Weekly Fishing Report

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NOTE TO ANGLERS: This report is intended to give anglers an idea of fishing conditions around the state. The updates come from a combination of creel clerks and other DNR staff around the state and reflect past fishing conditions over the last seven days. Due to the nature of the Great Lakes, fishing conditions on them can change daily if not hourly based on wind and rain events.

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Weekly Fishing Report

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Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report

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Windy conditions hampered fishing on both the Great Lakes and the inland lakes. Water levels in the rivers are up and anglers continue to catch salmon and steelhead. As the waters cool, this is the perfect time of year for bass and pike fishing.


Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Anglers were taking limit catches of perch near Fermi but they are putting in a lot of time to do so. Most of those heading out at Bolles Harbor had an Ohio license and were fishing in Ohio waters. Shiners seem to work better than mud minnows.

Huron River: A couple small steelhead were caught down near the mouth.

Wamplers Lake: Largemouth bass were caught when casting crank baits in 4 to 5 feet or spinners in 8 to 12 feet. The top-water bite was hot and producing a good number of fish as well. A few crappie were caught on tube baits in the shallow weed beds.

Detroit River: Boat anglers caught yellow perch on spreaders and perch rigs with shiners. Most were targeting the weed line around the islands. Shore anglers were starting to pick up a few fish in the canals and off the docks. Perch anglers have also caught a few walleye.

Lake St. Clair: Those able to get out had a difficult time locating perch and catch rates were poor. The few caught were taken while drifting worms off the bottom. The smallmouth bite was slow as well but a couple were caught around Grass Island or in the channels of the river. Jerk baits seem to work best. Walleye catches over the last week were up and down. The turbid water near the middle and the shipping channels produced some large fish but no big numbers. Most were using a dark colored crawler harness or a jig with a crawler.

Lexington to Port Austin: Those fishing inside the harbor at Lexington caught the occasional steelhead when casting Cleo's in the morning. Pier and shore fishing were hit-or-miss with a couple steelhead, walleye, pike, and Atlantics caught. Pier fishing in Port Sanilac was slow inside the harbor. The few boats heading out of Harbor Beach caught lake trout, steelhead and a couple walleye in pockets of cold water found in 65 to 90 feet. Pier anglers fishing the north gap at night caught some walleye on crank baits. Grindstone City and Port Austin had very little activity.

Saginaw Bay: Minnows were starting to move into the marinas and river mouths. When the minnows come in, they usually bring the perch with them. Windy conditions have limited boat access. At Quanicassee, shore anglers targeting perch had to do a lot of sorting to get a few keepers. Sebewaing to Bay Port area was dominated by duck hunters. Shore anglers fishing the Sebewaing River and marina caught a few small bass and pike. One boat at Caseville caught a few perch in 30 to 40 feet off Oak Point.

Saginaw River: Boat anglers in the lower river caught some perch out of the Bay Aggregate Cut.


Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Those that could get out found lake trout and the odd Chinook salmon in 80 to 100 feet. A few perch anglers caught a decent number of fish in 40 feet.

Dowagiac River: Had a lot of fishing activity near the dam at Pucker Street.

South Haven: Had very few anglers. A couple steelhead were caught by pier anglers casting spoons or floating spawn.

Grand Haven: Pier anglers targeting steelhead with spawn had no success. White perch and channel cats were caught on minnows.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has a good number of steelhead now that the water levels are back up. Anglers were still taking some chrome coho as well. Most were using spawn, beads and flies.

Rogue River: Had a good number of steelhead in the lower river. Anglers have done well on a jig head with hair or feathers or a plain jig with a couple wax worms.

Grand River at Lansing: For good pike and smallmouth action, try fishing below any of the dams. The crappie bite was good below the dam in Dimondale. In North Lansing, a few coho and decent walleye were caught below the dam. A couple steelhead were spotted at the Webber Dam.

Morrison Lake: Had fair to good perch and crappie fishing.

Muskegon River: Salmon fishing improved. A fair to good number of steelhead are also in the river and could be found on the gravel. Some are using spawn, crank baits and spinners while those fly fishing were using egg flies, nymphs and streamers.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan River: Had lots of anglers targeting Chinook and steelhead at the lock and dam with some success. Steelhead were averaging 4 pounds and hitting on spawn. There was another push of Chinook salmon and fish averaging 6 pounds were caught on crank baits, spinners, spawn bags or skein. Some undersize smallmouth bass were caught on worms.

