Weekly Fishing Report: September 13, 2018

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 Weekly Fishing Report - September 13, 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

As we transition closer to fall, this is one of the best times of year to head out fishing. The large crowds are gone for the most part and the fish will soon start a feeding frenzy as they prepare for winter. On the inland lakes, panfish were found deeper in 12 to 15 feet. Pike are in the shallows along the weed beds.  

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  The perch bite was slow however fish were found off Fermi in 24 feet on perch rigs and minnows with or without green, orange and chartreuse spinners. Large and smallmouth bass as well as pike were caught in the Sterling State Park canals, off Bolles Harbor, Luna Pier and the Toledo Beach Marina when casting artificial lures. A good number of catfish were caught in the Hot Ponds.  

Detroit River:  A few perch have been caught around Sugar Island but the fish were a little smaller than those caught in Lake Erie. Most are using perch rigs with shiners. A couple walleye were caught on jigs and rapalas around Calf Island or between Celeron Island and Grosse Ile.   

Lake St. Clair:  Cooler temperatures had the bass closer to shore and those fishing less than a mile and a half off the Metro Park did well for smallmouth. Walleye were caught by those jigging plastic worms near the mouth of the river channels. Pike anglers did well around Grassy Island when trolling artificial lures. For muskie, fish were caught off the Metro Park and the Clinton River when casting and trolling artificial baits or when using drop-shot.   

Lexington to Port Sanilac:  Had few reports. The odd pike was caught inside the harbor at Port Sanilac.   

Harbor Beach:  Lake trout were caught straight out and north of the harbor in 80 to 150 feet. Try dodgers with spin-glo’s near the bottom or spoons off downriggers at various depths. For walleye, try 40 to 90 feet with small spoons or Hot-n-Tots off 3, 5 and 7 colored lines. For bass, try small spoons or body baits close to shore.  

Saginaw Bay:  Strong northeast winds had the bay all stirred up. A few perch were taken in 12 to 15 feet off the Saganing and the Pinconning Bars. Try floating or drifting minnows. The constant northeast winds raised the level of the Saginaw River nearly three feet. As a result, most boat launches along the inner bay were not usable as the docks were underwater. Conditions should improve this week.   

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  Boat and pier anglers reported slow catch rates. No perch to report.  

St. Joseph River:  A good number of steelhead, coho and Chinook salmon were moving through the Berrien Springs fish ladder at the beginning of the week. While there were some Chinook, most were coho and steelhead.  

South Haven:  Boat anglers continue to catch lake trout in 80 feet. Those targeting the pierheads are beginning to catch a few salmon however fishing was slow. Pier anglers caught the occasional salmon on spoons. The perch were scattered but anglers were getting a few when drifting.  

Black River:  A few salmon were starting to move up into the river. Boat anglers caught a couple Chinook when trolling. 

Calhoun County:  Some good size bluegills were caught in Duck Lake.  

Grand Haven:  Boat anglers caught a few salmon from the pierheads out to about 50 feet with glow or pearl plugs. Pier anglers caught a few coho on glow spoons.    

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  The rain and cooler temperatures pushed a few more fish up into the river. Anglers were getting Chinook and some steelhead up near the Sixth Street Dam. Most were using a variety including spawn, spinners, thundersticks, Cleo’s and flies.  

Grand River at Lansing:  A few walleye were caught. Try the usual spots such as near the dams. Anglers should find smallmouth bass and catfish. Check out the shallows and weed beds for pike.    

Morrison Lake:  Was producing bluegills and a small number of 10-inch crappie.  

Muskegon:  The salmon action was slow for boat anglers. A few fish were caught from the channel out to about 60 feet with chrome or glow plugs. Pier fishing was slow.  

Muskegon Lake:  Strong winds had stirred up the lake and fishing was slow. Some perch were found near the Black Buoy which is southeast of the Bear Lake Channel. Those jigging a Swedish pimple near the channel leading to Lake Michigan caught a few salmon in the early morning or late evening. Those casting Cleo’s off the pier also caught a few fish.    

