Fishing Report for Northern Michigan


The big fish just keep coming in! Jake Gostiaux brought in this 26.10 lbs King yesterday. Congratulations Jake!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and outdoor

Tristan Millis boated this 27.7 pound king the other morning it measured 41 1/8 inches. Yes that another master angler in the books! This is definitely a year class of fish worth making the trip for.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor




Houghton Lake Walleye. Cpt. Chip, Dan and Gary had a great day of trolling. Using darker colors of salmos, hot n tots and live bait harnesses, they landed 11 walleye, large panfish, bass and pike. Nice job, guys!

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting and people standing

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Had quite a few lake trout caught anywhere from 100 to 170 feet down in 120 to 190 feet from Harbor Point north. A chinook was caught 90 feet down.

Petoskey: Had a few salmon moving into the area. A couple chinook were caught between 80 and 115 feet down. Many were focusing on the area near the breakwall but fish were also caught in front of Bay Harbor. Lake trout were taken 75 to 100 feet down. Smallmouth bass were caught off the D Pier near mouth of the Bear River. Water levels on the Bear River were moderate and fishing was slow up at the dam.

Charlevoix: Boat activity increased with the news of a couple chinook salmon caught 80 to 90 feet down in 120 to 130 feet. Lake trout were 80 to 120 feet down in 100 to 140 feet or deeper between North Point and Cement Plant. Spoons and spin-glo’s were the ticket but some were using cut bait for salmon. Those fishing the channel caught undersize smallmouth, drum and rock bass on live or artificial crawlers and minnows.

Traverse City: Lake trout fishing was good for those trolling or jigging in 100 feet near Elk Rapids and off Deepwater Point. Fish were also caught near Yuba Creek. Salmon fishing was slow but a few bigger chinook were caught along the drop-off south of the M-37 launch. Smallmouth fishing was slow. The Elk River was slow with only a couple bass and freshwater drum caught. In the West Bay, lake trout were caught south of the island and along the east side of the bay. Salmon fishing was slow but a few nice chinook were found north of the Elmwood Marina on the west side and near Marion Island. The smallmouth bite was slow. Catch rates in the Boardman River were slow except for a couple small steelhead, rock bass and other panfish.

Leland: Had good catches of lake trout and some chinook salmon. Most of the lake trout were caught on the First Bank with spin-glo’s behind cowbells. The north end of North Manitou Island was the hot spot but fish were also caught on the south end of North Manitou and the west side of South Manitou Island. Most of the salmon came on spoons 50 to 80 feet down.

Platte Bay: Anglers caught a decent number of lake trout and salmon including some big chinook and coho. Even though coho numbers are starting to increase, many boats were still coming in with no fish.

Frankfort: Had good chinook salmon fishing. Those trolling the “Bank” reported good numbers of fish including several chinook 20 pounds or more taken in the top 60 feet of waters 100 to 140 feet deep with spoons, flies and J-plugs. Coho, lake trout and steelhead were reported in the same area.

Betsie River: Large chinook salmon were caught in both the river and Betsie Lake.

Onekama: Those trolling 40 to 70 feet down in 100 to 160 feet reported good catches of chinook salmon with spoons and meat-rigs in the early morning. Lake trout in the Barrel were hitting up high just like the salmon.

Portage Lake: Walleye, rock bass, perch and largemouth bass were hitting in 11 to 18 feet. Walleye anglers were working the shoreline with crawler rigs in the early morning or evening. Perch anglers using worms near the buoy and in front of the city launch caught some 12 inch fish.

Manistee: Surface temperature readings were about 68 degrees. Fishing picked up and big healthy chinook salmon continue to come in. Most were taken 40 to 100 feet down in 90 to 160 feet. Good numbers of coho and steelhead were caught. Meat rigs, spoons and flies worked best. A few chinook were caught by pier anglers casting spoons or those trolling plugs in the harbor.

Manistee River: Had reports of a 25 pound chinook salmon caught above the coffer at Tippy Dam.

Ludington: Fishing picked up with some big chinook salmon up near 30 pounds caught 40 to 90 feet down in 90 to 150 feet. Coho and steelhead were also caught. Meat rigs, spoons and flies were the ticket. Those trolling in the harbor and Pere Marquette Lake caught a few chinook on plugs.

Pentwater: Boats trolling from the dunes down to Little Sable Point caught chinook and coho salmon 40 to 80 feet down in 80 to 150 feet. They were hitting green flies and plugs or pink, red and green spoons. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass and the occasional walleye on minnows and body baits near the rocks.

Pentwater Lake: Those fishing the channel caught smallmouth and freshwater drum with minnows, crawlers, and body baits. Channel cats, perch and rock bass were caught on red worms or perch minnows near the bottom.

Muskegon: Salmon were caught 60 to 140 feet down in 120 to 220 feet with yellow and green meat rigs, green or white flies, and orange, yellow or green spoons. Pier fishing was slow.

