Michigan Recreational Fishing Report – 9/4/2008

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 Michigan Fishing

Great Lakes temperature map

Cooler temperatures and rain by the weekend should help push the salmon. Inland, anglers are taking advantage of the excellent bass fishing.


Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie – No walleye action to report but the perch fishing has been good in 22 feet of water off Stony Point and near the end of the River Raisin Buoys. A few perch were taken near the turn-around buoy but the action was not consistent.

Detroit River – Anglers are still taking walleye in the Trenton Channel and in the lower river. Some are jigging while others are using a crawler harness and bottom bouncer. Perch can still be caught around the islands.

Lake St. Clair – Some nice muskie are still being caught.

Lexington – Boats out trolling have managed to catch lake trout, steelhead and walleye. Perch fishing was spotty and pier fishing was slow.

Port Sanilac – Perch fishing was spotty here as well. Anglers are having trouble locating more than a few fish at a time.

Harbor Beach – Lake trout are being caught in waters 100 to 130 feet deep. Those trolling in shallow waters 50 to 60 feet deep in the early morning have taken a mix of walleye, steelhead and smallmouth bass.

Saginaw Bay – Reports fair walleye fishing in the evening in several locations including 19 feet of water one or two miles east of the Spark Plug, 7 to 14 feet of water north of Quanicassee, around the Slot, and over the bar which is outside the islands off Sebewaing and Bay Port. Crawler harnesses are consistent, but crank baits are also taking fish. Perch fishing is still slow with only a few caught near the Spark Plug, the Black Hole, or about two and a half miles north of the Quanicassee River. The Hot Pond is still producing channel cats.

Saginaw River – Anglers are catching bass in the lower river.


Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joe – Boat anglers can still find chinook, steelhead and lake trout when trolling 45 to 55 feet down in waters 80 to 100 feet deep.

St. Joe River – Anglers are still taking fair to good numbers of skamania between the mouth and the Berrien Springs Dam. Some are floating spawn or crawlers under a bobber while others are fly fishing.

Kalamazoo River – Steelhead are still being caught between the mouth and the Allegan Dam. As the day warms up, fish the deeper holes. Walleye are still hitting on crawlers.

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 fishing was slow.

Grand River at Grand Rapids – Anglers are starting to catch a few more chinook and steelhead. Most are dead drifting crawlers or using flies. The occasional brown trout have also been caught. Pike are still hitting on large sucker minnows under a bobber. Some large channel cats and flathead cats have been caught on cut bait. Bluegill and crappie can be found in the backwaters.

Grand River at Lansing – Catfish action has improved and the pike are hitting. Try large sucker minnows or rapalas. Some nice bluegills have been caught above and below the dams. For crappie, look for structure such as fallen trees.

Muskegon – A few salmon have been caught in waters 80 to 100 feet deep. Rain in the forecast should push more fish into the channel and the river system.

Whitehall – Boat anglers are catching salmon in 100 feet of water but the action has been slow. Not many fish up near the piers as water temperatures were in the 70’s.


Northeast Lower Peninsula

Rogers City – Has excellent chinook salmon fishing and the fish are now beginning to stage in front of Swan Bay. Boats are doing well between Calcite and Adams Point in waters 25 to 75 feet deep. They have been using everything from downriggers, dipseys, lead core with planer boards to high lining bombers and J-plugs in shallow waters. The fish are high in the water column.

Presque Isle – Finally has some great fishing for chinook, coho, lake trout, steelhead and walleye. Target the top half of waters 35 to 80 feet deep. Most are using spoons or J-plugs however attractors with flies and squid are also taking fish. Good colors are blue and silver, green, white on white, black and white, purple and orange glow.

Alpena – Anglers are catching lake trout and salmon 80 to 90 feet down in waters 100 to 150 feet deep. Green and chartreuse have been hot colors this week. Stoneport is really doing well for salmon. Walleye were caught in 35 feet of water.

Thunder Bay River – Anglers are starting to catch a few salmon.

