Weather patterns keep affecting Michigan fishing conditions
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 19 August 2005 04:04
Weather patterns keep affecting fishing conditions around the state. Anglers will need to be patient and fish areas with structure while trying to locate schools of fish. Some good rain would help push trout and salmon into the river systems.


Walleye catches in Lake Erie are starting to pick up. Fish have been caught in 24 to 27 feet of water off Stony Point and in 16 to 18 feet of water in Brest Bay. Try fishing about one mile east of the Fermi Plant when trolling on the edge of the shipping channel with planer boards and bottom bouncers.

A few walleye were caught near the Banana Dike and the southern tip of Celeron Island. Try perch patterns or blue Hot-n-Tot's.

In the Detroit River, perch and walleye fishing were fair in the channel between Elizabeth Park and Trenton. Musky have been caught when trolling large spoons in 29 to 35 feet of water near Wyandotte and the north end of Grassy Island.

In Lake St. Clair, anglers targeting yellow perch are drifting worms in 12 to 20 feet of water by the 400 Club near 10 Mile Road. Bass are hitting on tube jigs in 6 to 14 feet of water between Eight Mile and 13 Mile roads. Spinners are working, but the blades need to be silver. Walleye have been caught around Grass Island and Strawberry Island, but the bite was slow.

Boats are trolling between the Firecracker and the St. Clair Light with harnesses in chartreuse or hammered brass with red beads. In the St. Clair River, yellow perch have been caught in the Middle Channel and the North Channel near the B-Buoy when anchoring in 13 to 20 feet of water. Use perch rigs with pieces of crawler or emerald shiners.

At Lexington and Port Sanilac, chinook, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead have been caught 35 to 60 feet down in waters 80 to 100 feet deep. Yellow perch have been caught in 14 to 18 feet of water off Port Sanilac, but the fish are small. Pier anglers are catching northern pike, rock bass, bluegill, white bass and catfish at night.

At Harbor Beach, lake trout were caught north of the harbor in 120 to 140 feet of water using attractors with cut bait. Salmon fishing has been slow with a few fish taken in 70 to 90 feet of water on spoons and J-Plugs 40 to 60 feet down. Lead lines with spoons or small Spin Doctors and flies have also caught fish. Best colors are yellow and green glows or blue. Try using darker colors first thing in the morning. Steelhead fishing was slow, but a few fish were taken on bright colored spoons.

Walleye are as far north as the "can" off Light House Park. Try crawler harnesses and Hot-n-Tot's. Slow perch fishing, but try working the reefs in 40 to 50 feet of water with minnows as far south as the White Rock.

In Saginaw Bay, boats are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers off Linwood for walleye. Some are jigging between the mouth of the Saginaw River and the Quanicassee River. Try trolling near the Callahan Reef and the Slot off Sebewaing. Yellow perch have been caught on minnows south of the Black Hole and out near the Spark Plug in 20 to 24 feet of water. Large and smallmouth bass have been caught out of Bayport.


Boats continue to catch chinook and steelhead from the port of New Buffalo. They are trolling in waters 70 to 130 feet deep using light colored flies or spoons in color combinations of blue, green and white. Perch anglers are struggling to find fish in 40 to 50 feet of water. Those fishing the Galien River have caught light numbers of smallmouth bass, northern pike and freshwater drum.

From St. Joe, boat anglers are bringing in good numbers of chinook, coho, lake trout and steelhead when fishing waters 60 to 130 feet deep. Try spoons or plugs in green, white, or blue. Pier anglers are still taking some steelhead, catfish and freshwater drum. Low angler pressure on the St. Joe River. Catfish along with some panfish have been caught at the Berrien Springs Dam. Anglers should try fishing near the mouth of the creeks for steelhead.

Good salmon fishing from Holland to Port Sheldon. Chinook can be found just off the bottom in 60 to 80 feet of water. Perch fishing has been fair with an average of 20 to 30 fish per boat. Try fishing out in front of the Castle Park which is north of the piers in Holland.

Those fishing the Grand River near Grand Rapids have caught light numbers of chinook and brown trout in the deeper holes near the Sixth Street Dam. Rain is needed to push more fish up into the river. Catfish are hitting on sucker minnows, golden shiners, crawlers and pickled liver. Small walleye have been caught off the wall.

Near Lansing, a few walleye have been caught on leeches, minnows or crawlers. Use a hook with attractor blades and red beads. Catfish have also been caught. On the Looking Glass River, northern pike, crappie and bluegill have been caught just off Babcock's Landing. Anglers fishing near Middleville, Cascade and Ada have caught walleye in the Thornapple River. Some large bass have been caught in Millennium Park. Try using poppers, golden shiners, weed less frogs and spinner baits. Some are floating leeches under a bobber when fishing shallow waters in the early mornings and late evenings.

