Michigan Recreational Fishing Report – 8/28/2008
As we approach the end of August, we begin to move into the fall fishing patterns. Cooler weather will bring the salmon in close to shore but warmer weather will push them out deep. Salmon action will only intensify as we move into September.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie – Fishing has been slow as strong wind and wave action has left the Michigan waters weedy and muddy. Walleye fishing was slow with a few fish caught near the Fermi Plant. Perch fishing was also slow but slowly improving with fish caught near the E Buoy, Stony Point and by the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse. Minnows were the choice bait. A few largemouth bass were hitting near Bolles Harbor.
Huron River – Smallmouth action continues on crayfish and leeches. Largemouth bass are still hitting on crawlers. Freshwater drum and carp can still be taken.
Detroit River – Anglers are jigging for walleye in the Trenton Channel in front of Humbug Marina and down to Celeron Island. Perch are being taken between Round Island, Celeron Island and Sugar Island.
Lake St. Clair – Has good muskie action off Stony Point.
Lexington – Perch fishing is slow. Anglers are marking lots of fish but can’t get them to bite. For salmon and lake trout, try fishing 130 to 150 feet deep in order to find the thermocline. Smallmouth bass fishing remains good in the harbor.
Saginaw Bay – Perch are being caught in small to moderate numbers a mile east and a mile north of the Spark Plug, near Buoy #18 along the shipping channel, just south of the Black Hole, and 2 miles north off the mouth of the Quanicassee River. The action is not fast and furious but the fish being caught are running 8 to 11 inches. Walleye action continues fair at most locations, with angler effort concentrated around the Spark Plug, off Spoils Island, and in the Slot northeast of Quanicassee up to the outside of the islands off Bay Port. Bass are still hitting in Wildfowl Bay.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joe – Good numbers of chinook are being caught when trolling in waters 90 to 120 feet deep. Steelhead and lake trout are also being caught.
Kalamazoo River – Look for steelhead between the mouth and the Allegan Dam. Try fishing near the mouth of the feeder creeks and rivers. A few walleye were still being caught on crawlers and the catfish are hitting on live bait.
South Haven – Look for chinook northwest of the piers in 90 to 100 feet of water.
Grand Haven – Pier anglers were starting to catch salmon when using large alewife hooked just once behind the dorsal fin. Skamania were hitting at night off the south pier when fishing 3 to 4 feet off the bottom. Perch were hitting on small alewife, but the bite was slow.
Grand River at Grand Rapids – A few salmon have been caught up near the dam and a couple of those fish were dark in color. Anglers are using crawlers or yarn flies. Steelhead were hitting on spawn and crawlers. Lots of pike have been caught on large pike minnows and the catfish are hitting on cut up suckers, crawlers or live suckers. A few walleye were taken on small jigs with red heads.
Grand River at Lansing – About the only thing to report is the good catfish action. Try floating live or cut bait along the bottom. Try crawlers or corn for carp.
Red Cedar River – Has some large carp for the taking. Those fishing from the park in Williamston have hooked some nice carp however none have been landed.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Rogers City – Good fishing continues straight out of the port and north towards Forty Mile Point however most are heading towards Swan Bay and Adams Point. Fishing is best in the top 40 feet, but as the water warms fish deeper. Good colors have been orange and silver, orange glow, blue and silver, green and silver, white, pearl or anything that glows early and late. Smaller spoons have been working best.
Presque Isle – The cold water has made the fish more willing to bite. Try trolling downriggers in 45 to 80 feet of water straight out in front of the Red Can, between the lighthouses, and past the big lighthouse going into North Bay and Black Point. Dipsey divers in multiple colors and small spoons about three or four inches long are taking fish. J-plugs along with flashers or attractors are working well with the better colors being white on white, pearl, blue or green glow.
Rockport – Walleye and steelhead were being caught in 35 feet of water while salmon and lake trout were taken about halfway down in 120 to 160 feet of water.
Harrisville – Salmon fishing has picked up as boats report taking fish in shallow waters around the harbor and out to waters 80 feet deep. Try yellow tails and similar colored flies. Lake trout are still out deep and will probably stay out there. They are aggressive and hitting on anything silver.
Oscoda – Lake trout are still being caught in 120 to 150 feet of water. The fish are suspended off the bottom and are hitting on yellow tails and silver.
Au Sable River – A few salmon have been reported at the mouth. It won’t be long before they start heading into the river. Smallmouth bass and catfish are still being caught but the walleye have moved out to deeper waters.
Tawas – Walleye action improved slightly with best action in 15 to 20 feet of water.
Au Gres – Walleye fishing has slowed just as it always does in late August. A few catches were reported in 15 to 30 feet of water southeast of Point Au Gres.
Higgins Lake – Lake trout fishing remains good for those trolling cowbells and live bait just off the bottom in waters 80 to 100 feet deep. For perch, try 40 to 50 feet of water on the north end of the lake around the Sunken Island and along the drop-offs. A few smallmouth bass were taken by those trolling along the drop-offs.
