Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 27, 2017

 SOUTHEASTERN LOWER

Lake St. Clair

Those able to get out on Lake St. Clair had a difficult time locating perch and catch rates were poor. The few caught were taken while drifting worms off the bottom. The smallmouth bite was slow as well but a couple were caught around Grass Island or in the channels of the river. Jerkbaits seem to work best. Walleye catches were up and down. The turbid water near the Middle Channel and the shipping channel produced some large fish but no big numbers. Most were using a dark colored nightcrawler harness or a jig with a crawler. Waterfowl hunting has been good.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Irish Hills Area

Largemouth bass are hitting on Wamplers Lake. Those casting crankbaits in 4 to 5 feet of water or spinners in 8 to 12 feet of water report good action. The top-water bite was hot and producing a good number of fish, as well. A few crappie were caught on tube baits in the shallow weedbeds. Waterfowl hunting has been fair, but warm weather isn’t helping. Cooler temperatures should move some birds. Bowhunting has been fair. Bucks are rubbing and scraping.

Knutson’s Sporting Goods, (800) 292-0857 or (517) 592-2786.

Lake Orion

Deer hunting has slowed some in northern Oakland County. Bucks are starting to rub and scrape and break out of their bachelor groups. The action should heat up in the coming weeks. Squirrel hunting has been pretty good at Bald Mountain and waterfowlers report fair gunning. Fishing pressure has been pretty light. A few panfish have been caught on East Graham and West Graham lakes. Bass fishing remains pretty good on Lake Orion where fish are hitting top-water baits, crankbaits and plastics fished along the weeds and in the shallows early and late in the day. Lakeville Lake is also producing some good bass and pike fishing.

Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.

Luna Pier Area

Anglers on Lake Erie’s Western Basin are catching limits of perch near the Fermi Plant but they’re putting in a lot of time. Ohio waters are producing good action, too. Shiners seem to work better than mud minnows. On the Huron River, steelhead are starting to show up and anglers report catching a few small fish near the mouth of the river. Waterfowl hunting has been decent and will improve as cooler weather – and more ducks – move in.

Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Union Area

The St. Joseph River has been a little high, but anglers there reported catching good numbers of browns, cohos and steelhead. There are still a few kings in the river, too. A few perch and bluegills have been caught on Baldwin, Juno and Shavehead lakes. The archery deer season has been fair but should improve. Bucks are rubbing. Farmers are harvesting the beans and corn will be next.

Halls Bait and Tackle, (269) 641-2304.

Grand Rapids Area

The Grand River has produced a good number of steelhead now that the water levels are back up. Anglers were still taking some chrome cohos as well. Most were using spawn, beads or flies. Good numbers of steelhead in the lower end of the Rogue River, too. Jigheads with hair or feathers or a plain jig with a couple wax worms have produced good results.

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

Plainwell Area

Deer hunting has been pretty good but hunting pressure has been light with warm temperatures, high wind and heavy rain keeping hunters inside. Bucks are scraping and hunters report that deer numbers are starting to come back. Fishing pressure has been light. Decent numbers of perch and walleyes have been caught on Gun Lake. A few crappies and smallmouth bass have been caught, too. Crops are coming down.

Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

Fall temps are back and the perch fishing on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay is starting to heat up once again. The best reports have been coming in from anglers fishing in 6 to 10 feet of water from Linwood north with limit catches of 8-inch fish and bigger being taken daily. If the weather continues to cool down the perch should be in the cuts and marinas in no time. Not much happening on the walleye side of things but the fall fishing out on the Saginaw Bay is second to none. Most anglers have deer on the brain so walleye are somewhat forgotten. Deer hunting has been good and bucks are rubbing. Crops are coming down at a good pace.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Baldwin Area

The salmon run is winding down on the Pere Marquette River but there are still some fish to be caught. The steelhead bite is improving as fresh fish move into the river. Spawn, egg patterns, beads and spoons have all produced good results. A few bluegills are being caught in 14 to 20 feet of water on Idlewild and Big Bass lakes. Grouse hunting has been fair and hunters are starting to pick up a few woodcock. Bowhunting has been decent so far, but hunting pressure has been light. Deer numbers are in pretty good shape, but coyote numbers are up.

Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.

Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.

Lansing Area

Northern pike and smallmouth bass are hitting on the Grand River below the dams. The crappie bite was good below the dam in Dimondale. In north Lansing, a few coho and decent numbers of walleyes have been caught below the dam. A couple of steelhead were spotted at the Webber Dam. Morrison Lake is producing fair to good perch and crappie fishing. Bowhunting has been fair.

Grand River Bait & Tackle, (517) 482-4461.

