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, July 27, 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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Good fishing continues around the state. Some areas are reporting excellent catch rates for trout, salmon, walleye and bass. Panfish including bluegills, perch, sunfish and rock bass can be found around the state.


Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Walleye were still being caught outside of Fermi with pink artificial baits but anglers were putting in a lot of work to get them. Those using a crawler harness did fair however many were on the small side. Perch were caught off Sterling State Park but no limit catches. Perch fishing was slightly better out of Bolles Harbor and near Buoys W & E. Water temperatures were about 80 degrees so try trolling in deeper water.

Sand Lake: Largemouth bass were caught while casting a wacky worm in 5 feet or when drop-shotting a rubber worm in 12 to 20 feet. Panfish were caught in 8 feet along the southwest side.

Lake St. Clair: Walleye fishing remains strong in the shipping channel. Fish were also caught straight out from the Clinton River Cutoff launch in 16 feet in the early morning. Gold perch rigs with crawlers worked well for perch anglers fishing near the Clinton River Cutoff launch. Smallmouth anglers caught a mix of rock bass, perch and catfish. A few smallmouth were caught off the Mile Roads.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing remains strong in the North Channel where anglers continue to get limit catches.

Lexington to Port Austin: At Port Sanilac and Lexington, perch fishing slowed a bit, but some nice catches were still coming from various weed beds in 20 to 30 feet south of Port Sanilac. Those trolling in 100 to 130 feet caught Atlantic salmon, steelhead and walleye. Those targeting lake trout at Grindstone City and Harbor Beach are going way out to find fish, starting at 100 to 130 feet and interestingly enough, they are getting about as many walleyes out there as lake trout. This would suggest that the winds have upset the thermocline as walleye often follow the warmer water out. Those fishing way out have also caught steelhead and Atlantic salmon up high. Those trolling north of Harbor Beach in 50 feet were taking 4 or 5 walleye per boat but no limit catches. Walleye fishing remains good off Port Austin, but the action has moved out around the lighthouse and west toward the various reefs off Sleeper and Port Crescent State Parks. Lots of walleye were taken in 25 to 30 feet but the bigger fish were found in 40 feet. Lots of smallmouth bass were caught right along with the walleye in shallower water. It appears the fish are starting to scatter.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing is still very good. Limit catches are still not out of the question if you find an active school of fish. There are indications that the walleyes are starting to scatter off the tip of the Thumb to some extent, but fishing in the inner bay is still holding up pretty well. Walleye are still hitting in 16 feet off Linwood, two miles northwest of the Spark Plug (Buoys 11 &12), 8 to 9 feet off the end of Jones Road, 10 feet on the Callahan Reef, both sides of the Bar and especially in the Slot from Sunset Bay Marina all the way along the outside of the islands and into the narrows off the tip of Sand Point. The best crawler harness spinner colors were brass, silver, purple, chartreuse, fire-tiger, pink and orange. Lake trout are far offshore, possibly indicating that temperature in the deeper waters of the lake have been altered by the recent winds. Lake trout anglers were catching walleye in over 100 feet.


Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Boat anglers are catching a mix of steelhead, coho, lake trout and the occasional chinook on spoons, spin-doctors and flies. The fish were caught in 80 feet however they seem to be moving out deeper. Good perch fishing continues in 30 to 40 feet especially south of the piers.

South Haven: Salmon fishing was inconsistent as the fish were scattered and caught in 70 feet as well as 120 feet or deeper. The majority were steelhead hitting on spoons but some did find the occasional chinook with spin-doctors and flies. The perch action was improving with more fish taken south of the piers in 30 feet.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers are catching a mix of salmon and trout 30 to 80 feet down in 60 to 150 feet with a variety of meat rigs, flies, spoons and plugs. Meat rigs in green or yellow work along with green, blue, orange and yellow spoons. Pier anglers were still finding a couple steelhead with shrimp. Those casting spoons in the channel or off the end of the pier caught freshwater drum.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Walleye have been caught on crawlers throughout the river. Smallmouth bass and catfish are also being caught.

Grand River at Lansing: Anglers are getting lots of smallmouth bass near the dams. Most are using crawlers, leeches and minnows. Channel cats have been caught up near the North Lansing Dam and the Portland Dam. Bass and small pike were caught just off the Red Cedar River in Sycamore Creek.

Shiawassee River: Flows were good for wade fishing. Those fly fishing caught large and smallmouth bass, a few pike and some rock bass upstream of Owosso. Conditions are good for either popper or streamer fishing.

Muskegon: Salmon and trout are being caught 30 to 90 feet down in 70 to 160 feet with green, yellow and orange spoons, green or blue flies and green or yellow meat rigs. Pier anglers casting spoons caught freshwater drum.

