Michigan Weekly Fishing Reports – 10/16/2008

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Michigan Weekly Fishing Reports - 10/16/2008Great Lakes temperature map

As for salmon action, the runs have peaked on many rivers on the west side of the state while the east side waits for more fish to move in. Fall fishing for pike, bluegills, crappie and catfish continues to be good.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie – Perch fishing has been good with fish caught in 26 feet of water off Stony Point. A fewer number were caught in 12 to 15 feet of water, but those fish were much bigger. Also try out around the E-Buoy and off Bolles Harbor. Smallmouth bass were caught near the rock piles and largemouth taken near the Hot Ponds.

River Raisin – Perch were caught down at the mouth.

Huron River – The steelhead action slowed with the warm weather but should pick back up thanks to a cold front and some rain. Those fishing up near the Flat Rock Dam have caught some steelhead on a jig and wax worm. Big bluegills are still hitting in the backwaters but the crappie action slowed.

Detroit River – Perch fishing slowed however fish were caught around Sugar Island, off Point Hennepin, and between Grassy Island and the tip of Fighting Island.

Lake St. Clair – Is producing some nice muskie. Fish near the drop offs between Grass Island and the mouth of the North Channel.

Lexington – Has a variety of fish but no bite. Mornings and evening seem to be the only time anything has been caught. A couple steelhead were taken on spoons.

Port Austin – Salmon fishing was slow with only one chinook in the creel report. Opportunities should pick up with cooler temperatures and rain.

Saginaw Bay – Those perch fishing north of the Spark Plug reported 20 to 30 fish per boat while those fishing east did much better with 50 to 70 fish per boat. Slow catch rates off Quanicassee. Boats were heading out about 2.5 miles but the schools of fish have moved. Sebewaing has good catches of bluegill, crappie and sunfish. A few small perch were caught off the breakwall at Caseville.

Saginaw River – A few perch have been caught near the stone dock.

Sebewaing River – Anglers are catching perch but the fish are small.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joe – Boat anglers are catching mostly chinook salmon when trolling in waters 100 to 120 feet deep.

St. Joe River – Although the salmon run may have peaked, there are still decent numbers of salmon and some steelhead have started to move into the river.

Kalamazoo River – Anglers will still find good numbers of salmon even though it appears the peak of the run is over. Steelhead are moving up into the river.

Grand Haven – Light numbers of chinook and steelhead have been caught in 190 to 270 feet of water however 240 feet of water produced the most fish. Try those springtime fishing techniques, fishing the top waters with spoons. Hot colors were orange and red. A couple steelhead were taken off the pier when using spawn.

Grand River at Grand Rapids – Salmon are still being caught however anglers are now catching more steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. For steelhead, anglers are floating a hook with a piece of yarn and a spawn bag. Lake trout are hitting on small spawn bags with about three or four eggs. Good pike action continues on big sucker minnows and body baits. Those drifting crawlers on the bottom have caught walleye and smallmouth bass. Catfish are still hitting and some big bluegills have been caught at Riverside Park when fishing leaf worms on the bottom.

Grand River at Lansing – Anglers are still taking a few small coho on spinners where the Grand River meets the Red Cedar. No signs of any steelhead up this far. A couple walleye were caught near the North Lansing Dam. Catfish are still hitting and bluegills and crappie can be found in the backwaters.

Reeds Lake – Some nice perch have been caught in 8 to 30 feet of water. Pike are still active and hitting on sucker minnows and body baits.

Muskegon – Boats have caught chinook and steelhead when trolling in waters up to 270 feet deep however most of the fish were taken in 240 feet of water. Fish the top water with spoons. Good colors were orange and red.

Muskegon River – Some steelhead are in the river and the numbers should only increase with rain and cooler temperatures in the forecast.

Norhtern Lower Peninsula

Rogers City – The marina is closed. The launch ramps will be in until the end of the month. Not much to report this week as the fish that were in Swan Bay have made their way up into the river and were harvested last week. Some younger fish were caught in shallow waters between the harbor and Forty Mile Point. Try the top half of waters 45 to 60 feet deep and look for baitfish. Small spoons worked best and good colors were orange and silver, orange and black, yellow and green, blue and silver or green. Use long leads off downriggers, lead core with planer boards or dipsey divers set away from the boat. Anglers are now waiting for brown trout to show up.

Presque Isle – Fishing here continues to be great. Fish summer patterns in the top half of waters 45 to 60 feet deep as the shallows are loaded with baitfish. Use the same spoons and tactics as Rogers City. Good places to fish were in front of the big lighthouse or south towards Stoneport.

Alpena – There has been no angler pressure for walleye. The last report was off North Point in 35 feet of water.

Thunder Bay River – Salmon fishing at the Ninth Street Dam is good although the fish are beginning to turn dark. Chinook and coho were hitting on natural and artificial spawn bags.

Harrisville – Fishing is still slow around the harbor. A few were caught on green and silver J-plugs or jointed body baits.

Au Sable River – There are fish in the river, but not in big numbers. Fish were hitting on silver, green and pink body baits or spawn. Some have caught steelhead.

Tawas – A few perch were caught off the pier, but not the same numbers as last week. Allow time to sort out the small ones.

Higgins Lake – When they can get out, boats are still trolling for lake trout. Perch are still hitting but not many anglers have been out. No word on brown trout.

Houghton Lake – Perch fishing slowed but pike are still hitting on rapalas. A few walleye are still being caught when slow trolling crawlers just off the bottom or using Hot-n-Tots. Bluegills were hitting on wax worms just off the bottom.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs – Smallmouth bass anglers in the area reported modest catch rates as plenty of fish are moving into the shallows. There should be some good fishing in the days ahead when the bass start their feeding frenzy.

