Friday, August 12, 2016

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report 8/12/2016

The inland lakes are producing bluegill, crappie, sunfish and bass.  Water levels on the rivers and streams are quite low and boat anglers need to use caution.  The lower levels can make it harder for boat anglers but those wading have more opportunities.     

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  Anglers reported good catches when targeting yellow perch over the last week. Most are using shiners on perch rigs and spreaders.  Those fishing the southern half of the lake found fish in 22 to 24 feet off the mouth of the Raisin River, near the Raisin Dumping Grounds and near the E Buoy.  Those fishing further north in the lake found fish in 24 to 28 feet straight out from Sandy Creek, Stony Point and Fermi.  Walleye fishing was very slow with only a few scattered fish taken on crawler harnesses near Ohio waters.  A couple large smallmouth bass and a few catfish were also caught by those trolling for walleye.  Panfish were caught in Sandy Creek.  Shore anglers at Pointe Mouillee caught yellow perch and rock bass on crawlers or shiners.  A couple largemouth bass were taken on plastics.  White perch, catfish and smaller panfish were caught from Evans Pier in Luna Pier.   

Detroit River:  Most anglers are now targeting yellow perch.  Some reported 30 to 60 keepers.  Most were eight to 10 inches however a few bigger ones have also been caught.  The better fishing has been around Celeron Island and Sugar Island with perch rigs and minnows.  

Oakland County:  Fishing on both Cass Lake and Union Lake slowed as surface water temperatures were up between 80 and 82 degrees.  Those doing the best were fishing the drop-offs.  Bass, pike and walleye were caught on crawler harnesses and crank baits in 12 to 25 feet.  Some bluegills were caught in the shallows bays.    

Lake St. Clair:  Smallmouth and a couple largemouth bass were caught in eight to 12 feet near Nine Mile Road when casting green tube baits and crankbaits.  Walleye and decent yellow perch were caught in 17 to 20 feet around the St. Clair Light on pink and purple crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers or triangle weights.  Walleye and smallmouth were caught straight off Eleven Mile Road in 20 feet.  Muskie, perch and smallmouth were in 18 feet out from the Clinton River Cutoff.  On the north end, largemouth bass were caught on tube baits in Big Muscamoot Bay and on both live and artificial baits near the Harley Ensign launch.  Smallmouth were on the west side of Anchor Bay and hitting on crank baits and rubber lures.  Walleye were caught on crawler harnesses around the A-Marker or when jigging in 15 to 18 feet around Grassy Island.  Pike were taken in the canals around Fair Haven when casting rubber worms or still-fishing with a crawler.  Rock bass were also caught.    

Lexington to Port Sanilac:  Those trolling caught steelhead, lake trout and the occasional coho or pink salmon.  Fish were caught in the bottom half of the water column when using lead core and downriggers with spoons.  Average catch was seven to 10 fish per boat.  Some picked up a few walleye which is further evidence that the walleye have gone deep.  Perch fishing was hit-or-miss with a lot of small ones for each keeper.  Pier anglers caught assorted panfish.  

Harbor Beach:  A couple pink and coho salmon were caught on spoons 15 to 70 feet down in 90 to 130 feet.  Try spoons with offshore boards and 5, 7 or 10 colored leads.  Lake trout were taken in 80 to 120 feet working the bottom with dodgers and spin-glo’s or spoons off downriggers 50 to 120 feet down.  Hot colors were black and orange, green, blue and glow.  Steelhead were in 90 to 130 feet near the color lines.  Use bright colored spoons on boards.  A couple walleye were taken on small spoons, thunder sticks and crawler harnesses in 20 to 45 feet.  Bass were in close to shore.    

Port Austin:  Anglers were still catching some walleye between Port Austin and Lighthouse Park.  Fishing is not as good as it has been.    

Saginaw Bay: Had perch activity over the last week.  Fish were caught in 15 feet off Gambil’s Marina, between Pinconning and Linwood in the Black Hole, near the Spark Plug (Buoys 11 & 12) and around sailboat Buoys A, B and H.  Success seems to be tied to getting good minnows; shiners are preferred, and not all bait shops have them this time of year.  Walleye fishing was pretty slow at all locations including the Slot.  A few were taken along the deep side of the weed beds off Pinconning.  A few were starting to look for perch off Quanicassee.  The lucky ones had maybe 10 fish per boat.  Catfish were caught on crawlers at the Hot Pond.   

