Weekly Fishing Report: October 3, 2019

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Weekly Fishing Report - October 3, 2019

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

Heavy rain and strong winds have once again slowed fishing. Very few anglers have been out, so updates are limited this week. Those targeting trout and salmon on the rivers need to pay close attention to higher levels and banks that are saturated and may be unstable.

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

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Water temperatures are starting to drop and were sitting between 68 and 70 degrees. Not many anglers were out, but a few walleye were caught when trolling crank baits in 20 feet off Stony Point. The yellow perch bite has yet to improve. A few were caught from most areas on the Michigan side. On average, boats were bringing back less than 10 fish along with white perch and freshwater drum. The largemouth bass bite was good in several marinas around Brest Bay. Crappie were caught off the seawalls in Frenchtown Harbor.

Lake St. Clair: Bass anglers fishing in sheltered areas near Grass Island and Strawberry Island caught smallmouth. Those fishing along the mile roads reported fair catches. Muskie were caught near the spillway and mile roads. As for walleye, there was not much action on the lake at this point. The best bet for walleye anglers now is to fish the river. There was no perch action to speak of.

Lexington and Port Sanilac: Those able to get out were trolling for walleye, steelhead and lake trout in 80 to 120 feet with spoons and crank baits. Pier anglers were trying but all they caught was a couple smallmouth bass.

Saginaw Bay: A few perch were caught on minnows in 17 feet at the Pinconning Bar. Some were 10-12 inches, but anglers were fishing all day to get 20-30 fish. From Quanicassee to Fish Point most anglers were shore fishing because of the wind and rain. The water was stirred up with a lot of weeds. A few more fish were being caught including northern pike, largemouth bass, panfish and the occasional walleye or yellow perch. No big numbers but the variety of fish is improving. Sebewaing to Caseville had little activity. A couple bass were caught near shore.

Saginaw River: Heavy rain and northeast winds put the river under a flood warning. A couple walleye were caught in the lower river when jigging blue ice minnows.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Though more boats made it out the fishing was not any better. Perch fishing was slow as the fish were scattered. When the weather improves, try 35 to 45 feet north or south of the piers. Those targeting salmon reported slow catch rates. When they can get out, pier anglers did not have much luck.

South Haven: Windy conditions and storms kept most boat anglers off the lake. Those that did get out reported slow catch rates for salmon and perch. Pier fishing for salmon and steelhead was very slow.

Grand Haven: Lake trout along with a few salmon were caught in 120 to 200 feet. The lake trout were hitting spin-glo’s on the bottom while the salmon were hitting orange and green spoons up higher. Pier anglers caught a couple small coho on spawn and gizzard shad.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has high water levels. Anglers did manage to find a couple salmon and steelhead up near the dam before all the rain. Fish were also found up near Rockford on the Rogue River.

Muskegon: When they could get out, boat anglers caught lake trout and the occasional salmon in 110 to 180 feet. Lake trout were hitting green and yellow spin-glo’s on the bottom and the salmon were hitting orange and green spoons 65 to 100 feet down. Pier fishing was slow.

Muskegon River: Water levels were high after all the rain and there is minor flooding near Croton Dam. Salmon numbers were increasing, and there could be a good push of fish by the weekend with the rain and cooler temperatures. Look for trout along the gravel bars as the salmon begin to spawn.

White River: Has minor flooding above Whitehall.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Those drifting skein or casting spoons and crank baits at the dam caught Chinook salmon. Some days were better than others though fish were staging throughout the river. They seem to push up near the dam at night and after it rains and while most of the fish are dark, anglers still found fresh fish. Smallmouth bass, rock bass and pike were caught on worms and crank baits. The smallmouth were sub-legal but some of the pike were up to 30 inches.

Rogers City: Had very few anglers due to the wind and rain. Lake trout season is closed. Salmon are staging in Swan Bay. Anglers were running highlines and planer boards with bombers from shallow to 90 feet.

Presque Isle: Anglers had a hard time getting out. The occasional steelhead was caught higher in the water column in 50 to 120 feet. Some were heading south to Alpena where you can find shelter from the wind.

