Michigan Weekly Fishing Report – 11/6/2008
This is one of the best times of the year to fish for those that do not like crowds. Fishing starts to take a back seat to hunting, so the lakes, rivers, piers, docks, shoreline and more start to open up and still offer good fishing opportunities.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie – Even though the waters have been a bit cloudy, boat anglers have managed to catch a few perch on minnows when fishing out near the turn-around buoy. Bass are still hitting and a few walleye were caught here and there.
Huron River – Steelhead have been caught from the mouth up to the Flat Rock Dam even though water levels are a bit low. Additional rain should push more steelhead into the river. Warmer weather turned up the panfish bite. Bluegills were hitting on wax worms and crappie on minnows.
Detroit River – Perch are still being caught between the mouth and Sugar Island.
Lake St. Clair – Perch are being caught in shallow waters when jigging minnows or trolling perch rigs. Muskie fishing continues to be very good with some very big fish caught. Try trolling near the mouth of the channels as the fish hang out here just waiting for a meal.
Lexington – A few trout and salmon have been caught. Steelhead are hitting on small spoons, crawlers and spawn. The better perch fishing was here but anglers will need to sort out the small ones. Most are using minnows taken right at the harbor.
Port Sanilac – Salmon and trout are being caught here as well. The smaller steelhead are hitting on small spoons such as Cleo’s. Perch are being caught but not in the same numbers as Lexington.
Port Austin – Windy conditions slowed fishing activity. A few perch were caught off the north wall.
Saginaw Bay – There has been perch activity around the shipping channel. Boats were also seen between Spoils Island and the first Spark Plug.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joe – Steelhead have been caught off the piers when floating spawn just off the bottom or when casting small spoons such as Cleo’s.
St. Joe River – Water flows are well above normal for this time of year and the river should provide decent steelhead fishing. Moderate numbers of fish were moving through the fish ladder at Berrien Springs. Fisheries staff conducted an electro-fishing survey near the Jasper Dairy Boat launch which is downstream of Berrien Springs and that turned up about 30 steelhead and a couple salmon. Walleye fishing has been very good at night below the Buchanan Dam and the Niles Dam.
South Haven – Pier anglers are catching steelhead in the early morning or late evening.
Kalamazoo River – Steelhead are being caught from the mouth up to the Allegan Dam. With the warmer temperatures, fish the deeper holes.
Grand Haven – Pier anglers are taking steelhead especially off the north pier. The better fishing has been early or late when using spawn or small spoons.
Grand River at Grand Rapids – Good numbers of steelhead are still being caught at the Sixth Street Dam. Try using small spawn bags or a white jig with a wax worm and fish the deeper holes. Walleye fishing has been good in the early morning or late evening when drifting crawlers or small crank baits. Bucktail jigs are still taking fish off the bridges. Bluegill and crappie action continues to be good throughout the river.
Grand River at Lansing – Steelhead are being caught downriver with some of the best fishing in this area taking place on Prairie Creek in Ionia. Anglers here will want to tap into the excellent walleye and pike fishing. It seems the warm weather has these fish on a fall feeding frenzy.
Reeds Lake – Warm temperatures have the bluegills and the crappie hitting on wax worms and minnows.
Muskegon – Some boats are still out trolling for steelhead. Those surfcasting and the pier anglers are taking fish in the early morning and evening.
Muskegon River – Both shore and boat anglers reported a fair number of salmon still in the river however it is safe to say these fish are beyond ripe. Steelhead are in the river however warm temperatures have slowed the bite.
Norhtern Lower Peninsula
Rogers City – Anglers are still seeing brown trout however the bite has been slow. Try trolling or casting spoons and body baits. The fish should start to become more aggressive in the next week or two.
Thunder Bay River – Steelhead are in the river but the bite was slow. Target the deeper holes until we get some rain. Walleye have been caught at night.
Harrisville – Walleye have been caught in and around the harbor when trolling a crawler harness or body baits at night.
Van Etten Lake – Was producing some good perch action until it warmed up.
Au Sable River – Water levels are holding steady and rain in the forecast should push more fish into the river. Steelhead are being caught below the dams on a single hook and fresh spawn. Some are also using a jig and wax worm. Those trolling rapalas caught some nice walleye.
