Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 23rd, 2016

Lake St. Clair

Water temperatures were running about 74 degrees in shallow water and 70 out deeper on Lake St. Clair. Smallmouth bass have been caught near the mouth of the Detroit River when casting soft plastics in 10 to 15 feet of water, around the Mile Roads and the stretch near the Clinton River when casting purple or golden shiner tubebaits. Largemouth bass were caught in 6 to 10 feet of water around the Mile Roads. Yellow perch fishing was decent out by the St. Clair Light and Buoy No. 31 in 18 feet of water while still-fishing with perch rigs and emerald shiners. Anglers were moving around a lot  to locate schools of fish. Large muskies were spotted in 4 to 8 feet of water around the spillway near the Clinton River. The  fish weren’t biting much but those who did catch fish reported that bright lures worked best because of the murky water. Bluegills were hitting just outside the canal to Metro Beach Metropark in 10 feet of water.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Irish Hills Area

Fishing is picking up a little. Bluegills are hitting on Devil’s and Wamplers lakes. Crickets have produced the best bites. Bass fishing has been good on Clark, Wamplers and Vineyard lakes. Rubber frogs have been the bait of choice for a lot of successful anglers. The early goose  season has been fair. Bird numbers are down a little in Jackson County.

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

Lake Orion

Fishing has been fair on Lake Orion and fishing pressure has been light. Bass and panfish have kept anglers busy. Minnows and nightcrawlers have produced pretty good action when fished along the weedbeds. Bass fishing has been decent on Lakeville Lake, too. Early goose season has been good, but hunting pressure has been light. The best action has come to those hunting in the mornings in local agriculture fields.

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

Trenton Area

Anglers were starting to catch some decent yellow perch in the Detroit River around Celeron Island and Sugar Island. Those doing the best were using emerald shiners. Anglers jigging with crawlers and minnows have caught a few walleyes. Smallmouth bass can be found throughout the river.

Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Luna Pier Area

Perch fishing remains pretty good on Lake Erie with several anglers reporting limit catches. Anglers are using minnows on perch rigs, crappie rigs and spreaders in 22 to 24 feet of water near Buoys 1  and 2 off the River Raisin, 20 to 23 feet of water near the E-Buoy, and in 23 to 25 feet of water off Stony Point. Perch anglers also caught white perch, freshwater drum and a few walleyes. Shore anglers at Sterling State Park report a good bite for bluegills, largemouth bass and freshwater drum. Nightcrawlers are producing good results for all three species. Shore anglers at the Hoffman Memorial access site on La Plaisance Creek are catching bluegills and sunfish on nightcrawlers and worms fished under a bobber or on a  drop-shot rig. Early goose season has been pretty good, but hunting pressure has been light.

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


Allegan Area

Bluegill fishing has been hot on Great Bear Lake. Anglers fishing in 18 to 22 feet of water report good action when using perch flies and spikes. Bass fishing has been good on Duck and Swan lakes for those tossing a jig-and-pig in the lily pads. Fishing has been relatively slow on the Kalamazoo River. A few skamania steelhead have been caught at the mouth of Swan Creek but very few fresh steelhead or salmon have  moved into the river. There is a ton of turkeys around and hunting should be very good. Early goose season is off to a good start, too.

Webber & Sons Marine and Tackle, (269) 673-6294.

Union Area

Bluegill fishing has been good on Baldwin, Cory and Long lakes. Those fishing red wigglers and crickets just off the breaks report good action. Pike fishing has been fair in the channels on the St. Joe River. Pike minnows fished under a bobber have caught most of the fish. The action should get better as temperatures drop. Walleye fishing is also just starting to heat up on the St. Joe River. Goose numbers are in good shape in Cass County and a lot of locals report seeing good numbers of turkeys.

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

Coldwater Area

Fishing has been slow in Branch County and fishing pressure has been light. Decent numbers of bluegills have been caught on Cory and Gilead lakes in 20 feet of water. Leaf worms and crickets are producing good results. There are geese in the area but hunting pressure has been light. Turkey season should be god.

Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.

Plainwell Area

Bluegills, bass and a few perch are  hitting on Gun Lake and one angler last week caught a 28-inch walleye. Over on Fish Lake, anglers report catching decent numbers of crappies and northern pike while bluegills and walleyes have been caught on Selkirk Lake. Goose hunting has been pretty good for some, not so good for others. The best action has come to those hunting in the agriculture fields. Turkey hunting should be good, too, in Barry and VanBuren counties with a lot of birds around.

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


Saginaw Bay Area

Perch fishing remains good on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. The area between the Saganing Bar and the Pinconning Bar continues to be the perch hot-spot for the inner bay. This area can be accessed from Eagle Bay Marina on the north end or Gambil’s Marina on the south end. Perch were also caught near sailboat Buoy D, the Black Hole, the Spark Plug, northeast of Spoils Island and along the shipping channel near Buoys 18  and 22. Goose hunting has been good on the bay and inland hunters are chasing good numbers of turkeys.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Tows Country Store, (616) 984-5895.

