Weekly Fishing Report – August 8, 2019

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Weekly Fishing Report – August 8, 2019

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Southwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report

 

Summer steelhead have been caught in a few rivers. On the inland lakes, walleye, bass, pike and panfish could be found along the weed beds and drop-offs.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Has a strong algae bloom on the Michigan side however anglers reported clearer water north of Stony Point. The walleye bite on the Michigan side has slowed. A couple fish were caught in front of Fermi but no limit catches. Bottom bouncing for walleye produced some big catfish. White bass, white perch and freshwater drum have also been caught. A few more yellow perch have started to show up, but the bite is still slow and most of the fish were under 10 inches. Smallmouth bass were caught along the reefs in Brest Bay and largemouth bass were taken by those casting along the rocks and shoreline. Overall fishing has been slow, especially with the warm water temperatures and ongoing algae bloom.

Detroit River: Walleye anglers are still getting a few fish. Perch fishing was spotty as anglers reported no big numbers. Most were targeting the weed beds around Sugar Island and the Cross Dike.

Lake St. Clair: Muskie were caught in front of Harley Ensign in six feet or in the south end of the lake in 20 feet. The best walleye action was near the Dumping Grounds and the shipping channel. Catch rates for bass were fair along the mile roads in 14 feet. Perch action was just beginning near Grosse Point.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout were caught in 200 feet or more straight out and north of the harbor. Target the top 100 feet with dodgers and spin-glo’s or spoons off downriggers. A couple steelhead were taken on bright colored spoons. Walleye were found in 30 to 70 feet straight out and north of the harbor with spoons, Hot-n-Tots or crawler harness. For bass, try casting small spoons or body baits close to shore.

Grindstone City: Walleye anglers reported eight fish per boat straight when trolling body baits in 20 feet.

Port Austin: Was slow however a couple walleye were taken on a crawler harness or Hot-n-Tot in 40 to 45 feet near the lighthouse.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught off Pinconning in 14 to 20 feet, Bay City State Park in 12 to 14 feet, and along the Old Dumping Grounds and Callahan Reef in 14 feet. Try crawlers, spoons or crank baits. Yellow perch are starting to show up near Sailboat Buoy-A and were caught on crawlers in eight to 10 feet. Those targeting walleye off Quanicassee and Sebewaing were covering a lot of water as the fish were scattered from 13 to 36 feet. A few limit catches were reported but most boats only had two or three fish per angler. The better fishing was found along the edge of the Slot in 15 to 17 feet and near the Charity Islands and Oak Beach area in 30 to 40 feet with a crawler harness or body bait.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Salmon fishing was slow but good numbers of lake trout were caught near the bottom in 80 feet. Perch fishing was not consistent but those caught were in 20 to 25 feet. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum with crawlers on the bottom.

South Haven: Boat anglers caught lake trout and the occasional steelhead with spin-glo’s in 90 feet. Perch fishing here was a little better south of the piers in 27 feet. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand Haven: Was producing a mix of trout and salmon in 110 to 180 feet. The lake trout were hitting green or yellow spin-glo’s on the bottom while the salmon were hitting glow spoons, green flies and meat rigs 50 to 120 feet down. Pier anglers caught large and smallmouth bass on tube jigs or freshwater drum when casting spoons. CAUTION: The Harbor Island Boat Launch parking lot was mostly underwater.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Was producing some steelhead for those using flies or floating a wax worm under a bobber or casting lures up near the dam. Flathead cats were hitting on live bluegill, chubs and shiners while channel cats were hitting on just about anything.

Rogue River: Was producing some steelhead for those floating a fly or wax worm over the deeper holes.

Grand River at Lansing: Was producing large and smallmouth bass. The better fishing has been near the dams in the early morning before it gets too warm.

Muskegon: Salmon and trout were caught 50 to 130 feet down in 100 to 180 feet. Green was a good color for flies and meat rigs. Try glow spoons in low light conditions. Pier anglers caught large and smallmouth bass.

Muskegon River: Water levels are down, and some parts of the river were becoming hard to navigate. Smallmouth bass were hitting crayfish and goby patterns. Those fishing Hardy Dam Pond were taking a few perch on shiners. Walleye were caught on bigger minnows or crawlers.

