Michigan Weekly Fishing Report (June 29-July 6, 2017)


From the Michigan DNR

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  After strong winds and a few slow days anglers were starting to find fish outside Bartnik Park.  Fish were caught near the mouth of the River Raisin and some limit catches were taken on crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers off Fermi.  Anglers from Bolles Harbor continue to fish the waters along the Michigan-Ohio line and were taking some limit catches when slow trolling a crawler harness and bottom bouncer.  Yellow perch numbers were increasing.  Try perch rigs and minnows.

Sand Lake:  Largemouth and a couple smallmouth bass were caught while casting spinners in six to seven feet, rattle traps in eight feet or a 10 inch worm in 10 to 14 feet.  Panfish were caught along the west end of the lake.  Water temperature dropped to 69 degrees.

St. Clair River:  Was still producing some good walleye action.  Most anglers were trolling or drifting a crawler harness and bottom bouncer or vertical jigging.

Lexington to Port Austin:  Lake trout, steelhead and a couple Atlantic salmon were caught out of Lexington, Port Sanilac and Harbor Beach when boats could get out.  Lake trout were taken in 100 to 130 feet but those trolling found fish closer to shore in 50 to 60 feet.  Steelhead, Atlantic and even a couple Chinook were also caught.  Pier fishing was slow but a couple walleye were taken when casting at night.

Saginaw Bay:  Had excellent walleye fishing last week with limit catches reported from Au Gres through the entire inner bay, out the tip of the Thumb and all the way around to Port Hope and then the rain came. The rivers were flooded, unfishable and are not safe for navigation and will likely remain that way until at least next weekend.  All the muddy water is working its way down the Saginaw River and into the bay which will make fishing difficult for several days.  The southern end of the bay will be the most affected right along with areas off the river mouths around the bay.  Those looking for walleye should move around and find the clearest water they can which could be a long way offshore.  Try the middle bay from the inner Spark Plug northeast towards the Charity Islands or 20 to 35 feet off Port Austin, Grindstone City and Port Hope where fish as large as 27 inches were taken.

Saginaw River:  Had extremely high water levels and a fast current.


Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  The few boats that could make it out did catch a few coho and lake trout.   The fish were taken on spoons in 120 feet and deeper.  Very few perch anglers have made it out on the lake.  Pier anglers have caught a light number of steelhead when floating shrimp under a bobber.  Lots of freshwater drum were caught on crawlers.

St. Joseph River:  Large numbers of Skamania were moving through the Berrien Springs Ladder.  A good number of fish were moving through the Buchanan Ladder but only a few were spotted at Niles.   The numbers at Buchanan and Niles should increase as fish continue to move through Berrien Springs.  Fishing has slowed but a few walleye were still being caught by those trolling small crank baits especially between the I-94 Bridge and the big lake.

South Haven:  Few boats were out because of the strong winds.  A few lake trout and steelhead were found in 100 feet.  Perch fishing and pier fishing were slow.

Grand Haven:  Salmon and trout action continues to be slow.  A few salmon and steelhead were caught 35 to 120 feet down in 100 to 200 feet.  A couple lake trout were caught in the bottom 15 in 150 to 200 feet.  Try dodgers with yellow or green spin-glo’s.  Pier action for steelhead was slow but those targeting freshwater drum have done well with alewife or when casting spoons.

Grand River near Grand Rapids:  Had good catfish action below the 6th Street Dam.  A couple limit catches of walleye were taken below Johnson Park.  Look for panfish in the backwaters until it warms back up.

Grand River near Lansing:  Bass fishing continues to dominate.  Both large and smallmouth were hitting on minnows, leeches, crawlers and all sorts of rubber baits.  A couple channel cats were caught above the Moore’s Park Dam.  Carp were hitting at the North Lansing Dam.  Try corn, worms and leeches.

Muskegon:  Boat anglers reported slow catch rates with only a couple salmon taken 40 to 120 feet down in 80 to 160 feet with green, orange or pink spoons.  Pier anglers caught freshwater drum when casting spoons.

Muskegon River:  Fly hatches were still taking place but fishing was more difficult because of the high water.  Anglers need to use caution.  Those fishing up near Hardy Dam caught a couple walleye, a few pike and some nice bluegills.

Whitehall:  Strong winds have greatly limited Lake Michigan fishing activity.  Boat anglers able to get out did catch salmon and lake trout in the bottom half of waters 90 to 120 feet deep.  Pier anglers caught freshwater drum on spoons and body baits.


Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan:  Lake trout were caught on spoons off Nine Mile Point.

Cheboygan River:  Had lots of anglers catching rock bass, catfish and freshwater drum.  Walleye anglers did well in the morning or at night when drifting worms on a hook or crawler harnesses from behind the paper mill to the draw bridge.  Shore anglers drifting worms or casting jigs at the DNR Field Office and the public pier caught walleye, catfish, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum.

Rogers City:  Limit catches of lake trout were coming in.  The fish were suspended as well as within 10 feet of the bottom in 50 to 65 feet and were hitting on dodgers and cowbells with spin-glo’s or attractors with peanuts and spin-glo’s.  Chinook salmon are also starting to show up and were caught on spoons about halfway down in 65 to 120 feet.  Hot colors were orange, green, blue and purple and the better fishing was early morning before sunrise and after sunset.  The bug hatches are starting with June bugs and mayflies.  If the temperatures ever warm up expect a large hatch that will draw steelhead, coho and Atlantic salmon.  Anglers are getting a few now when running lines high in the water column with bright spoons in orange, green and silver.

Rockport:  Had great lake trout fishing with limits caught in the bottom half in 60 to 80 feet with dodgers or cowbells with spin-glo’s or spoons.  A few Chinook, coho, Atlantics and steelhead were also caught throughout the water columns in 60 to 120 feet with spoons in green, blue, orange, silver or glow early and late.  Steelhead were caught near the surface as they feed on bug slicks that were starting to form.

Alpena:  Anglers trolling crank baits and crawler harnesses in 10 to 20 feet in the evening caught walleye near Grass Island, the north shore, and straight out from the pier.  A few pike and freshwater drum were picked up by those trolling.  Anglers targeting trout and salmon caught lake trout near the bottom in 50 to 100 feet when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s.  Steelhead and a couple Atlantic salmon were taken in the top 30 feet.  Try near Thunder Bay Island or the Nordmeer Wreck.  Rain and cooler temperatures have fish on the move.

Thunder Bay River:  Walleye and smallmouth bass were caught by shore anglers using crawlers on the bottom or casting crank baits from the bridges and parks towards the 9th Street Dam in the evening.  Those drifting a crawler harness have also done well.  Channel cats were caught when drifting or still-fishing crawlers and cut bait near the bottom.  Some good size fish were taken at both the North and South Riverfront Parks.  A couple pike and some crappie were caught on small crank baits or spoons in the city harbor.

Oscoda:  Anglers reported decent catches of lake trout just off the bottom in 50 to 130 feet.  Steelhead along with a couple Atlantic salmon and pink salmon were caught in the top 30 in 80 to 130 feet.  Try trolling spoons or spin-glo’s with flashers.  Anglers trolling and drifting crawler harnesses near the mouth caught walleye in the early morning and evening.  Pier anglers using crawlers on the bottom caught channel cats, smallmouth bass, carp and freshwater drum.

Au Sable River:  Those drifting and trolling crawler harnesses or casting crank baits were taking walleye and smallmouth bass in the morning or evening.  Channel cats, carp and freshwater drum were caught by those drifting or still-fishing with crawlers.  The current was strong so try a pyramid weight 4 ounces or larger.  Pike and largemouth bass were caught on spinners in the marinas.

Higgins Lake:  Anglers caught a good number of rock bass and smallmouth bass on crawlers.  The smallmouth were taken in the shallows near structure.  Some have started to catch a few perch with minnows and wax worms in 35 feet.  Those trolling or jigging were still taking some lake trout.

Houghton Lake:  Continues to produce bluegills and rock bass but fewer crappie.  A few walleye were still being caught here and there.  The better technique was trolling a harness with crawlers or leeches in nine to 12 feet but those jigging or using crank baits were taking the occasional fish.  Hot colors were orange, fire-tiger or black and gold.

Tawas:  Was slow for walleye however a couple boats that went outside Tawas Point caught lake trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon in 60 to 80 feet.

Au Gres:  Walleye anglers will have to look for clean water as the river is pouring mud into the bay.  Boat anglers will want to head out towards the Charity Islands.

Au Gres River:  Was producing some catfish but the river is not fishable at this time.


Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs:  Boat anglers were targeting smallmouth bass.  Some fish were moving off the beds and into deeper water.

