Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 15, 2017


Lake St. Clair

Walleye fishing has been sporadic on Lake St. Clair with anglers either doing exceptionally well or nothing at all. Those fishing around Harsens Island and the Lake St. Clair Metropark have reported the better catches. Bright colored crawler harnesses with green, yellow, and purple gave a lot of folks the edge. Same story with the yellow perch as anglers were doing very well or getting none. Smallmouth bass fishing was steady off the mile roads, along the southern portion of the lake, a mile or two out from the Clinton River spillway and in the North Channel. Early goose hunting has been good.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Irish Hills Area

Bass and a few nice pike have been caught on Wamplers Lake by anglers casting crankbaits in 8 to 10 feet of water. Panfish were caught on the west end in 6 to 8 feet of water when drifting or still-fishing with worms. Over on Sand Lake, largemouth bass were caught while casting frogs in water less than a foot deep. Bass were also caught around the docks and rafts. Panfish were caught by anglers drifting a crawler harness in 6 to 8 feet of water and crappies were hitting artificial baits and minnows fished in 10 to 15 feet of water. The early goose season got off to a fair start.

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

Luna Pier Area

Anglers on Lake Erie continue to catch yellow perch off the mouth of the River Raisin, off Pointe Mouillee and near the lake Erie Metropark. A couple of walleye were caught in 23 to 25 feet of water off Stony Point. Goose hunting has been decent.

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


Kalamazoo Area

Bluegills can be found in larger schools in 18 to 24 feet of water suspended 12 to 14 feet down. Slip-bobbers with small chunks of nightcrawlers have been working the best. Ron and Marilyn Stafford had a nice catch of ‘gills at Portage Lake on Labor Day. Lots of bass are also being caught and northern pike are on the fall feed on most lakes in the area.

D and R Sports, (269) 372-2277.

Grand Rapids Area

All of the fish ladders on the Grand River are open. DNR staff saw coho at the Sixth Street Dam late last week. Anglers have reported catching a few coho.

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

Plainwell Area

Fishing has been slow on Gun Lake. A few walleyes have been caught but most anglers are waiting for the fall bite to heat up. Bluegills have been caught in the shallows and over deeper water, but the fish are scattered and anglers are having to work for each fish caught. Crappies are hitting minnows on Pine and Payne lakes. Goose hunting has been very good.

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


Saginaw Bay Area

Decent numbers of perch have been caught in Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. A few were taken near the sailboat buoys but anglers were working hard to get them. Perch fishing was spotty off Quanicassee. Those that moved around did better. Catfish can still be found near the Hot Ponds. Those trolling for walleye got a few fish out at the Slot and beyond the Sand Bar from Oakhurst to Sunset Bay Marina. The best action came to those fishing in 12 to 20 feet of water. Crawler harness with bright colored spinners worked best. The early goose and teal seasons have been good.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Baldwin Area

Good numbers of big salmon have moved into the Pere Marquette River. Those fishing egg-pattern flies, fresh spawn or crankbaits report good action. Trout fishing has been decent on local streams with nightcrawlers producing the best bite. Bluegills are hitting crickets, leaf worms and wax worms on Big Star, Idlewild, Big Bass and Leverance lakes.

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

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

Grand Haven Area

Salmon action has slowed a little on Lake Michigan. A few fish were caught by those trolling glow plugs near the piers or green and blue spoons or green flies 60 to 120 feet down in 80 to 160 feet of water. Pier fishing has also been slow with only the odd coho caught on gizzard shad or while casting glow spoons.

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

Ludington Area

Fishing has slowed a little on Lake Michigan. Light numbers of salmon and steelhead have been caught between the piers and 200 feet of water. Those fishing out deeper did best 60 to 100 feet down with spoons or j-plugs. Pier fishing has been slow. Salmon are moving into the Pere Marquette River and anglers there are dialing in. Down at Pentwater, a few chinook have been caught by those trolling 20 to 50 feet down in 35 to 80 feet of water in the early mornings. Spoons, plugs or paddles and flies have produced the best action. Pier anglers have caught smallmouth bass when casting bodybaits or still-fishing with live bait in the channel. Early season goose hunting has been pretty good.

