Northern Michigan Fishing Report for 9/27/13


Fishing has been good in Northern Michigan with perch, gills, and smallmouth are on the bite. Salmon are up the rivers on the West side and they a big, just not the numbers of last year.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Smallmouth bass anglers were fishing around Harbor Point and in front of Wequetonsing. A few lake trout were picked up on this side of the bay.

Petoskey: Salmon fishing was slow off the piers, but anglers are still casting crank baits and spoons. Boats trolling 70 to 90 feet down in 90 to 100 feet of water caught lake trout on green meat rigs.

Bear River: Still has salmon but not the numbers that we saw last year. Most are using flies, artificial eggs or spawn. There is the usual backup of fish at the dam and in the pools between the two bridges downstream.

Charlevoix: The few boats still heading out were trolling around the Can and into the slip at the cement plant. Catch rates were slow. Those casting near the breakwall and the creek can see fish but none were caught. Pier anglers are still taking smallmouth bass on crawlers and leeches. Those targeting salmon at night are using glow spoons. Angling pressure is still high near the Medusa Weir. Catch rates are unusually low. Spawn worked best followed by small crank baits, rattles or spoons.

Boyne River: Has reports of good fishing near the mouth and Dam Road for those casting from boats.

Traverse City: The East Bay is producing coho, lake trout and the occasional cisco.Anglers are trolling 80 feet down. Bass fishing remains good. In the West Bay, a couple salmon were caught near the mouth of the Boardman. Anglers are casting glow spoons after dark. A decent number of lake trout were caught by those jigging near Power Island.

Elk River: Salmon and small steelhead were caught near the power dam. Try pink or chartreuse spawn bags and light leaders.

Boardman River: Has a decent number of salmon. Chinook were caught by those drifting skein under a bobber.

Glen Arbor: Fishing has pretty much stopped. A few anglers are surfcasting near Shalda Creek. Chinook are running up the Crystal River. Little Glen has a good perch bite with some on Big Glen also.

Platte Bay: Fishing was slow off Platte Point. Those trolling in 12 to 18 feet of water east of the river picked up a couple chinook and coho on small green J-plugs with a ladder back. Those surfcasting seen a lot of fish at the mouth however they would not bite.

Platte River: Fish are still being harvested at the weir. Dredging at the mouth is ongoing.

Frankfort: Had a good number of chinook in Betsie Bay. Fish are moving into the bay and heading straight up the river. Anglers are using spawn. Those trolling have caught some big chinook.

Betsie River: Is producing salmon. Anglers are reminded that the mouth of the river is still closed to fishing because of the shallow water.

Portage Lake: Cooler temperatures pushed the bluegill and perch out to waters 18 to 22 feet deep. Bass anglers working the walls have found some good size large and smallmouth.

Manistee: Boats heading out to deeper waters caught salmon and steelhead in the top 60 feet. Salmon fishing was slow around the piers.

Manistee River: Is producing a good number of salmon.

Ludington: Salmon and trout fishing were slow. Try the top 50 feet in 60 to 150 feet with orange spoons. Pier fishing was slow but those surfcasting at the State Park caught a few fish.

Pere Marquette River: Is producing a fair to good number of salmon.

Pentwater: Boat anglers are marking large numbers of fish in 40 feet but they will not bite. Pier anglers caught salmon and brown trout however they are putting in their time to get them. Most are using orange body baits.

Crystal Lake has been good for perch this week.
Manistee and Skegemog have been producing perch this week in Kalkaska

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Chinook are in and around Swan Bay. Most of the fish are in shallow waters 5 to 30 feet deep. Anglers are high lining with bombers or plugs off planer boards. Some are still catching younger salmon, steelhead and lake trout out deeper. Try halfway down in 45 to 80 feet with spoons. Good colors were green, blue, white, purple, orange and silver, black and white or anything that glows. Most are fishing between the harbor and Forty Mile Point.

Presque Isle: Has lots of baitfish right along with younger salmon, steelhead and lake trout. Spoons are the ticket, halfway down in 45 to 80 feet.