Petoskey:  Few boats have been out and those that did make it out did not catch anything.  The “Bobber Hole” near the mouth of the Bear River was a good spot to get a variety of species but even the bite here slowed.  Anglers may still find rock bass, perch, chubs, bullhead or the odd walleye.  Try worms, spinners or crank baits.  Water levels were up in the Bear River.

Charlevoix:  Boat anglers caught lake trout 40 to 50 feet down in 250 to 300 feet south of the channel.  A couple fish were also reported about 85 feet down around North Point.  Lake herring were caught when trolling in 15 to 25 feet.  Smallmouth bass anglers are starting to fish the channel with crawlers or leeches.

Traverse City:  Lake trout fishing in the East Bay was good when trolling just south of the Elk Rapids Marina.  At the south end of the bay, lake trout were caught when trolling near the M-37 launch and a nice steelhead was caught when jigging.  Bass fishing was hit-or-miss but a couple nice fish were taken along the south end.  Some good size bass were caught on leeches and dead gobies in the Elk River.  Lots of rock bass were also caught.  On the West Bay, lake trout were caught when jigging south of Lee Point and trolling north of Elm Wood Marina.  Lake herring were taken north of Marion Island in shallow water.  Smallmouth bass were caught near Marion Island and off the breakwall at Northport.

Leland:   Good numbers of lake trout were still being taken even though the bite slowed.  Good numbers of smallmouth bass were caught in the harbor and the river.  Both artificial lures and live bait have taken fish with artificial lures taking the bigger fish.

Frankfort:  Anglers caught a good number of lake trout in 65 to 80 feet in Platte Bay when trolling spin-glo’s near the bottom.  Chinook were reported straight out in the top 50 to 70 feet of waters 90 to 120 feet deep and hitting on spoons and meat rigs.

Onekama:  Those trolling in the “Barrel” caught good numbers of lake trout throughout the day and the odd Chinook in the early morning.

Portage Lake:  The mayfly hatch has come to an end and catch rates have increased for bass, perch and other panfish along the shorelines.  When the water warms, try deeper in 18 to 22 feet.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:   Were still producing panfish including some good size bluegills for those using worms.  Bass along with a few pike and walleye were caught by those slow trolling or drifting.

Manistee:  Boat anglers caught Chinook, lake trout and steelhead in 100 to 220 feet.  Pier anglers were starting to get some steelhead off the north pier.

Ludington:  Boat anglers caught Chinook, lake trout and steelhead in 130 to 250 feet.  Some anglers did well way out in 500 feet and deeper.  Pier fishing was slow.

Pentwater:  Fishing participation has been limited due to weather conditions.  Those trolling 50 to 100 feet down in 60 to 120 feet did catch coho, steelhead and the occasional lake trout on blue or green spoons.  Pier anglers caught freshwater drum.

Pentwater Lake:  Those casting spoons or body baits in the channel caught freshwater drum and the occasional smallmouth bass.  Sunfish, perch and rock bass were caught from Longbridge Road when floating red worms.  Those casting crank baits or jigs tipped with soft plastics caught both large and smallmouth bass.


Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay:  Fishing was a bit on the slow side but a few whitefish were taken in 60 to 90 feet when jigging spoons.  Salmon anglers have not been able to get out because of the weather.  At the South Entry, a couple brown trout and splake were taken on orange spoons or stick baits in 25 to 40 feet.  Those trolling outside Huron Bay caught lake trout in 100 to 150 feet.

Marquette:  Limits of lake trout were caught between the white rocks and Granite Island in 190 to 220 feet.  A few coho and brown trout were caught in the harbor and near Shot Point.

Lake Gogebic:  Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss.  Trolling and using slip bobbers on the weed beds was producing some fish.  Early morning and late evening were best but a few were taken during the day.  Bluegill and pumpkinseed fishing continues to heat up despite the dip in temperatures.  Smallmouth fishing was excellent with crank baits or a jig and slip bobber with live bait.  A recent mayfly hatch did not seem to hamper fishing.

Menominee River:  Still had high water levels.

Little Bay De Noc:  The best walleye catches were in southern waters between Breezy Point and the Minneapolis Shoals.  In the Breezy Point area, anglers trolled stick baits or a crawler harnesses along the break in and around 12 feet.  Out near the “Fingers” anglers used the same in 18 to 25 feet.  A few walleye are still being caught off the mouth of the Whitefish River but most are undersize.  A few good catches of perch were reported around the Kipling area using wigglers, crawlers or minnows in five to 24 feet.  A good number of pike and freshwater drum were caught throughout the bay.  Salmon anglers reported catches out by the Ford River Buoy when trolling spoons 60 feet down in 85 feet.

