Thursday, June 20, 2013

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report

Lake Erie Islands. This was taken from atop th...
Lake Erie Islands
Weekly Fishing Tip: How to catch your own nightcrawlersAre you interested in catching and keeping your own nightcrawlers? It’s fairly easy to do so, just follow these simple steps.

1. Know where to look. Scout areas (such as parks, playgrounds, open grassy areas) after a good rain. Look for nightcrawler castings (the little piles of dirt they leave behind) and then plan your next visit following the next good rain. 
2. Know when to collect. Nightcrawlers are best caught an hour or so after dark. 
3. Bring the right equipment. Nightcrawlers are sensitive to vibrations so wear light-weight shoes. They’re also sensitive to bright light so consider rigging your flashlight with a red cover over the lens. 
4. Store them properly. Upon catching, just lay them on top of the storage bedding, don’t mix them in. This will allow you to remove sick or dead nightcrawlers more easily. 

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

Cooler temperatures and windy conditions have kept anglers at bay. Shore anglers fishing the rivers need to be careful as the banks may not be stable after the heavy rains.
Lake Erie:  Had fair walleye fishing over the past week. Those fishing in Ohio waters have done well. In Michigan waters, anglers can be found out from Estral Beach and the south end of Stony Point. Slow trolling and bright colors seem to work best in 17 to 25 feet of water. Good numbers of perch have been caught around the Raisin River Buoys 1 through 4. Smallmouth bass were hitting near the Dumping Grounds, the “Humps” and the mouth of the Raisin River.

Huron River:  Bass were hitting on golden shiners and catfish on crawlers and leeches. Check the backwaters for crappie.

Detroit River:  Those fishing around Rat Island have caught some perch. Bass season is open and catch rates were fair to good.

Lexington:  Some large rock bass along with a few pike and smallmouth bass were caught off the docks. The fish were scattered but Chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout were caught in waters 50 to 60 feet or as deep as 100 feet or more.

Harbor Beach:  Anglers have caught whitefish and walleye in 30 feet of water however most of the fish caught were whitefish. For salmon, try 120 to 160 feet straight out, north or south of the harbor with spoons off downriggers and dipsey’s or 5 and 10 color lead lines off the boards. Orange, black, purple and green were good colors. Steelhead were also caught on bright colored spoons up near the surface.  Lake trout are in 80 to 150 feet. Try dodgers with spin-glo’s. Bass are still being caught inside the harbor and close to shore.

Port Austin:  Anglers are getting a few walleye and whitefish in 20 to 30 feet however the water was still cold so the bite was slow.

Saginaw Bay:  Had fair to good walleye fishing along the Coryeon Reef, Callahan Reef, the Slot, Wildfowl Bay and North Island. Caseville and the area around Big Charity Island were slow.

Saginaw River:  Those fishing off Smith Park caught smallmouth bass, channel catfish and freshwater drum.

St. Joseph:
  Pier anglers have caught the occasional steelhead when floating shrimp under a bobber.

Kalamazoo River:  Those fishing near the Allegan Dam caught walleye, bass and catfish. Some are using live bait.

Holland:  Boat anglers are struggling when fishing in 80 to 150 feet of water. Pier anglers were also struggling.

Grand Haven:  Pier anglers continue to catch steelhead when using shrimp under a bobber. Boat anglers are struggling to catch Chinook. They are fishing the top 40 feet in 80 to 130 feet of water with blue, green and orange lures. Steelhead were caught near the mouth of the river as well as in waters 200 feet or deeper with lead core in one to three colors. Try orange or body baits or super slims.

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Continues to produce smallmouth bass. Channel cats are hitting on chicken liver, crawlers, leeches and cut bait. For flatheads, go with live bluegills or suckers. A few pike were caught by those casting body baits, spinners or sucker minnows.

Grand River at Lansing:  Fewer anglers were fishing with the higher water levels. The fish are there however it will be hard to keep your bait in place. Conditions may improve by the end of the week.

Jackson County:  Many are fishing the inland lakes. Shore and boat anglers were taking some near limit catches of panfish. Northern pike and largemouth bass have also been caught.

Muskegon River:  Is producing trout and bass.

Whitehall:  Anglers are running into Chinook and coho in 45 to 60 feet of water.    Some of the Chinook were quite large. Blue flies are working well. Orange and green were the hot colors. Coho were near the top of the water column. Anglers had luck using sliders and copper. Those fishing the channel and off the pier caught catfish on pink crawler harnesses.

