Labor Day Weekend Fishing Report

Marty Jastrzembowski was able to pull a nice mixed box of fish today! One master angler lake trout measuring 34 1/2″ and some nice steelhead. This one weighed in at just over 12 pounds. He also had some nice Coho to round out his cooler.

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Happy 16th birthday to T.J. Pitlanish! He celebrated by fishing on Houghton Lake with his dad, Tom, and friends Drew, James, Aiden, Justin and Conner. This is just a sample of what they caught. Cpt Chip and first mate Dan from Game Hog Charters put them on the fish using crank baits while trolling. Hot n Tots were the key.

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East Grand Traverse Bay has been awesome for smallmouth and fishing baitfish is the key as they are following the gobies.
Big Platte Lake has been good for pike and walleye

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: A few chinook including one large fish were caught at Harbor Point.

Petoskey: Boat anglers came in with chinook, coho and lake trout. The salmon were caught on spoons, flies and cut bait 60 to 80 feet down between the breakwall and Bay Harbor. Lake trout were 100 to 120 feet down. A couple smallmouth bass were taken on worms off the breakwall. Anglers are targeting salmon but no fish were recorded. The Bear River had a small run of trout and salmon. Most were using spawn or flies.

Charlevoix: Catch rates were hit-or-miss with only a few small chinook, some lake trout and the odd lake herring caught. The chinook were 75 feet down and the lake trout were 70 to 100 feet down straight out of the channel and south to the buoy near the cement plant. Smallmouth fishing was hit-or-miss for those using live or artificial crawlers and leeches.

Lake Charlevoix: A few walleye were caught by those trolling a harness and bottom bouncer. Try crawlers or leeches. Panfish were caught on worms, crickets or wax worms.

Traverse City: Lake trout jigging in the East Bay was good straight out and slightly north from the Elk Rapids Marina and south to Deepwater Point. Salmon fishing was spotty along the east side but a couple nice chinook were caught. Lake trout jigging was good north of Old Mission. A few more lake herring showed up and were marked off Deepwater Point and the M-37 launch. Plenty of smallmouth bass were caught at the south end and near Dock Road. The Elk River was slow except for a few bass and panfish. Only a small push of salmon moved into the river. In the West Bay, anglers jigging and trolling out from the mouth of the Boardman River caught a few salmon. Perch were caught in good numbers off Lee Point when using minnows. Bass fishing was slow around Marion Island and Lee Point but a few nice fish were taken. Lake trout fishing was good south of the M-22 launch when trolling. Those jigging did well southeast of Northport. A few chinook salmon were caught in the Boardman River.

Leland: There were some decent catches of chinook and coho on the north end of North Manitou Island. A few fish were also taken on the “First Bank”. Most were hitting on spoons but a few were taken on flashers and flies. Lake trout were also caught.

Platte Bay: Had good numbers of coho along with some chinook and lake trout taken on pretty much all baits including J-plugs, flashers and flies or spoons. With the east wind, fish were caught 40 to 80 feet down.

Platte River: The water on the lake side just past the mouth is now very narrow and shallow. Boats over 16 feet could have a tough time getting out. There is also a large shallow area just upstream of the mouth which will make it difficult for bigger boats. A mix of coho and chinook salmon were coming into the lower river daily. Early morning was best. Surf fishing near the mouth should be a good option.

Frankfort: Chinook salmon have been moving into the river. Those trolling in front of the pier heads have caught some fish. Coho numbers are jumping right up there with several anglers reporting good catches in the early morning or evening when trolling spoons in the top 50 feet.

Betsie River: A good number of large salmon were running up into the river. Angler activity has increased below the Homestead Dam.

Onekama: Those trolling in front of the golf course and near the “Barrel” have caught coho from the top 60 feet in waters 80 to 120 feet deep. Spoons worked best.

Portage Lake: Due to another mayfly hatch, fishing was very slow and catch rates were low for all species.

