Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 13, 2017


Lake St. Clair

Perch were being caught with minnows on Lake St. Clair. Those fishing in 17 feet of water near Grassy Island did very well. The perch action was spotty but a few decent catches were reported near Selfridge and the 400 Club on minnows and crawlers fished in 7 to 8 feet of water. The largemouth and the smallmouth bass action was not good. Muskie anglers did not have much luck either, but the action should pick up with cooling temperatures.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Irish Hills Area

Fishing activity has been slow on Wamplers Lake. Panfish were caught by those anchored and using a worm in waters up to 5 feet deep. Archery deer season got off to a good start in Jackson County before a heat wave arrived and chased hunters out of the woods.

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

Trenton Area

Some decent sized yellow perch were caught on the Detroit River around the islands. A few walleye were caught at the mouth and the south end of Grosse Ile with a jig and crawler or when trolling a crawler harness. Bass fishing has been good with some large fish taken on tube baits or when drop-shotting.

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

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Luna Pier Area

Anglers report a good perch bite on Lake Erie, especially early in the mornings. Hot spots were the E Buoy outside of Bolles Harbor, north of Buoys 1 and 2 up to Fermi, and about a half-mile out from Stony Point. Those drifting because of strong winds did well with minnows on perch rigs along the bottom. Those targeting walleye did best when trolling or casting.

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


Coldwater Area

Gillead Lake is producing good action for bluegills and the perch are finally starting to turn on. The archery deer season got off to a warm start. The opener was cool, but recent summer-like temperatures have kept many hunters from the field. Fall turkey hunting has been good but hunting pressure has been light.

Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.

Kalamazoo Area

Bass, bluegills and pike are being reported from Long Lake, Barton Lake and Portage Lake. Bluegills are schooling in 16 to 20 feet of water. However, they are roaming and tend to come and go from one location to another. A few anglers were having success using Bo’s Bluegill Busters working between two marker buoys and catching fish on each pass. Pike are being caught on most area lakes right now. Small perch or bluegills suspended under a slip bobber are working well when fished near weedlines and deep water. Bowhunting got off to a good start on the opener, but slowed when warm weather moved in.

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

Grand Rapids Area

Those fishing the Rogue River caught fair numbers of coho salmon and steelhead. On the Grand River anglers reported very little action. Water levels are very low and water temperatures were too warm. The bow season got off to a decent start and should improve as cooler weather moves into the area.

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

Plainwell Area

The early archery season got off to a decent start, but unseasonably warm weather kept deer movement to a minimum. A few bluegills and perch have been caught on Gun Lake and a couple anglers report fair walleye and pike action. Most anglers are switching over to hunting.

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


Saginaw Bay Area

In general, the perch were just not biting very well on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. A few were taken off Quanicassee in 14 to 17 feet of water. Some walleye were caught about four miles northeast of Spoils Island, off the Callahan Reef, and the middle of the Slot. Shore and pier anglers in the Sebewaing Marina caught bluegills, crappie and the occasional bass or pike. The archery deer season got off to a good start, but unseasonably warm weather put a damper on the action. There are a lot of turkeys in the area.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Lansing Area

Water levels are low on the Grand River. A couple of salmon were spotted at Webber Dam. A few pike and smallmouth bass have been caught. The catfish action was hit-or-miss. Some nice bluegills were caught below the dam at Moore’s Park. Bowhunting has been slow with unseasonable warm weather for the opening week of the season.

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

Grand Haven Area

Boat anglers found the salmon and trout action to be slow on Lake Michigan with only a few caught 40 feet down in 100 to 175 feet of water with orange and green spoons. Lake trout were caught on yellow Spin-N-Glos fished near the bottom. Pier fishing was slow with only a couple of coho caught. Bowhunting has been decent.

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


Caseville Area

Baitfish moved into Caseville Harbor late last week so the walleye and perch should be in there now. Walleyes are also hitting crawler harnesses on Lake Huron in 20 feet of water off the water tower at Sand Point. There are a lot of ducks on the water and waterfowlers anticipate a good opener. Archery deer hunting has been slow with unseasonably warm weather invading the area. There are a lot of deer and turkeys in the Thumb.

