The fall trout and salmon runs are off to a slow start. The fish move in with the rain and cooler temperatures but then some are turning around and heading back out to the big lake when it warms back up. Lake trout and splake fishing on Lake Huron will close on . Lake trout season in the northern section of Lake Michigan down to Frankfort will also close on .
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: Had heavy yellow perch fishing especially out of Brest Bay, off Stony Point, Fermi, and Toledo Beach. Those that caught fish were using minnows on spreaders while anchored in 20 to 25 feet. Fish were also caught around the E-Buoy, and the C-Buoy as well as Buoys 1 & 2 at the mouth of the Raisin River. No walleye to report this week.
Lenawee County: Bluegill anglers fishing Devils Lake reported slow catch rates.
Those that did catch some say the fish were suspended in 20 to 30 feet and were hitting on wax worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was starting to pick up for those using minnows. For Lake Hudson, anglers were putting in more time looking for muskie with the cooler water temperatures. Bass anglers were starting to do better especially in shallow waters.
Detroit River: Boat anglers are targeting walleye, bass, muskie, channel catfish and yellow perch. Walleye anglers are bottom bouncing with crawler harnesses, hand-lining or jigging. Those hand-lining at night did catch a few fish. Fishing slowed around Mud Island and Grassy Island. Success rates downriver were variable at the mouth and up along the east side of Grosse Ile. Those fishing around Celeron Island averaged zero to two walleye though a few limit or near limit catches were reported. Most of the fish were 16 to 18 inches but a few were up to 25. Catch rates were fair for large and smallmouth bass but many were sub-legal. Anglers are casting and drop-shotting along the east side of Grosse Ile and around the smaller islands. Yellow perch anglers were getting a few more keepers. The better fishing was near Hennepin Point and Sugar Island. Catch rates should pick up as minnows become more plentiful. Muskie anglers reported light action with a few fish in the 30 inch range. Water temperatures were 68 to 70 degrees.
Lake St. Clair: Smallmouth bass fishing remains very good. Water temperatures are starting to drop and anglers should see bass to begin moving into shallower waters again. Perch fishing continues to be slow with anglers reporting lots of small fish, but few finding any number of keeper size. Walleye fishing has been slow but should improve as the fall migration from Lake Huron to Lake Erie gets underway.
St. Clair River: Walleye fishing remains slow with only a few fish caught in the upper river near the Bluewater Bridge. As temperatures cool, fishing should improve as walleye that have been roaming Lake Huron begin to filter south into the St. Clair River on their way back to Lake Erie. Sturgeon fishing has been steady with some large fish in the mix. Those looking for sturgeon should focus on the Delta Channels. Sturgeon anglers have also been catching some nice catfish.
Lexington & Port Sanilac: A few lake trout and steelhead were caught in 60 to 70 feet. Pier anglers managed the occasional bass or pike.
Harbor Beach: Had rumors of walleye taken at night by those fishing off the breakwall. Some lake trout were caught north of the harbor in 100 to 120 feet. Try dodgers with spin-n-glows right on the bottom or spoons off downriggers. Digging the bottom with dodgers worked best. For steelhead, try fishing near the color line with bright colored spoons. A few perch were caught inside the harbor. They are small but will entertain the kids.
Port Austin: Produced a nice limit of lake trout for one boat trolling straight north of the lighthouse and using spin-n-glows in 130 feet.
Saginaw Bay: Run-off from the last heavy rain did murk up the water near the mouth of the rivers which put a damper on fishing success. Some boats were out fishing the dead shipping channel in the early morning most likely for perch.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph: A few salmon were caught from the piers by those casting spoons. Fishing was not great but it was consistent. Perch fishing was slow.
St. Joseph River: Had steelhead and a light number of salmon. Try spawn.
South Haven: Pier fishing for salmon was slow but a couple were caught by those floating shrimp under a bobber. Fishing was slow for boat anglers targeting salmon. The few caught were taken on spoons in 110 feet.
Kalamazoo River: Had a few Chinook and coho. Try fishing the deeper holes during the day. For those fishing early or late, try spawn or anything that glows.
Grand Haven: Boats trolling in front of the piers caught coho and a few Chinook on glow plugs and orange spoons. Pier anglers caught a couple coho on spawn and alewife or when casting glow spoons.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Had a nice run of coho, Chinook and steelhead that made it up to the 6th Street Dam. They were caught on spawn, flies and yarn. Channel and flathead catfish along with some suckers were also caught by those targeting salmon and those fishing off the wall with live bait.
Grand River at Lansing: Had a few coho caught near the Lyons Dam and the Webber Dam. The bite was best in the very early morning. Try spawn or spinners. Smallmouth bass were hitting on tube baits.
Muskegon: Those trolling around and near the piers are finding a few Chinook salmon. Glow plugs worked best. Those heading out further found trout and salmon 40 to 100 feet down in 150 to 250 feet with orange or green spoons and green meat rigs. Pier anglers casting for salmon did not have much luck.
Muskegon River: Has a few salmon and steelhead being caught in the lower stretches. Target the deeper holes until conditions change. Bass anglers are doing well for smallmouth.