Manistee: Surface water temperature was about 65 degrees. Southeast winds the last few weeks have slowed fishing. A few chinook and coho were caught 40 to 100 feet down in 100 to 180 feet with meat rigs, flies and plugs. Pier fishing was slow.

Manistee River: Salmon appear to be moving up into the river. Anglers have caught brown trout and some brook trout in the upper stretches. Water levels at the coffer dam near Tippy were coming back up.

Ludington: Over the last couple weeks, bad weather has warmed the lake up, dropped the thermocline and slowed fishing. Chinook and coho were found 40 to 100 feet down in 90 to 150 feet with plugs, flies and meat rigs. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River: Was producing some salmon.

Pentwater: Salmon fishing was slow but those trolling 50 to 90 feet down in 80 to 150 feet caught chinook and coho on spoons, meat rigs and flies. Early morning in front of the dunes was the most productive. Pier anglers caught good numbers of smallmouth bass on live bait near the bottom.

Pentwater Lake: Anglers fishing the channel with crawlers or minnows near the bottom caught smallmouth bass and the occasional freshwater drum.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Gogebic: Anglers had moderate success with walleye and perch picked up sporadically by those using live bait with a slip bobber over the weed beds in 8 to 12 feet. Those trolling crawler harnesses and crank baits in deeper water caught more fish. A couple legal size pike were caught right along with many sub-legals. Some nice panfish and the odd walleye were caught on the north end with live bait. Smallmouth bass can be found along the rocky areas and off the points. Some nice rock bass 10 to 12 inches were caught along the south end.

Menominee River: Walleye, catfish, freshwater drum and smallmouth bass were caught from the Hattie Street Dam to the mouth by those trolling and shore anglers. Crank baits, plastics and live bait worked well. No salmon to report.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported spotty catches of legal fish in the northern part of the Bay. The better catches were reported in the “Black Bottom” area when trolling a crawler harness but the best walleye catches were coming from Green Bay waters when using stick baits or crawlers in 10 to 18 feet near Round Island which is about 2 miles south of the Ford River. A good number of smallmouth bass were reported in the same area. Good walleye catches were reported out near Seagull Point when trolling crank baits in 20 to 25 feet. No limit catches but all the boats interviewed had fish. Perch fishing was fair near the Day’s River in 16 to 18 feet, mouth of the Whitefish River in 6 to 8 feet, near Butler Island in 14 feet, the “Narrows” in 20 to 30 feet and near the mouth of the Escanaba River in 25 feet. Most were using crawlers. Northern pike were very active with excellent catches taken in the south end of the “Black Bottom” by walleye anglers trolling crank baits or crawlers in 16 to 25 feet. Salmon have started to enter some of the rivers but the Escanaba River will be tough to access this year because of construction on the US-41 Bridge.

Manistique: Almost all the fishing action has been in the river this week. A fairly good number of salmon have reached the dam and are being caught daily by shore anglers. Brown trout and steelhead were also caught. Many are using black flies with long leaders or jointed rapalas. The dams are open and flowing fast. The “Big Bass Hole” about a ΒΌ mile south of the dam gates produced fair to good catches of walleye, smallmouth bass and a few brown trout. Those targeting walleye used a jig and crawler, beetle spins, rapalas or spawn. Boat anglers caught salmon when trolling mega lips or rapalas. From the “Big Bass Hole” to the dam is shore fishing only.

Marquette: Limits or near limits of lake trout were caught between the white rocks and little Presque Isle. The occasional coho was caught near the white rocks. Those fishing near Granite Island had mixed results and the fishing at Shot Point has slowed. No salmon were caught in the rivers yet.

Au Train: Lake trout fishing was best within 3 miles of Au Train Island however no big numbers were caught. There were no reports of salmon in the rivers.

Munising: The weather was not favorable but a few boat anglers that managed to get out did catch some quality size lake trout near Wood Island and Reef and off Big Reef. The coho bite was slow and there was no splake action at the Anna River dock.