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

Port Huron

The fall walleye run is starting above the Blue Water Bridge on the St. Clair River. Those jigging with a 1-ounce jighead and plastic minnows are enjoying the best action. Atlantic salmon are hitting in Lake Huron’s Lexington Harbor in pretty good numbers. Muskie fishing has been unbelievable in the St. Clair River at the mouth of the Black River. The archery deer season is of to a fair start. Warm weather put a damper on deer movement.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


East Jordan Area

Boat fishing has been slow at Lake Charlevoix. Those trolling around the cement plant for salmon reported the action as hit-or-miss. A few fish were caught on glow spoons after dark. Good smallmouth action continues with many large fish 20 inches or more caught on live or artificial crawlers. The Medusa Weir is still in operation so the creek is closed to fishing within 100 feet of the mouth. Angling pressure continues to be light around the weir and cement plant. A couple of small salmon were taken in the freighter slip on spawn or along the sunken barges near the cement plant with glow lures fished after dark. Grouse hunting has been decent but hunting pressure has been light. Things should improve as more seasonal temperatures arrive and the leaves start falling.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

Lake trout season is closed in East and West Grand Traverse Bays, however boat anglers in the East Bay caught lake herring out from the M-37 launch. The fish were suspended in 80 feet of water. Salmon fishing was slow near Acme and along the east bank. The Elk River continues to produce good action for chinook, coho and the occasional steelhead when using spawn in the morning. In West Bay, perch fishing slowed in Bowers Harbor. Suttons Bay was good when the fish were found. Try dunking a minnow in 40 feet of water. The Boardman River was packed with salmon. Chinook and coho were caught on spawn and skein during the day but the night bite was better the last couple days. Archery deer season got off to a fair start. Bird hunters report good flush rates. The shooting should improve as leaves begin to fall.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.

Manistee Area

Surface water temperature readings on Lake Michigan were around 58 degrees last week. Angler activity has been very slow and the fish cleaning station is now closed. Very good numbers of salmon are still being caught in the Manistee River, but they’re starting to get pretty dark. Partridge hunting has been good, but there have been no signs of migrating woodcock yet. The archery deer season got of to a fair start, but a little cool weather should do wonders. The leaves have not started to fall.

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.

Cadillac Area

Fishing exploded at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River last week with anglers catching very good numbers of walleyes, brown trout, salmon and steelhead. Pike fishing has been pretty good on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell and panfish action has improved. Bass fishing remains good but the crappie bite has slowed. The archery deer season started out pretty good. Woodcock hunting has been good, too. Leaves are starting to turn colors.

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


Rogers City Area

Now that lake trout season is closed, angling pressure will be minimal on Lake Huron. Anglers were catching adult chinook salmon in and around Swan Bay. Try boards with Bombers and J-plugs inside 30 feet. There should be a mixed bag of smaller chinook, Atlantics, coho and maybe even a walleye or two out deeper so fish the entire water column with spoons. Good colors were green, blue, orange or glow fished early and late. At Rockport, anglers should still find a mixed bag of salmon in Lake Huron and walleye when running spoons throughout the water column. The archery deer season is off to a slow start. Grouse hunting has been fair and should improve when the leaves start falling.

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Atlanta Area

Warm weather put a damper on the early archery season. Some nice bucks were taken, but overall action was slow. Grouse hunting has been decent, but the heat has made for some short hunts. There are a lot of local ducks in the area and waterfowlers were eagerly awaiting the opener in Zone 2. The last hunt segment of the early elk season slowed down with the warm weather keeping movement to a minimum. Fishing activity has been very light.

Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.

Houghton Lake Area

Panfish anglers on Houghton Lake have done well on crappie and bluegills. The crappie were suspended about 5 feet off the bottom in 9 to 11 feet of water. A fair to good number of walleye were caught by those drifting and bouncing lures off the bottom. Hunting pressure has been light with warm temperatures invading the area. Bird hunting should improve as leaves begin falling.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Oscoda Area

Angler effort and catch rates were low on Lake Huron. Pier anglers fishing at night have caught some channel cats. A few smallmouth bass were taken on small spoons, crankbaits, jigs and night crawlers. Pike were hitting spoons and crankbaits fished along the weed line in the slow water near the mouth of the Au Sable River. Smallmouth bass, a few decent channel cats, and rock bass were caught when floating nightcrawlers. Water temperatures below Foote Dam were in the low 70s and dropping. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been decent and will improve as leaves fall and flight birds arrive.

