Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Troutmagnet.com Order Has Arrived

In my June Mystery Tackle Box I received an item that on first glanced I thought was a cheep bait that I probably wouldn't add to my permanent tackle box.  However this bait actually performed very well for me in some clear water conditions with finicky bass. So I decided I'd watch it and grab a few on the first chance I got.  That bait is the Thunder Hawk Soft Crank and it just so happened that the price on this bait had dropped in the last few weeks from $2.99 to $1.00.   So I figured it was high time I grab a few of these guys to add to my arsenal of lipless crankbaits.

What's unique about the Thunder Hawk Soft Crank is the fact that they have a soft silicone body.  However I don't think that's what made this bait successful for me when fishing with it. It's the fact that this bait is silent and doesn't have a super shiny surface that caught me fish.  It was simply a shad, not a super glossy shad or a knocking, rattling or talking shad.  The Thunder Hawk soft crank is just a plain shad and that is what landed me several decent smallmouth bass on a day when nothing else would land a finicky clear water bass. So I ordered a few in every color they had available.

Not only did I grab the soft cranks but I also ordered a few Thunder Hawk Dancer bodies, which are just small paddletail swimbaits which I'm sure will net me quite a few crappie, white bass and large bluegill in the kayak this year.  I think I'm gonna place another order for more of these in a couple weeks after I come back from my vacation.

Thanks for reading and tight lines!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 2016 Mystery Tackle Box Unboxing

It's officially Mystery Tackle Box time again.  The December 2016 box arrived today and as usual it's a great gift to come home from work to.  So without any further rambling here is what came in my December Mystery tackle box.

River2Sea Rover
Description:The Rover by River2Sea is a new generation of a walking bait. Instead of a gliding action, its choppy side-to-side slashing gives the effect of an injured shad which will draw vicious strikes at the right time!
The Rover is a fast moving body that drives the bass crazy and brings out more and more aggressive strikes with each cast.
Color: 25 - T1000 (17 colors to choose from)
Price: 12.59

Strike King Rage Blade Blaster
Description: A true multi-species spectacle, the Strike King Rage Blade Blaster provides a unique baitfish imitation that tempts fish into biting with an abundance of vibration. Whether it's jigged vertically or worked with a straight retrieve, the Strike King Rage Blade Blaster features a counter-balanced design that works for a wide-range of species.  Fitted with a super-sharp feathered rear treble, the Strike King Rage Blade Blaster offers a one-of-a-kind presentation that delivers results.
Color: White
Price: 4.49

Big Bite Baits: Double Tail Finesse Grub
Description: A new addition to Big Bite Baits line up of grubs, the Big Bite Baits Double Tail Finesse Grubs hae a great swimming action at slow or fast retrieves. Excellent jig trailers, they can also be fished alone or on a jig head. Available in a range of proven colors, the Big Bite Baits Double Tail Finesse Grubs feature a time tested design proven to catch fish all over the world.
Color: Motor Oil Fire
Price: 2.57

Charlie's Worms: Lil Zipper Dipper
Description: A sleek minnow-like swimbait strategically designed to swim through grass, pads, and brush without getting hung up. Pair the Lil' Zipper Dipper as a jig trailer to add extra motion and action to your presentation.  When fishing heavy vegetation try rigging the Zipper Dipper ona  light weight swimbait hook and maneuver the bait in and out of grass patches to locate hiding fish lurking in the vegetation.
Color: Black blue silver
Price: 2.49 (4pack)  4.99 (8pack)

Mustad: SwimJig Head
Price: $2.52

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 2016, Mystery Tackle Box Unboxing

Lucky Craft: LV 300 (Lucky Vibration) Lipless Crankbait
Description: The Lucky Craft LV 300 is a 2 3/4" lipless crankbait with multiple chambers, each containing different size rattles.  These different sized rattles create a unique sound the the LV 300 is being retrieved through the water. The LV 300 has size #6 VMC treble for the belly hook and a size #8 VMC treble for the tail hook. The recommended line sizes for the LV 300 are lines ranging from 10lbs to 16lbs.
Color: Pearl Threadfin Shad
Retail Price: $15.99

