Michigan Weekly Recreational Fishing Report – 11/13/2008

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Michigan Weekly Recreational Fishing Report - 11/13/2008Great Lakes temperature map

Many anglers have now turned their attention to hunting so the reports will start to drop off until ice starts to form. Late fall and early winter is prime time for hungry walleye and spawning whitefish. Cold rain will bring on the better steelhead and brown trout fishing.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie – Shore anglers are taking walleye and perch off the seawall at the field office at Pt. Mouillee. Perch are also being caught off the Metro Park boat launch.

Huron River – Some steelhead are showing up and those fishing up near Flat Rock have caught fish. Look for the steelhead action to pick up if we get some much needed rain and as we move further into the month of November. Anglers are using spawn, Hot-n-Tots, Mepps spinners, Cleo’s or a jig and wax worm.

Detroit River – Perch fishing has been good off Gibraltar when fishing the canals. Anglers are using shiners with perch rigs in 4 to 8 feet of water. Work the weed beds. Walleye action was good for those handlining at night from the Edison Power Plant down the Horse Island. Chartreuse has been a hot color. Walleye were also caught during the day when using a jig and a minnow down around Celeron Island.

Clinton River – Steelhead are in the river but not in big numbers yet.

St. Clair River – Shore anglers up near Port Huron are catching some steelhead and the occasional whitefish. Walleye fishing in the same area has dropped.

Lexington – Has lots of small perch being caught in the harbor. Those willing to sort will find some decent sizes. A few small steelhead are being caught on crawlers and the occasional chinook salmon was also been caught. These must be younger fish as this year’s salmon run has been done for sometime.

Port Sanilac – Has the same mix of fish as Lexington, but not much fishing pressure. Anglers here have also caught a few brown trout.

Kawkawlin River – Had lots of angler activity, more than likely for perch.

Saginaw River – Perch anglers may want to start trying the lower river and the marina basins from now until freeze-up, as this can be the best time to fish for perch.

Quanicassee River – For perch, hit the lower river here and the around the marinas while fishing with minnows.

Sebewaing River – Look for fair to good perch fishing in the lower river.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joe – Pier anglers have caught steelhead. A few whitefish have also been caught just off the bottom when using a single egg on a hook.

St. Joe River – A few more steelhead have started to show up in the lower river. Fair to good walleye action continues below the dam at Niles and Buchanan.

South Haven – Steelhead are there for the taking. Most are now pier fishing or surfcasting.

Saugatuck – Pier anglers have managed to catch the occasional steelhead.

Kalamazoo River – Steelhead are being caught from the mouth up to the Allegan Dam however the better bite seems to be down near the mouth.

Grand River at Grand Rapids – Limits of steelhead have been caught in the center run and at the dam. Those throwing plugs off the bridges have also caught fish. The walleye action has slowed however those using bucktail jigs or drifting crawler harnesses with small blades have managed to catch a couple fish. Crappie can be found in the lagoon at Riverside Park when fishing around the brush piles.

Grand River at Lansing – Still no word on steelhead making it up this far. Try the waters over at Moore’s Park for walleye.

Looking Glass River – Is a good bet for pike action this time of year.

Reeds Lake – Perch and crappie were still hitting but the pike action has slowed.

Muskegon – Pier anglers and those surfcasting are taking some steelhead.

Muskegon River – Steelhead are in the river with the better action in the lower river.

Northern Lower Peninsula

Alpena – Anglers are reminded that the middle of November is the best time to catch whitefish in Lake Huron as the fish start to move in close to shore for spawning. Best places to fish are over the rocky areas, in and around the marinas and off the walls. Use small baits with light line as the fish have a small delicate mouth.

Thunder Bay River – Steelhead are being caught from the mouth up to the Ninth Street Dam. Anglers are drifting spawn, crawlers or small spoons. Walleye are hitting after dark.

Van Etten Lake – A couple anglers are still taking a few perch. Target the waters straight out from the YMCA Camp.

Oscoda – Anglers fishing off the end of the pier have caught steelhead, whitefish and walleye. Catch rates were sporadic.

Au Sable River – Look for more steelhead below the dams especially after the rain.

Tawas – The pike action has slowed however walleye are still hitting after dark. Whitefish action should only pick up as we move further into November. Try a small jig or a plain gold hook with a single egg or wax worm.

Higgins Lake – Only a couple boats are still going out for perch and there has been no brown trout action to speak of.

Houghton Lake – As the walleye target minnows and move in closer to shore, anglers will want to target shallow waters with a jig and a minnow, floating rapalas or small crank baits.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Traverse City – The gales of November have kept the boat anglers on shore. When the winds let up, look for improved whitefish action in waters up to 120 feet deep. Keep with the Swedish Pimples or perch rigs with minnows just off the bottom. Anglers are reminded that lake trout season in the Bay is closed and will not reopen until January 1st, 2009.

Boardman River – Rain is still needed to push more steelhead into the river. A few fish were caught in the early morning or late evening when drifting spawn. Lake trout are also being caught in the river.

Frankfort – Steelhead are being caught off the piers when using fresh spawn. Those surfcasting with spawn or small spoons are also taking fish.

Betsie River – Anglers here are focusing on steelhead but catch rates were still on the slow side. With water levels low and clear, the fish are spooked easily. Try drifting spawn through the deeper holes.

Manistee – Both the pier anglers and those surfcasting have caught fair to good numbers of steelhead. It is just a matter of being there on the right day.

Manistee River – Steelhead fishing is the main game right now. Some fish are being caught however the water is low and clear so most anglers are concentrating on the lower and middle stretches.

Ludington – Pier and shore anglers here are taking some steelhead. They are floating fresh spawn or casting small spoons.

Pere Marquette River – Has low water levels so try fishing the lower stretches.


Lac Vieux Desert – Boat anglers slow trolling or drifting with sucker rigs have caught some nice muskie. Some are also using jerk baits however the sucker rigs seem to catch more fish.

Smokey Lake – In western Iron County is still producing some good muskie action and live sucker rigs have caught the most fish.

Lake Michigamme – Hearty anglers are still taking muskie on sucker rigs.

Paint Pond – Good numbers of nice muskie are being caught here as well.

Menominee River – Cooler wet weather will help to bring more steelhead into the river and increase the brown trout bite.

Little Bay De Noc – Walleye action has picked up at night because of the good water clarity. Fish were caught in 7 feet of water east of the Black Bottom when jigging with minnows. Those trolling stick baits or jigging minnows in 6 to 17 feet of water out near the Second and the Center Reefs caught fish. Those trolling crank baits during the day only caught a few along the reefs near Kipling. Several nice perch including jumbos were also caught when drifting or trolling natural baits in 10 to 15 feet of water near Kipling. Walleye catch rates should only get better in the next few weeks.

Marquette – A few small whitefish and some lake trout are still being caught off the lower harbor breakwall.