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Weekly Fishing Report

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Thursday, July 31, 2014
Weekly Fishing Report

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Map of Michigan 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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With storms, a strong cold front and northwest winds, fishing was not off to a good start this week. Some rivers were high and muddy. Though it may feel like fall, the calendar says it is still summer so fishing should pick back up.


Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Had another slow week because of the weather. Walleye were caught by those trolling in 16 to 20 feet in Brest Bay. They are using wiggle warts, tail dancers and thundersticks. A few were taken on crawler harnesses near the Dumping Grounds. Perch fishing was best in 22 to 26 feet off Stony Point and 24 feet straight out from Bolles Harbor.

Detroit River: Walleye fishing was good in the lower river and those jigging for muskie had good reports in the middle sections. White bass are still abundant throughout the river.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Bass fishing improved with anglers finding fish in the deeper weed lines along the sandbars and near the mouth of the rivers. Try pitching jigs or use soft plastics. A few pike were caught on Strawberry Lake and Gallagher Lake by those casting crank baits or spinners. Bluegills could be found in the bays and along the weeds in 6 to 8 feet.

Lake St. Clair: Bass fishing continues to be very good with consistent reports coming from waters over 15 feet deep. Perch and walleye fishing are spotty.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing has been very good in the lower river and the channels leading out into the lake. Jigging and trolling crawler harnesses worked best. Some perch are also starting to show up in the weed beds along the shoreline in the North and Middle Channels. Sturgeon fishing has been slow since the opener but a few large fish have been caught.

Lexington & Port Sanilac: Were slow with only a few anglers out searching the weed beds for perch.

Harbor Beach: Walleye fishing was picking up before the storms and windy conditions. Anglers will want to try straight out and north of the harbor in 30 to 90 feet when trolling crawler harnesses, small spoons or Hot-n-Tots. Hot colors were perch and purple or silver with black. Try casting body baits from the wall in the early morning or late evening. Salmon and steelhead were caught with spoons off downriggers in 60 to 150 feet. Good colors were bright orange, copper, gold or white with black dots.

Port Hope: Walleye were deep in waters 65 to 70 feet. Some of the fish were suspended in waters over 100 feet deep.

Grindstone City: Walleye fishing slowed as the fish went out to waters 50 to 60 feet which would indicate the thermocline is very deep along the outside of the Thumb. Boats searching for salmon and lake trout seem to confirm this as they were fishing waters 140 to 200 feet to find lake trout. They also caught the odd steelhead and a couple smaller pink salmon.

Saginaw Bay: Is still producing walleye. Catches run from 2 or 3 fish per boat to half-limits to the occasional limit catch. Try out near Buoys 1 & 2, general vicinity of the Spark Plug, off the Bay City State Park in the early morning in 10 to 12 feet, in the Slot between Quanicassee and Sand Point in 8 to 16 feet or along the west side of the Bar in 20 to 25 feet. Fishing slowed north of the Charity Islands and off Oak Point however a few were caught off the Hat Point Reef. Most of the boats were coming from Port Austin.

Saginaw River: Is still producing the occasional walleye on reef runners and husky jerks in the last two miles of the river.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

New Buffalo: Perch anglers are fishing to the north about halfway between here and St. Joe. Another area to try is just north of Union Pier in 20 to 30 feet around Lakeside Reef.

St. Joseph: Pier anglers were doing very well for steelhead with most of fish caught on shrimp under a bobber. If the cold water stays around the piers, fishing should continue to be good. Boat anglers found fishing a little more difficult. Those fishing near the piers caught a couple steelhead on spoons. Lake trout and salmon were in 80 to 100 feet. Perch fishing slowed with the colder water temperatures but should resume if the water warms back up. Try 30 feet of water south of the port.

St. Joseph River: No word on trout but those night fishing have done very well for channel and flathead catfish. Anglers are using crawlers, bluegills and cut bait.

South Haven: Few anglers were out. A couple steelhead were caught but overall pressure was low with the cold water temperatures. Most of the fishing was inside 30 feet of water south of the port. Perch fishing was slow.

Grand Haven: Foggy conditions have been a problem for boat anglers. Those able to get out were fishing 20 to 80 feet down in 140 to 240 feet when using gold spoons with orange and yellow. Blue paddles with a blue or white fly 50 to 70 feet down also caught fish. Perch anglers found fish in 20 to 30 feet when using minnows or spikes. Pier anglers were catching steelhead on shrimp.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Continues to produce some nice catfish for those using suckers, bluegills or fresh cut bait. Smallmouth bass are hitting on tube baits, crank baits, spinners, crawlers and leeches. Summer steelhead can still be found up near the dam.