Grand Marais: When the winds were favorable for fishing, a few boat anglers did well for coho. Lake trout anglers continue to do well with limit catches reported near Au Sable Point and straight out near the shipping lanes. No activity for pier anglers or shore anglers.

Tahquamenon River: Overall fishing was slow. There were no reports of musky or pike caught. Those fishing the Dollarville Dam and pier managed to catch small rock bass, bluegills, pumpkinseed and the odd bass with wax worms and crawlers. A couple boat anglers managed to catch some perch on a worm. The East Branch had very good brook trout fishing.

St. Marys River: In the upper river near Sault Ste. Marine, Atlantic salmon along with a couple pink salmon were picked up behind the Cloverland Power Plant. Yellow perch fishing was steady in the early morning and just before dark in the North Channel with minnows or crawlers on the bottom in 25 feet. Walleye fishing was a bit better in the shipping channel in 30 to 32 feet with a green or motor oil crawler harness and bottom bouncer between the 3-Mile and the 7-Mile Buoys. Smallmouth bass were caught on the rocks when casting tube baits or drop shotting. No walleye but pike were caught on the north end of Lake George. In the lower river, very few walleye were caught. Those lucky enough to get fish did so in Canadian waters with deep diving stick baits in 14 to 16 feet along the weed beds. Small pike were caught by those trolling for walleye off the Raber piers.

Detour: When boats can get out to the Detour Reef, they caught lake trout, pink salmon, a few small chinook and a couple walleye. Each week the salmon are moving closer to the Detour Lighthouse. Anglers were successful trolling from Fry Pan Island and out to the green buoy with flashers and dipsey divers in 60 to 90 feet. The chinook were in the top 60 and the pink salmon were in the top 40 feet. North of Detour Village at Swedes Pointe, a few nice walleye were caught in 8 to 12 feet in the early morning with a slip bobber and minnow off the reefs and underwater humps. Those trolling a harness and bottom bouncer with beads and blades also caught walleye.

Drummond Island: Perch fishing effort is starting however harvest numbers remain low with only 8 to 12 fish per boat. Those fishing in Potagannissing Bay were not as successful as boat anglers fishing in Canadian waters.

Cedarville and Hessel: Small yellow perch were caught throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. For panfish, try around the docks and weed beds when floating small worms in 4 to 6 feet. Some big sunfish were caught around Echo Island which is in Mackinaw Bay. For Hessel, pike were caught straight out from the pier and on the north side of Marquette Island. Most were caught on chrome spoons or black bucktail spinners just off the weed beds in 5 to 8 feet. On the west side of Marquette Island, smallmouth bass were taken off the rock piles in 4 to 6 feet. No reports on yellow perch.

Carp River: Walleye fishing picked up with fish caught off the pier with crank baits or a jig and worm. Artificial baits seem to work better. The fish caught were 14 to 17 inches but the average was 15 inches.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan: Fishing slowed. Boat anglers were marking a lot of baitfish throughout the water column but had no luck finding fish. Most were trolling spoons in 60 feet around the red cans but had no luck.

Cheboygan River: Anglers fishing spinners, crank baits and worms caught smallmouth bass, rock bass and walleye but most of the smallmouth were sub-legal. Salmon are jumping at the lock and dam but no fish were harvested.

Burt & Mullett Lakes: Were again producing some perch. Anglers did best along the south end of both lakes.

Rogers City: Chinook salmon in Swan Bay are beginning to stage. Catch rates were slow with only a couple fish per boat. Anglers were fishing anywhere from 25 to 130 feet but the best fishing seemed to be in 45 to 90 feet with downriggers, dipsey divers, leadcore, copper and high lines. Find the thermocline or run lines throughout the water column. Use spoons, attractors with flies, squid and cut bait. Hot colors were green, black and white, purple, blue, green and silver, chartreuse or glow early and late. Very early in the morning and well after dark was best. A few lake trout or walleye were also caught by those trolling.