Houghton Lake – Walleye and bluegill are still being caught along the weedbeds in 7 to 10 feet of water. Early morning or late evening is best due to heavy boat traffic.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey – Salmon are starting to stage and there is a fair number of steelhead in the area. Plenty of fish in the 15 to 18 pound range have been caught anywhere from the surface to 70 feet down in almost any depth. A few are casting from the piers at night. Some 9 to 12 inch perch were caught off the pier.
Charlevoix – Salmon are staging here as well so boat and shore anglers are catching fish. Some are fishing off the piers at night while others are fishing the waters near the Cement Plant. Those trolling in 70 to 90 feet of water are also taking some lake trout.
Elk Lake – Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent for those fishing in 5 to 30 feet of water with crawlers, leeches, tube baits, crank baits and rapalas. No report on muskie and the perch anglers were not having much luck. Look for rock bass in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Skegemog Lake – Effort for smallmouth bass is still high in the flats between the Torch River and Baggs Road and the Narrows. Those targeting muskie are trolling large rapalas in 8 to 20 feet of water in the same area. Pike fishing has increased in the southern part of the lake where anglers are trolling or casting crank baits, rattle traps, stick baits and bombers in 3 to 20 feet of water. Bluegills are hitting on crawlers and red worms in 10 to 12 feet of water.
Glen Lake – Perch are still the favorite. The bigger fish are in 30 to 40 feet of water and the bait varies. Try worms, shrimp, minnows and wigglers.
Manistee – Some are reporting limit catches of salmon in the harbor and around the piers when using glow or chrome J-plugs. Those fishing in 80 to 120 feet of water are catching both young and adult salmon. Pier anglers are using small glow spoons.
Hamlin Lake – Fishing activity is slowly picking up as the waters cool. Anglers targeting panfish are having success using worms in 8 to 12 feet on water. Good bass fishing can be found around any kind of structure.
Ludington – Boat anglers had success between the Bath House and the Point in 80 to 120 feet of water when using green or white flies. Pier fishing slowed with the warmer water but anglers are catching salmon on glow spoons early in the morning.
Keweenaw Bay – Fishing in the bay has slowed but those trolling for lake trout in 130 to 170 feet of water off Point Abbay reported good action. In Traverse Bay, target 140 to 180 feet of water off Big Louie’s Point and the gray smoke stack. Some are jigging in 220 to 240 feet of water.
Marquette – Lake trout activity was slow due to windy conditions. The salmon are starting to come in now, with some nice size chinook and coho being caught when trolling in the upper harbor. A nice steelhead was also caught.
Green Bay – Trolling 60 to 70 feet down in waters 90 to 100 feet deep around the Whalesback produced some fish when using multiple colored spoons.
Little Bay De Noc – Walleye action was best trolling in front of the mouth of the Escanaba River and close to shore at Kipling. Use crawler harnesses or top water lures in 13 to 15 feet of water. Perch were caught in front of the launch at Kipling and along the drop-off while smallmouth bass were taken in the weeds off the launch. Channel cats and freshwater drum have been caught off the docks.
Big Bay De Noc – Off Fairport, chinook salmon were caught about seven miles out. The better fishing was in the early morning. Fish were caught 70 feet down in waters 100 feet deep.
Au Train – Limits of lake trout are still being caught when boats can get out.
Munising – Has good lake trout action east of Trout Bay when using meat hooks and jigging with cut bait. Salmon activity should begin soon.
Grand Marais – Has good lake trout action along the drop-off which is three to five miles out in 130 to 240 feet of water. Dark colored spoons seem to be working best.
St. Mary’s River – Perch were caught off Four Mile Road near Lake Nicolet and the Township Park in Sault Ste. Marie. Best times for fishing are between 5 and 8 pm. Limits of walleye are being taken at Nine Mile Road and on the Michigan side of Little Lake George when trolling a crawler harness. In Raber Bay, anglers are taking walleye and yellow perch when trolling near the rock piles. A few walleye were taken at the mouth of Carlton Creek on a purple or blue crawler harness. Maud Bay has been good for pike, smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch.
De Tour – Spawning chinook are coming in and a few were in the 19 to 20 pound range. Spoons such as white and black with a black eye, watermelon, gold and green were good choices along with squid and flies on dipsies. The lake trout are close to the bottom but no word on the atlantic salmon. A few pinks were caught.
Cedarville and Hessel – Still have good pike fishing. Those fishing off the pier at the Hessel Marina are taking pike, smallmouth bass and perch on crawlers or minnows. Yellow perch action picked up in Hessel Bay in 9 to10 feet of water. Musky Bay has slow yellow perch fishing and the fish are small. Moscow Channel is good, and Cedarville Bay is fair. Smallmouth bass fishing is fair but should be picking up soon. Salmon are reported in 60 to 70 feet of water or less but fishing is slow.
St. Ignace – Large chinook salmon have been caught by those using white and black spoons with a white eye. Squid and flies with flashers as well as yellow spoons with black dots are also working well. Lake trout were caught on the backside of Bois Blanc Island. Chinook salmon were spotted near the mouth of the Carp River.