Weekly Fishing Report: June 24, 2020

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Weekly Fishing Report - June 24, 2020

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

If you’re headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you're feeling well. Practice proper social distancing, at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

Fishing conditions have been fair to good for those targeting trout and salmon on the Great Lakes. Inland fishing has been good for bass, bluegills, crappie, rock bass, walleye and catfish. Carp were on the beds in some areas. 

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Walleye fishing slowed due to a large fly hatch.  Fish were found a bit deeper in 28 to 30 feet and were caught on a crawler harness or stick bait. Purple was the hot color. Many were fishing near Ohio waters, while others fished farther north near the Canadian line. Bass and catfish anglers did well near the Hot Ponds. 

Lake St. Clair: The Clinton River Cut-Off launch was still closed due to dredging. The mayfly hatch is going strong. The smallmouth bass bite was tough, though they did hit a moving bait in 10 feet or deeper. A good number of muskies were seen, but the bite was slow. A couple were caught by walleye anglers. Walleye were caught when trolling along the edge of the shipping channel between buoys 27 and 30 in 20 feet. Panfish activity was good up near the Raft Restaurant in Bouvier Bay. 

Saginaw Bay: In Pinconning, walleye were caught in 25 feet. Walleye anglers can be found 2 miles east of the Spark Plug when trolling crawlers or crankbaits in 26 to 28 feet. A few yellow perch also were caught. At Smith Park in Essexville, shore anglers casting for bass caught very few. Walleye are starting to scatter along the east side.  Anglers may have to do some searching and cover more water as fish were found in 12 to 32 feet. The Slot off Sunset Bay Marina and all the way up toward North Island is producing walleye, including some limit catches in 17 to 20 feet with a crawler harness or body baits. A couple walleye were caught between Caseville and Port Austin near Oak Beach. Crawler harnesses, flicker shads, spoons and Hot-n-Tots all have taken fish. Most are running artificial baits while increasing trolling speeds to avoid freshwater drum and catfish. 

Harbor Beach: A couple pink salmon and lake trout were caught by those trolling straight out in 100 to 120 feet. The salmon were hitting spoons in the top 15 to 20 feet, and the lake trout were near the bottom. Fishing was slower as the fish seem scattered.  Shore anglers caught smallmouth bass when casting artificial lures. 

Port Sanilac and Lexington: Trout and salmon were scattered throughout the water column, and catch rates were slow. The pier and shore anglers had better fishing for bluegills and rock bass when using crawlers near the bottom.   

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

Holland: Boats continue to find lake trout on the bottom in 100 to 150 feet with yellow or green spin-glo’s. A couple salmon and steelhead were caught in 80 to 160 feet. Pier anglers caught good numbers of freshwater drum while casting spoons. Steelhead action continues to be slow. 

Port Sheldon: Lake trout were caught on the bottom in 80 to 150 feet. Salmon action was slow, with a few caught in 80 to 140 feet. 

Grand Haven: The Harbor Island boat launch is closed.

Grand River near Grand Rapids: Boat and shore anglers are getting smallmouth bass and catfish near the 6th Street Dam and Johnson Park. Bluegills were caught in the bayous when using minnows, worms and leeches.   

Muskegon: Boats are finding lake trout and the occasional salmon in 90 to 160 feet. Lake trout were caught on the bottom with green or yellow spin-glo’s. Salmon were caught 45 to 100 feet down with orange and green spoons or green and white flies.  Pier anglers casting spoons caught freshwater drum. 

Muskegon River: Was producing walleye, smallmouth bass and panfish in the Hardy Dam Pond.    

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan: Anglers were getting occasional limits of lake trout at Spectacle Reef when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 25 to 65 feet. Lake trout were caught in 45 to 65 feet off Reynolds Reef. 

Cheboygan River: The dam has had one chute open, and there was a heavy mayfly hatch in progress. More freshwater drum and catfish have moved in. Anglers drifting and bottom bouncing worms caught rock bass, smallmouth bass, perch, bluegill, walleye and channel cats. Anglers were fishing at the dam, in the Bois Blanc Island ferry parking lot and at the fishing piers near the baseball fields. The best success for walleye was in the morning and at dusk. 