Tawas – Whitefish have been caught off the East Tawas Dock. Pier anglers are still catching some perch but not like a week ago. Pike and walleye have been caught in the early morning or evening.
Au Gres – Shore anglers are still catching steelhead in the surf off Whitney Drain. The better fishing has been early morning or late evening because of the weather.
Au Gres River – A few perch were caught on minnows down near the mouth. Anglers will have to sort out the small ones.
Higgins Lake – Windy conditions have kept boats off the lake.
Houghton Lake – Very few pike and walleye have been caught when casting stick baits along the shallows at night. It is still a bit early for this fishery.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Traverse City – When boats can get out, anglers have found limited success for whitefish in the East Bay. Try Swedish Pimples or perch rigs with perch minnows just off the bottom in 70 to 120 feet of water.
Boardman River – Rain is needed to push more steelhead into the river. A few fish were caught up near the Union Street Dam in the early morning or late evening.
Lake Leelanau – Light numbers of perch have been caught on minnows.
Big Glen Lake – Perch are being caught however anglers will need to sort out the small ones.
Crystal Lake – Is producing some small perch.
Betsie River – Steelhead are in the river but not in big numbers. The fall runs are triggered by rain and this area of state has not seen much of that. Anglers are hoping to see more fish on the move by this weekend.
Manistee – Those surfcasting off the beach have caught steelhead when using fresh spawn. Pier anglers are also taking fish when using fresh spawn or when casting spoons. Orange has been a hot color.
Manistee River – Has fair steelhead action. Rain by the weekend should help push more fish into the lower stretches. Look for the occasional brown trout in the deeper holes below Tippy Dam.
Ludington – Pier and shore anglers are catching some steelhead on fresh spawn.
Pere Marquette River – Warm weather slowed the steelhead movement. After we get some rain, try spawn under a bobber, a jig and wax worm or small spoons.
Keweenaw Bay – Coho and the occasional steelhead have been caught off the pier in L’Anse. Anglers are taking some coho at the head of the Bay between Baraga and L’Anse. In Traverse Bay, nice lake trout were caught around Buffalo Reef.
Fall’s River – Coho and the occasional steelhead have been caught.
Big Traverse River – Coho and steelhead have been caught on an orange bladed #5 Mepps spinner.
Smokey Lake – In western Iron County is producing some good muskie action. Live sucker rigs seem to work best.
Lake Michigamme – Continues to produce very good muskie action. Boat anglers say live sucker rigs caught the most fish however some are also using jerk baits.
Paint Pond – Good numbers of nice muskie are being caught here as well.
Menominee River – A good number of anglers are trying for steelhead and brown trout. Try bright yarn and a hook, spawn or small spoons. Salmon are still in the river but they are dark and close to the end of their life cycle. Bass fishing has been good.
Cedar River – A few boats are still going out off the mouth after dark. Upstream, anglers have only caught a few smallmouth bass.
Little Bay De Noc – Water temperatures have dropped to the mid 40’s. Most anglers have stayed in the upper parts of the Bay from the “Narrows” north to Garth Point. Catch rates were spotty in 10 to 25 feet of water along the reefs when trolling crank baits or crawlers. A few fish were caught from Hunters Point north the Vagabond Resort. Those trolling stick baits at night took fish in about 12 feet of water just off the Second Reef. It appears the fall migration into the Bay has been delayed possibly because of warmer than normal water temperatures. Several nice perch were caught over the last week when jigging minnows in 8 to 25 feet of water near the First Reef. Those jigging minnows and crawlers in 25 feet of water near the Gladstone Beach also caught fish. The next couple of weeks should prove to be good ones as water temperatures drop.
Marquette – Pretty much the only fishing over the last week has been off the lower harbor breakwall. Anglers are fishing the very end of it for lake trout and the middle for whitefish. Catch rates for whitefish were good however the fish were small.
Manistique River – The salmon run is over however a few walleye were caught.
St. Mary’s River – Perch were still being caught on minnows and the smallmouth bass fishing was good around the islands. Steelhead and coho have been caught with the better action in the early morning or evening. Those slow trolling with body baits have caught atlantic salmon.
De Tour – Pike are still hitting in the bays and around the points.