Weekly Fishing Report: October 11, 2018

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 Weekly Fishing Report - October 11, 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

Salmon and trout fishing continue around the state. Anglers are reminded that snagging is not allowed. Fish hooked anywhere other than in the mouth must be returned to water immediately.   

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  The DNR will continue its annual walleye assessment near Monroe through October 12 with gill nets set near Stoney Point and Luna Pier. Avoid navigating in between the large orange staff buoys and be sure to give the research vessel some room. The perch bite continued to pick up with most boats getting 30-60 fish as well as a good number of limit catches in the morning or afternoon in 22 feet in Brest Bay, 22 to 26 feet southeast of Stoney Point, near Buoys 1 & 2 or 5 & 6 off the River Raisin, 23 feet near the Dumping Grounds and between the E-Buoy and Ohio waters. Anglers were getting 13-15-inch perch Off Stoney Point and the Dumping Grounds. Most were using emerald shiners or fathead minnows on perch rigs with green, orange, red or chartreuse spinners and/or beads. Walleye were caught in 15 feet in Brest Bay when trolling spinners with dipsy divers. Weeds were making it difficult for those trolling.  Good bass fishing along the shoreline and near the harbors. A good number of largemouth and the odd smallmouth were caught off the seawall at the mouth of Frenchtown Harbor, off Sterling, Bolles Harbor, Toledo Beach Marina and the Hot Ponds with spinners, topwater frogs, crayfish or green pumpkin and watermelon worms. 

Detroit River:  The yellow perch are moving in and were caught in 10 to 12 feet around the islands or 14 to 17 feet at the mouth. Most were taken with minnows on spreaders.  Walleye were caught around Calf Island. Anglers were trolling, jigging or hand-lining. 

Macomb County:  Anglers started jigging for walleye on the inland lakes. The bite started to pick up with the cooler weather. Most were using blue colored jigs and plastics tipped with a minnow. Panfish are starting to show up in the canals. 

Lexington to Port Sanilac:  Pier and shore anglers at Lexington caught one or two Atlantic salmon per day. Fewer fish were caught during the warm up this week as it appears they moved back out to deeper water. A few pike were also caught.

Port Austin:  A few perch were caught from the docks.

Saginaw Bay:  Had few anglers off Eagle Bay Marina but a couple good catches of perch were taken in eight to 13 feet. Some perch were also taken from the old state bridge in Quanicassee. Those fishing the inner bay did well for bluegills with some nice fish caught by shore anglers at Finn Road in 11 feet and northeast of Sebewaing off Pop’s Place. Bluegills were also taken by shore anglers between Sebewaing and Bay Port. The bite was best when the sun came out. A couple bass boats at Bay Port caught a few largemouth bass close to shore. When the weather allows, anglers can find some good size smallmouth out near North Island.     

Saginaw River:  A few perch were caught near Smith Park and Wirt Stone at Essexville.   

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  Fishing pressure had dropped. Boat anglers targeting salmon reported slow catch rates. Perch and pier fishing were slow. 

St. Joseph River:  Still had good movement of salmon and steelhead through the fish ladder at Berrien Springs.

Dowagiac River:  Had good numbers of salmon and a couple steelhead being caught. Most were taken on spawn. 

Paw Paw River:  Has salmon in the system but no big numbers.   

South Haven:  Fishing pressure was low as few boats have made it out on the lake.  Perch fishing was very slow and pier fishing was slow for all species.   

Black River:  Quite a few boats were trolling for salmon, but the action was slow. 

Kalamazoo River:  Salmon have been caught from Saugatuck to the Allegan Dam. 

Grand Haven:  Boat anglers continue to catch decent numbers of lake trout on the bottom in 90 to 150 feet with yellow or green spin-glo’s. Those fishing in and around the piers were targeting salmon. Pier anglers caught a few young coho on spawn bags.

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Still has a few Chinook and coho being caught up near the dam. Higher water levels made fishing a little more difficult. 

Grand River at Lansing:  A few scattered coho have been caught at the Portland Dam and the Webber Dam. Pike were hitting on spinners. A couple smallmouth bass were caught at Moore’s Park. Channel cats were caught on live minnows or cut bait.   

Looking Glass River:  Continues to produce some pike for those using spinners. 

Muskegon River:  Has trout and salmon but also had good pike and walleye fishing. 

Whitehall:  Pier anglers still-fishing with spawn caught young coho and the occasional steelhead in the morning. Those casting body baits and jigs in the evening caught walleye and smallmouth bass.

White Lake:  Boats fishing in 30 feet caught yellow perch on dropper rigs or small jigs tipped with wax worms.

White River:  Anglers caught Chinook salmon while drifting skein or spawn bags through the deep holes. 

