Weekly Fishing Report: September 27, 2018

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 Weekly Fishing Report - September 27, 2018

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fishing map 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

Southeast Lower Peninsula
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Upper Peninsula

Great Lakes Temperature Map
Weekly Fishing Tip
Daily Streamflow Conditions

Anglers are reminded that both the fishing and possession season on the Type 1 and 2 streams as well as the Type A and D inland trout lakes will close this coming Sunday, September 30. The possession season for brook trout, brown trout and Atlantic salmon on Type 4 streams will also close this Sunday.  

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  The perch bite continued to pick up and most boats caught between 20-50 fish while just a couple reported limit catches. Most fish were caught east of Stony Point in 24 to 25 feet and near the E-Buoy when using minnows on perch rigs with green, orange and chartreuse spinners and beads. White bass, white perch and freshwater drum were also caught. Those targeting walleye caught the occasional fish on a crawler harness in Brest Bay. Bass fishing was excellent. In the morning and early afternoon, largemouth and some good size smallmouth were caught on white spinners off the Sterling seawall. Those fishing off the Bolles Harbor and Toledo Beach Marina breakwaters caught largemouth on green pumpkin or watermelon worms and drop-shot rigs. Channel cats were still hitting in the Hot Ponds though catch rates have slowed with only five to 15 per boat. 

Lake St. Clair:  Perch anglers are beginning to catch some fish around Metro Beach Park and just north of the Clinton River cutoff ramp when fishing close to the shoreline. Bass fishing was tough.  

St. Clair River:  Muskie fishing slowed but anglers were getting some walleye near the mouth when jigging plastic worms. Bass fishing was better in the river. 

Lexington to Port Sanilac:  A few lake trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon were taken 40 to 50 feet down in 80 to 90 feet with spoons off downriggers and sliders. A couple walleye were caught off the piers at night.

Port Austin:  A couple walleye were taken on crank baits in 40 to 60 feet. The fish seem to be scattered. Lake trout were taken in 130 feet.  

Harbor Beach:  Lake trout were taken about 100 feet down in 140 feet and deeper.  The thermocline off the Thumb was all over the place with temperatures at the bottom running anywhere from the mid 40’s to the mid 60’s. A few walleye were caught at night by those casting Cleo’s and crank baits off the breakwall.  

Saginaw Bay:  Continues to have slow but steady perch fishing as most boats were getting less than 10 per trip. Fish were found in 10 to 15 feet off the Saganing Bar, the Pinconning Bar and near the mouth of the Pine River.  Much of the inner bay was all churned up after the strong winds. Anglers caught anywhere from three to 15 perch near the sailboat buoys off Linwood, the Spark Plug, the old shipping channel and near Spoils Island. Shore anglers fishing the channel at Finn Road caught some nice bluegills and sunfish, but fishing was slow up the east side. A couple walleye were caught by shore anglers at the marina at Sebewaing.   

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Bass and bluegill are actively feeding in the morning and evening. Try jigs and spinners for bass and red worms for bluegill. Along the deep weed lines and drop-offs, try a worm under a slip bobber.

St. Joseph:   Boat anglers targeting lake trout reported decent catch rates in 80 to 100 feet. Perch fishing was good north of the pier in 40 feet. Pier anglers caught a few Chinook when casting spoons and spinners.   

St. Joseph River:  Appears to have a decent number of Chinook and coho.

Branch County:  Anglers were having success at the Union Lake Dam. Catfish are being caught on crawlers or chicken liver.

South Haven:  Perch fishing continues to be decent including some nice catches in 35 to 50 feet south of the piers. Boat anglers are still catching lake trout out in 80 feet. Pier fishing was slow for all species.

Grand Haven:  Anglers going offshore are finding a mix of salmon and trout 40 to 100 feet down in 225 to 300 feet when trolling orange or green spoons. Pier anglers found slow salmon action but a decent number of channel cats were caught on gizzard shad.

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Anglers were still catching a few coho and the occasional Chinook in both the Grand and the Rogue River. Bluegill and crappie fishing picked up in the bayous, especially Stearns Bayou in Ottawa County.

Grand River at Lansing:  Had fishing activity at the Webber and Portland Dams. Anglers were targeting coho when drifting spawn and crawlers or casting small spoons.