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were in the low 70's and the smallmouth fishing has been very good. Anglers caught quite a few pike.

Whitehall: Had excellent salmon and steelhead fishing 40 to 80 feet down in 110 to 180 feet with spoons and flies however meat rigs and plugs have taken some of the bigger fish. Red and white or orange and green spoons worked well. A couple salmon and steelhead were taken from the pier heads after the cool water moved in, but the main catches were large and smallmouth bass.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Mackinaw City: There was activity at the fishing pier but not much was caught. Anglers have tried body baits, soft baits or jigging Mister Twisters with no luck in the deeper water. Rock bass and freshwater drum were caught in the shallows.

Cheboygan: Anglers caught lake trout and a few chinook around Lafayette Point, the west side of Round Island, and off Spectacle Reef when trolling spoons.

Cheboygan River: Shore anglers caught freshwater drum, walleye, smallmouth bass, catfish, bullhead, and rock bass with worms on a plain hook or crawler harness at the Bois Blanc ferry parking lot and near the lock and dam. The walleye catch slowed with the water temperature increasing but anglers are still harvesting some in 17 to 21 feet or in 13 feet near the lock and dam. Those drifting a worm or leech between the paper mill and the city launch caught walleye, rock bass and freshwater drum.

Rogers City: The fish were scattered all over and no one spot was better than the other but most were fishing in 60 to 130 feet. Anglers were running downriggers, leadcore, copper, and dipsey divers throughout the water column. Most were using spoons but dodgers and flashers along with flies, squid and cut bait caught fish. Good colors were green, orange, blue, bloody nose, blue and green, blueberry muffin, black and white, chartreuse or silver. Anglers were taking a mixed bag of Atlantic, chinook, coho, steelhead, lake trout and walleye. The better fishing was in the evening.

Rockport: Anglers are taking a mixed bag of trout and salmon fishing straight out, around Middle Island, the Nordmeer Wreck, False Presque Isle and Stoneport in 60 to 130 feet. Most are using spoons but dodgers and flashers with flies and squid are also working. Good colors were green, blue, black and white, orange, silver or glow early and late. Walleye are starting to hit body baits or a crawler harness in 20 to 50 feet straight out, around Middle Island, False Presque Isle and Stoneport. Fish were suspended and near the bottom.

Alpena: Salmon and trout were found in 90 to 150 feet at the First, Second or Third set of "Humps" and off Thunder Bay Island. Most were just off the bottom but a few were taken about halfway down with spoons and spin-glo's with paddles. Atlantics, pink salmon and steelhead were taken up high and a couple chinook were taken about halfway down. Several brown trout were caught on spoons in 40 to 50 feet in Thunder Bay. Walleye were caught in decent numbers by anglers trolling stick baits or harnesses with bottom bouncers in 25 to 40 feet off of Sulphur, Grass, and Thunder Bay Islands and out from the Black River. Early or late were best.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers caught smallmouth bass and a couple northern pike when casting crank baits. A few rock bass, bowfin, and channel cats were taken when still-fishing with crawlers. Walleye were caught sporadically by those drifting crawlers or casting and trolling stick baits.

Oscoda: Anglers found good numbers of lake trout straight out from the river in 100 to 150 feet. Most were on the bottom but a few were suspended about halfway. Coho and steelhead were caught in the top 50 to 75 feet. Try spoons, spin-glo's and meat rigs. A few walleye suspended 25 feet down in about 100 feet were caught but most were hitting stick baits in 30 to 40 feet. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass, walleye, and freshwater drum when casting crank baits or still-fishing with crawlers. A few yellow perch and rock bass were caught on perch or crappie rigs.

Au Sable River: A few walleye were caught when drifting crawlers or leeches through the deeper holes in Oscoda and up near the trestle bridge in the late evening but many were too small. Large and smallmouth bass or pike were taken on crank baits. Bluegills and rock bass were taken on crawlers.

Higgins Lake: Lake trout anglers have taken fish when trolling with downriggers. Fish were found just off the bottom up near the North State Park in 135 feet. A few perch were still being caught in 30 to 35 feet and rock bass are everywhere.

Houghton Lake: Fishing has been steady. Walleye were being caught along the weed beds in 8 to 15 feet and bluegills were caught in 6 to 8 feet.

Tawas: Boat anglers after walleye are going down off Alabaster to fish in 50 to 60 feet, around Tawas Point and a bit north in 50 to 70 feet or crossing the bay and fishing north of the Charity Islands. Pier fishing is summer-slow with a few bluegills and bass caught.

