Much needed rain should help with the low water levels. The Chinook salmon run never really peaked this year and catch rates were spotty at best. Anglers are now targeting coho and steelhead. Those fishing the inland lakes report panfish being caught in deeper waters. Those bow fishing are doing well for carp in shallow waters.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: Perch fishing was great over the last week. Limit catches were coming from 26 feet straight out from Sterling State Park however anglers are still sorting out the smaller ones. Catch rates were still hit-or-miss in 12 to 15 feet off Toledo Beach and in 22 to 25 feet near the River Raisin buoys. Emerald shiners on spreaders or basic perch rigs right near bottom seem to be working best. The “Hot Hole” is still producing a good number of bass and catfish. Water temperatures were in the low 50’s so walleye fishing remains slow. Once those temperatures reach the high 40’s, anglers should try stick baits in 15 to 17 feet off Stony Point.
Huron River: Had the occasional steelhead but no big numbers yet.
Detroit River: Yellow perch were caught on the south end of Celeron Island however the action was still light. Try 12 to 15 feet with emerald shiners. Catch rates were light up around Sugar Island. No perch or walleye reports from the upper river. Those fishing Belle Isle caught a few small panfish and channel cats.
Lake St. Clair: Perch fishing has been spotty, but those using emerald shiners did best. Water temperatures are dropping quickly. MDNR electrofishing in Anchor Bay found good numbers of northern pike and largemouth bass in waters less than six feet deep. Shocking in the marinas off Anchor Bay produced large crappie and bluegills.
St. Clair River: Anglers have caught walleye from shore when casting after dark in the Port Huron and Marysville area. Fish were also found in the Delta Channels. Best results have been for those jigging with minnows. Sturgeon anglers have been catch and release fishing in the North Channel near Decker’s Landing, Sassy Marina, Pearl Beach, and Algonac. Water temperatures were in the mid to low 50’s.
Lexington & Port Sanilac: Were slow with only one Atlantic salmon caught.
Harbor Beach: Had rumors of walleye caught at night when casting body baits.
Saginaw Bay: Was windy and slow fishing overall. Some yellow perch were caught near Spoils Island and the Spark Plug. The east side had mostly duck hunters as perch fishing dropped off. Those fishing from shore were picking up a few smaller fish. Quanicassee, Sebewaing and Bay Port had slow perch fishing. Caseville had rumors of walleye caught at night when casting body baits.
Saginaw River: A few walleye were caught between the Independence Bridge and the Train Bridge in Essexville. A few perch were caught down near the mouth.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph: Windy conditions continue to hamper fishing efforts. Pier anglers caught a few whitefish but fishing has slowed. For whitefish, anglers were using a single salmon egg on the bottom.
South Haven: Pier and boat anglers found slow fishing for all species.
Grand Haven: Pier and surf anglers are catching a couple steelhead on spawn. When boats can get out, they were trolling orange spoons up high.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers are getting a few more steelhead but the action was still on the slow side because of the low water levels. Most are using spawn. Some walleye were caught below the Sixth Street Dam.
Rogue River: Is producing some steelhead for those using a jig and wax worm.
Grand River at Lansing: One small salmon was caught over at the point where the Grand meets the Red Cedar. Anglers may find the occasional fish however they were small. Good pike action for those using spinners. Smallmouth bass are also being caught.
Looking Glass River: Is producing pike even with the low water levels. Try bright colored spinners near Babcock’s Landing.
Muskegon: Steelhead fishing was slow off the piers. Boat anglers are out trolling when the winds allow.
Muskegon River: Water levels were low which makes it easier for those wading. The salmon run has slowed and the occasional steelhead has been caught when floating spawn or fly fishing. Good bass fishing continues.
Whitehall: Some pier anglers had luck when fishing spawn close to the shoreline. Catfish were also caught. Those fishing the channel caught a fair number of walleye when casting artificial lures. Surface water temperatures at the mouth were 54 degrees.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Ocqueoc River: Was producing salmon but the numbers remain low.
