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Weekly Fishing Report

November 22, 2012 



Weekly Fishing Tip: Additional Tips for Targeting Steelhead this Fall 
Did you like last week’s tips for fishing for steelhead? Due to the aggressive opportunities they offer anglers this fall – we thought we’d give you some more!

If you decide to target these fish on Michigan’s rivers while in a boat, there are two reel options you can turn to. Consider offering bait underneath a centerpin style reel, which are becoming more popular with steelhead anglers. The line will come off smoothly allowing for float-suspended baits to work long distances downstream, plus it offers drag-free drifts.

If you’re not confident on a centerpin style or you’re a novice angler, try a level-wind reel. It allows you to just drop the float behind the boat and wait for the strike. It will take care of the hard work while reeling in your catch by guiding the line on properly.

Now is the perfect time to target steelhead! For more information, visit the steelhead page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.



Weekly Fishing Report map



Great Lakes Temperature Map

Click on the links below to jump to the report section that interests you most:
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Upper Peninsula

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey anglers, too warm to hunt? Then grab your fishing gear and take advantage of some late fall and early winter action. Low, clear water in pretty much all the rivers is making steelhead fishing a bit more difficult, but the fish are there. Concentrate on the deeper holes and the lower stretches until we get some rain. Pier and surf anglers are getting steelhead and whitefish. Those fishing the inland lakes have caught bluegill and perch on wigglers.



Lake Erie: Walleye were caught by those trolling or drifting reef runners and husky jerks off Sterling State Park. Most were fishing 12 feet down in 20 feet of water. Good bluegill action at the Metro Park Marina. Try minnows or wax worms.

Huron River: Anglers have caught steelhead however most are still waiting for that big push of fish which could come by the weekend if it rains. For now, try the deeper holes between Huroc Park and I-75 when trolling flat fish in bright colors or floating jigs with wax worms.

Detroit River: Continues to produce perch for those using minnows or wax worms around the islands.

Lexington: Anglers have caught steelhead and brown trout on body baits, crawlers or minnows.

Harbor Beach: Still has one dock in at the boat launch.

Saginaw River: Walleye fishing slowed with the warmer weather. Look for better action by the weekend with rain and much cooler temperatures.


St. Joseph: Is producing some whitefish for pier anglers. Try a wax worm or a single egg. Those casting small spoons, spinners or plugs caught steelhead.

St. Joseph River: Still has decent steelhead fishing from Benton Harbor up to Niles. There appears to be some steelhead in the lower river that have not moved up yet.

South Haven: Steelhead anglers are getting a few fish off the pier in the early morning or late evening. Try spoons, spinners or shrimp and spawn under a bobber.

Kalamazoo River: Anglers continue to catch steelhead below the Allegan Dam. Boat anglers were casting spinners and plugs or back bouncing with spawn. Shore anglers continue to use spawn, yarn or small spinners.

Grand Haven: A few whitefish are being caught off the pier at night. Anglers are using a single egg or wax worm on the bottom or jigging small spoons.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are still low so boat anglers looking to fish up past I-96 need to use extreme caution. Anglers will find decent steelhead fishing all the up to the Lansing area but rain would certainly help. Try bouncing spawn or back trolling with Hot-n-Tots. Those casting spinners have also caught fish. A few walleye were caught. 

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing some steelhead at the Moore’s Park Dam, Portland Dam and the Webber Dam. Most are using spinners, crawlers or flies. For walleye, try below the North Lansing Dam, Moore’s Park Dam and the Smithville Dam near Eaton Rapids. The fish were hitting on leaf worms, leeches or spawn. Pike were caught on minnows at Moore’s Park. Good smallmouth bass action near the dam at Muir. Try minnows, crawlers or leeches.

Looking Glass River: Continues to produce pike for those fishing off Babcock’s Landing or wading upstream. Try orange and chartreuse spinners or minnows.

Muskegon: Night anglers are catching whitefish off the piers. Most are jigging small spoons or putting a single egg or wax worm on the bottom.

Muskegon River: Water levels are very low so steelhead fishing has become hit-or-miss. The better fishing may be downstream or in the deeper holes when floating spawn. Those fly fishing have done well with streamers.


Alpena: Has a good number of whitefish on the reefs in Thunder Bay. Two of the better spots to target are Partridge Point and the Grass Island Reef in the early morning or late evening.

Thunder Bay River: Has good whitefish action up near the 9th Street Dam at dawn and dusk. Steelhead anglers are urged to check their catch for the missing adipose fin. Many of these fish have a small coded-wire tag, which is implanted in the head of the fish however it is invisible to the naked eye. These fish are part of a study to help the DNR improve steelhead fishing.

Oscoda: Is producing whitefish for pier anglers.

Au Sable River: Is producing whitefish right along with the occasional steelhead or brown trout. Try floating spawn and wax worms or casting flies. Whitefish in the lower river were caught on wax worms or a single egg.

Higgins Lake: Anglers are reminded that this is the time of year to find whitefish in the shallows as they prepare to spawn or perch around the Sunken Island.

Tawas: Is producing whitefish off the state dock. Try a Swedish pimple with a single egg or wax worm just off the bottom in the early morning or late evening.

Au Gres River: The better steelhead fishing has been in the deeper holes and down near the mouth. Those fishing the East Branch have caught fish in the lower end of Whitney Drain and near the Singing Bridge. Some are surfcasting.


If fishing the inland lakes in the region for bluegill, perch, crappie, walleye, pike and bass, anglers will want to try a variety of lures and baits such as spinners, rapalas, minnows, wigglers, crawlers, leaf worms, wax worms or leeches.

Boardman River: Is producing steelhead between the lake and Sabin Dam however the better fishing seems to downstream because of the low water levels.

Betsie River: Is producing steelhead. Try flies, spoons or spawn. A couple fish were taken on crawlers.

Manistee: Pier and surf anglers are catching a few fish.

Manistee River: Low, clear water is hampering steelhead fishing. Needless to say, the better fishing will be in the deeper holes or in the lower river. Try drifting or floating spawn or flies.

Ludington: Pier and surf anglers are catching a few fish. Early morning or late evening are best especially with the warmer temperatures. 

Pere Marquette River: Has steelhead however low water levels continue to challenge anglers. Try back bouncing or drifting spawn and flies across the deeper holes. Some are using bright colored spoons or yarn.


Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches slowed with the warmer weather. Those fishing at night did best when trolling stick baits in 10 to 23 feet of water along the reefs near Kipling. Catch rates were fair to good between Gladstone and the “Black Bottom” when trolling stick baits in 14 to 30 feet of water. Northern pike action was fair to good for those trolling large crank baits or spinners in the channel at the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. Perch reports were fair at best for those using crawlers or minnows in eight to 14 feet of water around Butler Island.



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Revenue from fishing and hunting license sales supports DNR activities to enhance Michigan’s natural resources. These license sales also increase federal revenue to the State of Michigan for the management of these resources. Please help support Michigan’s abundant natural resources by purchasing a fishing and hunting license each year. You can purchase fishing licenses online 24-hours a day!

Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State at www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish.