Weekly Michigan Fishing Report (June 22-29, 2017)


From the Michigan DNR:

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: A lot of undersize walleye have been caught. The bigger fish were found in deeper water.

Wamplers Lake:  Largemouth bass were caught when casting soft plastics in five to seven feet or in 12 feet along the west end of the lake. Panfish were caught when drifting worms along the south shore and near Jerry’s. Some crappie were taken along the drop-offs in 14 to 20 feet with a lead head tube jig.

Sand Lake:  In Lenawee County was producing panfish in six feet along the west shore. Crappie were caught on minnows along the drop-offs.

Ford Lake:  In Washtenaw County had fair to good walleye fishing.

Detroit River:  Walleye were caught in the channels where cooler water could be found.  Most were using jigs, minnow-type lures and crawler harnesses.

Lake St. Clair:  All fishing slowed somewhat due to the Mayfly hatch. Smallmouth bass were caught along the Mile Roads and near the St. Clair Light in 10 to 15 feet. Walleye were found off Metro Beach and near the Clinton River Cut-Off launch when trolling a crawler harness or swim baits. The Clinton River Cut-Off ramp is open for business.  Muskie fishing was slow but some large fish were caught near the Harley Ensign launch when trolling.

St. Clair River:  Walleye anglers were still taking some limit catches when trolling a crawler harness and bottom bouncer or vertical jigging. Fish have been caught in both the North and the South Channels.

Lexington to Port Austin:  Those trolling along the Thumb caught a few lake trout and steelhead 35 feet off the bottom in 90 feet. Walleye were found in 17 to 20 feet. Pike  were caught on spinners and body baits in the harbors. Dark colors worked best. Pier anglers caught bluegills, smallmouth bass, rock bass and pike.

Saginaw Bay:  Walleye were caught near the B-Buoy, the Spark Plug, northwest of the Spark Plug in 17 feet, east of the shipping channel in 24 feet and along the Callahan Reef in 12 to 15 feet. Good catches were reported in 15 to 17 feet along the Slot. Purple and green were the hot colors. Wildfowl Bay had some decent catches for those using Hot-n-Tot’s, crawlers or flicker shads. Anglers also caught catfish, freshwater drum, a few perch and the odd pike.

Saginaw River:  A couple smallmouth bass and catfish were caught on spoons or a crawler harness.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  Salmon fishing for boat anglers slowed. A few coho and lake trout were caught in 120 feet. Anglers were starting to catch a decent number of perch in about 40 feet. Steelhead are being caught off the pier by those using shrimp. Freshwater drum and catfish were caught on crawlers.

St. Joseph River:  Though walleye fishing slowed, fish were still caught when trolling crank baits.

South Haven:  Boat anglers targeting trout and salmon caught a couple coho on spoons in 120 feet or deeper. Some have started to catch a few perch south of the piers. The fish were scattered in 30 to 60 feet.  Pier fishing was slow.

Grand Haven:  A few salmon and steelhead were caught 35 to 90 feet down in 100 to 200 feet and lake trout were taken in the bottom 15 feet of waters 150 to 200 feet deep. Try dodgers with yellow or green spin-glo’s. Pier anglers using alewife or casting spoons caught freshwater drum.

Grand River near Grand Rapids:  Those targeting catfish especially at night have done well with small bluegills or cut bait. Those fishing off the wall and near the bridges have managed to take a few walleye. Bass fishing was good early or late.

Grand River near Lansing:  Those targeting panfish have done well with the cooler temperatures. Carp were still hitting on sweet corn and catfish were hitting on cut bait or crawlers.

Muskegon:  Boat anglers caught a few salmon and trout 40 to 100 feet down in 80 to 160 feet with green, orange or pink spoons. Pier anglers are catching freshwater drum while casting spoons. The south breakwall is now open.

Muskegon River:  Fly hatches were underway and those fly fishing have caught some brown trout. Smallmouth anglers found fish near structure and rocky areas. A couple walleye anglers found fish in the Hardy Dam Pond.

Whitehall:  When they can get out, boat anglers caught Chinook and steelhead in 160 to 220 feet. Pier anglers casting spoons and crank baits caught freshwater drum and the occasional smallmouth bass.