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing smallmouth bass and catfish. Try minnows and leeches.

Morrison Lake: Continues to produce crappie just as it has all summer. Try the east or west end with minnows. Anglers have caught bluegill along with some nice largemouth bass.

Muskegon Lake: Walleye anglers were taking decent catches when trolling. Try 10 to 15 feet around Strawberry Island which is just west of Hartshorn Marina with small rapalas, crank baits or Hot-n-Tots. Anglers caught bluegill, crappie and catfish.

Muskegon River: Those fly fishing have done well for steelhead and brown trout. Anglers continue to do well for smallmouth bass when casting artificial crawlers, crayfish and leeches. Some caught the occasional pike.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: With storms and strong winds, water temperatures have been fluctuating over this last week. When anglers can get out fishing wasn't all that bad with a mixed bag of chinook and Atlantic salmon, steelhead, lake trout and the occasional walleye. They are fishing straight out from the marina, up near the State Park and Forty Mile Point or south towards Calcite Harbor, Swan Bay and Adams Point. Most are using downriggers, lead core, copper and dipseys throughout the water column in 45 to 130 feet. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon were caught up high in the water column on bright colored spoons like orange. Attractors with flies, squid and cut bait have caught some of the bigger salmon. Good colors were blue and silver, black and white, green, blue or anything that glows early and late.

Alpena: Anglers had good success for lake trout straight out and along the 1st and 2nd set of "Humps". Those fishing around North Point and Thunder Bay Island caught chinook and pink salmon, lake trout, steelhead and walleye. Spoons and attractors with flies, squid or cut bait worked best. Walleye were caught straight out in 20 to 50 feet with body baits or crawler harnesses. A few fish were caught around Thunder Bay Island, North Shore and North Point.

Harrisville: When anglers can get out, fishing was good. Those targeting walleye had success in front of the harbor, to the north or the south in 12 to 40 feet. Look for bottom contours, gravel and rock or anything in the way of structure. Late evening and very early morning were best when using small spoons, crawler harnesses, bottom bouncers and stick baits. Lake trout are there but anglers will have to find them. Try 60 to 180 feet with a variety of lures.

Oscoda: Had lots of lake trout with fish caught as far north as Greenbush and down to Au Sable Point in waters between 80 and 200 feet deep. Spoons, flies, spin-glows and cut bait in dark colors worked best. Steelhead and salmon were caught but the numbers were down. With the high winds, scum lines have not been able to form. Look for steelhead in the upper third of the water column near the scum lines.

Au Sable River: Has walleye between the mouth and the dam and they are hitting on crawlers, leeches and stick baits. Those fishing up river are targeting the deeper holes. Some large smallmouth bass were also caught.

Higgins Lake: This is a great time to take the kids out fishing because anglers are catching lots of rock bass. Yellow perch up to 10 inches were caught in 20 to 50 feet around the Sunken Island and the Main Island. Good lake trout action along the drop-off in 80 to 120 feet when trolling spoons, rapalas, body baits and cowbells. Those jigging caught fish on Swedish pimples, krocodiles and cast masters.

Houghton Lake: Fishing slowed with the cold front however anglers are still taking a mixed bag of bluegills, sunfish, crappie and some nice rock bass. Walleye and some big pike were taken when trolling the weed beds. Bass anglers have caught some nice smallmouth.

Tawas: Trolling for walleye has been hampered by windy conditions. Walleye action north of the Charity Islands has slowed. A couple fish were picked up in 25 feet near Alabaster. A couple steelhead and walleye were taken around Buoy #2 and from the weed beds off Jerry's Marina. Those still-fishing with minnows along those weed beds did catch a few decent perch and a couple pike. Pier fishing was slow with only a few pike, smallmouth bass, rock bass, small perch and a couple bluegills taken.

Au Gres: Walleye fishing slowed but anglers were still getting some fish north of Buoys 1 & 2 in 25 feet or off the Saganing Bar in 12 feet. Another contingent would be 30 to 35 feet out near the shipping channel.

Au Gres River: Is currently being dredged. Fishing was slow.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Anglers are out looking for salmon around Harbor Point. Lake trout are pretty much the only fish being caught 85 to 105 feet down when using spoons.