Rockport: Had very little angler activity. Those going for walleye caught a few but the fish were still scattered. Try 35 to 55 feet with deep diving body baits in gold, silver, purple and copper. Lake trout were just off the bottom in 170 feet.

Alpena: Anglers found good numbers of lake trout when trolling near the bottom in 120 to 160 feet. Steelhead were in the top 60 feet. Try the “Humps” or Thunder Bay Island with spin-glo’s, meat rigs or spoons. Walleye anglers found fish in 25 to 40 feet off Scarecrow, Sulphur, and Thunder Bay Island. Good numbers of smallmouth bass were taken in the LaFarge discharge when casting tube baits or crank baits.

Thunder Bay River: Smallmouth bass were caught by those drifting crawlers, as well as casting crank baits, spinners or Carolina rigged soft plastics. Bowfin, freshwater drum, bullhead, and channel cats were caught by those still-fishing with crawlers. A chinook was caught at the 9th Street Dam but no big numbers yet.

Oscoda: Lake trout were found near the bottom in 120 to 170 feet. Steelhead were in the top 60 feet and Atlantic salmon were found both up high and near the bottom. Try meat rigs or spoons in green, chrome or pink. Walleye were suspended in 80 to 110 feet. A good number of fish were marked near the mouth of the river but they would not bite. Pier anglers caught a couple walleye, smallmouth bass, channel cats and freshwater drum when drifting or still-fishing with crawlers.

Au Sable River: Anglers found smallmouth bass and freshwater drum when drifting crawlers or casting spinners and crank baits. A few bluegill, rock bass, and perch were caught on crawlers near the mouth and in the marinas. Northern pike were hitting on crank baits. Walleye were caught when drifting crawlers but success was low.

Higgins Lake: Lake trout are still being caught just off the bottom in 80 to 120 feet off the North and South State Parks. Perch fishing was hit-or-miss in 40 to 50 feet. Good numbers of rock bass continue to be caught.

Houghton Lake: Trolling has been the key for all species and crank baits were working a bit better than live bait. Boat anglers caught walleye, pike, bass and big bluegills over the weed beds in 9 to 12 feet. Those still-fishing over an open hole in the weed beds caught fish. The north end of the lake was good for smallmouth bass while the south and southwest end were good for largemouth bass.

Tawas: Those trolling a crawler harness or spoons beyond Tawas Point in 50 to 80 caught a fair number of walleye and lake trout. Pier fishing is very slow with only rumors of walleye caught in the evening.

Tawas River: Anglers caught catfish and freshwater drum with crawlers on the bottom.

Au Gres: Walleye were caught off Eagle Bay Marina in 20 to 30 feet with a crawler harness. Perch were caught off Point Au Gres in 22 to 32 feet, off the Pinconning and Saganing Bars in 20 to 30 feet and off Eagle Bay Marina in 10 to 15 feet. Pier anglers caught catfish, freshwater drum and the odd pike.




Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Anglers were getting limits or near limit catches of yellow perch. The hot spots were Buoys 1 & 2 outside the River Raisin, east of those buoys or out of Bolles Harbor at the E-Buoy. A few walleye were caught but most anglers were only taking one fish on average when trolling crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers off Stony Point and in front of the Fermi stacks.

Wamplers Lake: Fishing was slower with the cooler weather as water temperatures dropped to 72 degrees. Panfish were caught on both the east and the west side when drifting worms in 4 to 6 feet. A few pike were caught while casting crank baits.

Sand Lake: In Lenawee County had largemouth bass hitting on plastics in 10 feet. Panfish were found in both 30 feet or shallower on the south end. Use worms or crickets under a bobber.

Detroit River: Smallmouth bass were hitting in the lower river at the Cross Dike near Sugar Island. Some were still getting a few perch near the islands.

Lake St. Clair: Fishing picked up with a fair number of walleye, perch and smallmouth bass reported. Walleye anglers had luck while trolling a silver crawler harness near the channel mouths and south of the Clinton River Cutoff in front of the 400 Club in 10 to 18 feet. The perch and smallmouth action was decent. Perch anglers were using minnows in 10 to 14 feet. Some caught both legal and sub-legal musky. Pike and musky were caught around Grassy Island when trolling.

