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Weekly Fishing Report–August 21, 2015

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Weekly Fishing Report

August 20, 2015

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Southwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  Walleye fishing was light as not many anglers were targeting them. Those that were used crawler harnesses or crank baits when trolling in 17 to 25 feet.  The lake had a lot of perch anglers and the ones having the most luck were using minnows on spreaders in 20 to 25 feet off Stony Point, the Fermi Stacks, in Brest Bay and around Turtle Island.

Lenawee County: Devils Lake had good bluegill fishing for those using wax worms or crickets near the bottom in 20 to 30 feet.  A couple good catches of pike were taken by those trolling in 15 to 25 feet.  Lake Hudson had one success story, the angler that caught a muskie.  Those looking for bass will want to try fishing around structure and the lily pads in the early morning and late evening.

Detroit River:  Walleye fishing was slow on the Canadian side.  A few smaller fish were taken near the casino, whiskey plant, salt mines and the east side of Belle Isle.   Fishing was slow in Michigan waters with only a few caught around Sugar Island, Stony Island or the Trenton Channel.  Most are bottom bouncing with crawler harnesses or hand-lining with spoons and stick baits.  The walleye downriver ranged one to three pounds.  A few did manage to catch a couple yellow perch ranging seven to nine inches.  Anglers caught pike, rock bass and freshwater drum.  Those targeting channel cats did well in the Trenton Channel.  Catch rates for bass were slow.  Water temperatures were up near 72 degrees.

Lake St. Clair: Had slow fishing for walleye and perch but good fishing for bass and muskie.  Bass anglers should also try the St. Clair River Channels because smallmouth movement from the warm lake into the river is typical this time of year.  Overall perch fishing was slow but a few good reports came from the area around Grassy Island in Anchor Bay, the shipping channel and the Dumping Grounds.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing has been slow.  Water temperature in the lower river was 70 degrees.  Only a few were caught in the Delta Channels.  Anglers there were trolling crawler harnesses.

Lexington & Port Sanilac:  Charters after lake trout are still getting them in 140 to 160 feet.  Those fishing in the harbor at Lexington caught a few pike and a couple catfish after dark.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout have been taken in 80 to 120 straight out and north of the harbor using clean spoons off downriggers and dodgers with spin-glo’s or spin doctors with flies off the bottom.  Try chrome and green with a red head or blue and green with white wings.  Anything that glows should also do well.  A couple steelhead were caught in the top 25 to 80 feet near the color lines.  Use spoons off downriggers and 5, 7, or 10 color lines with offshore boards.  A few walleye were caught straight out and north of the harbor when using Hot-n-Tots and worm burners with crawlers and spoons in 40 to 100 feet.

Grindstone City:  Walleye fishing was good but slowed over the last week.  A couple fish were caught early morning or late evening.

Port Austin:  A few walleye were taken on crawler harnesses in 20 to 28 feet near the lighthouse.

Saginaw Bay: Hot weather, very warm water temperatures and a murky inner bay because of windy conditions did slow fishing to almost a standstill.  A few walleye were taken on spoons in 25 feet northeast of the Spark Plug.  Some were starting to try for perch but the average catch per trip was only five to eight fish per boat.  Anglers may want to try the “Black Hole” off Pinconning.  One bright spot was the good bass fishing around Spoils Island.  Anglers were casting spinners and crank baits.  Fishing along the east side was very slow.

Saginaw River: Catfish and freshwater drum are still being caught in the lower river.

Sanford Lake: For bass anglers, some were getting limit catches while others were getting skunked.  Most of the bass were caught on soft plastic baits.  Bluegills were hitting on worms or very small white jigs tipped with wax worms.  Crappies were still hitting on pinky jigs with white double twister tails.  A few pike were caught.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Fishing has not been consistent as it is good one day and slow the next.  Perch anglers caught fish in 30 to 50 feet.  Salmon fishing has been similar but fish were caught in 75 to 120 feet.  Pier fishing was slow.  A couple freshwater drum were taken on crawlers.

