Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Aug. 31, 2018


Lake St. Clair

Smallmouth bass action picked up on Lake St. Clair, especially for those fishing Anchor Bay and the main shipping channel. Fish were deep in both sections at around the 12 foot mark. Lighter colored soft plastics, especially tubes, have produced some big fish. Yellow perch were starting to show up in Anchor Bay, too. Try drifting a nightcrawler in front of the mile roads. Walleye action has tapered off a little bit, but decent numbers of fish have still been caught in the shipping channel. Everything from trolling to drifting was producing good results. 

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Lake Orion

Fishing has slowed a little, but bass and panfish are keeping anglers interest on most lakes in northern Oakland County. Largemouth bass and a few northern pike are hitting on Lake Orion and anglers report catching light numbers of bluegills on East and West Graham Lakes. Bass, pike and a couple walleyes have been caught on Lakeville Lake, but no one is giving up any details.

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

Luna Pier Area

Local storms slowed the perch bite in the Western Basin of Lake Erie, but a few boats were still able to catch their limits. Fish were found in 22 to 25 feet of water near the E-Buoy and the Dumping Grounds, in 16 to 18 feet of water near the Red Buoy out of Bolles Harbor, in 14 to 16 feet of water in Brest Bay, and in 25 to 26 feet of water off the Fermi nuclear plant. Most were using minnows on perch rigs with green, orange and chartreuse spinners, and crappie rigs. The best fishing has been between 6 and 11 a.m. Walleye limits were reported near the Dumping Grounds by anglers trolling spoons, and in 21 to 23 feet of water between Stony Point and Fermi with green, purple, blue or chartreuse crawler harnesses. While perch fishing, anglers have also caught white bass, white perch, freshwater drum and large channel catfish. The Hot Pond has produced good numbers of catfish for those using crawlers, and those bowfishing the same area got moderately-sized common carp and various sized gar. Smallmouth bass were caught off the mouth of the River Raisin on green pumpkin tubes and drop-shot rigs. Smallies also have been caught in and around Bolles Harbor.

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


Coloma Area

Unstable weather wreaked havoc on fishing in Berrien and Van Buren counties. High winds blew cold water towards shore on Lake Michigan and the surface temperature dropped by more than 20 degrees overnight. Perch fishing has been slow as the fish have scattered. Fair numbers of bass have been caught on Paw Paw Lake. Fishing has been slow on the Paw Paw and St. Joseph rivers. 

Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522

Coldwater Area

Fishing has been rather slow around Coldwater. Some decent numbers of crappies and bluegills have been caught on Gilead, Cary and Coldwater lakes. A few walleyes have been caught on Madison Lake, but nothing to write home about. 

Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.

Kalamazoo Area

Fishing for most species has been rather slow and inconsistent. Many anglers have reported catching very few to no fish on several bodies of water. The perch on Lake Michigan around the piers are still scattered, but once a group of them are found anglers have been catching good-sized fish. Most perch are being caught in about 60 feet of water. Bass fishing has been slow. River smallmouth fishing has been more productive than fishing for largemouths on inland lakes. Since water temperatures are fairly high on a lot of lakes, especially dark-bottomed lakes, the best fishing has been early in the morning and late in the evening.

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

Plainwell Area

Fishing has been slow and fishing pressure light on Gun Lake. Bluegills and crappies have been hitting in the coves, but the bite has been fair at best. Minnows have produced the most action. Smallmouth bass have been caught on coffee tubes.

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


Saginaw Bay Area

Perch action has remained steady out on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. The best reports have been coming in from anglers fishing in 16 to 21 feet of water from the mouth of the Saginaw River all the way up to AuGres. You might have to move around a little, but most days you should do well. The minnow supply is holding up well and should only get better as fall approaches. Jimmy Jumbo rigs are the hot ticket. Walleye fishing has taken a back seat for a bit, but there are some folks going out and doing well on both nightcrawlers and spoons. The best fishing is yet to come so don’t burn yourself out early.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Lansing Area

The recent change in weather and heavy rain made for light fishing pressure on the Grand River. Prior to the weather change, anglers were catching channel catfish and longnose gar. Live bait has produced the best results. 

