Fishing Pressure is Slow


Good perch bite on Little Glen, Lake Leelanau, Grand Traverse Bay, Long Lake Margrethe, Burt and Mullet Lake but wind and cold weather is sending most to the woods to hunt.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: The adult salmon run is pretty much done however those still heading out have done well for younger salmon and steelhead when trolling small spoons halfway down in 50 to 90 feet. Lead core of 3, 5, and 7 colors worked well. Good colors are green, blue, orange, black or white with silver, red and white or anything that glows early or late. The bite was best the last couple hours of daylight or just as the sun comes up in Swan Bay or between US-23 and Forty Mile Point.

Presque Isle: Boat anglers will want to try straight out of the harbor and north between the two lighthouses. Try halfway down in 50 to 90 feet the last couple hours before dark or as the sun comes up.

Thunder Bay River: A large number of salmon are very dark and spawning. Fish are still being caught by those drifting flies or spawn along the bottom.

Harrisville: Salmon are working their way into the harbor slowly but consistently. Some are still fairly fresh, but most are starting to turn. Early morning and evening was the best time to fish with spawn, spoons or body baits. Walleye are coming into the harbor in the late evening. Fish were caught on body baits.

Oscoda: Fish caught from the pier are still in good shape and hitting on spoons or body baits. The occasional walleye has been picked up by anglers targeting salmon or steelhead.

Au Sable River: More anglers are heading upriver now that the Foote Dam area is open. Fish up near the dam are starting to turn dark but were still in good shape. Try floating spawn. Steelhead are making their way into the river and the number of fish will only increase as we move towards November.

Tawas: Had very little boat activity. Fishing in the harbor and off the piers was slow.

Tawas River: Is still producing salmon in the lower river at night.

Au Gres: Perch fishing picked up with anglers taking up to 25 fish ranging 7 to 11 inches. Most were caught out near the shipping channel in 35 to 45 feet.

Au Gres River: Is producing salmon and steelhead down at the Singing Bridge and for those surfcasting. For the steelhead, try drifting spawn.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Petoskey: Had very few anglers. The marina is still being dredged and the dock has been pulled. A couple steelhead were caught on spawn near the mouth of the river.

Bear River: Catch rates for chinook have dropped. The leftover fish are in pretty rough shape. A limited number of coho and steelhead were caught on fresh spawn.

Charlevoix: Smallmouth bass fishing is still good in the channel. Try crawlers, leeches, or scented rubber baits. Perch anglers were straight out from the pier in 80 feet but all they caught was gobies. The few fish in Medusa Creek are in bad shape.

Traverse City: The East Bay has steady smallmouth bass fishing. Try plastics such as darters or tube baits in 20 to 40 feet. A few perch and cisco were caught. Perch fishing was slow in the West Bay but smallmouth bass were caught in 25 to 35 feet.

Elk River: The chinook salmon run is past its peak. Steelhead and the occasional coho and lake trout were caught on spawn bags near the power dam. Salmon have also hit on deep diving crank baits.

Boardman River: The salmon run is winding down. Anglers are now catching the occasional steelhead or lake trout when drifting spawn.

Frankfort: Water temperatures are starting to drop. Steelhead were caught on fresh spawn. Try to keep the weeds off your line.

Betsie River: Is still producing chinook and coho however catch rates have slowed.

Onekama: Dredging in the channel is done. Anglers are now targeting coho and steelhead in front of the piers.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers are still picking up large and smallmouth along the south wall and the drop-offs. Strong winds made it hard for those pan fishing.

Manistee: Pier anglers and those surfcasting are starting to catch steelhead on spawn. Boat anglers are catching salmon and steelhead 80 to 140 feet down in 300 to 500 feet of water when using green or blue spoons. A couple steelhead were caught on orange spoons in the top 40 feet.

Manistee River: More steelhead are starting to show up.

Ludington: Pier anglers are starting to catch steelhead on spawn. Those heading out to waters 200 to 400 feet deep found fish 80 to 130 feet down when using green flies or spoons.

