Saturday, August 19, 2023

8/16/23 Southeast Lower Michigan DNR Fishing Report


Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Yellow perch fishing was decent out in the dumping grounds on the northwest side in around 17 feet of water. Anglers were catching yellow perch anchored using minnows around a foot off the bottom. Walleye were reported to have somewhat come back in deeper waters near the Michigan-Ohio line straight out from the Sterling State Park boat launch. Anglers were having success trolling crawler harnesses. Smallmouth bass were elusive lately, but largemouth bass were caught on artificial lures in the channels out of Bolles Harbor and at the hot ponds.

  • If you're planning on fishing out of Sterling State Park or the Brest Bay area you can pick up tackle from the nice people at Jeff's Bait & Tackle

  • If you're planning on fishing any of the canals near Lake Erie Metro Park or Point Mouillee State Game Area you can get all of your bait & tackle needs met at  Bottom Line Bait & Tackle.

Lake St. Clair: Walleye were caught while trolling crawler harnesses or using swim jigs. Some locations were producing walleye near Anchor Bay, New Baltimore, Strawberry Island, and straight out from the Clinton River. Depths to target were in 10 to14 feet of water and some walleye were even caught in 8 feet of water. Large smallmouth were caught on dropshot baits, tubes, and live minnows near the St. Clair lighthouse and along the metro flats straight out from the St. Clair Metro Park. Yellow perch were also caught near the St. Clair lighthouse in 18 to 20 feet of water using live minnows or while trolling using crawler harnesses at a slow speed.

  • For a more accurate report on Saginaw Bay I suggest taking a look at the weekly Saginaw Bay Fishing Report given to you by

Saginaw Bay: Yellow perch were caught in 10 to 12 feet of water out in front of Gambill’s Marina. A few yellow perch were starting to bite on both worms and minnows while using perch rigs. Bass anglers were catching some smallmouth bass in the lower part of the Saginaw River. There was little activity on the east side of the bay due to the wind and rain. An occasional walleye was caught out in the slot around 14 to 15 feet of water on both body baits and crawlers. Only a few boat anglers tried for perch from Quanicassee to Sebewaing and reported slow fishing. 

Port Sanilac: A few walleye were caught in Port Sanilac while trolling straight out in 90 feet of water and fishing deep. Anglers reported that they could not find a temperature break anywhere which made fishing difficult.

Port Austin: Walleye were caught in a little deeper water, 50 to 60 feet with mostly lures.

Harbor Beach: A few anglers were heading out to 160 to 170 feet of water for salmon and trout using downriggers with spoons. Anglers reported bringing in a good mix of lake trout, steelhead, coho and a few Chinook salmon. Walleye were scattered with most caught in 60 to 80 feet trolling with artificial lures. Smallmouth bass were caught inside the harbor from boat anglers casting lures; tubes were used a lot.

Below are links to bait shop listings organized by county:  

Your area may not be listed within this fishing report so below is a list of links to pages in Southeast Michigan to help guide you to public lakes in your county.

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