Michigan Weekly Regional Fishing Reports – 7/17/2008

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Great Lakes temperature map


The season to take both softshell turtles and snapping turtles statewide will open on July 15th and will close on September 15th, 2008. Be sure to check the Michigan Fishing Guide for new minimum size limits and possession limits.


Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie – Water levels were up and muddy so fishing on the big lake has been tough. A few walleye were caught in 27 to 29 feet of water near Stony Point and the Fermi Plant. Boat anglers reported one or two fish per trip. Catch rates were better near the Banana Dike when using Hot-n-Tots. Freshwater drum have been caught.

Huron River – Is fishable and anglers are catching bass and catfish in the pond between the two dams.

Detroit River – Some walleye are still being caught in the lower river. Those fishing the Trenton Channel are taking perch and bass.

Lexington – Some nice perch have been caught in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Port Sanilac – Perch fishing around the weedbeds has been fair with most reporting about a dozen fish per boat. The fish are in 20 feet of water and are good-sized.

Harbor Beach – Not a lot of fishing pressure here, but trout and salmon have been caught in 80 to 100 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are still hitting in the harbor.

Port Austin – Has excellent walleye fishing west of the port on the reefs and around the lighthouse. Crawler harnesses work best. Boats trolling for trout and salmon can be found north and northeast of the port in 100 to 130 feet of water.

Saginaw Bay – Walleye fishing in the bay has been incredible with lots of limit catches taken. Crawler harnesses and Hot-n-Tots were taking most of the fish, but some anglers were also using small spoons. Anglers from Standish, Pinconning, Linwood, and Bay City were fishing 20 to 24 feet of water near the Black Hole or the shipping channel between Buoys 1 and 12. For the east side of the bay, the Slot and 10 to 12 feet of water out on the Bar (the area between the Slot and the middle of the bay) were producing well for anglers coming out of Quanicassee, Sebewaing, Bay Port, and Caseville. As far as walleye fishing goes, it just doesn’t get any better than this!


Southwest Lower Peninsula


The bluegills are pretty much done spawning in southwest Michigan. The bigger bluegills have moved to 8 to 12 feet of water or deeper. Try fishing off the bottom with worms or crickets or slow trolling in deeper waters.

South Haven – Anglers are catching summer run steelhead off the piers in the early morning. Perch fishing remains strong with good catches taken in 18 to 30 feet of water. Most boats are going a couple miles south of the piers. Chinook and lake trout were caught when trolling in 85 feet of water.

Kalamazoo River – Water levels were still running high and fast after all the rain.

Rabbit River – Has high water levels.

Grand Haven – Boat anglers are fishing in 50 to 65 feet of water with downriggers set for the bottom 25 feet, and those out further in 80 to 120 feet of water have their downriggers set for the bottom 40 feet. Good colors have been green, blue, orange and chartreuse. Pier anglers have caught steelhead on shrimp off the south pier. Very few perch have been caught.

Grand River at Grand Rapids – Water levels are still a bit high however walleye have been caught when bouncing crawlers off the bottom. Pike fishing has been good with fish 30+ inches caught. Channel cats are being caught however the flathead bite was slow. Smallmouth bass were caught up near Riverside Park. Bluegills can be found in deeper waters.

Thornapple River – Water levels were up.

Grand River at Lansing – Has good catfish action throughout the river. Try both live and dead baits, corn, or shrimp. Walleye have been caught below the dams, like the Lyons Dam and the dam below Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge. Smallmouth bass have been caught near the Smithville Dam when casting tube baits.

Lake Lansing – Bluegills, pumpkinseed and crappie have been caught. Look for largemouth bass along the weeds in the early morning or late evening.

Muskrat Lake – Anglers are catching bluegill, crappie and a couple pike. Look for largemouth bass and brown bullhead in this lake.

Reeds Lake – Crappie fishing has been very good in 25 feet of water along the north shore when using a crappie rig with minnows.


Northeast Lower Peninsula

Rogers City – The fish are still scattered. Boats are fishing about halfway down off the points with downriggers, planer boards and lead core.