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

Grand Haven Area

Action was slow on Lake Michigan for those on boats looking for salmon. Some fish were found 60 to 120 feet down in 100 to 175 feet of water. Glow plugs, green meat rigs and orange spoons all worked well. Good numbers of lake trout have been caught near the bottom on yellow or green Spin-N-Glos. Pier anglers have caught smallmouth and largemouth bass. 

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

Ludington Area

Chinook salmon started to move this way in Lake Michigan with surface water temperatures reading at about 75 degrees. Fish were found in 60 to 100 feet of water, 40 to 50 feet down. J-plugs, meat rigs and spoons were producing the best results. Lake trout, steelhead and small numbers of coho have been caught in 150 to 200 feet of water, 50 to 70 feet down. Pier fishing has been slow. Down at Pentwater, those trolling on Lake Michigan were catching chinook, coho, lake trout and the occasional steelhead. Most of the action was coming 40 to 80 feet down, in 70 to 130 feet of water, in front of the dunes. Flies, spoons and meat rigs have all caught fish. Bloody nose and raspberry carbon spoons fished well, along with red or blue meat rigs and blue or green flies. Anglers drifting live bait through the channel at Pentwater Lake have caught smallmouth bass and a few freshwater drum. Those fishing off of Longbridge Road have caught bluegill, rock bass and light numbers of smallmouth bass while drifting nightcrawlers or red worms under a bobber. 

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


Caseville Area

Walleyes have moved out to deeper water in Lake Huron. Anglers report catching good numbers of ’eyes in 32 to 35 feet of water from Oak Point to Oak Beach. Nightcrawlers have produced the best results. A few perch have been caught in the harbor along with light numbers of walleyes, bass and catfish. The local goose population is in good shape and the September hunting season should be good. 

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

Port Huron

Fishing has slowed a little around Port Huron. Walleyes have moved into deeper water. The best bites have come to anglers fishing in 35 to 40 feet of water in Lake Huron. Handliners report the best action, when fishing after dark. Good numbers of fish have been caught in the Canadian Hole. There are a lot of smallmouth bass and catfish in the St. Clair River. Tubes and big golden shiners have been the bait of choice for the smallies and the cats have been hitting nightcrawlers.

 Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


East Jordan Area

Salmon fishing picked up on Lake Michigan with some boats reporting one or two chinook per trip. They were caught anywhere from North Point to Fisherman’s Island, 65 to 85 feet down over 80 to 120 feet of water. Anglers were using spoons, flies and meat rigs. A few lake trout and cisco were caught around the same depths. Good numbers of lake trout have been caught in deeper water, from 100 to 120 feet down. In the channel, smallmouth bass fishing was reported as good. Anglers were catching quite a few freshwater drum there as well, using real and artificial worms and leeches. 

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Frankfort Area

Chinook salmon have been caught on Lake Michigan by anglers trolling north and out in front of Frankfort. Most worked the shallow water from 50 to 100 feet deep with the top 30 to 65 feet having the best results. Fish were hitting spoons, J-plugs and meat rigs. Six Mile was still producing nice lake trout when anglers bounced the bottom with Spin-N-Glos.

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

Manistee Area

Surface water temps were at 74 degrees on Lake Michigan and the south pier has reopened. Dredging in the area continues so anglers should be cautious while leaving pier heads. Chinook fishing slowed but some fish were picked up in 60 to 100 feet of water, 40 to 50 feet down. J-plugs, spoons and meat rigs were most successful. Coho finally started to arrive and were caught in the same depths as chinooks. Lake trout were hitting in 120 to 180 feet of water, 50 to 100 feet down. Pier fishing has been slow. Up at Onekema, those fishing straight out front of the golf course and in the Barrel reported hit-or-miss action with most anglers hanging out in 120 feet of water. Most bites came off meat rigs. Lake trout were hitting Spin-N-Glos fished right on the bottom of the Barrel. 

