Thursday, July 18, 2013

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report


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



Extremely hot weather is causing some natural fish kills. On the inland lakes, the fish should be in deeper waters anywhere from 10 to 20 feet down depending on the lake. Those fishing the warm water rivers may find the fish a bit sluggish and no very cooperative. The rivers do not thermally stratify like the lakes so the temperature stays the same from top to bottom. Out on the Great Lakes, walleye and other game fish are moving out deeper to find cooler water temperatures.   
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie:  Anglers are finding good numbers of walleye from the Detroit Light (the Bell Buoy) to south of the Banana Dike. They are using both crawler harnesses and spoons. Hot colors were pink, purple and orange. Fish were caught off Fermi in 18 to 24 feet of water. Perch fishing was fair off the Raisin River Buoys 1 and 2 and around the E Buoy in 18 feet. Perch were caught off Stony Point and near Rat Island.  

Detroit River:  Some are jigging for walleye while others are hand-lining between Grosse Ile and Sugar Island or near Mud Island.

Lexington:  Anglers caught a fair number of perch around the weed beds. Pier anglers were taking some nice bluegills.  

Port Sanilac:  Is producing a fair number of yellow perch for those drifting minnows around the weed beds. Pier anglers took a couple of brown trout and walleye in the late evening or at night.

Harbor Beach:  Those trolling have caught trout in 100 to 145 feet of water. Steelhead were in the top 30 feet and lake trout were near the bottom. Walleye have been caught by those trolling in 30 feet.

Grindstone City:  Has excellent walleye fishing. It should be noted that boats are getting out of the state launch site as long as they are not too big and they take their time in the channel.

Port Austin:  Had excellent walleye fishing along the reefs and off the tip of the Thumb in 25 to 40 feet of water.  

Saginaw Bay:  Walleye fishing continues to be red-hot pretty much anywhere you go. Limit catches are almost the rule, and everybody is coming in with fish. Those trolling are getting good numbers of fish with planer boards, crawler harnesses on bottom bouncers and in-line weights. Those using Hot-n-Tots, thundersticks or small spoons also caught fish. As water temperatures warm, fishing in the shallows has tapered off as the fish are moving to deeper water. Good fishing off Pinconning, around the Spark Plug (Buoys 11 and 12), and off the mouth of the Kawkawlin River.  Catfish have been caught in the Hot Ponds.

Saginaw River:  Has good walleye fishing between the mouth and the Coast Guard Station. Shore anglers at Smith Park in Essexville are catching catfish and bass.

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph: 
 Had good yellow perch fishing. Salmon fishing has started to pick up. Anglers are using copper wire, boards and dipsey divers. The fish are in the top 30 feet so downriggers were not producing.

St. Joseph River:  Has good smallmouth bass fishing.

South Haven:  A light number of salmon have been caught in the top 30 feet of waters 70 to 100 feet deep. Copper wire, boards and dipsey divers were working better than downriggers. Anglers report good perch fishing in 30 to 40 feet of water.

Kalamazoo River:  Has good smallmouth bass fishing.

Holland:  Boat anglers are trolling 40 to 70 feet down in 75 to 160 feet of water for salmon. The hot baits were regular or super slim spoons in orange or blue. Pier anglers are catching freshwater drum. Those looking for perch had no luck.  

Grand Haven:  Salmon have been caught in the bottom 30 feet of waters 160 to 210 feet deep. Most are using 150, 300 or 450 coppers. Green and yellow meat rigs on wire divers were also taking fish. The majority of the bite was on super slim spoons in orange, blue and yellow. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum. Perch anglers are fishing minnows and spikes in 30 to 40 feet.  

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Continues to produce smallmouth bass. Catfish action was good in the early morning or at night.

Grand River at Lansing:  Continues to produce a good number of smallmouth bass and some channel cats. The better fishing can be found below any of the dams such as North Lansing, Moore’s Park, Smithville, Portland and the Grand Ledge Dam.

Muskegon River:  Is producing a fair to good number of smallmouth bass.

Whitehall:  Catch rates improved with anglers bringing in Chinook, coho and steelhead when fishing 50 to 70 feet down in 120 to 160 feet of water. Cut bait worked well for salmon but orange spoons worked better for steelhead.

White Lake:  Is producing limit catches of northern pike. Yellow, green and red body baits worked best.  

NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Rogers City: 
 Anglers are fishing straight out, up towards Forty Mile Point or south towards Adams Point. Fish were caught anywhere from 50 to 150 feet of water when trolling spoons. They are catching Chinook, steelhead, lake trout and the occasional Atlantic or pink salmon. Chinook salmon were caught about halfway down. Hot colors were green, blue, silver, purple and orange. Steelhead were caught higher in the water column with orange and silver spoons. Pay close attention to the wind. A south, east or southeast wind will bring the colder water in which always improves catch rates.

Presque Isle:  Anglers are fishing straight out from the red can and west towards the two lighthouses. Most are fishing halfway down in 50 to 120 feet with spoons. Chinook, steelhead and lake trout were a bulk of the catch.  