Whitehall:  Chinook, coho and lake trout were caught 50 to 80 feet down in 150 to 200 feet when trolling J-plugs, flies and green or red spoons. Pier anglers casting spoons in the early morning or late evening caught the occasional salmon.    

White River:  Anglers casting body baits or spinners in the early morning caught the occasional Chinook salmon in the lower stretches.    

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River:  Anglers trying for salmon did not have much luck. There were a few splashes up near the dam, but harvest numbers were low. Most were floating spawn, drifting worms or casting crank baits and spinners. Those targeting walleye while drifting worms caught a few smallmouth bass. There is one gate open at the dam. Water temperatures were in the low 70’s.  

Ocqueoc River:  Had few anglers. Salmon were starting to stage near the mouth however there was build up at the sand bar.  

Black Lake:  Was producing a few nice catches of walleye but the fish were smaller. Perch can also be found.  

Rogers City:  Chinook salmon can be found around Swan Bay. Anglers are using J-plugs and bombers in eight to 30 feet and at least 100 feet back as well as lines off planer boards out to the side. Out deeper, anglers are still getting Chinook, lake trout, Atlantics, coho and walleye when they find baitfish. Try throughout the water column in 40 to 120 feet with spoons, J-plugs, bombers, and flashers with flies, squid or cut bait. Hot colors were green, blue, purple, black and white or glow early and late.  

Grand Lake:  Was producing a few perch and walleye.  

Long Lake:  Bass fishing was starting to heat up.  

Alpena:  Should still have good lake trout fishing. Atlantic salmon should return to Thunder Bay soon.  

Thunder Bay River:  Anglers are trying for salmon but very few are in the river yet. Fishing has been very quiet as we wait for cooler temperatures to bring down the water temperature.  

Black River:  High winds kept anglers off the lake, but those able to get out should be able find walleye in the early morning or evening when trolling crank baits in 20 to 35 feet. Those casting spoons and spinners at the mouth were targeting trout and salmon.

Harrisville:  Before the strong winds, anglers had picked up a few lake trout, salmon, and suspending walleye when trolling spoons and dodgers with flies in 60 to 140 feet. Most were found in the bottom half of the water column.  

Oscoda:  Lake trout, steelhead and walleye were found by those trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in the bottom half of waters up to 100 feet deep. Those targeting Chinook were trolling spoons and J-plugs off the mouth of the river. A couple fish were taken by pier anglers when casting spoons in the early morning or late evening. Blue, chrome and glow were the hot colors. A couple smallmouth bass were taken on crawlers or crank baits off the north pier. Those drifting or still-fishing with crawlers caught smallmouth bass, rock bass and drum. 
Au Sable River:  Fishing was still slow in the lower river. Smallmouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch and a few undersized walleye were caught by those drifting crawlers. Water temperature in the lower river was in the low 70s. 

Houghton Lake:  Fishing is slow as water clarity has been low since the storms and strong winds. The bite should pick up once the lake settles down. The best bite was in the canals where bluegills were caught on leeches and wax worms or bass on tube baits and rubber worms. The odd pike was found in the weed beds.  

Tawas:  Those trolling up in the armpit of Tawas Bay did manage to catch the odd walleye when trolling with planer boards.  

Tawas River:  Has produced the occasional Chinook salmon.    

Au Gres:  Some perch were caught near the Bell Buoy off Whitestone Point in 30 to 40 feet. Anglers may also want to try near the NOAA weather buoy in 30 feet. 

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs:  Boats fishing from Harbor Point north to Cross Village caught lake trout 80 to 120 feet down.  

Petoskey:  Boat anglers reported slower catch rates with only a few lake trout and the occasional coho taken. The lake trout were scattered anywhere from 50 to 140 feet down in deeper water. A couple salmon were caught near the mouth of the river when using spawn, flies or stick baits. There is increasing angler pressure at the end of the piers after dusk and before dawn.

