Strong winds have made fishing much more difficult especially for those taking boats out on the Great Lakes. Water temperatures were unstable making it hard to find a thermocline. Inland, the fish moved into shallower waters with the onset of cooler temperatures. Reports were slim this week as few anglers have been out because of the weather.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: Had a good number of anglers catching yellow perch in 17 to 27 feet in Brest Bay, off Stony Point, in front of the Fermi stacks and out near the E-Buoy and the S-Buoy. They are anchored while using minnows on spreaders. Most of the fish were averaging seven to eight inches. Walleye pressure was low with only a couple anglers reporting any catches. The Bolles Harbor road construction continues but the harbor remains accessible to the public.
Lenawee County: Bluegill fishing was still good on Devils Lake. Anglers are fishing crickets and wax worms just off the bottom in 25 to 30 feet. On Lake Hudson, fishing improved for bass anglers when targeting the shaded banks along the shoreline. A couple catfish were caught on live bait in five to 10 feet.
Detroit River: Catch rates for walleye were low on the northern half of the Canadian side with anglers getting zero to three fish. The better fishing in Canadian waters was around Belle Isle. On the Michigan side, catch rates were poor. The few fish that were caught were taken in the Trenton Channel, near Mud Island and Grassy Island or on the east side of Grosse Ile. The vast majority of anglers had zero to two fish. They are bottom bouncing with crawler harnesses, hand-lining or jigging in 15 to 35 feet. A few caught yellow perch ranging seven to nine inches. Those fishing the Trenton Channel caught channel catfish. Those targeting muskie caught a few fish up to 30 inches. Bass fishing was starting to improve with smallmouth up to three pounds caught around Belle Isle and Grassy Island.
Lexington & Port Sanilac: Some boats were going out up to 25 miles and fishing in 110 to 160 feet where they caught a mix of lake trout, coho, steelhead, walleye and white bass. They are fishing half of the lines about halfway down and the other half at the bottom. Green and blue were the hot colors. No perch to report and pier fishing was slow.
Harbor Beach: High winds coupled with waterspout warnings were keeping boat anglers off the lake. Anglers can try off the wall or the pier for bass, perch or walleye in the early morning or late evening. When conditions allow, most were heading north and fishing 50 feet down in 135 feet. They caught lake trout, coho and steelhead. Some large rock bass were caught on crawlers off the breakwall.
Grindstone City: Had good fishing with lake trout and walleye caught on spoons in 120 to 130 feet straight north of the harbor.
Port Austin: Had good lake trout fishing with the occasional steelhead or coho and a fair number of walleye taken on spin-n-glows in 95 to 115 feet. Walleye anglers trolling crawler harnesses in shallow waters 20 to 40 feet deep were not getting any walleye but they did catch some smallmouth bass.
Saginaw Bay: Some walleye were caught northeast of Linwood in 22 to 24 feet when using harnesses. Perch were caught west of the Spark Plug in 18 to 25 feet and around sailboat buoys A and H. A few perch were taken east of Spoils Island. The fish were running eight to 12 inches but anglers will still have to do some sorting. Perch fishing picked up off Quanicassee in eight to 14 feet straight off the end of the channel. Catch rates varied anywhere from 15 to 25 fish per boat. Most of the keepers were seven to eight inches but a few bigger fish were also taken. A few walleye were caught in the Slot and off the Bar when trolling.
Saginaw River: Is producing mostly freshwater drum or catfish but some caught the occasional smallmouth bass. They were hitting on crawlers.
Sanford Lake: Had another slow week. A handful of bluegills and crappie were taken on pinkie jigs or white jig heads with white twister tails in nine to 15 feet along the deep edge of the weed beds. A few bass were taken on soft plastics. Very little walleye or pike action to report.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph: Weather has hampered fishing efforts. When they can get out, boat anglers did catch a couple steelhead and brown trout when trolling in 100 feet and deeper. Perch fishing and pier fishing were slow. If and when the lake calms down, the fish will most likely be scattered. Pier anglers caught the occasional steelhead. Try early morning or late evening.