Northern pike have been caught when trolling small spoons or shallow running stick baits in Reeds Lake. Some nice bluegills have been caught in Big Pine Island Lake. Try using glow-in-the-dark teardrops tipped with a wax worm in 10 to 15 feet of water. Crappie are hitting on fathead minnows in Wabasis Lake.

Lincoln Lake reported good walleye fishing when drifting Fire-tiger or glow-in-the-dark crawler harnesses. Rainbow trout have been caught in Lime Lake when chumming with sweet corn and using wax worms 10 to 15 feet down in waters 20 to 30 feet deep.

From Grand Haven to Muskegon, the water did turn over on the big lake and the fish are scattered. Chinook have been caught right from 30 feet of water near the piers to 180 feet of water with downriggers set at various depths. Green and white Spin Doctors with green and white flies seem to work best. Chinook weighing 10 to 20 pounds or more have been caught.

In the Muskegon River, walleye were caught in the deep holes on worms and crank baits. Smallmouth bass are hitting on spinners, small crank baits, and live bait. Anglers fishing Hardy Dam Pond have caught light numbers of walleye, northern pike, black crappie and smallmouth bass on lead head jigs with plastic grubs.


Slow fishing at Rogers City. A few small salmon have been caught, but most of the fish have been lake trout. Boats can be found up near Forty Mile Point or between Calcite Harbor and Adams Point. Trolling with spoons and lead core in the colors green, blue, and silver or cut bait with flashers worked best.

Near Alpena, boat anglers are trolling out to the Nordmere Wreck. Some reported taking an occasional brown trout or walleye around Grass Island and Sulphur Island. Lake trout have been caught near the Nine Mile Can, but the fish are small. Most are fishing 75 feet down in waters up to 100 feet deep. Good bass fishing was reported at North Point Reef and in the old Partridge Point Marina.

Anglers are catching panfish when casting from shore behind the Research Station, up the boardwalk, and on the far side of Mill Island. Anglers will notice a new addition to the fish cleaning station. The DNR has installed a "Fish Head Drop Box" for those trout and salmon containing a coded wire tag (CWT) in their snout. Fish with a coded wire tag can be identified by the missing adipose fin, and ONLY the adipose fin will be clipped off.

Near Oscoda, lake trout have been caught in 30 to 140 feet of water on spoons and flies in gold/green, green/silver, yellowtail, and orange. Pier fishing has been slow. A few walleye have been caught near the mouth of the Au Sable River. The Trico fly hatch is in progress on the Au Sable River. Try using white flies, hoppers, ants and beetles to catch brook trout and brown trout.

Those fishing the flies only section on the mainstream from Burton's Landing downstream to Wakeley Bridge or the South Branch from Chase Bridge downstream to Lower High Banks have managed to catch a few fish.

At Tawas, walleye have been caught off Au Sable Point, near Buoy 2, and inside the point near Buoys 4 and 6. They are trolling body baits or crawler harnesses with snap weights 25 to 40 feet down in waters 30 to 90 feet deep. Chinook are hitting in waters 50 to 90 feet deep. Yellow perch fishing has been fair with most fish 6 to 8 inches.

From Au Gres, walleye fishing was slow, but is starting to improve. Action was reported north of the Charity Islands by those fishing 30 feet down in waters 30 to 50 feet deep. Catfish have been caught at night in the Au Gres River.

On Higgins Lake, lake trout have been caught with downriggers in 100 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are in 45 to 50 feet of water north of the main island. Perch are running small. On Houghton Lake, anglers are starting to catch more walleye during the day. They are fishing leeches and crawlers just off the bottom in the weed beds. Large bluegills have been caught, but the northern pike are running small.


Not much has changed for Petoskey and Charlevoix. Salmon have been caught when fishing down 100 to 120 feet of water, or in waters 200 to 300 feet deep. Lake trout can be found just off the bottom. Spoons in green, yellow, and silver along with Dodgers and flies in blue, green or white continue to catch fish.

Perch and bass anglers reported fair fishing in the northwest corner of Lake Charlevoix. Perch and rock bass can be found in waters 20 to 35 feet deep. Near Traverse City, salmon fishing on the East Bay remained fair to good with most fish taken along the peninsula side of the bay and the South Bank.

A good number of salmon were also taken out from Elk Rapids. On the West Bay, salmon fishing was fair with 1-2 fish per boat. Most anglers were fishing along the White Walls and Red Buoy No. 8. A few chinook were also caught in the "Hole" which is just in front of the mouth of the Boardman River. Most fish were caught 35 to 60 feet down in waters 100 to 200 feet deep. Lake trout have been caught in good numbers on cowbells and spoons in waters over 100 feet deep.