Jewel Bait Co.: Magnum Casting Jig
Description: The Magnum Casting Jig by Jewel Bait Co. was designed with the help of professional angler Stephen Browning. The Magnum Casting Jig comes in the heavier weights of 7/16oz. & 9/16oz. so it can be fished in deeper water. It has a 5/0 mustad hook that is designed specifically for the Magnum Casting Jig and comes with either rubber or silicone skirts depending on which color you purchase. All in all its a jig tailor made for deep water fishing.
Color: Brown Green & Blue
Retail Price: $4.29

Castaic: 4.25" Jerky J. Kicker
Description: The Jerky J. Kicker is a unique swimbait.  The tail in particular is what makes the Jerky J. Kicker so unique. Unlike many swimbaits it doesn't have a paddle tail or a curly tail. In fact it hasa  tail that is flat like a curly tail however it doesnt have the natural twist of a curly tail that gives it action.
According to Castaic's description the Jerky J. Kicker can be fished like a normal swimbait or it can be fished as fast or slow as you desire without losing its action. The flat design of the tail allowing for the most subtle movements to impart action for this bait. It looks like a perfect smallmouth bait so we shall see this spring when I have a chance to test this bait out.
Color: Bluegill (10 colors to choose from)
Retail Price: $5.59 (4 pack) & 6.99 (5 pack)

Vicious Fishing: 8" Ultimate Worm
Company Description: The curly tail worm is a true test of time that is probably the most preferred slow retrieve bait ever. Available in pumpkin seed, watermelon seed, June bug, black blue flake with blue tail, green pumpkin, black grape, watermelon with chartreuse tail, tequila sunrise and red shad / black red pearl.
Color: Green Pumpkin (7 colors to choose from)
Retail Price: $1.16 (5 pack) & $3.49 (15 pack)

Venom Lures: 3/0 Sickle Hooks
Description: The Venom Lures sickle hooks are thick wire offset hooks ideal for fishing plastic worms.  They come in sizes ranging from 1/0 to 5/0.  I'm sure they'll hold up to the largest bass in the lake and I'll definitely be paring them with some of the worms in my plastic worm box.
Retail Price: $2.82 (6pack), $9.98 (25 pack), & $28.32 (100 pack)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Waterville, Ohio AirBNB Review

A few weeks ago, my family and I had the pleasure of spending a weekend at this waterfront cottage in Waterville,Ohio. This cottage was perfect for any outdoorsman. Secluded on a quiet back road off the main highway, it was the best place for a family to get away for a weekend and have enjoy some family fun while staying close to modern conveniences. The cottage came equipped with free use of two kayaks, a canoe, golf cart, campfire pit with firewood, fishing poles, and tackle.

It was truly an outdoor living experience including racoons, bugs, well water, and septic tank, so I
wouldn't recommend it for the faint at heart. But, for our family, it was the perfect rustic experience where curious toddlers could play all day and enjoy getting both wet and dirty. It was also a place where little girls became fearless and enjoy laughing around a campfire eating s'mores and fishing with dad. You could feel their excitement, which soon became contagious as we spent quality time laughing, playing, and enjoying the solace of the Maumee River.

At this little cottage, in a small town we had never heard of, we woke early for fishing from the kayaks where we spent hours enjoying the morning sun and good conversation, returning with a fish tale that we will be telling for years to come. I highly recommend this cottage for families or couples who are looking to get away from the busy city and enjoy the simpler things in life.

The cottage is equipped with heat, kitchen utensils, warm blankets and sleeps 6.
To view the AirBNB for yourself please click here!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Product Review: Bass Pro Shops XTS Vibrator Lipless Crankbait

Company Description: Handpainted Bass Pro Shops XTS Lures at a great price! All your favorite colors plus a few you won't find elsewhere, all intricately detailed for true-to-life persentations in any water. Great action throughout the line. All styles have 3-D lazerball eyes, Lazer finish with hand painted detail, and VMC premium trebles. Lipless crank covers water fast! Can be retrieved at any depth.

Sizes: 2" at 3/16 oz.  and 2 3/4" at 7/16 oz.

Colors: 9 color patterns to choose from

Review:  The XTS Vibrator Lipless is a rattling crankbait that I keep in my lipless crankbait box as well as in my white bass box.  It is a great choice for chasing smallmouth bass on Lake St. Clair in early spring.  As well it is one of my go to baits for white bass during the spring run or when searching for them on Ford Lake.

