Fishing conditions should improve with resurgent temperatures
Written by Detroit News   
Friday, 08 July 2005 04:23
While the recent cold front slowed fishing around the state, conditions should improve with the return of warmer temperatures, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.

Recent strong winds have turned over the waters in both the inland lakes and the Great Lakes. Panfish still can be found close to the beds in some of the inland lakes.

Southeastern Lower Peninsula

Walleye anglers are catching mostly sub-legal fish on Lake Erie, the DNR reported. Some keepers have been caught east of the Fermi Power Plant and off Stony Point in 22 to 28 feet of water.

Large fish have been caught in Ohio waters 20 to 27 feet deep when trolling Hot-n-Tot's, small spoons, and crawler harnesses. Fish have been caught out from Bolles Harbor in 20 to 22 feet of water.

Light numbers of perch were caught southeast of the Sputnik.

Along the Detroit River, anglers are launching from Erie Metro Park and catching walleye with bottom bouncers and crawlers in 12 to 15 feet of water near Celeron Island. Smallmouth bass also have been caught on crawlers and bottom bouncers.

Yellow perch can be found east of Grosse Ile near Dunbar and Sullivan Bay in 8 feet of water near the weed beds. Walleye have been caught near Wyandotte at Peach Island when using crawlers and crank baits in 8 to 12 feet of water.

A few musky have been caught on the north end of Fighting Island when trolling in 29 feet of water.

Fishing on Lake St. Clair has been fair. Anglers have been getting a few walleye near Metro Beach and the Harrison Township launch. Walleye can be found near the St. Clair Lighthouse when trolling artificial bait in 8 to 10 feet of water.

Musky anglers have been trolling from Metro Beach to the Dumping Grounds with body baits. Fish have been taken in Anchor Bay near the Harley launch site on the south end of the river. Boats are trolling in 10 to 14 feet of water.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been moderate with most anglers using tube baits near the Dumping Grounds at 8 Mile and 9 Mile roads.

At Lexington and Port Sanilac, lake trout along with a few chinook have been caught when trolling in 50 to 75 feet of water. Perch fishing has been hit or miss with a few nice fish taken in 40 feet of water.

At Harbor Beach, lake trout fishing has been fair to good when trolling north of the harbor in 60 to 125 feet of water. Attractors with Spin & Glows or Peanuts, Dodgers with Action Flies or squid just off the bottom have worked best.

Dream Weaver and Silver Streak spoons in regular and magnum fished anywhere from 50 feet to the bottom also have caught fish. Salmon have been caught straight out and north of the harbor. Try Dodgers and squid or Spin Doctors with Dipsey Divers.

Lead lines with five to ten colors have been working well. Best color for lures has been green glows, green and yellow or white with pearl. Try fishing deeper waters 120 to 180 feet deep for steelhead. Use small spoons and body baits in bright colors.

A few perch have been caught in 30 to 60 feet of water south of the harbor by the Cemetery, and off the walkway inside the harbor. Bass and pike fishing continue to be good inside the harbor using body baits and spoons around the weed beds.

A few walleye have been caught off the North wall in the late evenings when casting body baits.

Good walleye fishing has been reported in 30 feet of water at Grindstone City. Lake trout can be found in waters up to 110 feet deep. Smallmouth bass have been caught in the marinas.

Walleye have been caught at Port Austin when trolling around the Lighthouse and on the reefs toward Port Crescent.

In Saginaw Bay, walleye have been taken in the Slot between Sebewaing and Sand Point when trolling crawler harnesses. Good walleye fishing has been reported off Caseville when trolling in 35 feet of water north of Big Charity Island.

Those fishing the Lower Saginaw River have caught walleye when vertical jigging with spoons or trolling crank baits. Channel catfish have been caught in the Hot Ponds.

Southwestern Lower Peninsula

Good fishing has been reported by boat anglers at St. Joseph, according to the DNR's report. Good numbers of steelhead have been caught when trolling just north or south of the piers in 40 to 70 feet of water. Most fish have been taken about halfway down on blue and green Dolphins or Spin Doctors. Chinook and coho also have been caught.

