Friday, September 16, 2016

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report: September 15, 2016

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Weekly Fishing Report

September 15, 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

Windy conditions on the Great Lakes were preventing boat anglers from getting out.  The waters of Lake Michigan turned over with the strong winds and fish were caught closer to shore in 40 to 80 feet.   Salmon runs are just getting started and will only get better as the temperatures drop. 

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  Had good perch fishing with several anglers reporting limit catches.  Anglers are using minnows on perch rigs, crappie rigs and spreaders in 22 to 24 feet near Buoys 1 & 2 of the River Raisin, 20 to 23 feet near the E-Buoy and in 23 to 25 feet off Stony Point.  Perch anglers also caught white perch, freshwater drum, and a few walleye.  Shore anglers at Sterling State Park caught bluegills, largemouth bass and freshwater drum on crawlers.  Those bow fishing the marsh and lagoons at Sterling harvested longnose gar and carp.  Shore anglers at the Hoffman Memorial access site on La Plaisance Creek caught bluegills and sunfish on crawlers and jumbo panfish with worms under a bobber or drop-shotting.   

Detroit River:  Anglers were starting to catch some decent yellow perch around Celeron Island and Sugar Island.  Those doing the best were using emerald shiners.  Those jigging have caught a few walleye.  Smallmouth bass can be found throughout. 

Oakland County:  Some good size bluegills were caught in deep water on Union Lake.  Anglers did best floating a wax worm or drifting crawlers.  On Cass Lake, fishing overall has remained steady with pike, walleye and bass caught around the shallow weed lines and the sunken islands.  For smallmouth, try top water baits along the flats in the early morning.  A few good catches of panfish were also reported.   

Lake St. Clair:  Water temperatures were 74 degrees in shallow water and 70 out deeper.  Smallmouth bass have been caught near the mouth of the Detroit River when casting soft plastics, in 10 to 15 feet around the Mile Roads and the stretch from the Clinton River Cut Off launch when casting purple or golden shiner tube baits.   Largemouth bass were caught in six to 10 feet around the Mile Roads.  Yellow perch fishing was decent out by the St. Clair Light and Buoy 31 in 18 feet while still-fishing with perch rigs and emerald shiners however move around to locate schools of fish.  Large muskie were spotted in four to eight feet around the spillway near the Clinton River Cutoff.  These fish are not biting but those caught were taken on white lures because of the murky water.  Channel cats were caught when drifting crawlers on the bottom.  Bluegills were caught just outside the canal to Metro in 10 feet while casting lead head jigs with wax worms in the weed beds and around docks.  On the north end, walleye were caught when trolling a crawler harness from the mouth of the Clinton River to Strawberry Island but check your line constantly to keep the weeds off.  

St. Clair River:   Northern pike have been caught in the Middle Channel in 10 feet with rattle traps and spinners around the docks and weed beds. Anglers have caught smallmouth bass at the mouth of the North Channel.  

Harbor Beach:  The water was stirred up but once it settles back down anglers will want to try 80 to 135 feet near the color lines for steelhead.  Use bright colored spoons in 160 feet.  For salmon, try spoons 25 to 90 feet down.  Lake trout were hitting on dodgers and spin-glo’s near the bottom or spoons 60 to 120 feet down.  Blue, green orange and purple were good colors.  A few walleye were taken on spoons, thunder sticks and crawler harnesses in 50 to 120 feet.  Some good size bass were caught by those casting small spinner and body baits close to shore.  

Saginaw Bay:  The area between the Saganing Bar and the Pinconning Bars continues to be the perch hot-spot for the inner bay.  This area can be accessed from Eagle Bay Marina on the north end or Gambil’s Marina on the south end.  Perch were also caught near sailboat buoy D, the Black Hole, the Spark Plug, northeast of Spoils Island and along the shipping channel near Buoys 18 & 22.  A few perch were caught in eight to 10 feet straight off the mouth of the Quanicassee River.   

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  Weather has hampered fishing and few boats were able to get out.  Perch fishing was very slow and pier fishing was slow.  

St. Joseph River:  Those trolling have caught a few salmon on spoons. 

South Haven:  Very few boats were able to fish this week due to the poor weather.    Pier fishing was very slow this week.   Pressure was also very low.   Perch fishing was very slow this week.  

Kalamazoo River:  Night anglers caught catfish on crawlers and cut bait near Comstock.  Salmon have moved closer to the river mouth as fish were caught out in 40 to 80 feet.  A fair number of steelhead were caught off the mouth of Swan Creek when using crawlers under a bobber or drifting yarn on the bottom.    

Black River:  There is a few salmon being caught by anglers trolling spoons.   

Grand Haven:  Boat anglers found trout and salmon 35 to 100 feet down in 80 to 180 feet with orange, blue and green spoons as well as white or green flies.  Pier anglers caught coho on glow spoons or live bait.   