Bear River:  Water levels dropped and were in good shape. Though anglers were getting some Chinook near the dam, the action did slow. A couple small steelhead were caught. Most were using spawn bags, flies and artificial eggs. Another push of salmon could come with rain and cooler temperatures.    

Charlevoix:  Boat anglers were targeting salmon in the shallower waters inside the breakwall at the cement plant. Those in the channel were targeting smallmouth bass. The action was hit-or-miss but some good size fish were caught on real or artificial worms and leeches. A couple salmon were caught before dawn and after dusk by pier anglers. The Medusa Weir is in operation, so fishing is closed on the creek as well as a 100’ radius out from the mouth.

Lake Charlevoix:  Boats were starting to fish near the Belvedere Club. Those trolling for salmon caught a few fish. Rumor has it a few Chinook were starting to show up in the Boyne River.  

Traverse City:  A few Chinook and cisco were caught in the East Bay when trolling out from the launch and to the south. Lake trout were also caught when trolling around Deepwater Point. In the Elk River, a few salmon were caught in the morning up near the dam. There are plenty of smallmouth bass in the river. In the West Bay, salmon fishing was slow at the south end with only a couple Chinook caught when trolling. Lake trout were taken by those jigging along the west side of the island and south of it.  Bass fishing was slow but a few were found in 20 feet. Small perch were found in Bowers Harbor, south of Elmwood and in Sutton’s Bay. On the Boardman River, salmon fishing was slow but a few Chinook were taken on spoons or body baits up at the dam either early morning or evening. A few Chinook and coho were caught below the new pedestrian bridge which is just below the weir. Skein and spawn worked best.  

Frankfort:  Those jigging or trolling the bay reported lower numbers however Chinook were still being caught as the fish are moving into the Betsie River at night. Very good numbers of coho were caught in Platte Bay when trolling or jigging in 80 to 100 feet.  Pier anglers caught Chinook and coho when casting glow spoons or black spinners early and late.  

Betsie River:  Anglers caught Chinook salmon all the way up to the Homestead Dam, but the action was starting to slow.    

Portage Lake:  Cooler temperatures turned on the perch bite. Fish were hitting on worms in 12 to 18 feet along the west side.  

Manistee:  Surface water temperatures dropped to 60 degrees. Fishing slowed but coho and a few Chinook could still be found in 150 to 200 feet. Chinook were also picked up when trolling in the channel and by pier anglers.  

Manistee River:  Chinook and some coho have been caught up near Tippy Dam. The rain and cooler weather had brought in some fresh fish. Most were using spawn, skein, flies or spoons.    

Ludington:  Surface water temperatures have cooled to the lower 60’s and a few coho, steelhead and lake trout were caught in 180 to 250 feet. Pier anglers were getting a few fish early or late.  

Pere Marquette Lake:  Chinook were still being caught when trolling or jigging however the action did slow.  

Pere Marquette River:  Continues to produce a fair to good number of Chinook salmon including some very large fish.   

Pentwater:  Chinook, coho and the odd steelhead or lake trout were caught 40 to 80 feet down in 160 to 200 feet. Spoons in orange, red, or green fished well along with white or green flies. Pier anglers casting spoons and body baits caught the occasional chinook salmon in the early morning hours.  

Pentwater Lake:  Anglers casting body baits from Longbridge Road reported very slow salmon fishing. Those still-fishing with perch rigs tipped with wax worms caught yellow perch in 20 to 30 feet.    

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Upper Peninsula

Lac Vieux Desert:  Muskellunge anglers are finding a few fish along the edge of the weed beds and up in the shallows early or late. The pike action is heating up as well with reports of 24-30-inch fish common. Walleye fishing remained slow with only a few legal fish taken. Perch anglers are staying active however there are still a lot of smaller fish being caught. Those chasing bluegills and sunfish had similar results. Finding the larger schools of fish has been difficult. Bass fishing remains good.     

