Northeast Lower Peninsula
Cheboygan: Anglers caught a mix of Chinook, Atlantics, lake trout and walleye. A Chinook over 28 pounds was caught recently. Fish were caught when trolling spoons, flies and cut bait between Lighthouse Point and Lafayette Point off Bois Blanc Island, near Round Island, Mackinac Island and along the Straits.
Cheboygan River: Is producing smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish and walleye for those drifting worms or leeches. Most of the smallmouth bass were undersize but the catfish were 12-15 pounds and the walleye were 15-19 inches. There is one chute open at the dam and water levels were still high.
Rogers City: Is producing a mix of Chinook, coho, Atlantics, lake trout, steelhead and walleye in 50 to 160 feet. The baitfish seem to be around structure, find them and you will find active fish. There also seems to be a good number of young smelt higher in the water column. Anglers are deploying downriggers, lead core and copper dipsey divers with spoons, flies, squid and cut bait. Fishing was better when the thermocline was 40 to 60 feet down. Chinook were caught very early of late evening. Good numbers of walleye were also caught.
Presque Isle: Those heading out five to eight miles were getting a mix of trout and salmon on downriggers, lead core and copper dipsey divers with spoons, flies, squid and cut bait. Hot colors were green, blue, orange, black and white or glow early and late. Chinook were caught very early before sunrise and well after sundown.
Alpena: Lake trout, steelhead, and the odd Chinook, coho or pink salmon were caught when trolling spoons with or without attractors and flasher/fly combos in 90 to 170 feet along the “Humps” off Thunder Bay Island and near the Nordmeer Wreck. Lake trout were caught throughout the column using downriggers, divers, lead or copper line while salmon and steelhead were found at or above the thermocline. Walleye were hit-or-miss for those trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses. The fish were suspended halfway down or near the bottom in 20 to 40 feet off North Shore, North Point or south towards Scarecrow Island and the Black River. They appear to be feeding on the late bug hatches and gobies. Walleye were also caught by those trolling spoons in the top 30 of waters 80 feet or deeper. A few northern pike, channel cats and freshwater drum were caught in the bay when trolling a crawler harness or casting crank baits. Those spearing found freshwater drum and carp in Squaw Bay and around the islands.
Thunder Bay River: Walleye fishing slowed however the occasional small fish was caught in the evening by those still-fishing crawlers or casting crank baits near the dam. A couple big channel cats along with smallmouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch and freshwater drum were taken on crawlers and leeches. Those trolling crank baits near the mouth caught walleye or pike but most of the walleye were sublegal.
Harrisville: A couple walleye were taken in the early morning or evening when trolling crank baits or walleye spoons in 25 to 40 feet in the harbor and off the Black River. Oscoda: Lake trout, walleye, steelhead and the occasional young salmon were taken on spoons, meat rigs and a dodger/fly combo. Hot colors were green, blue, orange, black, gold and UV colors. Salmon and steelhead were caught in 80 to 120 feet straight out from the river and south towards Tawas Point in 150 to 190 feet. Lake trout were in the bottom 25 feet. Steelhead, walleye and the odd salmon were caught at the thermocline or above it. Pier anglers caught channel cats, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, rock bass and the odd walleye on crawlers.
Au Sable River: Those fishing the lower river below Foote Dam caught smallmouth bass and the odd walleye on crawlers, leeches and streamer flies in the deeper shaded holes. Freshwater drum and bowfin were taken on crawlers. Those casting crank baits or spinners caught a couple northern pike. Below the Mio Dam, the river cooled from the 70’s to the upper 60’s. Brown trout and rainbow trout should be feeding more actively with better survival for those doing catch and release. Late summer can be a good time to fish terrestrial and streamer patterns for trout. Pike and smallmouth bass were caught in Alcona Pond when casting buzz baits and crank baits or jigging blade baits and soft plastics near the drop-offs, weed lines and structure.
Higgins Lake: Lake trout were found on the bottom in 100 to 110 feet. Anglers are trolling spoons or jigging Swedish pimples, cast masters and sand kickers. A few bigger perch were starting to show up, but most were still on the small side. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass and lots of rock bass.
Houghton Lake: A few walleye were caught along the weed lines in eight to 12 feet. The trick was to keep a fresh worm on. For bluegill, no big numbers but some big fish had been caught. The fish were scattered in six to 12 feet. Those using a fly rod on the calm days or dropping a worm over the side of the boat seemed to do better. Hot colors were chartreuse, lime green and pearl. Purple was a good color for bass.
Tawas: Those trolling near Buoys 4 & 6 caught a fair number of walleye with lindy rigs and crawlers in 15 to 25 feet. A few small perch were also caught. Others caught walleye on the north side of Big Charity Island in 20 to 30 feet with crawlers, spoons and crank baits. Boats trolling out past Tawas Point in 70 to 90 feet caught steelhead, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon and walleye about 40 feet down with spoons. Mayfly hatches are ongoing. Pier anglers casting or still-fishing crawlers caught largemouth bass, rock bass and small perch.
Tawas River: Those still-fishing with crawler were getting a few catfish.
Au Gres: Catch rates slowed a bit. Boat anglers reported lots of baitfish and large mayfly hatches on the warmer nights. Most walleye were caught in 20 to 30 feet with crawlers, spoons and crank baits. A few incidental perch were also caught. Good walleye fishing was reported south towards the Saganing and Pinconning Bars with limit catches taken on crawlers in 13 to 20 feet.
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