Whitehall: Early morning anglers trolling straight out from the piers caught chinook 35 to 60 feet down in 90 to 120 feet. Boats fishing later in the day found chinook, coho and steelhead 40 to 70 feet down in 150 to 200 feet with spoons, flies, meat-rigs, and plugs. Green was the hot color. Pier anglers casting spoons in the early morning caught the occasional salmon, but the primary catch was large and smallmouth bass on minnows, crawlers, or body baits.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan: Boat anglers fishing around Lafayette Point, Round Island and Mackinac Island caught lake trout and a couple chinook salmon when trolling spoons with cut bait.

Cheboygan River: Fishing pressure for walleye has slowed as anglers are now waiting for the salmon to come in. A small number of fish were seen jumping at the dam but no fish were caught. Those fishing the city pier, Bois Blanc Island parking lot, DNR Office parking lot, or the lock and dam caught walleye, smallmouth bass and rock bass.

Burt and Mullett Lakes: Were producing a good number of perch along the south end of both lakes.

Rogers City: The fish were scattered. Some nice chinook salmon are beginning to show up. The action was not hot but boats are picking up about one nice fish per trip usually in the very early morning or after dark in 50 to 120 feet. Fish the entire water column with spoons, flashers and squid.

Rockport: Had no trout and salmon anglers. A few caught some walleye but windy conditions made them unpredictable. Most targeted 30 to 60 feet with purple, gold and silver deep diving crank baits.

Otsego Lake: Was producing some panfish. Try the weed beds in 10 feet or so.

Alpena: Those targeting trout and salmon found lake trout near the bottom in 120 to 160 feet or suspended higher in the water column near the “Humps” off Thunder Bay Island. Coho and steelhead were found in the top 60 feet. Try spoons, meat rigs of spin-glo’s. Walleye fishing was decent in 25 to 40 feet off the north shore, Scarecrow Island and Sulphur Island with a crawler harness or stick baits.

Thunder Bay River: Freshwater drum, brown bullhead, and rock bass were caught by those still-fishing crawlers on the bottom or under a float. Some good size catfish were caught on crawlers from Mill Island and South Riverfront Park. Smallmouth bass were hitting on crank baits, tube baits and crawlers.

Oscoda: Lake trout were caught in 110 to 160 feet off the mouth of the river and near the “Hump”. Most were near the bottom with some suspended. Atlantic salmon, coho, steelhead and a couple pink salmon were caught in the top 30 to 70 feet. Chinook were taken about halfway down in 130 to 150 feet. Spoons, meat rigs and spin-glo’s worked best. A few walleye were caught 20 to 30 feet down in 100 feet or when drifting a crawler harness near the mouth of the river. Pier anglers caught smallmouth, a couple walleye and freshwater drum when still-fishing of drifting a crawler. Late evening was best for those targeting walleye and channel catfish.

Au Sable River: Walleye were caught when drifting crawlers through the holes in Oscoda but the bite was slow. Smallmouth bass were found by those casting crank baits or drifting crawlers. Those fishing from the handicap access site, the Au Sable Harbor or the Refuge Park caught smallmouth, freshwater drum, and rock bass.

Higgins Lake: Perch are still being caught but anglers had to work to find active schools of fish. Most were still in the 40 to 50 foot range. Lake trout are still being caught just off the bottom in 100 to 120 feet or so. The best bite was in the early morning. Anglers are still catching lots of rock bass throughout.

Houghton Lake: The bite slowed but those trolling did best. Walleye anglers trolling along the weed beds in 9 to 12 feet also caught bluegills, bass and even some crappie. Hot lures were anything with a little green on it. Smallmouth bass were caught along the north shore while largemouth bass were found along the west and south end. For bluegills, anglers need to move around to find them.

Tawas: Walleye fishing was pretty good with spoons in 50 to 70 feet outside Tawas Bay. The fish were at different depths depending on the day. Pier fishing was slow.

Au Gres: Walleye fishing was good straight off the river mouth between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres and south of Pointe Au Gres in 30 to 35 feet with some getting limit catches. Those trolling in 12 feet off the Saganing and Pinconning Bars caught walleye. Perch were taken off the Pine River and Eagle Bay Marina in 8 to 20 feet.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Gogebic: Fishing picked up slightly as those trolling deeper water with crank baits and crawler harnesses reported better catch rates. Those using a slip bobber with a leech or crawler in shallow water or weed beds caught walleye but were sorting out the small ones. The north end was producing a few walleye but more perch, bluegills and sunfish. Some are taking smallmouth bass and a few pike were caught by those trolling. The mayfly hatch seems to be slowing down.

Lac Vieux Desert: On the Michigan-Wisconsin border was producing pike and musky.

Lake Antoine: In Dickinson County was producing a decent number of pike.