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye action was a bit slower because of the strong east winds. Best areas were Kipling in 22 to 30 feet, the “Black Bottom” in 18 to 25 feet and Garth Point in 12 to 20 feet. Garth Point was best at night when trolling stick baits or crawlers.  A few good perch catches were taken in 22 to 30 feet near Kipling. Try minnows or crawlers. Pike were active in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. Best catches were around the mouth of the harbor and out from the beach when trolling crank baits, spoons or spinners. Smallmouth anglers caught fish along the southern end of the “Black Bottom” with plastics or spinners in 16 to 20 feet or near Round Island in 10 to 16 feet.  

Big Bay De Noc:  Had mostly smallmouth bass anglers in the southern waters. Good catches were reported between Martins Bay and St. Vitals Island in 10 to 18 feet with plastics. Garden Bluff had fair catches in 15 to 25 feet. Some were targeting perch in Garden Bay but few fish were caught.  

Manistique River:  Was producing some walleye and salmon.  

Marquette:  Lake trout fishing continues to be good. More anglers are starting to target both the Carp and the Dead River but most had no luck.   

Au Train:  Lake trout fishing is still very good just north of Au Train Island when trolling or jigging. Some were starting to troll up high for salmon near the mouth of the Au Train River but very few had any luck.  

Munising:  Very slow fishing in general with only a few small splake caught by those trolling for coho. Surface water temperatures dropped to the low to mid 60’s. Lake trout anglers continue to do well towards Wood Island and near Big Reef with most fish averaging around five to six pounds. Rivers were high and turbid.    

Grand Marais:  Good lake trout fishing continues towards Au Sable Point and Five Mile Reef. The few trolling for salmon caught a couple fish.  

Detour:  Strong northeast winds prevented anglers from fishing at the Detour Lighthouse and south into Lake Huron. A few Chinook and pink salmon were caught further upstream of the lighthouse on the Drummond Island side of the river. Good walleye action with fish 17 to 24 inches were reported up near Swedes Pointe when trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses with red and gold smiley blades. Those using a slip bobber with a shiner along the underwater humps in 10 to 14 feet caught walleye in the early morning. Around Drummond Island, anglers caught a few yellow perch at both the mouth or inside Harbor Island with perch spreaders and shiners or small worms just off the bottom in the early morning and mid-afternoon in six to eight feet.  

Cedarville and Hessel:  Northern pike remain steady throughout Cedarville Bay and Musky Bay for those trolling an orange, chartreuse and black spotted crank bait in eight to 12 feet. Rock bass and sunfish were caught just off the weed beds in six feet off Connors Pointe. For those that enjoy casting for largemouth bass, try spinners under the docks throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands in the early morning or evening. At Hessel, no perch were reported at the marina. Water temperatures were still 65 degrees at the marina but once those temperatures cool to 55-58 degrees, the perch should begin to move into the finger docks. Pike fishing was good on the west side of Marquette Island, but the bigger fish came to those still-fishing with creek chubs in Wilderness Bay in eight to 15 feet. Moving west of Hessel, to Nunn’s Creek, anglers have caught Chinook salmon. Nunn’s Creek is located off Hwy M-134 which is six miles east of I-75. Shore anglers and those wading were using natural and artificial spawn.   

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Fishing Tip: What you need to know about fishing early autumn walleye

Targeting walleye in the fall can offer some of the best fishing of the season. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you target this sportfish in the near future.

1. In early fall, walleye can be found in a variety of locations within the water body, including deep, shallow or anywhere in between. Keep that in mind and don’t stick to one depth range.
2. If you’re out in the morning, check the areas where deep water meets the shallow spots.
3. As the day progresses start heading deeper, as walleye can be photosensitive.
4. Don’t forget to try your luck during the nighttime hours! This can be a very productive time during the fall, especially along rock points and flat areas. 

To learn more about fishing for walleye in Michigan, visit their page on the DNR’s website.  

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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.