Thursday, July 23, 2015

Michigan 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

Attention those in Southeast Michigan! The DNR is offering two free, introductory recreation programs this summer at Belle Isle Park (Wayne County). Join us for Rec 101: Intro to Fishing and/or Rec 101: Intro to Fishing and Camping this July and August. More details – including how to register – are available online.

Heavy rain and strong winds over the last few weeks have many of the inland lakes and rivers high and muddy.  Those out fishing may have to change their techniques, bait and lures to catch more fish.  If what you always use is not working, time to try something different because changing weather conditions are not making it easy. 

Lake Erie:  With walleye season winding down anglers are reporting lower catch rates but a few were still caught when trolling in 20 to 25 feet with crawler harnesses, spoons or crank baits.  Try a mile or two out from Stony Point and Fermi or near the Banana Dike and the E-Buoy.  Perch numbers are on the climb as anglers are catching fish out of Brest Bay and Bolles Harbor when jigging in 15 to 22 feet using minnows with pink or purple beads.

Lenawee County:  Devils Lake seen fair to good bluegill fishing by those putting in their time.  Most fish were caught in six to 12 feet when using crawlers and wax worms.  Those trolling for pike did well using deep divers and spinner baits along the weed lines.  A few good catches of crappie were taken on minnows.  On Lake Hudson, fishing was hit-or-miss depending on the day.  Bass anglers are doing best throwing top water baits or Senkos.  Panfish were caught in good numbers but the keepers were hard to find.  A few walleye are starting to trickle in for those trolling or casting.

Detroit River:  Walleye anglers are jigging around the islands or trolling crawler harnesses near the mouth.  Perch fishing was slow but anglers are finding them in the open areas around the weed beds.  Smallmouth bass are being caught around the islands and some musky were caught on the east side of Grosse Ile.

St. Clair River:  Was producing some limit catches of walleye along the wall in Port Huron.

Lexington & Port Sanilac:  Lake trout fishing picked up as the thermoclines settled down.  The fish were caught on bright green lures near the bottom in 100 to 140 feet.  Steelhead and the odd Chinook were caught on bright orange spoons about halfway down.  Perch fishing was very slow.

Harbor Beach:  Lake trout are being taken in 100 to 120 feet north of the harbor when using spoons off downriggers and dodgers with spin-glo’s off the bottom.  Blue, green, glow or white with pink dots worked well especially when trolling a little faster.  Steelhead and the occasional salmon were caught out near the scum line in the top 25 to 70 feet.  Good colors were bright orange, green and yellow.

Grindstone City:  The walleye action was spotty but some boats did well about 4 miles south when fishing in 35 to 48 feet off the New River.  Anglers are fishing around the reefs with lead core and crawlers, crank baits or spoons.

Saginaw Bay:  A good number of walleye were still being caught beyond Buoys 1 & 2 in 25 feet or more, off the Pinconning Bar and off Linwood in 20 feet.  There was also an early morning bite off the mouth of the Kawkawlin River and the Callahan Reef in six to nine feet along the weed beds.  Most are trolling unweighted or very light crawler harnesses off planer boards so they ride just over the top of the weeds.  This is a pre-dawn until about 10 a.m. bite and then the fish go deeper.  Those trolling up the east side are taking a few walleye from the Slot, off the Bar and along the shipping channel when trolling harnesses.  The fish are scattered so if you find some, circle back through them.  Success off Caseville was limited so try northeast of Big Charity Island.  Walleye fishing was slow off Port Austin but the lake trout action has picked up.

Saginaw River:  Walleye catches were spotty with the better action near the bridge supports.  Smith Park in Essexville is open after renovations.  Shore anglers there were catching the occasional bass, catfish and freshwater drum.

Sanford Lake:  A recent bass tournament had mixed results with some taking limits while others were skunked.  Crappie fishing slowed but some were caught on pinkie jigs, minnows or worms.  Warmer water made it more difficult to find active fish.


St. Joseph:  
Boaters should use caution as there was a lot of debris floating around because of the recent storms.  Perch were caught in good numbers in 35 feet.  Salmon fishing was slow as the fish were scattered.  The most consistent water seemed to be 90 to 120 feet.  Pier anglers are still catching a couple steelhead when floating shrimp or alewife under a bobber.  

St. Joseph River:  
Flows are high and turbid and there are a lot of logs and debris moving downstream.  Boat anglers will need to use caution.  A fair number of steelhead moved upstream through the Berrien Springs fish ladder.  Water temperatures were in the mid 70’s so those fish will need to find colder water near springs or in the tributaries.  

South Haven:  
Also has debris coming down into the lake.  Boat anglers will want to use caution.  Those targeting salmon found fishing was starting to improve in 80 to 100 feet.  Pier anglers caught the occasional steelhead when using shrimp under a bobber.  Perch anglers were starting to catch a few fish in 20 to 60 feet but overall the fish were scattered.  