Rogers City: Those running lines throughout the water column and picking up their speed have caught Chinook, coho, pink salmon and steelhead. Very good lake trout action when trolling dodgers or cowbells with spin-glo’s in 50 to 70 feet. Those suspended were hitting on spoons. Those fishing late into the evening or very early were most likely targeting Chinook. Hot colors were green, orange, blue, silver or glow. 

Presque Isle: Had some better fishing for trout and salmon. Those targeting lake trout are running lines throughout the water column and taking more fish on dodgers and cowbells with spin-glo’s or spoons.      

Alpena: Those trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 60 to 100 feet caught trout along with a few coho, pink salmon and walleye off the Nordmeer Wreck, Thunder Bay Island and North Point. A couple fish were also caught casting crankbaits. Walleye fishing picked up some in the morning and evening when trolling crawler harnesses and body baits in 15 to 30 feet in front of the harbor, off the north shore and down by South Point. A few freshwater drum also were caught. Smallmouth bass were caught when casting crankbaits or jigs and soft plastics in Squaw Bay.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers caught a few freshwater drum, rock bass and the occasional channel cat when still fishing or drifting crawlers. A couple walleye were caught when jigging soft plastics and crawlers or casting crankbaits. 

Oscoda: Anglers caught lake trout, steelhead, pink salmon and a few walleye, coho or Atlantic salmon when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 65 to 100 feet between the Au Sable River and Au Sable Point or out at the Humps in 150 to 180 feet. Lake trout were found in the bottom 15 feet, and walleye were found in the top 40 feet. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum, channel cats, rock bass, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and the occasional walleye with crawlers or minnows. 

Au Sable River: Anglers drifting or still fishing crawlers caught freshwater drum, rock bass, smallmouth bass and the occasional walleye. Hex hatches continue between Grayling and Curtisville. A couple pike were caught by those trolling crankbaits in the old stream channel in Mio Pond.   

Tawas: Lots of walleye, including some limit catches, were taken south of the point towards the “crib” in Alabaster in 70 feet with spoons, body baits or crawlers. Good catches of lake trout were taken southeast of the point in 85 feet with spoons. 

Tawas River: At Gateway Park, those using crawlers or lures caught large and smallmouth bass.    

Au Gres: Had a lot of fishing pressure all the way down toward Eagle Bay Marina. Nearly every boat had some walleye, including a few limit catches taken in 30 to 40 feet with crawlers, plastics or spoons.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: A good number of lake trout were marked around Harbor Point, but the bite was slow. Some were caught to the north in 90 to 110 feet. Smallmouth anglers are fishing this side of the bay. Word has it the bass are off the beds and moving to deeper water. 

Petoskey: Catch rates for lake trout were hit or miss. Those heading north of Little Traverse Bay seem to do better. The mouth of the river was producing smallmouth, rock bass, pike, catfish and bullhead when using crankbaits, worms or minnows. 

Charlevoix: Boat anglers did well for lake trout. A couple boats picked up small salmon as well when fishing south of Fisherman’s Island and going all the way up north of Harbor Springs from this port. Lake trout were caught between the cement plant and North Point. Fish were caught throughout the water column in 100 to 300 feet. Cisco continue running through the channel in Charlevoix. The better bite was during the first part of the day when using Swedish pimples, kastmasters and spoons. The odd lake trout, smallmouth bass and pike were also caught. 

Frankfort: Anglers trolling in 150 to 200 feet have caught some large Chinook salmon in the early morning and at dusk with blue and green spoons 50 to 80 feet down. Large schools of alewife were reported out in deeper waters. Steelhead and brown trout also have been caught with the rise in water temperatures.   

Onekama: Anglers have been working the Barrel to pick up lake trout 50 feet down to the bottom.    

Portage Lake: Bass anglers are still working the shoreline to pick up a few largemouth.  With the mayfly hatch, the bite has slowed.     

Manistee: Lake trout were caught along the “Shelf” when trolling near the bottom in 100 to 120 feet. A couple Chinook salmon were caught on the north side of Big Sable Point in 100 to 150 feet and on the “Shelf” in 100 to 180 feet. Those fishing up high along the “Shelf” found a couple steelhead. Bass were caught off the north pier. 