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River:  Higher water levels and a strong current made it hard to float fish. Anglers have caught Chinook ranging six to 17 pounds when bottom bouncing skein or casting crank baits at the dam. Those targeting pink salmon were using spoons, spinners or spawn behind the paper mill but not many fish were caught. 

Burt Lake:  Produced some good catches of walleye and perch near Maple Bay. 

Mullett Lake:  Was producing walleye and perch. Bass fishing picked up along the west side. 

Ocqueoc River:  Anglers caught Chinook on spinners, spawn and crank baits. Fish up to 18 pounds were caught and most of the females were loose.

Rogers City:  Windy conditions have the lake stirred up which meant anglers were having a hard time finding fish. No boats had been out.     

Alpena:  When they could, a few anglers were getting out on Thunder Bay. Salmon and trout anglers had to deal with the wind and rough water. Atlantic salmon should be staging off the river mouth very soon so try trolling spoons and body baits. A few smallmouth bass were caught when casting crank baits. Walleye anglers are trying as well but came up short with only the odd fish taken.       

Thunder Bay River:  Has Chinook salmon but anglers had a hard time getting them to hit. Fresh skein under a bobber seems to work best. Atlantic salmon are slow to come in this year, but the action should pick up soon. Try casting body baits, spinners and Cleo’s or drifting beads.

Black River:  Anglers were targeting salmon and trout at the mouth when casting spoons, spinners, and crank baits or still-fishing with spawn. A couple small yellow perch were caught on crawlers. 

Harrisville:  A few anglers targeting Chinook were casting spoons near the mouth of Mill Creek but had no luck. Pier anglers caught walleye when casting rapalas. 

Oscoda:  Pier anglers were casting spoons and crank baits for salmon and trout. Atlantic salmon should be staging off the mouth of the river, but poor weather has not allowed anglers the opportunity to target them. Walleye were caught by pier anglers still-fishing with crawlers or casting crank baits in the morning and evening hours. Those using crawlers caught channel cats, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum. 

Au Sable River:  Atlantic salmon continuing to trickle in. Anglers are casting spoons and spinners, floating spawn bags or swinging and drifting streamer flies. Most fish were caught above the Whirlpool, but the numbers were still low. A couple Chinook salmon, smallmouth bass, and pike were taken when casting rapalas and spoons. The river was high and fast. Water temperatures were in the low 60’s and dropping. 

Houghton Lake:  Had slow fishing with only a few pike and bluegill caught in eight feet. 

Tawas:  A couple walleye were caught by boat anglers fishing off Tawas Point, and by those casting at the mouth of the river. Night anglers managed to get a couple off the pier but fishing inside the harbor was tough because it was packed full of minnows. 

Au Gres:  Few were out but one boat came in with about 20 decent size perch that were caught in 45 feet near the NOAA weather buoy. 

Au Gres River:  Was producing some catfish. 

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey:  Had little boat traffic and pier anglers. Chinook and the odd pink salmon were caught on spawn near the mouth of the river. Some lake trout were also caught but that season is closed in Lake Michigan. Only a couple small steelhead were caught. 

Bear River:  Water levels were high. Chinook and coho along with the odd pink salmon and lake trout were caught at the dam but anglers had a hard time landing them. Some of the Chinook had turned quite dark. A couple very small steelhead were hooked. Most were using real and artificial spawn bags or a single egg and flies.   

Charlevoix:  Small boats were targeting salmon in the cement plant freighter slip but none were caught. Smallmouth bass fishing in the channel was slow but a couple were taken on real and artificial worms. Water temperature in the channel was 58 degrees. The odd salmon was caught by those wading near the cement plant. 

Platte River:  Still had good numbers of coho along with a few Chinook and steelhead. Staff at the lower weir plan to allow more fish to pass upstream Friday morning so the weekend anglers should find a decent number of fish. 

Betsie River:  Had a good run of Chinook salmon in the lower river last week. Coho are also in the river. 

Manistee:  Steelhead are starting to show up. Pier and shore anglers caught fish on spawn. Small numbers of coho are still being caught as well.

Manistee River:  Had a good number of salmon all the way up to Tippy Dam and lots of anglers targeting them. Expect the fish to start dying off here in the next week or so. As that happens, coho and steelhead will be moving into the river. Those looking to avoid the crowds might want to fish the upper stretches near Hodenpyle.   

Big Sable River:  Coho continue to be present at the state park however some anglers had a hard time getting them to hit. A few had success casting wobblers or spinners. The occasional Chinook was taken on spawn. 

Ludington:  Surface temperature readings were about 60 degrees but should start to fall by the weekend. Coho continue to be present at the state park. Pier fishing was slow but a couple anglers managed to catch a few coho when casting spinners.  

