Weekly Fishing Report: Sept. 23, 2020

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Weekly Fishing Report - Sept. 23, 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) and keep a face covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

This is the last full week of lake trout season on northern Lake Michigan and northern Lake Huron. The season closes Sept. 30. As we move into fall, watch for minnows to show up around the piers. When this happens, dipping them on site and fishing them under a slip bobber can be very productive. 

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

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Detroit River: A couple walleye were taken between Celeron Island and Grosse Ile when using a jig with a black Wyandotte worm and half a crawler. A few perch were caught around the islands.   

Lexington and Port Sanilac: The occasional steelhead was caught trolling straight out in 110 feet and running baits near the top. A couple fish were taken in the harbor when casting spoons. Port Sanilac reported an average of two fish per boat when trolling 25 to 50 feet down in 80 to 115 feet. 

Saginaw Bay: Yellow perch fishing was slow with all the wind. Most fish were caught on the east side of Spoils Island, in the old shipping channel and at Linwood in 16 feet. Quanicassee was the busy spot with boat and shore anglers, but the fishing was slow. Mornings seem to be better in 8 to 18 feet. Be ready to sort through lots of small ones. There was not much activity from Sebewaing to Caseville. A few boats venturing out from Geiger Road found a few fish. The few walleye boats that were out had no luck. 

Saginaw River: Walleye are starting to show up in the lower river and were caught by those jigging with a minnow. 

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Those trolling for salmon reported slow fishing. Perch anglers had a few good catches in 40 to 50 feet, but the fish were scattered. Pier fishing was slow for all species. Anglers caught a few pike, bass and freshwater drum. 

St. Joseph River: There are fish moving through the river; however, those targeting salmon reported slow catch rates, especially with the warm temperatures. The action should pick up next week with rain and cooler weather in the forecast.   

South Haven: When they could get out, boat anglers had slow fishing for salmon. Perch fishing was also on the slow side. A few boats did manage to find some fish in 55 feet. Windy conditions have made fishing very inconsistent. Pier fishing was slow, with only a couple salmon taken.    

Black River: Salmon were caught by those trolling spoons and body baits. 

Holland: Pier anglers casting for salmon had no luck. 

Port Sheldon: Boats are finding the salmon action to be very slow. A few lake trout were caught on the bottom in 100 to 160 feet with yellow or blue spin-glo’s. 

Grand Haven: The launch at Harbor Island remains closed. Pier anglers are targeting salmon early morning and late evening. 

Grand River near Grand Rapids: Anglers are getting some coho at the 6th Street Dam; however, some were catching more steelhead. They are using a variety, including spawn, skein, trout beads and Hot-n-Tot’s. Anglers should find some salmon in the Rogue River.    

Grand River near Lansing: Anglers are reporting coho as far up as Portland. Fish were caught at Webber Dam and Portland Dam. No big numbers, but fish were hitting spoons, spinners, crankbaits, spawn, skein and trout beads. 

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were in the 60s. Salmon numbers are still on the low side. Anglers may see a push of fish next week with the rain and cooler temperatures. Good bass fishing continues.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Anglers caught Chinook salmon when drifting skein at the dam.  Those casting spoons and crankbaits also caught fish.   

Rogers City: A good number of adult Chinook salmon are hanging around Swan Bay; however, many were unwilling to strike. Those trolling bombers and J-plugs did not have much luck. Outside Swan Bay, catch rates for lake trout, steelhead and young salmon were very good near Forty Mile Point and Adams Point in 40 to 90 feet where the baitfish are located. Lake trout were near the bottom in 70 to 80 feet.   

Presque Isle: Continues to have very good fishing between the lighthouses and south toward Stoneport in waters up to 90 feet deep. Lake trout were found in the bottom 15 feet. 

Alpena: Lake trout, steelhead and walleye have been caught in 40 to 140 feet when trolling spoons. There are a few fish staging off the river mouth.

Thunder Bay River: A few Chinook and coho were caught by those casting spoons and crankbaits or when floating skein and spawn bags. Those still fishing with crawlers caught channel cats and rock bass. 

Oscoda: A couple lake trout, steelhead and walleye were caught when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 30 to 140 feet and fishing throughout the water column. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass, channel cats, rock bass and a couple walleye with crawlers or body baits. The occasional Chinook salmon was also caught. 

Au Sable River: Has a small number of Chinook and Atlantic salmon. Anglers caught a few channel cats, rock bass and bullhead when still fishing night crawlers. 

Higgins Lake: Perch anglers are getting a few when they find a school of fish. They are getting some keepers after sorting out the small ones. No word on trout or smallmouth bass.   

Houghton Lake: Had little to report, as fishing was slow. Anglers have taken a few pike here and there and the occasional bass. 

Tawas: Anglers are marking lots of baitfish; however, fishing was slow. Walleye were caught near buoys 4 and 6 with crawlers and body baits in 15 to 20 feet. Fish were also found deeper in 40 to 50 feet when using spoons and body baits out near the point and south of Alabaster. 

Tawas River: Fishing was slow at Gateway Park, with only a couple largemouth bass and rock bass caught on crawlers. Anglers have seen salmon, but none were caught. 

Au Gres: Had slow fishing. A couple walleye were taken on body baits out near the Bell Buoy and south towards Pt. Au Gres in 20 to 30 feet. A few perch were caught straight out from the river in 20 to 30 feet with minnows. Fish were also found off the Pine River, the Pinconning Bar and the Saganing Bar in 10 to 20 feet. A few limit catches were reported off Eagle Bay Marina. 

