Weekly Fishing Report: August 4, 2021

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Weekly Fishing Report - August 4, 2021

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

Want to report a trout or salmon with a missing adipose fin? It could have a Coded Wire Tag so there are special instructions you should follow. Visit Michigan.gov/TaggedFish to learn more. 

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Anglers were finding walleye out from Fermi Power Plant and north of buoys 1 and 2 in 26 feet of water. Angling effort increased for yellow perch with some anglers having productive catches off buoy C and the dumping grounds while using minnows. Bass anglers were finding success in Brest Bay catching largemouth bass. Anglers were also catching walleye while running wiggle warts and crawler harnesses with hot colors being green, chartreuse, gold and chrome.

Lake St. Clair: Anglers were catching walleye from the mouth of the south channel in 12 to 14 feet of water and in Anchor Bay near New Baltimore in 11 feet of water. Walleye were also being caught at the dumping grounds near the Canadian border in 16 to18 feet of water. Some perch were caught in these locations as well. Smaller catches of walleye were taking place in the northeast portions of Anchor Bay and the north channel mouth in 12 to 14 feet of water. Small perch catches were coming in from this location as well. Smallmouth bass action was good near the dumping grounds in 17 to 19 feet of water and near the St. Clair light in 22 feet of water. Musky anglers were successful while trolling and casting in the eastern part of the lake in 15 to 18 feet of water. Musky were caught from the mouth of the South Channel, in Goose Bay, and near Strawberry and Grassy Islands in 10 to 18 feet of water. On windy days, the Fairhaven launch may be a good option because there are more sheltered areas available close by where anglers can still get in some fishing time. Walleye were biting on artificial lures better than on crawlers at times. Using natural and artificial bait may be a good plan with the changing weather

Harbor Beach: Some steelhead were caught out in 150 to 180 feet of water on 10 color lead lines using bright colored spoons and body baits. Lake trout were caught straight out and north of the harbor in 170 to 200 feet of water while fishing dodgers with spin and glows or spoons close to the bottom. Walleye were caught in 75 feet of water and 120 feet of water using 10 color lead lines with small spoons or crawler harnesses. Bass were caught close to shore while casting small body baits and spoons.

Saginaw Bay: In lower Saginaw Bay, walleye were caught in 8 to 10 feet of water in front of Finn Rd. while using crawlers. Walleye were also caught in 12 to 15 feet of water out in front of the Bay City State Park on crawlers. Walleye were caught in the lower part of the Saginaw River in 12 to 14 feet of water on crank baits.

In east Saginaw Bay, catch rates for walleye were all over the map with 5 to 10 per boat as the average. Most anglers were running night crawler harnesses and were productive in the slot off Fish Point in 16 to 19 feet of water, Callahan Reef in 12 to 13 feet and straight out Quanicassee in the weeds in 6 feet of water. Some largemouth bass were caught in Wildfowl Bay on artificial baits.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Pier anglers were catching good numbers of freshwater drum and catfish. Steelhead, salmon, and perch fishing was very slow. The best fishing was south of the piers and the best depths were around 140 feet of water.

South Haven: Anglers were fishing from 25 feet of water out to 60 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow for all species. The fish were very scattered.  

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were finding the salmon and trout to be scattered from 60 to 250 feet of water with the best action being in 120 to 180 feet of water. Pier action was slow for steelhead. A good number of bluegills were caught off the pier using redworms. Salmon were caught on green or white flasher/fly combinations in 40 to 120 feet down. Lake trout were caught on the bottom with yellow spin and glows.

Muskegon: A nice mix of salmon and trout were caught in 80 to 250 feet of water with the best action being in 100 to 180 feet of water. A mix of green spoons and flies were working well in 35 to 120 feet of water. Bluegills were caught in the channel on leaf worms.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Rogers City: Anglers were targeting Chinook salmon, but it was very inconsistent. Most anglers were fishing south between Calcite and Adams Point. The best depths were anywhere from 60 to 145 feet of water. Anglers were running lines throughout the water column. Anglers were using a variety of baits, spoons, flashers with flies and squids.  As we get more into August, flashers using cut bait will become more effective. Good colors were greens, blues, black and white or glow stuff early and late in the day. The better Chinook catches were very early in the morning, about an hour before sun up or late well after sun set. Anglers targeting lake trout were fishing near the bottom in deeper water with flashers and spin and glows. The best depths were 90 feet and greater. Anglers should try to run lines throughout the water column for best results when targeting steelhead, pink salmon, coho salmon, Atlantic salmon and the occasional walleye. A few walleye were caught in 40 to 60 feet of water while using body baits, small spoons and crawler harnesses. 