Rogers City: Anglers can still catch a mixed bag of younger Chinook, coho, steelhead, Atlantics and walleye. Fish the entire water column in 60 to 90 feet with spoons. Good colors were blue, orange, silver, black and white or glow early and late.

Alpena: Had very little effort in the bay. Those targeting smallmouth bass caught fish in the LaFarge discharge and in Squaw Bay.

Thunder Bay River: Chinook salmon, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and a few small steelhead continue to be caught at the 9th Street Dam by those casting spoons, spinners, and crank baits or when drifting spawn bags and skein. Some of the Chinook being caught were still in fairly decent shape.

Oscoda: Pier anglers casting stick baits caught walleye in the early morning or evening. Channel cats were taken by those still-fishing crawlers near the mouth in the evening. Good size smallmouth bass were caught on jigs and crank baits. A few rock bass and smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers.

Au Sable River: Steelhead along with a couple Chinook and Atlantic salmon were taken by those casting spoons and spinners or drifting spawn bags and skein between Foote Dam and the Whirlpool Access Site. Northern pike and smallmouth bass were caught by those casting spoons and crank baits in the lower river.

Tawas: One boat did manage to catch a few walleye near the weed beds off Jerry's Marina. Boats fishing inside the Yacht Club basin caught a few perch. A few walleye were taken at night by anglers "walking the wall" and hand trolling with crank baits. Pier anglers fishing inside the harbor caught small perch and the odd pike.

Tawas River: A few Chinook salmon were still moving into the river but there were no reports of any fish caught. Shore anglers caught a few walleye in the early morning and late evening when casting jigs and crank baits.

Au Gres: Boat anglers caught a few perch and walleye near the weather buoy off Pointe Au Gres in 40 to 42 feet and off the mouth of the Pine River in 15 to 18 feet. Perch fishing was good off Eagle Bay Marina in 10 to 20 feet with a few limit catches reported. Shore anglers at the mouth of the Pine River caught crappie, sunfish, rock bass and small perch on worms and minnows.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Petoskey: Had no boat anglers. The Bear River had high water levels. Cooler temperatures and wind brought more fish in. Anglers caught Chinook, coho, steelhead, and lake trout. Most of the Chinook were dark. Try spawn, flies and artificial eggs. Brown trout season is closed in the river. Quite a few were hooked at the dam and they must be released. Chinook, coho and lake trout were beginning to show up down near the mouth. Lake trout season is closed in Lake Michigan but open in the Bear River. Most were using spawn but some were casting spoons, body baits, and spinners.

Charlevoix: Boat fishing for salmon was very slow. For smallmouth bass, catch rates were still hit-or-miss. Most were using real or artificial crawlers and minnows. The Medusa Weir was still operating which means the creek is closed to fishing within 100 feet of the mouth.

Traverse City: The lake herring action was very good in the East Bay with plenty of big fish caught both jigging and trolling straight out from the M-37 launch, up near Bluff Road, and around Deepwater Point. The Elk River was consistent for Chinook, coho and steelhead up near the dam. The West Bay was very good for perch along the north side of Marion Island and directly east along the peninsula. Suttons Bay was good but Northport was spotty. Most were using minnows and crawlers in 40 feet or so. The Boardman River slowed but a few Chinook were still caught.

Leland: Those trolling caught small Chinook and coho north of North Manitou Island. A few salmon were present in both the harbor and the river and those using spawn, spoons and body baits caught fish.

Platte River: Was still producing some Chinook and coho salmon. The number of fish remained steady but there were fewer anglers every day. Try spawn, skein, flies and beads.

Betsie River: Still had small numbers of Chinook salmon at the Homestead Dam.

Portage Lake: Warm water temperatures had perch anglers sifting through several small ones to get a batch of keepers. Most were caught on minnows and wax worms.

Manistee: Surface temperature readings were about 60 degrees. The dock is still in at the ramp but the fish cleaning station is closed. A small number of coho and steelhead were caught on spawn by shore and pier anglers.

Big Manistee River: Had reports of steelhead being caught in the early morning.

Pentwater: Strong winds limited fishing. Smallmouth bass and freshwater drum were caught by pier anglers when still-fishing or slowly retrieving crawlers along the bottom.

Pentwater Lake: Those casting body baits for salmon at Longbridge Road reported very slow fishing. Boat anglers caught perch in 15 to 25 feet with a jig or dropper rig tipped with a minnow.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Menominee River: Was producing some walleye between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street Dam for those using live bait or plastics. Chinook salmon, brown trout and the occasional steelhead are also in the river.