Petoskey: The surface water temperature in Little Traverse Bay was at 66 degrees which shows water temperatures were not rising very fast. Anglers are catching mainly lake trout especially between the water treatment plant and Bay Harbor. The fish were 80 to 90 feet down in 100 to 150 feet and hitting on winged glow bobbers and spoons combined with flashers or cowbells. Some say the salmon are not in Little Traverse Bay yet so anglers might want to try heading north or south of the bay.

Bear River: Recent rains have kept the summer run steelhead moving up to the dam. A few nice fish were caught by those drifting spawn bags below the dam.

Charlevoix: Anglers are still searching for salmon and a few had luck around the Cement Plant and north at Nine Mile Point when trolling spoons and meat rigs. The majority of fish caught were lake trout and bigger fish are coming in more often. Try 90 to 130 feet down in 120 to 150 feet from South Point to North Point with spoons and winged glow bobbers. Fishing pressure in the channel has increased. Most are catching sub-legal smallmouth bass especially when there is a stronger current. Both natural and artificial crawlers and leeches on the bottom work best.

Traverse City: The East Bay had good lake trout action in 80 to 110 feet. Some fish were suspended while others were caught near the bottom. There were reports of a few salmon but success was limited. Smallmouth bass action was fair. The West Bay had good lake trout action but catch rates for salmon were very slow. Lake trout were 40 to 60 feet down in 80 to 110 feet deep. Smallmouth bass action was fair in 15 feet.

Elk River: Had relatively slow fishing. The only species caught were sub-legal smallmouth bass and a few rock bass below the power dam.

Boardman River: Other than a couple steelhead taken on spawn bags near the Union Street Dam, fishing was slow.

Platte River: Boat anglers are still catching lake trout straight out in 80 feet. Chinook have started to show up in the West Bay.

Platte Bay: Boat anglers are still catching lake trout straight out in 80 feet. Chinook have started to show up in the West Bay.

Frankfort: Water temperatures are still below normal but chinook have been caught when trolling 40 to 90 feet down in 120 to 250 feet. Mixed colors of blue and orange worked best. A few chinook were reported in the harbor between the piers. Those trolling north to the point caught good numbers of lake trout when bouncing the bottom in 60 to 100 feet with spin-glows and cowbells.

Onekama: Is producing a few chinook in the top 80 feet of waters 120 to 180 feet deep. They are using slims or small spoons in green, orange or blue. Good numbers of lake trout are still coming from the "Barrel" when bouncing lures off the bottom.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers are working the drop-offs and near structure. The bite was a little slower with the cooler weather. Panfish activity was good in the early morning but slowed during the day.

Lakes Cadillac & Mitchell: With the weather all over the place, so are the fish. Anglers will need to be patient until they find a school of fish. Both lakes had fair to good bass fishing for those using artificial worms, crawlers or leeches. Pike have been caught when trolling or casting along the weed beds. Those looking for panfish have caught crappie and bluegills.

Manistee: With cooler water in the area, those trolling closer to shore may find some chinook and steelhead. Those heading out found trout and salmon 30 to 80 feet down in 80 to 160 feet. Try green or purple meat rigs with glow spoons.

Manistee River: Has fair to good summer run steelhead action just below Tippy Dam. Those fly fishing have caught some nice fish. Bass fishing was good.

Ludington: Those trolling found trout and salmon 20 to 80 feet down in 100 to 200 feet with orange, green or blue spoons and purple meat rigs.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: The salmon bite was slow. Those jigging for lake trout had fair success in 180 to 260 feet out from Jentoff's Dock, Whirl-I-Gig, Big Reef and the pine tree on the north side of Pequaming. In Traverse Bay, lake trout were caught 5 feet off the bottom in 100 to 150 feet along the 5, 6 and 7 Mile Reefs and in 120 to 165 feet off Big Louie's Point, Gay Point and Hermits Cove. Most are using a variety of spoons and colors but purple and white worked best. Those jigging in 140 to 260 feet off the 6 and 7 Mile Reefs and off Big Louie's also caught lake trout.

Lake Antoine: Was producing a good number of panfish but most were small. Bass anglers are still taking some nice large and smallmouth when casting crank baits or trolling crawlers and jigs with plastic worms.