Tawas River: Shore anglers were still taking a few catfish, smallmouth bass, carp and freshwater drum.

Au Gres: Walleye trollers were crossing the bay to fish the Slot and the Charity Islands, heading to 30 to 40 feet around the bell buoys or fishing the outside edge of the weed beds off Eagle Bay Marina. Everyone had fish but limits were a little harder to come by. Fishing was slow in the Au Gres River.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Most lake trout anglers were still fishing off Harbor Point and northwest of the bay. Fish were caught on spoons and spin-glo's 115 to 135 feet down near the bottom or within 10 to 20 feet of the bottom.

Petoskey: Lake trout were about 100 feet down. No salmon were caught yet. Fishing was still slow at the "Bobber Hole" with only a few smallmouth bass and some big freshwater drum taken. Water levels in the Bear River were normal. Anglers caught very small brown trout.

Charlevoix: Lake trout fishing improved especially around North Point. Some were caught near the bottom in 120 feet while others were suspended 100 to 140 feet down over deeper water. Spoons and spin-glo's were the ticket. A couple lake herring were caught 50 to 90 feet down around North Point. Those fishing the channel were still targeting smallmouth bass but numbers were low. Freshwater drum and the odd sucker were caught with worms or leeches on the bottom.

Traverse City: Lake trout fishing was great in the East Bay both north and south of the M-37 launch. Trout and the odd whitefish were also caught when jigging near the bottom in deep water. Smallmouth fishing was slow but some good size fish were taken. The Elk River was slow with only small bass hitting on leeches. Lake trout fishing was good in the West Bay for those trolling or jigging near the M-22 launch. A nice chinook was also caught. Lake trout and the odd lake herring were caught south of Marion Island. A couple nice pike were caught in Northport. The Boardman River was slow except for a couple small bass and some panfish.

Leland: Good numbers of lake trout were caught on the First Bank with spin-glo's behind cowbells or hootchies. A couple nice lake herring and chinook were also caught. Chinook were found on the west side of South Manitou Island when trolling spoons. Good numbers of smallmouth bass are still being caught in the Leland River.

Frankfort: Anglers are reporting good numbers of bigger chinook salmon from the Herring Hole to Betsie Point when trolling in the top 40 to 80 of waters 120 to 160 feet deep with spoons and plugs early or late. Pier anglers caught chinook with alewife in the early morning off the south breakwall.

Onekama: A good number of chinook and lake trout were caught in the "Barrel" with green or blue spoons in the early morning or evening. The fish are starting to shade from their chrome color indicating they may be staging for the run.

Portage Lake: The mayfly hatch has come to an end so panfish and bass were starting to show up a bit deeper. Anglers were working the drop-offs in 16 to 24 feet.

Manistee: Surface water temperatures were 65 degrees. Chinook, coho and steelhead were caught 40 to 80 feet down in 100 to 140 feet when trolling straight out or south with spoons, flies and meat rigs. Pier fishing was slow.

Ludington: Boat anglers caught some good size chinook salmon along with coho and steelhead. The Projects were producing the most about 50 to 70 feet down in 100 to 140 feet or 50 to 90 feet down in 120 to 180 feet off Big Sable Point. A few chinook were caught in the harbor and Pere Marquette Lake. Anglers did best with spoons and flies but a few were caught on meat rigs.

Pentwater: Salmon and steelhead fishing was excellent near Little Sable Point when trolling 40 to 80 feet down in 100 to 180 feet with spoons, flies and meat rigs. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass with crawlers near the bottom.

Pentwater Lake: Perch anglers had success in 25 to 35 feet on dropper-rigs tipped with perch minnows or wax worms. Those fishing the channel caught smallmouth bass with crawlers near the bottom.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers reported fair catches or coho and lake trout when trolling spoons throughout the water column in 80 feet or in the top 150 feet of waters 400 feet deep. Coho were caught on spoons and stick baits near the lighthouse in the South Entry. In Traverse Bay, boat anglers had limited success with lake trout caught throughout the water column and coho taken in the top 50 of waters 150 feet deep.

Lake Gogebic: The mayfly hatch continues but anglers were starting to catch a few more walleye when trolling crank baits, leeches or a crawler harness. The evening bite with leeches and slip bobbers produced walleye and perch. Those trolling caught small pike. Smallmouth bass are rather active and can be found along the rocky shorelines. Weed beds on the north end were good for bluegills, sunfish, perch and even a few walleye in the evening.

Menominee River: Boat and shore anglers caught walleye, freshwater drum, catfish, and smallmouth bass. Boat anglers are trolling live and stick baits or casting spinners and plastics. Shore anglers were using live bait on the bottom.