On the Lower Boardman River, smallmouth bass are hitting on crawlers and leeches. A few small northern pike were caught on spinners and crawlers above the Union Street Dam and below the Sabin Dam. Brown trout in the 8 to 10 inch range were caught between Shumsky's Canoe Landing and Beitner Road. Most anglers are fly fishing with a Caddis Fly. Very few carp or catfish have been caught this week.

Along the Upper Boardman River, brook and brown trout fishing continues to be consistent. The better fishing has come to those using Trico's, Hoppers, Wooly Buggers and a variety of dry flies and streamers. Smallmouth bass along with some yellow perch have been caught in the Boardman Pond, but the fish are running very small. Fair to good fishing reported in the Brown Bridge Pond. Bluegills, yellow perch and rock bass have been caught on crawlers and poppers. Smallmouth bass ranging from 5 to 10 inches are hitting on crawlers.

The fishing at Platte Bay is still pretty good over by Point Betsie. Try fishing just off the shelf in waters 80 to 140 feet deep using brighter green spoons and bright green J-Plugs that glow. The fishing off Arcadia has been good one day and off the next. When the fish are hitting, boats are heading straight out and fishing off the shelf at least 70 feet down in waters 90 to 180 feet deep. Some are heading south to the Barrel Hole or north to the Herring Hole with limited success.

At Pentwater, boat anglers are having to travel a bit across the lake to find a break in water temperatures. The chinook catch has been real good but not many brown trout or lake trout have been caught. The majority of fish have been caught when fishing deep with down riggers and lead core.


Fishing in Keweenaw Bay has been slow, but should pick up with the cooler temperatures. Anglers will be trolling for chinook, coho and lake trout. The wild fire and evacuations kept many anglers off Traverse Bay this past week. Inland, walleye and stream trout fishing remain slow, although colder nights may turn this fishery on in the future.

Bass, bluegill and trophy bullhead fishing have been productive. Active fishing continues in Lake Gogebic for walleye and yellow perch. Those looking to fish the popular muskie and walleye fishery on Paint Pond in Iron County, are reminded that water levels have been drawn down for repairs to the dam and the boat launches are closed.

On the Menominee River, very good smallmouth bass fishing was reported this week. Anglers are using a variety of methods including the use of crawlers, leeches, spinner baits and tube baits. Several fish 20 inches or more have been caught along the entire upper river. Perch, crappie and bluegills have been caught near the Chalk Hills Dam and the Grand Rapids Dam. A few walleye along with musky, catfish and northern pike have been caught.

In Little Bay De Noc, walleye anglers are working the East Bank just north of the narrows while jigging or trolling stick baits in 18 to 35 feet of water. The red buoy in Kipling produced small walleye and perch when drifting or jigging crawlers in and around waters up to 25 feet deep.

The Center Reef reported several good walleye catches when drifting or trolling at dusk. The better fishing was taking place just off the shipping channel from the Light House west to the docks, fishing just off the slope. Anglers slow trolling with stick baits have marked good numbers of fish, and believe they are feeding on gobies. Good smallmouth bass fishing by those casting crank baits in 12 to 20 feet of water just off the mouth of the Ford River.

Anglers are still taking salmon off Portage Point, but the fish are running small. Most boats trolling spoons 30 to 40 feet down in 50 to 80 feet of water. Lots of bass anglers were reported in Big Bay De Noc. Smallmouth have been caught when casting crank baits and tubes in 10 to 20 feet of water around Ansels Point. A few bass are starting to show up by Snake Island even though it's still a bit early.

Good numbers of walleye were marked near Round Island. Several nice catches were reported when drifting or jigging in 20 to 30 feet of water. Salmon fishing did slow a bit, but boats are still trolling 40 to 60 feet down in waters 90 to 120 feet deep around the Summer Islands. Boat anglers at Marquette reported good catches of lake trout in waters 140 to 180 feet deep. Salmon anglers were trolling near the harbors, but not much action to report. Walleye have been caught near the mouth of the Dead River.

Good Lake trout fishing near Grand Marais. Yellow perch fishing has started to improve in the Tahquamenon River. Try still-fishing with a worm and bobber along the edge of the weed beds between McFees Landing near Newberry and the mouth of the East Branch of the Sage River. Excellent perch fishing was reported on both the North and Big Manistique Lakes.

Minnows fished on the bottom in 6 to 10 feet of water have worked best. Some 7 to 10 inch fish have been caught, but anglers will need to do some sorting.

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