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


Caseville Area

Fishing has slowed a little on Lake Huron at Caseville. High winds and lots of rain have kept fishing pressure to a minimum. Light numbers of walleyes have been caught in 20 feet of water north of the Sand Point water tower. Crawler harnesses are producing the best action. Goose hunting has been very good. There are a ton of birds in the area.

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

Harbor Beach Area

Lake trout are hitting in Lake Huron in 105 to 160 feet of water, straight out and north of the harbor. Dodgers with Spin-N-Glos and spoons have worked best. Best colors were black, or a green and white with pink dots. A couple of steelhead were taken out near the mud lines. Try the top 60 feet with bright green, yellow and orange spoons. Walleyes continue to be taken in the same area with spoons and worm burners.

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

Port Huron

Fair numbers of steelhead and Atlantic salmon and a few king salmon are moving into shallow water at the south end of Lake Huron and into the St. Clair River and anglers are dialing in. Those hand-lining in the river at night report a decent walleye bite. Early Canada goose season has been pretty good.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


Indian River

Walleye fishing has been decent on the Indian River and at the mouth of the river on Burt Lake. The best action has been late at night – after midnight. Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair on Burt and Mullett lakes. Perch fishing has been fair and the fall bite is just starting. Decent numbers of steelhead are hitting Sturgeon River.

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

East Jordan Area

Salmon fishing has been good in Lake Michigan at Charlevoix but the fish are moving in and out. Flies and flashers seem to be doing the best. Bear, Boyne and Jordan rovers have pretty god numbers of salmon. On Lake Charlevoix, salmon are staging off Advant before heading up the Boyne River. Goose hunting has been pretty good.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

Salmon fishing has been pretty good in East and West Grand Traverse Bays. Anglers trolling with flashers and flies or j-plugs are catching good numbers of fish. A good lake trout bite has been found in the bays, too, in 130 to 200 feet of water. Anglers are reminded that lake trout fishing ends in on Sept. 30 in Grand Traverse Bay. South Lake Leelanau has been producing good numbers of walleyes in waters up to 15 feet deep. Jigs tipped with soft plastics have produced good results when fished along the weeds. Perch fishing has been fair on Crystal Lake in 35 to 65 feet of water.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.

Cadillac Area

Bass fishing has been very good on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, soft plastics and live bait are all producing good results. Bluegill and crappie fishing has been good on Cadillac and Mitchell, too. Light numbers of walleyes have come to the net and the action should improve within the next couple of weeks. Salmon are moving into the Betsie and Manistee rivers.

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


Rogers City Area

Chinook salmon fishing was decent on Lake Huron with most boats getting one to three fish throughout the water column in 40 to 80 feet of water. Try spoons dodgers, Hootchie Mammas, flashers and j-plugs. Good colors were green, purple, blue, silver, black and white. Most were caught south of the harbor between Calcite and Adams Point but those fishing to the north caught a mixed bag of chinook, coho, lake trout, walleye and steelhead in 45 to 120 feet of water.

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Houghton Lake Area

A few walleye have been caught on Houghton Lake by anglers trolling a nightcrawler harness or drifting a crawler in 9 to 12 feet of water. The key is to keep the bait moving. Only a few bass were caught as the fish were not quite as active in the cooler weather. Crappie fishing was hit-or-miss but bluegills were hitting leaf worms and wax worms in the holes along the weedbeds.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Higgins Lake Area

Lake trout anglers continue to do well on Higgins Lake when fishing just off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet of water. No perch reports this week but lots of rock bass are still being caught along the drop-off. The smallmouth bass bite has been good, too.

