Fishing activity expected to pick up for holiday weekend
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 02 September 2005 03:23
Fishing pressure around the state is expected to pick up in the last holiday weekend of the summer, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.

Anglers getting ready to hit the rivers and streams should review the 2005 Inland Trout and Salmon Guide, and pay close attention to spawning closures, the DNR said.

Southeastern Lower Peninsula

In Lake Erie, the perch coming in are fairly good size for this time of year, the DNR said.

Although fishing has been a bit slow, the future looks promising to catch some nice fish in September when the waters start to cool.

Perch have been caught near Buoys C and E off Bolles Harbor in 17 feet of water. Fish were also caught southwest of Turtle Island and near the Sputnik.

In Lake St. Clair, a few walleye were caught when trolling in 17 feet of water with crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers around Grassy Island. Near the Middle Channel, boats are trolling between the mouth and Strawberry Island in 18 to 20 feet of water.

Crawler harnesses in chartreuse or hammered brass with red beads have caught fish near the drop-off along the channel between the Firecracker and the St. Clair Light. Bass have been caught when drifting with tube jigs.

Anglers are fishing Canadian waters near the Belle River Hump. Musky were caught between Grassy Island and Strawberry Island.

Fishing in the St. Clair River slowed, but walleye have been caught when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in various spots along the river. Some caught fish under the Blue Water Bridge when drifting crawler harnesses in hammered chrome, gold or silver.

Musky and northern pike have been caught in the Middle Channel on crank baits. Smallmouth bass have been caught just off the DNR launch site at Marine City.

At Lexington and Port Sanilac, boat anglers have caught mostly lake trout with an occasional salmon. Most fish were caught using spoons, body baits and lead core in 60 to 80 feet of water. A few walleye have also been caught.

Perch have been caught when drifting in 30 to 40 feet of water. Pier fishing has been fair. For Harbor Beach, lake trout have been caught north of the harbor in 95 to 125 feet of water. Attractors with cut bait or Spin Doctors or dodgers with action flies have worked well.

The salmon are 45 to 70 feet down in waters 50 to 100 feet deep and have been hitting on Spin Doctors and dodgers with action flies or squid. Try Lead lines with spoons, J-Plugs and small Spin Doctors with flies. Good colors have been yellow with glow, green with glow, and blue. Darker colors work first thing in the morning.

Bright colored spoons fished on long lines north of the harbor have caught some steelhead. Walleye can be found in 45 to 95 feet of water as far north as the "Can" off Light House Park. Trolling slow with crawler harnesses and Hot-n-Tot's produced some catches.

Light numbers of perch have been taken by the Lighthouse and south of the harbor near the Cemetery. Bass and northern pike are still hitting on small spoons and body baits inside the harbor.

In Saginaw Bay, the walleye fishing has been slow. Fair to good perch fishing all over the bay including the area of the Black Hole, two miles east of Spoils Island, and around Buoys A, B, and H. Smallmouth bass have been caught on spinner baits, crawlers and leeches when drifting along the shoreline.

Catfish have been caught in the Saginaw River. Bluegills, perch and bass can be found in the Tittabawassee River. Surface water temperatures on the inland lakes have dropped to the mid and lower 70s. Channel cats are hitting on live bait. Try fishing in deeper waters for panfish.

Jigging with wax worms and leaf worms or just using a hook and split shot may catch the most fish. To find largemouth bass, anglers will want to fish the deeper waters 12 to 15 feet deep. Try fishing about 9 to 12 feet down with a watermelon tube jig, a purple worm or a solid white worm.

Southwestern Lower Peninsula

From St. Joe, boat anglers have caught chinook, lake trout and steelhead when trolling with spoons or J-Plugs, the DNR said.

Those fishing the pier have caught chinook and freshwater drum in the early mornings and late evenings. There are good numbers of steelhead in the St. Joe River. Water temperatures have dropped to the low 70s and the fish can be found near the creeks and moving up the river system.

Steelhead and coho have been caught at the Berrien Springs Dam. A few walleye were also taken on crawlers. Good numbers of smallmouth bass have been caught when drifting crawlers or casting tube jigs.

