Michigan Recreational Fishing Report
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 18 November 2004 18:37

Steelhead runs are picking up around the state, the Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday. Pier fishing for whitefish in Lake Huron usually peaks between November 15th and November 30th ...

...?and anglers are reminded that the season to take frogs, toads and salamanders will close on November 15th.

Southeastern Lower Peninsula

While fishing has been spotty, boats can be found on Lake Erie looking for perch. Fish have been caught out of Luna Pier, Bolles Harbor, and near Sugar Island with minnows. Try off the rocks near Sterling State Park, or off Stony Point. The fishing should improve as the water clears up. Smallmouth bass and rock bass have been caught in shallow waters off the piers.

Steelhead are hitting in the Huron River, but the bite has been slow. Colder temperatures along with rain and snow should push more fish in. Those fishing near the dam at Flat Rock have caught fish on crank baits, spoons, wax worms or flies in egg patterns. The large fish can be found in the deeper holes.

Waters in the Detroit River are still muddy. A few walleye have been caught between Celeron Island and the Lake Erie Metro Park. Boats are trolling in the Trenton Channel near Elizabeth Park.

Anglers seeking perch are still anchoring their boats in Lake St. Clair and fishing in Anchor Bay. Perch and crappie are hitting on minnows and wigglers in the canals, while bluegills are hitting on wax worms and crawlers. A few walleye have been caught off the piers. In the St. Clair River, boats are trolling for steelhead, lake trout and walleye.

Steelhead and the occasional salmon have been caught from Lexington to Port Austin when fishing off the piers and in the harbors. Anglers are casting small spoons or floating spawn and wax worms under a bobber. On Saginaw Bay, anglers are fishing from Linwood to the mouth of the Quanicassee River for perch. Most fish have been caught in 10 to 15 feet of water using minnows and wax worms. Light numbers of walleye have been caught when trolling near the Hot Ponds.

Southwestern Lower Peninsula

Along the St. Joe River, the salmon run is done. Fishing remains slow from Niles to Buchanan with only a few walleye and bass caught, the DNR reported. Winter steelhead can be found in the river from Berrien Springs to the lake. Most of the fish caught have been taken near the dam when drift fishing with spawn, flies, and orange tear drops. Walleye have been caught when drifting minnows below the dam. Bass fishing remains good, but few anglers are fishing for them.

Salmon fishing has slowed in the Dowagiac River. The few fish that are left are in pretty rough shape. Those targeting steelhead were having better luck using flies in egg patterns. The salmon run in the Kalamazoo River is done. The better fishing for steelhead is at the Allegan Dam, when fishing off the stairs with spawn. Boats are trolling with spawn or Hot-n-Tot's in bright colors. The large fish should start to move in by week's end. Anglers have also taken an occasional walleye.

Along the Grand River, the salmon runs are done and remaining fish are turning dark. The better fishing has been up near the Sixth Street Dam when using spawn or yarn flies. A few nice brown trout have been caught on spawn. Walleye are hitting in the early morning and at night. Carp and suckers have been caught. Closer to Lansing, walleye and bass have been caught on crawlers below the Lyons Dam. Crappie have been caught on minnows and artificial baits below the dam. Several steelhead were caught at the Portland Dam, but the bite was slow. Channel cats have been near the Brenke Ladder and at Moore's Park on leeches. The large cats are hitting on shrimp.

Fishing was fair on the Rogue River, the DNR said, with water levels still high, and more fish expected to start moving soon. Fish have been caught on spawn or flies in egg patterns around the Packer Bridge. Fair fishing was reported from Grand Haven to Muskegon when anglers can get out. Those pier and surf-casting reported good catches. Few salmon are left in the Muskegon River, but good numbers of steelhead along with some walleye can be found below Croton Dam.

Northeastern Lower Peninsula

Anglers are still waiting for whitefish to peak in the waters of Lake Huron. Pier fishing for whitefish at the ports of Alpena, Oscoda and Tawas usually peaks from the middle to the end of November. Good runs of whitefish are usually found in the Thunder Bay River below the Ninth Street Dam as well as the Lower Au Sable River. Heavy concentrations of whitefish can be found on the reefs of Thunder Bay and the Black River in late November and early December. The best fishing is usually early mornings or just after dark using ice fishing jigs baited with wax worms, small minnows, or spawn.

Near Alpena, light numbers of steelhead and brown trout have been caught off the pier near the Alpena Boat Harbor. Those fishing in the Thunder Bay River have caught most of their fish at the Ninth Street Dam on spawn, wax worms or spinners. Steelhead have been caught in the Ocqueoc River.