Pier anglers are catching summer steelhead.

Kalamazoo River: 
 Flathead and channel catfish are being caught in good numbers.  Steelhead were caught at the Allegan Dam.  

Pier anglers are catching summer steelhead.  

Grand Haven: 
 Pier anglers had some success when the alewives were in close.  They caught Chinook and some had limit catches of steelhead when using shrimp or alewife for bait.  Boat anglers caught fish 40 to 90 feet down in 70 to 140 feet with green spoons and meat rigs.  

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  
A few summer steelhead making it up to the dam were caught by those drifting flies, yarn and beads.  Channel and flathead catfish are being caught on worms and bluegills.  Carp were hitting on worms, corn and shredded wheat.  Those fishing off the wall caught bluegills.  Crappie and a few walleye were also caught on minnows.

Grand River at Lansing:  
Catfish are being caught near the dams.  Try crawlers, bluegills, cut bait, or shrimp.  Some crappies were also caught.

Lake Lansing:  
Was producing a few bass.  

Livingston County:  
Bass and bluegill were caught in Woodland Lake and a few panfish were taken in Lake Chemung.

Catch rates were slow with most boats going at least fifteen miles out and searching for better fishing waters.  Those that did catch Chinook did so when fishing throughout the water column in 120 feet with J-plugs and meat rigs.  

Muskegon River:  
Boats are finding a few Chinook 40 to 80 feet down in 60 to 120 feet with green and yellow meat rigs or green spoons.  

Boat anglers were taking some Chinook, coho, lake trout and steelhead.  Pier fishing for steelhead and salmon died off but a few bait fish remain in the channel.


Rogers City:  
Fishing continues to pick up for Chinook and steelhead with the occasional coho or Atlantic salmon mixed in.  There has not been one spot better than another however the better fishing was in the evening in 45 to 120 feet with downriggers, dipseys, lead core and copper.  Most fish were caught in the top 40 feet with green, blue, yellow and chartreuse spoons.  Glow spoons work best at first and last light.  Steelhead were caught on orange spoons up high.  Lake trout are still abundant and those targeting them have done very well when using cowbells with spin-glo’s near the bottom or suspended.  Conditions are changing continuously with the different wind directions. 

East & West Twin Lakes:  
Fishing was slow on East Twin but the walleye fishing on West Twin was very good with fish ranging 15 to 18 inches.  Those trolling reported fish over 20 inches.  Rock bass fishing was easy on West Twin when using crawlers or artificial worms in the six to eight foot holes.  Perch fishing was also good with fish ranging eight to 14 inches.  Bass fishing was moderate with most fishing along the shallows and near structure off Eagle Point.    

A mixed bag is beginning to show up with mostly lake trout along with a couple salmon and steelhead.  Lake trout can be found near the bottom but the salmon and steelhead were hitting in the top 50 feet.  Try around Thunder Bay Island or the “Humps” with orange, green or blue spoons.  The walleye fishing has been great with most boats catching fish near the North Shore and Red Can, behind Grass Island, between Sulphur Island and Grass Island or around Thunder Bay Island.  Most fish were taken on crank baits, body baits and crawler harnesses.  The fish have moved deeper and were anywhere from eight to 15 feet down in 20 to 40 feet.   

Thunder Bay River:  
The water has warmed significantly and slowed the bite for most species but some young anglers caught rock bass and some undersize smallmouth bass.  

The water temperature has been up and down making it hard to find the breaks.  Lake trout, salmon and walleye seem to be in the same area north of the harbor between Sturgeon Point and the Black River in 10 to 30 feet.  Lake trout and salmon were caught in 70 to 170 feet.  Those fishing top to bottom caught a variety of fish with downriggers, planer boards and long-lining.  Spoons, wobble glows and spin-glo’s behind cowbells, flashers and dodgers are working well.   

Pier anglers have caught channel cats but they were not biting until very late at night.  Walleye have slowed.  Lake trout are out deep and staying close to the bottom.  Try 80 to 150 feet with dark colored spoons, spin-glo’s and cut bait.  

Au Sable River: 
 A few walleye were caught just below Foote Dam.  Early morning and late at night were the best times.  

Houghton Lake: 
 Is producing panfish and walleye.  

Had a lot of boats out trolling for walleye.  They did best in 50 to 60 feet outside Tawas Point when using crawler harnesses.  A few limit catches were reported.  Some boats were going south toward the “crib” off Alabaster and fishing in 40 to 50 feet.  Pier and river fishing were “summer slow” and producing the occasional bass, catfish or freshwater drum.  