South Haven reported fair to good salmon fishing when trolling in waters 80 to 130 feet deep. Most angler have caught chinook, followed by coho and lake trout. Pier anglers are catching smallmouth bass and freshwater drum on spoons and Twister-tail grubs off the south pier.

At Holland and Port Sheldon, good numbers of chinook were caught in 30 to 60 feet of water using spoons and flies. Some bigger fish (4 year-olds) were in and averaged 10 to 16 pounds. Steelhead were also caught.

Perch fishing was good, especially in Holland. Lots of perch in a wide range of sizes were caught. Limit catches were taken by those willing to fish a little longer and sort through the smaller fish. Fish north and south of the piers in 10 to 20 feet of water.

At Grand Rapids, good numbers of steelhead along with chinook and coho have been caught at the Sixth Street Dam. Steelhead are hitting on egg flies, Caddis patterns and glow tubes under floats.

Salmon have been caught on flies, minnow imitations and crawlers. Walleye have been caught on glow-in-the-dark crawlers and stick baits when fishing the deeper holes. Bluegills ranging from 8 to 10 inches have been caught near the dam and behind the Post Office. The fish are hitting on wax worms, red worms and leeches.

No trout or salmon have been caught near Lansing as of this report.

Good numbers of catfish along with a few walleye have been caught. Those fishing the Thornapple River reported good walleye fishing. Fair to good fishing was reported on some of the local lakes.

Bluegills are hitting on wax worms, red worms and fathead minnows in Murray Lake. Good perch and crappie fishing in Morrison Lake. Crappie and northern pike are biting in Reeds Lake. Bluegills, crappie and some nice largemouth bass have been caught in Lincoln Lake.

At Grand Haven, salmon have still been caught around the piers, but not in great numbers as the water temperatures have warmed. Green scaly J-Plugs and large fish catchers are working best. Boats are trolling with spoons and J-Plugs and flies in 40 to 100 feet of water.

Catfish and freshwater drum have been caught off the piers. At Muskegon, anglers have caught salmon when jigging off the small pier. Boat anglers are trolling near the bottom in waters 50 to 100 feet deep.

Those fishing Muskegon Lake have taken a few fish by the Sand Docks and behind the Paper Mill when using spoons or J-plugs. Northern pike and perch have also been caught near the weed beds on minnows, crawlers and leeches.

Northeastern Lower Peninsula

Fishing has been good at Rogers City, the DNR reported.

Limit catches were reported with some nice fish weighing anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds. The best places to fish have been south of the harbor in front of Calcite, Swan Bay and Adams Point. Some are fishing straight out from the harbor or north of the harbor off Forty Mile Point. Try 20 to 60 feet of water south of the harbor, and 50 to 100 feet of water north.

Presque Isle is finally showing signs of life. Those fishing in the early mornings have taken fish straight out of the harbor.

Off Rockport, boat anglers reported good salmon fishing when trolling 30 to 35 feet down in waters 60 to 75 feet deep at Middle Island. A few walleye have also been caught.

Up near False Presque Isle, anglers are trolling in shallow waters for salmon. Fish have been caught in waters 30 feet deep when using J-Plugs, spoons or body baits near the surface. Lake trout can still be found out near the Nordmere Wreck, but not many anglers are using the gas to head 12 miles out.

From Alpena, boats are running out to Thunder Bay Island and trolling right on the bottom and catching lake trout.

Angler are reminded to inspect their fish for the missing adipose fin, as only these fish have a microscopic coded wire-tag implanted in their snout.

Several research studies are being conducted to determine the survival and movement patterns of Great Lakes trout and salmon. The coded wire tag contains valuable information regarding where and when the fish were planted.

There is a new DNR drop box located at the fish cleaning station to assist anglers if they should catch one of these fish.

Those fishing the Thunder Bay River reported no salmon, due to warm water conditions. Good numbers of channel catfish have been caught throughout the river on crawlers and leeches.