Muskegon:  Boat anglers targeting salmon near the breakwalls caught very few fish. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum on spoons.

Muskegon Lake:  Those trolling were getting Chinook salmon south of the channel and down near the mouth of the river. Perch anglers were still getting some fish with perch rigs and minnows.  

Muskegon River:  Anglers are picking up a few salmon throughout including up near Croton Dam. Smallmouth bass continue to be caught.  

Whitehall:  Angling activity slowed, but steelhead and coho were caught on spoons 50 to 80 feet down in 250 to 350 feet. Pier anglers casting for salmon had slow catch rates. Those casting body baits or soft-plastic minnows caught walleye in the evening.

White Lake:  Those casting spoons near the mouth of the river caught the occasional Chinook salmon in the early morning.  

White River:  Anglers casting body baits or drifting skein in the lower end for salmon reported spotty catch rates. Chinook salmon were caught up near Hesperia.   

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River:  Anglers have caught Chinook salmon between eight to 17 pounds at the dam with spoons, crank baits and skein. There had been reports of pink salmon, but those reports were not confirmed. Smallmouth bass were caught on worms or crank baits in eight to 15 feet. 

Rogers City:  A good number of salmon arrived in Swan Bay but getting them to hit has not been easy. A few boats casting while anchored but had no luck. Lake trout were caught straight out near the humps when trolling dodgers and cowbells with spin-glo’s 95 feet down in 120 to 125 feet.  

Alpena:  A mixed bag fishery has started with anglers getting Atlantics, steelhead, walleye and the occasional Chinook salmon. From the river mouth out to 60 feet was good for Atlantics which are beginning to stage off the river mouth. Try spoons, J-plugs or body baits in green, chartreuse, orange and yellow, black and white or blue. Thunder Bay Island has been good for lake trout and the odd steelhead or Atlantic.  

Thunder Bay River:  A few Chinook were spotted up near the 9th Street Dam but no big numbers yet. Anglers were casting spoons and body baits or drifting spawn under a bobber, but no fish were caught because the water was too warm.  

Black River:  Anglers trolling boards and crank baits in 30 to 40 feet caught a couple decent size walleye near the bottom. The river mouth had filled in with sand once again making it difficult for larger boats to get in or out. Shore anglers targeting salmon at the mouth were casting spoons, crank baits, or spinners.  

Harrisville:  Those trolling caught the odd Atlantic salmon between the harbor and Sturgeon Point with spoons and lead core in the top 40 of waters 90 to 100 feet deep. Walleye were caught by those trolling crank baits, reef runners, and bandits in 30 to 40 feet or casting crank baits from the harbor wall in the evening. A couple channel cats were taken when still-fishing with crawlers or raw chicken near the harbor channels.  

Oscoda:  A couple lake trout were caught on spoons and spin-glo’s near the bottom in 85 to 120 feet. Fish were marked throughout the water column but the bite was slow.  Those trolling spoons and J-plugs just off the mouth of the river were marking fish but only caught a couple walleye. Pier anglers also caught a couple fish at night when casting crank baits. Those targeting smallmouth from the pier caught a few nice fish when still-fishing or jigging with minnows. Those targeting salmon had little success.  

Au Sable River:  The lower river cooled to the mid to high 60’s but fishing was still pretty slow with very little success. Anglers were targeting Chinook by casting spoons or floating spawn bags and skein. An unconfirmed Atlantic salmon was reportedly caught, and a couple smaller steelhead were spotted moving up the river. Smallmouth bass and a few large bluegills were caught when drifting or still-fishing with crawlers.  

Tawas:  Small perch were taken off Jerry’s Marina in Tawas Bay. A few walleye were caught in 70 feet beyond Buoy #2 and lakeward of the Bell Buoy off Whitestone Point. A few Chinook salmon were seen around the pier and off the mouth of the river.   

Au Gres:  Some perch were taken near the NOAA Weather Buoy. The perch fishing has been steady but slow with most boats bringing in less than 10 per trip.   

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey:  Windy conditions have kept boat anglers at bay. Water temperature was a constant 65 degrees from the surface to 100 feet down which usually results in poor catch rates. When the weather allows, a couple anglers did manage to catch a few Chinook, coho, lake trout and cisco 60 to 110 feet down. 