Menominee River: Anglers caught some nice smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish and freshwater drum from Bum Island which is just downstream of the Hattie Street Bridge to the mouth with live bait, plastics, and crank baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Most of the walleye fishing was near the mouth of the Whitefish River and the Kipling area. Anglers reported fair catches up by the Whitefish River trolling a crawler harness in 12 to 18 feet but many were undersize. Those fishing the First and Second Reefs had fair to good catches in 14 to 25 feet with a crawler harness or stick bait. Good numbers of small perch were reported around Butler Island and were caught on crawlers in 10 to 17 feet. Several jumbo perch were also caught. Steelhead were caught up near the fast water in the Escanaba River when casting spawn or crank baits. Shore anglers at the Ford River caught pike and smallmouth bass. Most were undersize but plenty were caught. Fair salmon catches north of the Ford River Buoy when trolling spoons or cut bait 40 to 65 feet down in 50 to 90 feet.

Manistique: The fish cleaning station is no longer in service. A new station will be installed next spring but officials are unsure when or if the existing station will be repaired in the meantime. Anglers targeting salmon out in the lake caught a couple chinook in the 5 to 12 pound range. Salmon have already started entering the river and are being caught up by the dam. Brown trout and steelhead were also caught. Both gates are open so the current is still fairly fast and the area up by the dam was about waist deep on average. Most were casting spawn, mega-lips or Cleo’s. Good walleye reports were still coming from the fast water near the Upper Dam when casting jigs with crawlers or rapalas. Smallmouth, channel cats, pike and panfish were also caught.

Marquette: Near limit catches of lake trout were taken at the white rocks, little Presque Isle, Granite Island and Shot Point. Coho were mixed in around Shot Point and the Lower Harbor. A couple chinook were caught outside the Lower Harbor breakwall.

Au Train: Limit catches of lake trout were caught around Au Train Island. No salmon to report.

Munising: Had a few boats out for coho but they had no luck. Surface water temperatures were in the upper 60’s offshore and low 70’s nearshore. The Anna River Pier had little to no fishing pressure.

Grand Marais: A few coho were caught by those trolling outside the breakwall.Lake trout fishing continues to be good and when the winds are favorable boats have typically limited out when fishing straight out about five miles or near Au Sable Reef and Big Reef. Pier anglers had no luck.

Tahquamenon River: Fishing was slow with very few musky reports. Boat anglers fishing upstream of the Natalie launch and campground caught pike on spinners but many were undersize. Bluegills and rock bass were caught on both live and soft plastic worms or minnows near the Dollarville Dam.

St. Marys River: Had very good Atlantic salmon fishing in the upper river behind the Cloverland Powerhouse. Whitefish have left the area but a few were still being caught. Walleye fishing picked up with decent catches reported by those trolling a crawler harness in the shipping channel in the early morning. Pike were hitting on spoons and crank baits. Fishing in Lake George has begun to pick up with a few nice walleye caught near Hay Point. Yellow perch fishing was good in the North Channel. Try drifting crawlers or minnows on the bottom or floating minnows near the weed lines. Smallmouth fishing was fair to good for those casting tube baits or rubber worms in the shallows. In the lower river, walleye were caught in Raber Bay but the action was not consistent. Most of those bringing back fish were heading out around daybreak or putting in at least six hours on the water while drifting a crawler harness and bottom bouncer over the deep weed beds in 12 to 14 feet. Try near the mouth of Carlton Creek, in front of the piers at Raber, the inside of Fisherman’s Point or near Round Island with dark colored blades on the crawler harness.

Detour: When they could get out beyond the Detour Lighthouse, salmon and trout anglers caught a few lake trout in the 90 foot flat. They used orange and white or chartreuse and white spin-glo’s on short leaders near the bottom. A couple chinook salmon were caught on blue and gold spoons between the green buoy and the lighthouse.

Drummond Island: Walleye fishing continues to be slow. A few fish were caught outside Peck Island but for most the fishing was not good enough to continue trying. Yellow perch fishing was still slow but some quality fish have started to make an appearance in Potagannissing Bay. Perch were caught near Peck and Rutland Island when drifting crawlers. Smallmouth fishing was fair with fish caught along the rocky drop-offs near the smaller islands and in shallows. Try casting crank baits, swim baits, spinners or using crawlers.

Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers caught yellow perch ranging 8 to 10 ½ inches when drifting or casting worms and shiners in 8 to 10 feet between Conner’s Pointe and Little La Salle Island. Try about a foot off the bottom. Good smallmouth action in 6 to 8 feet at the mouth of Duck Bay. Largemouth bass were caught in Mackinaw Bay on a crawler harness or spinner in 4 to 5 feet near the weed beds early or late. Hessel had very little fishing pressure.

St. Ignace: Had no reports. Shore anglers on the Carp River were targeting walleye but very few fish were caught.