White Lake:  Panfish were caught on crawlers. Some caught a few perch.  

Rogers City: 
 Had no report this week however the lake trout fishing should still be in good shape for those fishing in the bays and off the points. Windy conditions may have the fish scattered.

Harrisville: With water temperature slowly rising, lake trout are moving out to deeper waters. The fish are suspended in 70 to 100 feet. Try spoons, body baits or J-plugs. Steelhead were near the surface in 40 to 60 feet. Orange and blue were the hot colors.

Oscoda:  Walleye seem to be moving in and out of the river. Lake trout were hitting in 80 to 100 feet. Try spoons and flies that resemble smelt.

Au Sable River:  Boat anglers targeting walleye have done very well when drifting.  Catch rates were fairly consistent when using crawlers, leeches or body baits. Steelhead are still coming up into the river. Most of the fish were males that were still fresh. Try spawn, crawlers, wax worms or flies.

Houghton Lake:  Is still producing the occasional walleye and some bluegills. Catch rates for bass were fair to good in the early morning or evening.

Tawas:  Some caught a few walleye when trolling in 35 to 50 feet of water however many were heading toward Au Gres.

Au Gres:  Continues to be the hot spot for walleye. Anglers are fishing in 35 to 50 feet of water between Pt. Au Gres and Alabaster. Limit catches were taken however there is a lot of fishing pressure in the area. Some caught the occasional perch, catfish or freshwater drum.  

Trout fishing remains very good with rain helping to keep water levels up. No word on the hex hatch but it should be coming soon. Panfish are spawning on the inland lakes and this is a great time to get them.

Harbor Springs:  Lake trout fishing was a little slower this week because of the wind. Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good. Try green tube baits or pink crawlers out in front of the Petoskey State Park. A good number of the fish caught were over four pounds.

Petoskey:  Pier anglers are catching smallmouth and pike when casting crank baits or still-fishing with crawlers. The old pier near the mouth is a popular spot for kids to catch rock bass. Boat anglers were still had difficulty finding salmon because of the cooler water temperatures. Lake trout were 10 feet off the bottom in 70 feet of water. Lake herring were also caught.

Bear River:  Is still producing some steelhead.

Charlevoix:  Pier anglers continue to catch walleye at night when casting crank baits. Lake herring are also in the channel. One was caught on a crawler in the middle of the day however most were caught at night by the walleye anglers. Salmon action is still slow however lake trout have been caught throughout the water column by those using cowbells and orange or green spin-glo’s.

Traverse City:  Lake trout and cisco fishing should be good in the East Bay however few boats have been out. Smallmouth bass have been caught on the beds or along the first drop off. Try green and brown tube baits. In the West Bay, smallmouth bass are being caught in the shallows. Lake trout have been caught at variable depths by those trolling or jigging.

Elk River:  Has decent smallmouth bass fishing. Try crawlers, leeches or plastic baits. Many have caught smaller fish.

Boardman River:  Those using crawlers and leeches have caught smallmouth bass and rock bass. Pike and carp were also caught.  

Frankfort:  Most anglers are catching lake trout in 90 to 115 feet of water when bouncing slide divers with chrome dodgers off the bottom. Those targeting Chinook salmon have been disappointed by the lack of warm water that is needed to bring the fish in.

Portage Lake:  Bass anglers are still catching a good number of fish when casting rubber worms or crank baits along the shoreline. The annual Mayfly hatch is just finishing up. Water temperatures are still a bit on the cold side so the fish are in closer to shore. Bluegills, rock bass, perch and pumpkinseed have been caught between Little Eden and the buoy.

Manistee:  Salmon fishing has been difficult. Steelhead and lake trout have been caught in the top 80 feet of water with orange or yellow spoons. Pier fishing is slow.

Lake Cadillac:  Is producing a good number of largemouth bass. Try crawlers, leeches or spinners. Crappie could be found in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Lake Mitchell:  Anglers are catching pike. Some are using sucker minnows. Bluegill and crappie were in deeper water. Largemouth bass have been caught in the shallows in the early morning or evening.  

Ludington:  Boat anglers heading out twelve miles or more found lake trout and steelhead. Orange, green or yellow spoons were the ticket. Salmon fishing was slow.

Pentwater:  Anglers fishing the channel have taken bass and catfish when still-fishing with live bait. In the big lake, look for salmon in 45 to 60 feet of water.

Pentwater Lake:  Those fishing off Long Bridge caught some nice panfish. 

