Michigan Fishing Report 7/24/14

skamania fever
skamania fever

Fishing has been good on most inland lakes and leeches seem to be the hot ticket this week.

Although steelhead fishing is most commonly associated with late fall, winter and spring, there are some summer-run migratory rainbow trout found in Michigan. Popularly Skamania called “Skamania,” the name of the hatchery that developed the strain, summer-run steelhead can be found in just a couple of Michigan streams these days, though at one time they were stocked in a handful of Lower Peninsula waterways.

Skamania Fever is on as many river are having a run this week with Tippy Dam being a hotspot along with many in the Boardman river the last couple days.

Houghton Lake has been great for gills, bass and walleye with leeches the best bet.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Lake trout fishing was hit-or-miss but some were caught around Harbor Point. Many were smaller than the minimum size limit of 20 inches. Some nice smallmouth bass were caught on tube baits on the harbor side.

Petoskey: Anglers are mainly catching lake trout with most boats focusing on the area from the water treatment plant to Bay Harbor. The fish are 50 to 90 feet down in waters 75 to 140 feet deep. They are hitting on winged glow bobbers and spoons combined with flashers or cowbells. Undersize smallmouth and rock bass are still hitting on crawlers, crank baits and soft plastics near the mouth of the Bear River.

Bear River: The rain did bring some Skamania up to the dam. The summer run steelhead were mostly males and hitting on spawn bags and flies. Some of the fish were over 10 pounds.

Charlevoix: Salmon are starting to show up. Chinook were caught 80 to 90 feet down in 110 to 200 feet. Those fishing off the Cement Plant caught a few more than those at North Point. Spoons and meat rigs worked best. Most are catching lake trout off North Point of South Point. Try 50 to 90 feet down in 100 to 140 feet with glow bobbers, spoons and meat rigs. Fishing pressure has increased in the channel where anglers caught smallmouth bass, rock bass and freshwater drum on live or artificial crawlers and leeches. Lake Charlevoix still has a mayfly hatch.

Traverse City: Lake trout fishing was fair in the East Bay. Anglers are trolling 40 to 50 feet down in 70 to 90 feet. A few salmon were also caught. Smallmouth bass fishing was fair in waters up to 15 feet deep. A limited number of lake trout were caught in the West Bay. Try spoons or spin-glows 45 feet down in 60 to 90 feet. Only a few salmon were caught. Smallmouth bass were caught between the shallows and 15 foot.

Elk River: Smallmouth bass have been caught using leeches, crawlers, and tube baits. The majority were sub-legal.

Boardman River: : Catch rates were slow but a couple summer steelhead were caught near the Union Street Dam. Try spawn or crawlers. Most are catching smallmouth bass or some rock bass.

Platte River: Fishing slowed because of the warm water. Some found small trout feeding on hatches in the upper stretch below the hatchery. Most of the cold water species have gone out to the big lake. Some very large carp and suckers are holding below the hatchery.

Platte Bay: Had good lake trout fishing when those in small boats were able to launch. Those trolling spoons did very well in 50 to 90 feet.

Frankfort: Cooler water slowed salmon fishing. A few chinook were caught in the top 80 feet of waters 120 to 250 feet deep. Blue has been the popular color. Lake trout were very active in 70 to 90 feet. Try bouncing the bottom with cowbells and spin-glows. Pier anglers are catching freshwater drum when casting small spoons.

Onekama: The “Barrel” is producing good catches of lake trout for those trolling green spin-glows near the bottom in 75 to 100 feet. Cooler water temperatures had salmon anglers heading out 12 miles to find fish.

Portage Lake: Had yet another fly hatch with the cooler temperatures. Panfish anglers are having a difficult time finding good numbers of hungry fish. Bass anglers did well near structure and along the drop-offs.

Pentwater: Most anglers fishing off Little Sable Point returned with no fish. There is a concentration of boats fishing across from Stoney Lake which is where the fish are.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Boat anglers are taking chinook, coho, pink salmon, steelhead and lake trout in 45 to 120 feet. Most are spreading lines throughout the water column with blue and silver, green or black and white spoons. Steelhead were up high and hitting on orange spoons. Try Forty Mile Point, straight out from the harbor or south towards Swan Bay and Adams Point.

Alpena: Those targeting trout and salmon are heading towards the Nine Mile Can, Rockport, the Nordmere Wreck and Thunder Bay Island and fishing in 45 to 90 feet. Anglers are using spoons and attractors for lake trout near the bottom. Steelhead were caught up high on orange spoons. Walleye are being caught throughout the bay. Hot spots were Sulphur Island, Grass Island, Scarecrow and Thunder Bay Island when using a combination of crawler harnesses and crank baits.

Thunder Bay River: Is producing smallmouth bass, rock bass and a few walleye. Anglers are using crawlers and leeches or casting artificial baits.

Harrisville: Fishing slowed as water temperatures dropped. Boats making their way out had limited success for steelhead, lake trout and salmon. Try dark colors and start shallow about 60 feet and head out to 120 feet. Walleye were holding in 12 to 40 feet north and south of the harbor.

Oscoda: Boat anglers had decent results for lake trout, steelhead and the odd salmon. Most were dropping lines in 75 feet and working their way out in the morning. In the evening, reverse and follow the fish into shallow waters. Lake trout are hitting on dark colors in the bottom 20 feet. Steelhead are on the scum lines and staying up high.

Au Sable River: Walleye are still making their way into the river in good numbers. Crawlers, leeches and stick baits are working well early or late.

Higgins Lake: Continues to produce a lot of rock bass. Perch have been caught but anglers will have to locate the schools of fish. Those trolling and jigging caught lake trout along the bottom. Most are fishing along the ridge that runs off the North Sunken Island. Some caught bass ranging 17 inches or so while others have caught pike ranging 22 to 34 inches.

Houghton Lake: Those fishing along the weed beds are catching panfish, walleye and bass. Try 6 to 10 feet of water.

Tawas: Pier and river fishing were slow with only a few smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum and small perch caught. Boats trolling outside Buoy #2 caught steelhead off the surface and down to about 20 feet in waters 35 to 50 feet deep. A few walleyes were also caught. A couple of boats perch fishing along the weed beds off Jerry’s Marina caught a fair number of fish ranging 6 to 10 inches. A good number of walleye boats continue to head south to the Charity Islands.

Au Gres: Water temperatures dropped because of prevailing winds however those trolling were still taking good catches of walleye straight off the mouth of the Au Gres River and south of Pointe Au Gres off the Rifle Bar in 10 to 20 feet. Look for areas of warm water and you will find active fish.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: A few chinook were caught by those trolling from Sand Point to Carla’s Restaurant. Try 25 to 50 feet down in 30 to 60 feet and trolling speeds between 2.2 and 2.8 mph. Lake trout, brown trout, splake and steelhead were also caught on orange, purple and green lures. Those jigging for lake trout did fair in 180 to 260 feet out from Jentoff’s Dock, Whir-I-Gig and the pine tree on the north side of Pequaming. Traverse Bay had fair catches of lake trout within 5 feet of bottom in 100 to 150 feet along the Mile Reefs or in 120 to 165 feet off Big Louie’s, Gay Point and Hermits Cove. Try spoons in a variety of colors including purple and white. For the South Portage Entry, lake trout were caught from the Lighthouse south to the Red Rocks along U.S. 41 when trolling 25 to 40 feet down in 30 to 60 feet with purple spoons. Lake trout were also caught when trolling in 90 to 180 feet along Farmer’s Reef and Newton’s Reef.

Lake Antoine: Anglers are catching lots of panfish but finding the bigger ones has become a challenge. Those drifting crawlers or using minnows caught bluegills, perch, sunfish, rock bass and the occasional crappie. Smallmouth bass anglers have caught some nice fish when casting crank baits or trolling lures.

Little Bay De Noc: Had fewer anglers as alewife and fly hatches are keeping the fish well fed. The boat launch at Kipling is closed until mid-August so crews can replace the ramp and do some dredging. A few walleye were caught in the “Fingers” which are straight out from the Ford River. Most were trolling crawlers or stick baits in 14 to 25 feet. Fair perch fishing at Gladstone when using crawlers or minnows in 14 to 25 feet and off the mouth of the Escanaba River in 25 feet. Pike anglers caught some big fish 40 inches or more when trolling crank baits or spoons in 12 to 22 feet near the Escanaba ship docks. Salmon fishing was fair to good out near the Ford River Can. Several fish over 20 pounds were caught 50 to 70 feet down in 110 to 120 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: Bass anglers report fewer catches than previous years and cooler water temperatures could be the reason why. Most were fishing the southern end of Kate’s Bay and near Garden Bluff with spinners, crank baits or plastics in 10 to 18 feet. Off Fairport, anglers reported fair to good catches when trolling spoons 50 to 70 feet down in 120 to 140 feet in the “Gap”. Copper was the hot color. Some anglers are doing well but others not so well. Surface waters temperatures were 54 to 56 degrees and somewhere near 44 degrees where the fish are.