Manistique:  Had pretty much all salmon anglers taking fair to good catches about six miles out near the buoy when trolling spoons 60 to 75 feet down in 80 to 90 feet.  The Chinook were good size with some up near 30 pounds.  Good numbers of large steelhead were also caught in the top 40 feet.

Au Train:  A light number of lake trout were caught on the flats in front of Shelter Bay and around Au Train Island.  A couple coho, lake trout and brown trout were taken in shallow water near the mouth of the Au Train River.

Munising:   Those trolling caught coho and splake within the bays.  Lake trout averaging five to 10 pounds were caught along Big Reef.  Try floating or jigging a jig on either Wood Island Reef or Big Reef.  Pier anglers at the Anna River reported a slow bite but a couple splake were taken on spawn in 20 feet.  Water temperatures nearshore were in the low to mid 50’s and upper 40’s offshore.

Grand Marais:  Whitefish action was hit-or-miss but anglers were still getting some limit catches when using a single egg.  When they can get out, boat anglers were taking limit catches of lake trout out towards Au Sable Point in 160 feet or five to seven miles straight out from the port.  A few coho were also caught.

Tahquamenon River:  Muskie averaging 35 to 42 inches and some smaller pike were caught after the rain.  Anglers were using red and white lures as well as orange, green and chartreuse crank baits.  Small perch and pumpkinseed sunfish were caught with worms off the Dollarville Pier.

St. Marys River:  At Sault St. Marie, Atlantic salmon fishing was spotty for those fishing the discharge side of Cloverland Electric.  Those fishing off the Federal Power House near the Canadian Rapids just below the Locks had good catches of steelhead when using a black and white crank bait with red spots.  Walleye fishing was fair around Sugar Island and Lake George with crawler harnesses and crank baits off planer boards in four to eight feet off Hay Pointe in the early morning.  Pike and smallmouth bass fishing was fair when trolling or casting small crank baits around Gem Island.  Walleye fishing in the lower river improved in Raber Bay with fish 16 to 19 inches caught.   Most were trolling or drifting a crawler harness with planer boards or bottom bouncers.  The fish have moved south and were caught on both the north and the south side of Lime Island, Burnt Island and near the Raber Township pier.  A few pike and yellow perch was also caught.  Shore anglers have caught pike while casting spinners or crank baits off the pier.  Good colors were fluorescent green, orange, and red.

Drummond Island:  Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss and success seems to change day to day.  The fish have schooled up and were either tight to the bottom or suspended in the middle.  Cold water has come downriver and surface temperatures dropped to 48 degrees.  Most of the walleye action continues to be around the northeast portion of Scott Bay, with a few anglers trying Maxton Bay between the Monaghan Pier and James Island when trolling small crank baits and crawler harnesses.  Orange, chartreuse, fire-tiger and pink were the hot colors.  Bass and pike can be found around the inside of James Island, Grape Island, and the north end of Scott Bay.  They were caught on spinners, crank baits or soft-body swim baits.  Hot colors were silver, white and dark green.  Several large mayfly hatches were reported so the lake herring should be present by the end of the week.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Fly hatches have been ongoing the last couple weeks and lake herring were finally starting to show up with the first catch reported in Prentiss Bay when using a fly about three cranks off the bottom in eight to 12 feet.  Snows Channel was producing some 28 to 30 inch pike.  Smallmouth bass were caught at the mouth of Duck Bay and Musky Bay when casting or jigging a dark green spotted tube jig near the rocks in five to eight feet.  Shore anglers targeting panfish have done well on both sides of the bridge on Hill Island Road when using worms or minnows in two to four feet.  There were no reports of yellow perch from the finger docks or fishing pier in Hessel.

St. Ignace:  Had no reports.  Those targeting walleye in the Carp River had no luck.  A few suckers were taken on worms.   Walleye catch rates on the Pine River were slow.  Fish caught at the mouth were undersize.  There were no reports of walleye caught at the rapids.  Anglers were trolling leeches and worms on a crawler harness, drifting worms under a slip bobber or fishing the bottom with a plain hook.


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