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: Lake trout were found near the bottom in 130 feet off Seven Mile Point. A couple salmon were caught in front of the harbor. 

Petoskey: A handful of boats were targeting salmon near the breakwall at night but had no luck. Lake trout were caught around Bay Harbor and near Nine Mile. Quite a few anglers were fishing near the mouth and along the beach for salmon. A few salmon were caught on spawn near the mouth of the river and by those casting spoons from the beach. Pier anglers had little luck.   

Bear River: Not a lot of fish were caught at the dam, but anglers did manage to take a few salmon on skein, spawn and flies. 

Charlevoix: Most boat anglers were casting or using spawn near the cement plant.  Success varied by boat, but a couple did catch Chinook in the area and around the freighter slip. Those targeting lake trout have done well. High water levels near the cement plant are making it impossible for those wanting to wade. Anglers are casting for salmon off the end of the pier at night. Salmon were reported near the mouth of the river in Lake Charlevoix. 

Boyne River: Only had a few salmon in the river.    

Boardman River: Continues to produce a few coho at the Union Street Dam. 

Betsie River: Catch rates dropped with the warmer weather, but anglers will still find salmon between the lake and the Homestead Dam. 

Manistee River: Those targeting salmon have found fish up near Tippy Dam. The occasional steelhead has also been caught. 

Pere Marquette River: Though the action slowed with the warmer temperatures, anglers were still getting a few trout and salmon in the early morning or evening. Try the deeper holes.    

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Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay: Boat anglers were marking fish, but the bite was tough. Those trolling picked up a little bit of everything, but no big numbers of fish. Surface water temperatures were in the mid to high 50s. If we get some cool rain and the right winds, fish may start showing up a little more concentrated. 

Marquette: Boat action for lake trout was still good near Shot Point and from the White Rocks to Granite Island. Only a few coho were caught. On the Dead River, smaller pink salmon were reported near the dam. On the Chocolay River, a few coho and smaller brown trout were caught. Fishing was slow on the Carp River. 

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair catches near Kipling when trolling a crawler harness around the reefs. Best catches were at dusk in 14 to 20 feet. A few large fish were caught south of the Ford River when trolling the "Fingers" and near Round Island in 10 to 20 feet. Several good perch catches were reported around the First and Second reefs in 8 to 24 feet with crawlers. Shore anglers in Rapid River took fair catches on crawlers. Bluegills and bullhead were also caught. This is a good place for kids to fish. A few shore anglers were looking for salmon along the Escanaba River, but no fish had been caught.    

Manistique River: The numbers are down from last year, but anglers are catching both Chinook and pink salmon. Brown trout were also caught. The best area for boats is near the high dam spillover and rapids (small boats only). Shore anglers are fishing between the “Bass Hole” and the dam. 

Munising: The few boats trying for coho reported poor catch rates. Some caught the occasional splake. Shore anglers also reported slow fishing. For those looking to do a color tour and go fishing, the leaves have started to turn, and some areas were close to 50% color.

Detour: Young salmon were caught at the Detour Reef and lighthouse. Chinook were found between the lighthouse and the first red buoy east of it on the Drummond Island side of the river. Hot baits were dipsey divers with blue and white squid baits. A few small coho were taken west of the lighthouse at the green buoy with gold and black spoons in 40 to 90 feet. Lake trout were along the 90-foot flat 2 miles south of the lighthouse and were hitting red, white and blue spin-glo’s behind flashers. A few nice catches of walleye were taken to the north near Swedes Point. Try shiners with a slip bobber in the early morning in 8 to 12 feet. Fish were caught at Butterfield Island when trolling planer boards with a blue and white crankbait. 

Cedarville and Hessel: A few perch were caught at the Island #8 Bridge off Hill Island Road when still fishing off the weed beds in 8 to 12 feet. In Musky Bay, perch anglers were using pink and white jigs just off the weed beds in 8 feet at Connors Point.  Walleye were found between Marquette Island and the Cedarville Golf Course when jigging a chartreuse and white jig. Fish were also found off Les Cheneaux Club Point in 8 to 12 feet. For Hessel, good catches of splake were reported by those jigging both natural and artificial spawn bags from the finger docks at the marina. Yellow perch were caught in Mackinaw Bay between Lone Susan Island and Echo Island when using shiners and worms in 6 feet. 

Carp River: Fishing was slower, but some anglers did manage to catch Chinook salmon at the sea wall in the early morning or at night when drifting spawn or casting spoons and crankbaits. No word on pink salmon. 

Nunn’s Creek: Those wading at the mouth have caught Chinook with rattling crankbaits, spoons and spawn. The salmon were between 3 and 20 pounds.

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Fishing Tip: Finding monster muskie in the fall

Known as “the fish of a thousand casts,” the muskellunge can be a tough species to target. Have you always wanted to catch a big one? Check out this tip to try the next time you head out.

When you’re out on the water, consider focusing your efforts on the corners or inside turns of the lake(s) you’re fishing. These spots consist of bends in the bottom that cause a slight point to form. Muskie will often hide out in these spots, especially if it puts them close to deeper water, excellent cover and access to food.

Want even more information on fishing for muskellunge? Check out the muskie page on the DNR’s website and the 2020 Fishing Guide for muskellunge fishing regulations.

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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.