Weidman Area

Fishing has been slow and fishing pressure light. A few bluegills are being caught on Lake Isabella and the Martini Chain of Lakes. Deer hunting improved a little and bucks are rubbing and scraping. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been slow, there was still a lot of green in the woods. Duck hunting has been good, but pressure has been light.

Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.

Grand Haven Area

Pier anglers on Lake Michigan report a slow bite for steelhead, but action could improve any day as the weather cools. White perch and channel cats were being caught on minnows. Deer hunting has slowed, but bucks are starting to rub. Waterfowl hunting has been steady.

Lakeview Marine & Tackle, (616) 842-2770.

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Waterfowl hunting has been very good now that the weather has cooled. Flights should start arriving soon. Deer hunting has been good and corn is about 50 percent harvested. Bucks are rubbing and scraping. Fall turkey hunting has been good. There are a lot of turkeys in the Thumb. Walleye fishing has been pretty good in Lake Huron for anglers fishing off the breakwalls and piers. Overall, fishing pressure has been light and most anglers have put their boats away.

Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.

Port Huron

Bowhunting has been slow, but activity is starting to improve. Bucks are rubbing and breaking out of their bachelor groups. Walleye fishing has improved at the mouth of Lake Huron and the top of the St. Clair River. Those jigging and drifting crawler harnesses report a good bite. Anglers fishing in Lexington Harbor reported catching good numbers of Atlantic salmon and light numbers of steelhead.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

The bow season is off to a good start. Leaves are starting to fall and color was about 25 percent. Waterfowl hunting has been good. There are a lot of local birds around and tons of geese. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been good and will improve as more leaves fall. A few woodcock are starting to trickle through. Fishing pressure has been light. Perch fishing has slowed some. Good action has been reported by anglers on Burt Lake. Anglers on Lake Charlevoix are waiting for the perch to school. Coho salmon fishing remains pretty good in the Bear and Boyne rivers. A few steelhead are starting to move upstream, too. Very good muskie fishing has been reported on the Bellaire Chain of Lakes including Six Mile and Lake Saint Claire. 

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

Pretty good numbers of steelhead are moving into the Big Manistee, Platte, Betsie, Elk and Boardman river and fishing has been good. Perch fishing has been very good in East and West Grand Traverse Bay and especially Sutton Bay. Fish have been caught on minnows, wigglers and chunks of crawlers fished in 40 to 70 feet of water. Leaves are at about 50 percent color and few have fallen. Bird numbers are down and there seems to be more woodcock than grouse. Bowhunting has been decent and a few big bucks have been taken. Bucks are breaking out of their bachelor groups and starting to rub.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.

Manistee Area

Surface temperature on Lake Michigan were running about 60 degrees. The dock is still in at the ramp but the fish-cleaning station is closed. Coho and steelhead were caught on spawn by shore and pier anglers. Decent numbers of steelhead have moved into the Big Manistee River. Bucks are rubbing.

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.

Cadillac Area

Fishing pressure has been light. Good numbers of crappies are hitting on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. The fish are scattered. Some have been caught shallow and others have been caught deep. The archery deer season has been slow with warm weather keeping hunters out of the woods. A few decent bucks have been taken. Bucks are starting to rub and scrape and break out of their bachelor groups. Woodcock hunting has been very good. Waterfowl hunting has also been pretty good.

Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.

NORTHEASTERN LP

Rogers City Area

Anglers can still catch a mixed bag of younger chinook, coho, steelhead, Atlantics and walleyes in Lake Huron. Fish the entire column in 60 to 90 feet of water with spoons. Good colors were blue, orange, silver, black and white, or glow fished early and late. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been fair and will improve as the leaves continue to fall. The archery deer season has been fair and also should improve as more fall-like temperatures settle in. Bucks are starting to rub and scrape.

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Hubbard Lake Area

Perch fishing has been good on Hubbard Lake. Those fishing with chunks of nightcrawlers in 10 to 15 feet of water report very good action. Leaves are turning color and some green leaves have fallen. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been decent, but will improve as more leaves fall. Bowhunting pressure has been light, and hunting has been fair. Deer numbers appear to be increasing. Bucks are rubbing and scraping.

Side Door Bait and Tackle, (989) 736-6418.

Alpena Area

Chinook salmon, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and a few small steelhead continue to be caught at the Ninth Street Dam on the Thunder Bay River. Spoons, spinners, crankbaits, spawn bags and skein have all produced good action. Some of the chinook being caught last week were still in fairly decent shape. Waterfowl hunting has been good with local birds making up the majority of the bags. The archery season has slowed a little, but should improve as temperatures cool and the rut approaches.

Clem’s Live Bait & Tackle, (989) 354-2070.