Oscoda – Lake trout are still being caught in 80 to 100 feet of water. J-plugs and spoons in a variety of colors are taking fish.

Au Sable River – Anglers are catching a few salmon in and around the mouth. The bass are biting and some nice catfish have been caught.

Tawas – Fishing has been slow however anglers are still taking some walleye in 15 to 35 feet of water out near Buoys 2 and 6. Most are still using crawler harnesses.

Au Gres – Perch action has picked up along the shipping channel for those fishing in about 35 feet of water. The trick is to move often until you find an active school of fish. Those that work hard at it have caught fish ranging from 8 to 11 inches or larger. Walleye are still hitting in about 30 feet of water south of Pointe Au Gres.

Higgins Lake – Lake trout are hitting just off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet of water. Whitefish are now hitting on Swedish Pimples tipped with a wax worm. Perch fishing remains good in 40 to 50 feet of water on the north end of the lake around the Sunken Island and along the drop-offs. Perch were also taken in shallow waters south of the boat launch on the west side of the lake.

Houghton Lake – Walleye fishing has been very good but many are small. Anglers are trolling crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers or Hot-n-Tots in 6 to 10 feet of water. Some nice bluegills have been caught on wax worms or leaf worms in 4 to 6 feet of water. Both the large and smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good and some nice big pike were caught on large sucker minnows or silver spoons.



Northwest Lower Peninsula

Elk Lake – Smallmouth bass are hitting on crawlers, leeches, tube baits, crank baits and rapalas in waters 5 to 30 feet deep. Those trolling for large muskie are targeting 15 to 30 feet of water around Spencer Bay, Kewadin and between the Whitewater Park and Rex Terrace. Yellow perch are still being caught in 13 to 17 feet of water and rock bass in 10 to 15 feet of water in the same area.

Skegemog Lake – Bass ranging from 8 to 18 inches are still being caught in the flats between the Torch River and Baggs Road and the Narrows. They are targeting waters 4 to 20 feet deep. More have started trolling for muskie but no fish had been caught. For pike, try 10 to 20 feet of water with sucker minnows, stick baits or large rapalas. Perch continue to be scarce. Rock bass have been caught inside the mouth of the Torch River and on the north side of the narrows around the stumps.

Glen Lake – Reports good perch fishing when using minnows. The biggest fish were caught on the north end of Big Glen in 30 to 40 feet of water. Trout are hitting in 80 to 100 feet of water and rock bass were on a feeding frenzy.

Fisher Lake – Is still a good spot to catch bluegills and the occasional largemouth bass. For the gills, target the deeper waters and for the bass try casting crawlers, tube baits or spinners along the edge of the weedbeds.

Frankfort – Warm water has the fish scattered from the Herring Hole up into West Platte Bay. Anglers are fishing real early in the morning or late evening. Fish have been caught in 160 to 300 feet of water on the south end of the Herring Hole and off the Bank. Pier fishing has been very slow due to the water temperatures and the lack of baitfish close to shore. A few fish were caught off the old ferry dock. J-plugs and spoons are catching the most fish.

Onekama – Fish have been caught south of the piers, and up near the Barrel. Anglers report early morning is best as the bite slows after 7:30am. They are still taking a mix of mature and young chinook about 80 feet down in 120 to 240 feet of water. J-plugs are working the best, especially the lighter colors.

Portage Lake – Walleye are hitting at night. Those fishing in the early afternoon have caught the smaller fish. The bigger bluegills are biting once again. Try wax worms or crawler pieces in waters up to 25 feet deep. Bass fishing has been a little slow, but those trolling have caught pike, rock bass and big bluegills.

Manistee – Trout and salmon are being caught 60 to 120 feet down in waters 120 to 240 feet deep. Those fishing in front of the piers in the early morning have only managed to catch a few fish. Pier fishing has been slow due to warm water.