Thunder Bay River: Salmon fishing has picked up. Catch rates were better on overcast days. Chinook were caught on spoons, crank baits, flies or spawn. Use anything that glows at night.

Harrisville: Salmon are coming into the harbor but catch rates were slow. Try spawn, spoons or body baits in the early morning or late evening. Walleye have started to show up but no big numbers yet.

Au Sable River: Salmon are moving in and out of the river however they do not seem to be running all the way up to the dam. Most of the fish caught were taken by pier anglers casting spoons or body baits. Walleye are moving into the river at night.

Tawas: Pier anglers caught a few walleye, pike and small perch. Salmon are in the harbor however they will not bite.

Tawas River: Continues to produce the occasional salmon. Try small spoons, body baits, spawn or flies.

Au Gres: Catch rates were slow. Boats anglers are marking lots of fish but the bite was not there. Perch fishing was hit-or-miss.

Au Gres River: Anglers are catching a few salmon at the mouth and the Singing Bridge. Traffic can be a problem especially with construction on the Singing Bridge.

Lake Margrethe has been great for perch and gills this week.

Higgins Lake the perch bite is on on the south end and table top.

Houghton Lake has been fair for gills, bass and walleye. Reedsburg dam has been good for pike.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: The bite improved for those trolling for salmon, steelhead and lake trout. Most were going from the head of the bay north to Old Mission and fishing 15 to 40 feet down in 20 to 60 feet of water with spoons. Near the South Portage entry, coho and lake trout were caught by those trolling near the lighthouse, the Mud Banks, Farmers Reef and Newton’s Reef. Try 20 to 40 feet down in 30 to 60 feet. Traverse Bay was good for coho and lake trout. Try 20 to 40 feet down in 30 to 50 feet between Gay Point and Big Louie’s Point.

Marquette: A few trout and salmon were caught from the Lower Harbor breakwall. They are using assorted spoons and stick baits. Boat anglers did well for coho as some reported limit catches. They are trolling in waters less than 50 feet deep between the Lower Harbor breakwall and the Chocolay River. A few lake trout were also caught.

Dead River: Pink salmon have moved in for spawning so there was an increase in angler activity below the generating plant at the 550 Bridge. Most were catch and release fishing with spinners and flies. A couple salmon were hooked but not landed.

Carp River: Had a lot of anglers targeting coho. They are spawn, crawlers or casting spoons.

Chocolay River: Had more anglers between M-28 and the mouth. Early morning was best though catch rates were still low.

Menominee River: Chinook, brown trout and steelhead can be seen up near the Hattie Street Dam. More anglers are showing up but catch rates were low. Sturgeon are still being caught and released near the rock pile. Those drifting crawlers caught smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegills, suckers and freshwater drum.

Little Bay De Noc: Was producing fair walleye catches with the better fishing along the Black Bottom. Anglers are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 12 to 23 feet. Perch fishing improved at Kipling in 10 to 23 feet, along the “Narrows” and off Gladstone Beach in 14 to 25 feet. Crawlers and minnows worked best. Salmon are in the Ford River and the Escanaba River. Anglers are casting spoons, spinners and crank baits.

Big Bay De Noc: Has lots of smallmouth anglers. They are trolling or drifting minnows in 15 to 35 feet along the break between Garden Bluff and Snake Island. The fish are a bit smaller this year but several large fish were still caught.

Au Train: Fishing activity was light. Anglers did catch a few coho near the mouth of the Rock River. There were no fish below the spillway. No activity at the mouth of the Au Train River.

Munising: Boat anglers are trolling in the early morning and evening. Catch rates for coho were fair to good with a couple limit catches reported. Pier fishing was fair to good for mainly coho followed by splake.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers trolling around the bay caught coho ranging 2 and 3 pounds. Shore anglers targeting coho near the mouth of the Sucker River had mixed results. Those casting caught more fish.

Two Hearted River: Has a fair to good number of salmon. Higher water levels made fishing a bit more difficult but fish are being caught.

St. Mary’s River: Is still producing a few walleye in 12 to 14 feet near Carlton Creek. Try bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses, fire-tiger spinners and beads. Musky fishing will pick up as water temperatures cool.