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

Oscoda Area

Lake trout fishing has been good on Lake Huron near the bottom in 110 to 160 feet of water. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon were hitting in the top 30 feet. Try spoons, meat rigs or Spin-N-Glos. A few chinook were caught at the mouth of the Au Sable River in 24 feet of water. Pier anglers casting jerkbaits and stickbaits caught walleye in the early mornings. Light numbers of walleyes have been caught near the mouth of the Au Sable in the mornings or evenings by anglers drifting nightcrawlers or casting stickbaits, crankbaits and small spoons. Smallmouth bass were hitting crankbaits and small jigs as well as crawlers drifted along the bottom. Pike were hitting crankbaits in the slow waters of the lower river.

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


Pickford Area

Walleye fishing picked up on Lake George with fish taken in 9 to 12 feet of water on the north end of the lake. A few walleyes have been caught in Munuscong Bay and Raber Bay. The best action has been in the early mornings by anglers trolling deep-diving stickbaits or crankbaits in 12 to 17 feet of water. Perch action has picked up in Raber Bay. Anglers are finding pockets of 9- to 12-inch fish along the weedbeds in 10 to 18 feet of water. Those drifting perch rigs and crawler harnesses just over the top of the deep weeds report the best bites. Good colors were fire-tiger, perch, green and purple.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

A few walleyes have been caught by anglers trolling deep-diving stickbaits in Scotts Bay near Peck Island. Some nice pike were taken trolling spoons and shallow-running stickbaits over the top of the weedbeds in Maxton and Scotts bays. A few nice perch were caught by anglers drifting crawlers along the weedbeds in Scotts Bay but most are still waiting for the fall bite to really kick in.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Fishing remains steady on Manistique Lakes with good reports of walleyes, perch, pike and bass being caught.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Marquette Area

A mix of lake trout, coho, steelhead and a few chinook have been caught in Lake Superior’s Marquette Harbor, 50 to 60 feet down near the white rocks and between the Upper and Lower harbors. Most were using downriggers with three to five colors of lead core. A few salmon were caught in the Carp and the Chocolay rivers.

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Anglers reported catching a few walleyes in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay De Noc in 12 to 14 feet of water. Those fishing off Breezy Point and near Round Island reported a decent bite in 10 to 18 feet of water. Most were trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses. Windy conditions kept many from heading south to Seagull Point but when they could, fish were caught by those trolling crankbaits in 15 to 25 feet of water. Perch catches were also down with most fishing crawlers in 10 to 18 feet of water from the Day’s River south to the Narrows. Pike were very active throughout the bay. Smallmouth bass have been caught near Round Island and the east side of the Black Bottom when trolling crankbaits in 12 to 20 feet of water and inside the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when casting crankbaits, spinners or plastics. Salmon are starting to show up in the Ford River.

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Rain put a damper on fishing recently. The Paint River is producing good numbers of muskies, northern pike and some really nice bass. The Menominee River is producing some decent walleye action. Trout fishing has been good when anglers can beat the high, fast-moving water.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.


L’Anse Area

Fishing remains pretty good in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. The walleye bite has slowed but coho, lake trout and steelhead are keeping anglers busy. Recent rains have left rivers high and fast, but trout anglers report good action. Brookies, browns and rainbows have been caught in the Huron River.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Fishing has been slow on Lake Gogebic. Smallmouth action remains fair with anglers targeting hard-bottom areas and break lines with artificials and sucker minnows. A few nice perch have been taken with crawlers fished along the weeds in 8 to 12 feet of water. The walleye bite has been mainly on crawlers and leeches. Anglers working sucker minnows during the low light times report the best action.

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

Iron River Area

Bass are active on most lakes in the area as fall patterns begin to set in. Walleyes are hitting on the Brule and Iron rivers, but a lot of small fish have been caught. Peavy Pond is producing good perch and northern pike action as is Chicagon and Emily. Walleyes, northern pike and black crappies are keeping anglers busy on the Michigamme Reservoir.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

Categories: Michigan Fishing Reports, News

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