. Some caught two or three Chinook while others caught none. Lake trout were still hitting in 150 to 180 feet of water between Au Train Island and Wood Island. The lake trout were three to four pounds and the Chinook averaged four to five pounds.

Munising:  Boat anglers caught a fair number of Chinook salmon. The fish were scattered so while some boats were lucky enough to find them others came back with empty coolers. Best times to fish were early morning or sunset when trolling spoons in waters up to 100 feet deep. Lake trout action was fair near Grand Portal but slow near Miners. Pier anglers casting or using spawn for splake caught few fish.  

Grand Marais:  The upper parking area has been cleared of construction debris and is now open. Whitefish catches saw a dramatic drop. Very early morning was best but the fish have been small. Try still-fishing with a single egg. Boat anglers caught a few lake trout in 50 to 300 feet of water. Pier anglers caught whitefish and coho.  

St. Mary’s River:  Those fishing Raber Bay caught walleye around Burnt Island when trolling crank baits in three to four feet of water and six to eight feet behind the boat. Catfish were also caught. Up near Barbeau, anglers are catching muskie along the south end of the rock near Teacup Island. Most are trolling large crank baits in four to 10 feet of water. Good smallmouth action on the south end of Neebish Island and around Moon Island when casting crank baits or tube baits in four to five feet of water.  

DeTour:   Anglers caught Chinook, Atlantic salmon and a few lake trout. Atlantic salmon are hitting in 15 to 30 feet of water. Pink was the hot color. Chinook were deeper in 45 to 55 feet. Anglers are fishing from the city launch south to the #3 Green Can, around the lighthouse and the Red Can. Over by Drummond Island, walleye anglers are fishing in the shallow waters near Scott Bay and Maxton Bay. Anglers need to use caution and watch for the nets near Drummond Island. Two are set near the Green Can and one is set just past the ferry boat.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Northern pike action slowed around the Les Cheneaux Islands but anglers may still catch fish when casting or still-fishing with minnows or chubs. Perch are hitting in Hessel Bay, off the marina pier, in Cedarville Bay and around Little Joe Island. Use worms or minnows. Large and smallmouth bass are plentiful along the east end of Hessel Bay, the west end of Musky Bay and the Snows Channel. Rock bass are spawning, and hitting as well.

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