Oscoda Area

Pier anglers casting stickbaits on Lake Huron are catching walleyes in the early mornings or evenings. Channel cats are being taken by those still-fishing crawlers near the mouth of the Au Sable River in the evening. Smallmouth bass are hitting jigs and crankbaits in the lake. A few rock bass and smallmouth bass have been caught on crawlers. Steelhead along with a couple of chinook and Atlantic salmon have been caught in the Au Sable River by those casting spoons and spinners or drifting spawn bags and skein. Try the area between Foote Dam and the Whirlpool Access Site. Northern pike and smallmouth bass have been caught in the lower river. Waterfowl hunting has been good and will improve as flight birds begin arriving. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been fair. Bucks are rubbing.

Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Catch rates for perch have been very low throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands in northern Lake Huron. Those caught were taken on worms and shiners. The surface water temperature was 58 degrees. At Hessel, pike were caught by pier anglers using large chubs or a chrome spoon with a red eye. Early morning and late afternoon were best. Grouse hunting has been pretty good. Duck hunters report good gunning, too, but are waiting for fresh birds to come down from the north. Bucks are rubbing and scraping.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Those targeting yellow perch in the waters around Drummond Island reported catching some limits, although they were sorting to find the keepers. Water temperatures in Potagannissing Bay were still in the mid 60s and too warm for the jumbo perch to move in. Most are drifting small minnows near the bottom. The schools have moved to shallow waters and can be found in 8 to 13 feet in Maxton Bay near Sportsmen’s Club Point, James Island and Ashman Island, or in Scotts Bay near Rutland and Peck islands. Leaves are starting to fall and bird hunting should improve. Bucks are rubbing. Waterfowl hunting has been spotty but should improve when the flight birds arrive.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Pike and walleye fishing remains pretty good on Manistique Lakes and anglers report catching decent numbers of perch and bluegills, too. Leaves are starting to fall. Grouse and woodcock hunting should get better as visibility in the woods improves. Deer numbers remain fairly low. Bucks are breaking out of their bachelor groups.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Marquette Area

Those able to get out on Lake Superior’s Marquette Harbor reported slow catch rates with only a few lake trout taken in shallow waters. River fishing has been fair. Most are still waiting on a big push of coho. The Dead River still has some chinook and a few pink salmon but the fish are very dark. No word on coho yet. The Carp and the Chocolay rivers are producing a light number of coho. Leaves are turning in the grouse woods, but only about 25 percent have fallen. Bucks are rubbing and scraping

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

A few walleyes were caught on Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc near Kipling when jigging minnows in 18 to 30 feet of water. Anglers also report catching fish at the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling a crawler harness or stickbait along the weeds in 20 feet of water. Perch catches were good at the mouth of the river with minnows fished in 20 to 30 feet of water. The best action was between the First and Second reefs and near Kipling in 18 to 30 feet of water. Good pike action has been reported along the coal piles in Gladstone. Spoons and crankbaits fished in 12 to 18 feet of water have produced a good bite. Bass anglers struggled to find fish but those that did caught several nice ones between Hunters Point and the south end of the Black Bottom. Try plastics, jigs or spinners in 12 to 20 feet of water. Grouse and waterfowl hunting have been fair. Cooler weather is sure to heat up the action. Bucks are rubbing.

Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.

BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.

Menominee Area

The Menominee River has been producing some walleye action between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street Dam. Live bait and plastics are both producing good results. Chinook salmon, brown trout and light numbers of steelhead are also in the river. Deer hunting has been fair, but bucks are starting to rub. Waterfowl hunting has been best on the cool, wet, windy days. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been fair. Leaves are late to fall.

Waterfront Sport Shop, (906) (906) 424-4108.

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

The bear hunting season has been pretty good so far, but has slowed recently. Deer hunting has been pretty good and deer numbers appear to be on the rise. Bucks are rubbing and scraping and breaking out of their bachelor groups. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been pretty good. Bird numbers are up. Leaf colors are peaking and about 30 percent had fallen as of last week. Goose hunting has been very good. Good numbers of brown trout, coho, kings, steelhead and splake have been caught on the Falls River.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic fishing has improved slowly. Some good catches of walleyes are coming to anglers fishing in 24 to 28 feet of water. Those trolling stickbaits report the best action. Shore and weedline anglers are reporting better action as well when using minnows. Smallmouth bass continue to provide action on steep breaks and hard bottom areas. Fall colors have reached peak and leaves are falling. Grouse hunters are working hard for a few birds and woodcock migration has not yet arrived. Waterfowlers are reporting good activity.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.

Iron River Area

Bear hunting has been good, but activity is slowing down as the season draws to a close. The bowhunting season has been fair and deer numbers are up. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been fair, too, but bird numbers appear to be down a little. Fishing pressure has been light. Pike and walleyes are keeping anglers busy on most of the larger lakes in the area including Chicagon, Fortune and Ottawa. Perch are starting to bite, too. The smallmouth bass bite has been very good.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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