Saginaw River: Shore anglers on the lower river continue to catch smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, catfish and a few small perch.  

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Those looking for bluegills on the inland lakes are finding the bigger ones near the bottom in 20 feet or deeper.  Smaller fish are in the shallows.      

St. Joseph:  Salmon anglers did very well with Chinook caught in 70 feet.  Lake trout and salmon were also caught in 110 feet.  Most were taken on spoons and white paddles with green flies.  Perch fishing continues to be good in 20 to 30 feet north and south of the piers.  Steelhead fishing off the piers slowed but a few catfish and freshwater drum were taken on crawlers.  

Kalamazoo River:  Trout fishing slowed but those trolling were still taking some walleye early or late.  Those fishing near structure caught a few smallmouth bass.  Channel cats were hitting on crawlers, cut bait and shrimp.  

South Haven:  Had good salmon fishing in 60 to 100 feet.  Most were taken on spoons.  Perch fishing was good south of the piers in 20 feet.     

Grand Haven:  Salmon were caught in 35 to 75 feet.  Glow spoons and plugs are working well along with red or green meat rigs.  A couple salmon and steelhead were caught off the piers when using alewives early or late.   

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Water levels are way down so boat anglers need to watch for exposed rocks and logs.  Watch for rocks below the mouth of the Rogue River.  Walleye were caught between North Park and Knapp Street and below the 6th Street Dam.  Crawlers and leeches were the ticket.  Catfish were hitting on minnows.   

Grand River at Lansing:  Had good smallmouth bass action for those fly fishing.  Try a black or dark green wooly bug below the dams and near the Brenke Ladder.  A good number of carp have been caught near Brenke.  

Muskegon:  Salmon were caught on meat rigs and plugs in 45 to 85 feet.  

Muskegon River:  Water levels are low.  Anglers are still getting some smallmouth.  Some have managed to catch a few trout near Croton Dam but catch rates were slow.  Panfish were caught in the ponds and backwaters.    

Whitehall:  Salmon fishing was good 30 to 100 feet down in 80 to 150 feet.  Green or blue plugs have worked well.  Use glow spoons early or late.   

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Mackinaw City:  Anglers reported slower salmon fishing.  Only a few fish were taken between the bridge, Round Island and Mackinac Island.  Anglers also caught some lake trout and the occasional steelhead.  

Cheboygan:  Is reporting good catches of lake trout from the east side of Bois Blanc Island.  A couple steelhead and Chinook were also caught in the area but most were taken up around the Straits.  

Cheboygan River:  Is producing smallmouth bass, rock bass, walleye and freshwater drum.  Of the walleye caught, very few were keepers.   

Mullett Lake:  Walleye fishing was slower with only one to three fish per boat fishing the “humps” just east of the Sunken Island and east of Dodge Point on the north end with a combination of crawler harnesses and Hot-n-Tots.  Steelhead fishing varied.  Anglers are targeting fish 30 to 60 feet down in 60 to 120 feet.  Downriggers 30 to 40 feet down and 4-10 colors of lead seem to work best.  Perch anglers are finding plenty of small fish but struggling to find any keepers.   

Rogers City:  As usual, fishing conditions have changed.  Strong northwest winds left a lot of warm water top to bottom.  Anglers will have to go deep to find cold water or wait for a good east/southeast wind.  Fish early or late and look for baitfish and structure.  Try 45 to 120 feet and head towards Swan Bay, Calcite or Adams Point.  Steelhead were caught in 200 feet or more.  Anglers are using mostly spoons with flashers, flies, squid or cut bait.  Hot colors were orange, green, blue, black and white or glow early and late.  

Presque Isle:  Warm water is now top to bottom.  Anglers will have to go deep to find any kind of thermocline.  When the lake does calm down, going out to 200 feet or more may be a good bet.  Look for structure and baitfish.  A few walleye were caught.  Most were trolling north between the two lighthouses and south towards Stoneport.   