Ludington: The Chinook salmon bite was slow, and mostly lake trout were caught. Chinook were found around the point in 65 to 140 feet, while lake trout were found off Big Sable Point in 90 to 110 feet and to the north in 300 to 350 feet. Steelhead were caught up high in 130 to 220 feet near Big Sable Point. A brown trout was caught in the harbor while trolling. Perch fishing on the north pier was slow. 

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Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates were hit or miss after the strong winds. Keweenaw Bay area saw mostly lake trout with a small number of Chinook and brown trout caught. In Huron Bay as well as from the Traverse launch, anglers typically found lake trout. 

Little Bay De Noc: Fishing slowed with the abundance of food available, such as alewife and the hex hatches. Walleye catches were spotty at best, while the mouth of the Whitefish and Escanaba rivers were still being fished the most. The "Black Bottom," Third Reef and Breezy Point all produced catches when trolling a crawler harness or stick baits. A few perch were caught near Gladstone Beach with minnows or crawlers in 25 to 30 feet. Bass anglers also reported fewer catches, but the fishing was still good.  The two best areas were around Hunters Point and south by the Ford River when casting plastics in 3 to 12 feet. 

Manistique: Salmon catches were down from the previous week, but it is still early in the season. Anglers marked good numbers of baitfish, and many are reporting lake trout catches. Alewife have been spotted just outside the break wall, which is probably why walleye catches were down.

St. Marys River: Walleye anglers reported fair catches at Carlton Creek, which is 2 miles south of the Raber Bay boat launch, when trolling a crawler harness and bottom bouncer just off the weed beds in early morning. Try a purple beaded harness fished 4 feet off the bottom. Round Island, located on the north side of Lime Island, was good for walleye early or late when using a slip bobber with a shiner just off the weed beds in 8 to 12 feet.   

Detour: Atlantic salmon fishing slowed. The few catches reported were taken between the first red buoy east of Detour Lighthouse, on the Drummond Island side of the river.  The fish were 35 to 60 feet down in 90 to 100 feet. Hot colors were orange and gold with a black ladder. Keep your trolling speed between 3.5 and 4 mph.   

Drummond Island: Anglers reported good catches of walleye at the north end of Scott Bay between Peck Island and Ashman Island with crankbaits in 12 to 14 feet in the early morning. Yellow perch were caught inside of Harbor Island midmorning with worms or shiners. Good smallmouth action at the north and south end of James Island, in between Scott Bay and Maxton bays. Try casting spinners and a dark green or brown and orange tube jig off the rocky points in 4 to 8 feet. 

Cedarville and Hessel: Northern pike up to 28 inches or more were caught in Snows Channel on the east side of Dollar Island when drift fishing with chubs in 8 feet in the early morning. A few perch were caught at the east end of Musky Bay near Connors Point in 8 to 10 feet with shiners or worms. The mouth of Duck Bay on the west side of Musky Bay reported nice catches of smallmouth bass when casting gold and silver leaf spinners. Island #8 reported some catches of yellow perch in 6 to 8 feet with a worm under a bobber.

St. Ignace: Those trolling had no success. The walleye bite on the Pine River slowed due to an early fly hatch. Those drifting leeches and boat anglers trolling or drifting leeches on a crawler harness found a few fish. On the Carp River, walleye and suckers were caught but no pike. Most are bottom bouncing leeches and worms.  

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Fishing Tip: How to catch your own nightcrawlers

Are you interested in catching and keeping your own nightcrawlers? It’s fairly easy to do – just follow these simple steps:

  1. Know where to look. Scout locations such as parks, playgrounds and open, grassy areas after a good rain. Look for nightcrawler castings (the little piles of dirt they leave behind) and then plan to visit again following the next good rain.
  2. Know when to collect. Nightcrawlers are best caught an hour or so after dark.
  3. Bring the right equipment. Nightcrawlers are sensitive to vibrations, so wear lightweight shoes. They’re also sensitive to bright light, so consider rigging your flashlight with a red cover over the lens.

Store them properly. When you catch nightcrawlers, just lay them on top of some storage bedding – don’t mix them in. This will allow you to remove sick or dead ones more easily.

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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.