Hamlin Lake – Fishing has been good to very good depending on location. Limits of panfish including bluegills were taken in 5 to 10 feet of water near the Boy Scout Camp, Laman’s Landing, Pete’s Bayou, the Narrows, the Dunes, the Sable River outlet and Sterns Bay. Catch rates have been higher in clear water. Bass anglers are having a field day as fish have been caught at all depths with most any kind of tackle. Walleye fishing was slow with only a few fish caught off the State Park when slow drifting in 10 to 20 feet of water with a single hook crawler harness and a leech.

Ludington – Boat anglers are catching salmon in 80 to 160 feet of water with most of the fish caught in the deeper waters between the Bath House and the Point. The best baits were green and white flies. Pier fishing was slow.

Pentwater – Boat anglers are doing well in 80 to 90 feet of water. There have been no reports of salmon staging.


Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon – Fishing slowed during the warm spell but cooler weather is coming and catch rates for salmon, lake trout and brown trout will improve. Those trolling candy corn and green apple spoons in the middle of the water column were catching fish.

Lake Gogebic – Jumbo perch are showing up near the weeds before dark in 8 to 10 feet of water. Walleye are being caught when trolling the middle of the lake. Smallmouth bass are still active in 6 to 12 feet of water. Try spinners or crank baits.

Keweenaw Bay – Boat anglers have caught the occasional chinook, coho and lake trout. Those fishing out from Ruona’s on Point Abbey have caught lake trout when jigging in 130 to 180 feet of water. In Traverse Bay, those trolling and jigging were doing well and taking limit catches of lake trout out from Big Louie’s Point.

Marquette – The kings are back! Good numbers of chinook salmon are being caught in 50 to 70 feet of water in both the Upper Harbor and the Lower Harbor. Lake trout fishing has been hit-or-miss. Try 140 to 250 feet of water around the Sand Hole.

Ford River – Shore anglers are catching smallmouth bass on crawlers.

Cedar River – Salmon fishing has slowed. Smallmouth bass have been caught but the fish are running small. Crawlers were the bait of choice.

Little Bay De Noc – Early morning anglers did the best for walleye near the mouth of the Escanaba River and along the drop-off near the Bathhouse in Gladstone. From Kipling, walleye were caught off the south end of Butlers Island when using crawlers in 13 to 16 feet of water. Those night trolling out from the Ford River Launch have also caught walleye. Smallmouth bass have been caught off the docks. Perch fishing has picked up with some nice fish caught in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc – Some nice perch were caught in Ogontz Bay. Try crawlers or minnows in 12 to 16 feet of water. Smallmouth bass and small perch were caught near Garden when using crawlers or crank baits near shore. Fairport reported some nice catches of chinook 60 to 75 feet down in 90 to 120 feet of water. Fish were also caught near Point DeTour when using multiple colored spoons 30 to 45 feet down in 70 feet of water.

Au Train – Many reported limits of lake trout when trolling or jigging by Wood Island.

Munising – Limits of lake trout are still being taken in Trout Bay. A coho was also caught. Salmon fishing should pick up soon.

Grand Marais – Lake trout fishing remains good about three miles out in 80 to 170 feet of water when trolling spoons. A few coho were also caught when trolling from the pier to Sable Point in 40 to 70 feet of water.

St. Mary’s River – Those fishing south of Nebeshone have caught a few walleye in 25 to 35 feet of water. Walleye were caught in the shallows of Raber Bay when using a crawler harness.

Cedarville and Hessel – Has excellent pike fishing for those casting, trolling or still-fishing with minnows. Perch fishing has picked up in the Middle Entrance and Musky Bay. The east end of Cedar Bay has fair to good perch fishing in 6 to 15 feet of water. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in most of the bays. Perch, pike and smallmouth bass are still being caught off the public marina.

Carp River – Chinook along with a few pink salmon are moving up into the river.

St. Ignace – Anglers are catching some chinook and lake trout 50 to 80 feet down when using hammered silver spoons. Other good colors for small spoons have been chartreuse, black, gold and orange. Those fishing the northwest side of the bridge are taking smallmouth bass on small spinners. Hot colors were gold and red.