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Had a small surge of coho up near the 6th Street Dam.  Some fish were caught by shore anglers and others were taken by those trolling plugs.  

Muskegon:  When the weather allows, trout and salmon were caught by boat anglers fishing 45 to 100 feet down in 100 to 200 feet with orange or green spoons.  

Whitehall:  Boat anglers caught salmon 30 to 70 feet down in 70 to 140 feet.  Pier anglers also caught a few salmon when casting glow spoons or jigs.  

White Lake:  Bluegill and perch fishing was good in 15 to 25 feet near the drop-offs.  Try fishing near the bottom using wax worms or red worms.

White River:   Chinook are starting to make their way up into the river and were entering Oceana County at Skeels Road.  

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Mackinaw City:  Anglers report good numbers of lake trout along with some pink salmon and smaller Chinook around Mackinac Island.  Most of the lake trout were caught on dodgers with spin-glo’s and the salmon on spoons.  

Cheboygan:  Boat anglers caught a few Chinook and pink salmon when trolling between the Cheboygan River and the shipping channel.  Try a mix of spoons, J-plugs and a flasher/fly combo.  

Cheboygan River:  Had a few more salmon in it but catch rates remained on the slow side with only a few fish caught each day.  Most are using skein, glow spoons and body baits early or late.  The water is still very warm.  Smallmouth bass, walleye and pike were also caught but most were undersize.  

Rogers City:  Weather is becoming an issue as stability has been affected with the changing winds and cold fronts.  Chinook salmon are being caught in front of Swan Bay on a regular basis.  No numbers in the bay yet but a few were moving in and out.  Fish were caught in 45 to 90 feet with J-plugs and attractors or flashers with flies, squid and cut bait.  When the water is cold, spoons worked better.  Hot colors were still green, blue, purple, white, black or glow early or late.  Anglers are still getting lake trout, pink salmon, walleye and the stray Atlantic salmon.  A fair number of younger Chinook were caught deeper near the temperature break.  Those fishing Forty Mile Point caught a mix of Atlantic, pink and Chinook salmon, lake trout and walleye.  

Presque Isle:  Had great lake trout fishing in the bottom 10 feet of waters 70 to 120 feet deep when using big attractors with flies and squid or cowbells and dodgers with spin-glo’s.   Those targeting salmon were in 45 to 70 feet between the lighthouses and Stoneport.  Try spoons, J-plugs or attractors with flies, squid and cut bait in the top half of the water column.  Good colors were green, blue, black and white, purple or anything that glows early and late.  

Thunder Bay River:  Salmon were starting to show up near the Ninth Street Dam.  Anglers were using Cleo’s, rattletraps and stick baits.    

West Twin Lake:  In Montmorency County was producing a good number of walleye.  

Black River:  Anglers reported a good number of brook trout on portions in both Montmorency and Otsego County.  

Lake Margrethe:  Some large bluegills were caught in 16 feet.      

Higgins Lake:  Lake trout were still hitting in 80 to 100 feet.  Perch anglers found some fish in 50 feet.  Try near the islands.  

Houghton Lake:  Had good panfish action.  Try leaf worms, leeches or wax worms.  Some have caught the occasional walleye when slow trolling with crawlers or leeches on a harness.  

Lake St. Helen:  Was producing northern pike and panfish.    

Tawas:  Those trolling anywhere from 21 feet off the Crib at Alabaster to 35 to 60 feet out beyond Buoy #2 were getting a mix of walleye and steelhead on body baits.  Some walleye and perch were taken along the weed beds off Jerry’s Marina but the perch anglers were still doing a lot of sorting to get a mess of eaters.  The minnow situation was improving with most bait shops now carrying shiners.         

Tawas River:  Was producing a few channel cats and freshwater drum on crawlers.  Rumor has it a couple salmon were caught but the reports were not verified.  

Au Gres:  Perch anglers were going to the Steeples north of Big Charity Island in 35 to 40 feet, the NOAA weather buoy in 40 feet or more and south of the hotel on Pointe Au Gres in 35 to 40 feet.  Fish were caught but anglers were sorting out lots of small ones.  

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs:  Anglers caught lake trout about 120 feet down near Harbor Point.  Some caught lake trout and a couple salmon around Seven Mile Point.  

Petoskey:  Boat anglers picked up lake trout and the occasional salmon.  The salmon were caught 40 to 45 feet down but the wind blew warm water back into Little Traverse Bay and the fish were 70 to 80 feet down.  The surface temperature was near 70 degrees and the thermocline was reported at 110 to 120 feet.  Lake trout were caught 100 to 140 feet down.  Most were using spoons but some did well with cut bait.  Pier anglers were targeting salmon with glow spoons before sunrise.  Fish were hooked but they had a hard time landing them.  