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.

Cadillac Area

Anglers report a mixed bag of fish, but not a lot of any one species on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Decent numbers of bass and panfish have been caught on both lakes and a couple of walleyes, too, but overall fishing has been slow and fishing pressure has been light. Salmon and some skamania steelhead have been caught on the Manistee River all the way up to Tippy Dam. Light numbers of fish have been caught on the Betsie River, too.

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


Houghton Lake Area

Fishing has slowed down on Houghton Lake but anglers were still finding some walleye, bass and bluegills. Popular time frames have been early morning and late afternoon/early evening. Walleyes have been found in the deeper parts of most drop-offs with nightcrawlers, leeches and crankbaits in greens, chartreuse or fire tiger all producing good results. Bluegill were hitting wax worms and leeches fished in 8 to 10 feet of water and bass were active in 6 to 10 feet of water for anglers casting worm rigs or spinners. 

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Rogers City Area

Anglers on Lake Huron report catching a mixed bag of chinooks, lake trout, steelhead, Atlantics, walleyes and occasionally a coho. The best depths seemed to be anywhere from 50 to 100 feet of water with anglers deploying lines throughout the water column using downriggers, Dipseys, lead core and copper. Spoons worked better with the cold water while flashers with flies, cut bait and J-plugs worked better when the water was warm. Good spoon colors included bloody nose, black and white, purple, blues, greens, oranges and glow stuff. The best bites were coming early and late. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Alpena Area

The Humps in Lake Michigan have produced some good lake trout action and anglers have done well fishing the Nordemeer Wreck, too. The best depths were 80 to 130 feet of water fishing near the bottom. A couple of steelhead were also caught on higher lines. Walleye anglers did well when fishing at Rockport and Presque Isle. The fish are suspended and hitting crankbaits and nightcrawler harnesses fished in the top 30 feet in 30 to 80 feet of water. On the Thunder Bay River, shore anglers using live bait have caught good numbers of smaller rock bass, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum and walleye. Overall, fishing was slow. 

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

Oscoda Area

Lake trout fishing has been very good on Lake Huron. Most fish have been caught while trolling spoons, Spin-N-Glos and meat rigs near bottom or 50 to 70 feet down in 85 to 120 feet of water, or as far out as 140 feet of water. Steelhead and a couple of Atlantic salmon were taken on spoons fished 30 to 70 feet down. Walleyes were caught on spoons that were suspended in 60 to 120 feet of water. Pier anglers fishing late at night and early in the morning report catching a few channel catfish while still-fishing with stink baits or nightcrawlers. Freshwater drum, smallmouth bass and rock bass were also caught. At the lower end of the Au Sable River, channel catfish, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, rock bass, bowfin, sunfish, yellow perch and undersized walleyes have all been caught by anglers while still-fishing nightcrawlers and minnows. Northern pike were caught by anglers casting spoons in the weedy still-waters. 

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


Pickford Area

Anglers reported a few catches of yellow perch measuring eight to 10 inches in Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel. They were found while drift fishing the 12-foot channel that runs between La Salle Island and Islington Road on the mainland. They were hitting small worms and shiner minnows. Largemouth bass were reported throughout Cedarville Bay with willow leaf spinner blades working best. Northern pike were caught by anglers still-fishing with chubs in 12 to 20 feet of water, between Little La Salle Island and Peck Bay. At Hessel, anglers reported catching 25- to 27-inch northern pike while fishing with creek chubs in the early morning hours off the marina fishing pier. Good panfish numbers were reported in Mackinaw Bay, a mile east of Hessel Marina. Small worms worked best when fished just off the weeds in six feet of water.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Fishing has been pretty good around Drummond Island. Anglers report catching some perch around Harbor Island outside Maxton Bay. A few perch have been caught around the islands in Maxton and Scotts bays, too. A few walleyes, northern pike and bass have been caught, too. Walleyes are hitting in 12 to 18 feet of water on the west side of Peck Island. Crawler harnesses and stick baits are both taking fish. Salmon fishing has slowed a little around the DeTour Lighthouse on the St. Marys River. Good numbers of lake trout are being caught and occasionally a chinook, coho or Atlantic. Hunters report seeing good numbers of bears

