Buc’s Fishing Report 9/7/2017

The chill is in the air as labor day has passed and fall fishing will b e in full swing soon. The salmon are heading up the rivers in good numbers and boy there are some hogs to be caught.

Lake Margrethe perch have started biting already with some nice ones being caught. Lees point by Suttons Bay has been producing perch also.

Smallmouth Bass has been super on East Grand Traverse Bay, along with lake trout and ciscoes.

Walleye has been good on Long Lake by Traverse, Big Platte Lake, Houghton Lake, Burt Lake, and Margrethe.


Nice Houghton Lake walleye! Tod Waggoner from Houghton Lake took advantage of the smaller crowds today and landed a 24 3/4″ walleye using a night crawler on a #6 hook. He was in about 10 fow near the orange lighthouse.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Some lake trout were caught about 85 feet down near Harbor Point. A few salmon were caught as well. Most were fishing the Petoskey side.

Petoskey: A few chinook and coho were caught some days while other days it was a challenge to even catch a lake trout. The salmon were found 70 to 80 feet down and the lake trout were found near the bottom in 120 to 140 feet. The salmon ranged between 6 and 8 pounds to over 20 pounds. Smallmouth bass were caught off the breakwall. The Bear River was slow with only a couple chinook, coho and small steelhead caught.

Charlevoix: Windy conditions have kept anglers off the big water and those able to get out and target salmon did not have much luck. Salmon are moving closer to the Medusa Creek area. Some lake trout were caught as shallow as 25 to 40 feet and as deep as 90 to 100 feet straight out from the channel and to the cement plant. Smallmouth fishing was hit-or-miss once again.

Traverse City: Salmon fishing in the East Bay was spotty but some days were good. Anglers did best at the south end trolling spoons and plugs. A good mix of coho and chinook were caught. Anglers targeting lake trout did great when jigging in 80 to 120 feet near Deepwater Point and north of the M-37 launch. A few lake herring were also caught. Smallmouth fishing on the bay was slow with only a few fish taken on leeches in 15 to 30 feet near Elk Rapids and south of Acme. Smallmouth fishing was slow on the Elk River. On the West Bay, some nice chinook and coho were caught when trolling. The majority were caught in the hole out from the Boardman River. Lake trout and a couple lake herring were caught off Lee Point and south of the M-22 launch. Perch fishing was good at times near Lee Point with minnows. Salmon moved into the Boardman River and were taken on spawn or body baits but catch rates were slow.

Leland: Salmon fishing slowed with most of the spawning fish leaving the area to stage or run up into the rivers. A few younger chinook and coho were caught east and north of North Manitou Island. The “First Bank” did produce some good size lake trout and coho. For salmon, try spoons and a flasher/fly combo and for lake trout try a flasher or cowbells. A few salmon have shown up in the Leland River but very few were caught. Some nice smallmouth bass were caught in the river.

Platte Bay: Fishing in East Platte Bay slowed. Some of the fish staging in the bay were caught by those trolling or jigging 20 to 80 feet down. Most were using spoons, green J-plugs and a flasher/fly combo.

Platte River: Had its first major push of coho. Good numbers of fish were pushed up into the lower weir and the lower river was full of fish with good numbers caught. Many were fishing the shallows between the mouth and deep water. Those casting or trolling in shallow waters have done well when the fish are in the area but shore anglers have not done as well. A few chinook and lake trout were also caught.

Frankfort: The chinook bite slowed. Most of the fish have moved up and into the river. Those trolling medium to small spoons had good catches of coho.

Betsie River: The Homestead Dam was very active for salmon and had some very good reports.

Onekama: The “Barrel” is still producing lake trout. Most were bouncing spin-glo’s off the bottom.

Portage Lake: The perch, walleye, bass and panfish bite slowed. Anglers using worms in 12 to 18 feet caught a few fish along the weed beds. Coho were caught.

Manistee: Surface temperature readings dropped to 62 degrees. Fishing slowed but chinook, coho and steelhead were caught around the pier heads and further out in 120 to 200 feet. J-plugs and spoons worked best 60 to 100 feet down.