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


Pickford Area

Those fishing the upper St Mary’s River were catching a few salmon behind Cloverland Power. A few walleye and perch have been caught in the shipping channel in 30 feet of water. A couple of perch were found in 50 feet of water in Lake George. The pike action has been good for those using gold or silver spinners. Walleye fishing was slow. In the lower river between Neebish Island and Sweet’s Point, water temperatures remain warm resulting in poor fishing. At Cedarville, pike were caught throughout Snows Channel by anglers trolling or casting a red and white spoon just off the weeds in 6 to 18 feet of water. Early morning and late evenings were best. Some bigger pike were reported near the Les Cheneaux Islands. Chubs or frozen smelt fished just off the current near Little La Salle Island have caught fish. A few yellow perch have been caught in Cedarville Bay by those using worms or minnows east of Buoy No. 26 in 8 feet of water. A few perch have been caught south of the marina at Hessel and at the Middle Entrance. The fish were suspended in 25 to 28 feet of water between Coats Point and Birch Island.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

All five bear tags issued for Drummond Island were filled. Walt Sterling shot the biggest bear at 526 pounds, dressed. Martin Walter shot one with a 454-pound dressed weight and Alyssa Miller shot one that tipped the scale at 413 pounds. Partridge hunting has been pretty good around the Maxton Plains and Glen Cove areas. Woodcock action has been slow. No flights have come through yet. The archery deer season has been fair. Perch fishing has been hot and cold around the island. Some fish up to 13 inches have been caught. The best action has been in Maxton Bay. The water was still a little warm at 62 to 63 degrees. A few bass and pike have been caught, too.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Bear hunting has been pretty good around Manistique Lakes. Archery deer hunting has been good, too, and hunters are seeing more does and fawns than in past years. Partridge and woodcock hunting has been good. Color change is about 40 to 50 percent and leaves will be falling soon. On Big and South Manistique Lakes, walleye fishing has been good and decent numbers of perch and bluegills are being caught, too.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Marquette Area

Fishing pressure has been light on Lake Superior as most anglers have started to winterize their vessels or are now hunting. Fishing remains slow for pier and shore anglers. Splake fishing was poor with few caught. A couple of coho were caught by those casting spoons or spinners in bright orange or chartreuse. A few had success using spawn bags. Surface water remains warm as air temperatures were still close to 70. Fall color change was still only about 25 percent as the majority of trees were still green. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been decent and will improve as more leaves begin to fall. Bowhunting has been fair.

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Even with the cooler temperatures catch rates were down in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc for all species. The walleye action was fair at best with most fishing between the “Narrows” and the Black Bottom in 30 feet of water with a crawler harness. Perch and walleye fishing were fair along the weedbeds just off the mouth of the Escanaba River in 20 feet of water. Most were using minnows for perch or a crawler harness for walleye. Smallmouth bass anglers struggled as well. The better catches were in the southern bay near the end of the Black Bottom and Farmers Dock with plastics or spinners fished in 14 to 20 feet of water. A few salmon anglers were fishing the Ford River but with the high water level few catches were reported. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been decent but hunting pressure has been light. The archery deer season got off to a slow start.

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Bear hunting has been fair but the recent warm spell really shut down the action. The archery deer season has been decent. Hunters report seeing a few more deer than in the recent past. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been decent. Leaves are turning color but there was still a lot of green. Hunting will improve as the leaves begin to fall. Muskie fishing has been pretty good on the Brule Backwaters and Lake Emily and on Spread Eagle Chain in Wisconsin. Peavy Pond is producing a pretty good walleye bite and splake are hitting on Lake Ellen.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.


L’Anse Area

Fishing has been pretty good for brown trout, splake and coho in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. The best action has come to those running spoons around the river mouths. Fair numbers of salmon are being caught in the Falls, Silver and Huron rivers. Spinners, spawn and egg patterns have produced the best results. Bear hunting has been very good around L’Anse and hunters report seeing a lot of bears. Waterfowl hunting has been very good, too. No flight birds have come through yet. The archery deer season is off to a decent start and hunters report seeing more deer than last year.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Fishing continues to be slow on Lake Gogebic with only a few isolated fair reports. Crawlers and leeches are still producing better than minnows for most. Smallmouth are about the most active. Anglers working the mud or deep breaks are doing the best. Fall colors are holding at about 25 percent. More normal temperatures are in the forecast with highs in the 50s and 60s. The third season bear hunters are now in the woods and grouse hunters are reporting few flushes.

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

Iron River Area

Fishing has been pretty good around Iron River. Perch are biting on Chicagon Lake and anglers report catching walleyes and smallmouth bass in most lakes. The bear season has been very good and grouse hunters report good flush rates. Color change was about 80 percent so the leaves should be down soon and hunting will get even better. The archery deer season is also off to a good start with several “nice bucks” being taken in Iron County.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

Categories: Michigan Fishing Reports, News

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