Every year I buy a few of these lipless cranks from Basspro during the fishing classic when they go on sale for 1.99, at that price you can't turn them down.

On the other hand with such a low price point there are bound to be a couple of downsides.  First of which is the fact that the XTS Vibrator has inexpensive hooks on it.  This hasnt really been a problem for me cause as soon as I find that the hooks are getting dull I replace them.  The other minor issue is the paint job doesnt hold up to too much of a beating. In all honesty though thats a minor issue in my opinion since they're so inexpensive.

The XTS has a pretty tight action and the rattles are average when it comes to the sound. In fact the action is similar to that of my red eye shads and the sound is about the same.
Overall the XTS Vibrator is a great bait and a great value.

Recommended Set Up: I suggest using a 6'6"to 7" medium to medium heavy power fishing rod with  moderate action tip coupled with a 6:1:1 gear ratio reel.  Ultimately go with what you're comfortable with.

Pros: The painted on patterns are unique and detailed, attracting fish with no problems.  The low price makes the baits well worth purchasing.

Cons: The paint job doesn't hold up as well as I would want and the hooks are cheap.

Price: $3.19

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October Mystery Tackle Box Unboxing

River2Sea: Dahlberg Diver Frog
Company Description: The Dahlberg Diver Frog is a bait unto its own class.  It's designed to exactly replicate the mannerism and features of a frog. It doesn't just look like a frog, it does frog: not walking, but swimming and kicking like a real one.
Color: Lime
Retail Price: $10.99

Strike Pro: SuperSonic Jointed Crankbait
Company Description: The new Jointed Supersonic is a jointed crankbait that utilizes Strike Pro's patented "bike chain" joints to connect the head to the body.  The jointed head gives the lure more wiggle and is less mechanical looking than a traditional crankbait. Features high pitched rattles and black nickel coated VMC hooks.
Color: Ghost Shad
Retail Price: $8.99

Charlie's Worms: Baby Juke
Description: This 4" soft jerk bait is the smaller version of Charlie's Worms Swimming Juke. Per the company description it works best being fished on a jighead.  However small offset worm hooks will work well with this bait as well as its about he same size as the 4 inch sluggo's I use when the fish are chasing small minnows and 1/0 offset worm hooks work great with those.
Color: Watermelon Red
Retail Price: $3.12 (5 pack) &  $4.99 (8 pack)

Mizmo Bait Company: 5" Quiver Stix
Description: These are simply salt covered and impregnated worms senko style worms.  These I cant give too much of a description for until I get them on the water and use them.  At that point you all will see an in depth review on the Mizmo Quiver Stix in video format as well as her on the blog.
Color: Watermelon Red
Retail Price: $2.454 (4 pack) & $4.79 (8 pack)


Friday, October 7, 2016

Understanding Hunting Treestands

At some point as a hunter you have to make the decision whether or not you'll be hunting on the ground or from a tree.  Early on you'll notice the pros and cons of hunting each way.  Pros like the flexibility of being able to move on the fly when you're hunting on the ground or the greater field of view from a treestand. Whatever your considerations, at some point you'll need to know whether you'll be hunting on the ground or from a tree.  For those times when you feel it's best to hunt from an elevated position, here is a brief overview of the different kinds of treestands with their pros and cons.

Ladder Stands

Ladder stands are treestands where the ladder, platform and seat are all connected. They're a perfect option for hunters who have no intention of moving the stand throughout the season.  Ladder stands are also a great option for hunters with a moderate to lower fitness level becuase the larger ladder makes it easier to climb. As well they offer very stable platforms for standing or sitting because the stand is always seated on the ground.

Ladder stands have the largest platforms and seats of the four kinds of treestands.  In fact some ladder stands are large enough to seat two hunters at once which is great if you're hunting with a kid, someone inexperienced or filming a hunt.

  • Ladder stands are comfortable with large seats and platforms.
  • Some ladder stands can seat multiple hunters.
  • Ladder stands are very stable
  • Ladder stands are quiet due to the lack of moving parts.
  • Ladder stands are relatively easy to climb
  • Ladder stands have the highest weight capacities 

  • Ladder stands are heavy 
  • Ladder stands require to people to erect
  • Ladder stands are not portable


First, ladder stands have heights between 15 feet and 18 feet.  This limited height leaves your feet standing at about 12 feet from the ground leaving you within the edges of a deers peripheral vision. So consider setting up ladder stands on hill above whatever travel route you're hunting. This will get your farther out of a deers field of vision view while increasing your own field of vision.

