Thursday, September 8, 2016

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report: September 8, 2016

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Weekly Fishing Report

September 8, 2016
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With rain and cooler temperatures by weeks end, look for salmon to be heading into the river systems.  Those fishing lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior are catching trout and salmon.  On the inland lakes, anglers are catching bluegills, crappie, perch, bass, pike, rock bass and some walleye.  

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  Anglers are bringing in good catches of yellow perch and the fish are beginning to move shallower.  Most are using perch rigs or spreaders with minnows near the bottom in 20 to 23 feet near Buoys 1 & 2 of the River Raisin, out from Bolles Harbor near the E-Buoy and straight out from Stony Point in 21 to 25 feet.  Largemouth bass were caught around the rocks near Bolles Harbor and Sterling State Park’s Army Corps of Engineers Pier with tube baits, lizards and various crank baits.  Shore anglers fishing the lagoons at Sterling State Park caught largemouth bass on curly tail jigs and small bluegills, rock bass, and channel cats crawlers.  Rock bass and freshwater drum were caught near Pointe Mouillee.  

Detroit River:  Those targeting bass found a few fish along the weed beds in the early morning or evening.  Yellow perch fishing was still slow but some were taken on perch rigs with shiners around the islands and down near the mouth.  Catfish have also been caught.  

Oakland County:  Bass fishing slowed on both Cass and Union Lake.  Those doing the best were fishing the weed lines in eight to 12 feet.  Though catch rates were inconsistent, Union Lake was producing some nice bluegills.  Those trolling harnesses or crank baits caught few walleye but good numbers of pike, rock bass and panfish.  

Lake St. Clair:  Those fishing the southern part caught smallmouth bass in 18 feet near the Dumping Grounds when casting gray and purple tube jigs.  Fish were also caught in 18 to 20 feet near the South Channel and in front of the 400 Club when drop-shotting green, pumpkin and watermelon lures or when drifting crawlers and spinners.  Some large perch and a couple walleye were taken in 18 feet north of the St. Clair light with a crawler harness.  On the north end, fishing was slower with only a few large or smallmouth bass caught in Bouvier Bay in three to eight feet while casting spinners, when drop-shotting tube baits around Brandenburg or casting crank baits near Selfridge.  A couple smallmouth were caught between the purple building and the water tower on the west side of Anchor Bay in 12 feet.  Pike were caught around Grassy Island.  A few yellow perch and bluegills were caught about a half mile out from Selfridge when drifting worms over the weed beds. 

St. Clair River:   A few walleye were caught in the Middle Channel in 18 feet of water while a trolling purple and chartreuse crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers but many were undersize.  

Lexington to Port Sanilac:  Boat anglers heading out reported spotty catch rates with only a few lake trout, steelhead and walleye caught.  Fish were scattered throughout the water column in 50 to 120 feet and hitting on orange spoons.  

Grindstone City:  Those heading straight north found lake trout, steelhead, walleye and pink salmon in 100 to 140 feet.  The lake was stirred up because of windy conditions so there was no specific thermocline and the fish were scattered.  One boat traveled 35 miles north to the Yankee Reef and caught lake trout when vertical jigging large silver or chartreuse spoons instead of trolling.  


Saginaw Bay:  Perch fishing was pretty much all anyone was doing.  The hot spot was between the Saganing and Pinconning Bars in 14 to 16 feet.  Boats were launching at either Eagle Bay or Gambil’s Marina.  Other good spots included the Black Hole, Sailboat Buoys A, B, D, or G, along the shipping channel at Buoy 22 and the two buoys past Spoils Island.  Most fish were 8 to 10 inches.  

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  Had good salmon fishing for those trolling in 100 to 130 feet.  Those trolling the piers also caught a decent number of fish on spoons and J-plugs.  Pier anglers caught salmon and steelhead on shrimp and crawlers under a bobber or when casting spoons.  Perch fishing was slow as the fish were scattered in 10 to 60 feet. 


St. Joseph River:  Was producing some salmon for those trolling spoons.  

South Haven:  Salmon fishing was slow.   A few were caught on spoons in 100 feet however most of the fish taken were steelhead and lake trout.  Pier fishing was slow and perch fishing was slow.    

Black River:  Those trolling did manage to catch a few salmon on spoons.

Grand Haven:  Boat anglers caught salmon when trolling the channel and out in front of the piers.  Most were taken 25 to 65 feet down in 110 to 180 feet with orange, green and blue spoons.  Pier anglers caught salmon and a couple steelhead when casting spoons or still-fishing with alewives.  

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Anglers are picking up a few salmon and steelhead near the Sixth Street Dam with spawn, spinners, thunder sticks, flies and Cleo’s.  A fair to good number of catfish have also been caught.  

Rogue River:  Anglers have caught a couple trout and salmon.  

Wabasis Lake:  In Kent County was producing bluegills.  For crappie try minnows.  The perch bite usually improves during the month of September.     