South Haven:  Perch fishing was decent with most anglers finding them south of the piers in 40 feet.  Salmon were caught in 80 to 100 feet and most fish were taken on dipsey divers with spoons or J-plugs.  Pier fishing was not consistent.  A couple steelhead were caught but the water warmed up and the fish moved out.

Kalamazoo River: A few walleye were caught below the Allegan Dam.  The catfish action has been fair to good.  Look for channel cats below the dams and flatheads in the deeper holes.

Grand Haven: Boats were finding salmon 40 to 100 feet down in 70 to 120 feet.  Glow plugs, green or white meat rigs, and green flies were taking fish.  Pier anglers are catching the occasional steelhead on shrimp.

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Several steelhead were caught at the 6th Street Dam.  Walleye and smallmouth bass continue to be caught below the dam.  They are hitting on artificial and live bait.  Channel and flathead catfish are being caught with crawlers or small bluegills fished off the wall and below the dam.

Grand River at Lansing:  Is producing a few scattered walleye below the North Lansing Dam and the Moore’s Park Dam.  Try live bait or a white twister tail grub.  Those targeting catfish or carp should find some fish.

Morrison Lake:  Was good for bluegill and crappie.

Jordan Lake:  Was producing a good number of nice bluegills.

Muskegon: Salmon were caught 40 to 90 feet down in 70 to 130 feet.  Glow spoons and green glow plugs are working in low light conditions.  Green meat rigs and flies were also working well.  Pier anglers are catching smallmouth bass.

Muskegon River: Is producing some nice brown trout and smallmouth bass.

Whitehall:  Catch rates were fair for those trolling in 90 to 160 feet with dipsey divers, copper and meat rigs.  The fish have finally set up.  Pier anglers had hopes of catching salmon however the fish are not in yet.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Those fishing near the Foot Bridge caught a good number of smallmouth bass, walleye and pike but most were sub-legal.  Anglers were using crawlers and wax worms off multiple fishing piers.

Rogers City:  Continues to produce a mixed bag of Chinook, steelhead and lake trout.  The Chinook are here but in low numbers.  Some are getting a few while others struggle to find them especially south towards Swan Bay and Adams Point in 40 to 90 feet.  Try 20 to 25 feet down with spoons or J-plugs and attractors with flies or squid.  Good colors were green, blue, black and white or glow.

East and West Twin Lakes:  The fishing was slow on East Twin.  Anglers were trolling and jigging with artificial and natural baits for walleye but they had no luck.  Perch fishing was slow.  Surface water temperature was between 70 and 74 degrees and the weeds are starting to come up around the island.  Try six to eight feet for smallmouth.  Walleye fishing on West Twin was moderate but most of the fish caught were sub-legal.  Anglers are trolling in six to 18 feet with both artificial and natural baits.  The lake provides easy fishing for rock bass but most are caught in the perch holes and off Eagle Point.  Perch fishing was moderate in four to six feet.

Alpena: It seemed like the walleye left the bay because those targeting them came in with one fish.  Lake trout are still being caught off the “Humps” and the deeper water off Thunder Bay Island and the Nordmere Wreck.

Thunder Bay River: Had very little to report with only a few smaller panfish caught.

Harrisville: Walleye were being caught in good numbers. Evening and very early morning was best but some did report the occasional midday catch.  Body baits worked best but also try wobble glo’s, spin-glo’s and small spoons in 12 to 15 feet.  Lake trout moved in slightly.  Try fishing throughout the water column in 80 to 120 feet with spoons, spin-glo’s and wobble glo’s behind dodgers.

Oscoda:  Pier fishing seems to be getting better as anglers were catching walleye, channel cats and smallmouth bass.  Catfish are being caught on crawlers and minnows throughout the night.  Walleye are hitting throughout the day but evening may be a touch better when drifting crawlers or casting body baits.  Lake trout are out deep in 150 to 180 feet and hitting on spoons, body baits, spin-glo’s and wobble glo’s.  The fish were suspended about 20 feet from the bottom.

Au Sable River: Spinners and body baits are being used to catch bass.

Higgins Lake: Those looking for perch are using minnows and wax worms.  Rock bass are everywhere and provide a great fishery for young anglers.  Those trolling for lake trout are fishing along the bottom in waters 80 feet and deeper.  Those fishing higher in the water column may find a couple brown trout or rainbow trout.  Try black and gold, black and silver or perch colored body baits.