Alpena: Had more anglers. Those trolling in 35 to 80 feet caught walleye and steelhead when trolling spoons, spin-glo’s, body baits and plugs. Walleye spoons were good for both walleye and steelhead especially near the channel, around the outer edges of the bay and near the river mouth. Walleye were found closer to shore as well. Lots of baitfish including smelt were marked in the bay.

Thunder Bay River: A couple Chinook were caught up at the dam and below 9th Street when floating and drifting skein or casting spoons, rattle traps and thunder sticks. Early morning or evening were best. Atlantic salmon were seen jumping at the dam however did not want to bite. Smallmouth bass were caught on spoons, jigs and crank baits. Those floating crawlers caught bass and freshwater drum. A couple small yellow perch were caught in the harbor with minnows or crawlers.

Oscoda: Anglers trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 50 to 150 feet caught lake trout, walleye and a couple Atlantic salmon, but the bite was slow. Fish were also found both shallower and deeper and they were feeding on smelt and bloaters. Those trolling spoons and crank baits around the piers and the river mouth caught a couple walleye and the odd northern pike. Pier anglers casting body baits caught the occasional walleye in the morning or evening. Smallmouth were feeding on minnows at the mouth of the river. Those using minnows, crank baits and crawlers did well.

Au Sable River: A couple Atlantic salmon were caught by those drifting streamer flies or spawn bags below Foote Dam, but the numbers were still low. A couple Chinook salmon were present, but the bite was slow. Water temperatures dropped to the mid-60’s. Those drifting or floating crawlers near the mouth caught rock bass, channel cats and freshwater drum. Smallmouth bass and northern pike were hitting on jigs and crank baits in deeper water.

Tawas: Smallmouth bass were caught in Tawas Bay and though no big numbers some nice fish were caught when casting spinners, crank baits and tube jigs near Jerry’s Marina and other areas in 4 to 10 feet. Pier fishing was slow.

Tawas River: Anglers were looking for Chinook salmon near Gateway Park. Those using spawn caught the occasional channel cat.

Au Gres: Walleye were caught when trolling crawler harnesses and flicker shads out near the Charity Islands. Those trolling all day were getting 6-7 fish. Walleye were also caught between Pt. Au Gres and Pt. Lookout in 32 to 33 feet, but anglers were working hard to get a few fish. Some perch were caught out from Eagle Bay Marina.

Au Gres River: Did not have much activity, including down near the Singing Bridge.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey: Boat pressure was low and the few targeting salmon in shallow waters just outside the marina marked a few fish, but none were caught. A couple salmon were caught by those at the “Bobber Hole” and the D Pier when casting spoons or floating spawn. Fish early or late.

Bear River: Had a large run of Chinook salmon and those fishing up near the dam did well, but the bite had since slowed. Water levels were quite high so look for more salmon with the rain this week. Most were using spawn, artificial eggs, yarn and flies at the dam.

Charlevoix: Had few boats heading out. Those that did tried for salmon near the cement plant, in shallow water along the inside of the breakwall and in the freighter slip. Those casting spoons and crank baits or floating spawn early and late caught fish. Those targeting smallmouth bass in the channel had no luck.

Traverse City: A few bass were caught between the M-37 launch and Old Mission in the East Bay. Salmon fishing was slow. Those looking for cisco found fish south of the M-37 launch in 100 feet. In the Elk River, a few Chinook and coho along with the odd pink salmon were landed at the dam. Salmon fishing was slow in the West Bay. A few perch were found in Bowers Harbor and Sutton Bay, but the bite was hit-or-miss. Pier anglers at Northport had no luck. A couple cisco were caught when trolling near Lee Point. On the Boardman River, trout and salmon fishing was slow.

Frankfort: Coho were still moving into Platte Bay and up near the lower weir however all the wind and rain this week has restricted fishing access.

Betsie River: Still had fishing activity at the Homestead Dam however the Chinook salmon were turning very dark and the numbers were dropping.

Onekama: Those running out to the “Shelf” reported steelhead hitting near the surface.

Portage Lake: Did not have many anglers but those out did catch a low number of perch and bluegill.

Manistee: Had no reports as wind, waves and thunderstorms have kept boat anglers off the big lake. High waves kept anglers off the piers as well.