Pere Marquette River: Is still producing some big chinook though many have turned dark. More steelhead are starting to show up.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Marquette: Boat anglers caught chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout just outside the lower harbor breakwall in 40 to 50 feet or up near the mouth of the rivers with spoons, stick baits or crank baits. Pier anglers caught coho and lake trout.

Dead River: Fishing pressure decreased as catch rates slowed.

Carp River: Shore anglers reported fair catches of coho. A couple steelhead were caught. Most are casting spoons and crank baits or floating spawn.

Chocolay River: Is still producing some coho in certain sections of the river. Anglers are using spinners or stick baits. Those using spawn bags had no luck.

Menominee: Walleye were caught off the Cedar River when trolling crawler harnesses or rapalas. Channel cats, pike and smallmouth bass were caught. A few were salmon fishing near the rapids in the river but none were caught.

Menominee River: Those targeting trout and salmon are fishing off Stephenson Island and up near the Hattie Street Dam. Some are drifting spawn and yarn while others are casting spoons. Shore anglers downstream of Stephenson Island caught channel cats, smallmouth bass and yellow perch when drifting crawlers. Those trolling after dark caught some walleye on crawler harnesses or stick baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Those pre-fishing for the walleye tournament caught fish but they would not say where. Perch fishing was fair near Kipling in 10 to 23 feet, and off Brach’s Cabins in 14 to 17 feet. Try crawlers and minnows. Good smallmouth action off the Farmer’s Dock in 18 to 35 feet with minnows, tube baits, or spinners.

Escanaba River: Shore anglers caught salmon near the 1st Dam. A good number of fish are making their way up into the river. Most are casting spoons, spinners or crank baits. Rock bass were also caught.

Big Bay De Noc: No walleye to report but smallmouth bass fishing was fair to good off Garden Bluff. Anglers are drifting minnows 15 to 30 feet down along the drop-off.

Munising: Boat anglers targeting coho reported fair catch rates. Some were able to get one or two fish but some returned empty-handed. Pier anglers caught coho, splake and the occasional steelhead. Splake were hitting primarily on spawn.

Grand Marais: Pier fishing was light and unproductive. Those trolling near the mouth of the Sucker River caught the occasional coho or steelhead. Shore anglers fishing the mouth of the Sucker River report low catch rates.

St. Mary’s River: Had fair perch fishing. Extra water being released from the power plant in Sault Ste. Marie is forcing perch away from the main channel and into the bays off the shipping channel.

DeTour: Boat anglers are targeting walleye along the reefs and Moon Island. A few limit catches of yellow perch were reported.

Drummond Island: Anglers are catching yellow perch in 12 to 14 feet of water around Ashman Island, Grape Island and Peck Island. Most are using shiners.

Cedarville and Hessel: Yellow perch are biting on the east end of Hessel Bay, Snows Channel, Middle Entrance and Musky Bay. Try crawlers or minnows in 6 to 11 feet of water. Pike fishing has been very good for those casting chubs in shallow water. Bass fishing continues to be good.

Carp River: Anglers are fishing from the mouth upstream to the McDonald Rapids. They are catching chinook and steelhead though the chinook are starting to deteriorate.


Its cold, windy and rainy. As the temperatures fall there’s even a touch of snow flurries. A few, not hunting, still fish Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. The walleye bite is best the first few hours of dark. The regulars wader fish the mouth of the canal on the Mitchell side casting Rapalas.

Bass and pike are active most of the day. Pan fishermen have put their equipment away even though there’s a perch and rock bass bite on the East side of Cadillac.

MANISTEE RIVER- The River Rats are finding numbers of steelhead. Those fishing Tippy Damn brag about having numbers in the teens on. Those on and those to the bank are two different things. The limits are there in the 6 to 12 pound range.

There’s still numbers of salmon at the Damn. The Kings are pretty dark but there have been fresh Coho runs with the rain and cold temperatures.