Rockport – Boat anglers are limiting out on lake trout when trolling around the wreck. Chinook are hitting 20 to 40 feet down in 110 to 140 feet of water around the Middle Island. Green and metallic silver spoons have worked the best.

Alpena – Walleye action has slowed on the bay, but anglers are still catching some fish when trolling rapalas in 40 to 50 feet of water.

Thunder Bay River – Walleye and catfish action has shut down however some nice smallmouth bass have been caught on crawlers.

Harrisville – Lake trout and salmon catches are increasing in 80 to 100 feet of water. Try orange and silver spoons. The fish have been on the move from north to south and not holding in one spot. A few walleye were caught in 45 to 55 feet of water.

Oscoda – Rough waters have lead to slow catch rates. Those able to get out were trolling with spoons in 80 to 120 feet of water. Good colors have been silver and orange or anything with white.

Au Sable River – Walleye are still in the river and anglers have been limiting out in the early morning. Crawler harnesses or drifting with a slip bobber seem to be producing the most fish.

Tawas – Walleye are hitting near Buoy #2 however most anglers are heading to Au Gres. A few bass and catfish were taken near the mouth of the Tawas River and the odd walleye, pike and panfish were caught off the pier.

Au Gres – Continues to provide excellent walleye fishing in 20 to 24 feet of water. Crawler harnesses and Hot-n-Tots were taking most of the fish, but some anglers were also using small spoons.

Higgins Lake – Lake trout are hitting on spoons, body baits or live bait in 85 to 100 feet of water. Perch were biting but if the mayfly hatch starts, it will no doubt shut the perch fishing down.



Northwest Lower Peninsula

Elk Lake – Boat anglers are trolling for trout from the Narrows to north of the Whitewater Park and over to Spencer Bay. Try 60 to 140 feet of water while using spoons or rapalas. For bass, try the backwaters near Kewadin where all the stumps are and the shoreline between Kewadin and Spencer Bay. Try tube baits, crank baits or spinners in 5 to 25 feet of water. A few perch were taken in 8 to 12 feet of water south of the Whitewater County Park.

Skegemog Lake – The bass are still hitting on the east side of the lake near the mouth of the Torch River and on the west side between the public access site and the Narrows. A few pike were also caught. Rock bass have been caught all over the lake when using spinners or crawlers in 5 to 20 feet of water and bluegills are hitting on crawlers.

Big Glen Lake – Perch are still the favorite and can be found on the east end of the lake near the ski area. The mayflies are finally gone and the trout are hungry. Anglers have once again caught several lake trout and rainbow trout when trolling in 50 to 100 feet of water. The lake trout are hitting on green and black spoons and the rainbow trout on silver rapalas.

Little Glen Lake – Perch anglers are doing well on the west end of the lake.

Fisher Lake – Has good bluegill fishing.

Frankfort – Fish have been caught from the pier heads to Point Betsie and down near the Herring Hole. Some nice chinook salmon have come from waters 30 feet deep to waters over 200 feet deep. Those trolling 12 to 17 miles out have caught steelhead. A couple small salmon were caught off the pier. Blue and orange have been good colors.

Onekama – Fishing was decent off the Shelf and up near the Barrel. Chinook, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead have been caught in 130 to 200 feet of water. Look for the temperature breaks. Good colors have been blue and orange spoons and a white on white flasher/fly combination.

Portage Lake – Bass anglers are catching good numbers of fish along the south shore. Big bluegills can be found in waters 15 to 20 feet deep. Boat anglers trolling in the afternoon have caught small walleye and those trolling after dark are catching a mix of walleye and pike. Lots of small perch and rock bass have also been caught.

Manistee – Anglers are catching chinook and lake trout off the Shelf in 100 to 175 feet of water. Good colors are green and blue.

Hamlin Lake – Fishing has slowed due to the mayfly hatch. Anglers targeting bluegills are having a tough time finding fish willing to bite. Those fishing the North, Middle and South Bayou’s have caught some fish using wax worms or a piece of crawler but the better action seems to be up around Wilson Hill Park and the Boy Scout Camp in 8 to 12 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were caught in 10 to 15 feet of water on Lower Hamlin’s east side when using tube baits near the bottom.

