2018-08-06 / Sports

Walleye, pike and bass catches on the rise

FISHING REPORT
MI DNR


Summer fishing continues to be a favorite pastime in Michigan despite the dry conditions across the state. Recent much-needed rains have improved low water levels. Photo USFWS Summer fishing continues to be a favorite pastime in Michigan despite the dry conditions across the state. Recent much-needed rains have improved low water levels. Photo USFWS LAPEER COUNTY — Recent rains have helped with the low water levels. Walleye fishing picked up on some of the inland lakes. Pike and bass were caught by those trolling or casting. Panfish moved to deeper water and were hitting on small worms, minnows, leeches and red worms.

SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Lake Erie: Yellow perch anglers have begun to outnumber the walleye anglers. Fish were caught out of Bolles Harbor, Luna Pier, near the E-Buoy and the Dumping Grounds in 22 to 24 feet on spreader rigs with orange and chartreuse spinners. Fish were marked across the lake but very few limits were taken, usually 20 to 60 perch per boat in 4-6 hours. Most fish were 8-10 inches. Limits of walleye were caught on spoons along the Dumping Ground, crank baits in 20 feet in Brest Bay or between Stony Point and Fermi in 22 to 27 feet with bandits or when trolling a purple, pink or chartreuse crawler harness. Those targeting walleye and perch also caught white bass, white perch, freshwater drum and some large channel cats. Largemouth bass were caught on spinners and twister tails at the south end of Pte. Mouillee State Game Area.


Pike species are among the many being caught in the Michigan waters. Pike species are among the many being caught in the Michigan waters. Huron River: Is producing a few panfish at various locations when using live bait.

Detroit River: Anglers have caught some panfish in the cuts and canals. A few perch were found around the islands.

Lake St. Clair: Bass action picked up with sizable smallmouth caught in 12 to 15 feet off the Mile Roads and the channel mouths. Musky anglers caught fish near the Clinton River Cutoff in 15 to 20 feet when trolling hard body lures. Walleye fishing was fair for those trolling a crawler harness near the St. Clair Light. Hot colors were gold and green. Anglers also caught a few perch.

St. Clair River: A few perch and walleye were caught at the end of the South Channel.

Port Sanilac: Most of the action was perch fishing south of the harbor in 29 to 31 feet. Drift with perch rigs and minnows until you find an active school of fish, then anchor. Some lake trout were taken north of the port. Pier fishing was summer slow.

Harbor Beach: Walleye were caught north of the harbor in 40 to 60 feet with small spoons, Hot-n-Tot’s or a crawler harness. Lake trout were caught straight out and north of the harbor in 60 to 140 feet with clean spoons throughout the water column or dodgers and spin-glo’s near the bottom. A couple steelhead were taken in the same area with bright colored spoons. Bass continue to hit on body baits and small spoons.

Grindstone City: A few walleye were taken but no limit catches to report. The key is to keep moving around and watch for bottom structure. Lake trout were caught in 90 to 110 feet with high lines and spoons. Steelhead and the odd Atlantic were also caught.

Port Austin: Walleye fishing was hitor miss. Most boats were heading southwest to fish off the reefs. Bass anglers did well in 6 to 17 feet straight north of the harbor.

Saginaw Bay: Those trolling for walleye did best out near Buoys 1 and 2 (the outer Spark Plug at the end of the dredged shipping channel) and along the edge of the channel in 25 feet. Most are using crawler harnesses; but a few were running spoons to avoid the catfish and freshwater drum. Some perch were caught near sailboat Buoy F off Linwood, in 26 feet near the inner Spark Plug (Buoys 11 and 12), and at the mouth of the old shipping channel not far from the mouth of the Saginaw River. On the east side, walleye fishing was slow; but a few were picked up in shallower waters north of Sebewaing on the east side of the Slot. Try 10 to 12 feet and move deeper if you do not find any fish. The far north end of the Slot which is off the tip of Sand Point was producing a few more fish than further south but the action was still hit-or-miss. Walleye anglers off Caseville were heading to the tip of Sand Point, up near Oak Point, the Steeples or the reefs between Caseville and Port Austin. The walleye moved out to deep water so fish the outer bay.

Flint River: Walleye, channel cats and sunfish have been caught in Holloway Reservoir and at the dam. Catfish anglers are using worms, minnows and chicken liver.

Shiawassee County: Pike and largemouth bass were caught on Lobdell Lake.

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

St. Joseph: Perch fishing is slow as the fish seem to be scattered in 25 to 50 feet. A few lake trout were caught in 100 feet but salmon fishing was on the slow side as it seems the fish had moved out to deeper water. Pier fishing for steelhead was slow but lots of freshwater drum were caught.

