Michigan Weekly Recreational Fishing Report – 11/20/2008

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Michigan Weekly Recreational Fishing Report - 11/20/2008Great Lakes temperature map

Angler numbers continue to drop around the state as many pursue the open hunting seasons or kick back and wait for the onset of ice fishing season. Walleye and pike continue to feed around the state and the whitefish action improves daily.


Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie – Shore anglers continue to catch walleye and perch off Stony Point, Metro Park and Pt. Mouillee. Try jigs or perch rigs with minnows.

Huron River – Water levels are up and steelhead are being caught between Rockwood and Flat Rock. Most are using a jig and wax worm above the dam and spawn or crank baits below. The backwaters are still providing some decent crappie and bluegill action.

Detroit River – Shore anglers are catching perch in the cuts and canals and off the docks at Gibraltar and around the southern tip of Grosse Ile. Most are using shiners. Walleye can still be found off the Edison Power Plant and around the islands.

Clinton River – As more steelhead move into the river, one of the better spots to fish is up around Ryan Road. Try spawn, flies or even small spoons.

St. Clair River – Shore anglers fishing off the wall up at Port Huron were taking some steelhead. For whitefish, try a single egg on a small hook during the day or at night try jigging small spoons off the wall.

Lexington – Steelhead and perch are still being caught however the fish are running on the small side.

Saginaw Bay – Both the perch and walleye anglers are heading out when the weather permits. Perch anglers are fishing off Linwood, near the shipping channel and the first Spark Plug.

Saginaw River – Perch anglers using minnows in the lower river have caught some fish. Those willing to sort out the small ones should get enough for a meal.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joe – Pier anglers are taking steelhead when using spawn or spoons. Orange and pink have been good colors. Whitefish are also being caught. The best bait is a single egg on a hook.

St. Joe River – Both shore and boat anglers have caught steelhead up near the Berrien Springs Dam. A few walleye are still being caught at night when fishing below the dams.

Kalamazoo River – Steelhead are being caught from the mouth up to the Allegan Dam however the better bite continues to be in the lower river. Those trolling are using plugs and shore anglers are floating spawn.

Grand River at Grand Rapids – Boat and shore anglers are taking steelhead when bouncing spawn bags, floating small white jigs tipped with a few wax worms or when using an orange Mepps spinner. Boats trolling planer boards above the Fulton Street Bridge have caught steelhead and walleye on blue and chrome Hot-n-Tots with a red bill. Those handlining off the Fulton Street Bridge are using chartreuse Hot-n-Tots while others are back trolling with spawn. Crappie and other panfish have been caught in the lagoon at Riverside Park and off the East Wall.

Grand River at Lansing – No anglers means no report. No word on steelhead but there should be some walleye over at Moore’s Park. Pike anglers might want to try above or below the dams.

Muskegon – Pier anglers floating spawn are taking steelhead. Whitefish are in the channel and those fishing after dark have done well when jigging spoons off the wall.

Muskegon Lake – Perch are being caught in the deeper holes on both the north and the south ends of the lake. Good walleye action at night.

Muskegon River – Water levels are low so the better steelhead fishing has been in the lower river. Most are using spawn or crank baits.

Northern Lower Peninsula

Alpena – This is the peak for whitefish in Lake Huron. For those who have not put their boats away for the winter, large numbers of whitefish are on the reefs in Thunder Bay, particularly off the end of Partridge Point and on the Grass Island reefs. Most are being caught on wax worms, spawn, or small minnows however the whitefish have now added the round goby to their diets so small lures can also catch fish. Catch rates should only get better through the first week of December. Most fish are in the 3-4 pound range but the occasional 6-8 pound fish has been caught.

Thunder Bay River – Look for steelhead and whitefish below the Ninth Street Dam.

Au Sable River – Look for more steelhead between the mouth and the dams. Anglers report fair to good catch rates just below the Foote Dam when using spawn or wax worms. The mouth is usually one of the hot spots for whitefish. Try a single egg or wax worm.

Tawas – The best spot here for whitefish is off the pier. Try using wax worms, spawn, small minnows or small lures that resemble the goby as they have become part of the diet. Catch rates should be good through the next two weeks or so.

Au Gres River – Those fishing the East Branch have caught steelhead and the occasional brown trout near the Singing Bridge. The better fishing takes place on those windy overcast days.

Higgins Lake – A few boats are trolling for brown trout between the Conference Center and the boat launch on the north side of the lake and along the drop-off on the west side. Try using body baits, rapalas or spoons.

Houghton Lake – A couple anglers are still heading out for walleye in the evening but most have moved on to fishing Saginaw Bay. Shoreline ice has started to form.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Burt Lake – Not many, but a few anglers are still targeting and catching walleye in the early morning or late evening in waters about 8 feet deep. Perch are also there, but scattered.

Traverse City – Boats will target whitefish in waters 100 to 120 feet deep. Try Swedish Pimples or perch rigs with minnows just off the bottom. Perch anglers are fishing the bottom half of waters 45 to 65 feet deep.

Boardman River – Water levels are low so steelhead anglers are fishing right at the mouth. Most are floating spawn in the early morning or late evening.

Portage Lake – Although not too many people are doing it, trolling for walleye can be very good this time of year as the adult walleyes typically feed aggressively.

Manistee – Pier and surf anglers continue to do well on steelhead.

Manistee Lake – Is another good lake for late fall early winter walleye fishing. Try trolling along the drop-offs or the humps especially after dark.

Manistee River – Decent numbers of steelhead are being caught in the lower river. There are a few fish further upstream but the low clear waters have made it difficult to catch them.

Ludington – Pier and shore anglers are finding fish as they seem to be congregating in the deeper waters. They are floating fresh spawn or wax worms under a bobber.

Pere Marquette River – Steelhead are being caught in the lower stretches of the river where water levels are higher. Spawn has been the best bait.


Menominee River – Water levels are low enough that rocks can easily be seen sticking out of the water. A few walleye have been caught up near the Hattie Street Bridge. Rumor has it some whitefish have been caught after dark when using yarn or a single egg. Green and chartreuse have been good colors however it is always a good idea to take along a variety of colors.

Little Bay De Noc – Walleye anglers are still taking fish in the shallows at night. Most are jigging with minnows. A few boats are still out trolling around the Second and Center Reefs. The better perch fishing continues to be off Kipling when trolling or drifting minnows in waters 10 to 15 feet deep.

Marquette – Those fishing off the breakwall in the Lower Harbor are still taking whitefish and the occasional lake trout. The ore docks in the Upper Harbor also provide good open water fishing before the ice starts to move in.