Ludington – Good catches of chinook and lake trout have come in 80 to 160 feet of water off the Point. Some bigger salmon in the 15 to 20 pound class have also been caught. An 18 pound steelhead also came in.


Upper Peninsula

Lake Gogebic – Fishing has been sporadic however trolling with a crawler harness has been a good way to locate a school of fish. Use a slip bobber and a small minnow. The mayfly hatch is just getting started.

Otter Lake – In Houghton County will be closing the access site on July 14th due to construction on the ramp. The ramp will remain closed until July 18th. Boaters can access the lake from the north end near the Otter Dam.

Ottawa Lake – In Iron County has good smallmouth bass fishing.

Hagerman Lake – West of Iron River is producing very good smallmouth bass action. Anglers are also catching largemouth bass and bluegills.

Paint Pond – Located south of Crystal Falls is producing muskie and northern pike on bucktails and jerk baits.

Menominee River – Walleye are still being caught including one fish that was 30 inches long however, most of the fish have been much smaller. Try crawlers or Mr. Twisters. For smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum or channel cats, try fishing between the mouth and the Hattie Street Bridge.

Cedar River – Has lots of smallmouth bass but the fish are small. Try trolling or drifting with a crawler harness or casting crank baits. Freshwater drum and northern pike have been caught near the mouth.

Green Bay – Boat anglers are trolling one to eight miles offshore. Close to the Cedar River, boats are trolling 60 to 70 feet down around the Whaleback Shoal for chinook, steelhead and brown trout. Try spoons or dipsey divers in a variety of colors.

Little Bay De Noc – Walleye have been caught off Breezy Point when trolling or drifting crawlers just off the break in 10 to 14 feet of water. Best fishing was in the early morning or late evening. Gladstone has produced several nice catches of walleye and perch for those jigging or trolling with crawlers in 20 to 30 feet of water. Good smallmouth action near the mouth of the Ford River when casting spinners or crank baits. Good perch fishing was reported around Garth Point when jigging in 10 to 20 feet of water.

Escanaba River – Channel cats have been caught along the old bridge area when drifting crawlers. Catch rates have been good as there appears to be good numbers of fish in the river.

Big Bay De Noc – Walleye anglers reported the best catches off Garden Bluff in 20 to 30 feet of water when trolling or drifting crawlers. Good fishing from Ansell’s Point out to the “Boot” and south to Big Bay Reef when trolling crawlers in 20 to 25 feet of water. Good smallmouth action in Garden Bay when casting crank baits or spinners along the weeds. From Fairport, salmon action is starting to pick up. Those trolling 80 to 90 feet down in waters up to 105 feet deep have done well with cut bait. Steelhead could be found about 30 feet down.

Au Train – Boat anglers able to get out have been fishing the backside of Au Train Island. Try about 100 feet down in 140 to 160 feet of water.

Munising – Those able to get out are taking limits of lake trout out on the big reef. Rumor has it one 22 pound fish was caught. A few splake have been caught off the mouth of the Anna River when using spawn and artificial lures.

St. Mary’s River – Lake herring have started to bite around Harbor Island, Boulanger Island and Wreck Island. Although the hatches are behind schedule, the herring are biting on red teardrops with a wax worm.

De Tour – Catch rates have dropped but anglers are still fishing the channel to the #3 green can and the lighthouse. Try 25 to 55 feet down when using small spoons or body baits in a variety of colors.

Cedarville and Hessel – There has been very light fishing pressure in Hessel with those casting from the pier catching a few northern pike and yellow perch. Boat anglers fishing the Snows Channel have caught pike, smallmouth bass and yellow perch. Musky Bay and Middle Entrance are also producing some perch in 10 to 12 feet of water when using minnows. Those fishing Cedarville Bay and the Moscoe Channel have caught good numbers of pike. For herring, target Government Bay, Musky Bay, Prentice Bay or the east end of the Moscoe Channel while using a tear drop with a wax worm in 15 to 20 feet of water.

Pine River – Has slow action with only white suckers caught on leeches or crawlers.

St. Ignace – The primitive launch on the northwest side of the bridge is producing smallmouth bass. Anglers are wading into the bull rushes while casting floater baits or small spinners.