Alpena:  Fishing has been consistent most of the summer and lake trout have been the mainstay.  Most anglers are heading out deep to the second “humps” past Thunder Bay Island or further.  The Nordmere Wreck has also been holding a good number of fish.  Spoons, spin-glo’s and wobble glows behind attractors are working well.  Steelhead seem to be in the area in good numbers but suspended high in the water column.  Planer boards, dipsey's, lead core and sliders are keeping the bait where the steelhead are.  There has been a late night walleye bite.   

Oscoda:  Has a good number of lake trout and steelhead in the area.  Early morning start in 90 to 100 feet of water and work your way out.  Spread the baits top to bottom as most of the fish are suspended.  Change up baits regularly as pink salmon and small Chinook are in the area.  You may have these fish on your line without tripping the release.  Pier fishing has really started to pick up late in the evening.  Channel cats are starting to come in around 10 pm and biting throughout the night.  

Au Sable River:  Has smallmouth bass in good numbers and sizes. 

Higgins Lake:  Boat anglers continue to take lake trout in 80 to 125 feet.  Most were caught along the bottom but a few were suspended and hitting on body baits, spoons and cowbells.  Black and silver or blue and silver were the hot colors.  Perch are deep in 40 to 60 feet.  Those fishing first light may find some in shallow water.  The lake is producing lots of rock bass which can be fun for the young anglers.  

Houghton Lake:  Had good bluegill fishing especially along the weed beds on the south end and near the Middle Grounds.  Worms and leeches were the ticket.  Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss.  Try the weed beds at dawn or dusk.  

Tawas:  Boats trolling out to 70 feet caught a few walleye and steelhead on spoons.  Pier fishing was summer-slow with only the odd rock bass or smallmouth caught.      

Tawas River:  Shore anglers in the lower river caught a couple catfish, drum, rock bass or the odd pike.  

Au Gres:  The few boats still after walleye were fishing northeast of Big Charity Island or around the Steeples.  A few fish were caught in 15 to 30 feet.  

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs:  Lake trout fishing seems to have slowed up at Seven Mile Point.  A couple fish were taken near the bottom in 100 to 120 feet.  A few bigger fish were caught 70 to 80 feet down in 120 to 130 feet along the Harbor Springs side.  Smallmouth anglers did well when casting around Wequetonsing and Roaring Brook.   

Petoskey:  Lake trout fishing was good and a couple salmon were picked up.  Most boats are still trolling from the front of the breakwall to the East Park/Bay Harbor area.  Lake trout were 60 to 80 feet down in 100 to 130 feet or 110 to 115 feet down in 140 feet near Bay Harbor.  Some lake trout were caught near the bottom in 125 feet and a couple salmon were caught 60 to 70 feet down.  Those fishing the breakwall caught quite a few sub-legal smallmouth bass and some bigger rock bass.  

Bear River:  Has very low water levels and the angler effort up at the dam remains low.  The mouth of the river or the “Bobber Hole” is still slow but a few smallmouth bass, rock bass, drum, bluegill and small perch were caught on crawlers.  


Charlevoix:  Boat anglers caught a couple lake trout 90 feet down in over 130 feet near the cement plant.  Some were getting skunked while others were able to pick up a fish or two.  Some were near the bottom in 120 feet off North Point while others were suspended 60 to 90 feet down in 130 to 170 feet and hitting on spoons.  A few salmon were reported 70 to 80 feed down.  Those traveling all the way to Cathead Bay caught a few salmon but they were small.  Bass and panfish were caught in the channel with live or artificial worms and leeches.    

Traverse City:  Lake trout were caught in the East Bay near Elk Rapids and north of Deepwater Point.  Chinook and coho were caught near and south of the M-37 launch.  Some good size smallmouth bass were taken near Old Mission. The Elk River is producing lots of sub-legal smallmouth.  In the West Bay, lake herring and steelhead were caught west of Power Island.  Good size smallmouth bass were caught on the north side of Power Island.  In general, fishing has been better on the East Bay.  