Second, set ladder stands up in trees that have large low hanging branches whenever possible.  The large branches will break up your sihlouette and camoflage your movements.

Third, make sure the trunk of the tree you're setting up in is at least the same width of the ladder portion of the stand. This will help you and the stand go unnoticed by any wary deer.

Lastly, add brush and fallen branches around the base of ladder stands to give them more cover.

Hang On Stands

Hang on stands are one piece treestands that connect to the tree with either a chain or straps.  Hang on stands have small seats without seat backs, with a few exceptions.

Due to their small size and low weights hang on stands are pretty easy to move and erect without the help of another person.  Hang stands require climbing sticks or screw in steps in order to get into whatever tree you choose.  These climbing aids can be cumbersome, noisy and time consuming to attach your tree of choice, which will slow you down if you want to change trees on the fly.

On the other hand the versatility of hang on stands is where they shine.  Hang on stands can be placed in any tree you choose. If the tree is too large or shaped in an odd way, you can simply change out the chain or straps that support the stand with ones that will fit your favorite tree.

  • Hang on stands are portable.
  • Hang on stands work on any tree.
  • Hang on stands are light weight.
  • Hang on stands are easy to set up with one person.
  • Hang on stands are not easily detected in the tree. 

  • Hang on stands have small platforms and seats
  • Hang on stands require climbing sticks
  • Hang on stands are not comfortable
  • Hang on stands can be easier to fall from


First, attach shoulder and waist straps to the platform to make hang on stands easier to transport to and from the field.

Second, make sure you purchase the lightest weight stand you possibly can. The less the stand weighs the less fatigue you have from moving it around and setting it up.

Third, use the best and lightest ladder system you can afford. By doing this you'll make your in field set up faster and make trasporting stand far more enjoyable.

Fourth, walk around with your stand and listen for any places that make noise from metal on metal contact. Once the noisy places are found, wrap them in parachord or heat shrink to eliminate the noise made by metal on metal contact.

Lastly, always do a safety check on your hang on stands before and after the season.  When doing this check for rusted bolts, chains, frayed straps or anything else that can potentially be a hazard.

Climbing Stands

Climbing stands are treestands that have two individual parts that aid hunters in climbing trees.

Climbers tend to be a bit heavier than hang on stands.  However they make up for that weight with comfort and mobility.

Mobility is what makes climbers a great choice for public land hunters.  Climbers allow public land hunters to move quickly and easily if necessary.  Pretty much for a climbing treestand to work all you need is a straight tree between 8 inches and 22 inches in circumference and you're good to go.


  • Climbing treestands are highly portable
  • Climbing treestands are light weight
  • Climbing treestands are easy to set up
  • Climbing treestands are comfortable


  • Climbing treestands can be noisy when climbing
  • Climbing treestands are limited to straight trees
  • Climbing treestands are limited to trees 8" to 22" in circumference
  • Climbing treestands have small platforms like hang on treestands
  • Climbing treestands require a moderate fitness level to use

First, purchase the lightest climbing stand you can afford because you'll be carrying it on your back quite a bit.
Second, attach a set of backpack and waist straps to your stand to make transporting it easier and more comfortable.
Third, make sure you walk around wearing the stand prior to hunting and listen for any metal on metal contact.  The places that have the sound of metal on metal contact, wrap them in parachord, heat shrink or bike tire rubber to silence the noise.
Fourth, scout your area heavily before hunting so you can pick out possible trees before getting in the field.  There is nothing worse than trying to find a suitable tree in the dark.
Lastly, practice setting up your stand and climbing trees prior to hunting.  This practice will help you when you have to set the stand up and climb a tree in the dark.

Tower Stand

Tower stands are not treestands.  Unlike treestands they are free standing and dont require a tree for set up. Some of them are just a tripod with a seat on top.  Some tower stands even have small blinds that sit on top for the users.

The main benefit of tower stands is that they can be set up anywhere. In fact they are ideal for areas that have no suitable trees for treestands, like scrublands.