Houghton Lake: Walleye fishing has been tough but a few were caught early morning or evening in about nine feet.  Some are using purple or chartreuse harnesses but those trolling small crank baits have caught some nice bluegill and crappie.  Large and smallmouth bass fishing was good but the pike fishing was slow.  Those fishing the canals caught crappie.  Pike, bass and bluegills were caught on the upper side of the Reedsburg Dam.

Lake St. Helen:  Had good fishing.  Largemouth bass were hitting soft plastics on the bottom during the day and top water lures in early morning or late evening.  Panfish including bluegills, sunfish and rock bass were caught by those drifting a piece of crawler.  No walleye or crappie to report.

Tawas: Walleye fishing was slow.

Au Gres: Walleye fishing was slow.  Some fish were caught in 60 feet or more along the weed beds off the Pine River but the action was not hot by any means.  Most anglers were working extremely had to get one or two fish per boat.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs:  A couple lake trout and a nice salmon were caught 90 to 120 feet down in 140 to 150 feet around Harbor Point.

Petoskey:  Anglers had a hard time getting lake trout or salmon into the boat.  The thermocline keeps changing but was significantly deeper and down over 100 feet

Fishing at the “Bobber Hole” and off all the piers was slow.  A couple smallmouth bass were caught off the D Pier.

Bear River:  Angler pressure is still low at the dam and the water level was still very low.  Predicted rain this week might bring in some trout or salmon.

Charlevoix: Anglers are lake trout fishing off North Point and around the Cement Plant.  The fish were on the bottom or suspended 70 to 100 feet down in 100 to 150 feet.  Only a few salmon were caught.  Those fishing the channel caught smallmouth, freshwater drum and rock bass when using crawlers, leeches or soft plastics.

Elk River: Smallmouth bass fishing was fair below the power dam and out to the mouth.  Anglers were using a variety of live baits or plastic tube baits.

Traverse City:  Salmon fishing was slow in the East Bay but the lake trout action was good in 60 to 100 feet.  A few anglers are targeting smallmouth bass in 10 to 40 feet.  In the West Bay, anglers are marking salmon on their electronics but fishing has been slow with only a couple Chinook were caught 50 to 60 feet down in 90 feet or deeper.  They are using glow spoons or plugs early morning and around dusk.  Lake trout and the occasional cisco were caught in 50 to 100 feet.

Boardman River: Rock bass and sub-legal smallmouth bass have been caught on crawlers and leeches at the mouth and near the Union Street Dam.

Glen Lake: The boat launch has reopened following repairs after the storm.

Frankfort: Those heading north and trolling 40 to 80 feet down in 120 to 160 feet were starting to land better numbers of Chinook when using J-plugs in the early morning and meat rigs after the sun comes up.  Coho, lake trout and steelhead were hitting on spoons in the same area.

Onekama:  Boats trolling 40 to 90 feet down in 160 to 250 feet reported the majority of hits were in the morning when using green, blue or white J-plugs.  Meat rigs on 10 to 14 colors caught some nice Chinook salmon.

Portage Lake: A few coho were caught in 30 feet near the mouth when trolling smaller body baits.  Anglers working the cooler waters near the drop-offs caught a few largemouth bass.

Pentwater:  Catch rates were fair for those targeting trout and salmon.  Cooler temperatures will be needed to get the fish moving into their spawning mode.

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Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers did catch a few Chinook, coho and lake trout.  At Big Traverse Bay, anglers were jigging or trolling from Hermits Cove to 7-Mile Reef and picking up some coho and lake trout.  Those jigging are in 180 to 260 feet out from Big Louie’s Point.  Baitfish were reported near Big Louie’s and some managed to pick up coho, Chinook and steelhead in waters as shallow as 35 feet.