Little Bay De Noc: A few walleye were caught near Kipling when jigging minnows in 18 to 30 feet and at the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling a crawler harness or stick bait along the weed beds in 20 feet. Perch catches were good at the mouth of the river with minnows in 20 to 30 feet between the First and Second Reefs and near Kipling in 18 to 30 feet. Good pike action along the coal piles in Gladstone with spoons and crank baits in 12 to 18 feet. Bass anglers struggled to find fish but those that did caught several nice ones between Hunters Point and the south end of the Black Bottom with plastics, jigs or spinners in 12 to 20 feet.

Manistique River: The chinook run is definitely peaking so now's the time. The fish cleaning station is being used although the disposal is still down. There is a trash can to use for fish remains. The DNR freezer is still there for head collection of fish missing the adipose fin. Few boats were out but the number of shore anglers has increased. Anglers have fished from the High Dam by the Paper Mill up to the Cedar Street Bridge. Most are using spoons, rapalas or spinners but a few had spawn. Several fish 20 pounds or more were reported. Those fly fishing for steelhead reported fair to good catches further up river when using beads.

Marquette: Those able to get out reported slow catch rates with only a few lake trout taken in shallow waters around the harbor. River fishing has been slow as most are still waiting on a big push of coho. The Dear River still has Chinook and a few pink salmon but the fish are very dark. No word on coho yet. The Carp and the Chocolay Rivers are producing a light number of coho.

Au train: Had no reports for Lake Superior. A couple coho were caught at the mouth of the Rock River.

Munising: Most of the fishing has been shore and pier anglers and catch rates were slow with only a few coho or splake caught with spawn bags or spoons and spinners. Coho were hitting orange spoons. The run may have peaked already but a couple chrome fish were still caught. Surface water temperatures remain in the mid to upper 50's which is warm for this time of year. Fall colors will peak by next week.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers trolling in the harbor caught pike up to 30 inches when long-lining with stick baits or jointed rapalas. The majority of fishing over the last week was surf anglers targeting steelhead out from mouth of the Sucker River. Most were floating spawn sacs but a few were casting spoons and stick baits. Anyone that would like to view spectacular fall colors, next week will most likely be the peak. Highway-77 from Seney to Grand Marais is a gorgeous ride along with Highway-58 which follows the Pictured Rocks area.

Tahquamenon River: Musky anglers are still seeing fish but could not land them. Those fishing the Dollarville Dam caught perch, small bluegills and rock bass on worms.

St. Marys River: Salmon fishing in the upper river behind Cloverland Powerhouse continues to be hit-or-miss depending on how much water there is. Perch fishing was beginning to pick up in Baie De Wassai in 4 to 8 feet with crawlers or minnows. A good number of yellow perch were caught in 50 feet in Lake George. Walleye fishing is beginning to pick up near the north end of the lake for those jigging soft plastics or trolling a crawler harnesses or crank bait. In the lower river, a few walleye were caught near Sweet's Point, Pipe Island and Twin Pipe Island just north of Detour when trolling deep diving stick baits or a crawler harness and bottom bouncer in 28 to 35 feet. Some nice yellow perch were caught when drifting minnows and worms near the bottom in 14 to 20 feet in Raber Bay. Good spots include the northeast side of Lime Island and near Round Island.

Drummond Island: Those targeting yellow perch were still taking good catches including some limit catches of fish above the legal size limit while sorting through all the small ones. Water temperatures in Potagannissing Bay were still in the mid 60's and too warm for the jumbo perch to move in. Most are drifting small minnows near the bottom. The schools have moved to shallow waters and can be found in 8 to 13 feet in Maxton Bay near Sportsmen's Club Point, James Island, Ashman Island, or Scott Bay near Rutland and Peck Islands. The local bait stores are running low on minnows but trying their best to keep up with current demands.

Cedarville and Hessel: Catch rates for perch were very slow throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. Those caught were taken on worms and shiners. The surface water temperature was 58 degrees. At Hessel, pike were caught by pier anglers using large chubs or a chrome spoon with a red eye. Early morning and late afternoon were best.

St. Ignace: Had no reports. The Carp River had reports of a couple steelhead taken on spawn. Those trying worms, crank baits or spinners had no luck. The Pine River had little activity. Those targeting walleye had no luck.


Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State at: Michigan.gov/eatsafefish.