Weidman Area

Fishing action is picking up on lakes in Isabella County and the surrounding area. Walleyes are hitting leeches and minnows in 8 to 10 feet of water on Coldwater Lake and Lake Isabella. Bluegills are hitting worms and crickets on the Martini Chain of Lakes. The early goose season has been fair, but warm weather put a damper on bird movement. Fall turkey season should be good. There are a lot of birds in the area.

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

Grand Haven Area

Boat anglers were catching trout and salmon on Lake Michigan 35 to 100 feet down in 80 to 180 feet of water. Orange, blue and green spoons as well as white or green flies have all produced good results. Pier anglers are catching fair numbers of coho on glow spoons or live bait.

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

Ludington Area

Salmon fishing has been hit or miss on Lake Michigan. The fish are starting to move into Pere Marquete Lake and the Pere Marquett River but the runs have been spotty. A little cold weather and rain will move the fish into the rivers. Pike fishing has been good on Pere Marquette Lake with sucker minnows and stickbaits attracting the most attention. Bluegill fishing has been good on Hamlin Lake when fishing crickets in 20 to 22 feet of water. Goose hunting has been good in the agriculture fields.

Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.


Caseville Area

Walleye fishing remains pretty good on Lake Huron despite a surface water temperature last week of 74 degrees. Anglers fishing in 18 to 25 feet of water northeast of Big Charity Island and off Oak Point report good action, although fishing pressure has been light. The perch bite remains good in 10 feet of water at Heisterman Island, when you can find minnows. Crawlers and worms are working pretty good, too. Goose hunting has been good with a lot local birds being shot. Turkey hunting should be good, too,  with a big flock in the Thumb.

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

Harbor Beach Area

The water was stirred up on Lake Huron, but once it settles back down anglers will want to try 80 to 135 feet of water near the color lines for steelhead. For salmon, try spoons 25 to 90 feet down in 160 feet of water. Lake trout were hitting Dodgers and Spin-N-Glo’s or spoons fished near the bottom in  60 to 120 feet of water. Blue, green, orange and purple were good colors. A few walleyes were taken on spoons, Thunder Sticks and crawler harnesses in 50 to 120 feet of water. Some good-sized bass were being caught by those casting small spinner and bodybaits close to shore.

Frank’s Place Bait & Tackle, (989) 864-5634.

Port Huron

Fishing pressure has been light, but the bite remains good in Lake Huron. Anglers report a good walleye bite above the Blue Water Bridge in 30 to 70 feet of water. Crawler harness and jigs with finesse minnows are producing the best results. Walleyes are hitting in the harbor at Lexington, too. Bass and muskies are keeping anglers busy in the St. Clair River. Goose hunting has been very good in local agriculture fields. The fall turkey season should be good.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


Indian River

Walleye fishing has been decent on Burt Lake and bass fishing has been good on the Indian River, where one angler caught a state record, 9.98-pound smallmouth.

Pat & Gary’s Party Store, (231) 238-6776.

East Jordan Area

Boat fishing was slow on Lake Michigan but some anglers were picking up a couple lake trout, chinook or coho salmon. The lake trout were 100 to 110 feet down and the salmon were 50 to 60 feet down. Spoons and a flasher/fly combos were attracting attention. A few anglers were casting glow spoons for salmon after dark. The weir at Medusa Creek is in place, which means the creek and an area of Lake Michigan in a radius of 100 feet from the mouth of the creek is closed to fishing.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

Chinook and a few coho salmon  have moved into the Boardman River and anglers are dialing in on the fall bite. Salmon skein fished under a bobber has produced a good bite. Perch fishing has been good on Crystal Lake in 45 to 65 feet of water. Minnows and wigglers have been the baits of choice. Smallmouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits in 8 to 12 feet of water in Lake Skegemog.

WildFishing Guide Service,

Frankfort Area

Salmon fishing has been good in Lake Michigan’s Betsie Bay. Pier anglers have caught coho on glow spoons throughout the day. Those heading north to Platte Bay reported good numbers of coho when casting and jigging. Anglers were landing a good number of chinook salmon downstream of the Homestead Dam on the Betsie River. Spawn, spoons, jigs and stickbaits are all catching fish. Most were caught in the slower water and in pools under structure.

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

Wellston Area

Light numbers of salmon have moved into the Big Manistee River, where the water temperature has been in the mid-60s. The early morning bite has been the best with crankbaits, spawn and bobbers producing the best action. Perch and bluegills have been caught on the Backwaters of Tippy Dam, Pine Lake and Bass Lake. Goose hunting has been fair.

Pappy’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 848-4142.