Grand River at Lansing:  While some are starting to target salmon others are still targeting bass, catfish and even crappie.  Check below the dams for bass or the occasional walleye.   

Muskegon:  Those trolling in and near the harbor caught a few salmon on plugs.  Those trolling the top 70 feet in 100 to 200 feet also caught fish on orange and green spoons with white flies.  Pier anglers caught a few salmon when casting glow spoons.  

Whitehall:  Anglers caught salmon 30 to 60 feet down in 60 to 120 feet with green plugs and meat rigs.  Pier anglers caught a couple salmon when casting spoons or jigging.  

White Lake:  Anglers are catching bluegills and perch in 12 to 25 feet with perch and crappie rigs tipped with a wax worm.  

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Mackinaw City:  Fishing slowed as most of the large Chinook were moving past Mackinac Island to their staging areas.  A few smaller Chinook and pink salmon were taken spoons.  Lake trout fishing was still good for those using dodgers and spin-glo’s in the area.  

Cheboygan:  A few boat anglers had some good catches of Chinook salmon caught when trolling from the Cheboygan River to a half mile out near the shipping channel.  A lot of boats got zero to three fish and many struggled.  Most were taken in 40 to 90 feet with J-plugs, flashers and flies or the occasional spoon.  A few lake trout and pink salmon were caught by those traveling further out to Spectacle Reef and Cordwood Point.    A good number of bigger pike were caught by those bass fishing or trolling for salmon between the mouth of the river and the Coast Guard Station.  

Cheboygan River:  Still has only a few Chinook salmon present.  A couple fish were taken on body baits but the majority were taken by those drifting skein.  Some caught a few walleye, rock bass, smallmouth bass, bullhead, longnose gar and catfish. Smallmouth bass numbers are lower than most expect this time of year and the fish were smaller 14 to 16 inches.  

Mullett Lake:  Walleye fishing picked up and those targeting the “Humps” area did well when trolling when trolling a crawler harness and body baits on the bottom.  Hot colors were green, chartreuse, pink and silver crawler harnesses.  Perch fishing picked up as well with some getting 10 to 20 keepers per trip when using minnows and worms in Pigeon River Bay.  Steelhead fishing was slow with one or two fish per trip.  

Rogers City:  Boat anglers should have a great week for fishing as south, southwest and southeast winds will push the thermocline up higher in the water column.  Chinook are staging off Swan Bay but still out in deeper water.  Try 50 to 90 feet with lines run throughout the water column an hour before sunrise and after dark.  Calcite, Swan Bay and Adams Point were good places to use spoons, J-plugs, flashers with squid, flies and cut bait or spoons.  Hot colors were green, blue, orange, black and white, purple and glow for a mixed bag of trout, salmon and walleye.  

Presque Isle:  Cold water arrived and anglers were getting a mixed bag of salmon, steelhead, lake trout, and walleye.  The salmon are coming very early before daylight or late in the evening.  Lakers and everything else were caught throughout the water column with spoons, J-plugs, flashers with squid, flies and cut bait in the same colors as Rogers City.  Try 50 to 120 feet north of the harbor between the lighthouses and south towards Stoneport and False Presque Isle.  

Higgins Lake:  Lake trout were caught in 85 to 100 feet.  Fish were marked along the bottom and about 20 feet up.  Try meat rigs with live bait, cowbells and dodgers.  Lots of rock bass are still being caught.  

Houghton Lake:  Walleye were caught along the weed beds in 12 feet when trolling a harness with crawlers or leeches.  Good bluegill action along the weeds in nine feet with leaf worms, leeches or wax worms.  Some nice crappie were caught on pink and purple jigs with minnows.  Bass fishing continues throughout the lake.  

Tawas:  Had very good walleye and steelhead fishing with spoons and crank baits in 50 to 60 feet off the Crib at Alabaster and lakeward of Buoy #2.  Fishing was slow for both pier and river anglers.  

Au Gres:  Those trolling for walleye found a few fish north of Big Charity Island.  Perch fishing has taken center stage with some good catches in 31 feet around the Steeples, 40 to 59 feet near the NOAA Weather Buoy and 40 to 50 feet south and southeast of the hotel on Point Au Gres.  

Au Gres River:  Some perch were caught in the lower river however anglers were doing a lot of sorting.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey:  Was producing Chinook and coho.  Most boats were fishing in front of the breakwall to Bay Harbor.  Salmon were caught 40 to 70 feet down in 100 to 120 feet. Lake trout were caught 100 feet down or more.  Green spoons with cut bait seemed to work best.  Pier anglers are now targeting salmon in the early morning or at night with spawn bags and worms.  

Bear River:  Fishing was slow with the lower levels and the warm water temperatures.  Anglers are waiting for colder temps and some rain, which usually increases salmon activity below the dam.  A couple rock bass and very small steelhead and brown trout were caught on spawn bags and worms near the dam.   