Munising: Boat anglers targeting lake trout were also picking up a few splake, brown trout and steelhead. Catch rates for lake trout were slow. Boats were heading east along Pictured Rocks towards Grand Portal, around Grand Island and north of Wood Island. Pier anglers were few and catch rates for splake were slow but some did manage to catch the occasional legal fish in the 15 to 19 inch range. No report from shore anglers or Big Reef.

Grand Marais: Pier anglers were few. With the cool water temperatures, there should be some whitefish especially on days with a north wind. Those fishing in the early morning reported a few limit catches on the windy days. Boat fishing was slow but anglers were still fishing 3 to 6 miles out in the shipping channels and near Sable Point. Fish were found in waters 70 to 200 feet deep.

St. Mary’s River: Atlantic salmon arrived at the Clover Land Power Plant on Portland Street. Anglers have taken limit catches of 7 to 9 pound fish when trolling 3 inch spoons 4 to 6 feet down. Fish were also caught when drifting small brown fly baits for whitefish near the water discharge. Walleye fishing was good for shore anglers just before dark below the Sugar Island Ferry Dock. Try drifting crawlers with 4 ounce sinkers along the steel breakwall. Walleye were slow in Raber Bay and those caught were undersize. Walleye, musky and pike action was slow downstream of the Rock-Cut and Moon Island but pike were caught by those trolling spoons in 5 to 6 feet along the weed beds in Lake Nicolet. Anglers are still waiting for lake herring to show up near Lime Island and Raber Bay. No reports yet but it should not be too much longer.

Detour: Lake herring and whitefish were caught on red teardrops with wax worms around Cherry Island, Ashmund Island, Grape Island, Howard Island and Reck Island which is just south of Harbor Island. Trout and salmon action was good with Atlantic, chinook and lake trout taken between the city launch and the #3 Green Can and around the lighthouse to the #2 Red Can on the Drummond side. Red and white, green and silver or purple spoons were hot.

Cedarville and Hessel: Those fishing the east end of Hessel Bay and the north end of Snows Channel have caught some nice perch. Pike fishing was good in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay and Middle Entrance. Pike and bass were taken in shallow waters in Mackinaw Bay and Shephard Bay. Lake herring are here and catch rates were good in McKay Bay and Prentice Bay for those using small caddis flies, wax worms and red teardrops.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Walleye are being caught off Stony Point, the Dumping Grounds, and along the Michigan-Ohio border. Most fish were caught on crawler harnesses, spoons and crank baits. Hot colors were copper and purple. A good number of perch were caught in 22 to 26 feet at Stony Point. Minnows work best.

Detroit River: Those jigging out near Horse Island have caught a few walleye. Fish were also caught by those trolling crawler harnesses in the lower river. Those fishing the rock piles off Rat Island have caught some nice yellow perch.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Bluegills were caught along the drop-off on Strawberry Lake. Bass fishing was slow for the most part but a few fish were taken along the weed beds in deep water and along the flats towards evening. The better fishing is during the week when there is less boat traffic.

Oakland County: Catch rates for bass and panfish were picking up on inland lakes.

Lake St. Clair: Bass fishing has been very good. Fish were scattered in 6 to 18 feet and hitting on a variety of baits. Lots of fish were in the 2 to 4 pound range and some were larger. Walleye and perch fishing on the Michigan side were spotty as the fish seem to be scattered.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing was very good after dark between Marine City and Port Huron. Walleye action during the day was fair with fish caught in the South Channel and the Middle Channel. White bass continue to provide good action along the channels. Try casting over the weed beds along the shallow flats off the North and Middle Channels. These same areas are producing muskie.

Port Sanilac: Perch fishing here and at Lexington was spotty with anglers having trouble finding the fish. All you can do is move from weed bed to weed bed and look for an active school of fish.

Harbor Beach: When boats can get out, they are still catching trout and salmon. The fish might be scattered so finding them may take a while. Best fishing was straight out, north or south of the harbor in waters between 50 and 200 feet deep. For walleye, those casting off the wall have taken fish in the early morning or late at night.

Grindstone City: Had very good walleye fishing however a shift in the wind dropped lake temperature by 7 degrees. Anglers were working hard to find fish. The same pattern is making it hard for salmon and trout anglers because the thermocline was so far offshore.

Port Austin: Had excellent walleye fishing east to Grindstone City and around to Lighthouse Park in 30 to 40 feet. Spoons and crawler harnesses took fish in the 3 to 5 pound range. Recent weather patterns pushed in warm water along the tip of the Thumb and that may have fueled the bite. Walleye fishing to the west of the port was not good because of cold water.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye are still being caught at a variety of locations including 18 to 24 feet off Pinconning and Gambil’s Marina, 18 feet off Linwood, the Spark Plug (Buoys 11 & 12), north of Buoys 1 & 2 which is the Green Spark Plug, the Slot from Quanicassee to North Island in 7 to 11 feet. Crawler harnesses in all the usual colors continue to be the go-to bait as well as blue and silver crank baits. Shore fishing at all locations was generally slow with only a few bass, freshwater drum, and catfish taken. Water temperatures at Caseville were hovering around 59 degrees which sharply curtailed success but walleye were still caught north of the Charity Islands and off Oak Point.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Had very good perch fishing but then it slowed. The better fishing was south of the pier in 30 feet. The few boats targeting salmon had some good catches in 140 feet. Spoons were the ticket. Pier anglers are catching freshwater drum.

South Haven: Perch fishing continues to get better. Catch rates were fair with most fish taken in 28 feet. Salmon fishing slowed. Some fish were caught but the boats had to go out very deep to catch them. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand Haven: Anglers are fishing up to 70 feet down in 75 to 175 feet. Most fish were caught on orange, green or blue spoons however those using a white spinnie with a green fly or yellow meat rigs have also taken fish. Perch fishing was hit-or-miss along the mud line in front of the north pier and in the perch holes. Pier anglers are using shrimp and alewife however catch rates for steelhead were very slow because of the warm water.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing steelhead on flies and spinners. Channel and flathead catfish are hitting on live bait and cut bait. Anglers caught big suckers on crawlers and bass were hitting on crawlers, spinners and plastics.

Ingham County: Had good bass fishing throughout the area with limit catches reported. Anglers are catching keeper size bass, catfish and some nice panfish.

Muskegon: Is producing trout and steelhead. Anglers are trolling spoons in the top 30 feet of waters 90 to 120 feet deep around the first set of commercial nets which can be found from Muskegon south to Hoffmaster State Park. Try mini or regular spoons. Hot colors were UV, mixed veggie, orange and blue.

Muskegon River: Is producing a few trout for those fly fishing. Smallmouth bass fishing was good for those using crawlers, leeches and crayfish.

Whitehall: Those fishing across from Stoney Lake did well. The lake turned over and water temperatures were cold so fish were caught in the top 35 feet. Lake trout were suspended while chinook and steelhead could be found at the same depths. Most were using meat rigs.

Worm Shortage Causing Big, Fat Fishing Woes

Buc’s Bait has kept their dealers in bait but the rest of the country has not faired well, and it has helped local bait-shops that walmart ran out of nightcrawlers so please support your local sport-shop.

A shortage of big, fat worms called night crawlers—a popular bait with freshwater anglers in the U.S.—has pushed up prices nationwide and temporarily wiped out some merchants’ stock at the height of the summer fishing season.

The culprit is bad weather in Ontario, the Canadian province where nightcrawlers are handpicked in the wild and shipped south by the millions. First, the long winter delayed picking from March to May. Then a dry May kept the moisture-loving creatures burrowed deep underground.

A dearth of Canadian nightcrawlers this year has pushed up prices nationwide and frustrated anglers. DMF Bait Co.
This spring’s dearth of Canadian nightcrawlers, the worst in 26 years, according to suppliers, has caused havoc with supply chains, affecting mom-and-pop bait shops and nationwide sellers. Some stores have raised prices, while others have held the line. At the same time, some bait shops say they have noticed little change in supply or price.

DMF Bait Co., a major wholesaler in Waterford, Mich., had to pay its Canadian suppliers double the usual price, said Chief Executive Dan Beaudoin. Even so, the company couldn’t fill all its orders for the first time in its 37-year history. Though the crimp in supply has eased, he said his company is still paying 80% more than usual.

DMF has raised prices on its customers, which include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT +0.46% and other national chains, by about 20%. “We’re taking a massive, massive hit this year financially,” said Mr. Beaudoin. DMF’s net income for the year is 65% below forecast. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the chain has raised its prices for the worms, though she couldn’t offer specifics, and she said the retailer has worked with DMF to help ensure nightcrawlers are available in high-demand areas.

Wholesalers appear to be bearing the brunt of the higher prices to avoid potentially driving away customers.

Stewart’s Shops, a convenience-store chain in New York state and Vermont, has run out of nightcrawlers at some of its 290 stores that sell the worms, frustrating anglers, a spokeswoman said.

“Yes, we have no worms,” Stewart’s president, Gary Dake, said on Twitter before the Fourth of July weekend, peak fishing time. “Who knew nightcrawler harvesting was affected by weather?”

