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, September 29, 2016
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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Anglers are reminded that the last day to fish on all Type 1 and Type 2 rivers and streams is Friday September 30th. Type 3 and Type 4 waters are open all year. The season to take lake trout on the waters of Lake Huron or lake trout and splake from the northern waters of Lake Michigan (north of Arcadia) will also close on September 30th.


Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Those targeting yellow perch had good catches in 18 to 21 feet near the E-Buoy, 20 to 23 feet near Buoys 1 & 2 off the River Raisin, 22 to 25 feet off Stony Point and Fermi. Anglers did best with shiners on perch rigs and spreaders in the morning. Sub-legal walleye, white perch, freshwater drum and smallmouth bass were also caught. Those fishing the mouth of Swan Creek caught largemouth bass when jigging soft plastics and crawlers. Shore anglers at the Pointe Mouillee access site caught yellow perch and panfish on crawlers or large and smallmouth bass on senkos and poppers. Those fishing the lagoons and channels of Sterling State Park caught yellow perch and pumpkinseed on crawlers and shiners.

Huron River: Anglers have caught some panfish.

Detroit River: Perch fishing continues especially around Celeron and Sugar Island. Fish were caught in waters anywhere from 4 to 25 feet deep. The key is to keep moving until you locate a school of fish. A few walleye were caught by those jigging crawlers in the Trenton Channel.

Oakland County: Water temperatures and pleasure boating are dropping so fishing has improved on both Cass and Union Lake. Anglers are catching fair numbers of panfish along the drop-offs with wax worms or minnows. Large schools of baitfish have been reported and bass anglers imitating them caught more fish. Try the shallow sandy flats in the morning and evening or top water and shallow diving crank baits in 6 feet.

Lake St. Clair: A few smallmouth bass and channel catfish were caught a few miles north of the St. Clair Light when drifting crawlers. Smallmouth bass were caught in 8 feet around the Mile Roads when casting swimbaits and crank baits and in front of Metro on green and purple tube baits or when drop-shotting with artificial worms. Largemouth bass were caught around the walls at Metro in about 4 feet when casting green with gold flake tube baits. Muskie were caught by those casting buck tails at the Clinton River Cut-Off launch at the spillway and while trolling buck tails and crank baits. Yellow perch were caught on minnows near the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club but many were small. A few perch were also caught around Metro on minnows and crawlers. On the north end, smallmouth bass were caught around the Harley Ensign launch when drop-shotting in 10 feet. Yellow perch were caught on perch rigs with minnows around Strawberry Island but anglers had to sort through a lot of small ones. Pike, bass and catfish were caught in 8 to 10 feet across from the dog park in New Baltimore.

St. Clair River: The walleye bite is starting to improve but many were undersize. Anglers are using bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. A few limit catches were taken in Port Huron by those trolling rapalas and drifting crawler harnesses at night.

Lexington to Port Sanilac: Those trolling continue to take steelhead, lake trout and the occasional walleye in 70 to 100 feet. At Port Sanilac, pier fishing was limited to the very early morning because of the wind. One angler did catch a 7 pound walleye with a rattle-shad. At Lexington, some reported walleye being caught at night.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout were caught 70 to 100 feet. Those in closer in 45 to 55 feet caught steelhead and walleye. A few perch were caught inside the harbor.

Port Austin: Did not have much to report but a few anglers were starting to fish from the breakwall at night or in small boats just outside the breakwall for walleye.

Saginaw Bay: The good spots for perch included sailboat buoys A, B, and C; 16 feet of water off Linwood, 12 to 15 feet along the Pinconning Bar, both the old and the new Shipping Channel, near the mouth of the Saginaw River and around Spoils Island. Along the inner bay, the best perch fishing was in 8 to 10 feet straight north off the mouth of the Quanicassee River where most boats did catch fish. The key is to move around until you find an active school or some weed beds that will attract minnows. A few fish were caught off Sebewaing and from the Slot-side of North Island.

Saginaw River: Perch were caught in the lower river from the mouth upstream to the Independence Bridge. Specifically mentioned was the river mouth, the area just off Bay Harbor Marina, Smith Park, and at the Independence Bridge. These areas are a good option for boat anglers on days when the bay is too rough to fish.


Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Salmon anglers are catching a fair number of fish when trolling in 80 feet. Spin doctors and flies worked best. Perch anglers caught a decent number south of the piers in 30 feet. Pier fishing was slow for all species.

St. Joseph River: Those trolling have caught the occasional salmon on plugs.

Dowagiac River: Was producing some salmon up near the dam.

South Haven: Salmon anglers reported inconsistent fishing. A few were caught in 120 feet but most appeared to be scattered. Perch fishing was also inconsistent but the most productive water seemed to be 30 to 35 feet. Pier fishing was very slow.