Charlevoix:  Boat anglers were catching salmon and lake trout when they can get out.  Lake trout were about 110 feet down and the salmon up higher between North Point and the cement plant.  Water temperatures were cooling at the deeper depths.  Smallmouth fishing in the channel was hit-or-miss for those using worms and leeches.  

Traverse City:  Anglers targeting smallmouth did well south of the M-37 launch in the East Bay with most averaging between one and three pounds.  Salmon were caught along the drop at the south end near Acme.  Chinook, coho and lake trout were caught near Deepwater Point.  On the West Bay, salmon were caught in front of the Boardman River when trolling or jigging.  Chinook, coho and lake trout were caught near the white walls or south of the M-22 launch.  A couple fish showed up in the river and were caught near the Union Street Dam.  Smallmouth bass, some planter rainbows and a few perch were also caught. 

Platte River:  The lower weir is up and running and staff have already started passing fish.  There were reports of schools of fish near the mouth of the river.  

Manistee:  Surface water readings were about 69 degrees.  Chinook were caught closer to shore in 50 to 90 feet.  Some were caught off the piers and in the channel.  Dredging continues.  

Manistee Lake:  Anglers were taking a good number of bluegills and sunfish with worms and crawlers.  The buoys have been put in near the Stronach launch.  These buoys mark the area where anglers are not allowed to fish which is from the buoys to the mouth of the Little Manistee River.  

Big Manistee River:  Had a decent number of salmon that have moved up into the river.  Those putting in extra time were the ones taking fish.  Most were caught on crank baits in the deeper holes along the lower river.  

Ludington:  Chinook salmon were caught up close in 50 to 90 feet.  A couple steelhead were taken in 150 feet.  

Pere Marquette River:  Had a push of salmon.  Those fishing the deeper holes have caught fish.  Look for more fish to move in with the rain and cooler temperatures.   

Pentwater:  Salmon were caught 30 to 60 feet down in 60 to 100 feet with orange and green spoons or blue and green plugs.  

Pentwater Lake:  Anglers caught crappie in 10 to 20 feet with a slip bobber and perch minnows.

Upper Peninsula

Menominee River:  Continues to produce walleye.  Shore anglers are fishing crank baits on the bottom.  Pike, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum and crappie were also caught.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye were caught in the Stonington area when trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses in 18 to 35 feet.  Those caught between the Second and Third Reefs were smaller.  Fair to good pike catches for those using spoons, spinners and crank baits around Butler Island and north to the head of the Bay in eight to 14 feet.  Perch fishing was spotty with a few caught near the green buoy by the Day’s River in 18 to 25 feet, Gladstone beach area in 20 to 30 feet and south to the mouth of the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when using minnows along the break.  

Big Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers reported very little action as smallmouth bass have moved in to the Round Island area.  Those targeting them reported fair to good catches between Ripley Shoals and Round Island with minnows, crawlers, plastics and spinners in 10 to 14 feet.  The head of the Bay and Ogontz had mostly undersize fish while those fishing Garden Bluff caught bigger but fewer fish.  

Marquette: Had good lake trout fishing with many getting limit catches near the white rocks and Granite Island.  Very few coho were caught.  Anglers are starting to make their way to the rivers.  A few salmon were caught in the Carp and the Chocolay Rivers with crawlers, spinners and spawn.  No reports of any salmon in the Dead River, only a couple pike and smallmouth bass caught.  

St. Ignace:  Had a good number of lake trout along with a few Chinook and pink salmon being caught by those trolling around Mackinac Island and in front of St. Ignace.  Lake trout were caught on everything but dodgers and spin-glo’s worked best.  Most of the larger fish that are going to spawn this year are now staging in St. Martins Bay and getting ready to run up the Carp River, Pine River and Nunn’s Creek.  Very few sport anglers are targeting the salmon here and anyone that does would need to keep watch for the commercial nets because there are a lot of them in the bay right now.  There has not been a good push of Chinook or pink salmon into the Carp River yet but it could be any day at this point.  A few perch along with some walleye and pike are still being caught in the Carp River.  Most pike are coming on artificial body baits and spoons while the perch and walleye are coming on crawlers and body baits.  

Fishing Tip: Fall crappie fishing...difficult, but not impossible

Although plentiful and easy to fish for in the summer, crappie can be difficult to target as the weather cools off. Difficult…but not impossible. 

One thing anglers should do is look for good water as crappie can be found in areas with higher oxygen content. For instance, target spots where streams dump into the lake or areas where the lake has yet to turn over. You could also head towards locations where the wind and waves are strongest. 

Another thing for anglers to remember is to pay attention to the weather. When it’s very sunny out crappie will stick close to the bottom, but when it’s cloudy they’re likely to be within a few feet of the surface. 

And lastly, try a variety of baits when you’re out crappie fishing. These should include bright, flashy lures during poor visibility and live bait during periods of lake turnover. It’s hard for crappie to turn down a jig tipped with a minnow.

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