Detour: Still has some very good opportunities for chinook, coho and pink salmon. Anglers are fishing from the city launch to Frying Pan Island, over to the #3 green can and near the lighthouse. Spoons were the ticket. Colors were pink and purple, green and gold, green and white or black and orange.

Drummond Island: Has excellent smallmouth bass fishing on the northwest side of Burnt Island. Try green and brown tube jigs along the rocky shelf in 16 to 18 feet of water. Good northern pike action off the southeast side of Grape Island. Anglers are trolling chrome spoons with a red eye in 6 to 10 feet. A few walleye were caught around Peck Island by those using bottom bouncers with gold and purple beads and spinners in 12 to 14 feet. Perch were caught just south of Harbor Island. Anglers used minnows or popcorn shrimp.

Cedarville and Hessel: Has fair to good perch fishing off the Hessel pier, Snows Channel, Musky Bay and Middle Entrance. Fish were caught by those trolling a crawler harness around Musky Bay and the east end of Cedarville Bay. Pike fishing was very good for those still-fishing with chubs or casting in the weed beds. Catch rates for bass were excellent. Splake were caught on spawn in the Hessel Marina. Salmon are starting to run in Bush Creek, Beavertail Creek and McKay Creek.

Carp River: Anglers are catching chinook and pink salmon from the mouth to the rapids. They are using spawn, small spoons or spinners.




The cool temperatures and rain bring some of the best fishing of the year. The fish are active and enjoy the dropping water temperature.
For the second year, Bass Anglers of Michigan (B.A.M.) enjoyed their two day classic tournament on Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Thirty boats completed on a dark, windy, rainy weekend. It was a test and they passed as they are some of the best.
Saturday September 21, 123 both large and small mouths were caught totaling 312.49 pounds. Big fish was 4.59 lbs. and 5 fish total of 15.92. There were several close in the 14 pound range seperated by 100’s of a pound. For Sunday’s (9/22) results and classic rankings go to FISHBAM.ORG.
It’s was a great end to the Season for B.A.M. with one complaint—too many big pike caught on Mitchell and Cadillac. Several reported catches of Northerns in and over the 30 inch range. Other accidental catches were legal walleyes which we have not seen lately. The Fall is great.

Don’t wait. The salmon runs on Fisherman line the banks at Tippy Dam but there’s enough fish for everyone. Shore Anglers and those in boats often limit out.
Flies, Thundersticks, spawn and especially curred skein are the favorite baits.
They do hit lures and are caught in the mouth. Forget the other methods.
The opportunity is there catch both Coho and King Salmon. A few 8 to 10 pound Browns have been reported and an occasional steelhead has already moved in. This years run is about Big Fish.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Reporting a good perch bite on Drummond Island

Keweenaw Bay: Windy conditions made fishing difficult in all parts of the bay. The bite was slow with very few coho and lake trout taken.

Marquette: Boat anglers are trolling in shallow waters 60 to 100 feet deep. Catch rates for trout and salmon were slow. Surface water temperatures are in the mid 50’s but warmer near the mouth of the rivers.

Dead River: Anglers were fishing between the 550 Bridge and the mouth or below the generating plant but catch rates were very slow.

Carp River: A couple coho were taken on small spoons, spinners or crawlers.

Chocolay River: Catch rates were slow with only a few coho and brown trout taken on crawlers or spinners. Water levels are still low for boat launching.

Menominee: Bay fishing was slow because of the high winds. Those able to get out were trolling for trout and salmon but none were caught.

Menominee River: Chinook salmon are moving up into the river but trying to get them to bite has not been easy. Most anglers were drifting spawn bags or casting small spoons. Shore anglers drifting crawlers caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, walleye, catfish and bluegill. Those targeting lake sturgeon caught fish near the Hattie Street Dam when using crawlers on the Michigan side and near the rock pile in the middle of the river. The area between the Hattie Street Dam and the mouth is catch and immediate release only.

Au Train: Had few anglers because of windy conditions. Surface water temperatures were in the mid 50’s.