St. Joseph River: Had no word on trout or salmon but those targeting catfish have done well when using live or cut bait.
South Haven: Fishing effort here was also hampered. Boat anglers reported decent fishing when they could get out. They were fishing very deep as most fish were caught well in excess of 100 feet and deeper. The few fish that were caught were hitting on J-plugs. Perch fishing slowed however some were caught in 50 to 70 feet. Pier anglers have caught the occasional steelhead.
Kalamazoo River: Walleye fishing slowed but those targeting catfish have done well for channel and flatheads.
Grand Haven: Chinook salmon were found 80 to 140 feet down in 100 to 150 feet. Green or white flies worked well and glow plugs were the ticket in the early morning. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum on minnows and worms.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: A couple steelhead were caught when drifting flies and yarn below the dam. Walleye and smallmouth bass were also caught below the dam. Those looking for catfish have done well for both channel and flathead when using crawlers or bluegills for bait.
Grand River at Lansing: Few were out but anglers should still be able to find some carp and catfish or try upstream of the Moore’s Park Dam for bluegills and crappie.
Muskrat Lake: Was good for crappie though anglers will need to sort through the small ones.
Morrison Lake: Was still producing some crappie.
Muskegon: Those trolling 70 to 120 feet down in 100 feet or more caught Chinook salmon. They are using green flies and meat rigs behind white paddles. Glow plugs work best in low light conditions. Pier anglers caught a few smallmouth bass.
Whitehall: Strong winds have kept most anglers at shore. Those that were able to get out were only putting one or two fish in the box. Strong winds blew in warm water which was recorded at 70 degrees about 95 feet down. No reports of salmon taken from the piers or in the channel.
White Lake: Had good bluegill fishing.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Rogers City: Salmon fishing has finally picked up with most boats catching at least one right along with lake trout, steelhead and the occasional walleye. Best areas were straight out of the harbor, a little west towards Seagull Point and south towards Adams Point and Swan Bay in 40 to 90 feet while looking for the baitfish. Put downriggers close to the temperature break or lead core and dipseys higher up. A lot of the salmon were not in the temperature break but were caught up higher. Spoons, J-plugs and attractors with flies, squid or herring were all working. Good colors were bright or dark greens and blues, yellow or silver. Black and white glow was good early, late or on overcast days. Orange was good up high or in shallow water.
East and West Twin Lakes: The fishing on East Twin was still slow. Many were trolling natural baits in eight to 14 feet for walleye. A few bass were caught near the island and in the shallows in four to six feet. Catch rates were moderate on West Twin and most of the walleye caught were undersize. They were trolling in six to 10 feet or drifting in 17 feet with natural baits. Perch and rock bass were still near the weed beds in four to six feet. Smallmouth bass were caught in four feet near Eagle Point.
Alpena: Had little activity. Lake trout are still being caught off the “Humps” or around Thunder Bay Island when fishing near the bottom with large attractors. An occasional steelhead or salmon can be caught higher up on spoons. Walleye seemed to have moved out towards Rockport and Presque Isle. Most anglers have switched from walleye to salmon and trout. Those fishing at Rockport and Presque Isle caught a mixed bag of salmon, steelhead, lake trout and walleye.
Thunder Bay River: Had slow fishing with only a few smallmouth, rock bass or freshwater drum caught. No salmon to report.
Harrisville: Lake trout are starting to move in a little and were found in shallower water. Try 10 to 20 feet off the bottom in 70 to 100 feet with spoons, flies, wobble glows, spin-n-glows or body baits. Salmon and steelhead seem to be north of the harbor in 60 to 80 feet and hitting on spoons. Hot colors were green, blue and silver in mixed combinations. Walleye could be found in 12 to 20 feet around the harbor. They were hitting on crawler harnesses, small spoons and body baits.
Oscoda: Lake trout were scarce as anglers had a hard time finding them. Last reports were 80 to 120 feet from top to bottom so run a wide spread of bait throughout the water column. By doing so, you may also pick up a Chinook, steelhead or Atlantic salmon.
Au Sable River: Had reports of walleye up to the Rea Road launch. For easier access try the new finger piers directly below the dam; this area should be holding some fish as well.