Boardman River:  Continues to produce lots of sub-legal smallmouth bass.  Those using worms caught rock bass.  

Frankfort:  Anglers have landed some nice catches 40 to 80 feet down in 100 to 180 feet straight out from the port in the early morning.  Several coho were hitting on green and blue spoons just a bit deeper.  Bigger Chinook were caught on green or purple meat rigs.   

Onekama:  Anglers trolling 60 to 100 feet down in 120 to 180 feet found Chinook salmon at dawn and dusk.  Green and blue spoons work best.  Anglers reported a strong current so an east/west troll was working to help lure speed.  

Portage Lake:  Water temperatures are very warm so anglers are fishing in 18 to 25 feet.  Bluegill, perch and rock bass were hitting on worms.  Bass anglers working the drops and breakwalls were having a rough time.  

Manistee:  Dredging operations have started in the channel and could take up to a couple weeks depending on weather conditions.  A good number of Chinook were still being caught in 70 to 100 feet of water.  Coho, lake trout and steelhead were also caught.  

Manistee Lake:  A few anglers were trolling for Chinook salmon but there were no reports of any fish hooked.  Both the large and smallmouth action was a bit slower.  Fishing the cooler waters from the mouth of the Big Manistee River produced fish but anglers had to work for them.  Try the weed beds near the mouth or fish deeper along the drop-offs.  

Big Manistee River:  The summer steelhead bite at Tippy Dam has come to a halt.  There have been no reports of anglers taking fish.  A few smallmouth bass were caught downriver.  

Ludington:  Dredging operations here are done.  Surface water temperatures were about 70 degrees.  Good numbers of Chinook along with coho, lake trout or steelhead were caught in 70 to 110 feet.  A few walleye were caught off the piers at night.  

Pentwater:  Salmon fishing was very good from the dunes down to Little Sable Point. Anglers were using plugs, flashers and flies or meat rigs 30 to 110 feet down in 70 to 150 feet.  

Pentwater Lake:  Large and smallmouth bass anglers have taken fish with soft plastics on drop shot or Carolina rig.  Those fishing the channel caught freshwater drum and smallmouth bass with crawlers near the bottom.  

Upper Peninsula

Lake Gogebic:  Fishing has been slow.  The better walleye catches are coming when trolling deeper water with crawler harnesses or stick baits, jigging leeches and crawlers over structure or bobber fishing along the weed beds in deep water.  For panfish, a good number of pumpkinseed were caught in the weed beds and around the deeper bulrushes.  

Keweenaw Bay:  Those trolling for salmon had a few good days for coho and lake trout.  They are trolling from the head of the bay north up to the red rocks which are near the roadside park on US-41 near the community of Keweenaw Bay.  Fish were caught 40 to 90 feet down in 40 to 110 feet with a variety of lures from spoons to body baits.  Orange and green were the hot colors.  On certain days, coho were right in the bay and other days they were between Sand Point and the red rocks.   Those trolling for lake trout at the South Portage Entry were getting a few fish near Farmers, Newton’s, and the Big Reef or along the Mud Banks with spoons in 80 to 150 feet.  

Menominee River:  Smallmouth bass, walleye and a good number of freshwater drum have been caught when trolling crawler harnesses or stick baits.  Drop-shotting was also working well for smallmouth.    

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye catches have increased in both bays.  The better catches were in the south end when trolling rapalas in 18 to 24 feet during the day and 7 to 14 feet at night.  Most were fishing between the “Fingers”, Minneapolis Shoals and Round Island.  Fair catches were reported near the Escanaba shipping docks when using a crawler harness or stick baits in 18 to 25 feet.  Fair to good smallmouth fishing at the mouth of the Escanaba River, Farmers Dock and south by Round Island.  Most fish were taken from the rocky areas seven to 16 feet with crawlers on a jig, crank baits or plastics.  Salmon anglers had few catches when trolling spoons 60 to 85 feet down in 100 to 110 feet near the Ford River Buoy.  A couple steelhead were reported at 30 to 40 feet down.  A few perch were caught near the mouth of the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when using crawlers or minnows along the break.  