Jigs tipped with wax worms is currently one of the better steelhead baits. Even an occassional Coho can be caught on them.

Its sad, but the season must come to an end. Tackle and bait sales are down to a trickle. Many are already inquiring about ice tackle. Orders have been placed and we’re just waiting for delivery. If all goes as planned the store will be set by Deer rifle season. Lots of new exciting items this year.

This is the last report until there’s ice. We’ll keep you informed when the ice is safe. Watch you’re bobber! See you on the ice!!


Tiffany Ruby

OCTOBER 6, 2013

Another dark, rainy weekend has passed. It must mean there was a Bass Tournament on Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Do they pick this weather for their tournaments or does the weather change because there is a Tournament?

Thirteen Teams qualified to fish BBT’s Bass R Us Division Championship. The heavy rain did not bother them, although the early lighting caused a delay at the start.

First Place was the Team of Rob and Robert Miller with 5 fish total of #15.59. Second was Randy Bleeker and Marvin Bowman weighing in #14.92. Big Bass was 4.06 pounds.

All but one Team weighed in their 5 fish limit – Total fish caught – 62. Total weight – 160.89 pounds. Very few of the bass caught were smallmouths. The bite was green. The average weight per fish was 2.60.

What was not counted were the other species accidentally caught. Most caught at least some northern pike, often over the 30 inch mark. The toothy critters like the expensive bass lures. A few walleye, one exceptional were also caught.

The walleye bite has finally started on Cadillac and Mitchell. The hour before dark seems to be the magic time. Rapala Husky Jerks, expeciallly silver/blue are Cadillac’s Bait of choice.

The Salmon run on the rivers is stronger then ever. After the rain and cooler temperatures fresh fish are still moving up the Big Manistee. Watch from High Bridge and you’ll see schools of Coho and Chinook on their way to Tippy Dam – Their last stop.

Had your fill of salmon? Multiple catches of steelhead have also started. Most have been caught of spawn bags or egg and wigglers pattern flies.

Archery and smallgame seasons are in full swing. The crowds at Tippy Dam are thinning oout. Now’s the time to fight some of Michigans largest fish.

Northern Michigan Fishing Report 10/3/2013


Hunting season has started but the nice weather has many still fishing and the bite has been great. Perch are biting on Big and little Glen, Lake Margrethe, Skegemog, Mullet Lake, Burt Lake Lake Charlevoix by Ironton, Higgins Lake off of Treasure Island, Crystal Lake and Grand Traverse Bays.

Smallmouth Bass are biting great and Walloon Lake has been great with med. suckers working best, also Skegemog would be a great place.

It is raining today so the salmon should hit peak at Tippy Dam with spawn and salmon grabber Jigs working best. Salmon runs are nearing their peak in some locations. Once again anglers need to be reminded that snagging is illegal. It is unlawful to snag or retain a fish not legally hooked in the mouth. Anglers are reminded that all Type 1 and Type 2 rivers and streams as well as all Type A and Type D inland lakes closed to fishing on September 30th. Lake trout season on the waters of Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan also closed on September 30th. The waters of Lake Michigan between Arcadia and New Buffalo remain open for lake trout until October 31st.

Pike fishing has picked up on most lakes with suckers working best. Houghton Lake has been good for pike and nice gills

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Petoskey: Salmon fishing was slow for pier anglers casting spoons or crank baits but those surfcasting near the breakwall caught the occasional fish on spoons. Salmon can be seen near the mouth of the river but they are not interested in anything being thrown at them. Boat anglers reported slow fishing.

Bear River: Had a large run of fish. Anglers have caught chinook and coho at the dam. Most were using flies but yarn, artificial eggs and spawn have also caught fish.

Charlevoix: The few boats heading out did catch fish around the Can and in the slip at the cement plant. They did best between 2am and 7am when casting spoons or crank baits. Smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers and leeches in the channel. Angling pressure was still high near the Medusa Weir. Catch rates were still a bit slow but should improve with rain and cooler temperatures. Anglers are wading and casting spoons, crank baits or spawn. Best time to fish is early morning or at night.