Mr. Dake said his shops would be restocked soon with nightcrawlers.

The U.S. imports more than $20 million in live worms from Canada each year, the Commerce Department says. Nightcrawlers, so named because they surface at night, exist across the northern U.S., but commercial picking operations are concentrated in Ontario. The plump creatures can reach 6 inches long.

For months, Ontario’s bad worm-plucking weather has had a domino effect, starting with Canadian companies that buy from pickers.

Andreas Benechoutsos, president of Olympic Wholesale Live Bait in Scarborough, Ontario, said pickers demanded twice as much pay amid the shortage. He says he now pays worm hunters about $40 per thousand worms. He said he has also paid to water fields in hope of enticing worms to ditch the dirt.

In response, Mr. Benechoutsos said, he has raised his prices nearly 80% from around $45 per thousand worms last year, to about $80. “I’ve never seen a year like this year,” he said.

Neither has Jack Strawbrich, not since a severe dry spell in 1988. Mr. Strawbrich, the majority owner of Weekley’s Wholesale Bait, near Buffalo, N.Y., buys nightcrawlers from Olympic but hasn’t been able to satisfy all his clients, which include Stewart’s.

“We’ve told customers they’re not going to get everything they need or want, but they’re not going to ever be without worms,” he said.

Another Weekley’s customer, Mike’s Wholesale Bait in Gambrills, Md., which distributes to 1,200 stores, is paying 20% more for Weekley’s worms, owner Mike Baldea says, and charging his own customers more.

Randy Fearl, owner of Fearl’s Bait & Tackle outside Baltimore, said he is just grateful that Mr. Baldea has kept the nightcrawlers coming. The shop’s customers pay about $4 a dozen, up from $3.75 weeks ago.

While customer James Iman said he doesn’t want to pay more for nightcrawlers when he takes his children fishing, a 25-cent increase won’t stop him. “I do it for the kids,” he said.

Michigan Fishing Report 7/18/14


The huge cold front that came though tuesday has slowed fishing this week, but today hearing reports the fish are starting to bite again with people heading out to try there luck.

The has been no hot spot report this week as everybody reporting slow going after the cold front

Weather wise, it has been quite a week. Winds have come from just about every direction. Keep in mind the reports this week could change quickly because of the cool weather, strong north winds and a warm-up by the weekend.


According to the “Cadillac News Weather Statistics, temperatures on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were the highest recorded since record keeping began.” On Tuesday, temps reached 96°s, Wednesday 97°’s, and Thursday 96 degress. This was last year! It was hot and dry and we complained.

This year it’s cool and damp. Welcome to Michigan.

Crappie Anglers have been doing well fishing Lake Cadillac. The East Side, from the Fire Station to Four Winns Test Center has been producing 8 to 10″ specks. Locate any of the scattered slab wood on the bottom and you’ll find them. As a bonus some are catching bluegills and keeper size perch in the same area.

No shortage of pike or bass on either Cadillac or Mitchell. Expect many of the pike to be undersized with keepers in the 26/28 inch range. Those over 30″ are scarce. Be gentle releasing the hammer handles. Let them grow.

Bass like the weather. Large mouths up to 18 inches are common.

Few have been specifically fishing for walleye. Most have been caught trolling——-for anything. Hots-N-Tots and Thundersticks might be out catching crawler harnesses.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Lake trout were caught 80 to 90 feet down in 90 to 100 feet of water around Harbor Point. Most are using green spoons. Some also reported catching a couple chinook salmon. Those smallmouth bass fishing have only caught a few sub-legal fish along with some rock bass when using artificial bait.

Petoskey: Angler pressure and catch rates for salmon are low. Rock bass, undersize smallmouth bass and some nice catfish were caught near the mouth of the Bear River. Try crawlers, crank baits of soft plastics. A couple bluegill were caught off the D Pier. No thermocline has developed yet.

Charlevoix: Lake trout are starting to move deeper in the water column and were caught 60 to 90 feet down in 90 to 100 feet. Boat anglers are fishing from the Cement Plant to North Point but most of the fish were caught at North Point. Try spoons, winged glow bobbers, or cut bait. The odd chinook salmon has started to show up. One was caught 80 feet down on a flasher and squid. A couple Cisco were also caught. Smallmouth fishing in the channel picked up but most of the fish were sub-legal. Try crawlers or leeches near the bottom or artificial scented baits. A couple small rainbow trout and freshwater drum were also caught in the channel.

Lake Charlevoix: Currently has a mayfly hatch in progress. Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing was pretty good.

Traverse City: The East Bay is producing a few smallmouth bass in the shallows. Lake trout fishing was good for those running spoons 40 to 75 feet down in 50 to 80 feet. Those fishing in the West Bay reported decent smallmouth action when using brown or green tube baits. Lake trout were taken in 50 to 70 feet.

Elk River: Still has sub-legal smallmouth bass hitting on tube baits, crawlers, leeches or artificial crayfish. A couple freshwater drum were also caught.

Boardman River: Fishing was slow with only a few rock bass, carp and sub-legal smallmouth bass taken on crawlers or leeches.

Platte River: Fishing pressure slowed. Those hitting the upper river near the hatchery caught some nice brown trout and small rainbow trout that were feeding on late afternoon fly hatches. There are lots of carp and redhorse suckers. Smallmouth bass were stacked up from the Mud Lake outlet to the Short Arm Trail and at the mouth where anglers were casting crawlers.

Platte Bay: Some big lake trout were caught on spoons in 80 feet of water.

Frankfort: The early morning bite along the Shelf is producing good catches for those trolling northward. Try the top 80 feet in waters 150 to 350 feet deep with blue, white and purple spoons or blue and white flashers and flies.

Onekama: Is producing a good number of chinook salmon for those trolling green or blue spoons in 150 to 200 feet. Those fishing the Barrel caught lake trout. The fish were both suspended and off the bottom and hitting on flashers with spin-glows and cowbells.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers have done well in the shallows and along the drop-offs. Both large and smallmouth were hitting throughout the day. Panfish were slow in the shallows so anglers were targeting waters 14 to 18 feet deep where they caught some bluegill and rock bass.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Continue to produce a fair to good number of bass and pike right along with some bluegill, perch and crappie.

Manistee: Trout and salmon were caught 30 to 80 down in 100 to 200 feet. Boat anglers found good numbers of steelhead in the top 50 feet. Bright colored spoons continue to work well.

Manistee River: Still has Skamania near Tippy Dam. Catch rates were fair to good with flies, spinners and rapalas. Anglers will find a good number of brown trout large and small.

Ludington: Boat anglers are finding trout and salmon 40 to 90 feet down in 100 to 200 feet. Good numbers of steelhead and lake trout were caught by those using orange, yellow and pink spoons.

Pentwater: Had a fair number of boats heading to 400 feet and trolling the top 40 feet. They caught chinook, steelhead and lake trout. Those targeting salmon in 160 to 200 feet had a harder time finding fish but when they did they caught good numbers when trolling about 65 feet down.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Had relatively good fishing when boats can get out. They have caught a mixed bag of chinook, lake trout, steelhead, Atlantic, pink, coho and even a few walleye in 40 to 90 feet. They are using downriggers, lead core, copper and dipseys up and down the water column. Look for structure and baitfish and don’t always think about running all the way north to Forty Mile Point, a lot of salmon have been close to the marina lately.

Alpena: Catch rates for walleye were mixed as anglers try to find them. Some are heading as far as South Point, Scarecrow Island, Sulphur Island and Grass Island while others are heading to North Point, North Shore and Thunder Bay Island. All are using body baits and crawler harnesses with no color preference. Lake trout action was good off Thunder Bay Island in deeper water when using attractors near the bottom and salmon were hitting on spoons higher in the water column.

Harrisville: Water temperatures were wreaking havoc on fishing and all species were scattered at different depths. Lake trout along with the occasional salmon and steelhead were caught in waters 45 to 120 feet deep. Use downriggers, lead core, copper and planer boards. Most of the fish were hitting on dark colors and the majority had gobies in their stomach. Steelhead were feeding along the scum lines if you can find them. Walleye were in the area in good numbers, from the rock wall around the harbor up to Sturgeon Point and northward in 10 to 40 feet. They are closer to shore late evening and early morning and deeper mid-day. Try body baits and crawler harnesses with long lines and planer boards.

Oscoda: Boat anglers caught lake trout, salmon and steelhead straight out and north of the port. Start shallow in the early morning and work your way out to waters up to 150 feet deep. Fish all depths and use dark colors. Pier anglers are drifting crawlers and leeches with a slip bobber and bottom bouncers for walleye. Those fishing off the end of the pier caught a few fish on small spoons and body baits.

Au Sable River: Has walleye between the mouth and Foote Dam. Boat anglers are drifting crawlers with split shot to adjust for depth. Jigging up the river with crawlers and casting body baits over the holes is working well.