Rogers City: Fishing for the season is pretty much done. Windy conditions have made it impossible. The marina, the cleaning station and the restrooms are now closed for the season but there was still one dock in.
Alpena: The weather has made it miserable for those wanting to fish. When anglers can get out, they are targeting steelhead, Atlantic salmon, small Chinook and walleye. As we move into November, anglers will be trying for whitefish along the reefs as they tend to move in closer to shore for spawning.
Thunder Bay River: The Ninth Street Dam continues to see a few salmon but they near the end as most were dark and beat up. Look for steelhead was water temperatures drop. Try drifting salmon eggs near the bottom.
Harrisville: As the weather cools steelhead should start to show up in the harbor. There were reports of walleye in the harbor but number of fish was limited. Most anglers are catching walleye when casting small spoons or body baits for salmon at night. Good colors are blue and silver, orange and silver or anything that glows.
Au Sable River: A few salmon were spotted on the beds upriver. Boy Scout Run and High Banks had a good number of fish. Steelhead have not made their way up for the most part but a few early fish were seen near the mouth where anglers were using spawn, spoons and body baits. Use anything that glows early morning or late at night.
Higgins Lake: Was producing smallmouth bass and rock bass near structure.
Houghton Lake: Walleye and panfish were caught by those drifting crawlers and leeches.
Lake St. Helen: Was producing panfish near the weed beds.
Tawas: A few small perch were caught off the floating docks along the inner harbor. A couple walleye were caught by those casting body baits from the outer pier in the evening.
Tawas River: Was extremely slow with pretty much no one fishing except for a few behind the State Police Post but yet again no catches were recorded.
Au Gres: Had the occasional boat trolling off Whitestone Point. A few walleye were caught on body baits.
Au Gres River: Was producing a few small perch but anglers are sorting. Along the East Branch, there was no activity near the Singing Bridge.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Harbor Springs: Had no anglers to talk to. The boat launch is still in and a few boats usually go out this time of the year for yellow perch. They usually fish in the harbor and around Wequetonsing.
Petoskey: Had no report as no boats have gone out.
Bear River: Lake trout were near the mouth and between the bridges. Drifting spawn bags worked best. Anglers are reminded that lake trout season in the waters of Lake Michigan is closed but the river is still open. The steelhead are a bit late this year.
Charlevoix: Had few anglers. A couple boats were out looking for yellow perch between the points but there were no reports of any fish being caught. There were no salmon anglers near the cement plant and few anglers fishing the piers.
Elk River: Catch rates were fair with juvenile steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and the occasional coho taken on spawn bags below the power dam.
Traverse City: Cisco fishing was fair in the East Bay. Trolling was more effective than jigging with fish on the move. They were caught 50 to 90 feet down in various depths. The West Bay had a few boats out perch fishing or targeting steelhead near the mouth of the Boardman. Perch were caught on minnows in 30 to 40 feet near the weed beds but most were throw backs.
Boardman River: A good number of lake trout were caught on minnows, spawn and spinners at the Union Street Dam. Some coho and lake trout were caught at the mouth and a couple steelhead were taken up from the weir.
Frankfort: Pier anglers caught a couple steelhead when using spawn. Those trolling body baits around the piers caught coho and steelhead but no big numbers.
Portage Lake: Those bass fishing have caught a few largemouth when working the drops out in deeper water.
Lakes Cadillac & Mitchell: Anglers are targeting walleye at night. Most are casting crank baits.
Manistee: Pier and surf anglers did well catching a good number of steelhead and the occasional coho.
Manistee River: Fishing was slow because of the lack of rain and low water levels. A couple steelhead were caught in the lower stretch but no big numbers yet.
Pere Marquette River: Has slow fishing because of the low water levels. There are still a few salmon around but the kings are just about done. From here on out, anglers will be catching mostly coho and steelhead.