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers reported catches throughout the Bay but the better catches were taken south of the Ford River where anglers were trolling stick baits between Round Island and No-See-Um Creek in 10 to 20 feet.  Northern pike have been showing up in good numbers this year. So much so that some are now pursuing them and reporting good catches near the Day’s River, the west bank in Kipling near Brach’s Cabins, the north side of Saunders Point, the mouth of the Escanaba River and in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor.  They are trolling crank bits, spinners, buck tails or spoons in eight to 20 feet.  Several good catches of perch were reported in Kipling using minnows or worms in 10 to 18 feet.  Smallmouth bass anglers reported the best catches just south of the Ford River when casting plastics in eight to 12 feet.  Salmon anglers had fair catch rates between the Ford River Buoy and the shoals when trolling spoons 30 to 75 feet down in 65 to 110 feet.

Big Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers reported the best catches down by Round Island when trolling stick baits or crawler harnesses in and around 20 feet.  For smallmouth, the best areas continue to be Kate’s Bay and over to Ansell’s Point, Porcupine Point and St. Vitals Island when casting plastics, crank baits and spinners or jigging and drifting crawlers in eight to 18 feet.  Off Fairport, catch rates for Chinook were fair 40 to 90 feet down in 100 to 130 feet.  Some are still traveling to St. Martins Island for salmon.  Day anglers are still taking good numbers of lake trout in the area.

Marquette: The Upper Harbor remains closed for renovation so the one in the Lower Harbor is the only public launch for Lake Superior.  Surface water temperatures remain in the low to mid 60’s.  Lake trout success improved.  Some were only getting a few fish but the majority came in with four to five fish when using flies, spoons and cut bait.  They are fishing north and east of the port and targeting the White Rocks, the Sand Hole, the Clay Banks and north of Granite Island.  A few did try east of the Chocolay River towards Shot Point and caught fish up to 10 pounds.  Anglers reported a few more Chinook salmon with younger fish caught in 17 to 18 feet.

Big Shag Lake:  The boating access site located off Marquette County Road 557, along Knudsen Road will be closed through Friday, August 21 for installation of a new concrete ramp.  There is no alternate boat launch in the area.

Au Train Lake:  Angler success improved slightly with more quality size walleye up to 25 inches reported but most were still reporting poor catch rates with only one or two fish caught in the evening when trolling crawler harnesses or small crank baits.  A couple 18 to 20 inch smallmouth bass were caught and released.  The perch action was fair but most fish were released due to the small size.

South Manistique Lake: Fishing slowed but bluegills and pike were caught in good numbers.  Warmer weather has surface water temperatures in the mid 70’s so most of the fish were deeper than usual.  For bluegills, try early morning along the north side of Long Point with worms or flies and a bobber.

DeTour:  Warmer temperatures helped set the thermocline at 45 feet along the river.  A few more Chinook were caught by those using flashers and spin-glo’s about 42 feet down in waters 100 feet or deeper.  Both Atlantic and Chinook salmon seemed to be staging from the red buoy to the back of the lighthouse off Crab Island.  Atlantic salmon were caught using fly type baits or small three-inch spoons.  Good lake trout action when trolling blue, white and chrome spoons in 60 to 80 feet between Fry Pan Island and the green buoy west of the lighthouse.  Good reports of baitfish off Crab Island could keep the salmon staging in this area.

Drummond Island: Had good reports of walleye at Picnic Island which is just out from Drummond Island Township Park.  The fish were caught early morning or late evening when using slip bobbers with minnows just off the weed beds in six to 10 feet.  Northern pike have been fair just off the weed beds on the southeast side of Grape Island when fishing with chubs or when casting and trolling chrome spoons with a red eye.  Rock bass were caught around the docks at Yacht Haven when using worms in the early morning or evening.  Smallmouth bass fishing was fair on both sides of the entrance to Harbor Island when using dark brown tube jigs or still-fishing minnows with a bobber in six feet.

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Largemouth bass (close-up)

Fishing Tip: Using big bait to lure largemouth bass

Largemouth bass are known to be opportunistic eaters – so don’t be afraid to use larger baits and lures when targeting them.

Particularly if you like to target largemouths while fly fishing you may want to consider using your bulkier flies to appeal to their hungry appetite. Focus your cast on areas close to drop-offs or where great cover is provided. You just might be surprised by the reaction you get!

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.

The Weekly Fishing Report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from DNR Fisheries seasonal and field staff, and DNR Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species.

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