Kalamazoo River: Had a few steelhead, chinook and coho. Those trolling spoons caught a few salmon. Fish were caught at the Allegan Dam with yarn flies and spawn.

Grand Haven: Those targeting lake trout did well along the bottom 15 feet in waters 80 to 120 feet deep with dodgers and green or yellow spin-glo's. A couple salmon and steelhead were caught 50 to 100 feet down in 80 to 140 feet with orange or green spoons along with white flashers and green flies. Pier fishing was slow with only a couple coho or channel cats taken on minnows and spawn.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has seen quite a few coho and anglers have done well up near the 6th Street Dam. Most are using spawn bags.

Rogue River: Anglers here are catching a good number of coho on spawn.

Grand River at Lansing: No word on trout or salmon however those fishing the bayous have done well for bluegill and crappie.

Muskegon: Boats found the action to be slow for trout and salmon. A few were caught 50 to 140 feet down in 80 to 160 feet with white flashers with green or white flies and orange or green spoons. Lake trout were caught on dodgers with green or yellow spin-glo's. Pier fishing was slow. The south breakwall is still closed to the public.

Whitehall: Salmon fishing was slow, but anglers caught a few salmon and steelhead 25 to 70 feet down in 70 to 150 feet. Pier anglers caught a few salmon in the early morning or late evening when casting blue or glow spoons.

White Lake: Northern pike were caught by those casting or trolling spoons and crankbaits along the drop-offs in 10 to 20 feet. Panfish anglers caught yellow perch and bluegill in 8 to 15 feet with perch rigs and wax worms.

White River: Anglers fishing near White Lake have caught the occasional chinook when drifting spawn or casting crank baits. Those fishing the middle section of the river had limited success when casting crank baits.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Anglers are reminded the last day to keep lake trout caught in the waters of Lake Huron is September 30th. The season will re-open on January 1, 2017.

Cheboygan: A few lake trout and chinook were caught by those trolling off the mouth of the Cheboygan River. Catch rates have fallen sharply over the last week. Very few lake trout have been caught.

Cheboygan River: Has seen very few fresh chinook salmon over the last week so catch rates were low. Those caught were taken on skein under a bobber or when casting spoons and body baits.

Mullett Lake: Perch fishing was very good in Pigeon River Bay. Anglers are doing well anchoring and jigging with minnows on perch rigs. Catches ranged from 20 to 50 fish with many over 10 inches. Walleye fishing picked up on the north end of the lake around the "humps" area and in front of Aloha State Park. Crawler harnesses worked best. Steelhead fishing pressure was light but those that tried did very well. The thermocline was about 50 feet down so target the top 50 feet with downriggers, lead core, dipsies and small spoons when trolling between 3 and 3.5 miles per hour. Smallmouth anglers were having a hard time.

Rogers City: The adult chinook bite was better with cooler water in the area. No big numbers but anglers found some fish in 20 to 60 feet off Swan Bay with J-plugs, flashers with squid, flies and cut bait. Spoons worked well when the water is cold. For all species, target waters 50 to 120 feet deep and run lines throughout the water column. Try south, straight out of the marina or up to Forty Mile Point. Good colors were green, blue, orange, black and white, blue and silver, purple or glow early and late.

Presque Isle: Those heading out are finding a mixed bag of lakers, steelhead, a couple chinook and coho, walleye and the occasional Atlantic salmon. Most are heading north of the harbor between the two lighthouses and fishing top to bottom in 40 to 120 feet.

Oscoda: Chinook salmon were caught off the breakwalls at the mouth of the Au Sable River by those casting rapalas, body baits and spoons or drifting spawn bags. Boats trolling just off the mouth in 35 feet were also getting chinook up to 16 pounds with J-plugs and spoons. Pier anglers are getting smallmouth bass and freshwater drum. Night anglers caught channel cats and walleye.

Au Sable River: Anglers caught chinook salmon down at the mouth.

Higgins Lake: Those trolling spoons, cowbells and bigger minnows have caught lake trout in 80 to 100 feet. Fish the bottom 10 to 20 feet as it appears the fish that are suspended are feeding and those on the bottom were not. No word on perch fishing.

Houghton Lake: The bite has slowed with the rain and the cold front. Catch rates will increase when the weather stabilizes. This is the time of year when fish go on a feeding frenzy as they prepare for the upcoming cold weather.

Tawas: Windy weather has kept most boats ashore and pier anglers were few.

Tawas River: Produced several chinook salmon for those casting rapalas, body baits and spoons or drifting spawn bags. Smallmouth bass, freshwater drum and catfish were also caught.