Pentwater: Pier fishing was slow but a few did manage to catch some steelhead on spawn. The morning bite seemed to be better. Some were targeting pike at the end of the channel facing Pentwater Lake. A few fish were caught by those still-fishing with frozen smelt.
The fall perch bite has been fair to good on the inland lakes. Anglers were starting to pick up more walleyes.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was very slow for those trolling. Anglers did pick up a mix of coho and splake off the pier and at the head of the bay near the cement bridge. The South Portage Entry had few anglers but a couple steelhead were caught by those trolling in 30 to 60 feet near the lighthouse. In Traverse Bay, a couple lake trout and steelhead were caught near the Gay Stacks and straight out from the pier in 30 to 150 feet.
Portage Lake: Was producing decent catches of walleye.
Menominee River: Anglers have caught a few brown trout, walleye and smallmouth bass between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street Dam. Spoons, spinners, and plastics are being used.
Little Bay De Noc: Northern pike catches are still good throughout the Bay. Not as many anglers are targeting them so most were caught by walleye anglers. Most of the walleye anglers were fishing the northern half between the First and Second Reefs and trolling primarily stick baits. Day anglers did best in 14 to 30 feet and the night anglers in eight to 12 feet but catch rates were fair at best. Several good catches of perch were reported around Butler Island when using minnows in ten to 26 feet. Fish were also caught in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor in eight to 12 feet. Some were targeting salmon at the dam in the Escanaba River but the numbers were few as the run seems to be over.
Big Bay De Noc: This will be the last report coming from the creel clerk for the season. Angler participation was very low. Windy conditions have not made it easy for anglers to get out but those that did were mostly bass anglers. Catch rates were good for those drifting minnow rigs 25 to 40 feet down along the break from Garden Bluff to the Fayette area.
Marquette: Had no boat activity out on the big lake. Catch rates for coho were slow in the Dead River for those using spinners at the dam. The coho action slowed in the Carp River but the steelhead are moving in. The fish caught were between 21 and 26 inches and were hitting on spawn bags in the holes under the bridge. Fishing in the Chocolay River was steady off the M-28 platform. Anglers caught steelhead, brown trout and coho on spawn bags, crawlers, spinners and rapalas. Hot colors were blue and silver, orange and pink.
Au Train Lake: Had no reports. Construction on the ramp continues and will not be completed until sometime the first week of November.
Munising: Had few anglers and fishing was slow. The only activity was shore fishing at the Anna River dock where anglers were casting spoons. Orange and gold or blue and silver were good colors. Splake were hitting on small hammered spoons and spawn sacks but many were undersize. A few coho were caught on spoons.
Grand Marais: Had good fishing for those surfcasting near the mouth of the Sucker River as some reported limit catches of fish up to and over 28 inches. Spawn worked best but fish were also caught on green and silver or orange and gold spoons. Some nice brown trout and some coho were caught. A few boats trolling the harbor caught steelhead over eight pounds. Coho were running about 22 inches but a serious of smaller coho 12 to 14 inches were caught which is a good sign for future fishing.
St. Mary’s River: Walleye anglers had success from DeTour to Barbeau when trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses in eight feet around Moon Island and west to the mouth of the Munuscong River. Some caught 21 to 24 inch fish.
Drummond Island: Most have put their boats in storage for the season however walleye anglers were still catching fish when using planer boards with blue and chrome crank baits in eight to ten feet between Peck Island and Rutland Island. Orange, green and yellow six-inch crankbaits are working as is long lining for those that do not have planer boards. Musky fishing was fair on the east side of the channel across from Conley’s Point in six to eight feet. Most were using dark green and yellow split body baits with a flat nose.
Cedarville & Hessel: Has an excellent population of nice perch but few anglers were getting out. When they can, try Cedarville Bay, Musky Bay, Little Joe Island, Viking Channel, Rice Point, Middle Entrance or Snows Channel. These areas should also produce pike especially the Middle Entrance.
Carp River: Is still fair for a few left over salmon and some steelhead. Anglers are casting spinners or floating spawn bags.