Houghton Lake Area

Fishing has slowed a little on Houghton Lake, but bluegill fishing remains really good. The best action has been in 9 feet of water, 3 to 6 feet down. Walleye fishing has been decent. Those trolling crawler harnesses and leech harnesses along the weeds in 9 to 12 feet of water report good action. Crankbaits are taking a few fish, too. Goose hunting has been pretty good.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Higgins Lake Area

Lake trout fishing remains pretty good on Higgins Lake. Anglers are trolling with spoons and meat rigs right on bottom in 85 to 110 feet of water. Goose hunting has been decent, but hunting pressure has been light. Grouse and woodcock hunting should be good.

Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.

Alpena Area

Salmon fishing has been slow but a few fish are trickling into the Thunder Bay River. Anglers report a few fish in Lake Huron at Rockport, too. Fish are moving in towards shore on Lake Huron. Walleye fishing has been slow. Goose hunting got off to a goods start and bear hunting has been good in the Red Oak unit.

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

Oscoda Area

Salmon are staging in Lake Huron off the mouth of the Au Sable River. Boat anglers and those fishing off the pier reporet catching fair numbers of fish. A few salmon have started to move into the river and the run should improve as temperatures drop. Panfish are hitting in Foote Dam Pond. Goose hunting has been slow.

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


Pickford Area

Those drifting in the St. Mary’s Rapids picked up a few pink salmon when the turbines were off. Most fish were taken on white blade baits and Swedish pimples. Walleye anglers trolling from the Sault Powerhouse down to the Aune-Osborn launch picked up a decent number of walleyes when trolling crawler harnesses or stickbaits inside the rock islands. Anglers fishing in Lake Huron out of Hessel caught smallmouth bass straight out from the Hessel Pier at Haven Island in the early mornings. The better fishing was on the windy days when jigging green and dark brown tube jigs in 4 to 6 feet of water. Those targeting pike found fish in Wilderness Bay when trolling purple and gold crankbaits or red and white spoons just off the weedbeds. Yellow perch fishing was very slow around the Les Cheneaux Islands. Bear hunting got off to a good start.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Perch fishing remains a little slow around Drummond Island. Good numbers of fish have been caught in Maxton Bay in 10 to 12 feet of water but anglers are really having to sort through the fish to find the keepers. Minnows and chunks of nightcrawlers have both caught fish. The water has been about 67 degrees on the surface and the bigger perch usually show up in better numbers when the water starts to cool down to about 62 degrees. Pike fishing has been decent in Maxton and Scotts bays on spoons ans Rapalas.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Perch, walleye, pike and bass have been keeping anglers busy on Big Manistique and South Manistique lakes. Minnows, nightcrawlers and leaf worms have all produced good results. The bear season is off to a fair start. A couple bruins in the 300-pound class have been registered in the area.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Marquette Area

When they can get out, boat anglers on Lake Superior have caught lake trout in 140 to 180 feet of water near the white rocks. Boat anglers fishing the mouth of the Chocolay River caught a few pike but no salmon. Some have reported salmon in the Carp River and the Dead River. Bear hunting has been decent.

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Walleye anglers reported fair catches in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. The better action was still in the southern waters. Fish were caught from Stonington south to the Fingers when trolling crawlers or stickbaits in 18 to 26 feet of water. Anglers near Kipling reported lots of undersized fish caught in 22 feet of water. Several good catches of perch were reported in the Nelson’s Bay area with minnows fished in 7 to 12 feet of water, and fair catches at the mouth of the Escanaba Yacht Harbor along the break. No significant salmon reports for the rivers yet but it won’t be long with the cooler temperatures. Bear hunting got off to a decent start.

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Fishing pressure has been light with heavy rain and high wind keeping anglers off the water. Bass fishing has been good with topwater baits on the Menominee River. Anglers report catching a couple walleyes when fishing nightcrawlers on Peavy Pond. Muskies fishing has been good on the Brule Backwaters, Stanley Lake and the Menominee River. Suckers have been producing a good bite and the action will get even better as the weather and water cools. Grouse numbers look really good this year and there are a lot of turkeys in the area. The bear season is off to a slow start.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.


L’Anse Area

South winds have kept lake trout out in deeper water in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. A few coho showed up 40 to 60 feet down in 120 feet of water around the bay and near Sand Point. A few chinook and brown trout were also caught. Anglers were trolling glow spoons and flasher/fly combos. Bear hunting has been decent.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic fishing remains slow. Anglers continue to use crawlers, leeches and minnows. Some of the best reports have come from anglers working the mud with crawler harnesses and those using leeches in the weed edges. Water surface temps have dropped about 10 degrees in the past week so that should be a good start for the fishing to improve.

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

Iron River Area

Walleyes and perch have kept anglers busy on most of the bigger lakes in the area including Chicagon and Ottawa. Walleyes are hitting crawlers and leeches and the perch have been caught on crawlers and minnows. Northern pike in the 30-plus range have been caught on most lakes in the area including Chicagon, Ottawa and Fortune. Bear hunting has been pretty good.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

More in Fishing Reports