Little Bay De Noc: Fly hatches and good numbers of bait fish slowed catches for all species this week. Walleye anglers were mostly in Green Bay waters fishing the 11-Mile Shoals, Minneapolis Shoals and near Round Island. Bass anglers fished the "Black Bottom" area south into Green Bay waters. Perch anglers caught a good number of small fish in the Kipling area in 4 to 10 feet and the Escanaba Yacht Harbor near the mouth. Those trolling a crawler harness in the Escanaba River between the mouth and the launch docks caught a few walleye. Anglers were marking good numbers of fish between Breezy Point and the Ford River Buoy but few were caught.

Manistique: Salmon anglers were going 10 to 16 miles out and fishing 50 to 90 feet down in 100 to 140 feet. Catch rates were slow as anglers report lots of baitfish throughout the area. Most river anglers have gone inland looking for panfish.

Marquette: Limits or near limits of coho were taken in the top 30 feet in the Lower Harbor and off Shot Point. Limits of lake trout were caught between the "white rocks" and Granite Island. Those running high lines also caught the occasional steelhead, brown trout or chinook.

Au Train: Plenty of lake trout were caught along the flats in front of Shelter Bay and north of Au Train Island. A few chinook and coho were caught in 50 feet or less out from the Au Train River.

Tahquamenon River: Musky fishing picked up with quite a few fish being caught. Pike were also active and were hitting red and white lures. The Dollarville Dam and Pier were producing small fish like perch, pumpkinseed, bluegills and rock bass. Boat anglers caught a few perch throughout the river.

St. Marys River: Sault St. Marie had decent fishing with a good number of Atlantic salmon and whitefish caught behind the Cloverland Powerhouse when using flies in 7 to 10 feet. Those targeting them behind the Federal Powerhouse may want to try trolling spoons or stick baits that resemble smelt. Walleye fishing has started to pick up. Try the sand or mud flats in 10 to 20 feet with a crawler harness at night. Pike were hitting on crank baits in the North Channel. Fishing in Lake George was slow with very few walleye caught. Smallmouth bass fishing was decent with tube baits or rubber worms in the shallows. In the lower river between Neebish Island and Sweet's Point, walleye and yellow perch were slow and many were too small. Those putting in the time were finding a few bigger fish when trolling or drifting a crawler harness or deep diving crank bait in 12 to 18 feet near Round Island, Lime Island or near the mouth of Carlton Creek. The lake herring bite in Raber Bay has not picked up despite evidence of large mayfly hatches.

Detour: Reported good catches of chinook, lake trout and a few small Atlantics when trolling from Fry Pan Island just below the ferry boat lane to Drummond Island and the green buoy that sits just northwest of the lighthouse and Detour Reef. Chinook were 8 to 12 pounds and caught 60 to 80 feet near the lighthouse when trolling an orange and white or chartreuse and chrome 4 inch spoon. For lake trout, try trolling over the 90 foot flat with red and white or orange and white spin'glo's with cannon balls almost hitting the bottom. Atlantic salmon were hitting a small 3 inch spoon 25 to 35 feet down in 60 feet.

Drummond Island: Lake herring activity has practically stopped as the schooling fish have moved on to different areas of mayfly hatches. Most of the fishing pressure now has been for walleye and smallmouth bass. Walleye fishing was slow as most fish continue to gorge themselves on emerging insects. Schooling walleye were found but did not want to bite natural or artificial baits. Smallmouth fishing was excellent along the rocky drop-offs near Harbor Island and the shallow waters near Peck Island when floating crawlers and chubs or casting spinners, tube baits and deep diving crank baits.

Cedarville and Hessel: Cedarville had reports of 8 and 9 inch yellow perch caught in 8 to 12 feet at the Viking Boat Works which is one mile south of the Cedarville launch. Perch were caught on the west side of Island #8 which is closer to Little Joe Island and at Little Salle Island which is out near the Les Cheneaux Islands with worms or shiners just off the weed beds in 6 to 8 feet between 9 and 11am. Smallmouth bass were caught on spinners at the mouth of Duck Bay and on the east side of Marquette Island. Off Hessel, those casting fly rods for smallmouth bass did well on the west side of Marquette Island on green flies in the swift water and off the rock piles in 4 to 6 feet. A few pike were caught in the evening with frozen smelt or a black and yellow bucktail spinner.

St. Ignace Had no reports. Some walleye were caught on leeches or worms and slip bobber at the pier and boat launch on the Carp River. Boat anglers caught pike on a crawler harnesses with leeches at the mouth. A few walleye were caught by shore anglers on the Pine River. Try worms or leeches and a slip bobber.


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