Manistee River: Had a lot of salmon but there was not a lot of fish at Tippy Dam which means they must be further downstream.

Ludington: Also had slower fishing with a smaller number of salmon and steelhead caught between the piers and 200 feet. Those fishing out deep did best 60 to 100 feet down with spoons or J-plugs. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River: Had salmon up in the river.

Pentwater: Salmon fishing was slow with only the occasional chinook caught by those trolling 20 to 50 feet down in 35 to 80 feet in the early morning with spoons, plugs or paddles and flies. Those trolling 50 to 80 feet down in 180 to 200 feet also caught the occasional salmon with spoons or plugs. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass when casting body baits or still-fishing with live bait in the channel.

Pentwater Lake: Those targeting panfish caught bluegills and black crappie in 15 to 20 feet with perch minnows or wax worms.

Muskegon: Boat anglers trolling for salmon in the harbor and near the piers were unsuccessful. Those trolling out deeper managed to find a few fish 50 to 100 feet down in 70 to 140 feet with a variety of spoons, plugs and flies. Pier anglers had no luck.

Muskego River: Is producing some salmon.

Whitehall: Salmon fishing was slow but boat anglers finding pockets of cold water in 150 to 200 feet caught a few chinook and coho 60 to 100 feet down. Green or purple spoons, paddles and flies or meat rigs were the ticket. Pier anglers caught large and smallmouth bass along with the occasional freshwater drum.

White Lake: Bluegills were caught on perch rigs with wax worms in 15 to 20 feet.



Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan: Boat anglers targeted salmon in 60 to 120 feet but had no luck.

Cheboygan River: Salmon were still jumping at the lock and dam and some chinook were caught with spawn or spoons. Those using spinners and crank baits had no luck. Rock bass and smallmouth bass were caught on worms off the city pier. Shore anglers casting spinners caught pike and smallmouth bass.

Rogers City: Chinook salmon fishing was decent with most boats getting 1 to 3 fish throughout the water column in 40 to 80 feet. Try spoons dodgers, hootchie mamas, flashers and J-plugs. Good colors were green, purple, blue, silver, black and white. Most were caught south of the harbor between Calcite and Adams Point but those fishing to the north caught chinook, coho, lake trout, walleye and the occasional steelhead in 45 to 120 feet. Lots of baitfish were in the area so expect the fish to be feeding on small smelt.

Rockport: Cold water and lots of baitfish have been present. Anglers did well taking a mixed bag of Atlantic, chinook and coho salmon as well as lake trout and walleye straight out towards Middle Island and the Nordmere Wreck or north towards Stoneport in 45 to 120 feet. Spoons and body baits worked well for most but lake trout were hitting on spin-glo’s with flashers and attractors.

Alpena: Anglers targeting lake trout found good numbers when trolling near the bottom in 100 to 150 feet. A couple chinook were taken in 40 to 70 feet and a few were taken near the mouth of the river. Atlantic salmon and steelhead came from the top 40 feet in 100 to 180 feet. Try off North Point and Thunder Bay Island with meat rigs, spin-glo’s or spoons in green, pink, white and chrome. Walleye anglers did well when trolling a crawler harness or stick baits in 25 to 45 feet off the north shore, Scarecrow Island and Sulphur Island.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers found a couple chinook salmon between Mill Island and the 9th Street Dam when casting glow or chrome spoons. Smallmouth bass, rock bass, and a couple largemouth were caught by those drifting crawlers or casting spinners and crank baits.

Oscoda: Lake trout were caught near the bottom in 110 to 160 feet. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon were taken in the top 30 feet. Try spoons, meat rigs or spin-glo’s. A few chinook were caught at the mouth of the river in 24 feet. Pier anglers casting jerk baits and stick baits caught walleye in the early morning.

Au Sable River: A few walleye were caught near the mouth in the morning or evening when drifting crawlers or casting stick baits, crank baits and small spoons. Smallmouth bass were hitting crank baits and small jigs as well as crawlers drifted on the bottom. Pike were hitting on crank baits in the slow waters of the lower river. Rock bass and freshwater drum were taken on crawlers.