Pier anglers have caught steelhead off the pier at night. Smallmouth bass and catfish have been caught in the St. Joseph River.

Good fishing continues from South Haven to Saugatuck. Chinook and steelhead have been caught straight out from the pier in the top 50 feet of water. Boats are trolling in a north and south pattern with spoons in a variety of colors.

In the Kalamazoo River, steelhead are hitting on flies up near the Allegan Dam. Walleye fishing has slowed with the cold front. Channel cats have been caught on crawlers and small bluegill. Crappies are hitting on minnows and the smallmouth bass have been caught on small spinners or tube baits.

Good numbers of panfish have been caught on many area inland lakes.

From Holland to Port Sheldon, salmon fishing has improved with good numbers of both chinook and steelhead caught in 30 to 110 feet of water. The steelhead are hitting up high in the water column while the chinook seem to be scattered.

Recent high winds have turned the lake over and water temperatures are now in the mid- to upper-50's. Perch finally have moved in and have been caught in 25 feet of water north or south of the piers in Holland. Freshwater drum have been caught off the piers.

Anglers are catching panfish in the Grand River near Grand Rapids. Bluegill are hitting on crawlers and wax worms, and crappie on minnows.

A few Skamania steehead have been caught at the Sixth Street Dam. Large flathead catfish have been caught below the dam, and channel catfish can be found in the deeper holes above the dam.

Walleye have been caught below the dams near Lansing. Channel cats are hitting at night on frozen minnows, crawler or leeches. Bluegill are off the beds so anglers will want to fish deeper waters.

Fishing in the Rogue River has been fair with a few nice brown trout caught near the dam. Carp and suckers have been caught on crawlers.

At Grand Haven, boat anglers are catching steelhead in the top 50 to 70 feet of waters up to 250 feet deep. Chinook have been caught on an assortment of spoons and Flashers with flies in a variety of colors when fishing in waters 100 to 150 feet deep.

At Muskegon, light numbers of chinook and steelhead have been caught by boat anglers in waters ranging from 120 to 200 feet deep. There have been no reports of perch caught.

Panfish continue to bite in Muskegon Lake, and boats are drift fishing for trout along the Muskegon River.

Northeastern Lower Peninsula

At Rogers City, the best salmon fishing has been north of the harbor around Forty Mile Point and up to Hammond Bay, the DNR said. Anglers are fishing in waters 60 to 120 feet deep using downriggers set 35 to 70 feet deep.

Blue, green, yellow, and purple spoons or Hootchie Mamas with flies have worked well. Steelhead have been caught near the surface with planer boards and lead core. Good color combinations are orange and silver or gold.

While fishing has been slow at Presque Isle, lake trout continue to dominate the catch. Salmon are just beginning to show up. The best catches have come from south of the harbor toward Stoneport or north of the harbor between the Lighthouses. Anglers are fishing in areas where the water temperatures are between 45 and 51 degrees. Look for schools of bait fish and any structure. The fish seem to be in good shape, ranging from 4 to 12 pounds.

Good fishing has been reported at Stoneport. Anglers have caught whitefish, steelhead, chinook, coho, lake trout and freshwater drum.

Walleye fishing on Black Lake continues to be done mostly along the weed beds and the drop-offs. Trolling or drifting with harnesses baited with crawlers or leaches works best. Morning and evenings are best to avoid all the recreational traffic.

There has been good northern pike fishing on the north end of the lake when drift fishing with large minnows, or casting lures along the weed lines. Smallmouth are hitting in the cattails and shallow waters around them. Perch and panfish have been caught on worms or minnows.

Fishing has slowed in Fletcher's Floodwaters. Bluegill and perch have been caught on worms. Northern pike have been caught on various spinner baits. Bass can be found in front of Lyons Landing, which is located in the southwest corner of the lake.

The salmon finally have arrived in Alpena. Chinook have been caught at the Nordmere Wreck when trolling with spoons. Numbers are light and the fish are running on the small side, 3 to 7 pounds. Anglers need to use caution and watch out for the nets.