Marquette: Surface water temperatures remain in the low to mid 50's near shore. Foggy conditions are hampering boat anglers. Lake trout were caught in the bottom 40 feet of waters less than 140 feet deep near Shot Point and north of Granite Island towards the "Sand Hole" in 180 to 220 feet. Lake trout were also caught on spoons 40 to 50 feet down around Partridge Island. Those fishing Stannard Rock reported good catches of fish ranging 3 to 20 pounds when jigging twister tails and artificial gulp baits. Small rainbow trout and brook trout averaging 7 inches were caught on spinners in the mouth of the Carp River.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair catches up by the Vagabond Resort when trolling crawler harnesses in 10 to 24 feet. Those trolling the "Black Bottom" marked few fish but did catch some with crawler harnesses in 20 feet. Perch anglers reported fair to good catches in 8 to 14 feet off the mouth of the Day's River and near Gladstone Beach in 14 to 25 feet with crawlers or minnows. Lots of freshwater drum were caught by those trolling for walleye near Gladstone, the "Black Bottom" and the Center Reef. Pike were active at the head of the Bay. Anglers were trolling spinners and crank baits in 10 to 20 feet from Garth Point to just south of the Day's River. Salmon fishing has picked up with fair to good reports around the Ford River Can. Most were trolling spoons or cut bait 50 to 70 feet down in 80 to 120 feet. Walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses in 12 to 20 feet in the mouth of the Escanaba River.

Big Bay De Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers had little to report as the fish were elusive. Some were caught from the Garden Bluff area and into Garden Bay when using plastics in 10 to 18 feet along the shoreline. In Nahma, anglers fished plastics or crawlers in 12 to 20 feet just off the mouth of the Sturgeon River but most were too small. Rumor has it some walleye were also caught during the evening in the same area. Good pike action in Kate's Bay and over near Ansell's Point when trolling spoons, spinners or crank baits in 8 to 14 feet. At Fairport, salmon catches improved as water temperatures warmed. Good catches were reported by those trolling spoons or cut bait 30 to 70 feet down in 80 to 140 feet along the "Gap."

Au Train: Catch rates were fluctuating with most anglers taking one to three lake trout for about five hours of fishing. Most are using spoons but some are using cut bait in waters less than 100 feet and up to 225 feet. A couple large lake trout up near 30 pounds were caught recently. Anglers reported hatches of flying ants.

Munising: Cool and breezy weather has slowed overall fishing effort. Those heading out were mainly targeting lake trout but catch rates were very slow. Target areas were along Pictured Rocks toward Grand Portal, around Grand Island and north of Wood Island. Surface water temperatures were in the low to mid 50's. Pier anglers managed to catch a couple splake that were legal size.

Grand Marais: Pier fishing was slow but with the cooler water there may be some whitefish in the area. The better fishing is usually in the morning on windy days. Boat anglers were targeting lake trout north and west of the bay, 3 to 6 miles out in the shipping channel and near Sable Point in 70 to 200 feet. Boats trolling in 40 to 50 feet caught the occasional trout and salmon.

St. Mary's River: Had excellent Atlantic salmon and whitefish action when drifting artificial spawn just off the current in 8 to 10 feet on the discharge side of the power plant. Lake George had good pike action for those trolling spoons just off the weeds in 8 to 10 feet around Gem Island. A few muskie were taken on bucktail spinners below the Rock Cut at Tea Cut Island.

Detour: Whitefish continue to hit around Cherry Island, Ashmund Island, Grape Island, Howard Island, and Reck Island for those using red teardrops and wax worms. Salmon and trout anglers were harvesting Atlantic, chinook and lake trout from the city launch to the #3 Green Can, around the Lighthouse and to the #2 Red Can on the Drummond side. Walleye action was good around Drummond Island with fish caught by those trolling planer boards and crawler harnesses in Scott Bay or between Peck Island and Paw Point in 4 to 6 feet.

Cedarville and Hessel: Hessel Bay is good for yellow perch. Anglers are fishing the east end and just into Snows Channel. Moscoe Channel was fair for perch. Both large and smallmouth bass fishing was excellent in the shallow bays when casting spinners along the weed beds and into the lily pads. Pike fishing was excellent along the north shore of Government Bay in 10 to 15 feet, in Middle Entrance and Musky Bay, and along the south shore of Hessel Bay. Try still-fishing with chubs or casting.

St. Ignace: Anglers are catching lake trout and steelhead in the middle of the bay on green and white or green and gold spoons.



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