Higgins Lake: Lake trout anglers continue to do well when fishing just off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet. No perch reports this week but lots of rock bass are still being caught. Some reported good smallmouth bass fishing.

Houghton Lake: A few walleye were caught by those trolling a crawler harness or drifting a crawler in 9 to 12 feet. The key is to keep the bait moving. Only a few bass were caught as the fish were not quite as active in the cooler weather. Crappie fishing was hit-or-miss but bluegills were hitting on leaf worms and wax worms in the holes along the weed beds.

Tawas: Those trolling caught a few lake trout, steelhead and one chinook in 60 to 80 feet. Walleye were found in 40 to 60 feet off Tawas Point and down near Alabaster when using a spoon or crawler harness. A couple small perch were taken off Jerry’s Marina in the weed beds near Buoy #4 and off the pier. A few walleye were also taken off Jerry’s Marina when casting Erie Dearies in the weed beds.

Au Gres: Walleye trollers are still getting a few fish straight off the mouth of the river, south of Point Au Gres, and off the Saganing and Pinconning Bars in 15 to 20 feet. Perch were found off Eagle Bay Marina in 10 to 15 feet. The average was 25 to 40 fish per boat but they were sorting out a lot of small ones. Fishing slowed but the cooler weather may get it going again. Bullhead, bowfin and a few small perch were caught at the mouth of the Pine River.

Saginaw Bay: Windy weather and muddy water slowed fishing all over the bay. A few perch were taken near the sailboat buoys but anglers were working hard to get them. Catfish could still be found near the Hot Ponds. Perch fishing was spotty off Quanicassee. Those that moved around did better. Those trolling for walleye got a few out from the Slot and beyond the Bar from Oakhurst to Sunset Bay Marina in 12 to 20 feet when using a crawler harness with bright colored spinners. Shore anglers at the marina in Sebewaing caught bluegills on worms and largemouth bass on artificial baits. A few pike were caught off Geiger Road. Summer walleye fishing is about done. Anglers will have to wait until they come into the Saginaw River system in late October and November.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Gogebic: Those trolling the main lake caught walleye. A crawler harness or crank bait was the weapon of choice and this method far out-produced anglers drifting or anchoring. Those fishing the weed beds along the north end picked up some nice panfish and a few perch with leeches and crawlers under a slip bobber or when jigging. Pike were caught but most were small. Bass were found in shallow waters along the rocky areas. Surface water temperatures are dropping and with all of the wind and rain the lake seems to be turning over which may result in some better fishing in the weeks to come.

Little Bay De Noc: Anglers caught fewer walleye but some were found in 12 to 14 feet off Breezy Point and near Round Island in 10 to 18 feet. Most were trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses. Windy conditions kept many from heading south to Seagull Point but when they could; fish were caught by those trolling crank baits in 15 to 25 feet. Perch catches were also down with most fishing crawlers in 10 to 18 feet from the Day’s River south to the “Narrows”. Pike were very active throughout. Smallmouth were caught near Round Island, the east side of the “Black Bottom” when trolling crank baits in 12 to 20 feet and inside the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when casting crank baits, spinners or plastics. Salmon are starting to show up at the Ford River but fishing was a little harder with the high water levels. The Escanaba River probably has salmon also but hard to fish because of construction on the US-2 Bridge. Try trolling the channels from the mouth to the construction site.

Manistique: Had all salmon anglers as more fish moved up into the river. Boat anglers were trolling mega lips and jointed body baits along the deeper channels between the mouth and where the fast water starts. The best fishing was near the mouth. Several salmon anglers caught walleye as well. Shore anglers fishing the “Big Bass Hole” where the upper and lower dam split had fair catches when using spawn, flies, body baits or spoons. The water is faster than previous years and much more stained limiting angler access and sightings. The fish cleaning station is still down and probably won’t be fixed this year. The DNR freezer is still located at the fish cleaning station so those catching a trout or salmon with a missing adipose fin can still drop off the fish head.