Bear River:  While there has not been much rain to bring water levels up, strong winds seemed to help push fish into the river. Anglers caught mainly Chinook and coho along with a couple small steelhead at both the mouth and the dam when using spawn, artificial eggs and flies. Salmon were caught off the piers and the docks around the marina as well when casting spoons or stick baits after sunset and before sunrise.  

Charlevoix:  Fishing slowed especially after the wind. Boat anglers managed to catch one lake trout 85 to 90 feet down near the Cement Plant. Smallmouth fishing in the channel was hit-or-miss but a few keepers were taken on real or artificial worms. This fishery should stay decent for a few more weeks depending on the weather. Shore anglers have been going out after dark and casting for salmon near the cement plant. A few Chinook were caught over the last week. Anglers are reminded that fishing is prohibited within 100 feet of the mouth of Medusa Creek when the weir is in operation.  

Boyne River:  Had a run of fresh chinook salmon after recent storms got them moving again. Some steelhead were caught near the mouth.

Jordan River:  Has trout and salmon.  

Traverse City:  The East Bay had excellent Cisco fishing along the West Bank, both north and south of the Center Road launch in 80 to 130 feet and on the north side of Deepwater Point when jigging. Chinook and coho salmon were caught by those trolling or jigging near Yuba Creek and Acme Creek or when trolling along the West Bank. No big numbers of salmon but fish are being caught. Lake trout and a few whitefish were caught at the south end. Fishing off Elk Rapids was a little slow, but a few fish were taken straight out from the marina. Bass were found along the south end but many were undersize. On the Elk River, fishing was slow but a couple salmon and small steelhead were caught on spawn at the dam. In the West Bay, salmon fishing was slow but a couple Chinook and coho were caught. A few bass were taken along the peninsula and around Power Island. Perch were found in 35 to 50 feet outside Clinch Park, south of Bowers Harbor and in Sutton’s Bay but the action was hit-or-miss. On the Boardman River, the occasional Chinook, coho or steelhead were caught below the pedestrian bridge near J & S Hamburg’s and along Park Street in the early morning or evening when drifting spawn and skein.  

Platte River:  With the north winds last week, the coho salmon have really moved up into the lower river. DNR staff have passed fish and will continue to do so to get more fish up to the weir. This should allow anglers to do well. Staff estimated that there were currently 20,000 fish or more at the lower weir.  

Betsie River:  Anglers are still getting Chinook salmon however the numbers have slowed and the ones being caught are quite dark.  

Manistee:  Surface temperature readings dropped to about 62 degrees. Angler activity was slow but some had success when trolling in the harbor and around the piers for Chinook. A few coho have also been caught. Spoons and J-plugs worked best. Pier fishing was slow but those fishing early or late managed to catch a few salmon when casting artificial baits.  

Manistee River:  Brown trout, walleye and pike have started to bite again.  

Ludington:  A few coho were still being caught 40 to 80 feet down in 140 to 200 feet. Spoons were the ticket. Pier fishing remains slow. 

Pere Marquette Lake:  Some anglers are still doing well when trolling J-plugs.  

Pere Marquette River:  Continues to have a fair to good number of Chinook salmon including some large fish. The occasional steelhead has also been caught.  

Pentwater:  Angling activity has decreased greatly. Boats fishing 50 to 90 feet down in 225 to 350 feet caught Chinook, young coho and steelhead on spoons and flies.  

Pentwater Lake:  Anglers still-fishing with red worms at Longbridge Road caught yellow perch, rock bass and channel catfish.    

Pentwater River:  Those drifting egg flies or casting body baits caught the occasional Chinook salmon in the early morning. 

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Upper Peninsula

Lac Vieux Desert:  As fall arrives fishing remains active for northern pike with a decent number over 24 inches. Muskie anglers were still taking a few fish even during the rain and strong winds. Walleye fishing has remained rather dormant. Panfish anglers did manage to catch a couple sub-legal walleye. Both the crappie and perch bite were starting to turn on in six to 12 feet near the weed beds.  Bluegills are becoming more common in eight feet. Bass anglers are still finding fish up in the shallows.     