  • Tower stands are free standing 
  • Tower stands can be set up anywhere
  • Tower stands are comfortable
  • Tower stands are easy to climb

  • Tower stands are heavy
  • Tower stands require 2 or more people for setup
  • Tower stands provide no cover
  • Tower stands are noisy to set up
  • Tower stands are not portable 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report: October 6, 2016

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Weekly Fishing Report

October 6, 2016
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fishing mapSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSoutheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report
Fall fishing continues and will only get better as temperatures drop.  Trout and salmon are in the rivers though numbers are still light in some areas.  Fish in the inland lakes are starting to feed more as they prepare for winter.  

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  Perch fishing did slow some.  The better fishing was in 17 to 21 feet near the E-Buoy, 19 to 23 feet near Buoys 1 & 2 off the River Raisin, and 20 to 25 feet off Stony Point.   There were a couple reports of decent catches in significantly shallower water in Brest Bay and off the Erie Consumers Power Plant.  Most are using perch or crappie rigs with spreaders and shiners.  A couple walleye were caught in the early morning when trolling crank baits or a crawler harness straight out from Fermi and the mouth of the River Raisin near Ohio waters.  Some caught the occasional legal size walleye, white perch or white bass when using shiners for perch.  Shore anglers at the Hoffman Memorial access site caught some decent sunfish on perch or crappie rigs with a crawler or shiner.   A couple largemouth bass were caught from the pier.  Shore anglers on Whitewood Creek in Luna Pier caught largemouth and panfish on crawlers.  

Detroit River:  Anglers continue to catch yellow perch with emerald shiners on perch rigs.  Walleye were caught in the channels especially between Sugar Island and Grosse Ile and the Trenton Channel.     

Oakland County:  Water temperatures on both Cass and Union Lake continue to drop and most species are starting to school up.  Anglers were seeing good bluegill action though finding bigger fish was not easy.  Some are fishing the mouth of the canals while others found fish along the drop-offs. Bass anglers are targeting the sandbars and weedy flats.  Those casting baits that imitate baitfish did best.  A few pike and walleye were caught on crankbaits and spinners.

Lake St. Clair:  Yellow perch were caught with emerald shiners on perch rigs near Buoy 27.  Perch and catfish were caught by those still-fishing or drifting in the same area.  Walleye were caught by those jigging in 25 to 30 feet near the mouth of the South Channel.  Muskie were caught near the spillway and smallmouth bass were taken in eight feet near the mouth of the Middle Channel.  On the north end, smallmouth bass were caught in 8 feet near Selfridge when casting crank baits.  Those moving around had better luck.  Largemouth and pike were caught in less than 10 feet in Bouvier Bay when casting crank baits or spinners.  Walleye and drum were caught when jigging or trolling a crawler harness around Grassy Island.  

Lexington and Port Sanilac:  Atlantic salmon have begun staging off the Lexington Harbor where pier and shore anglers were starting to catch a few.  The water was very clear and fish could be seen quite easily.  They like bright colored lures like orange and chartreuse.  Pier anglers caught a few pike.  A couple boats from Port Sanilac did manage to catch a walleye and steelhead.  

Harbor Beach:  Night fishing for walleye is starting.  One angler did well on perch which were suspended halfway down.  

Port Austin:  Had rumors of walleye being caught off the wall at night.  

Saginaw Bay:  Perch were caught off the Pinconning Bar near Gambil’s Marina, Buoys 22 & 24 along the shipping channel, and along the old shipping channel.  Lots of small fish were caught inside the Linwood Beach Marina.  Perch fishing off Quanicassee was boom or bust as one boat came in with a limit and the next came in with none.  Lots of smaller perch along with the occasional keeper were caught in the Quanicassee River.  Shore anglers at Sebewaing caught panfish, pike and undersize bass at the Municipal Marina with tube jigs.  Pier and shore anglers at Caseville are starting to look for perch but it’s still a bit early.   

Saginaw River:  Was very muddy after all the rain.  Boat anglers heading out say the water starts clearing up once you get out past Spoils Island.  A limit of perch was taken off the Karn-Weadok Plant at the mouth, off Bay Harbor Marina and near the Wirt Stone Dock at the Independence Bridge.  

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  There still seems to be a few fish out in 100 feet however boat anglers were struggling.  Perch and pier fishing were slow.  There is a lot of baitfish around the piers where anglers caught freshwater drum and bass.   