Higgins Lake: No one is fishing because of the cooler and wet weather. Fishing activity and catch rates should pick up by the weekend.
Houghton Lake: Also had slow fishing activity because of the weather. Those heading out were still getting some walleye and bluegills. The fish moved back in with the cooler temperatures and were caught in five and six feet.
Tawas: Those trolling were getting walleye on the bottom in 70 to 90 feet. They are using in-line weights to get the bait down. Walleye were also caught in 30 to 40 feet off Tawas Point. Pier anglers are catching very small perch and the odd smallmouth.
Au Gres: Walleye fishing was slow but a few anglers heading down and fishing the Pinconning and Saganing Bars caught some perch in 15 feet. A couple walleye were caught off the end of the shipping channel.
Au Gres River: Was producing a few good catches of channel cats.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Harbor Springs: Anglers had trouble finding trout and salmon because of water temperatures and strong winds. There was one report of a lake trout caught 50 to 60 feet down in waters over 200 feet deep near 5-Mile Point.
Petoskey: With the bad weather fishing was tough. Lake trout were caught 50 feet or so down in 170 to 220 feet but some also caught fish much deeper at 150 feet down so the fish are scattered. The occasional salmon was caught 50 to 60 feet down in front of the breakwall and one of the fish was already turning dark. Those fishing off the piers and breakwall reported slow fishing with only a few undersize smallmouth bass and a couple small perch taken.
Bear River: Angler pressure is picking up at the dam. A few salmon showed up late last week after some heavy rains but for the most part they were few and far between. Anglers were using spawn bags and flies from the dam downstream.
Charlevoix: Boats are fishing close to the cement plant. They are targeting salmon that are moving closer to shore and staging before the run. Those fishing the channel caught mainly undersize smallmouth bass when using crawlers, leeches or soft plastics on the bottom.
Elk River: A fair number of smallmouth bass were caught below the power dam when using leeches.
Traverse City: Salmon fishing was hit-or-miss in the East Bay. Fish were caught on spoons 50 to 70 feet down at various depths. Lake trout action was decent in 70 to 115 feet. Smallmouth bass were targeted in 30 to 40 feet. In the West Bay, salmon were caught in the hole near the mouth of the Boardman River. Try running glow plugs 50 to 60 feet down at first and last light. Lake trout were also caught but most are targeting kings.
Boardman River: Fishing has been relatively slow. A few rock bass and sublegal smallmouth bass have been caught on live bait below the Union Street Dam.
Frankfort: When they can get out, boat anglers caught Chinook 50 to 80 feet down in 120 to 220 feet when using J-plugs. Steelhead and lake trout were also caught. Windy conditions moved warmer water back in. Chinook have started moving into the Betsie River and were caught off the old car ferry landing.
Onekama: Those trolling the Barrel caught the occasional Chinook and lake trout. They were using J-plugs and meat rigs in 100 to 200 feet.
Manistee: Had some decent reports. With the strong winds, most were fishing in 130 feet straight out from the pier. Chinook were the main catch along with the occasional coho, steelhead or lake trout 80 to 130 feet down in 120 to 200 feet. Only a couple fish were caught off the piers.
Portage Lake: Was producing some very nice catches of both large and smallmouth bass. The fish were caught both in shallow water and along the deeper drop-offs.
Ludington: Had good catch rates with a few charters reporting mostly Chinook and steelhead being caught. Strong winds are changing the water temperature. Boats are fishing about six miles south to the project and 60 to 80 feet down in 120 feet or north to Big Sable Point at 60 to 120 feet down in 80 to 200 feet. Many caught fish straight off the pier in 100 feet as well. J-plugs seemed to work better than spoons or cut bait. Many were averaging between two and five fish per trip. No report on pier fishing.
Pentwater: Persistent high winds have kept most anglers from leaving port. Those that did were lucky to come back with a fish or two. Water temperatures were very warm with anglers recording 70 degrees at 95 feet down. Most fish were taken 50 feet down in 100 to 150 feet. There have been no salmon taken from the piers or the channel.