Au Gres:  
Remained very busy with lots of walleye action between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres in 35 to 45 feet and northeast of the Charity Islands.  Harnesses and some body baits were the main lures.

Au Gres River:  
Fishing was slow with only the occasional catfish taken.

Inland lakes in the area are producing a mixed bag of panfish, pike and walleye.  

Harbor Springs:  
Anglers did very well for lake trout 50 to 70 feet down in 60 to 80 feet.  Many were traveling up the coast to fish around 5 Mile Point.  Spin-glo’s and dodgers worked best.  The occasional salmon was also caught.  Smallmouth bass fishing was slow with only a few smaller fish caught.   

Anglers did well for lake trout but no salmon were reported.  Most boats are fishing the area from the breakwall to Bay Harbor with spoons in 50 to 70 feet or deeper.  Some tried cut bait, but didn’t catch anything.  Fish were also marked mid water in 130 to 150 feet.  Pier anglers caught undersize smallmouth bass in the rocks.  Fishing was still slow at the “Bobber Hole” near the mouth of the Bear River.  Those using worms with or without a bobber and small spinners or crank baits caught freshwater drum, bullhead, rock bass and smallmouth.  
Bear River:  
The water level is very low and fishing pressure was low.  A few smaller brown trout were seen jumping in the falls at the dam.  Those using spawn bags and worms up near the dam have caught bullhead and rock bass.  

The charter boats heading out were picking up a few Chinook.  Anglers may want to try from the cement plant to the south.  Those fishing the channel caught mainly undersize smallmouth bass when using crawlers or leeches on the bottom.  Freshwater drum are also in the channel and can provide some action for those using crawlers, leeches, spoons or crank baits.   

Elk River:  
Smallmouth bass fishing has slowed but anglers were still catching a few on leeches.

Traverse City:  
The East Bay is producing lake trout and the occasional whitefish or cisco.  For lake trout, try near the bottom in 90 to 130 feet.  Anglers are marking a few salmon but few had success catching them.  In the West Bay, lake trout were found in 85 to 140 feet.  Anglers reported salmon north of Elmwood Marina but few were caught.  Look for the fish to be suspended about 60 feet down in 100 to 200 feet.  

Boardman River:  
Fishing near the mouth has been slow. Undersize smallmouth and some rock bass seem to dominate the catch however a few walleye were caught on occasion.  Carp fishing has slowed.  Below Sabin Dam, a few brown trout continue to be caught at night, mostly on flies. Very few anglers were upstream of Sabin Dam.

Is producing Chinook salmon 40 to 110 feet down in 175 to 250 feet when trolling blue spoons and meat rigs.  Those heading offshore caught steelhead and lake trout in 33 to 35 feet.  Brown trout are still in the harbor and the channel and were hitting on jointed body baits.  

Boat anglers trolling 40 to 80 feet down in 120 to 150 feet caught Chinook in the early morning and after dusk.  Spoons and flies were the ticket.  Lake trout can be found around the “Barrel” and were caught with cowbells bouncing the bottom.  

Portage Lake:  
Had another Mayfly hatch so bass anglers were having a rough time catching fish.  Water temperatures were climbing so most were fishing 14 to 22 feet down.  The bite did improve with the warmer weather.  

Lakes Cadillac & Mitchell:  
Have good bass fishing for those using crawlers, spinners, crank baits and top water baits in shady areas.  Crappie are hitting in the shallows early and deeper as the day goes on.  Pike have been caught but many are undersize.  Walleye fishing was slow.    

Boat anglers are catching a mix of Chinook, lake trout and steelhead. 

Manistee River:  
A fair number of salmon are making their way into the Little Manistee and the Big Manistee is producing some steelhead.  

Boat anglers are catching a mix of Chinook, lake trout and steelhead. 

The better salmon fishing was found on the south side of Little Sable Point where anglers caught lake trout, steelhead and coho in 75 to 100 feet.  Those bringing in more fish were traveling 10 to 15 miles offshore and fishing in waters 400 feet deep.  Pier fishing slowed but a few baitfish remain in the channel.  Pier anglers caught some nice smallmouth bass.


Brook trout fishing has been excellent and any stream with brook trout is worth fishing.  The lack of rain and steady weather is producing the ability to take limit catches.  

Keweenaw Bay: 
Had fewer anglers but those getting out did catch a mix of Chinook, coho, splake, lake trout and brown trout.  A few limit catches were also reported.  

Lake Gogebic:  
Is producing walleye and the best reports came from those trolling crank baits or still-fishing with minnows, leeches and crawlers.  Walleye were found in both deep and shallow water.  Those fishing from the public pier in Bergland caught sunfish, rock bass and the occasional perch.

Lake Antoine:  
Was producing small perch and some bluegills.  