The salmon run is done in the Au Sable River near Oscoda. More steelhead are starting to show up for pier and shore anglers. Some are casting chartreuse or blue Cleo's. Fair fishing was reported at the Singing Bridge for steelhead and brown trout. A few walleye have been caught in the early mornings or late evenings. At Tawas, steelhead have been caught from the pier and in the Tawas River. Fair to good fishing was reported off the State Dock. Very few whitefish have been caught off the pier.

There have been no perch anglers on Higgins Lake. Brown trout are hitting on shiners, while rainbow trout have been caught on wigglers. Anglers are fishing along the drop-off on the north end of the lake near the State Park.

Northwestern Lower Peninsula

The DNR said that near Petoskey, anglers continue to catch steelhead in and around the Bear River. They are also catching steelhead in the Boyne River, Charlevoix County.

At Traverse City, when anglers can get out on the East Bay they have caught light numbers of whitefish just off the mouth of Petobego Creek which is located south of Elk Lake. Anglers are fishing in 150 feet of water with No. 7 Swedish Pimples. Perch fishing has been fair in 60 feet of water off Yuba when jigging Swedish Pimples. Steelhead fishing has been slow in the Elk River at the dam. Anglers are drifting wigglers, spawn bags or a single egg on a hook to catch steelhead and brown trout. Early mornings seem to be best. A few perch have been caught in the West Bay. Steelhead were caught on spawn and wax worms in the Boardman River.

At Frankfort, those anglers fishing from the pier or surf-casting reported good fishing. Steelhead are hitting on spawn, yarn flies and plugs. Menominee whitefish are hitting on a single egg. Slow fishing on both the Platte River and the Betsie. Bass fishing remains good on Upper Hamlin Lake. Perch are hitting on minnows and wigglers at Crystal Lake.

At Manistee, steelhead and whitefish have been caught off the piers and while surf-casting. Fishing on the Big Manistee River has been hot. Those fly fishing have done well using yarn flies and black flies. Anglers fishing near Rainbow Bend and Bear Creek have been successful using spawn or back trolling with Hot-n-Tot's or Wiggle Warts in chrome, chartreuse, and red. Those fishing up by Tippy Dam are landing a good number of fresh steelhead on spawn or yarn flies. Above the dam, anglers are rolling spawn in the fast water or floating jigs with wax worms and a bobber in slow water. Good fishing was reported on Manistee Lake when trolling plugs or drifting spawn near the mouth of both rivers.

Near Ludington, good numbers of steelhead and menominee whitefish have been caught off the pier and while surf-casting. Steelhead fishing was fair in the Pere Marquette River using spawn, yarn flies and small plugs.

Upper Peninsula

While many anglers have put away the fishing gear, a few continue to fish the inland lakes. Lake Gogebic is producing light catches of walleye on minnows and wigglers. Walleye can be found in Portage Lake, Houghton County as well as Bond Falls, Ontonagon County. Musky can be found in the Cisco Chain-of-Lakes, Emily Lake, the Paint River and the Menominee River. Musky fishing will close on the Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters on November 30th. Slow fishing for steelhead in the Menominee River. Fish have been caught from the US-41 Bridge upstream to the First Dam. A few walleye were caught off the Hattie Street Bridge when jigging. Fishing has been slow in the Cedar River

On Little Bay De Noc, the best walleye fishing has been at night when trolling along the reefs at the head of the Bay in 6 to 22 feet of water. Fish have been caught from the Second Reef north to Garth Point.

Those fishing during the day stay in the narrows off Saunders Point while trolling in waters 21 to 28 feet deep. Some boats are jigging minnows with some success near the Black Bottom, or fishing just off the drop near Portage Point. They are trolling 25 feet down and reported many large fish. A few salmon have also been caught.

Lake trout can still be found in the harbors around Marquette. Lake trout and whitefish have been caught off the breakwall when casting spoons and plugs or drifting a single egg or wax worm under a bobber. Closer to Newberry, steelhead have been caught in Two-Hearted River, but the bite has not been consistent. Perch have been caught in the Tahquamenon River. Fair to good steelhead fishing was reported in the Manistique River from the mouth up to the Papermill Dam. Spawn, yarn flies and a single egg have caught fish. Perch and some large northern pike have been caught in Big Manistique Lake.

Boats trolling in the St. Mary's River continue to catch walleye and musky along with an occasional steelhead. Those fishing the Munuscong River have caught some walleye at the mouth. Perch fishing slowed near Cedarville and Hessel. Steelhead can be found in the Carp River.

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