Petoskey – Salmon fishing seems to be winding down. The fish are showing signs of deterioration. It is a good bet that the remaining fish will be show up in area rivers in the next week to ten days.

Elk Lake – Water temperature were around 60 degrees. Most boats are looking for smallmouth bass between the Narrows and Rex Terrace. Trout and muskie fishing was slow. Small perch ranging 6 to 10 inches were caught north of the Whitewater Township Park. Try crawlers in 9 to 12 feet of water.

Skegemog Lake – Water temperatures here dropped to the mid 50’s. Lots of bass anglers are targeting the shallows near the mouth of the Torch River and along the weeds on the southeast side of the lake. Try 3 to 20 feet of water using tubes, jigs, spinners, sinkos, and crank baits. Muskie anglers are still heading out but no word on any fish caught. Perch are hitting perch minnows and crawlers in waters up to 17 feet deep along the flats between Baggs Road and the mouth of the Torch River.

Boardman River – Salmon are still being caught but the hits were slow. Those willing to put in the time will take fish home.

Platte River – Chinook and coho have been caught but catch rates were slow. DNR staff will be harvesting chinook at the Lower Weir this week and coho eggs at the Upper Weir starting next Tuesday.

Frankfort – Boat anglers are catching steelhead and young chinook out deep in 160 to 220 feet of water when using green and blue spoons or white on white flashers and flies about 80 to 90 feet down. Hot spots were the Herring Hole and just past the Point Betsie Light. Pier anglers and those surfcasting caught a couple steelhead.

Betsie River – Salmon action is going strong, but should be winding down this week. There are still good numbers of spawning fish being caught between River Road and the Homestead Dam. Steelhead numbers should improve with the forecast calling for rain later in the week.

Portage Lake – Good numbers of pike are being caught throughout the day, on minnows or stick baits trolled along the weed edges. Walleye are still being caught after dark. A few small perch along with some decent panfish were taken near the south shore in 30 to 35 feet of water.

Manistee – Steelhead and salmon are being caught in the top 40 feet of water while fishing the Shelf. Try anything orange. Steelhead are starting to show up in the surf and off the piers.

Manistee River – Salmon action is going strong, but should be winding down this week. There are still good numbers of spawning chinook in the river. Steelhead numbers should improve if we get rain.

Ludington – Had fair salmon and steelhead action for those fishing between the Bath House and the Point. Most fish were caught in the top 50 feet of waters 100 to 200 feet deep. Orange spoons were the ticket.

Pere Marquette River – Still has good numbers of spawning fish however the run should be winding down by the end of this week. Pier anglers have taken the occasional steelhead in the early morning.


Keweenaw Bay – Those fishing the head the Bay between Baraga and L’Anse have caught some coho and lake trout. In Traverse Bay, those jigging for lake trout found fish in 120 to 150 feet of water near Big Louie’s Point.

Fall’s River – Anglers have caught a few chinook and coho salmon.

Marquette – Boats have taken limits of lake trout along with a few coho.

Lake Michigamme – The muskie are moving into their fall feeding frenzy and are hitting on suckers and jerk baits.

Dead River – Fishing has been good for the last week with fair to good numbers of chinook and coho taken.

Squaw Lake – In Marquette County has fair to good rainbow trout fishing. Although not many anglers pursue fall trout that can be found in our inland lakes, good catches can be had if anglers make the effort. Slow trolling cowbells and crawlers or small spoons tipped with a worm are effective presentations for trout this time of year.

Menominee – Those working the bay for walleye were coming up short. A lot of small perch and a few bigger ones were caught off the Marina Pier.

Menominee River – Chinook are moving up the river. Their numbers are increasing however few fish are striking. Those caught have started to turn dark. Up near the Hattie Street Dam, pink salmon, brown trout and steelhead are being caught in the early morning. Spawn was the bait of choice.

Cedar River – Salmon are starting to move up the river and have been caught on spoons such as Cleo’s or a Mepps Rooster Tail. Walleye are hitting spoons and rapalas at night. The wind is a factor but those trolling the shoreline in 30 to 40 feet of water did catch fish.

Munising – Catch rates slowed due to weather patterns. A few coho, splake and steelhead were caught off the mouth of the Anna River.

St. Mary’s River – The chinook are still in but most are on the gravel and pretty beat-up. There are still some fresh fish in the river but most are pretty dark. Coho and some fall steelhead are just starting to trickle in. Limits of yellow perch were caught in the morning hours on Bay Dewausi of Lake Nicolet. Try minnows in 8 to 12 feet of water. Walleye are hitting Pencil Plugs the last hour of daylight at the rapids on the Lake George side of Sugar Island.

DeTour – Good perch action around Drummond Island. Fish the north side of Peck Island, east side of Ashman Island, and Scott Bay. Try minnows or crawlers in 10 to 12 feet of water.

Cedarville & Hessel – Perch fishing has picked up on the east side of Cedarville Bay, Musky Bay, and around Government Island and the Middle Entrance. Perch should also be in Hessel Bay, but there are no anglers targeting them. Northern pike and smallmouth bass action was good all through the islands however most are targeting smallmouth south of Nebbish Island. Try casting or still-fishing minnows in 6 to 10 feet of water.

Bush Creek – Which is east of Cedarville is open year round and is producing a fair number of salmon.

Carp River – Is producing good numbers of chinook for those still-fishing or casting spawn from the mouth upstream to the McDonald Rapids. A couple steelhead were caught at the mouth.

St. Ignace – Anglers are casting for chinook from the pier at the city launch in the early morning or evening.