Brown trout fishing has been consistent with an average of two to three fish per boat.  Walleye and perch fishing efforts were minimal.  

Menominee River: 
 Is producing walleye, catfish, freshwater drum and smallmouth bass.  The best time to fish is early morning or evening when trolling crawler harnesses and stick baits.

Little Bay De Noc:  
Salmon anglers reported steady catches.  Most were fishing north of the Ford River Buoy however catches were also reported in the deep channel just off Aronson Island when trolling spoons 35 to 60 feet down.  Further south, anglers did best 30 to 60 feet down in 60 to 80 feet.  Very few walleye or perch were caught.  Those fishing off Breezy Point were marking a moderate number of fish however few were caught.  A couple walleye were taken by those trolling crawler harnesses in 30 feet near Kipling and out from the Terrace Bay Inn in 30 to 40 feet.  Pike were active with several areas producing fair to good catches but most were undersize.  Try the mouth of the Escanaba River and near the ship docks when trolling spinners or crank baits in eight to 20 feet.  At Kipling, most were trolling daredevils or spinners in 10 to 24 feet and those near the Day’s River were trolling crawler harnesses or crank baits in 16 to 20 feet.  

Big Bay De Noc:  
Smallmouth bass anglers reported much better catches.  The best area was to the south near St. Vitals Island when casting plastics or crawlers and leeches on jigs in 10 to 12 feet.  Fish were also caught in Kates Bay and just off Garden Bluff in 10 to 18 feet.  Walleye fishing slowed but a few fish were still caught from Big Bay Shoals to Kates Bay when trolling crawler harnesses in 12 to 25 feet.  At Fairport, salmon anglers are still taking fish in 130 to 150 feet however some have also taken fish in 90 to 110 feet.  The fish were 50 to 60 feet down in both areas.  Spoons and artificial cut bait were the ticket and colors varied.  

Lake trout anglers in the Upper and Lower Harbor had slower catch rates with most having a tough time catching one or two fish.  They were fishing on the bottom at various depths between 150 and 225 feet or deeper.  A few Chinook were caught but no coho.  Target the waters north of the white rocks, to the east near the “sand hole” and north of Granite Island when trolling spoons or flies.  

Au Train Lake:  
A few more anglers were out and mainly targeting northern pike and walleye.  Results were poor with only a few fish caught on crawlers.  Some were targeting yellow perch but most of the fish were released as they were only six to seven inches.  There appears to be a possible turnover of the lake with surface water temperatures up near 70.  Visibility was close to ten feet and very clear.  

Those heading out reported a few splake and lake trout taken in 100 to 200 feet when trolling in Trout Bay and off Sand Point.  Those fishing off the dock of the Anna River continue to catch good numbers of small splake. 

Grand Marais:  
Strong winds have kept many in the bay.  The occasional whitefish was caught on a single egg and very few lake trout were caught.  No coho were caught.  There were no anglers fishing the mouth of the Sucker River.  

South Manistique Lake:  
Northern pike action remains hot all over, with a massive 38 inch fish caught near the south end.  Anything from inline spinners to crawler harnesses were taking fish.  Walleye numbers have improved, but overall catches were still slow.  The largemouth hits were especially good for those using soft plastics near Sunset Pines Resort.

Tahquamenon River:  
Perch, walleye and musky fishing is picking up with the steady weather and warmer temperatures. 

Lake trout anglers had good success trolling along the 80 foot flat directly south of the lighthouse when using chrome and orange spoons 50 to 60 feet down  Hammered silver, chartreuse and white spoons caught lake trout from the red buoy east of the lighthouse and northwest to the green buoy.  Those trolling lead core with three inch purple and white spoons caught Atlantic salmon 12 to 15 feet down in 60 feet.  Anglers may want to try using fly type baits for Atlantic salmon while the Caddis hatch is underway.  

Drummond Island:  
Had good lake herring action on the south side of Harbor Island just off the bottom in 20 feet when using gold tear drops tipped with a wax worm or natural fly.  Catch rates were also good at Howard Island which is the small island on the south side of Harbor Island with dark red or brown tear drops.  Noodle rods with four to six pound test worked best.  Walleye were still holding in 14 to 18 feet for those trolling bottom bouncers with a 32 inch leader and crawler harness on the back side of Rutland Island in Scott Bay.  The evening hours were good off Paw Point when trolling shallow running crank baits in four to six feet.  Look for pike along the weed beds off the DNR boat launch. 

Cedarville and Hessel: 
Pike fishing was very good in the early morning or late evening off the Hessel pier.  Pike fishing is very good all through the Les Cheneaux Islands.  Perch fishing is best in Hessel Bay, Cedarville Bay and Moscow Channel.  Fishing for herring is about done except for Prentice Bay.  Bass fishing is very good in the shallow weedy bays.