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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