A few lake trout also have been caught out near the Wreck.

Walleye fishing slowed a bit with cooler temperatures. The big fly hatch is over, so the fish will be hungry and feeding again soon. South Point at Devil's River has produced some nice walleye when trolling body baits.

Lake trout have been caught at both Harrisville and Oscoda. Boat anglers continue to catch salmon as well. Walleye fishing has slowed, but fish still can be caught off the piers in Oscoda.

At Tawas, fair to good walleye action has been reported in 25 to 40 feet of water near Buoy {nldr}2. Out near Au Sable Point, good numbers of lake trout have been caught on spoons in 80 to 120 feet of water. Pier anglers are taking a few walleye at night.

Near Au Gres, the walleye fishing has been very good until the cold front came through. Crawler harnesses have been the best bait, and the biggest fish have been coming around the Charity Islands.

Those fishing south of Point Au Gres will need to sort through the sub-legal walleye to find the keepers. Limits of channel catfish have been caught on the Lower Au Gres River.

Northwestern Lower Peninsula

At Harbor Springs, Petoskey and Charlevoix, salmon and lake trout have been caught in 60 to 70 feet of water using spoons or Dodgers and Spin-Glows, according to the DNR. Lake trout are hitting on chartreuse, green and yellow while the salmon have been caught on blue Dolphins, blue Chilly Willy's, or Watermelon.

Fishing has been good at times and slow at others as anglers need to keep moving to find the baitfish. Most boats are concentrating near the Cement Plant and the North Point at Charlevoix or between Michigan Shores and Bay Harbor near Petoskey.

Inland, light numbers of steelhead have been taken this week using spawn and crawlers on the Bear River in Petoskey. This limited summer fishery doesn't produce many fish but is there for the effort with fish in the 6- to 8-pound range.

Smallmouth bass can be found in the shallow waters of Lake Charlevoix.

On the Pine River Channel, smallmouth bass can be seen along the rocks. Fishing still is somewhat slow but the opportunity to catch some nice fish is there.

At Traverse City, fishing this past week on West Bay slowed probably due to increased boat traffic during the cherry festival. A few anglers have caught lake trout when trolling along the whitewalls in 100 feet of water using cowbells.

On East Bay, lake trout fishing has been fair with most fish taken in 100 feet of water on cowbells along the peninsula and off Elk Rapids in 100 feet of water. Whitefish action has been fair off of Deepwater Point, with most fish taken on spawn and single eggs in 60 to 70 feet of water.

On the Lower Boardman River, smallmouth bass have been caught on worms and leeches. Walleye fishing has slowed. Those fishing at night or in the early mornings had the best luck. A few small trout have been caught below the dam on crawlers. Suckers and carp still can be found in the river.

Brook and brown trout have been biting consistently in the Upper River. Brook trout are hitting on Hexagenia, Brown Drakes, Prince Nymphs, and crawlers. Brown trout are hitting onHexagenia, Brown Drakes, Adams and crawlers. The Hexagenia hatch is underway.

At the Brown Bridge Pond, bluegill and rock bass have been caught on crawlers.

At Frankfort, the best boat fishing seems to be in waters 80 to 160 feet deep from the Herring Hole to Point Betsie. Good numbers of chinook, lake trout and steelhead along with a few coho and brown trout have been caught on blue and green Dolphins, blue Chilly Willys, and Lemon Drop Tails. Pier anglers have caught chinook, brown trout and steelhead on alewife.

Inland, Crystal Lake and Lower Herring Lake have been excellent for bluegill, rock bass, and perch. For walleye, Big Platte Lake has been good when trolling crawler harnesses at night.

Pier anglers have caught some nice rock bass and smallmouth bass near Onekama. Chinook, lake trout and steelhead have been caught straight out from the piers. Bluegill, rock bass, small perch and walleye have been caught in Portage Lake in the early mornings or late evenings. Northern pike have been near the inside pier in the mornings.