Inland, the best walleye fishing has been early mornings or right after dark on Black Lake. Anglers are trolling crawler harnesses and artificial baits. Some are jigging minnows or drifting along the drop-offs in 10 to 30 feet of water. Northern pike and bass fishing slowed in Fletchers Floodwaters. No perch to report.

Near Oscoda, lake trout are hitting on cut bait in waters 110 feet deep. Pier anglers caught a smallmouth bass and rock bass. Catfish and freshwater drum have also been caught off the piers

A few salmon have started to move in near the mouth of the Au Sable River. Boat and pier anglers have caught fish near the mouth in shallow waters 8 feet deep in the early mornings and just before dark.

Further out, salmon can be found in 61 feet of water, straight east of the Au Sable River. A few walleye have also been caught.

At Tawas, light numbers of chinook can be found near the mouth of the Tawas River. A few fish have been caught off the pier in the early mornings or late evenings.

Walleye action slowed with only a few fish taken off Alabaster in 25 to 40 feet of water. Fair to good numbers of 6 to 8 inch perch have been caught off the pier.

The port of Au Gres reported slow walleye fishing. Boat anglers have managed to catch limits of 7 to 10 inch perch straight out of port in 25 to 40 feet of water.

Not much to report on Higgins Lake this week, as not many anglers have been out on the lake. Those seeking lake trout reported good catches in 85 to 100 feet of water. A few rainbow trout have also been caught. Perch and smallmouth bass have also been caught.

On Houghton Lake, walleye, bass, sunfish and rock bass have been caught. Leeches and crawlers still work the best. Good bluegill fishing was reported in many of the inland lakes.

Northwestern Lower Peninsula

In Charlevoix and Petoskey, salmon fishing is going strong with some days producing limit catches and others fair to average, the DNR said.

The temperature break is around 65 feet down with most anglers trolling in 125 to 200 feet of water. Fish were taken on spoons, dodgers and flies, or J-Plugs.

The best colors for spoons have been silver with a sliver of any bright color, white on white for dodger draggers, and glow lures early and late.

Shore anglers are casting at night while the small boats are working the shallows as the fish are moving in closer to the piers. Boats have started trolling near the Coast Guard Station in Lake Charlevoix as the fish will be making their way to the Boyne River.

Salmon have been caught in the Bear River on spawn sacks and flies. With good weather, the salmon run should be good in the next couple of weeks.

Closer to Traverse City, weather may have played a role in scattering the fish. Anglers have caught 1 to 2 salmon in the "Hole" at the mouth of the Boardman River at first light.

Later in the morning, anglers will need to search for the salmon which seem to head for deeper waters.

Fish were caught around the Red Buoy off Grelickville and in Sutton's Bay. Try Hootchie Mama's with fly's containing green, blue, or silver.

On the East Bay, anglers caught the majority of salmon along the South Bank and out from the M-37 boat launch.

In the Lower Boardman River, trout fishing slowed and no salmon have been seen in the river. Smallmouth bass are hitting crawlers and leeches. No walleye reports and no trout were caught below Union Street.

Anglers seeking carp are using crawlers, dough balls and shredded wheat. Along the Upper Boardman River, brook and brown trout have been biting consistently. Those fly fishing or using crawlers seem to have the best luck.

Bluegills, yellow perch, and rock bass were caught on crawlers and poppers. Smallmouth bass have been caught mainly on crawlers, but the fish are small. Northern pike have also been caught when trolling with crawlers or perch colored Rapalas.

The fishing at Platte Bay is red hot. Limit catches of chinook have been caught in the top 30 feet of water along the "shelf." Both East and West bays are producing fish on spoons and J-Plugs in any color.

It appear that the coho are not in yet as only one or two fish have been caught per trip. Near Frankfort, good catches of chinook and coho along with a few lake trout, brown trout and steelhead have been coming in consistently.

The warmer water temperatures have fish a little scattered, but the best fishing has been to the south near the Herring Hole, straight out from the piers, or just south of Point Betsie in waters 80 to 250 feet deep. Try fishing with plugs, spoons, or flies in yellow, blue, green, teal, or purple.