Au Gres: Perch fishing was good straight off the mouth of the Au Gres River in 20 to 30 feet and near the Steeples north of Big Charity Island in 50 feet. Perch were running 8 to 10 inches with the occasional fish up to 12. Down at Eagle Bay Marina at the end of Sagatoo Road, some limit catches of perch were taken by boat anglers in 10 to 15 feet between the Saganing and Pinconning Bars.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Boat anglers reported slow fishing with only a few lake trout taken 110 feet down near Harbor Point.

Petoskey: Those heading out have caught a few lake trout. It has been hard to track fish because water temperatures keep going up and down. Those fishing from the breakwall to Bay Harbor found lake trout 120 feet down. Pier anglers casting glow spoons and crank baits at night caught only a few fish.

Bear River: Had more fish moving in with the rain and cooler temperatures. Anglers have caught a good number of chinook, coho, pinks and steelhead one day and no bites the next. No ripe chinook were seen yet so the run should continue for a while yet. Most anglers are using fresh skein, spawn bags, artificial eggs and flies.

Boyne River: Anglers reported a good number of salmon in the river.

Charlevoix: Few were out trolling. Catch rates were very slow with only a couple lake trout taken near North Point in 130 feet. Fish were marked near the cement plant where a couple chinook were caught by those casting in shallow water but the fish were quite dark. Those fishing the channel were targeting smallmouth but getting a legal size fish was hit-or-miss. The weir at Medusa Creek has been opened for about three weeks and a couple hundred fish were in there. Remember, while the weir is in operation, Medusa Creek is closed to fishing within 100 feet of the mouth.

Traverse City: Salmon have been caught on both bays but catch rates were still slow. A mix of chinook and coho were taken in the south end of the East Bay when trolling. Those wade fishing caught a few kings near Mitchell Creek. The lake herring bite was good for those trolling or jigging. Fish were caught south of Deepwater Point and along the west side of the bay from Old Mission to the M-37 launch. Lake trout were caught straight out from Elk Rapids and along the west side. Salmon fishing was fair up near the dam on the Elk River. Plenty of smallmouth bass, a few perch and bullhead were also caught near the dam. On the West Bay, those trolling for lake trout have caught lake herring. Lake trout were caught south of Power Island and near the sand hump outside Suttons Bay.

Boardman River: Was producing mainly chinook along with the occasional steelhead. Early morning was best with fresh spawn. The recent weather has helped push more salmon into the river. There is a good mix of chinook and coho.

Platte River: Had a good push of fish into the lower river. More fish are still coming in with the cooler weather and the wind is supposed to switch from west to north which will bring even more fish in.

Frankfort: Anglers heading north to Platte Bay are landing coho and the occasional chinook but the activity was slow. Those trolling, jigging, and casting in the harbor were marking a few fish but not many were caught.

Portage Lake: The perch and bluegill bite really turned on over the last week. Several anglers reported good numbers and good sizes in 16 to 20 feet in front of the city boat launch. The bigger perch were hitting on minnows, worms and wax worms.

Manistee: Surface water temperatures were about 60 degrees. Fishing has slowed however boat anglers were still taking some chinook, coho and the occasional steelhead in 100 to 150 feet. A small number of chinook and coho have been caught off the pier.

Manistee Lake: Anglers were hard pressed getting chinook and coho to hit on the lake. Fish are being caught but catch rates were very slow. Jigging between the channel and the Big Manistee River proved more successful than other areas on the lake.

Big Manistee River: Chinook and coho were hitting consistently in the upper section from Bear Creek to Tippy Dam. Natural baits like spawn were attracting more fish than artificial baits. Catch rates were better in the morning hours and dropping off after sunrise. A few fish were caught from Bear Creek to Manistee Lake but anglers there were putting in more time.

Ludington: Angler activity has slowed. Boat anglers heading out were still finding a light number of salmon and steelhead in 100 to 150 feet. No word on pier fishing.

Pentwater: Rough water has limited angling opportunities but those able to get out found a couple salmon and steelhead 40 to 80 feet down in 100 to 175 feet.

Pentwater Lake: Those drifting minnows and casting spoons in the channel caught northern pike and the occasional chinook.

Pentwater River: A few chinook were caught in the middle and lower sections of the river when casting crank baits or drifting egg flies.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Gogebic: Walleye fishing was good with a few limit catches reported by those using minnows, leeches and crawlers under a slip bobber in Bergland Bay. Good catches were also reported by those trolling stick baits out in deeper water. Perch and sunfish were caught in decent numbers along the weed beds.