The fishing has been great at Manistee. Anglers have been fishing the shelf to the North and to the South and catching chinook and steelhead at either location. Those fishing off the North Pier also have caught chinook and steelhead on alewife.

Several anglers have reported good fishing at Ludington. They are catching mostly chinook along with a few lake trout and steelhead in waters 120 to 250 feet deep. Water depth has varied, but trolling north to south seems to work best.

Pier anglers have not had much luck, but perhaps the north wind will bring fish in.

Upper Peninsula

Anglers boat trolling for salmon in Keweenaw Bay have reported slow success, with a few fish caught 60 feet down in 80 to 90 feet of water, the DNR said in its report. Some fish have been taken off Dipsy Divers 20 feet down.

Lake trout fishing has been spotty for boats trolling, while those jigging reported fair success.

In Traverse Bay, lake trout have been caught when trolling in 120 to 180 feet of water. Those jigging are concentrating on waters 200 to 240 feet deep.

On the inland waters, walleye fishing has been inconsistent with reports of legal fish taken along with many sub-legal fish. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent. Panfish activity has been good. Trout fishing on area streams is still going strong.

Along the Upper Menominee River, angler pressure has been down this past week. Smallmouth bass have been caught above the Chalk Hills Dam when casting crank baits. Boat anglers jigging minnows or worms over the deeper holes have caught walleye.

Water temperatures are at 77 degrees.

In Little Bay De Noc, walleye have been caught near the mouth of the Escanaba River when drifting or jigging crawlers in 12 to 20 feet of water in the early mornings. Large fish have been caught off Breezy Point when trolling crawlers in 8 to 14 feet of water.

Those fishing out from Gladstone are jigging or trolling crawler harnesses in 14 to 25 feet of water at night.

Off Kipling, walleye have been caught near the Second Reef. Bass fishing has been fair to good just north of the Ford River when casting crank baits in 5 to 14 feet of water along the weed lines.

Good salmon fishing has been reported 70 feet down in 120 feet of water near the Ford River Can.

In Big Bay De Noc, the walleye fishing has slowed with the better catches reported off Porcupine Point when drifting crawlers in 13 feet of water. Smallmouth bass activity has slowed, but anglers are casting crank baits around Garden Bay, Puffy Bay and South River Bay.

Good salmon fishing has been reported off Fairport when trolling 40 to 80 feet down in waters 110 to 120 feet deep. Boats have reported catching chinook, brown trout and steelhead.

At Marquette, windy conditions have hampered fishing efforts. Boats that have been able to get out reported slow fishing. Anglers still are waiting for the deep water lake trout fishing to improve.

A good number of boats can be seen at Munising and Au Train, but most of them have just been out for a ride. Those fishing have reported fair to good success for lake trout in 150 feet of water.

At Grand Marais, lake trout fishing has been good when trolling about five miles offshore. Anglers are fishing right off the bottom along the drop-offs with orange and green spoons. Pier anglers have caught whitefish. Perch can be found along the drop-off near the boat launch.

At De Tour, herring and whitefish are hitting on teardrops and Swedish Pimples with wax worms around Lime Island and Potagannissing Bay. Fair to good chinook and atlantic salmon fishing has been reported. Some fishermen are trying the river for northern pike and walleye, but the catch rate has been slow.

Anglers are reminded of the new fish cleaning station that is located between the two big water towers in De Tour.

Anglers in Cedarville and Hessel are fishing for salmon with good results. The best catches have been coming from the area between Marquette Island and Goose Island when fishing the top 15 feet of waters 40 feet deep. Most lures are working in a variety of colors, with green the most preferred.

Northern pike have been caught near Government Bay when trolling Rapalas. Schools of herring can be seen jumping in the evenings, but they are not biting.

At St. Ignace, boats still are catching chinook around Mackinac Island, Round Island, Bois Blanc Island, and near the Coast Guard Station. Spoons such as Watermelon and Orange Crush with green and white flashers and flies have worked best.

Shore anglers are wading on the west side of the Mackinac Bridge for northern pike and smallmouth bass.

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