Marquette:  Most anglers are now trolling in 40 to 70 feet inside or near the lower harbor and in front of the Chocolay River. Chinook and coho salmon are being caught but they are few and far between as most boats were lucky to get one or two fish. Lake trout are still being picked up by salmon anglers. At this time of year trips to Stannard Rock will be limited but the fishing has been very good out there with many lake trout over 20 and even close to 30 pounds. A couple brown trout were caught in front of the Chocolay River. Shore anglers on the Carp, Chocolay and Dead River have caught the occasional Chinook salmon.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Water temperatures remain quite warm in the high 60’s to low 70’s.  Walleye anglers reported spotty catches. Fish were found at the mouth of the Escanaba River and straight out to the “Black Bottom” with crawlers in 14 to 20 feet. Several fair to good perch catches were reported from the mouth of the Day’s River to Strawberry Island and out to the green buoy with minnows or crawlers in six to 20 feet. Smallmouth bass were spotty also as they have been on the move. Pike catches were good especially in the Escanaba area between the shipping docks and the beach when trolling spoons, spinners or crank baits in eight to 22 feet.  

Big Bay De Noc:  A few anglers targeted perch but few were found. Smallmouth were elusive as they are still transitioning as we move into fall. Most anglers fished the Ogontz area and reported fair catches of smaller fish along the weed lines and south to St. Vitals Island when casting plastics, drop-shot or artificial frogs.  

Manistique River:  Is producing salmon, trout and a few walleye. The Chinook are turning dark.    

Au Train:  Some anglers are still getting limits of lake trout just north of Au Train island.  Those starting to troll in front of the mouth of the Au Train River caught a few Chinook and coho unfortunately, strong winds pushed a large amount of small rocks up onto the boat ramp so it was not accessible.  

Munising:  A cold front and strong northwest winds had water temperatures in the 50’s. The water was stained from all the recent runoff and there was a lot of floating debris and weeds which made fishing difficult. With the cold front, a few splake were taken on spawn or small crank baits but the bite was hit-or-miss. A few coho were caught however if the cooler weather continues, fishing should improve. Boats were trolling in the west channel area and towards Sand Bay and Trout Bay. No steelhead or brown trout to report.  

Grand Marais:  Also had a lot of floating debris in the area. The mouth of the Sucker River widened and changed orientation after the storms. The water was quite dark and stained. A few were surfcasting off the mouth but had not luck.  

Two Hearted River:  Water temperatures were in the low 50’s. Anglers trolling just in front of the mouth or fishing from shore caught a couple coho. Salmon are slowly beginning to show up, but we need cooler temperatures and rain.    

Drummond Island:  Anglers have been targeting yellow perch however, no good catches were reported. As water temperatures begin to cool down perch should become more active and begin to feed. Try fishing at the mouth or inside Harbor Island in six to eight feet along the weed beds. Best baits were shiner minnows or worms on a perch harness. Smallmouth action on the north side of Burnt Island was good with dark green and orange tube jigs along the rocky shelves. Good pike action when trolling a chrome spoon with a red eye in six to 10 feet just off the weed beds around Grape Island.  

Detour:  Lake trout were caught beyond the Detour Lighthouse when trolling along the 90-foot flat which is 1.5 miles south of the Detour Reef and lighthouse. Fish were hitting on orange and chartreuse spin-glo’s run off 18 to 24-inch leaders. A few Chinook salmon were caught from Fry Pan Island to the green buoy northwest of the lighthouse and above the ferry boat lane that runs to Drummond Island.  

Cedarville and Hessel:  A few yellow perch were caught when drifting minnows and worms in Cedarville Bay. Try in the channel from the Cedarville launch to Connors Point in eight to 12 feet. Perch fishing should improve once the waters cool down. Good pike catches in Musky Bay around Dollar Island when trolling orange, chartreuse and black crank baits off the weed beds in six to eight feet. Those still-fishing or drifting did well in 10 to 14 feet at the Middle Entrance of the Les Cheneaux Islands. At Hessel, a few splake were caught in and around the finger docks when jigging or drifting both natural or artificial spawn bags. 

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Fishing Tip: Is your outdoor first-aid kit ready to go?

Do you carry a first-aid kit with you while you’re out fishing? You never know what can happen in the midst of an outing so it never hurts to be prepared. If you’re interested in putting together a kit be sure to include the following:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Hemostat
  • Compresses
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Medical tape
  • Compression bandage
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibiotic wipes
  • Eye-wash fluid
  • Aspirin/ibuprofen 

Don’t forget to regularly check your first-aid kit’s inventory and replenish as needed!

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Note: 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.