Au Train River: Had higher water levels.

Munising: Had fair catch rates for those trolling in Trout Bay and Munising Bay. Pier fishing has increased with anglers taking a fair to good number of splake and coho. Splake were hitting on spawn while coho were caught by those casting or floating spawn bags.

Grand Marais: Had few anglers. Some are still targeting lake trout in the shipping channel while others are trolling for coho. Catch rates were slow. Shore anglers targeting coho near the mouth of the Sucker River came up empty handed.

St. Mary’s River: A few walleye were caught in Raber Bay by those trolling just north of the Lime Island dock in 14 feet. Purple Hot-n-Tots caught fish in the early morning. Off Barbeau, perch were caught on minnows and leaf worms in 8 to 12 feet near the green buoy and rock cut or upstream of Neebish Island in 12 to 16 feet.

Detour: Catch rates were slow for chinook however coho and pink salmon were caught around the #3 green can.

Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing in Hessel continues to improve. Anglers are fishing off the pier, the east end of Hessel Bay, Snows Channel, Musky Bay, Middle Entrance, and Cedarville Bay. Most are drifting crawler harnesses. Anglers report great pike action for those still-fishing with chubs or casting in the weed beds. A good number of large and smallmouth bass have been caught and splake are moving into the Hessel Marina. Salmon are moving into Bush and Beavertail Creek.

Carp River: Chinook salmon are in. Harvest is taking place at the mouth and upstream at the McDonald Rapids. The fish are 15 to 18 pounds and were in good shape. Most are using spawn.

St. Ignace: Anglers are catching chinook between the Coast Guard Station and the flats. Orange and green lures were the ticket.

Perch Bite and Northeastern Fishing Report


There is a good perch bite at Mullet, Burt, Lake Margrethe, Skegemog. Lake Leelanau and Both Glen Lakes with wigglers and minnows working best.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan River: Salmon fishing is starting to pick up with the rain and cooler temperatures. Those trolling will want to try plugs, spoons or flatfish.

Ocqueoc River: Is also producing a few salmon.

Rogers City: The adult chinook salmon are now staging off Swan Bay. Those trolling in 10 to 40 feet are catching fish on boards with bombers and J-plugs. A few were caught on spoons. Hot colors were green, blue, chartreuse, black and white or anything that glows early and late. The young chinook salmon were starting to show up as well. They are feeding heavily on young smelt. Steelhead and lake trout are also taking advantage of all the baitfish.

Presque Isle: The few boats out fishing caught salmon, steelhead and lake trout. The better fishing was straight out from the red can or north between the lighthouses. A lot of baitfish marked here as well.

Alpena: Very few anglers are fishing Thunder Bay. Those targeting walleye or salmon had very little or no luck.

Thunder Bay River: More fish have entered the river. Anglers are using a variety of baits including spoons, flies, crank baits, thundersticks and spawn bags.

Oscoda: Fishing was slow. The boats heading out had limited success.

Au Sable River: Fish are moving up into the river system. Those fishing in the flies only section between Burtons Landing and the Wakeley Bridge have caught brook and brown trout.

Tawas: A few salmon were seen inside the harbor but none were caught. Pier anglers took a limited number of small perch, a few rock bass and catfish.

Tawas River: Is producing a few salmon.

Au Gres: Those heading out for perch did not have much luck. They were marking large numbers of fish along with plenty of baitfish.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

It is that time of year when angler pressure can drop however there is still some good fishing to be had. Salmon are in the rivers more so on the west side than the east side of the state. Inland lakes are fair to good for panfish, bass and pike.

The salmon up up the rivers with a huge run in the Platte River.

Petoskey: Anglers are targeting salmon off the breakwall, the Clock Dock and near the mouth of the river. Try crank baits during the day and switch to glow spoons and crank baits at night. Some are using spawn under a bobber near the mouth. Boat anglers picked up a few chinook and lake trout between the breakwall and the water treatment plant.