St. Joseph River:   Those fishing near the Berrien Springs Dam caught salmon and steelhead.  Those drifting spawn bags were doing very well.  

South Haven:  A few lake trout were caught in 130 feet when trolling spoons.  Perch fishing was very slow.  Anglers report a lot of baitfish around the piers and those fishing have caught freshwater drum.  

Black River:  Anglers caught a few salmon when casting spoons.  Those trolling reported slower catch rates.  

Grand Haven:  Boat anglers are catching trout and young salmon 30 to 80 feet down in 60 to 110 feet with green, orange or blue spoons.  Pier fishing was slow with only a few catfish and freshwater drum taken on minnows.  The south pier is closed to the public until the summer of 2017.  

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Catch rates were spotty for Chinook, coho and steelhead.  Most were floating spawn bags.  

Grand River at Lansing:  Continues to produce a good number of smallmouth bass in areas with sand or gravel as well as below the dams.  They are hitting on crawlers, minnows and anything rubber including a jig with a twister tail.  A few salmon were caught at the Webber Dam near Portland but anglers were working hard to get them.  

Looking Glass River:  Anglers caught a few bass and smaller pike.  

Lake Ovid:  Was producing a few largemouth bass.  Not much on bluegills but anglers might find some bigger crappie.    

Muskegon:  A mix of trout and salmon were taken 20 to 80 feet down in 60 to 120 feet with green and orange spoons and green flies.  Lake trout were caught on green or yellow spin-glo’s.  The south breakwall is closed for repairs.  

Muskegon Lake:  Boat anglers caught a few nice perch.  The key is to keep moving until you locate a school of fish.  

Muskegon River:  The higher water levels will help bring fish into the river.  Salmon fishing has been slow thus far but should pick up with cooler temperatures.  Anglers will be targeting the lower section with flies.  Some bass were also caught.       

Whitehall:  Boat anglers are catching steelhead and salmon 40 to 60 feet down in 70 to 100 feet on plugs and green or blue flies.  Pier fishing remains slow, but the occasional salmon has been caught.  

White River:  A few salmon have been seen up at the Hesperia Dam, but most of the angling has occurred in the lower sections of the river. 

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan:  Had few boats fishing off the mouth of the river and of the fish staging off the mouth, very few Chinook were caught.     

Cheboygan River:  Seen a push of Chinook salmon and catch rates improved.  Catch rates were not excellent by any means however some are being caught every day.  Most of those caught have been males.  Try early morning, late evening or on cloudy days with skein, spoons or body baits.   

Mullett Lake:  The water was still warm for this time of year.  Perch fishing has been inconsistent but a light number were still caught in Pigeon River Bay and near the Indian River.  Most were good size nine to 12 inches.  Anglers are putting in many hours to catch up to five bass.  Steelhead and walleye fishing was light.  

Rogers City:  When anglers can get out, try fishing the entire water column in 45 to 120 feet for young Chinook, coho and Atlantic salmon, steelhead or walleye with spoons and body baits in orange and silver, blue and silver or green.  Look for the thermocline, baitfish and structure.  The younger Chinooks might be up near Forty Mile Point.  

Presque Isle:  Anglers should be able to find some younger Chinook, steelhead Atlantics and possible walleye weather permitting.  Try straight out of the harbor or north between the two lighthouses and target the top 55 feet in waters up to 120 feet deep.  Look for baitfish and use the same colors as Rogers City.  Try anything that glows early and late for Chinook.  

Oscoda:  Was slow with only a couple steelhead caught recently.   Some reported seeing salmon jumping around the piers and at the mouth of the river.   

Higgins Lake:  Some were starting to catch a few big perch on shiners.  Those looking for lake trout continue to troll in 80 to 100 feet or more with spoons, cowbells and large minnows.  A fair to good number of rock bass have also been caught.  

Houghton Lake:  Anglers were catching lots of bluegills in the weed lines in seven to nine feet.  Some have also caught a few bass, perch and crappie.  Walleye anglers are out but catch rates were few and far between.  

Tawas:  Pier anglers started catching walleye at night when casting crank baits.    

Tawas River:  Quite a few Chinook salmon were caught on spawn, spoons and body baits.  Be sure to watch for fish with a clipped adipose fin.  