Manistee River: Look for fresh fish especially after all the rain. Look for steelhead near the gravel.

Hamlin Lake: Bluegill fishing was consistent in the upper lake with 10-20 fish per trip when floating worms in 6 to 10 feet. Bass fishing has slowed which many believe is due to the large algae bloom on in the lake.Water temperatures were 62 degrees.

Ludington: Like Manistee had no reports.

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Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay: Continued to produce salmon, splake and lake trout including a few being caught in shallower water in Traverse Bay. Chinook and coho started to enter area streams. Anglers will find salmon in the Huron, Falls and Silver rivers. Chinook and brown trout were caught at the mouth and in the deeper holes.

Marquette: Most boat anglers targeting salmon near the Carp and Chocolay rivers caught coho and the occasional steelhead. Lake trout were starting to get caught up in shallow waters as well. Water levels were up on the Carp, Chocolay and Dead rivers. Chinook salmon were being caught in the Dead and Carp rivers and a decent number of coho along with a few brown trout and steelhead were caught in the Chocolay River. Most were using spawn, worms or spinners.

Little Bay De Noc: Poor weather limited angler activity. Most walleye anglers fished the reefs off Kipling in 18 to 26 feet or the “Black Bottom” in 14 to 25 feet with crawler harness or stick baits. Smallmouth bass are still being caught around Butler Island and near Hunters Point when casting plastics along the weeds in 5 to 10 feet. Perch catches were spotty with the best area near Kipling in 5 to 16 feet with minnows or crawlers. A few salmon anglers fished up near the dam on the Escanaba River, but no fish were caught.

Manistique River: Anglers caught a good number of Chinook and brown trout. Most were fishing from the “Bass Hole” to the dam with yarn, spawn, skein or crank baits. A few boats reported catches in the deeper holes up near the Paper Mill when casting a single egg. A good run of steelhead was reported with good to excellent catches taken up near the dam when using spawn.

Munising: Boat anglers targeting coho caught few fish within the bay or in Trout Bay. They were marking fish but getting no hits. Water temperatures were still in the mid to upper 50’s. Shore and pier anglers had slightly better action with a few coho taken on spawn or spoons.

Grand Marais: Had no anglers and no reports. Water levels on the Sucker River were high after all the rain.

Drummond Island: Yellow perch fishing continued to improve in Scott Bay. The better catches came between Peck Island and Rutland Island in 15 to 18 feet with worms and shiners two cranks off the bottom. Northern pike were caught at Grape Island when trolling or casting black and yellow spinners or a chrome spoon with a red eye in the early morning and late evening.

Detour: There was no salmon effort at the Detour Reef and lighthouse. Those looking for salmon now may want to try Fry Pan Island with flashers and squid or your favorite color spoons 55 feet down in over 90 feet near the concrete wall. A few walleye were caught upstream from the ferry boat lane in Detour Village. Try the west side of Pipe Island and west across the shipping channel with blue and chrome or perch colored baits in the early morning or evening. Lake trout season is closed.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pike anglers off Cedarville caught fish when trolling or casting. Try off the weed beds in 7 to 10 feet along Connors Point. A few perch were caught when drifting in 4 to 6 feet throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. Try casting a white or gray and red twister tail jig. Some bigger perch were found just off the bottom in 15 to 18 feet. For Hessel, there were no reports of perch caught from the finger docks at the Hessel Marina.

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Fishing Tip: Go "hunting" for fish this fall

Autumn can be one of the best times of year to seek out your favorite fish species for a day of fun angling. Several species to target this October and November include walleye, perch and trout.

Walleye are thought to be in their best condition in the fall and can often be found in the river mouth areas of larger, inland lakes. They’re gathering there to take advantage of baitfish that like to hang out as the weather cools off. Set your sights on 10 to 12 feet deep to find these guys.

Perch will also populate around these same river-mouths, but these fish will likely be much closer to the river than walleye. Check out depths as shallow as 4 feet to find them.

Trout will be available in some of these larger lakes as well during this time period, and can be found in the same areas as the walleye and perch.

Try your luck at some great angling this fall. For more information on the numerous opportunities to fish this autumn, visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.

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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