Traverse City: Lake trout season is now closed in both bays. Coho and cicso have been caught in the East Bay. Anglers are trolling spoons about 80 feet down. A few perch were caught by those still-fishing with minnows and wigglers. In the West Bay, cisco were caught by those trolling. A small number of boats were perch fishing along the weed beds in 20 to 30 feet. Salmon were caught after dark by those casting glow spoons near the mouth of the Boardman. Both bays had good smallmouth bass fishing.

Elk River: Fishing has been hit-or-miss but chinook and coho have been caught near the dam. Young steelhead were also caught.

Boardman River: Has a decent number of salmon however the run is likely past the peak. The bite was slow but a few were taken by those drifting skein under a bobber.

Glen Arbor: Fishing has pretty much stopped as the kings are heading up into the Crystal River and Shalda Creek.

Platte Bay: Fishing at Platte Point is slow but a few were taken by those surfcasting with glow spoons before sunrise. There are chinook and coho at the mouth but they do not want to bite.

Betsie River: Is full of chinook salmon and plenty of anglers are taking advantage of the opportunities at hand. Anglers are reminded that snagging is illegal.

Onekama: Had no fishing activity because of dredging in the channel.

Portage Lake: Those trolling J-plugs caught a few chinook and coho along the west side of the lake. Bass anglers are working hard but some good size fish have been caught along the breakwalls and drop-offs.

Manistee: Pier anglers and those surfcasting have caught the occasional steelhead. Boat anglers caught young salmon and steelhead in the top 60 feet of waters 300 to 600 feet deep. Orange spoons were the ticket.

Manistee River: The salmon run is near its peak. Anglers are reminded that snagging is illegal. Foul hooked fish must be released.

Ludington: Some boats have found salmon and steelhead. They are using short coppers and lead core with orange and green spoons. No steelhead to report.

Pere Marquette River: Is producing some big chinook right along with a few brown trout and steelhead.

Pentwater: The salmon are pretty much done though a couple fish were caught by pier anglers casting orange and red body baits. A few were trolling along the shoreline but no fish were caught.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Adult salmon are still in and around the bay. Those going out at 3am and fishing until sun up have caught fish. Once the sun comes up, the bite quits. Most are using bombers off boards. Those fishing off the breakwall caught a few when casting spoons and body baits or floating spawn. Young salmon were caught between Swan Bay and Adams Point. Try halfway down in 40 to 80 feet with smaller spoons. Hot colors were green, blue, orange and silver, black and silver, or purple and white. They are running sliders off the main lines and getting two fish on one rod. Lake trout season closed on September 30th.

Presque Isle: Anglers are doing well for young chinook along with a limited number of steelhead and walleye straight out or north between the lighthouses, off Black Point and north of North Bay. Try halfway down in 40 to 90 feet with smaller spoons.

Thunder Bay River: Has chinook salmon but some have already turned. Try casting spoons and crank baits or floating spawn. Use glow spoons after dark.

Harrisville: Fish are making their way in and out of the harbor but catch rates were slow with the warm water temperatures. When the fish are there, they seem to be in good numbers but would not bite. Try floating spawn or casting spoons and body baits late at night. Spawn is working during the day if the fish are there.

Oscoda: Pier fishing was hit-or-miss because of the warm water. Try spoons or body baits at night.

Au Sable River: Very few fish have made their way up into the river. Watch for cooler temperatures and winds from the north or east which will bring the fish in.

Lake Margrethe: Fishing was good for perch and panfish during the warm spell.

Lake St. Helen: Is producing bluegill and sunfish in 3 to 5 feet of water. Pike are active and can be found around the weed beds. Some are still catching bass.

Tawas: Pier anglers managed to catch one salmon, some bullhead, the odd walleye or a few small perch.

Tawas River: Those fishing at night caught a couple salmon.

Au Gres: Fishing was slow. Those trying for perch had limited success. They were fishing straight out from the mouth of the river in 20 to 25 feet. Catch rates were better further down the bay.