South Haven: Perch fishing was not consistent. When fish were located they were usually caught in 40 to 50 feet. Boats trolling in 90 to 120 feet caught a mix of salmon and lake trout on spoons and meat rigs. Pier fishing was slow with only a few freshwater drum and catfish taken.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers continue to catch decent numbers of lake trout on the bottom in 100 to 160 feet. Chinook numbers are slowly picking up with fish taken 55 to 95 feet down in 90 to 160 feet with a white flasher-fly combo and green or yellow meat rigs. Pier fishing for steelhead has slowed.

Grand River at Lansing: Smallmouth bass were caught with worms, spinners and fly imitations near Grand Ledge and Eaton Rapids. Bluegills were caught below the dams when using a jig tipped with a wax worm.

Jackson County: Panfish were caught in Wamplers Lake.

Hillsdale County: Anglers caught panfish on Baw Beese Lake and Long Lake. Most were using worms or crickets along the deeper weed lines.

Maple River: Anglers were getting a good number of bass and some big catfish.

Muskegon: Salmon action is slowly picking up for boat anglers fishing 60 to 100 feet down in 85 to 150 feet with white flies or green meat rigs. Pink and white or pink and silver spoons were taking a few fish. Pier anglers continue to catch large and smallmouth bass on gobies.

Muskegon Lake: A few walleye are still being taken by those trolling with a crawler harness. Anglers may want to try jigging in 15 to 20 feet on the north end near the state park. Bass have been caught around structure and off the channel wall with a jigging spoon. Bluegills were caught on wax worms and red worms in 10 to 12 feet off the beach at Fisherman’s Landing.

Whitehall: Chinook, lake trout and the odd steelhead or coho were caught 40 to 65 feet down in 80 to 130 feet with green or blue spoons and flies in the early morning. Lake trout were also caught near the bottom in 90 to 150 feet with spoons or spin-glo’s. Pier anglers caught largemouth bass, freshwater drum, and the occasional walleye when casting body baits between the pier heads.

NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Cheboygan: Anglers caught lake trout and Chinook salmon off Lighthouse Point, Lafayette Point and Bois Blanc Island in 70 to 100 feet with spoons and meat rigs. A 6-pound walleye was also caught off Lafayette Point.

Cheboygan River: Is producing walleye, smallmouth bass, rock bass and freshwater drum for those using artificial soft baits, worms and leeches however they did best with worms. Those casting crank baits and soft plastics caught smallmouth bass however many were too small.

Hammond Bay: A few anglers caught lake trout off Nine Mile Point when trolling spoons in 70 to 90 feet.

Rogers City: Watch for the winds to up-well cold water then take advantage of the fishing. Northwest winds brought in warm water top to bottom forcing anglers to head out past 120 feet where the water cooled. The fish were scattered and being caught throughout the water column with the better shallow water fishing in the early morning and after sunset. Anglers are deploying downriggers, lead core, copper, and dipseys with dodgers and spin-glo’s with flies, squid and cut bait behind them. Green, blue, black and white or glow spoons were also taking fish.

Long Lake: Was producing some walleye and smallmouth bass.

Alpena: Those heading out are targeting lake trout in deeper water off the humps, the Nordmere Wreck, Thunder Bay Island and the Nine Mile Can in 80 to 150 feet. Many anglers are favoring the ports of Rockport and Presque Isle due to deep water close to shore and not having to run out so far. Walleye were taken mostly in the outer bay towards Sulphur Island and Black River or Thunder Bay Island, Sugar Island and Rockport when trolling crank baits and harnesses in 15 to 40 feet.

Thunder Bay River: Is producing large and smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum and a couple small walleye on live bait. Live bait seems to be the best. Boats trolling in the turnbasin also picked up a couple small walleye.

Fletchers Pond: Had good action for northern pike and bass.

Black River: Walleye were caught on body baits in 20 to 45 feet between here and Scarecrow Island. Those fishing the mouth of the river caught pike and freshwater drum when still-fishing with minnows.

Harrisville: Those targeting trout and salmon found lake trout suspending 30 to 40 feet down or about 15 feet off the bottom and hitting on spoons and spin-glo’s with dodgers. Atlantic salmon were hitting on spoons in the top 15 feet while the odd Chinook was 50 to 65 feet down in 100 to 140 feet. Lake trout up to 20 pounds were caught. A couple walleye were caught when trolling stick baits around Sturgeon Point and between Harrisville and Greenbush in 20 to 35 feet. Chartreuse, purple, chrome and wonderbread were good colors.

Oscoda: Anglers continue to catch a mix of lake trout, steelhead, Atlantic, Chinook and Coho salmon. Lake trout were in the bottom 20 feet or suspended up higher with the salmon which were 20 to 50 feet down in 70 to 130 feet. Spoons or dodgers and flies on sliders, lead core and copper have taken fish. Anglers found suspended walleye when trolling small spoons in the top 40 feet with lead core or divers. Pier anglers caught drum, smallmouth and rock bass when still-fishing with crawlers or casting jigs.