Bear River:  The water level was much higher and more anglers were out trying to catch salmon, but only a couple fish were landed near the dam.  Most were using spawn bags and flies.  

Charlevoix:  Boat fishing was slow but some did pick up a couple lake trout, Chinook or coho salmon.  The lake trout were 100 to 110 feet down and the salmon were 50 to 60 feet down.  Try spoons and a flasher/fly combo.  Those fishing the channel were targeting smallmouth bass but landing a legal size fishwas hit-or-miss.  Try real or artificial worms.  A few were casting glow spoons for salmon after dark.  The Weir at Medusa Creek is in place, which means the creek and an area of Lake Michigan in a radius of 100 feet from the mouth of Medusa Creek is closed to fishing.   

Traverse City:  Salmon anglers have been catching a mix of coho and Chinook on both bays early in the morning and before dusk.  On the East Bay, a few salmon, lake trout and lake herring were caught at the south end and off Elk Rapids.  The Elk River is slow however a few salmon have made it to the dam.  On the West Bay, fish are still being marked and caught in front of Clinch Park.  

Boardman River:  Remains slow however salmon anglers have hooked a few fish at the dam.  As a reminder, the weir grates have been put in the river and fishing is closed 300 feet upstream and downstream of the weir. 


Frankfort:  Chinook are in full run mode.  Those trolling have landed good numbers of good size fish in Betsie Bay.  Pier anglers have caught coho on glow spoons throughout

the day.  Those heading north to Platte Bay reported good numbers of coho when casting and jigging.  

Betsie River:  Anglers were landing a good number of Chinook salmon downstream of the Homestead Dam with spawn, spoons and jigs and stick baits.  Most of the fish were caught in the slower water and in pools under structure.  

Portage Lake:  Those trolling the shoreline in the early morning caught a few coho on spoons.  Coho were also reported in the channel.  

Manistee:  Dredging continues in the harbor so boat anglers should be cautious around the equipment.  Chinook salmon slowed but a few were still being caught in 50 to 70 feet.  Coho and lake trout have come into the same depths.  Chinook were caught in the channel.  

Manistee Lake:  Anglers were doing well catching a decent number of seven to nine inch bluegills and pumpkinseeds on crawlers and leaf worms.  Those trolling for salmon were limited as most are nowfishing up in the river.  

Big Manistee River:  Chinook and coho salmon have reached Tippy Dam in good numbers, but anglers are having a hard time getting them to hit.  Anglers had slightly better success above the coffer dam on the Consumers Energy side with a mix of everything from spawn to crankbaits and spinners.  Fishingbetween High Bridge and Bear Creek has been slow with the exception of a few Kings caught out of the mouth of Pine Creek.  The bite was steady east of Bear Creek in the lower section.  Those anchored in the deeper holes and casting crankbaits did best in the morning.  

Ludington: Surface temperature readings were about 63 degrees.  Chinook and coho were still being caught in 50 to 90 feet.  Chinook were caught in the channel as well.  At night, walleye were caught off the piers.  

Pere Marquette River:  A fair amount of fish have moved up into the main tributaries but only a small portion of those fish have made their way into the smaller tributaries.  

Pentwater:  Salmon fishing has been slow, but a few were caught 30 to 70 feet down in 80 to 165 feet.  Pier anglers caught a few salmon and the occasional steelhead in the

early morning or late evening when casting spoons or jigs. 

Pentwater Lake:  Anglers have caught a few smallmouth bass and pike in the channel while casting crank baits or drifting minnows.

Pentwater River:  Chinook were starting to enter the river from Pentwater Lake.

Upper Peninsula

Keewanaw Bay:  South winds kept the lake trout out in deeper water.  A few coho showed up 40 to 60 feet down in 120 feet around the bay and near Sand Point.  A Chinook and brown trout were also caught.  Anglers were trolling glow spoons and a flasher/fly combo.   

Lake Gogebic:  Fishing was good with some reporting limit catches of walleye when trolling crawler harnesses and stick baits or bobber fishing with crawlers, leeches and minnows especially in Bergland Bay.  A decent number of perch and pumpkinseed were caught in the weed beds.   

Michigamme Reservoir:  Anglers caught a few walleye and some panfish near the Way Dam.    

Menominee River:  The walleye bite remains fair for those trolling very early morning or evenings from Stephenson Island to the mouth.  No reports of salmon yet. 

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers reported fair catches.  The better action was still in the southern waters.  Fish were caught from Stonington south to the “Fingers” when trolling crawlers or stick baits in 18 to 26 feet.  Anglers near Kipling reported lots of undersize fish caught in 22 feet.  Several good catches of perch were reported in the Nelsons Bay area with minnows in seven to 12 feet and fair catches at the mouth of the Escanaba Yacht Harbor along the break.  The better smallmouth action was just south of the Black Bottom in 12 to 20 feet and along the east shore past Stonington in eight to 20 feet.  Good pike action between the Day’s River and Butler Island when trolling or casting spinners, spoons and crank baits in eight to 16 feet.  No significant salmon reports for the rivers yet but it won’t be long with the cooler temperatures.   