Au Gres:  Had no activity except for a few duck hunters.  Bad weather and windy conditions have limited boat anglers.  

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs:  Water temperatures in the bay were warm however east winds have cooled the waters down.  With lake trout season closed, few boats were out.  

Petoskey:  Had few boat anglers with the closing of lake trout season and none were looking for staging salmon inside the breakwall.  Anglers are still casting off the piers after dark and before dawn however only one fish was caught when casting glow spoons and crank baits.   

Bear River:  Water levels were up and there were a lot of fish at the dam but catch rates slowed.  The cooler weather had anglers taking a few Chinook, coho, smaller steelhead and a couple brown trout however brown trout fishing closed on September 30.  A few lake trout were seen below the dam.  Anglers were using fresh skein, spawn bags, artificial eggs and flies.  As for coho, most of them have turned very dark already.  

Boyne River:  Anglers were still reporting a good number of salmon in the river.

Charlevoix:  Boats typically troll or cast inside the breakwall for salmon but few have been out.  Pier anglers fishing the channel are targeting smallmouth bass with live or artificial crawlers but catch rates are still hit-or-miss.  Those casting for salmon off the end of the pier had no luck.  Salmon fishing has been slow near the cement plant.  A couple fish were taken on spawn during the day but those casting crank baits and spoons at night were not having much luck.  

Traverse City:  Lake trout season has closed on both bays.  Anglers were waiting for fish to enter the Boardman River but only a couple fish were observed.  Lake herring are still being caught along the south end of the East Bay where they were suspended in 80 to 100 feet.  Fish were caught straight out from Elk Rapids when jigging.  The Elk River produced some steelhead, coho and Chinook.  

Boardman River:  Had heavy fishing pressure.  A few Chinook were caught by those drifting spawn.  In general, mornings were best.  For tourists, there are plenty of salmon in the river and they can be viewed from the weir downstream to the Cass Street Bridge. 

Platte River:  Has fish but the bite slowed with the warmer temperatures.  A few were caught during the day but the better fishing was early morning or late evening.  

Frankfort:  Those trolling the shoreline up in Platte Bay were getting some coho on spoons.  A couple small steelhead were caught on spawn both inside and outside the breakwall. 

Betsie River:  Has Chinook salmon however many were turning quite dark.  


Portage Lake:  Boat anglers were doing quite well for yellow perch in 18 to 20 feet.  Most were using minnows on perch rigs.  

Manistee:  Surface water temperatures were on the warm side at 60 degrees.  Smaller Chinook and some steelhead were caught in 200 to 250 feet.  The dredging is now done however the equipment will remain in the harbor for the next week or so while crews perform maintenance.  

Manistee Lake:  Large and smallmouth bass have been caught sporadically in shallow waters.  Anglers are tossing top-water baits in the morning and evening.   

Big Manistee River:  Water temperatures are starting to drop.  Catch rates for Chinook and coho continue to be on the slow side but fish are still being caught on spawn and beads.  Darker color stoneflies are also producing fish.  Steelhead are showing up throughout the river and the bite was decent for those using spawn or flies.  

Ludington:  Surface water temperatures were 58 degrees.  Steelhead and small Chinook salmon were caught in 200 to 220 feet.  Pier and shore fishing were slow.  

Pentwater:  Angling activity on Lake Michigan slowed but those heading out did catch a few salmon 30 to 60 feet down in 60 to 100 feet.   

Pentwater Lake:  Anglers caught pike when drifting minnows in the channel.

Pentwater River:  Salmon were caught in the lower river when casting crank baits or drifting spawn.  

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon:  Lake trout fishing was very good about 80 feet down in 100 feet but no salmon activity.  Fall colors were at 60 to 75 percent.


Black River Harbor:  Boat anglers caught a few lake trout in 60 to 80 feet.  There were rumors of a few brown trout in the river but no catches were reported.  

Menominee River:  Some walleye are being caught by those trolling stick baits between Stephenson Island and the mouth.  Spinners, tube baits and plastics are catching some nice smallmouth bass.   A few salmon were observed at the Hattie Street Dam.  Shore anglers caught walleye at night when using stick baits from the walkway.  

Escanaba River:  Those fishing between Gwinn and Watson have caught walleye, brown trout and brook trout.  