Pere Marquette River:  Had a very good run of Chinook salmon in the lower river. Many are dark in color which will only get worse as the fish start to die off in the next week or two.  Look for coho and steelhead to start moving in.   

Pentwater:  Anglers drifting crawlers between the pierheads caught smallmouth bass and channel cats in the evening.

Pentwater Lake:  Anglers caught perch and crappie on dropper-rigs tipped with perch minnows in 25 to 35 feet. The odd smallmouth was caught by those casting body baits from Longbridge Road.   

Pentwater River:  Anglers drifting skein or egg-pattern flies caught Chinook.   

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Upper Peninsula

Lac Vieux Desert:  The cool wet weather did not hamper muskie anglers hoping to land a big fish. A handful of fish 32-47 inches were caught on suckers or artificial baits. A few small pike were caught right along with fish ranging 30 inches or so. Walleye and panfish anglers were few and far between however some decent size perch were caught on minnows. Anglers had to sort through a lot of small ones to get them. 

Marquette:  The weather has once again limited fishing. The few boats heading out did catch a couple Chinook, lake trout and steelhead just outside the breakwall. Overall catch rates were low with most getting just one or two fish. Shore anglers had some luck catching coho and steelhead on both the Carp and the Chocolay Rivers. The Dead River is still producing a few Chinook, but the fish are beginning to die off.

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers fished mostly in the southern waters as they were looking for bigger walleye. Try the Minneapolis Shoals area and off Seagull Point. Further north, the best areas were along the Second and Third Reefs in 18 to 28 feet or the mouth of the Escanaba River in 20 feet. Some trolled stick baits as fewer anglers were using a crawler harness. Perch catches were fair to good mostly around the head of the bay in 10 to 24 feet when using minnows. 

Big Bay De Noc:  Had low angler participation. Smallmouth bass were in and around the Garden Bluff area and around Snake Island. Best catches were in 25 to 35 feet with minnows or plastics with drop-shot setups. Perch are showing up in the deeper waters of Garden Bay so try minnows in 40 feet or so. 

Manistique River:  Anglers were still getting salmon including some pinks and some Chinook which were turning dark. Walleye have also been caught. 

Au Train:  A few anglers picked up the occasional steelhead, brown trout, and coho in front of the mouth of the Rock River and Au Train River when trolling spoons in 50 feet. Within the next two weeks, the Forest Service will be removing the dock a bit early to make some repairs, so anglers may not have too many chances left to get out. 

Munising:  Heavy rain and strong winds have made fishing difficult. Surface water temperatures are in the 50’s. Fishing in general was poor with only a few coho caught when casting. Very few splake were caught. 

Grand Marais:  Had very slow fishing with most anglers catching one or two coho and steelhead. Very few anglers were surfcasting at the mouth of the Sucker River because of the strong winds. The river was extremely high with a strong current.   

Two Hearted River:  Continues to produce some coho. The action did slow with the warmer weather but should pick back up with the cold front. 

Drummond Island:  Anglers reported good pike catches on the south end. Try Pike Bay which is east of Whitney Bay with black bucktail spinners with yellow spotted blades. For the bigger fish, try drifting the weed beds with a south wind. A few perch were caught on the north end at Grape Island which is west of Maxton Bay. Pike were found on the southeast side of Grape Island. Some smaller perch were taken on the south side of Ashman Island. Try shiners and worms just off the bottom in 10 to 14 feet. 

Cedarville and Hessel:  Many have not been able to get out. At Cedarville, a few perch were caught in Musky Bay. Anglers may also want to try off Connors Point with worms and minnows in 12 to 14 feet. Off Hessel, no yellow perch were caught at the marina. Splake were caught at the finger docks however that season is closed. Some pike were caught when trolling crank baits throughout Mackinac Bay. Try from Hessel Point to St. Ledgers Island and on to the edge of the channel at Les Cheneaux Club Point with orange and chartreuse body baits with black ladder marks along the belly.   

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Fishing Tip: Lake whitefish, not just for commercial anglers!

Although extremely important to Great Lakes commercial fishers, lake whitefish are becoming more and more popular with recreational anglers throughout Michigan. But you really have to know how to catch this delicious species!

The lake whitefish has a small, exceedingly delicate mouth and is confined to dining on insects, freshwater shrimp, small fish and fish eggs, and bottom organisms. Most feeding takes place on or near lake-bottoms. Keep that in mind when selecting your bait.

If you’re interested in staying inland and looking for lake whitefish, stick with deep, clear-water lakes. If you’re interested in heading to the Great Lakes they can most often be found in deep water, either on or near the bottom.

For more information on fishing for lake whitefish 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.