Bear River: The amount of salmon in the river has varied over the last week. Anglers are using spawn, yarn, flies and rubber eggs. Orange and yellow were the hot colors.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers are fishing at the Can near the cement plant or trolling near the freighter slip. Try 50 to 70 feet down in 100 to 120 feet. Those casting along the breakwall are using spoons and crank baits. Boats trolling inside the breakwall caught a few fish as did those casting glow spoons at night. Pier anglers are catching smallmouth bass on crawlers and leeches. Salmon were taken on glow spoons at night. Near Medusa Creek, anglers are shore fishing or wading near the cement plant.

Traverse City: Chinook and coho were caught in the East Bay. Try 40 to 80 feet down with spoons or plugs. Lake trout were taken by those trolling or jigging in 90 to 100 feet. Good smallmouth action in 20 to 40 feet. A few chinook were caught in the West Bay. Those casting glow spoons near the mouth of the river at night caught fish as well.

Elk River: Salmon were caught on spawn near the power dam. Hot colors were pink, orange and chartreuse.

Boardman River: Had a decent push of salmon last week. Those drifting skein under a bobber caught a few but overall the bite was slow.

Glen Arbor: The number of boat anglers continues to decline but those still heading out have caught a couple chinook off Sleeping Bear Point. The fish have found their way up into the Crystal River. Fish were seen at the tubes, along the gravel and near the log jams.

Platte River: This year’s coho run arrived early and the number of fish is impressive. DNR staff estimate between 10,000 and 15,000 fish at the weir, and it sounds like there are many more in the lower river.

Frankfort: Salmon are in the bay but the bite was slow for those trolling around the breakwalls.

Betsie River: Anglers are doing well but the salmon are moving fast. A good number of males have been caught and the females with eggs were still tight.

Onekama: Catch rates were slow even for those trolling out near the Barrel. They were using spoons, plugs and meat rigs in the top 40 to 80 feet.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers continue to do very well for both large and smallmouth. Panfishing slowed a bit with the cooler temperatures. Anglers were struggling to find keeper size bluegill and perch.

Manistee River: Had a big push of fish. Anglers are catching some large fish when casting flies, crank baits and thundersticks. There is still a good number of fish staging in Manistee Lake.

Pere Marquette River: Has a good number of fish at the mouth as well as up near Custer and Walhalla. Anglers are casting flies, crank baits and thundersticks. Try anything that glows in the early morning and late evening.

Pentwater: Catch rates were slow. Charters were heading north and fishing along the shoreline but few fish were caught. Pier angler did manage to take a couple salmon. Hot colors were green and white or blue and silver.




September is a great time to fish. Take your pick, the rivers, the piers or the lakes all are alive. The fish start bulking up for Winter and are hungry. The only problem is that it’s also the start of small game hunting with archery Season close by. Decisions! Decisions!

Manistee River:

The cool nights are dropping the water temperatures and the salmon are migrating up the rivers. Chinook salmon mixed with Coho and a few trophy Browns have made their way as far as Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee. On the cloudy, drizzly days they can be caught all day. Fresh fish cruising up river are aggressive and will attack crank baits – especially Strom Thundersticks. Another effective method is bobber fishing with fresh skein.

Salmon Hit the Rivers Big Time


The reports I’m getting the salmon hit the rivers this weekend with lots of fish and many people fishing. There are reports of 20,000 coho below the weir at Platte River. All the rivers north of Muskegon have fish in them , Ludington reporting a big run with lots of fish being caught.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Salmon fishing on the big lake is winding down, at least for the big adult kings. Some are still being caught around the piers as well as Betsie Bay, Manistee Lake and Pere Marquette Lake. The salmon have started up the rivers and they are busting tackle this year because they are hawgs!!!!!

Hearing of a great smallmouth bite on East Grand Traverse Bay, Skegemog, Elk and Torch with 5+ pounders common this week. Cold front today might effect the bite.

Harbor Springs: Anglers are focusing on the waters near Harbor Point and straight out from the marina. Not a lot of fish however boats are usually bringing in one trout or salmon.