Whitehall: The mature salmon are pretty much spread out between the big lake, White Lake and the river. The bite was slow but those trolling in 50 to 70 feet did manage to catch a few. No fish were caught by pier anglers.
White Lake: Boat anglers caught a few salmon when casting green, orange and yellow double jointed body baits.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Rogers City: The fish were scattered so look for baitfish and structure. Lake trout and splake season is still open through. A few salmon were caught along the inner section of Swan Bay by those trolling bombers from boards. Those fishing in waters up to 70 feet deep in front of Swan Bay had limited success with adult salmon but did catch younger salmon, steelhead, lake trout and the occasional Atlantic or walleye. They are using an assortment of spoons and J-Plugs or attractors with flies, squid or cut bait. Best colors were green, blue, black and white, orange, white or glow early and late. Forty Mile Point should be a good bet for younger salmon, steelhead and lake trout especially as we move towards the end of the month. There has been a lot of young smelt in the area so imitate them with smaller lures.
Alpena: Anglers are pretty much targeting anything from salmon to walleye. The better action was straight out from the harbor in 40 to 70 feet or try North Point and around Thunder Bay Island. The “Humps” were good for lake trout weather permitting. The salmon and trout were hitting on spoons fished throughout the water column. Steelhead were hitting up high on orange spoons with between 1 and 5 colors of lead core. Lake trout are near the bottom but some were suspended. Walleye were hitting on deep diving crank baits and reef runners.
Thunder Bay River: Had rumors of a few salmon caught very late at night otherwise it has been slow because the water is still too warm. A few smallmouth were caught but none were keepers. There appears to be many species in the river but they are small in size.
Harrisville: Salmon were coming in but no big numbers yet. Those still-fishing in the harbor with spawn under a bobber or casting spoons and body baits did manage to catch a few fish. Boat anglers heading north and targeting walleye did catch some fish on body baits in the early morning or late evening.
Oscoda: Pier fishing was slow with only a few salmon caught. Boat anglers were trolling the mouth of the river and north of the bay. Most were staying in 12 to 30 feet and using spoons, wobble glows, peanuts or body baits.
Au Sable River: Had very few salmon. As with the steelhead this spring the salmon run may be running late.
Houghton Lake: Those targeting walleye picked up a few small fish when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses. They were also hooking into some good size bass at the same time. A fair to good number of pike were also caught.
Lake St. Helen: Had good bass fishing for those using surface baits. Bluegills, pumpkinseed and rock bass were hitting on leaf worms, wax worms and crawlers. Try minnows for crappie.
Tawas River: The occasional Chinook salmon was caught in the lower river.
Au Gres: Boat anglers reported slow fishing. Those launching from Eagle Bay Marina which is at the end of Sagatoo Road did fair for perch with most fish caught off the Saganing Bar or the Pinconning Bar in 10 to 40 feet. The fish averaged 7 to 10 inches. There were rumors of a decent number of perch caught by shore anglers in the lower Pine River but lots of sorting was necessary.
Au Gres River: Was producing a few catfish and small perch. On the East Branch, there was no activity at the Singing Bridge.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey: Lake trout were caught 115 to 130 feet down in front of the harbor. There has been a lot more angler pressure on the shore and piers. A few salmon were caught off the clock dock and the breakwall in the early morning by those casting crank baits. A couple fish were also taken when surfcasting near the breakwall.
Bear River: Water levels were high again after the weekend rain and a lot of fish ran during that time period however the fish seem to move in and then return back to the big water very quickly this year. Those fishing did catch a few small steelhead and brown trout when using spawn or artificial baits.
Charlevoix: Lake trout were caught 100 to 150 feet down on flies and spoons. Some fish were marked about 100 feet down at North Point. The water temperature is constant from the surface to 100 feet down. A few boats caught the odd salmon when casting near shore by the cement plant, mainly after dark but anglers are working hard to get them. The Medusa Creek weir is in operation so the creek is closed to fishing within 100 feet of the mouth. Those targeting salmon by wading out and casting into the slip reported slow catch rates. Most were using stick baits. Some bigger smallmouth were caught in the channel but anglers had to put in their time. Use worms, leeches or soft plastics on the bottom.
Elk River: Fishing has been relatively slow with the occasional coho, brown trout, or Chinook caught below the dam when using spawn.
Traverse City: The East Bay had good lake trout and cisco fishing in 80 to110 feet. Most of the lake trout were near the bottom and the cisco were 50 to 75 feet down. A few anglers are getting perch. The smallmouth bass and the salmon fishing were slow. In the West Bay, the lake trout and cisco action was fair in 80 to 100 feet. Those trolling for salmon were near the mouth of the Boardman. They are marking fish on their electronics but very few were caught. Perch were taken in 30 to 40 feet.
Boardman River: Coho and Chinook salmon are showing up in the weir. Fishing has been slow with fewer anglers and fewer fish than average. Most are using spawn, crank baits, or fly patterns like an egg-sucking leech. Anglers did find brook trout and brown trout below Two Forks and some were caught on worms. Up at the Union Street Dam, anglers using skein caught younger coho. Those fishing 300 feet below the weir caught coho, Chinook and steelhead on spawn. Some Chinook salmon were stacked up at the mouth.
