Michigan Weekly Fishing Report – 10/30/2008
Windy and wet weather over the last week did keep most anglers on shore. The salmon runs are pretty much done with the remaining fish very dark in color. The rivers have started to fill up with steelhead and whitefish are being caught in Lake Huron and the northern waters of Lake Michigan. The inland lakes are producing some good catches of pike, walleye, perch and big bluegills.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie – Strong winds have limited fishing over the past week. Bass anglers continue to bring in good numbers of largemouth near the Power Plant, the Hot Ponds and just off the mouth of the River Raisin. Perch fishing was fair and the walleye should begin to move into shallow waters soon.
Huron River – With work being done at the Flat Rock Dam, fair to good numbers of salmon are holding in the area. Anglers are catching them when casting spawn or spinners. Steelhead are also being caught on spawn, spinners, or a jig and wax worm. Rain would certainly bring more fish in. Bluegills are still being caught in the backwaters but not in big numbers.
Detroit River – Perch are still being caught in and around the cuts and canals, the southern part of Grosse Ile and around Sugar Island.
Lexington – Fishing reports outside the thumb were slow except for a few perch and pike caught here in the harbor.
Port Austin – A few perch were caught in the harbor.
Saginaw Bay – Most perch fishing was limited to shore fishing in the marinas and river mouths. Shore anglers might want to check out Linwood Marina, the cut at Finn Road, the mouth of the Quanicassee River, the lower Sebewaing River and the public marina, and the harbor at Caseville. At all of these sites, fish from dawn until about 11 AM, and expect to do a lot of sorting to weed out the small ones.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joe – Windy conditions have stopped the boats from heading out however pier anglers have caught the occasional steelhead. Try fishing spawn just off the bottom or casting small spoons.
St. Joe River – Steelhead are being caught but not in big numbers yet. A few walleye and smallmouth bass were also caught.
Kalamazoo River – The salmon run is done and more steelhead have moved into the river. Those fishing up near the Allegan Dam have started to catch fish.
Grand Haven – Anglers have caught whitefish off both the north and the south piers however catch rates were sporadic. Steelhead were caught off the north pier when using spawn.
Grand River at Grand Rapids – Steelhead fishing has been very good mainly at the Sixth Street Dam. Use small spawn bags or a white jig with a wax worm. Boat anglers are back trolling over the deep holes. Walleye action has been good for those drifting crawlers or small crank baits. Bucktail jigs are taking walleye off the Pearl Street, Fulton Street and Wealthy Street Bridges. Good crappie action throughout the river including Riverside Park. Pike are hitting on big shiners fished about two feet below the bobber.
Grand River at Lansing – Steelhead are being caught downriver. Anglers continue to wait to see if the fish will make it up this far. Those getting out have caught lots of pike along with some nice crappie, walleye and a few catfish.
Reeds Lake – The jumbo perch are hitting on fathead minnows in 5 to 25 feet of water. Some nice bluegills and crappie have also been caught. Try minnows and wax worms.
Muskegon – A few boats are still trolling when they can get out. Those surfcasting or fishing off the piers have caught steelhead.
Muskegon River – Some salmon can still be found however most anglers consider the run to be over. Steelhead fishing continues to improve with fishable numbers now in the river.
Norhtern Lower Peninsula
Rogers City – A few browns have been swimming around the harbor so anglers are targeting them with some success. Try casting spoons or body baits. Look for more brown trout action in November.
Rockport – No action to report and the docks have been removed.
Thuder Bay River – Anglers are targeting steelhead up at the Ninth Street Dam. Most are using a single artificial egg on a hook. Those still-fishing with minnows have caught perch and a few walleye.
Harrisville – Salmon are still being caught inside the harbor when using spawn and body baits. High winds have kept boats closer to shore. Walleye have been caught in and around the harbor when trolling a crawler harness or body baits.
Au Sable River – Salmon numbers are decreasing; however, steelhead numbers are increasing. Most fish have been caught on spawn. Walleye numbers are up and those drifting crawlers or leeches under a slip bobber have caught fish.
Lake Margrethe – Some nice perch have been caught on minnows. Walleye were hitting in the early morning or late evening when trolling a minnow or crawler.
Tawas – Lots of little perch along with some bigger ones are being caught off the pier. Some big pike and a couple walleye were also caught. Whitefish have started to show up and several were caught off the pier when using wax worms.
Au Gres – Surprisingly good numbers of steelhead were caught in the surf off Whitney Drain. Fish ranged from 15 to 25 inches long and were caught when floating spawn sacks. Perch fishing has slowed.
Higgins Lake – Most of the small boat anglers have not been able to get out due to windy conditions. Look for perch when the weather improves.
Houghton Lake – Catch rates have slowed with only the occasional pike or walleye caught in the shallows at night.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey – Salmon season has ended for the most part with a few late fish still spawning in the river. Shore anglers are now concentrating their efforts off the piers and the mouth of the river for steelhead and whitefish.
Lake Charlevoix – Perch, walleye and smallmouth bass anglers have been out however strong winds have hampered fishing efforts.
Elk River – Fishing has started to slow with anglers catching a few decent chinook, coho, and steelhead.
Elk Lake – Fishing pressure has dropped over the last week with only a few anglers still targeting bass between the Narrows and Rex Terrace. Try crank baits or the drop-shot fishing method in 6 to 30 feet of water. Muskie anglers are still out but no fish were caught. Perch have been caught on minnows or shrimp in 12 feet of water near the town of Kewadin. The fish ranged from 6 to 11 inches.