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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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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: Boat anglers caught lake trout and a couple nice Chinook salmon. The lake trout were picked up either 80 to 100 feet down or 120 to 130 feet down. The Chinook were found north of Harbor Point and were suspended in 130 to 140 feet. Try spoons and cut bait.

Petoskey: Lake trout were caught 125 feet down on the Harbor Springs side.

Bear River: Still had good flow but catch rates at the “Bobber Hole” and D Pier were slow with only smallmouth and rock bass caught. Those fishing the breakwall caught mostly undersize smallmouth bass.

Charlevoix: Those targeting salmon caught none. Lake trout were hitting spoons when trolling or jigging 80 to 125 feet down. Good smallmouth action in the channel. Some nice fish were caught however most were undersize. Try worms or leeches.

Traverse City: One boat trolling along the peninsula in the East Bay caught a Chinook salmon in the evening. Bass were found at various depths between eight and 40 feet in both the northern and southern areas of the bay. The Elk River was slow with only a couple smallmouth bass and panfish caught. In the West Bay, a couple salmon were caught when trolling in the hole out from the Boardman River in the early morning. Those targeting walleye had no luck. No recent reports of perch or cisco.

Frankfort: Several Chinook salmon 25 pounds or more were caught 40 to 120 feet down in 90 to 250 feet straight out and north of the port. There was plenty of baitfish in the area. Spoons and meat rigs worked best before daylight. Six Mile Hole is always a good bet for large lake trout when trolling spin-glo’s just off the bottom.

Onekama: Waters at the “Barrel” and in front of the golf course were starting to produce some good size Chinook salmon in the top 80 of waters 100 to 160 feet deep. Try meat rigs in the early morning.

Manistee: Surface temperatures were near 70 degrees and the Chinook salmon fishing was heating up. Fish were found 30 to 50 feet down in 100 to 150 feet or 40 to 70 feet down in 300 to 400 feet. Steelhead and a couple lake trout were also caught. Meat rigs and spoons were producing the better catches. Pier fishing remains slow.

Hamlin Lake: Had slow fishing as the water is very dirty especially in Upper Hamlin. There are a lot of weeds both floating and submerged. Anglers did manage to get a walleye or two with a crawler harness or body bait right on the bottom in 20 to 40 feet. Bass were caught in less than 20 feet in Lower Hamlin. The panfish action was extremely slow even in deep water. With all the freshwater drum, some anglers are enjoying the action as these fish can put up a good fight.

Ludington: Chinook salmon fishing is heating up here as well with some big healthy fish coming in. The best fishing was 30 to 60 feet down in 100 to 200 feet as well as 30 to 50 feet down in 300 to 400 feet with spoons and meat rigs. A small number of steelhead and lake trout were also caught. Pier fishing was slow.

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Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay: Lake trout fishing continues to be good for those trolling and jigging. A couple nice brown trout and a small number of Chinook salmon were caught.

Marquette: Decent numbers of lake trout are coming in near the White Rocks and Granite Island in 120 to 200 feet. Many boats are catching more than five fish per trip, but some were still struggling. Spoons and spin-glo’s were the ticket. Most were two to four pounds, but some were more than 10. Those targeting coho and steelhead were fishing up higher in the water column.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye fishing had mixed results as some reported decent catches while others did not. The best area was the First and Second Reefs near Kipling in the early morning or evening when trolling or jigging crawlers in 10 to 15 feet. Those fishing the southern waters and out to Green Bay caught fish near the “Fingers” when trolling crawlers or stick baits along the ridges, Minneapolis Shoals in 16 to 30 feet and near Round Island in six to 12 feet. Fair perch catches out from Brach’s Cabins and north to Nelson Bay in five to 17 feet with crawlers. Shore anglers reported smallmouth bass and small walleye up near the First Dam in the still-water with crawlers or plastics. Smallmouth bass were active at Garth Point, Hunters Point, Escanaba River and Ford River when casting spinners or plastics along the weeds or rocky areas in 14 feet. Pike were caught on rapalas and crank baits in 10 to 15 feet near the First Reef.