White Lake:  Was producing a fair to good number of panfish and bass.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan:  Boat anglers were fishing near Poe Reef or heading out deeper.

Cheboygan River:  Anglers were taking limit catches of walleye near the city boat launch and the DNR Office when drifting a crawler harness or worms and leeches under a slip bobber. Those using a lindy rig, a fire-tiger crank bait or jigs also caught a few fish. Large freshwater drum, channel catfish, smallmouth bass, pike, rock bass, carp and bullhead were caught when drifting worms near the DNR Office.

Rogers City:  Lake trout limits are still easy to come by especially when fishing the entire water column in 30 to 60 feet with spin-glo’s behind dodgers or cowbells and spoons. Green was a good color. Chinook and coho were caught in the top half of waters 100 feet deep with spoons. Good colors were green, blue, orange or anything that glows early and late. Atlantics and steelhead were taken in the top 20 feet with bright colored spoons.

Rockport:  Was producing limit catches of lake trout in 35 to 90 feet around Middle Island with attractors and spin-glo’s, flies and squid. Green and blue were the hot colors. Chinook, coho and steelhead were caught in the top half of the water column when trolling green, blue, orange, purple, black and white or glow spoons.

Alpena:  Anglers caught walleye when trolling crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers or deep diving crank baits in 10 to 20 feet near Grass Island, Thunder Bay Island, along the north shore, and near the mouth of the Thunder Bay River. Many of these fish were feeding on recent mayfly hatches. Limits of lake trout were caught near the bottom in 70 to 100 feet but were also found shallower. Try trolling spin-glo’s or spoons near Thunder Bay Island or the Nordmeer Wreck. A couple Atlantic salmon were taken in the top 30 feet of waters 60 to 90 feet deep. Pike were hitting on crank baits.

Thunder Bay River:  Shore anglers casting crank baits or still-fishing with crawlers caught a few walleye, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum. A lot of the walleye were small. Anglers might want to try the 9th Street Dam and bridge or Lamarre Park in the early morning or evening. Bullhead and channel cats were hitting crawlers on the bottom. Carp and rock bass were caught on crawlers in the harbor.

Oscoda:  Lake trout anglers had good catches when trolling spoons or spin-glo’s near the bottom in 60 to 90 feet. A couple steelhead were caught in the top half. Those fishing near the mouth of the river picked up a couple walleye when trolling or drifting a crawler harness. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, carp, and a few channel cats with crawlers on the bottom.

Au Sable River:  Anglers are finding a few walleye in the early morning and evening when drifting crawlers or casting crank baits near Mill Street. Channel cats and freshwater drum were caught on crawlers. A few yellow perch and some bluegills were caught on crawlers in the marinas. Largemouth bass and pike were hitting on spinners and crank baits.

Higgins Lake:  When they can get out, lake trout anglers were still taking some fish in 80 to 130 feet. Some were trolling spoons and rapalas while others were jigging Cleo’s and Swedish pimples. Boat anglers targeting perch have not been able to get out because of rough water.

Houghton Lake:  When the weather permitted, anglers have caught the occasional walleye, pike and some panfish. Carp were still in the shallows for those looking to do some bowfishing.

Tawas River:  Smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish, pike, freshwater drum and gar were still being caught.

Au Gres:  Anglers did best straight out from the river and off the points in 30 to 40 feet with some taking limit catches with crawlers.

Au Gres River:  Anglers caught pike, small perch, catfish and freshwater drum. Those fishing the near the Singing Bridge caught some bigger bass but undersize walleye.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs:  Boat anglers continue to do well for smallmouth bass between Harbor Point and the Petoskey State Park. Look for structure such as docks and piers. Lake trout and lake herring were marked in 90 to 110 feet but anglers did not have much luck.

Petoskey:  Lake trout were caught out toward Bay Harbor. The “Bobber Hole” near the mouth of the Bear River was a good spot for smallmouth bass, pike, rock bass, carp, freshwater drum and bullhead. Try worms. A couple smallmouth bass were caught off the D-Pier with worms.

Charlevoix:  A couple boats caught lake herring when jigging or trolling in 20 to 70 feet.  Lake trout were up high in 300 feet. Lake herring were still in the channel but few were caught. Those targeting smallmouth bass did not have much luck.