Skegemog Lake – Water temperatures have dropped to the 45 degree mark. Fewer anglers are targeting bass but those out there are casting in shallow waters along the weedbeds and near the mouth of the Torch River. Anglers are still trolling for muskie but no fish were reported. Some 6 to 10 inch perch have been caught off the access site at Baggs Road. Minnows worked best in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Traverse City – When boats can get out, anglers have found limited success for whitefish in the East Bay.
Boardman River – Anglers can still find a few decent salmon and lake trout up near the Union Street Dam. More steelhead have started to move into the river however some of the fish caught have been undersize.
Frankfort – Boat anglers are catching small chinook, coho, and steelhead between the piers and Point Betsie. Hit the top 40 feet in waters 150 to 200 feet deep while trolling light colored spoons and flashers with flies. A few fresh chinook and some steelhead were caught off the piers when using spawn or small spoons. Those surfcasting have caught steelhead when using spawn bags.
Betsie River – Catch rates have slowed however there have been reports of steelhead being caught in the lower stretches.
Portage Lake – A good mix of bluegill, sunfish, and perch have been caught in 25 to 30 feet of water from the city launch all the way down to the green buoy. Anglers trolling along the weeds and drop-offs are still catching good numbers of pike and the occasional walleye. Try trolling small spoons or crawler harnesses. Orange and red have been good colors.
Manistee – Boats continue to catch fish when trolling orange spoons over the Shelf. Pier and shore anglers have started to catch more steelhead on fresh spawn.
Manistee River – Salmon are still in the river however the run is over. Some leftover fish can be found on the gravel but they are dark. Cooler weather pushed more steelhead into the river and there were reports of brown trout below Tippy Dam.
Ludington – Pier anglers and those surfcasting have started to catch more steelhead. Fresh spawn was the ticket however small spoons were also taking fish.
Pere Marquette River – Salmon can still be found but the fish are in rough shape. Steelhead fishing has picked up with fishable numbers being reported.
Keweenaw Bay – A few lake trout were taken by those trolling between Sand Point and the head of the Bay. Shore anglers fishing off the pier in L’Anse and the head of the Bay have picked up a couple coho and steelhead. In Traverse Bay, some nice lake trout were caught near the Buffalo Reef off Gay Point.
Big Traverse River – Anglers have caught coho and steelhead.
Lake Michigamme – Near Champion has good muskie fishing. The fish are hitting on live sucker rigs and Jerk Baits.
Lake Vieux Desert – Muskie here are also hitting on live sucker rigs and Jerk Baits.
Paint Pond – Near Crystal Falls has good muskie action.
Menominee River – Small perch have been caught off the marina pier when using minnows. Steelhead and brown trout are still being caught between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street Dam. Try bright colored spoons such as Cleo’s, yarn or spawn. There are still lots of chinook in the river but the fish are very dark.
Cedar River – Not much to report except for a few walleye at the mouth. Smallmouth bass were caught in the river however they were small.
Little Bay De Noc – Water temperatures remain in the low to mid 50’s. A few walleye have been caught north of the Narrows and up to the head of the Bay when trolling crawlers during the day and switching to stick baits at night. The better fishing remains off the Second and Third Reefs in 10 to 35 feet of water when jigging crawlers. Night anglers are trolling stick baits in 6 to 20 feet of water along the reefs. Fair to good perch action when jigging minnows in 8 to 20 feet of water between Strawberry Island and Butler Island. Northern pike are hitting on spoons and crank baits when trolling north of Saunders Point and near the Escanaba River. Several fish in the 40+ inch range were taken.
Big Bay De Noc – No walleye to report but the smallmouth bass fishing has been good when trolling or drifting minnows between Snake Island and Garden Bluff. Try fishing 16 to 30 feet down along the break.
Marquette – Some nice steelhead and lake trout have been caught by those heading out of the lower launch and staying within five miles of shore while fishing near the lower harbor breakwall, the Carp River and the Chocolay River. No salmon to report. Some have started fishing the lower harbor breakwall for lake trout, steelhead and whitefish. Salmon runs on the Carp River and Dead River are done.
Munising – This is the last report of this season and there is not much to say. All fishing has slowed and the salmon action is pretty much done.
Grand Marais – Boat and shore anglers caught fair numbers of steelhead and some coho when trolling spoons or surfcasting spawn in front of the Sucker River and Carpenter Creek.
St. Mary’s River – Yellow perch fishing is good in 6 to 8 feet of water using minnows in Bay Dewausi of Lake Nicolet in the morning. Smallmouth bass are hitting large shiners in 8 to 12 feet of water around the south end of Sugar Island. Chinook salmon can still be found on the gravel but the numbers are decreasing each week. Steelhead and coho have started to show up but not in big numbers. Atlantic salmon were hitting on body baits. Walleye fishing is still slow.
De Tour – Anglers are trolling and casting firetiger body baits in Maud Bay and around Sweets Point for northern pike.
Drummond Island – Perch are hitting good in and around Peck Island, Ashman Island, Scott Bay and the south end of James Island when using minnows.
Cedarville & Hessel – Northern pike fishing is good all through the Les Cheneaux Islands with only a handful of anglers trolling or casting for them. Look for smallmouth bass along the rocks. Perch are not congregating yet, but anglers are catching good numbers in 4 to 12 feet of water in Government Bay, Musky Bay and the Middle Entrance. Use minnows or crawlers.
Carp River – Those fishing for steelhead reported good results when using spawn or small spoons. Chrome was a good color.