Chinook have been caught when trolling in Betsie Bay. Near Onekama, chinook salmon have been caught when trolling through the "deep hole" in front of Portage Point. Good fishing was reported in 110 to 300 feet of water just north of the piers. Chinook, coho and steelhead are hitting on spoons or plugs in the colors blue, purple, orange and yellow.

Those fishing Portage Lake have taken good catches of largemouth bass, northern pike, and panfish. Some walleye were caught by those fishing at night.

At Manistee, the fishing has been hot. Boat anglers are taking limits of chinook when fishing in waters 50 to 70 feet deep in the early mornings and late evenings, and moving out to deeper waters 90 to 150 feet deep in the afternoon. Fish have been caught when using spoons, J-Plugs, flies and cut bait.

Pier anglers have done well when casting glow spoons. Salmon in the Big Manistee River are making their way to Tippy Dam. Fish have been caught at the dam on flies and artificial spawn, but most are still downstream at this point.

Salmon are starting to enter the Little Manistee River.

There is a spawning closure in effect from Sept. 1 through Nov. 14 on the Little Manistee River from a point 300 feet downstream from the DNR weir to Manistee Lake. There is also a spawning closure from Sept. 6 through Oct. 15 or whenever the established quota of chinook eggs are taken on the southern end of Manistee Lake in the vicinity of the mouth of the Little Manistee River.

At Ludington, boats are fishing straight out from the pier or heading north up toward the State Park and catching good numbers of chinook. Boats are also trolling in Pere Marquette Lake for chinook. Most fish have been taken on spoons or J-Plugs.

Fishing in the Pere Marquette River has been slow, but should start to pick up in the next couple of weeks.

Up Along the Keweenaw Peninsula, anglers reported fair to good success when trolling or jigging for lake trout in Big Traverse Bay, the DNR said.

Perch and walleye can be found in both Lake Gogebic and Lake Fanny Hooe.

In Little Bay De Noc, walleye can be found when trolling or drifting in 20 to 35 feet of water from the Narrows north to Center Reef. Some are drifting crawlers in 15 to 25 feet of water near the Black Bottom.

Good smallmouth bass action off the weeds in Gladstone Bay and for those casting in 10 to 15 feet of water off Rock Island. Light numbers of yellow perch have been caught when jigging crawlers in 15 to 25 feet of water around Butler Island.

In Big Bay De Noc, walleye were caught by anglers trolling for salmon in 50 feet of water near the Summer Islands. The salmon fishing is just about done in the big lake as the fish are starting to stage near the rivers. A few perch were caught when jigging crawlers in 8 to 12 feet of water in Garden Bay.

Anglers reported fair lake trout fishing from the port of Marquette. A few 20 pound lake trout along with 8 and 9 pound chinook and 3 pound coho have been caught.

From Munising and Au Train, good lake trout fishing continues out near the Big Reef in 150 feet of water. Still no sign of any salmon though as it is still a bit early and water temperatures are still warm.

Near Grand Marais, there were no salmon reported in either the Grand Sable River or the Sucker River. Closer to Newberry, excellent perch fishing was reported on North and Big Manistique Lakes. Most fish were caught on minnows.

On the Manistique River, good numbers of salmon are staging just a mile or two out from the river. Salmon have been caught east of Cedarville. Try stick baits in 30 feet of water in the early mornings or late evenings right in front of the docks at Dolomite, or near the Shipping Channel.

Good northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing was reported while casting chubs or shiner minnows in the shallow waters of Government Bay, Cedarville Bay, and Hessel Bay. Some are fishing the Middle Entrance through Snows Channel and off Connors Point in Musky Bay.

Yellow perch are biting in fair numbers throughout the Les Cheneaux area. Those fishing out of St. Ignace have caught chinook near the Coast Guard Station and around Mackinaw Island. Small silver J-Plugs or white flashers with blue and white flies have caught fish.

Catch rates are improving, but the fish are turning darker as they are getting ready to spawn. A few lake trout have also been caught. Some nice chinook salmon have been caught when fishing from the mouth of the Pine River with blue/white or green/white Cleo's.

You need to login or register to post comments.