Big Bay De Noc:  Had fair to good walleye catches near Round Island when trolling stick baits in seven to 24 feet.  Look for structure and weed lines.  Fair to good smallmouth fishing near Ogontz when casting drop shots, plastics or live bait along the shoreline and weed beds.  Fish were also caught along the bay near Nahma, off the golf course and near the Sturgeon River.  Most were caught along the rocks in six to 12 feet with crawlers and leeches.  Off Fairport, salmon anglers reported the best catches off Big Summer Island.  Some caught fish 20 pounds or more.    

Marquette:  Lake trout fishing has been very good with many limit catches of fish between three and five pounds.  Most are fishing north of the white rocks in 140 feet while others are catching fish in 100 to 220 feet around Granite Island, the Sand Hole and Presque Island.  A few coho were also caught.  

Munising:  Boat anglers continue to do fairly well with some limits reported and most taking three to four fish per trip.  Fish were caught right near the bottom in 140 to 160 feet with chartreuse, white or melon colored spoons near Wood Island Reef.  Some are targeting coho but catch rates were not good.  Pier anglers at the Anna River reported slow catch rates for splake which might be because of the thick weeds or baitfish in the area.  

Grand Marais:  Had good catches of lake trout.  Pier and shore anglers were targeting pike when casting spoons and stick baits or still-fishing with a medium size sucker minnow.  Boat anglers were trolling stick baits and deep diving crank baits but only one legal size fish was caught.  

St. Marys River:  The walleye bite improved in Raber Bay for those trolling crawler harnesses off the weed beds in eight to 12 feet between the docks on Lime Island and the Raber Bay launch.  The north end of the bay was producing bigger fish in the 18 to 22 inch range.  Anglers were trolling crank baits along the north shore out to Pointe Aux Frenes in the early morning.    

Detour:  Swedes Pointe was producing some 17 to 19 inch walleye.  Anglers were using slip-bobbers with shiners and crawlers along the rocky ledges in 10 to 12 feet.  Good Atlantic salmon fishing between the red buoy on the southwest side of Drummond Island to the Detour Lighthouse.  Anglers are trolling small squid baits and three inch orange and gold spoons between 12 and 40 feet down.  A few Chinook were taken between Fry Pan Island, the Ferry Dock in Detour, the green buoy and back to the lighthouse.  Try medium to large squid and raspberry and black spoons 52 feet down in 60 to 80 feet.  Limits of lake trout were caught off the 80 foot flats two miles straight south of the Detour Lighthouse.  Try spin-glo’s or a plain grey hammered spoon.  

Cedarville and Hessel:  Cedarville had no good reports of yellow perch fishing.  Currently the bigger fish seem to be in deeper parts of the channels throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands.  A few anglers caught perch in the eight to 10 inch class by drift fishing and still-fishing shiners in 12 to 14 feet throughout Government Bay and the Middle Entrance area of the Les Cheneaux Islands.  Pumpkinseed and rock bass were caught on worms around Hill Island and Island Number 8.  Schools of yellow perch were reported at the Hessel Marina and fishing pier but most were small.  Those fishing off the Hessel Pier caught smallmouth bass on spinners and pike on creek chubs in the early morning and late evening.  Goose Island just south of the of Marquette Island has been producing lake trout in good numbers and a couple steelhead and pink salmon.  Lake trout are hitting chrome and blue spoons 60 feet down in 80 feet and the salmon and steelhead were hitting three inch spoons 12 to 18 feet down.  Duck Bay located on the east side of Marquette Island was producing some nice smallmouth bass for those casting spinners in six to eight feet in the early morning.  Some 26 to 29 inch pike were caught by those trolling along the weed beds in the early morning in Snows Channel.  Try a chrome spoon with a red eye.  

St. Ignace:  A few Chinook were caught by those fishing the Straits area from the bridge to Mackinac and Round Island however the fish were harder to find.  Good catches of lake trout and a couple steelhead were coming from around Mackinac Island.  The Carp River is still producing a few walleye early and late for those using crawlers or leeches.  The occasional perch or pike were also caught.  Walleye fishing on the Pine River has slowed because of the warm water.