Au Gres River: Down at Singing Bridge, a light number of salmon have been caught in the surf. Fish can be seen offshore. A brown trout was caught.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Marquette: Anglers report good coho action with a couple limit catches reported. A few chinook and lake trout were mixed in. Anglers are trolling in waters less than 40 feet deep outside the Lower Harbor breakwall and the Carp and Chocolay Rivers.

Dead River: Is producing pink salmon between the mouth and the 550 Bridge.

Carp River: Catch rates were fair with a few coho caught on crawlers or stick baits in the early morning. No chinook salmon to report.

Chocolay River: Is producing a fair to good number of coho for those using spoons, stick baits or spawn sacks between M-28 and the mouth.

Menominee: Bay anglers were trolling for trout, salmon, and walleye in 25 to 35 feet. For trout and salmon try spoons and for walleye try rapalas or crawler harnesses. Catch rates for walleye were slow but a few trout and salmon were caught near the Menominee Marina.

Menominee River: Most anglers targeting trout and salmon are upstream between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street Dam. They are drifting spawn and yarn or casting small spoons. Some walleye were caught in the early morning or evening when trolling rapalas, crawler harnesses or jigs with crawlers. Shore anglers drifting crawlers or minnows continue to catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel cats, suckers, bluegill and perch. Sturgeon season closed on September 30th.

Little Bay De Noc: Windy conditions have kept many boats at bay. A few walleye were caught along the Black Bottom and the East Bank in Gladstone when trolling or drifting crawlers in 18 to 27 feet. Perch anglers did well in Kipling and near the mouth of the Day’s River with crawlers in 13 to 16 feet of water.

Escanaba River: Is producing good numbers of chinook salmon. Most are wading out near the 1st Dam and casting spoons, spinners or crank baits along the rapids.

Big Bay De Noc: Continues to see plenty of smallmouth bass anglers fishing between Snake Island and Snail Shell Harbor. Most are drifting minnows in 15 to 30 feet. No walleye to report. A few perch were caught off the mouth of Garden Bay in 18 to 25 feet. Crawlers worked best.

Au Train: The few boats heading out did catch coho and lake trout. Salmon were caught in less than 30 feet of water near the Rock River and lake trout were taken along the drop-off east of Au Train Island.

Two Hearted River: Has a fair to good number of salmon. Those surfcasting at the mouth caught chinook and coho. The occasional steelhead has been caught.

St. Mary’s River: Most of the walleye anglers are now targeting perch however a few walleye were still being caught on the east side of Lime Island where the channel narrows down between Hart Island and Lime Island. They are using bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses in 12 to 18 feet. Muskie were caught by those trolling large black and yellow bucktail spinners in 8 to 10 feet along the rock ledges on the east side of Lime Island. In Sault St. Marie, anglers trolling bottom bouncers with purple beads and smiley blades caught fish off 6-Mile Road.

Drummond Island: Perch are schooling in and around most of the Islands in Scott Bay. Fish were caught on the south end of Ashman Island, just out from the yellow house in 12 to 14 feet. Minnows and popcorn shrimp worked best. Those drifting minnows along the south end of Grape Island caught a few walleye in 12 feet of water off the red buoy. Smallmouth bass were suspended in 12 to 14 feet on the northwest side of Burnt Island. Anglers are jigging green and brown tube baits just off the rock ledges.

Cedarville and Hessel: Few anglers were in Hessel Bay but the perch fishing was good along the east end and in Government Bay. At Cedarville, perch fishing was excellent in Musky Bay and Snows Channel for those using minnows and worms in 6 to 10 feet of water. Pike fishing remains very good for those casting along the weed beds or fishing with chubs. Bass fishing has been excellent. Lake trout and splake season closed on September 30th.

Carp River: Has a lot of anglers and they are harvesting a good number of fish. Chinook and pink salmon are hitting on small Cleo’s or spawn bags. Some of the fish were 20 pounds or more.