Higgins Lake: Is still producing perch near the islands and some nice rock bass. Pike were caught by those bobber fishing. Try live suckers or chubs. Lake trout were out deep in 100 to 120 feet.

Tawas: Most walleye anglers were heading south and fishing just north of Big Charity Island but some were even fishing off Oak Point and north to Caseville. A change in water temperatures as a result of the windy conditions was causing the fish to relocate. A couple boats trolling in 35 to 55 feet south of Buoy #2 have done well for lake trout and steelhead. Pier anglers are catching a summer mix of smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum and the occasional walleye in the evening.

Tawas River: Fishing was slow.

Au Gres: Excellent walleye fishing continues in 25 to 30 feet. Most boats are now going south of Pointe Au Gres and fishing the outer reaches of the inner bay or out near the commercial shipping channel.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: The bite was slow with only a few salmon caught by those trolling in 30 to 60 feet from the Baraga Marina northward to Sand Point and Old Mission. A few lake trout, brown trout, splake and rainbow trout were also caught. Most were fishing 25 to 45 feet down with spoons in orange or purple. Those jigging for lake trout had fair success in 180 to 260 feet out from Jentoff’s Dock, Whirl-I-Gig and the pine tree on the north side of Pequaming. In Traverse Bay, anglers were still picking up fair catches of lake trout in the bottom 5 feet of waters 100 to 150 feet deep near 5, 6 and 7 Mile Reefs or in 120 to 165 feet near Big Louie’s, Gay Point and Hermits Cove. Most are using spoons with purple and white the hot colors. Those jigging caught lake trout in 140 to 260 feet.

Lake Antoine: A lot of panfish are being caught but it is becoming a struggle to find the bigger fish. Boat and shore anglers are catching bluegill, sunfish, yellow perch and rock bass when drifting or floating minnows and crawlers. Bass anglers are still catching some nice large and smallmouth when casting crank baits near the lily pads and grassy areas. Those trolling crawler harnesses have also done well.

Marquette: Boat anglers reported slow fishing for lake trout with only a handful of anglers getting two or three fish near the “Sand Hole” east of the Chocolay River, towards the Sand River and Shot Point. Depths vary but try waters between 100 to 200 feet and deeper. Shore anglers at the Carp River caught a couple small rainbow trout.

Little Bay De Noc: Anglers were at the mercy of the winds which have slowed participation in both bays. Walleye catches were down and the better fishing was still in the southern part between Breezy Point and No-See-Um Creek when trolling or drifting crawlers in 8 to 14 feet. Jumbo perch action was fair in 10 to 14 feet between the Second and Third Reefs. Fair to good perch catches off Gladstone and over to the West Bank when using crawlers in 14 to 30 feet.Northern pike were active around the mouth of the Day’s River. Many are trolling crawlers or crank baits in 14 to 20 feet. Salmon anglers reported fair catches north of the Ford River Can when trolling spoons or meat rigs 70 to 80 feet down in 100 to 120 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: Had rumors of walleye caught north of the Big Bay Shoals by those trolling crawler harnesses in 15 to 22 feet. Most anglers were after smallmouth bass but catch rates were down. The better fishing was at Ogontz and Kate’s Bay when trolling or casting plastics, crank baits or crawlers in 10 to 17 feet. At Fairport, feast or famine was the theme for salmon anglers. Most reported baitfish in the shallows however most of the salmon were caught deeper at 70 to 80 feet down in 120 to 150 feet.

Au Train: Had very low angler pressure. Those fishing primarily for lake trout had mixed results. A few reported catches of three to five fish for a party of two whereas others were having a tough time catching any fish. Some were caught in less than 100 feet but those in 200 feet or deeper had poor catch rates. The best areas were off the Shelter Bay Flats, north of Au Train Island and the Wood Island Reef. Try spoons tipped with cut bait.

St. Mary’s River: Raber Bay, Swedes Point, and Maud Bay just north of Detour Village were slow for walleye, yellow perch and smallmouth bass because of the cold water temperatures. Aquatic vegetation is still fishable for mid-July. Northern pike are good in 4 to 6 feet along the edge of the weeds around Lime Island but no lake herring to report. A large fly hatch was reported on the east side of Lime Island in the Canadian Marsh. Raber Bay needs more fly hatches to draw lake herring from the deep water. Atlantic salmon were caught on the discharge side of the Power House when trolling or casting 2 and 3 inch rubber minnows. Use baits with a black back and a gray to white belly. Small crank baits also caught fish. The South end of Rotary Park was producing a few rainbow trout for those casting flies just off the current on the south end of the park. Little and Big Lake George were slow for walleye and perch as cold water has shut down the bite.

Detour: Lake herring moved in last week and a few boats did manage to take limit catches near Cherry Island, Grape Island, and Howard Island. Red teardrops and wax worms were the ticket. Salmon and trout fishing were good with anglers taking Atlantic and chinook as well as lake trout from the city launch to the #3 Green Can, around the lighthouse and to the #2 Red Can on the Drummond side. Some boats were continuing another 2 miles south for lake trout. Try red and white, green and silver or purple spoons.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pike fishing remains excellent in Hessel Bay when still-fishing with chubs or casting. Musky Bay and Middle Entrance also had good pike action. Some nice perch were caught along the east end of Hessel Bay and the north end of Snows Channel. Mackinaw Bay and Shepard Bay were good for pike and bass when casting in the shallows. Lake herring are showing up. A few limit catches were taken in McKay Bay and Prentice Bay in 8 to 14 feet with small caddis flies, wax worms or red teardrops.

St. Ignace: Catch rates were poor.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Is producing walleye in 16 to 18 feet around the Dumping Grounds. Anglers are using spoons, crank baits, wiggle warts, thundersticks or Hot-n-Tots. Purple, pink or red were the hot colors. Good numbers of perch were caught on minnows in 20 to 24 feet near Stony Point.

Detroit River: Is producing walleye in the lower river around Celeron Island and Sugar Island as well as the Trenton Channel. Some nice perch were caught in the weed beds around Sugar Island and Celeron Island.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Panfish are being caught at the mouth of the rivers and the drop-offs. Bass anglers are targeting 3 to 18 feet of water along the weed beds and sand bars. At night try dark spinner baits or top water lures. The public launch hours at Portage are 8am-10pm.

Lake St. Clair: Continues to provide good smallmouth action especially off the Mile Roads. Try crawlers, spinners, tube baits and artificial crayfish. Those targeting musky have caught some nice fish. The walleye action was spotty for those trolling crawler harnesses. No word on perch in Michigan waters but those fishing the Ontario side did catch fish. Sturgeon season is now open on both Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. Anglers will need to obtain a non-transferable Lake Sturgeon Tag available at all license vendors before they go fishing.

Port Sanilac: Anglers caught a few perch ranging 7 to 13 inches in 18 to 20 feet along the weed beds. The key is to move around until you find an active school of fish. Pier fishing was slow as it usually is this time of year.

Harbor Beach: With all of the storms and windy conditions, anglers will need to do some searching to find fish. There are still some active bug hatches going on. For salmon, try straight out, north, or south of the harbor about 30 feet down in waters 50 to 200 feet deep with between 2 and 10 color lines with offshore boards. Good colors were orange, copper, green, silver, purple or white with black dots. Lake trout were in 120 to 220 feet and hitting on dodgers or spin doctors with spin-glows or spoons 50 to 100 feet down. Walleye fishing is still on the slow side but a few were taken by those casting from the wall or trolling close to shore with small spoons, body baits or crawler harnesses.

Grindstone City: Had very good walleye fishing between Grindstone and Burnt Cabin Point. Anglers are using Hot-n-Tots or wiggle warts in 24 to 29 feet.

Port Austin: Walleye fishing was good to very good along the reefs to the west and in 20 to 35 feet off the Port Austin Light. Crawler harnesses with pink, anti-freeze, perch or copper blades worked best.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing continues to be very good. When boats can get out, limit catches were reported. There are further indications that the walleye are making the annual summer movement toward deeper water but good numbers of fish are still being caught around the inner bay. Good fishing was reported just north of the Green Spark Plug in 20 to 25 feet, west of the Red Spark Plug in 19 feet, off Pinconning in 17 feet, the Bay City State Park and mouth of the Kawkawlin River in 10 to 12 feet, Callahan Reef in 10 feet but the weeds are starting to become a problem, in the Slot between Quanicassee and North Island in 12 to 16 feet, the Bar off Fish Point in 12 feet and the west side of the Bar in 17 feet and north of Big Charity Island in 25 to 32 feet. Crawler harnesses continue to produce, but hot-n-tots are also working. Gold, purple, anti-freeze, and green were good colors.

Saginaw River: Walleye have been caught in the lower river between the mouth and the Coast Guard Station. Most are trolling crank baits.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Salmon fishing slowed but fish were caught in 100 to 120 feet. Pier anglers have caught freshwater drum. Perch fishing picked up in 40 to 50 feet. Most of the fishing pressure was south of the piers.