Marquette:  Boat anglers are catching lake trout and coho near the Lower Harbor and near the white rocks.  Salmon are starting to run in the rivers.  Some coho and Chinook were caught in the Carp and the Chocolay Rivers when using mostly spawn but some were also using crawlers and orange, pink or copper spinners.  Brown trout were also caught on crawlers or spinners in the Chocolay River.  The Dead River has not had much fishing pressure but anglers did spot a few Chinook and pink salmon.   

Munising:  Surface water temperatures remain warm and data from the temperature buoy shows water temperatures in the low 60’s about 100 feet down.  Fishing remains slow with only a few coho caught by those trolling.  Anglers are trying variety of methods including jigging or casting around Sand Point and up to Murray Bay.  Fishing the Anna River Dock improved slightly with a few more splake caught but still slow for coho.  Anglers are using spawn bags or casting small orange and gold spoons.  A side note, fall leaf color has started to change over the last few days and was about 30 percent.  

Grand Marais:  Has the same conditions as Munising with only a couple coho and a small rainbow caught by those trolling the harbor to the mouth of the Sucker River.  Shore anglers at the mouth of the Sucker River were using spawn bags or casting small orange, chartreuse or gold spoons but did not have much luck.  

Two Hearted River:   Anglers are getting a few coho and steelhead but they are putting in a lot of time to get a few fish.  Water temperatures were near 54 degrees which is still a bit warm.  The run is later than normal this year.  

St. Marys River:  From those targeting muskie, a few reports of success came from Raber Bay when trolling along the weed beds in five to seven feet on the northwest side.  Most were using black and yellow bucktail spinners or large green and yellow crank bait.  Moving from Swedes Pointe down to Detour Village, anglers had some good catches of walleye with a shiner under a slip bobber off the rocky ledges and points.  Set your bait 6 to 8 feet off the bottom in 12 to 14 feet.  

Detour:  With lake trout and splake season closed, a few were out trolling for salmon along the Detour Reef and the 90 foot flat which is two miles south of the lighthouse.  Chinook were caught upstream from the Drummond Island Ferry Boat lane with flashers and squid 48 to 55 feet down in 80 feet.   

Cedarville and Hessel:  Anglers out of Cedarville targeting yellow perch had good success taking fish nine to 11 inches and a few jumbos up to 12 inches.  Perch fishing seemed to be more productive with small schools of bigger perch on the north side of Government Island in eight to 10 feet.  A few walleye were caught in the narrow channel running in front of the Cedarville Golf Course just west of Snows Channel.  Try drifting or trolling crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers between the red and green buoys west to Mackinaw Bay in 12 to 14 feet.  The west end of Snows Channel has some good weed beds so try trolling crank baits in the early morning or late afternoon.  Bluegills and sunfish were caught on small worms in five to six feet around Echo Island.  The Hessel Marina and boat launch were reporting large schools of splake in the early morning and late afternoon.  Those casting or jigging natural spawn bags from the finger docks caught fish.  Some large pike were caught straight south of the Hessel Marina near Cube Point which is the first point on the north end of Marquette Island when trolling red and white spoons or still-fishing with creek chubs in eight to 14 feet.  

St. Ignace:  Had very few boat anglers.  A few small Chinook were caught around Mackinac Island.  The Carp River is still producing some pink salmon right along with a few Chinook for those fishing near the spawning gravel.  Pink salmon were caught on flies, spawn and small spoons and the kings were taken on skein.  Nunns Creek is now closed to fishing but the lake is still open off the mouth but anglers are reminded to be careful and watch for all the gill nets.  

Fishing Tip: Go "hunting" for fish this fall

Autumn can be one of the best times of year to seek out your favorite fish species for a day of fun angling. Several species to target this October and November include walleye, perch and trout.

Walleye are thought to be in their best condition in the fall, and can often be found in the river-mouth areas of larger, inland lakes. They’re gathering there to take advantage of baitfish that like to hang out as the weather cools off. Set your sights on 10 to 12 feet deep to find these guys. 

Perch will also populate around those same river-mouths, but these fish will likely be much closer to the river than walleyes. Check out depths as shallow as four feet to find them.

Trout will be available in those larger lakes as well during this time period, and can be found in the same areas as the walleye and perch.

The Weekly Fishing Report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from DNR Fisheries seasonal and field staff, and DNR Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species.
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