Platte River: Is producing a few salmon up near the lower weir. Try spawn or egg flies. The river is closed to fishing within 300 feet of the weir.
Frankfort: Fresh Chinook salmon were entering Betsie Bay and a small number were moving up into the river. Those jigging and trolling had some luck in the early morning hours and caught Chinook, coho and steelhead 30 to 50 feet down in 100 to 120 feet. Green J-plugs were the ticket.
Manistee: Fishing off the pier and in the channel has been extremely slow. Those fishing out on the Shelf did manage to catch a small mix of Chinook and steelhead when trolling spoons and J-plugs. Surface water temperatures were in the mid 60’s. No word on the thermocline but most are fishing 40 to 60 feet down beyond the pier.
Manistee River: Has salmon but the warm water temperatures are not helping. Try early morning when floating spawn or artificial eggs. During the day, fish the deeper holes.
Ludington: Fishing in the channel was slow but anglers are picking up a fish here and there when using orange and yellow spoons or body baits. Pier fishing was also extremely slow. Boat anglers were lucky to catch a fish when heading out beyond the pier.
Pere Marquette River: Has salmon but anglers are still waiting for the big push. Fish were caught by those drifting spawn or casting small spinners or spoons.
Pentwater: The mature fish are spread between the big lake and the river. The bite is slow for the most part no matter where you are. There are essentially no fish coming in from the piers. Boat anglers have caught mature fish in 50 to 60 feet. A small number of boats did very well 50 to 60 feet down in 125 feet off Little Sable Point. They had near limit catches of steelhead and salmon. The better catches came on green flies and green flashers.
Lake Gogebic: Had a lot of anglers but few were finding fish. Walleye were still the number one target however a small number of yellow perch and smallmouth bass have been caught as well. Those doing the best were drifting or trolling with crawler harnesses or jigs tipped with a crawler. The walleye and smallmouth were scattered all over the lake while perch were caught on the north end.
Menominee River: Jigging was producing some very nice smallmouth and some catfish for those fishing around structure. Trolling stick baits especially in the evenings has been very productive for walleye. Shore anglers are catching a mixed bag of fish using crappie rigs tipped with live bait. A few brown trout and Chinook salmon are starting to show up near the mouth and were hitting on spoons.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair catches trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 10 to 35 feet from the Second Reef to the “Narrows” and in 20 feet near the “Black Bottom”. Several nice catches of jumbo perch were taken off the green buoy near the Day’s River and over to the East Bank. Use minnows in 10 to 18 feet. Northern pike were active with catches reported throughout the Bay. Salmon anglers have been checking the rivers but not seeing much yet.
Big Bay De Noc: Bass anglers have started looking for fish migrating south off Garden Bluff in the deeper water but good catches were still reported in shallow water six to 12 feet. Some are using minnows with slip bobbers while others are using pumpkin colored plastics.
Marquette: Shore anglers are getting ready for salmon runs in the Chocolay River. A few coho were caught. Pike and bass were caught on the east side of the ore dock near the Carp River. No reports yet for the Dead River or the Carp River.
Au Train Lake: Had no reports on walleye or keeper size perch. The smallmouth bass fishing is good using either natural or artificial baits along the west side of the lake and up near the mouth of the Au Train River.
Munising: Re-construction of the Anna River dock is to begin this week so fishing will be limited to shoreline areas until the construction is completed. Shore anglers reported slow action with only a few undersize splake caught off the pier. There has been some activity at Bay Furnace with one small coho caught on a Cleo. Surface water temperatures were in the mid to upper 50’s.
Grand Marais: A coho was caught near the lighthouse when casting a Cleo. Shore anglers on the Sucker River reported slow fishing with only a couple coho and a small rainbow caught. Try orange or orange and gold spoons.
DeTour: Water temperature at the lighthouse was 55 degrees at 25 feet down. A few coho and lake trout were caught on white flashers with green and white spin-n-glows 80 feet down in 100 feet between the green buoy and the lighthouse. On the north side of DeTour Village, a few yellow perch were caught in 10 to 18 feet off the old dock pilings when using spreaders with shiner minnows.
Drummond Island: Those targeting yellow perch should focus their attention inside Harbor Island when using shiner minnows and worms just off the weed beds in six to eight feet in the mid-morning hours. Walleye were good in Maxton Bay when trolling crawler harnesses or stick baits from the south side of James Island to the Sportsmen’s Club in late afternoon. Good smallmouth action for those jigging brown and green tube jigs in eight to 15 feet off Bruce Point which is on the northeast side of Scott Bay.
Cedarville & Hessel: Pike fishing has slowed but some fish were still being caught off the pier in the Hessel Marina. Perch fishing is good in Musky Bay, the east end of Cedarville Bay, and the east end of Hessel Bay going into Snows Channel. Splake season will close on. Try the Hessel Marina for one last push of fish.
St. Ignace: Is slow with only the odd steelhead spotted. The Carp River is beginning to see a few pink salmon at the mouth and up to Mackinac Trail. A couple steelhead were harvested at Mackinac Trail.