South Haven: Perch fishing has finally started to improve. The fish are scattered so drift fishing in 30 to 40 feet was the most productive. Salmon fishing was slow but those caught were taken in 120 feet or deeper. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were running in the top 90 feet of waters 120 to 150 feet deep. Those using paddles were starting to catch more fish. Try white paddles with blue flies or blue and gold spoons. Pier anglers were trying for steelhead when using shrimp in the cooler water. No perch to report.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Those fishing up near the Sixth Street Dam have caught the occasional Skamania on spinners, small rapalas and flies. Catch rates for pike and largemouth bass were good. Catfishing opportunities were very good for both channel and flatheads. Anglers are using live suckers, bluegill, cut bait, and soft shell crayfish. Check out the backwaters for panfish.

Grand River at Lansing: Water levels were a bit high and the current is fast. Anglers are catching catfish and smallmouth bass however you will have work hard to keep the bait where you want it.

Maple River: Was still under a flood advisory. Boat and shore anglers need to use caution until water levels recede.

Morrison Lake: Had good crappie fishing but anglers will need to move around to find the fish. Most are drifting or slow trolling.

Muskegon: Pier anglers were trying for salmon and steelhead but had no luck. Boat anglers were running baits between the surface and 90 feet down. More fish were caught on white paddles with blue flies or spoons.

Muskegon River: Is producing a few trout for those fly fishing. Smallmouth bass fishing was good for those using crawlers, leeches and crayfish.

Whitehall: Boat anglers reported a thermocline about 65 feet down and most found fish in 160 to 200 feet. Those fishing across from Stoney Lake did well. Everything works so try trolling with dipseys, lures, copper and flies. Lake trout were suspended alongside other species.

Michigan Fishing Report 7/11/14



Had a great 4th lots of people up and lots of fish caught.
Houghton Lake has been hot but today they started spraying the weeds so things might slow down for a couple days.

Strong storms and windy conditions have scattered fish in the Great Lakes and some of the large inland lakes. Cool water temperatures made for good pike and walleye fishing on the inland lakes. Certain areas have fly hatches to contend with but all and all; summer fishing in Michigan is good!


It’s July and the walleye have moved into weed cover or are hugging the bottom in the deeper water. Try trolling Thundersticks or bottom bouncers with leeches or crawlers. Another method that’s efffective is slip bobber fishing the edges of the weed beds. It may put some extra fish in the box. Both methods also catch bass and pike. Why be picky?

Bass fishing has been good. Try casting top water baits early mornings or again in the evening. Artificial frogs are starting to be an issue. Spinner baits work any time.

Catching limits of panfish isn’t as easy as earlier, but some are still finding spawning gills. Don’t sit and wait for them. Keep moving. Once you locate them the action is steady.

Crappie are now suspending in the deeper dephts. Those using electronics are doing well. Small minnows are their favorite food, but casting Bettle Spins has been catching slabs in the foot range.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Smallmouth fishing from boats seems to have slowed. Lake trout anglers around Harbor Point found fish shallow and suspended last week. Success was found in 20 to 60 feet but the water was starting to warm so the fish may be moving deeper.

Petoskey: Wind and fog have made it difficult for boat anglers. Those able to get out did catch a couple lake trout and cisco. Those fishing on the D Pier near the mouth of the Bear River caught lots of rock bass, bluegill and sub-legal smallmouth. It appears the freshwater drum may have moved out. Most are using crawlers, crank baits, soft plastics and flies.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers are still focusing on the area between North Point and the cement plant. Lake trout were still caught in shallow waters. Try 10 to 40 feet down in waters up to 180 feet deep. Spoons and winged glow bobbers in green were still working best. Schools of fish were also marked out in front of the lighthouse in 70 to 80 feet but the water was too rough for jigging. Smallmouth fishing in the channel was hit-or-miss but a few large fish were caught by those using crawlers, leeches, soft plastics or crank baits. Cisco were caught in the channel.

Bear River: Angler pressure was low. Some are trying for summer steelhead which usually show up this time of year. Most are using spawn bags.

Traverse City: Windy conditions and currents in the East Bay caused water temperatures to drop and the smallmouth action slowed. Bass anglers will want to look for areas with warmer water and the fish are more active. Lake trout fishing was good in waters 15 to 50 feet deep. In the West Bay, the smallmouth action was slow but lake trout fishing was good.

Elk River: Is producing mostly sub-legal smallmouth bass. Anglers are using tube baits, crawlers and leeches. Freshwater drum were also caught.

Boardman River: Catch rates were slow with only a few smallmouth bass, rock bass, carp and the occasional pike being caught.

Frankfort: Anglers are working the shelf from the pier and trolling north while fishing the top 80 to 120 feet in waters 300 to 400 feet deep. Flies, meat rigs and spoons are getting hits and blue was the hot color.

Onekama: Those trolling in deeper water reported good catches of chinook salmon. Most were heading west of the piers and targeting the top 60 to 90 feet of waters 450 to 500 feet deep. Spoons worked best and gold was the hot color.

Portage Lake: Mayflies are still washing up on shore so panfish activity was still slow in the shallows. Those fishing deeper in 18 to 22 feet around the buoy off Little Eden caught fish. Bass anglers are working the drop-offs with worms.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Have good bass fishing. Anglers are using spinners, rapalas or crawlers. Those trolling bottom bouncers with crawlers and leeches caught walleye in deeper water.

Manistee: Salmon and steelhead were caught 30 to 80 feet down in 100 to 200 feet on orange and pink spoons.

Manistee River: Is producing Skamania near Tippy Dam. Try flies, spinners or rapalas. A fair to good number of brown trout have also been caught.

Ludington: Is producing salmon and steelhead in the top 80 feet of waters 100 to 250 feet deep. Try orange spoons and green flies.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Anglers are catching limits of lake trout including a lot of smaller fish. Most are fishing throughout the water column and not just off the bottom. Steelhead are starting to show up and were caught higher in the water column on spoons with orange on them. Use short segments of lead core with 1, 2, or 3 colors and sliders on downriggers and bright colors. Chinook were scattered. There really is no large thermocline. Anglers are trying up and down the water column with spoons in green, blue, silver or anything that glows early and late. Try straight out, Adams Point, Swan Bay or up near the State Park and Forty Mile Point.

Alpena: For walleye fishing, some days are better than others. Most are fishing at night around Sulphur Island, Grass Island and Scarecrow Island, North Shore and North Point. Early morning was just as good as night fishing when trolling a mix a body baits and crawler harnesses. If one doesn’t work, try the other when fishing up on the shoals in shallow water. Those fishing around Thunder Bay Island caught the occasional chinook, pink, Atlantic salmon or steelhead. Try short segments of lead core with sliders and bright colors. Chinook are around but no big numbers. Try up and down the water column with spoons in 40 to 60 or 70 to 90 feet.

Thunder Bay River: Not much to report even though anglers are fishing. They caught a couple keeper smallmouth bass right along with sub-legal smallmouth and lots of tiny rock bass.

Harrisville: Has walleye in good numbers. Try 12 to 30 feet north and south of the harbor and between Greenbush and Sturgeon Point. Fish shallow in the early morning and move deeper mid-day. Try crawler harnesses, bottom bouncers and body baits. Lake trout, salmon and steelhead were caught in 60 to 120 feet on spoons, spin-glows, cut baits and fly’s behind dodgers and flashers. Look for steelhead along the scum line.

Oscoda: Pier fishing was on and off. Early morning and late evening were best with the occasional mid-day catches. Salmon, lake trout and steelhead were holding south of the river were scattered and on the move. Try 50 to 150 feet and look for baitfish which were abundant. Scum lines were few and far between but that’s where the steelhead are and hitting on dark colored baits.

Au Sable River: Look for walleye all the way to Foot Dam. Body baits and crawler harnesses are producing the most. Catfish are moving in throughout the night.

Higgins Lake: The hex hatch is done. Anglers are catching lots of rock bass including some in the 11 inch range. Good numbers of perch were caught near the Sunken Island, the Main Island and along the ridge that runs off the west boat launch. Smallmouth bass were hitting on spinners and crawlers. Lake trout can still be found in 80 to 100 feet. Rainbow trout were suspended in 20 to 40 feet. Both are hitting on rapalas and bombers in blue and silver or rainbow.

Houghton Lake: The better fishing was for walleye and bluegills along the weeds.

Tawas: Those trolling are heading to the north side of the Charity Islands and picking up large walleye in 25 to 35 feet. Pier and river fishing were slow.

Au Gres: Fishing remains excellent with a lot of anglers, a lot of walleye being caught and a lot of limit catches reported. On days with a north wind, anglers did well straight off the mouth of the river in 25 to 40 feet.

Au Gres River: Catch rates for catfish picked up immediately after the rain.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates were still up and down. Those trolling 15 to 90 feet down in 20 to 120 feet did harvest some splake and lake trout from the head of the Bay north to Carla’s Restaurant. Trolling speeds were 1.9 and 2.5 mph. Those launching from Traverse Bay Marina were trolling 5 feet off the bottom in 100 to 150 feet at the 5, 6 and 7 Mile Reefs. Lake trout were also caught in 120 to 165 feet off Big Louie’s, Gay Point and Hermits Cove when using spoons in a variety of colors. Some were jigging in 140 to 260 feet off Big Louie’s and the 6 and 7 Mile Reefs.