Pentwater Lake: Anglers caught smallmouth bass, channel cats and bullhead. The catfish and bullhead were taken after dark.
Keweenaw Bay: Angler participation and fishing were both slow over the past week. The few that did get out picked up the occasional coho or lake trout. Anglers are finding fish but cannot get them to bite. The South Portage Entry and Traverse Bay had bad weather and no date was recorded.
Lake Gogebic: Fishing was good over the last few weeks. Anglers caught lots of yellow perch, pumpkinseed, walleye and smallmouth bass with a fair percentage of legal size fish harvested. The perch and sunfish were caught all over the lake but those fishing the north end caught more. Walleye were caught deeper during the warm weather. Anglers were either trolling or drifting the deep drop-offs with crawler harnesses or jigs tipped with a crawler or leech. Smallmouth bass fishing picked up with more anglers starting to target the rocky shoreline on the east side of the lake.
Menominee: Boat anglers caught some steelhead, brown trout and even a few salmon when trolling off the mouth of the river.
Little Bay De Noc: It’s been a good year for northern pike anglers and the last week was no exception with fish caught throughout the bay and excellent fishing reported from Butler Island north to the Day’s River and off the west bank. Most were trolling or casting spinners and crank baits in eight to 12 feet. Several fish were 40 inches and bigger. The best walleye fishing was still south past the Ford River when trolling stick baits in 10 to 28 feet between Round Island and No-See-Um Creek as well as out to the “Fingers”. Good perch fishing in the northern bay between the First and Third Reefs with minnows in eight to 24 feet. Salmon anglers were still reporting catches out by the Ford River buoy when trolling spoons 30 to 60 feet down in 70 to 100 feet.
Big Bay De Noc: Mostly smallmouth anglers here although some walleye catches were reported near Round Island when trolling stick bait in 18 to 24 feet. Bass anglers did well off southern Kate’s Bay and south to Garden Bluff when casting spinners, crank baits and plastics or using jigs with crawlers in 12 to 25 feet. Off Fairport, a few anglers traveling to St. Martins Island reported fair catch rates 60 feet down in 100 to 140 feet.
Big Shag Lake: Construction on the boating access site has been completed and the new launch is now open.
Munising: Surface water temperatures remain between 60 and 62 degrees. A few boats fishing out at Big Reef caught lake trout up to 12 pounds but the trips were short-lived due to high winds. One small Chinook was caught by those trolling high-lines. Those fishing near the Anna River dock had slow action. A few splake were reported however the fish were not in close at this time.
Grand Marais: Strong winds are restricting fishing opportunities. Those fishing in the harbor had slow results but did manage to catch a few pike.
St. Marys’ River: A few nice walleye ranging 18 to 21 inches were caught near Big Hart Island. Anglers were trolling bottom bouncers with crank baits or crawler harnesses in 22 feet along the “humps” and rock piles.
DeTour: Anglers reported a few yellow perch caught on the north side of the Harbor Marina in 14 feet with shiners around the old dock pilings. When the winds allowed, anglers caught a mix of salmon and trout including pink salmon, lake trout and the occasional coho or Chinook. They are trolling green and gold hammered spoons 45 feet down in 80 feet from Frying Pan Island southwest to the green buoy. This area has good structure and baitfish for trout and salmon.
Drummond Island: Anglers are searching for yellow perch. A few eight to 10 inch fish were caught around Quarry Island and Grape Island with shiners in 14 feet. The walleye action was fair. Anglers were trolling along the weed beds on the west side of Rutland Island and over to Peck Island in 14 to 18 feet. Rock bass were caught at the entrance to Harbor Island in four to six feet. Use worms in the early morning.
Cedarville & Hessel: Pike fishing is good throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. Anglers casting in Moscoe Channel are having the best results; while those trolling or still-fishing with chubs in all other locations had good results. Perch fishing was excellent in Moscoe Channel, Cedarville Bay and Hessel Bay. A few Chinook and lake trout were caught out of Hessel.
St. Ignace: Fishing was slow. The mouth of the Carp River has produced a few salmon. Anglers could try the waters surrounding Mackinac Island for lake trout.