Rockport:  Had mixed catches of Chinook, steelhead and lake trout. Chinook were found 35 to 50 feet down in 90 to 120 feet of water. Lake trout were caught just off the bottom or higher up with the salmon. Spoons are working well for the salmon and steelhead but spin-glows and peanuts worked better for the lake trout. Very few walleye were reported.

Alpena:  Walleye fishing has started to pick back up for those using purple and pink crawler harnesses during the day or body baits after dark. Sulphur Island and North Point are good areas to try. Lake trout can be caught around Thunder Bay Island and up towards the wreck. Try 90 to 180 feet of water.  

Thunder Bay River:  Walleye action was slow. During the day, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum were keeping anglers busy. Use leeches for smallmouth during the day and walleye at night.    

Harrisville:  Is providing a mixed bag of catches. Lake trout have moved deeper to waters 90 to 120 feet. Most of the fish are suspended and coming off downriggers in the bottom third of the water column. Steelhead are in the 60 to 80 feet and hitting on lead core and planer boards. Orange and silver or blue and silver were the hot colors. A good number of walleye have been caught. The fish moved to deeper water so try 35 to 50 feet with crawler harnesses, body baits or small spoons.

Oscoda:   Pier anglers are starting to catch walleye. Early morning through mid-day and again in the evening was best when using crawlers, leeches and body baits.  Boat anglers caught lake trout in 80 to 150 feet and steelhead up high in 50 to 90 feet. Spoons in a variety of colors worked best.

Au Sable River:  Boats drifting to the mouth had luck when using bottom bouncers.

Tawas:  Walleye fishing was excellent off Alabaster, north of Big Charity Island and around the Steeples.  

Au Gres:  The deep part of the basin south of Pointe Au Gres was a walleye hot spot.  

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Harbor Springs:  
Is producing smaller lake trout however a couple bigger fish were also caught. Boat anglers heading up to Good Hart had the best luck when using spoons and spin-glows with cowbells. Those jigging around Harbor Point managed to catch a couple cicso.

Petoskey:  A couple salmon were caught but they were small. Lake trout were caught in 70 to 80 feet of water between the hospital and Bay Harbor. Those fishing off the end of the D Pier caught smallmouth bass on crawlers or plastic worms. Some nice bluegills were also caught.

Bear River:  Summer steelhead are still being caught near the dam and downstream. Try spawn or flies in the early morning.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers caught a few lake trout and whitefish in 65 to 70 feet of water between the cement plant and North Point. Walleye fishing was slow in the channel but a couple fish were caught at night. Lots of bass were caught on crawlers and leeches but many were small. Cisco were caught on spoons in the channel.    

Lake Charlevoix:  Continues to produce walleye despite the mayfly hatch. Anglers are fishing anywhere from Charlevoix to Boyne City.

Traverse City:  Lake trout and the occasional whitefish were caught in the East Bay when jigging in 50 to 90 feet with sand kickers and spoons or trolling in 50 to 100 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing was good. In the West Bay, lake trout were a little deeper in 90 to 110 feet. Smallmouth could be found in waters 5 to 40 feet deep.

Elk River:  Anglers are catching lots of smallmouth bass however most were sub-legal. Try crawlers, leeches, plastic baits, or crank baits.

Boardman River:   Fishing continues to be slow especially with the warm weather. Those using live bait caught the occasional smallmouth or rock bass.

Frankfort:  The kings have arrived and they are hitting anywhere from 50 to 85 feet down in 100 to 180 feet of water. Try blue spoons or black and white meat rigs. Good lake trout action in 70 to 90 feet of water when bouncing cowbells and spin-glows off the bottom. Water temperatures are 45 to 55 degrees with plenty of baitfish in the area.  

Onekama:  Anglers are taking good numbers of lake trout including some limit catches coming from the “Barrel”. Chinook salmon were starting to hit in the same area. Early morning was best with pink, chartreuse or blue spoons.

Portage Lake:  With the hot weather, bass and panfish are heading to deeper water.  Those fishing along the drop-offs in 18 to 22 feet caught some nice bass. For bluegills, try the weed beds and around the buoy with crawlers in the early morning.

Manistee:  A few Chinook salmon were caught 40 to 100 down in 120 to 200 feet of water. Try running glow spoons in the early morning or meat rigs down deeper later in the day. Boats heading out to 300 feet caught steelhead and coho 30 to 60 feet down with orange and green spoons.  

Manistee River:  Anglers are now catching a good number of smallmouth bass. Try crawlers, crayfish, plastics or poppers.  

Ludington:  Light numbers of Chinook were caught 50 to 100 feet down in 120 to 180 feet when trolling glow spoons or green meat rigs and flies. Those heading out deeper caught steelhead and coho when trolling orange spoons 30 to 60 feet down.

Pentwater:  Boat anglers caught a fair number of salmon and steelhead. Some were running lines 50 to 70 feet down in 120 to 160 feet while others managed to catch Chinook in 30 to 60 feet. Pier anglers caught catfish in the evening.  