Lake Antoine: Was still producing good numbers of panfish for those drifting, jigging or still-fishing with crawlers. Anglers caught yellow perch, bluegills, pumpkinseed and rock bass. Many were on the small side. Those targeting bass had fair to good catches of smallmouth when trolling crawlers or casting crank baits.

Marquette: Those targeting lake trout had fair results catching between two and four fish near the “Sand-Hole” and north of Granite Island towards Little Presque Isle when trolling spoons on dipseys or downriggers. Surface water temperatures near shore were warmest near the mouth of the Chocolay and Sand River. Those trying for salmon caught very few fish. Those jigging near Stannard Rock caught lake trout up to ten pounds when fishing along the edge in 100 feet of water.

Little Bay De Noc: Is still producing good catches of walleye in the southern bay between Breezy Point and No-See-Um Creek. At Breezy Point, anglers are trolling crawler harnesses in 10 to 12 feet or straight out from the Ford River near the “Fingers” in 16 to 22 feet with crank baits and crawler harnesses. Down by No-See-Um Creek, they are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 4 to 10 feet and several limit catches were reported. Fair catches near the Escanaba River and the “Black Bottom” in 10 to 20 feet. The head of the Bay was quiet with low participation. Some perch were caught in Kipling and Gladstone when using crawlers in 10 to 25 feet. Northern pike were active in Kipling near the Power Plant in 10 to 12 feet. Try spinners or crank baits. Several nice pike were reported in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor by those trolling spoons or crank baits along the channel. Salmon anglers have started to catch chinook out near the Ford River Buoy when trolling 70 to 80 feet down in 120 feet with spoons. Steelhead were also caught.

Big Bay De Noc: Had very low angler participation and no walleye reports. Smallmouth bass anglers reported fair to good catches using plastics, crank baits or crawlers in Kate’s Bay. Most were trolling or casting in 8 to 14 feet. Fairport was pretty much the same as last week with fair catches reported by those trolling spoons or meat rigs 60 to 80 feet down in 120 feet. Anglers reported schools of alewife so the action should only get better.

Au Train: Anglers reported mixed results and were mainly targeting lake trout. Surface water temperatures near shore were in the low 50’s and offshore waters were in the mid to upper 40’s. Anglers did best with spoons or fly’s tipped with cut bait off the Shelter Bay Flats and towards Laughing Whitefish Point when fishing along the edge in 160 to 180 feet or with downriggers east of Au Train Island and Wood Island Reef. No salmon to report.

Munising: The number of boat anglers dropped because catch rates were very slow. The few heading out were fishing in the bay and around Grand Island. Surface water temperatures were 45 to 52 degrees but few anglers were targeting lake trout. Pier fishing was slow and catch rates were poor for those targeting splake.

Grand Marais: Had increased angler activity leading into the annual lake trout tournament. Evenings were more productive but most of the fish caught were less than 12 inches and no limit catches were reported. Catch rates were much better three to six miles out in the shipping channel and near Sable Point. Most of the fish were 2 to 4 pounds but a few up to 13 pounds were taken in waters between 70 and 200 feet deep. Shore anglers fishing near the marina had poor results.

St. Mary’s River: Is producing a few Atlantic salmon on the discharge side of the Clover Land Power Plant. Try casting spoons, small yellow and white crank baits or medium size minnows. Walleye were caught by those still-fishing minnow in 8 to 12 feet on the discharge side of the Power Plant. Whitefish were also caught by those using small black fly type baits. A few rainbow trout and whitefish were caught off the Canal Bridge upstream from the Power Plant when drifting small spawn bags for whitefish or maroon back flat fish with a chrome belly for rainbows. Walleye fishing was slow at the mouth of the Charlotte River. A few pike were taken by shore anglers using crawlers under a bobber in 4 to 6 feet in the early morning. Raber Bay and Lime Island were slow for walleye. Aquatic vegetation is short in most of the bays this year due to the cold weather. Anglers have been looking for fly hatches in order to catch lake herring but none were reported yet.

Cedarville and Hessel: Report good pike fishing in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay, Snows Channel, Cedarville Bay, Government Bay and Moscoe Channel. Anglers are casting or still-fishing with chubs. Perch fishing has picked up along the east end of Cedarville Bay and Snows Channel and good bass fishing along the Snows Channel for those casting spinner baits. The herring are not in yet.

St. Ignace: Chinook and lake trout are still being caught behind Mackinac Island, at Round Island and around Bois Blanc Island.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Algae blooms are causing walleye to move into shallower water. The better fishing was in 16 to 20 feet off Stony Point and at the Dumping Grounds. A few large fish were caught as shallow as 10 feet. Most are using spoons and crank baits with the low visibility. Perch numbers are increasing in 20 to 24 feet off Stony Point. Walleye were caught in 10 to 17 feet off Luna Pier by those using Hot-n-Tots or Erie Dearies.

Huron River: Is producing smallmouth bass on crawlers and spinners.

Detroit River: Those hand-lining with flat fish have caught walleye as well as those jigging with a piece of crawler on a black jig. Most are fishing near the mouth and around Celeron Island or Sugar Island. White bass are still in the river. Those vertical jigging or casting from Belle Isle to Wyandotte caught a few musky.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Bass anglers continue to do well fishing the flats and drop-offs. Try plastic worms or jigs in waters between 2 and 12 feet deep. For bluegill try the coves on Strawberry Lake and Whitewood Lake.

Lake St. Clair: Has good smallmouth bass fishing in 15 to 17 feet along the Mile Roads and south of Huron Point. Walleye and perch fishing were slow in Michigan waters but good reports were coming from the Ontario side of the lake.

St. Clair River: Had slow walleye fishing between Algonac and Port Huron. Anglers may want to try hand-lining at night.

Lexington: Fishing along the outside of the Thumb slowed but lake trout and steelhead were still hitting. Windy conditions made fishing difficult.

Harbor Beach: The fish are scattered so anglers will need to do some searching to find them. Try straight out, north or south of the harbor with lines in the bottom 30 feet of waters 50 to 125 feet deep. For salmon and steelhead try spoons with 2,3,5,7 and 10 color lines and offshore boards. Bright colors are best like orange, green, silver, purple and gold. Fly hatches are ongoing and the fish are full of them so it is hard to get them to bite. For lake trout use dodgers or spin doctors with spoons and spin-glows near the bottom or spoons 50 to 100 feet down. Walleye were caught by those casting from the wall or trolling close to shore. Early and late are best with small body baits and spoons in perch colors, silver, blue and black.

Grindstone City: Walleye were hitting very well in 25 to 40 feet. Anglers using lead core and small spoons are catching fish and limit catches were reported. Large whitefish were also caught and some were in the 10 pound range. The very tip of the Thumb is a good place to fish if the wind is out of the south.

Port Austin: Is producing a few walleye. It appears that the fish have not yet moved onto the reefs between Caseville and Port Austin.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing continues to be very good but windy conditions are hampering trollers. There is some indication that the fish are moving toward deeper water. More boats are working out near the Green Spark Plug (Buoys 1 & 2) at the end of the shipping channel, the deep side of the Bar, and areas similar. Those trolling out of Caseville were getting some bigger walleye off Oak Point and north of the Charity Islands.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Salmon fishing has slowed however boat anglers have caught a decent number of perch. Pier anglers are catching good numbers of freshwater drum along with the occasional steelhead.

South Haven: Fishing for all species was slow. Some caught perch but overall fishing was tough.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers are fishing 45 to 120 feet down in 110 to 165 feet. Blue spoons and blue meat rigs have done well but white paddles were also starting to catch fish. Pier fishing was very slow. Some were casting for large and smallmouth bass. No perch to report.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing lots of channel and flathead catfish off the east side wall and near Fulton Street and Bridge Street. Try live suckers, bluegills, cut bait or soft shell crayfish. Walleye were caught by those drifting crawlers, casting body baits or when trolling crawler harnesses and body baits. Some caught the occasional Skamania on fly’s, crawlers or minnows. For panfish, try the backwaters with leaf worms or wax worms. Pike were hitting on live suckers.

Grand River at Lansing: Water levels are up however smallmouth bass and catfish have been caught below the dams. Pike were caught below the North Lansing Dam.

Maple River: Had high water levels. Boat and shore anglers need to use caution until water levels recede.

Morrison Lake: Had good crappie fishing.

Reeds Lake: Was good for bluegill, crappie, bass and pike.

Muskegon: Is still producing some trout and salmon 45 to 120 feet down in 110 to 165 feet. Try spoons and meat rigs. Blue was the hot color. No perch and no pier fishing to report.

Muskegon River: Is producing smallmouth bass on flies and soft plastics.

Whitehall: Had few anglers. Those fishing the channel caught bass when using cut bait or green and yellow body baits.