Big Bay De Noc:  Look for good smallmouth bass fishing as fish are being marked in the southern waters.  The better fishing was from Ripley Shoal out to Round Island when casting crank baits, plastics or spinners in eight to 16 feet.  Some were also drifting minnows.  Fair catches were also reported near Garden Bluff in 12 to 25 feet. 

Manistique River:  Had some Chinook salmon starting to move in. 

Manistique Lakes:  Were producing some perch.      

Marquette:  When they can get out, boat anglers caught lake trout in 140 to 180 feet near the white rocks.  Boat anglers fishing the mouth of the Chocolay River caught a few pike but no salmon.  Some have reported salmon in the Carp River and the Dead River but there has been no confirmation of anyfish harvested.  

Munising:  Surface water temperatures remain at 66 degrees and were in the low 50’s about 80 feet down.  A few splake were caught on the Anna River dock with spawn sacs.   

St. Marys River:  When both the Government Powerhouse and the Cloverland Powerhouse were down recently, there was no current keeping the pink salmon consolidated in one area like usual.  Most anglers were getting between one and four fish per trip.  Those drifting in the St. Marys Rapids picked up a few pink salmon when the turbines were off.  Most fish were taken on white blade baits and Swedish pimples.  Walleye anglers trolling from the Soo Powerhouse down to the Aune-Osborn launch picked up a decent number of walleye when trolling crawler harnesses or stick baits inside the rock islands.  

Detour:  Anglers did take some limit catches of pink salmon when trolling 52 feet down in 60 to 80 feet.  Most were using a three inch spoons in gold or purple.  Along with the pinks anglers also caught a few Chinook and coho.  The best area for trolling for salmon this time of year is upstream from the Detour Lighthouse from the green buoy northwest of the lighthouse and back and then to the east to the red buoy on the Drummond Island side.  This enables anglers better boat control on windy days.  At Seymour Bay, two miles east of Detour Village off Hwy M-134, anglers reported smallmouth bass in the 16 to 18 inch class.  Anglers are casting blue and chrome weed less spoons from boats and shore.  Northeast of Detour Village at Pipe Island, walleye were caught by those trolling bottom bouncers with a 36 inch leader over the rock piles and under the underwater humps in 18 to 22 feet.  


Cedarville and Hessel:  Anglers out of Hessel caught smallmouth bass straight out from the Hessel Pier at Haven Island in the early morning.  The better fishing was on the windy days when jigging green and dark brown tube jigs in four to six feet.  Those targeting pike found fish in Wilderness Bay when trolling purple and gold crank baits or red and white spoons just off the weed beds.  Yellow perch fishing was very slow around the islands.  Cedarville Bay and Government Bay were good for seven to eight inch sunfish.  A few bluegills and rock bass were also taken.  Try small worms in five to seven feet.  Snows Channel reported lots of smaller pike and a few nice pike up to 31 inches caught when trolling crank baits or still-fishing with live chubs in early morning and late evening.  Moving west out of Snows Channel to Club Cut, a few walleye were caught adjacent to the golf course at Buoys 18 & 19 when drifting or slow trolling from the weed beds on the Marquette Island side back to the channel in eight to 12 feet.    


St. Ignace:  Anglers have caught good numbers of lake trout along with some pink and smaller Chinook around Mackinac Island.  Most of the lake trout were caught on dodgers with spin-glo’s and the salmon on spoons.  The salmon seem to be scattered at different depths with high lines and riggers both producingfish.  The Carp River has still not seen a big push of salmon yet.  The fish are still concentrated off the mouth of the river.  A few pike were caught by salmon anglers but most were undersize.  Chinook are also staging off the mouth of Nunn’s Creek.  There are still a lot of gill nets in St. Martin’s Bay and they are prevalent around the mouth of the Carp River and Nunn’s Creek.  

Fishing Tip: Using Trout Trails to really enjoy Michigan's fall fishing

Michigan’s autumn months can be an ideal time to hit a lake, river or stream for some fantastic fishing. For those who are eager to target trout, the department’s Trout Trails online application can be a helpful tool when planning a trip.

Trout Trails features biologist-verified trout waters that are often lesser known. The application currently features nearly 200 locations hitting many corners of the state; including the southeast, southwest and northern parts of the Lower Peninsula and the western and central parts of the Upper Peninsula.

Each location on the Trout Trails application features detailed descriptions and photos – with more locations being added each year it’s a great resource to bookmark to help you plan all your trout fishingtrips! 

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