Traverse City:  Lake trout fishing in the East Bay was fair when trolling the shallows south of the M-37 launch or jigging off Deepwater Point. Bass fishing around Yuba Creek was slow but the fish that were caught were good size. The shallows along the west side and the south end were good spots. Bass fishing slowed in the Elk River but a few nice ones were taken on plastics and crawlers. Pike and freshwater drum were also caught. Those fishing the dam caught perch and rock bass. Lake trout were caught in the West Bay when trolling the shallows south of Marion Island, along the southeast end of the bay and south of the M-22 launch. Smallmouth bass and rock bass were caught in the Boardman River on leeches and soft plastics.

Leland:  Good numbers of lake trout were caught in 70 to 80 feet from the First to the Second Bank with spin-glo’s behind dodgers or cowbells. A good number of smallmouth bass were caught on plastics, crawlers or leeches in the harbor and river.

Frankfort:  Chinook were caught in the top 60 to 90 feet of waters 120 to 200 feet and deeper when trolling in the early morning with spoons, flies and meat rigs. Lake trout were hitting on spin-glo’s around the “Saddle”. Anglers were marking schools of alewife in some areas.

Portage Lake:  Mayflies were in full hatch so anglers were not getting many bites.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:  A few walleye were caught by those trolling a crawler harness.  Panfish were caught in four to 12 feet. Try worms or crickets. Bass anglers have done well early morning or evening especially near structure.

Lake Missaukee:  Anglers caught smallmouth bass, pike, crappie, bluegills and sunfish.

Manistee:  Surface temperature readings were about 62 degrees and though fishing had slowed anglers did manage to catch a couple Chinook, coho and steelhead 50 to 80 feet down in 120 to 150 feet. Some boats have traveled out to waters 600 feet deep and caught a few fish. The north pier was starting to produce some steelhead.

Manistee River:  In Kalkaska County, the Hex hatch was underway and anglers were fishing for large brown trout after dark.

Ludington:  Surface water was up to 64 degrees. Best catches were coming 40 to 80 feet down in 120 to 180 feet. Chinook, coho and steelhead were caught as deep as 600 feet. Pier fishing was slow.

Pentwater:  Salmon and steelhead were caught in 150 to 220 feet and lake trout near the bottom in 120 to 160 feet near Little Sable Point. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass and freshwater drum on crank baits and jigs.

Pentwater Lake:  Smallmouth bass and northern pike fishing was good when casting body baits in four to 12 feet. Perch, bluegill and bullhead were caught from Longbridge Road when drifting red worms under a bobber.

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon:  Had good lake trout fishing when trolling spoons in 20 to 60 feet.

Keweenaw Bay:  Coho, steelhead, splake and browns were caught when trolling spoons and stick baits along the shoreline or in the top 50 in 100 to 200 feet. Those jigging for lake trout had fair catch rates. Huron Bay was also giving up a few coho and brown trout when trolling. A couple whitefish were taken by those jigging spoons in 50 to 100 feet. Coho and brown trout were caught in 20 to 30 feet at the South Entry. Spoons and stick baits were the ticket.

Menominee River:  Those trolling or casting caught walleye and smallmouth bass however the river was high with a strong current after the last storms.

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers fishing the southern Bay reported fair to good catches from Breezy Point south to Round Island. Some went out as far as the Minneapolis Shoals. The best catches were taken in 12 to 17 feet around Breezy Point or in 20 feet near the “Fingers” when trolling a crawler harness. Walleye were still caught at the head of the Bay but most were undersize. The best perch catches were taken around Butler Island with a minnow or crawler in the shallows. A couple bigger fish were caught in 30 to 34 feet near the ship docks in Escanaba. Good pike fishing with a few large fish taken off the Day’s River. Warmer water had channel cats and freshwater drum showing up. Fair walleye catches for those trolling up to the US-2 Bridge. Bass were caught in the Ford River when casting spinners or plastics.

Manistique:  Boat anglers took good catches of Chinook and steelhead out near the green buoy which is about six miles out from the river when trolling spoons 60 feet down in 80 to 90 feet.