4th of July Michigan Fishing Report


East and West Grand Traverse Bay have been great for smallmouth bass this week but the blue angles coming to town will have lots of boat traffic.

Houghton Lake has been great for walleye and big bluegill this week with leeches and crawlers working best.

The back waters of Tippy Dam has been hot with all fish biting, also hodenpoyle has had a good bite also.

Hamlin Lake has been good this week for gills and crappie.

Boardman River has been good for bass this week with leeches working best.

Higgins Lake the perch have been biting worms and minnows

Baldwin has had a great gill bite this week on all the surrounding lake with waxworms, crickets, and worms working best

Otsego Lake has started producing walleye, perch and good bass on leeches and crawlers.

Big Platte Lake has been a well kept secret but the word is out on how good the walleye bite has been and big fish also.

Lake Leelanau has been great for walleye with leeches working best.

Good fishing reports coming in from all areas of the state. The recent storms however, have muddied the waters and slowed some areas of fishing down. Reports of mayflies are starting to show up and that should help with the steelhead in the coming weeks. For those trout and salmon fishing certain areas are starting to pick-up where others are beginning to slow down.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Smallmouth bass anglers are still focusing most of their effort near the permanent structures east of Wequetonsing (i.e. the pier at Roaring Brook) and near the north shore of Petoskey State Park. They also did well fishing shallow in the Wequetonsing docks. A lot of success was also had inside Harbor Point and in the harbor itself. Green tube baits and soft plastic worms are working well. Many fish over 6 pounds are reported to have been caught this spring by catch and release.

Petoskey: The surface temperature of Little Traverse Bay remained in the low to mid 50’s at the surface last week. Boat pressure remains pretty low in Petoskey. A lot of lake trout caught were under the slot limit. Anglers are using spoons and peanuts and fishing from Bay Harbor east into the Bay. Fish are being caught in 60 to 100 feet of water, some suspended and some close to the bottom. Anglers fishing near the mouth of Bear River on D Pier were still catching smallmouth and rock bass. A lot of freshwater drum were caught last week as well. Walleye are being picked up during the afternoons and evenings past the mouth of the river. Anglers were mainly using crawlers, crank baits, soft plastics and flies on all of those species. Anglers fishing the break wall are still catching a few smallmouth bass and northern pike using jigs with soft plastics, small crank baits or just a hook with a crawler.

Charlevoix: Boats are targeting lake trout from North Point to the can at the cement plant. Winged glow bobbers and flashers or dodgers were working well with green always being a good color. Lake trout were caught in 40 to 70 feet of water — some within 10 feet of the bottom. A cisco was also caught out near the cement plant while trolling. Smallmouth bass can be seen in the channel, but the bite was a bit slow. The few bass that are biting are on the large size. Smallmouths were caught on crawlers, crank baits, and jigs with soft plastics. Some ciscos were still being caught in the channel at various times of the day. Carp and northern pike have been spotted cruising around in the channel as well.

Lake Charlevoix: Anglers are reporting the mayfly hatch has started. Anglers are catching some walleye just before dark and cisco at various times during the day. Ciscos were found in Loeb Bay, Oyster Bay and into Round Lake. Try a little jig with a soft plastic or a Swedish pimple for cisco.

Traverse City: Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in East Bay. Anglers have been catching bass in the shallows on tube baits, crank baits, and spinner baits. Lake trout fishing has been good for the relatively few boats targeting them. Depths have been variable, but most fish were caught near the bottom in 20 to 50 feet of water. West Bay reports good smallmouth bass fishing in five to 15 feet of water. The lake trout bite has been good fishing in 15 to 40 feet of water on spoons or spin glows behind dodgers.

Elk River: Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair; however the majority of fish have been on the small side. Anglers were targeting bass with tube baits, crawlers, and leeches. A few freshwater drum were caught as well.

Platte River: Walleye and steelhead can be found at the mouth and in the stream in small numbers. There are large numbers of suckers and carp from the hatchery to the lake.

Frankfort: Salmon catches have slowed from the past two weeks but anglers are having some luck in the early mornings and evenings out front in 120 to 200 feet of water trolling 60 to 100 feet down. Blues, greens, and chartreuse colors have been the most popular. Anglers heading north to Platte Bay have been having good luck with lake trout.

Onekama: Anglers had good catches of steelhead heading off shore a mile and trolling the top 40 feet of water with orange and chartreuse spoons. The Barrel is producing nice size lake trout and the occasional king with the early morning bite producing nicer catches.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers are still having nice catches of large and smallmouth bass throughout the lake. Smallmouths are hitting good around the break walls and largemouths are shallow around structures and on the drops in 18 to 22 feet of water. Pan fish are starting to bite after the mayfly hatch but it is still a little slow.

Manistee: Salmon fishing has slowed down compared to what it has been the last couple weeks. Boats were finding Salmon 40 to 80 feet down in 100 to 200 feet of water. Steelhead anglers going offshore looking for the temperature break were doing well. The hot color for steelhead was orange. Pier fishing is slow since the water has warmed up.

Ludington: Boats are catching some Salmon 30 to 80 feet down in 80 to 180 feet of water. Anglers going offshore looking for the temperature break were finding decent number of Steelhead. Bright colored spoons were working well for the offshore anglers. Pier fishing is slow.

Pentwater: Boating anglers fishing on Lake Michigan traveled 12 to 14 miles out to find fish. These fish were taken in 300 to 400 feet of water. Steelhead and Chinook salmon were taken from the top twenty feet of the water column. Lines running closer to the bottom returned fair numbers of lake trout as well.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Has had great lake trout fishing with plenty of limits. Anglers targeting them are using spoons, cowbells or dodgers with spin-glos. The lakers have been suspended all up and down the water column within 10 feet from the bottom. The best depths have been in 40 to 80 feet of water. Chinook, atlantics, along with the occasional pink have also been taken. Anglers are using downriggers, lead cores, copper, and dipseys. Spoons have been working the best however. Good colors have been greens, blues, orange and silver, green and orange, silver and glow stuff both early and late in the day. Catches have been made straight out from the harbor and west towards Calcite Harbor, Swan Bay and Adams Point.

Alpena: Walleye are starting to show up. Anglers are heading out and fishing at night for the best success. Anglers are using crawler harnesses and or body baits. Best places have been Sulphur Island, Scarecrow Island, Grass Island, right out front of the marina and North Point. The walleye have been moving around a lot as of late. The shallower water seems to be the best. Mayflies are starting to hatch so it may slow things up for a little bit. Thunder Bay Island and 9 mile has had some super fishing with many limits. Anglers are fishing anywhere from 45 to 80 feet deep.

Thunder Bay River: Pretty quiet over the last week. A few rock bass, pike, drum and walleye. Most are using live bait such as leeches, night crawlers or worms.

Harrisville: Fishing has been steady with a mixed bag of fish coming in. Harvest has included lake trout, salmon, steelhead and walleye. Lake trout have been in shallow and out deep from 60 to 80 feet of water and in 100 to 140 feet of water. Salmon and steelhead are in the same area and seem to be by product catches while targeting lake trout. Anglers are using lead core, copper, dipsey’s and down riggers with spoons, cut bait, spin-n-glows and body baits. Walleye are still around the area in good numbers with late evening and early morning providing the best catches on crawler harnesses, bottom bouncers, and body baits.

Oscoda: Is producing a mixed bag of fish including lake trout, salmon, steelhead, walleye, smallmouth bass and catfish. The boats are reporting lake trout, steelhead and salmon catches. Reports are that the lake trout are suspended in half of the water depth you are fishing. Steelhead and salmon are in the lower 2/3 of the water column. Most reports are in water depths of 90 to 120 feet of water off lead core, dipsey’s, copper, down riggers with a wide spread. Spoons, mainly dark colors, are working the best. Walleye and smallmouth along with catfish are being caught off the pier. Walleye and catfish are hitting off the pier in late evening.

Houghton Lake: Bluegill are biting on slip bobbers and leeches from four to 12 feet along the edge of the weed bed.

Tawas: Pier fishing at Tawas Bay is in ‘summer mode’ with a few bass, drum, and catfish being caught and some of the local kids are fishing for and catching carp. Boat anglers out of Tawas are catching steelhead out past Buoy #2 in 50 feet of water to almost up on the surface. The steelies are apparently in there taking advantage of the hatching mayflies. Trollers after walleye are doing fair down toward Alabaster in 25 to 40 feet of water or going to the north side of the Charities and fishing around the Steeples. Limit catches were common north of the Charities.

Tawas River: Shore anglers were getting a few bass, catfish and drum.

Au Gres: Lots of boats out, lots of walleye caught with lots of limit catches. Much of the action was in 35 to 45 feet of water out near the shipping channel. Other boats were going north of the Charities and doing well.