Lexington to Port Austin: Those trolling in 100 to 120 feet were getting some lake trout, steelhead and the occasional walleye. From Lexington to Port Sanilac, anglers were getting a variety including lake trout, steelhead, walleye and the occasional Atlantic salmon in 100 feet straight out as well as a little north or south of the ports.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout were caught straight out and north of the harbor in 105 to 130 foot of water with dodgers, spin-glo’s and spoons near the bottom. Hot colors were black, green and purple. Steelhead were caught on bright orange, green or pink spoons. Walleye were found in the same area and were hitting on worm burners, crawler harnesses or small spoons. Hot colors were black, purple, green and blue. Bass were hitting body baits close to shore. Pier anglers caught some nice rock bass.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught 2 to 3 miles northeast of the Pinconning Bar with spoons and harnesses. Perch were caught off the Pinconning Bar and off Gambills Marina in 14 to 16 feet but anglers were sorting out the small ones. Perch activity was slower near the sailboat buoys but the fish were bigger at 10 to 12 inches and the occasional fish at 14 inches. Those fishing the Hot Ponds caught catfish on worms and shrimp. Walleye were caught off Fish Point and along the edge of the Slot in 14 to 18 feet with body baits or a pink or purple crawler harness. Catch rates were spotty as the fish are scattered. Many switched to perch fishing. Try 9 to 11 feet off Quanicassee. Catch rates were decent but no limits reported. At Sebewaing, a few were fishing the Slot for walleye. Off Caseville, walleye were found in 25 feet near the Charity Islands.

Saginaw River: Shore anglers at Smith Park caught white bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and freshwater drum.

Tittabawassee River: Continues to have good smallmouth bass fishing.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: The salmon action was slow but a few were found in 200 feet when trolling a white spin doctor with green or blue flies. Perch fishing was still a bit slow with only light numbers caught in 40 to 50 feet.

St. Joseph River: Had a fair number of steelhead from earlier runs but there has not been much movement of trout or salmon through the ladders in the last couple weeks.

South Haven: Had good perch fishing for those drifting in 40 to 45 feet. Most were caught south of the piers. Salmon fishing was spotty. The fish were scattered in 90 to 120 feet. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were struggling with only a few salmon caught 65 to 130 feet down in 95 to 160 feet. Most were caught on white flashers with green or white flies or green, blue and orange spoons. Glow plugs worked best during low light or overcast skies. Pier fishing for salmon was slow.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Had a good number of coho and a few chinook below the 6th Street Dam. Fish were caught on spawn, flies, spinners and thundersticks.

Grand River at Lansing: Anglers were taking some limit catches of bluegills. Try crawlers, crickets or wax worms. Smallmouth bass continue to hit on live and artificial baits. Anglers caught a few walleye and pike.

Round Lake: In Clinton County was producing some pike.

Maple River: Is quite shallow at this time. Big fish can be found in the deeper holes.

Pine River: In Gratiot County is producing good numbers of catfish.

Muskegon: Salmon anglers reported slow catch rates. The best action was 60 to 130 feet down in 100 to 170 feet with green and white flies with white flashers or green and orange spoons. Pier fishing was slow with no salmon reported.

Whitehall: Salmon and trout fishing were tough for most boats. A good number of fish were found in 80 to 120 feet but only a few chinook or coho were caught in the early morning. Green spoons and flies were the ticket. Those fishing 60 to 90 feet down in 160 to 200 feet managed to catch some chinook, coho and the odd steelhead. Lake trout were near the bottom in 180 to 225 feet. Pier fishing was slow. Those casting body baits or retrieving crawlers along the bottom caught good numbers of large and smallmouth bass and the odd freshwater drum.

White River: Anglers have caught a few chinook in the lower sections near White Lake but fish numbers in the upper sections were still low.