UPPER PENINSULA
Keweenaw Bay: 
  Those salmon fishing caught some when trolling 25 to 100 feet down in 150 to 240 feet of water between Sand Point and Carla’s. They are using flies and spoons in a variety of colors. Lake trout action was good in 200 feet off Point Abby. Lake trout were caught near the South Portage Entry when trolling along the reefs. Chinook, coho and lake trout were taken between the entry and the red rocks near the park in 150 to 170 feet or along the white breakwall in 25 feet in the early morning. For Traverse Bay, those trolling and jigging did well for lake trout near Hermits Cove, the Gay Stacks and Big Louie’s Point in 120 to 180 feet. Try spoons and trolling speeds between 1.9 and 2.4 mph.

Marquette:  Fishing improved as surface water temperatures near shore have warmed into the low 60’s and offshore in the mid 50’s. Water temperatures north of Granite Island remain in the low to mid 50’s. Lake trout anglers have done well catching a mixed bag of trout and salmon. Lake trout were caught along the drop offs near the Sand Hole in 160 to 220 feet. Those fishing near the white rocks caught lake trout on spoons and coho on high-lines. Shot Point was also producing a few lake trout. Some were having better luck with flies and cut bait especially with the mayfly hatch and the flying ants. Anglers are reminded to watch for tagged lake trout. Most of the tags are a fluorescent green and can be found near the dorsal fin.

Menominee:  Anglers trolling near Green Island were marking some big fish but getting them to bite was the problem, maybe because of all the alewife. A few walleye were caught near the Red Arrow Park in 50 to 70 feet of water. Most were trolling crawler harnesses or rapalas. A few Chinook salmon were caught in Wisconsin water near Washington Island. Try about halfway down in 90 to 120 feet with dipsey divers, spoons and flashers. Many reported dead alewife on the surface.

Menominee River:  Was producing some walleye however most of the fish caught were on the small side. Smallmouth bass, rock bass, pike and freshwater drum were also caught by those drifting crawlers and minnows.

Cedar River:  Those drifting crawlers or casting crank baits caught some nice smallmouth bass and the occasional pike.

Little Bay De Noc:  Low angler participation and fewer catches were reported as the dog days of summer set in. Walleye reports were spotty with only a few fish taken near Round Island when trolling stick baits at night in eight to 10 feet of water or off the mouth of the Escanaba River, Gladstone Beach and the Kipling Flats when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 14 to 30 feet. Several perch were caught on crawlers in eight to 23 feet near Kipling. Good smallmouth action in and around the mouth of the Ford River. Try casting spinners, crank baits or plastics near the shoreline.

Big Bay De Noc:   No walleye anglers as most were after smallmouth bass near Ogontz, Nahma and Garden Bay. Try 12 to 18 feet when trolling, drifting or casting plastics, crank baits or crawlers. Perch were caught by those using crawlers in 10 to 16 feet in the Fayette Harbor. Off Fairport, anglers reported fair to good catches of large Chinook salmon. They are fishing the southern end of the “Gap” between the islands and using natural cut baits with dipsey’s 30 to 65 feet down in 60 to 120 feet of water.

Au Train:  Surface water temperatures have climbed to the low 60’s near shore and the middle 50’s out deeper. Boat anglers targeting salmon and lake trout reported fair catches. Those fishing in 60 to 100 feet near the east shoreline caught a mix of trout and salmon when using high-lines with spoons and flies.

Munising:  Those heading out early did manage to catch a couple salmon and lake trout in waters less than 100 feet deep. The salmon were less than 20 inches and the lake trout were about two pounds. Those fishing the Big Reef had to work harder while fishing in deeper waters. Pier fishing was light with some still-fishing spawn for splake.  

Grand Marais:  Pier anglers caught whitefish in the early morning but many were small. Most are still-fishing with a single egg. Assorted insects found inside the lake trout indicates some of the fish are staying shallow to feed on the hatches. Fish have also been caught five to seven miles north in 150 to 250 feet along the shipping channel. Those running high-lines have also caught the occasional coho. Pike fishing was slow for shore anglers.

DeTour:  Anglers continue to troll from the city launch out to the #3 green can, around the lighthouse and over to the #2 red can near Drummond Island.  They have caught Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon and lake trout. Early morning was best with green and white flashers and flies. For spoons, try white with orange dots, green and gold or blue and silver.

Drummond Island:  Walleye have been caught in Scott Bay when trolling crawler harnesses around Paw Point in the early morning in four to five feet of water or near Peck Island in eight to 12 feet with crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers. Yellow perch were caught in Sturgeon Bay. Try eight to nine feet off the weed beds near Andrews Island. Lake herring are hitting in Pigeon Cove with a few limits. Arrow Island, Big Trout Island, Andrews Island and Butterfield Island are also producing lake herring.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Musky Bay, Hessel Bay, the Middle Entrance, Cedarville Bay and Snows Channel are producing a limited number of perch but good numbers of bass and pike.  

St. Ignace:  A light number of anglers are fishing the east side of Mackinaw Island in 150 feet of water and along the flats between the old fuel tanks and the Coast Guard Station. They are targeting Atlantic and Chinook salmon or steelhead.