Keweenaw Bay: 
 Those salmon fishing did well for when trolling north to the Roadside Park. Try 25 to 60 feet down in 30 to 70 feet of water with spoons. Some got a mix of Chinook, coho and lake trout. From the South Portage Entry, lake trout were caught by those jigging near Farmers, Newton’s and Big Reef. Try south to the Red Rocks or along the breakwall and fish 25 feet of water. Traverse Bay anglers did well when jigging for lake trout near Hermits Cove, the Gay Stacks and Big Louie’s Point. Try spoons in 130 to 160 feet with speeds between 1.9 and 2.4 mph or jigging with cut bait in 130 to 220 feet.

Marquette: Catch rates were a bit slower but anglers have caught Chinook near the Chocolay River and the Sand River. A few less coho were taken with the fish suspended in 20 to 30 feet of water. Lake trout action remains consistent about four miles to the east towards Shot Point or the “Sand Hole” in 200 feet of water. Good lake trout fishing around Stannard Rock for those jigging.

Menominee:  The bay has been slow for walleye. Most are trolling crawler harnesses north and south of the Cedar River.

Menominee River:  Anglers trolling crawler harnesses have caught walleye right along with smallmouth bass, rock bass, channel cats and even a few pike. Those jigging in some of the deeper holes have also caught fish.  The gates to the dam were closed which shut fishing down near the dam. A few were casting rapalas with not much luck. Muskie anglers were having a slow week.

Cedar River:  Had some good catches of smallmouth bass, walleye and pike. Anglers were drifting crawler harnesses or casting rapalas.

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye action slowed some but fish were still being caught between the Whitefish River and the Days River when trolling or drifting crawlers in 12 to 23 feet of water. Fish were caught near the “Black Bottom” in 14 to 25 feet. Perch fishing was fair near Kipling and Gladstone Beach. Try minnows or crawlers in 18 to 28 feet of water. Good smallmouth action near the Ford River. Try crank baits or plastics in three to 10 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc:  Was producing some nice catches of walleye between the “Boot”, Ansell’s Point and Kate’s Bay. Most are tolling crawler harnesses in 18 to 22 feet of water. A few perch were caught in Garden Bay by those using crawlers in eight to 12 feet of water. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good. Some of the fish have spawned and are now a little deeper. Bass and walleye were caught in six to 12 feet of water near Ogontz. Crawlers and crank baits were the ticket. Garden Bay, Kate’s Bay, Martins Bay and Porcupine Point were producing fish. Try minnows, crank baits or plastics in three to 16 feet of water. Off Fairport, several anglers were marking fish off the northeast corner of Little Summer Island but none were caught.

Au Train:  Salmon fishing was very slow in Au Train Bay. Try 180 to 200 feet of water. A few tried high-lines for coho but had no success. Lake trout fishing was consistent with most averaging two to five fish. Offshore water temperatures were in the mid 40’s.  

Munising:  Boat anglers targeting Chinook salmon had poor to fair results. A few boats managed to catch a few fish but most were coming back empty-handed. Early morning and evening seem to be the best time to fish in 100 feet of water. Pier anglers caught a few splake when casting or still-fishing with spawn but many were small.

Grand Marais:  Pier anglers were still taking some whitefish and the occasional coho. Early to mid-morning was best but smaller fish were caught around sunset.  Target the whitefish by still-fishing with a single egg. Shore anglers did not have much success for pike or perch.

St. Mary’s River:  In Raber Bay, walleye are hitting at Carlton Creek. Most are trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses in six to eight feet of water. In Munuscong Bay, walleye fishing was good near Pine Island and out from Dan’s Resort. Most are trolling small crank baits of crawler harnesses with small split shot. The north end of Grassy Island had walleye in three to four feet of water.

DeTour:   Anglers are trolling from the city launch out to the #3 Green Can, around the lighthouse and over to the #2 Red Can. Salmon and lake trout were most active in the early morning. At Drummond Island, walleye were caught in Maxton Bay near the mouth of the river and in Scott Bay between Paw Point and Peck Island. Most are trolling bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses in three to six feet of water. Good smallmouth action in Scott Bay. Try casting and jigging tube baits on the south end of James Island.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Northern pike fishing is good in the Les Cheneaux Islands. Try minnows or chubs in six to 10 feet of water. Hessel Bay, Musky Bay and Snows Channel were good for large and smallmouth bass. A few perch were caught in Hessel Bay and Cedarville Bay.

Carp River:  Is producing a good number of rainbow trout.    

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