Rockport: Anglers were fishing the Nordemeer Wreck for a mixed bag of lake trout, steelhead, pink salmon, coho salmon and an occasional Chinook. Anglers were running lines throughout the water column fishing near bottom for lake trout and scattered lines elsewhere for the other fish. Spoons flashers with spin and glows were good choices. Successful colors were greens, blues, orange, orange and silver, and glow stuff early and late. Walleye were caught early and at night. The best depths were 25 to 50 feet of water. Body baits along with crawler harness were also working well. 

Alpena: Anglers were seeing success with mixed bag limits mostly consisting of lake trout and a few steelhead and various species of salmon. The walleye harvest was slow, but anglers were still harvesting a few. Trolling spoons with various colors in the deeper water around 150 to 200 feet was the popular method when targeting salmon and trout. Trolling body baits was the popular method when targeting walleye in the bay.

Houghton Lake: Walleye and bass were caught in 12-15 feet of water in East Bay. Anglers were mostly using crawler harnesses and leeches.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were catching bass, pike, catfish and the very occasional walleye. Common methods used by anglers were casting stick baits, body baits, and spinners or drifting leeches and night crawlers.

Oscoda: Anglers were catching a few lake trout and steelhead. Pier anglers were catching mostly bass, sheepshead and catfish with the occasional walleye. Trolling spoons of various colors in the deeper water around 180 feet of water was the popular method when targeting salmon and trout. Off the pier, common methods for targeting bass, walleye and catfish were floating leeches and nightcrawlers and use of drop shot rigs for catfish.

Au Sable River: Anglers were seeing success with bass, pike, panfish and some catfish. Various methods worked well. Most commonly was the use of casting or trolling body baits. Catfish were caught with the use of drop shot rigs with either night crawlers or cut bait around dusk.

Tawas: Boat anglers were catching walleye inside the bay near buoys 4 and 6 in 10 to 15 feet of water using crawlers. Out near buoy #2 and beyond, anglers were catching a mix of walleye, coho salmon, lake trout and steelhead in 60 to 80 feet of water off spoons, body baits and crawlers. At Gateway Park on the Tawas river, shore and dock anglers were catching a few small perch, blue gill, rock bass, large and smallmouth bass, catfish and bowfin while using crawlers, spinners and body baits.

Au Gres: Anglers fishing for walleye did well in 15 to 30 feet of water from north of the bell buoy to several miles south of Pt Au Gres and down near the catfish hole, Saganing Bar, using crawlers and crank baits. Dock anglers at the Pine River access site caught bluegill, rock bass and small perch while using crawlers.

Cheboygan River:Anglers that were targeting walleye primarily caught a mix of 20+ inches or under 15 inches, with few between those sizes. Anglers reported a slow increase in the amount of rock bass and freshwater drum being caught. Natural bait continues to be the dominant choice when fishing along the river. 

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: A few nice size bass were caught along the shoreline near Harbor Point. There were reports of lake trout catches near Harbor Point in 160 feet of water, suspended about 30 to 40 feet off the bottom. There were also reports of lake trout and a few salmon catches near 5 Mile in 120 to 180 feet of water.

Frankfort: Good size and numbers of Chinook were caught just before daylight and just after dusk. Anglers were trolling from just outside the pier heads out to 140 feet of water. Steelhead, coho and lake trout were also caught. Flashers-n-flies, meat rigs and spoons were all working well to catch the bigger fish. The morning bite has been best.

Charlevoix: Most anglers were focusing out front, between North Point and South Point. Chinook were caught when fishing in 70 to 120 feet of water. Not many anglers were fishing for lake trout in the area with salmon showing up, but one was picked up in surprisingly shallow water near the cement plant. Smallmouth fishing in the Charlevoix channel was pretty good for bigger bass. A bunch of small size bass and rock bass were also caught. Most anglers were fishing bottom with real or artificial worms or leeches. Time of day didn’t seem to matter much when fishing smallmouth bass in the channel. Majority of success occurred when fishing the bottom.

Petoskey: The Bear River was running high and was dirty from recent rains. Anglers fishing the Bobberhole (mouth of the Bear River) caught some small smallmouth bass, rock bass, bullhead and small panfish. Most anglers were using a worm with or without a bobber in this area.

Manistee: Chinook and coho were caught along the shelf, north and south towards Big Sable Point in 100 to 200 feet of water; depths ranged from 50 to 80 feet down or more. JPlugs, flies, meat rigs and spoons worked well. Lake trout were caught in the mix when fishing for salmon. A few steelhead were caught as well. The early morning and late-night bites were the best.

Ludington: Chinook and coho were caught in the harbor, south toward the projects, straight out and north up to Big Sable Point. Spoons, JPlugs, flies and meat rigs worked well. The salmon were anywhere from 90 to 140 south, out to 250 straight out, and at 100 to 150 off the point. Depths ranged from 45 to 60+ feet. A couple lake trout and steelhead were also in the mix. The piers were slow for salmon although a few sheepshead and pike were caught on body baits and spoons. Another freezer was added at the city marina. Please look for adipose clipped salmon and trout and turn in the heads.