Petoskey: A few salmon were caught by those fishing the breakwall and the pier east of the boat launch. They are casting spoons and crank baits. Early morning and late night were best when using anything that glows. Boat anglers caught a few salmon, lake trout or whitefish in the early morning when using glow spoons, plugs or flies. Those trolling between the breakwall and Bay Harbor caught salmon 75 to 80 feet down or lake trout 80 to 100 feet down.

Bear River: Salmon are moving up into the river. Anglers caught fish at the dam and between the two bridges downstream. Most are using spawn bags. Green and yellow were good colors for beads, felt and flies.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers are fishing between the Can and North Point. Lake trout were in 80 to 120 feet just past North Point. Chinook were caught 70 to 75 feet down in 80 to 100 feet with spoons, plugs and flies. A few coho were also caught. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass on leeches and crawlers. Fish have moved into Medusa Creek. A good number of fish were in the boat slip at the cement plant. Those wading and the shore anglers are casting spoons and crank baits.

Lake Charlevoix: Anglers are still fishing the area near the Coast Guard Station as well as into the lake. Catch rates for salmon were hit-or-miss. A couple salmon were caught in Round Lake.

Traverse City: Chinook along with the occasional coho and lake trout were caught on spoons, plugs and meat rigs 80 to 110 feet down. Smallmouth bass were in 20 to 40 feet. In the West Bay, chinook are staging in front of the Boardman River but the bite was slow. Those caught were about 80 feet down. Big Smallmouth bass are hitting in 20 to 40 feet.Guys are trying for perch but no bite the last few days.
Elk River: A few salmon are beginning to arrive and the number of fish should pick up by the weekend. Steelhead were hitting on spawn or crank baits.

Boardman River: Chinook salmon are in the river, but it is still a bit early for the run. Try drifting spawn or skein near the bottom.

Glen Arbor: Catch rates have slowed significantly. Those surfcasting did manage to catch a few chinook and coho on artic spinners and homemade hooks.

Platte River: Is producing a good number of fish down near the mouth. Anglers are using spawn and yarn in the fast water. Use light tackle and bright colors.

Frankfort: Water temperatures have been up and down over the last week. Boats heading out to deeper water caught steelhead along the “Shelf.” Pier and shore anglers reported slow catch rates.

Betsie River: The salmon run has been fast and heavy. The fish are not holding in the holes for long.

Onekama: Anglers are heading out to waters 220 to 300 feet deep and fishing the top 80 feet with spoons or plugs. They are catching chinook, coho and steelhead.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers are doing very well for large and smallmouth bass in 20 to 25 feet of water. One angler landed a nice 7 pound smallmouth. Bluegill, perch and rock bass were caught on crawlers.

Manistee: Boat anglers were still taking a few salmon around the piers. Early morning is best with white and glow plugs. Pier anglers caught a few fish when casting green, glow or white spoons.

Manistee River: Salmon fishing improves as more fish have entered the river. Chinook and coho have been caught up near Tippy Dam.

Ludington: Boat anglers caught salmon and steelhead 40 to 80 feet down in 300 to 400 feet of water. Orange and green spoons were the ticket. Pier anglers casting glow plugs caught a few fish.

Pere Marquette River: Continues to produce salmon.

Pentwater: Salmon were caught 50 to 70 feet down in 120 to 150 feet of water near Silver Lake. Pearl colored J-plugs worked best but fish were also taken on cut bait. Those casting body baits off the pier caught bass. Perch have been hit and miss

George & Laneah Cheylava Rest in Peace

George and Leneah Cheylava worked for Buc’s Bait in the 50’s though the 80’s and ran the Upper Peninsula routes along with transporting bait from Minnesota to Interlochen.

Rest in Peace George and Leneah!!!

Thompsonville husband and wife dies in Thursday morning crash


Thursday, September 12, 2013

SPRINGDALE TWP.  The Manistee County Sheriff’s Office reported that George Cheylava was a passenger in a Ford Windstar minivan driven by his wife, Laneah Cheylava, 81, when the van was struck at the passenger door by a Ford truck at the intersection of Springdale Road and Tomasek Road.

Laneah Cheylava was transported to Munson Medical Center after the accident and was listed in critical condition Thursday morning and passed away in the afternoon.