Menominee River: Boat and shore anglers have caught trout, walleye and bass between the mouth and the Hattie Street Dam. Most are using live bait or hardware.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were fair at best and the few anglers that were out found fish off the southern end of the "Black Bottom" when trolling crawler harnesses and stick baits in 18 to 30 feet. Perch anglers had similar results with most fishing near the Day's River with minnows in 10 to 20 feet. Anglers caught northern pike near the Day's River, Kipling, Gladstone Bay area, the southern "Black Bottom" and near the Escanaba River. Most were caught by smallmouth anglers using plastics, crank baits or spinners in 7 to 20 feet. Smallmouth anglers reported fair to good catches from Garth Point south to the Farmers Dock area when fishing along the breaks and weed lines in 7 to 26 feet. No salmon reports from the river anglers. The Escanaba River up near the 1st Dam might be best because of the high water.

Big Bay De Noc: The few walleye anglers fishing near Garden Bluff and out to the shoals had very little to report. Perch anglers caught a few when drifting minnows or crawlers in 8 to 12 feet in the Garden Bay area. Smallmouth anglers reported fair catches off Garden Bluff and to the south around Snake Island. The fish are out there but seem to be moving daily. The best catches were in 12 to 25 feet above the break with minnows, plastics, spinners or crank baits.

Manistique River: Has chinook and steelhead. The chinook were silver in color and in good shape.

Manistique Lake: Had very good perch fishing.

Marquette: Windy conditions have restricted boat anglers. Salmon are starting to move into the rivers. The Chocolay River had coho and the Carp River had some coho and a few chinook. Coho have been caught from both rivers but no chinook were harvested. Many have switched to spinners but a few were still using crawlers and spawn. The Dead River had no reports of fish caught but a few anglers did report seeing fish near the dam. Water levels are high on all of them. The flood gates at the Dead River Dam have been opened.

Munising: Fishing continues to be very slow. A few nice coho were caught by a couple boats trolling in Munising Bay. A couple splake and coho were caught off the Anna River but most anglers are marking very few fish and not catching anything.

Grand Marais: Surface water temperatures were around 62 degrees. Rain has limited fishing activity. A few boats tried trolling within the harbor and near the mouth of the Sucker River but had no luck. A couple shore anglers on the Sucker River reported a few good strikes but no fish were landed.

Two Hearted River: Had very few fish as many are still out in Lake Superior. Boats trolling out in front of the river mouth can find salmon in deeper water.

Detour: Anglers were targeting salmon and lake trout near the mouth of the St. Marys River. Chinook salmon are moving upstream from the Detour lighthouse. Anglers had success for salmon when trolling in the shipping channel upstream from the Detour Drummond Island Ferry Boat Lane. Chinook were hitting green and white squid baits run off dodgers set at 25 feet, and flashers set at 52 feet in 80 feet. Excellent lake trout fishing two miles straight south of the lighthouse when trolling over the 90 foot flat with orange and white spin-glo's with a 24 inch leader. A few pink salmon are still being caught while fishing for lake trout, but most of the pink salmon have started their fall run to spawn in the rapids up at Sault Saint Marie. A few walleye were caught in 19 to 22 feet north of the Detour Harbor Marina when trolling from the west side of Pipe Island back to the shipping channel with a crawler harness with purple beads and gold spinner blades in 20 feet near the underwater humps or weed beds in 8 feet. West of Detour Village at Albany Creek, some reported pink salmon under the M-134 Bridge but no fish were caught.

Cedarville and Hessel: Cedarville had more yellow perch anglers as cooler water temperatures have caused the perch to begin schooling in larger numbers. Good perch reports came from just in the Yacht Entrance at the northeast end of Government Island when using worms and shiners just off the weed beds in 10 feet. Duck Bay had 7.5 to 11 inch fish in 8 feet of water for those using a piece of crawler or shiners. Some found schools of perch when drift fishing a small crawler harness with red beads and chrome spinner blades. Shore anglers have caught chinook and pink salmon at the mouth of the feeder creek that runs out of the Cedarville Stone Quarry. The creek is a quarter mile east of the Railroad Bridge and runs under M-134. Anglers are using waders and casting natural or artificial spawn bags. Good smallmouth action in Duck Bay when casting buck tail spinners with yellow and black spotted blades. At Hessel, a good number of splake along with a few chinook have been caught at the Hessel Marina boat launch and off the pier with natural and artificial spawn bags. Lake trout and pink salmon were caught in 80 to 90 feet at Goose Island. Those still-fishing or drifting chubs and crawlers on the northeast side of Haven Island caught pike in 8 to 12 feet.

St. Ignace: Anglers are reporting good catches of lake trout along with a few small chinook when trolling around Mackinac Island with dodgers and spin-glo's. The Carp River has been producing good numbers of pink salmon on and around the gravel. There are also a few chinook but catch rates were poor overall. Most of the pinks were taken on flies or small lures and the chinook were taken on skein or artificial lures. Nunns Creek is still producing a few chinook for those throwing crank baits or still-fishing with skein.


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