Onekama: Fishing in 100 to 140 feet of water and working the top 70 feet was producing early Chinook and a few lake trout. After daylight the anglers were hitting the barrel to catch a few lake trout to end the day.

Arcadia: Anglers trolling straight out of Arcadia or heading toward the golf course were reporting average numbers of Chinook and lake trout.

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Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon: Anglers were starting to pattern fish between 50 to 100 feet of water; however, depths and colors were sporadic. Lake trout were the primary catch with brown trout and coho sprinkled in. This time of the year anglers are typically using spoons, but color and size varies depending on temperature, water clarity and depth. The Ontonagon River continued to be fussy with the rains received over the previous week. Anglers were finding a few nice walleye while jigging and trolling but it was taking some time and sorting to get to the nicer fish. The river was warm and muddy, meaning slower presentations seem to be working better.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers found some lake trout and coho salmon while trolling. Other anglers had success while fishing the shores for yellow perch and northern pike. Fishing was mostly successful in the mornings or in the evenings.

Marquette: Limits of lake trout were reported. Most success occurred between 150 to 180 feet of water. A fair amount of coho were caught. A Chinook and a few steelhead were also brought in.  

Au Train: Lake trout were caught by anglers while trolling. The jig bite was slow.

Munising: Most anglers were targeting lake trout with best results at West Channel White Rocks, Wood Island Reef, North of Grand Island and Big Reef. There were reports of fish over 15 pounds with most averaging around 3 to 4 pounds. Fish were on the breaks or on top of reef areas with best depths around 120 feet. Anglers were using a combination of flies and spoons with a few pump rods out targeting rainbow trout and coho. There were a few scattered reports of rainbow trout and coho but in general it was pretty slow for those species.

Grand Marais: Anglers were doing well fishing for lake trout with most reporting limits. Fish were averaging around 3 pounds with a few 10+ pounds.  Best areas to fish were towards AuSable, Five Mile Reef, Big Reef and first breaks outside the harbor. Depths varied from around 100 to 160 feet. Anglers were having success with a combination of flies and various spoons or by using cut bait. A few anglers were trying for coho with only a few fish reported.

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye fishing was showing positive signs for future improvement as the alewives have reportedly started to make their way farther south. Smallmouth bass anglers were having mixed success. Perch anglers were fishing shallow, around 10 feet of water. Trolling crank baits was the most popular method of walleye fishing. Bass anglers were casting or drifting natural-colored, soft plastics.

Big Bay de Noc: Bass fishing was excellent. Most anglers reported a fair to good number with some reporting respectable sized fish. In Fairport, anglers were trolling around the islands in 100 to 180 feet of water. There were also reports of multiple Chinook and steelhead being caught.

South Portage Entry/ Big Traverse Bay: Anglers did well in Big Traverse Bay while trolling and jigging. Some anglers caught pike and perch from shore while casting with artificial and real worms. The main catch from these ports was lake trout and most were caught in deeper water. A few coho salmon found their way onto boats from anglers trolling at shallower depths.

St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: Anglers were catching perch and walleye in the rivers. In the Les Cheneaux area, anglers were catching perch at the pier in Hessel using leeches and leaf worms. Anglers were also catching a few walleye within snows channel.

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Fishing Tip: Understanding water temps & their impact on fishing

We bring you this oldie, but goodie fishing tip from 2014. Courtesy of Suzanne Stone, the Program Support Section manager out of Lansing.

As Michigan’s inland lakes warm up in mid to late summer, knowledge of a water body’s temperature stratification becomes helpful for fishing. Seasonal temperature influences in lakes form different zones, and as a result, different temperature ranges and oxygen levels are associated with these layers. Knowledge of these layers or zones can lead to increased angling success.

The warm surface zone is called the epilimnion and has an abundance of oxygen. The bottom zone is called the hypolimnion and is typically cold and depleted of oxygen. The middle zone is the thermocline and the point at which warm oxygen rich top water is separated from the cold, oxygen depleted water below. The thermocline may prove to be a great depth at which to fish due to the abundance of oxygen and temperature found “in between” very warm and very cold. This ideal zone in most Michigan inland lakes typically will be between 10 to 30 feet, depending on lake size and depth. Just like us humans, fish need oxygen to breath and many don’t particularly like to be too warm or too cold.

If fishing in shallow water bodies, look for shaded areas provided by large floating vegetation, overhanging vegetation, submerged logs, or other woody debris which provides water that is a little cooler and cover, where many fish species prefer to spend their time. Also don’t forget to try fishing at night during the summer “doldrums” when water temperatures reach seasonal highs. Many fish species become active at night with relief from the daytime sun and heat.

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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.