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Fishing has been pretty good on Manistique Lakes with anglers there reporting a good mixed bag. Several 40-inch-plus northern pike have been caught on Big Manistique and some good sized bluegills have been picked up on South Manistique. Walleyes and bass are hitting nightrawlers and minnows fished on both lakes, and a couple muskies have been hitting on South Manistique. 

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Marquette Area

Lake trout fishing has been pretty good on Lake Superior. Most boats found good numbers of lake trout in deeper water between the White Rocks and Granite Island in 130 to 200 feet of water. Those trolling dodgers, Spin-N-Glos and various spoons all caught fish. A couple of chinook were caught on high lines running 40 to 60 feet down. Lake trout were caught out at Stannard Rock as well. 

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Walleye anglers on Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc reported good catches from the Escanaba River area south to Round Island. The bite was best early in the mornings or late in the evenings, usually in and around 8 feet of water. Perch anglers reported fair catches with some large fish coming in. Catches at Kipling were reported in 22 to 30 feet of water using minnows or crawlers. At Gladstone Beach, anglers were fishing in 18 to 25 feet of water. At the ship docks in Escanaba, anglers reported spotty catches while still-fishing with minnows in 28 to 32 feet of water. Northern pike were active, especially around the river mouths. Smallmouth bass anglers reported good catches throughout the bay with the best areas being Squaw Point in 10 to 12 feet of water, the mouth of the Escanaba River in 16 to 20 feet of water, and south of the Ford River along the weed lines in six to 10 feet of water. Anglers using plastics, nightcrawlers or minnows were all catching fish. Those targeting salmon found a few out by the Ford River buoy, mostly in 90 to 110 feet of water, 50 to 80 feet down. 

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Fishing has been pretty good around Iron Mountain but fishing pressure has been light. Some good-sized bass have been caught in the Menominee River and crappies are hitting on Badwater Lake. Up on Lower Peavy, anglers report catching some decent walleyes. Bear sightings have been mixed. Some guys are getting good hits on their baits from big bears and others report seeing a lot of small bears. Deer hunters are starting to get excited about the archery season with good numbers of whitetails being seen.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.


L’Anse Area

Fishing has been pretty good in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. Decent sized kings have been caught and the cohos have started showing up, too. The best action has come to those fishing off Carla’s Restaurant and Asinins Road, 30 to 50 feet down. Spoons have produced the best results. River fishing has been very good, too, with several reports of good brookies being caught on crawlers and spinners. Try the Huron River, the Silver River, the Slate River and the Falls River. Bear hunting should be pretty good. Hunters report seeing a lot of bears during preseason activities. 

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Fishing has been fair on Lake Gogebic. Walleyes are hitting leeches in 6 to 12 feet of water. Also those trolling nightcrawlers over the mud flats have picked up fish. Perch are hitting crawlers fished in the weeds in 9 to 12 feet of water. Smallmouth bass continue to provide some fun along the rocks and the weeds. Overall, fish are in an average August pattern.

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

Watersmeet Area

Fishing slowed in this area but anglers have been chasing panfish using natural or artificial bait on Lac View Desert. Some sub-legal walleyes were being caught, too, but overall fishing for them was slow. 

Sylvania Outfitters, (906) 358-4766.

Iron River Area

Fishing has been pretty good. Panfish are hitting on most of the local lakes including Chicagon, Fortune and Hagerman. Stream anglers report good trout fishing. Bass and northern pike are active along the weeds on most lakes. Bear hunters are eager to get started and local hunters feel if should be a good year with good bear numbers in the area. Deer numbers appear to be in good shape, too. 

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

Categories: Michigan Fishing Reports, News

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