Au Gres River: Shore anglers were taking good numbers of catfish and drum.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: The fish bite for most of the week was up and down but steady. Anglers harvested a fair number of Chinook with some coho and lake trout. Anglers are now trolling in 20 to 120 feet of water 15 to 90 feet down from the head of the bay northward to Carla’s Restaurant at speeds of 1.9 to 2.5 mph. Some anglers put in at Traverse Bay Marina trolling in depths of 130 to 180 feet of water using a variety of spoons and colors. The lake trout bite was slow here. Anglers who were jigging off of Big Louie’s Point in waters from 150 to 260 feet down took some limits of lake trout.

South Portage Entry: Anglers fishing waters from the lighthouse southward along the 41 shoreline to the Red Rocks picked up a mix of chinook, lake trout and rainbow. Anglers were trolling in waters from 30 to 60 feet deep 25 to 55 feet down at speeds of 1.8 to 2.3 mph. The fish bite was up and down during the week here also. Anglers are also picking up lake trout trolling in water from 60 to 120 feet deep at Farmers, Newton’s and Big Reefs. A variety of spoons and colors were used.

Lake Antoine: Bass anglers are catching good numbers and good-sized smallmouth bass along with a few largemouth bass casting crank baits or drifting crawlers in the lily pads and tall grass. Panfish anglers are catching a good number of yellow perch, black crappies, bluegill and rock bass with some keepers. Anglers are catching a lot more in the smaller class mainly jigging, drifting or still-fishing with crawlers.

Marquette: Surface water temperatures have warmed into the mid to upper 40’s near the river. A few boats have ventured out to Stannard Rock with good results in limiting out with lake trout jigging off the reef in 100 feet of water on the edges. Lake trout anglers in the Marquette area have been doing fair with some slow days depending on winds. Best areas have been about three miles east of Marquette near the Sand Hole and Sand River area near Shot Point. Shore anglers at the Carp River report slow action with a few steelhead reported casting with assorted spoons and cleos..

Little Bay De Noc: The best walleye fishing was in the southern bay from Breezy Point south to Nosee-um Creek. Anglers trolled or drifted crawlers w/harnesses in four to 14 feet of water. Many limits of fish were reported. The Escanaba River reported fair catches using the same in 10 to 20 feet of water. “Black Bottom” area also reported fair catches using crawlers or cranks in 10 to 28 feet of water. Kipling area reported fair perch catches using minnows or crawlers in 14 to 26 of water. Anglers also reported drum catches throughout the Bay. No salmon reports.

Big Bay De Noc: Both walleye and smallmouth bass catches slowed here this week. The walleye are moving south although catches were reported in the “Boot” area, Kates Bay and south to Garden Bluff. Best catches were in 16 to 20 feet of water trolling crawlers w/harnesses. Northern pike were active this week with Ansell’s Point area and into Garden Bay being the best area. Most trolled cranks, spinners or spoons in eight to 12 feet of water. Most smallmouth anglers reported fish at various depths from four to 16 feet of water with Porcupine Point, Kate’s Bay and Puffy Bay being best using spinners, jigs w/crawlers or cranks. Fairport anglers reported a few catches this week as the water slowly begins to warm

Au Train: Surface water temperatures have finally warmed into the upper 40’s near shore. Offshore surface temps remain in the mid 40’s. Anglers this past week had mixed results with local anglers frustrated as the bite was slow, however some anglers still did well catching close to limit of lake trout with a few coho, Chinook and steelhead as part of their catch. Most anglers are having best luck with downriggers although a few lake trout have been caught off bottom using dipsy divers. Spoons have been best choice with chartreuse and orange colors doing well. Productive areas for fishing have been east and north of AuTrain Island in close to 200 feet of water along with the Shelter Bay flats fishing near Laughing Whitefish Point. Other productive areas have been Wood Island Reef.

St. Mary’s River: Walleye have been slow in and around Lime Island of Raber Bay. The walleye bite has been slow all week due to cold water temperatures. A few under size fish have been caught and released, including undersize pike and smallmouth bass. Anglers have been watching for the July fly hatch in order to start fishing for lake herring. A few mild hatches have been reported in the Raber area, but no heavy hatches yet. Evening hours in Bay Dewausi while trolling crank baits, and crawler harnesses in four to six feet of water just off weed beds have produced a few nice walleye in the 20 to 24 inch class. Walleye fishing seems to be more productive in the evening hours on the St. Mary’s River watershed.

Sault Ste. Marie: A few nice Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout are being caught on the discharge side of Gloverland Electric Power Plant casting spoons and black crank baits with chrome colored bellys trolling in four to six feet of water.

Detour: Had low numbers of anglers due to wind and rain. However, those anglers going out harvested lake trout and a few Atlantic and Chinook salmon. Anglers were fishing from the city launch to the #3 green can and around the lighthouse to the #2 red can on the Drummond side using watermelon, green/gold, pink/purple, green/white and black/orange spoons.

Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers still-fishing with chubs for pike are doing well along the south and east shores of Hessel Bay, off the marina pier early and late, in Musky Bay, Middle Entrance, and along the north shore of Government Bay. Perch fishing in Cedarville Bay is fair, and bass fishing remains good, casting with spinner baits in the shallow water. Herring are still not in, but should begin to show with consistent warm weather.

St. Ignace: Angling pressure has been low. Chinook salmon and lake trout are coming in from behind Mackinaw Island around Round Island and from the southwest side of Mackinaw Island.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Detroit River: Walleye have been caught in the lower Trenton Channel including the area near the Edison Plant. Some jumbo perch were caught in the weeds around the Horse Island Flats.

Lake St. Clair: Walleye fishing is good near the shipping channel and also in the deeper water off the Mile Roads. Bass fishing has been good with more fish showing up in deeper water.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing has been spotty with some fish coming from the Port Huron Area.

Lexington: Some perch are starting to show up south of Lexington coming off the weed beds but you have to work to find them. Pier anglers are mainly getting rock bass and white bass.

Port Sanilac: Trout and salmon fishing is slowing down a bit and are scattered. Pier anglers are reporting rock bass and white bass.

Harbor Beach: Look for lake trout in deeper waters when using dodgers and spin glows on the bottom. Good colors were purple, pink, yellow, green or black. For salmon, use medium or large spoons 40 to 70 feet down in 70 to 150 feet of water. Steelhead were hitting on bright colors in 80 to 150 feet of water. Try 25 to 50 feet of water near the cemetery for perch when using minnows. Walleye fishing will be slow until the waters clears up. Try off the north wall in the early morning or late evening when casting small body baits or spoons in green, purple, silver or blue. Inside the harbor is good for bass and pike.

Grindstone City: Those trolling are taking walleye and whitefish on small spoons in 30 to 40 feet of water. Salmon and lake trout were caught in 120 feet of water. A few smallmouth bass were caught in the harbor.

Port Austin: Salmon and steelhead are scattered in 40 to 70 feet in depth but lake trout can reliably be found near the bottom in 70 to 100 feet of water. Start shallow early in the morning and work deeper as the sun comes up. Walleye fishing is slow.

Saginaw Bay: Excellent walleye fishing in a lot of locations this past week such as in 24 feet of water north of Gambil’s Marina near Pinconning, as well as in 12 to 14 feet of water off of the Pinconning Bar. Other locations were Northwest of Buoys 1 & 2; Two miles east of the Spark Plug and in 25 to 28 feet of water near the Spark Plug. Other anglers reported walleye catches in six to eight feet of water off the mouth of the Kawkawlin River very early in the morning as well as in four to 14 feet of water on and along the Callahan Reef. Crawler harnesses are the go-to bait, but crank baits and spoons are also taking fish. Best spinner colors are green, anti-freeze and chartreuse. It it’s cloudy, try gold, silver, or copper. Best crank bait colors were chrome with blue, orange or gold backs, purple or fire-tiger.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Perch fishing picked up this week. Anglers were catching perch in 30 to 50 feet of water. Salmon anglers were making good catches of fish. Trollers should target 80 to 120 feet of water and deeper. Steelhead fishing from the piers is slow.

St. Joseph River: Smallmouth and Walleye fishing have been good but after all the rain the river is high and muddy.

South Haven: Salmon fishing has slowed down a little this week. There are a few fish being caught in 100 feet of water. Anglers are taking freshwater drum on the pier. Still fishing night crawlers on the bottom is working best. Perch fishing continues to be slow.

Grand Haven: The fog, weather, and wind have made fishing very difficult. Salmon anglers have been fishing in 85 to 110 feet of water, 40 to 90 feet down. Spoons are still the main bait of choice in colors of blues and yellows. Pier fishing is slow. Mostly caught have been catfish, sheephead and bass. No perch reported.

Grand River at Lansing: Continues to provide fair to good fishing for channel catfish, smallmouth bass, rock bass and even some bluegills.

Lake Jordan: Nice catch rates fishing for bass and crappie and bluegill using live baits.

Muskegon: Salmon anglers have been fishing in 90 to 100 feet of water, 40 to 50 feet down. Spoons were used in the colors of blues and greens. No perch reported.

Whitehall: Fish are most likely out in deep water due to warm water temperatures. Anglers should try traveling north to the flower creek area as the water temps are cooler. Pier anglers caught catfish and bass this week by casting yellow and green body baits and with cut bait.