Au Sable River: A few small walleye, freshwater drum and smallmouth bass were caught below Foote Dam when drifting crawlers or casting jigs in the holes. Small-mouth were also caught by those working the top waters in the cuts and current breaks. In Foote Pond, smallmouth bass and pike were caught when casting shad raps and spinners. Small-mouth were caught on poppers and hopper flies between Mio and the Alcona Pond. This time of year can be a good time to try flies in the trout waters from Alcona Dam up. Try hoppers, flying ants, spiders and other terrestrials.

Tawas: The walleye hot-spot was in Tawas Bay with good catches including some limits taken outside Tawas Point and near Buoy #2 in 30 to 60 feet when trolling a crawler harness. A couple steelhead were taken out near 60 feet. Inside the bay, those trolling near Buoys 4 and 6 were getting some walleye and pike. Pier fishing was slow.

Tawas River: Fishing was summerslow with only a few bass, catfish or freshwater drum taken.

Au Gres: Those trolling for walleye continue to do well between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres in 20 to 30 feet but some were doing better up towards Tawas Bay or when crossing over to the north side of Big Charity Island. Walleye fishing was slower down near the Pine River and Eagle Bay Marina.

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

Harbor Springs: Boat anglers caught lake trout near Harbor Springs. Some were fishing from Harbor Point north to Five Mile Point. Bass anglers were also out.

Petoskey: Lake trout, salmon, steelhead and even a couple lake herring were caught. Not a lot of salmon but a few were caught 40 to 55 feet down from the break wall to Bay Harbor. Lake trout were also caught including some as deep as 80 feet down. Water levels were up a bit in the Bear River and a couple smaller steelhead were caught on spawn bags and flies up near the dam. Smallmouth bass were caught at the mouth including a legal one here and there. Rock bass, catfish and drum were also caught on worms and leeches.

Charlevoix: Anglers were getting lake trout along with a few salmon and lake herring. The salmon were 40 feet down and the lakers were 80 to 90 feet down in 100 to 300 feet around the cement plant and south off North Point. Smallmouth action in the channel was hit-or-miss with a few keepers taken on real or artificial worms and leeches along the bottom.

Traverse City: Lake trout fishing in the East Bay was best when trolling along the west bank and down to the south bank. Those jigging did well around Deepwater Point, north of the M-37 launch, and off Old Mission. Trout were also caught when trolling or jigging out from Elk Rapids. Bass fishing was fair around Deepwater Point, north of Yuba and along the west side of the bay in 15 to 25 feet. Slow fishing in the Elk River but plenty of sub-legal bass were caught on crawlers and leeches. In the West Bay, lake trout were taken when trolling along the east side and south of Power Island or when jigging off Lee Point or south of the M-22 launch. Steelhead action on the Boardman River was very slow. Some small bass or rock bass were caught at the mouth when using worms.

Frankfort: The kings are living up to their name with numerous reports of Chinook over 25 pounds and a few over 30. From the Manitou Islands to the Herring Hole anglers are landing large fish. Meat rigs produced a lot of big ones but J-plugs, flies and magnum spoons in multiple colors have also done well. A thermocline has not set up so anglers are scattered throughout the area and were working the top 65 feet in 120 to 600 feet. Nice steelhead were also taken up high on orange spoons.

Arcadia: Anglers are catching 1-2 fish per trip including a mix of Chinook, lake trout and the occasional steelhead 40 to 60 feet down in 100 to 120 feet. The water 40 to 50 feet down was 45 degrees so the fish were scattered. Use spoons, flies and meat rigs.

Onekama: The early morning bite in the “Barrel” has anglers reconsidering putting new line on their rods with several reports of large Chinook that are putting up a good fight. Most were taken 55 to 75 feet down on J-plugs or meat rigs and flies in the afternoon.

Portage Lake: Water temperatures are warm, so anglers were targeting 16 to 25 feet and picking up perch, bluegills, sunfish and rock bass. Bass anglers working the drops and structure caught some nice largemouth, but the number of smallmouth has not been as good as in the past. Use caution in the channel due to construction.

Manistee: Surface temperatures were 65 degrees. Chinook fishing has really started to heat up with some nice fish including a 31 and a 29-pounder taken recently. Most were caught 50 to 100 feet down in 130 to 250 feet. Steelhead and lake trout were also found, but most of the fish taken were Chinook. Spoons and meat rigs worked best. Those trolling spoons and J-plugs in the channel and around the piers also found some Chinook.

Ludington: Surface temperatures were up around 70 degrees and more salmon are being caught including one fish just over 34 pounds. Anglers are trolling spoons and meat rigs 30 to 70 feet down in 170 to 300 feet. A small number of steelhead and lake trout were also caught.

Pere Marquette Lake: Those trolling spoons and J-plugs have caught Chinook salmon here and in the channel.

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