Manistique: Chinook salmon fishing slowed though anglers were marking fish in some areas. Most fish were smaller and were found from the Red Buoy south to Portage Bay. Try 50 to 70 feet down in 80 to 120 feet. Baitfish were in the area.

Manistique River: Had good walleye fishing up near the Paper Mill when casting jigs with plastics, crawlers or stick baits.

Munising: Those targeting lake trout had mixed results as some were getting four to five fish per trip while others were getting limit catches. While most were smaller, a few Master Angler fish were also caught. Those trolling or jigging out near Big Reef caught fish four to six pounds. Those fishing off the Anna River docks reported poor fishing.

Grand Marais: Had good lake trout fishing near Au Sable Point, Five Mile Reef, the shipping channels, and Caribou Island. Most were limiting out in less than four hours when trolling however those jigging also had a good time. Coho fishing was very slow. With warmer water in the marina, northern pike were cruising the weeds so try casting or trolling assorted spinners or shallow running stick baits.

Raber Bay: Cisco were caught on the east side of Lime Island. Northern pike were caught on the south side of Lime Island when casting or trolling a chrome spoon with a red eye in four to six feet in the early morning. Carleton Creek, located two miles south of the Raber boat launch, is reporting fair walleye action when trolling a crawler harness and bottom bouncer just off the weeds in 12 to 14 feet.

Detour: Catch rates for salmon and steelhead slowed near the Detour Lighthouse but anglers are still getting a mix of Atlantic, Chinook and pink salmon 55 to 60 feet down in 80 to 90 feet. Atlantics prefer the smaller orange and gold spoons while the Chinook were hitting black and purple or chrome and blue.

Drummond Island: Cisco and lake whitefish were caught around Cass Island which is on the north end of Drummond. Try a red or brown tear-drop jig tipped with a wax worm or natural fly baits. Whitefish were caught around Butterfield Island when jigging in 18 to 23 feet.

Cedarville and Hessel: The Cedarville public boat launch off Meridian Road is still closed for repairs. The estimated completion is the middle of September. No whitefish reports for Prentiss Bay or McKay Bay. Yellow perch were caught by those drifting in eight to 10 feet in Snows Channel. Try shiners or worms. Good pike fishing with creek chubs in six to 12 feet on the west side of Musky Bay off Wisner Pointe. For Hessel, perch catches were fair at the finger docks in the marina when using shiners and worms in the morning. Splake were caught one mile south of the marina in Wilderness Bay when trolling crank baits two to four feet off the bottom in 14 to 20 feet. Hot colors were blue and chrome or chartreuse and orange with a black ladder back. Good large and smallmouth bass action near Echo Island, Ledger Island or Lone Susan Island when casting spinners or crank baits.

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Fishing Tip: More hints on targeting walleye

We bring you this oldie, but goodie fishing tip from 2014. Courtesy of Cory Kovacs, a fisheries biologist out of Newberry.

Most anglers targeting walleye know that catching them in the spring is much easier than catching them during the warmer summertime months. In most Michigan lakes walleye in the summer typically seek cooler, deeper and darker waters while feeding in the shallow waters only at night. Because of some physiological properties of walleye, their sensitivity to bright light typically results in avoidance of shallow waters during daylight periods.

Anglers in the summer time typically target walleye during the evening and morning “low-light” periods. Targeted water depths will vary between lakes, but most anglers seek drop-offs where walleye will move up to feed in the shallow waters during the evening through morning hours. My experience fishing walleye in this fashion is usually successful by using a leech or minnow on a floating jighead weighted with a small splitshot sinker (or two). Anchoring at the drop-off or using a slow drift has been the most productive for me.

Other anglers may want to troll artificial lures or crawler harnesses along the deeper side of the contour lines in order to cover more area in a shorter time period. My grandfather always used to say, “Once you find them, you need to stay on, em.” I think there is a lot of truth to that.

Walleye fishing is sometimes a frustrating activity due to some long waiting periods between catches and finding the perfect conditions. However, once you get a bite it typically signifies something special and hopefully a memorable experience with family and friends.

Good luck in making memories, you will be glad you did!

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This report is intended to give you an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from Fisheries staff and 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