Marquette: Had good fishing with many taking a mix of lake trout, coho, steelhead, and even a few chinook 50 to 60 feet down near the white rocks and between the Upper and Lower Harbors. Most were using downriggers with 3 to 5 colors of lead core. A few salmon were caught in the Carp and the Chocolay Rivers.

Au Train: Limit catches of lake trout were taken a few miles off Au Train Island.

Munising: Coho fishing was still slow but a few bigger fish along with a couple brown trout were caught recently. Anglers were trying several areas from the West Channel to Trout Bay in 50 to 80 feet. Only a few lake trout were caught in 140 to 180 feet near the Wood Island Reef. Pier anglers at the Anna River report slow action with only a couple undersize splake taken on spawn bags.

Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers did well near Au Sable Point, Big Reef and straight out near the shipping lanes. A few coho were also caught. Some whitefish were observed near the breakwall. The Sucker River had no activity.

Tahquamenon River: Boat anglers caught musky on crank baits and a few perch when floating worms. Many perch were on the small side. Bluegills and small sunfish were hitting on crawlers and wax worms off the Dollarville Dam Pier.

St. Marys River: At Sault Ste. Marie, Atlantic salmon fishing picked up behind the Cloverland Power Plant with a good number of fish caught. A good number of pink salmon were in the area and were caught by those jigging pink spoons. Walleye fishing improved some in the shipping channel in 30 to 32 feet with a green crawler harness and a bottom bouncer trolled between the 3-Mile and 7-Mile Buoys. Smallmouth bass were caught with tube baits and while drop-shotting on the rock piles. Yellow perch fishing was steady in the morning between 6 and 9 a.m. or in the evening just before dark. Try 25 feet in the North Channel with minnows and crawlers on the bottom. Walleye fishing picked up on Lake George with fish taken in 9 to 12 feet on the north end. In the lower river, very few walleye were caught in Munuscong Bay and Raber Bay. The few that were caught were taken early morning when trolling deep diving stick baits or crank baits in 12 to 17 feet. Yellow perch action picked up Raber Bay. Anglers found pockets of nice 9 to 12 inch fish along the weed beds in 10 to 18 feet when drifting perch rigs and crawler harnesses just over the top of the deep weeds. Good colors were fire-tiger, perch, green, and purple.

Detour: For lake trout, try the 90 foot flat 2 miles straight south of the Detour Light House when trolling spin-glo’s with flashers and a 18 to 24 inch leader and bouncing cannon balls off the bottom. Pink salmon were caught 55 to 60 feet down in 80 feet north of the Detour Lighthouse with smaller orange and chartreuse spoons. There have been no reports of chinook salmon at the Detour Reef however September is here and it is time for them to start running up the river.

Drummond Island: Very few walleye were caught. A few were caught when trolling deep diving stick baits in Scott Bay near Peck Island. Some nice pike were taken trolling spoons and shallow running stick baits over the top of the weed beds in Maxton and Scott Bays. A few nice yellow perch were caught when drifting crawlers near the weed beds in Scott Bay but most are still waiting for the fall bite to really kick in.

Cedarville and Hessel: Schools of perch were out in front of Viking Boat Works which is south of the Cedarville Launch. Fish were caught on shiners and worms. The fish were 8 to 10 inches with a few up near 12 inches. Conner’s Point and Government Island also had reports of schooling perch over the holiday weekend. Fish off the points that have weed beds or cattails in 6 to 8 feet. At Hessel, those targeting perch did not have much luck. Smaller pike were caught when trolling in 8 feet from Cube Point to the north side of Marquette Island on bucktail spinners with yellow spotted blades. Mackinaw Bay had good catches of largemouth bass when casting top-water lures in 3 to 5 feet. Sunfish were caught on twister tail jigs and worms around Echo Island.

Carp River: Fishing slowed as those floating worms for walleye off the pier had no luck and those targeting salmon with spawn or spoons had no luck. In Nunn’s Creek, the salmon are running and anglers had good success catching chinook on spawn. Spoons and spinners were getting strikes but spawn did best. Most fish were between 5 and 10 pounds but a few were up near 20 pounds.