Manistique River:  Walleye catches slowed. Smallmouth bass anglers reported fair to good catches just south of the high dam and up to the bridge with crank baits, plastics or crawlers in the fast water. Lots of baitfish were marked just off the mouth of the rivers. Boat anglers fishing just off the mouth caught a couple steelhead.

Munising:   Surface water temperatures are in the mid 40’s offshore and 45 to 47 degrees nearshore. There were a few reports of some legal size splake taken off the Anna River dock however most reported little action with several smaller fish released. Boat angler did get a mix of splake, coho and ever a few Chinook.

Grand Marais:  Boat anglers were few however they reported excellent catches of lake trout when jigging out near Big Reef. Fish over 10 pounds were caught. Cooler temperatures and winds turning from the north/northwest should bring some whitefish in. Surface water temperatures climbed to near 50 degrees and schools of perch in the marina were providing some good fishing for kids.

Tahquamenon River:  A good number of muskie were caught up near the Dollarville Dam. Boat anglers had fish following their bait but did not have much luck landing them. Shore anglers caught rock bass and pumpkinseed on worms.

St. Marys River:  Fishing around Sault Ste. Marie and Sugar Island was inconsistent due to weather patterns. In Baie De Wasai and Lake George, walleye were caught on crawler harnesses and crank baits. Smallmouth were caught on spinners or soft plastics. Pike were caught on minnows, spoons and stick baits. A few Atlantic salmon and whitefish were caught on flies behind the Edison Power Plant. From Neebish Island to Sweets Point, the walleye bite was slow in Munuscong Bay so most were moving south to Raber Bay where they were taking a few more fish in seven to 12 feet when trolling small crank baits or a crawler harness. Fire-tiger, silver, chartreuse and orange were good colors. Small muskie and some catfish were also caught.

Detour:  A mix of Atlantic salmon, Chinook and steelhead were taken at the Detour Reef. The Chinook were caught off the rocky shelf that sits at 40 feet then drops to 80 feet just south of the freighter loading dock on the west side of the Drummond Island Stone Quarry. There is good structure there that seems to hold a few salmon. Anglers did best by trolling purple and black spoons. Fair numbers of small Atlantic salmon were taken on dodgers and lead core 12 to 35 feet down in 60 to 80 feet between Fry Pan Island and the green buoy west of the Detour Lighthouse. The fish seem to be scattered and were also hitting 15 to 25 feet down in 30 to 50 feet on orange, chrome or green and white lures.

Drummond Island:  Walleye fishing improved as the bays warmed and fish were coming into the shallows to feed in the evening. Those trolling or drifting a crawler harness found walleye suspended in six to 10 feet. Hard-bodied stick baits and small crank baits were also producing fish. Hot colors were fire-tiger, chartreuse and orange.  Smallmouth bass fishing was good in four to eight feet over gravel. Pike fishing was fair along the weed beds when casting soft-bodied swim baits, shallow running crank baits, jerk baits and spinners. Most of the action was around the northeast portion of Scott Bay and Maxton Bay outside of Monaghan Pier and near Sportsmen’s Point.

Cedarville and Hessel:  A few splake were caught along the south shore of Little La Salle Island when jigging or drifting an orange and chrome spoon just off the bottom in eight to 12 feet. Walleye were hitting early and late at the west end of Snows Channel from the golf course to the east end of Hessel Bay when trolling or drifting a crawler harness just off the weeds in eight to 14 feet. For young anglers targeting panfish, the small bay at Hill Island Road was producing some rock bass for those using red worms or casting a small white beetle spinner just outside the weeds in three to six feet. At Hessel, a few more yellow perch showed up in the Hessel Marina. Try small red worms about 12 inches off the bottom in six to eight feet. Smallmouth bass were caught on the north end of Marquette Island when drifting and casting tube jigs in five to seven feet. Some bigger pike were caught around Echo Island when trolling a yellow and black spinner.

St. Ignace:  Had no reports. Catch rates on the Carp River slowed for those drifting leeches or minnows at the pier. A few walleye were caught in the Pine River. Boat anglers were trolling a chartreuse crawler harness between the boat launch and the rapids. Shore anglers drifting worms had little success. Water levels were elevated.


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