Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 14, 2018


Lake St. Clair

Muskie fishing has been good on Lake St. Clair; one woman caught a 52-inch, 39-pounder at Stoney Point in 18 to 20 feet of water. Spinnerbaits have produced good results. Perch fishing has been decent near the shipping channel. Walleye anglers report catching good numbers of perch when trolling for walleyes with crawler harnesses. Good numbers of bass have been caught, too.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Lake Orion

Fishing was slow with the heat wave that settled over the area. A few bass and panfish, and occasionally a pike have been caught in Lake Orion, but anglers are having to work a little harder to find the aggressive fish. Light numbers of brown trout have been caught in the deeper holes on Paint Creek. Fishing pressure has been light.

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

Trenton Area

Perch have been caught around the islands and at the mouth of the Detroit River in 14 to 17 feet of water. A few walleyes can still be found down at the mouth, too. 

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

Luna Pier Area

The perch bite has slowed on Lake Erie, however some fish were found in 22 to 24 feet of water near the E-Buoy and at the Dumping Grounds, or in 15 feet of water in Brest Bay. A couple of limit catches were taken in 24 to 26 feet of water east of Stony Point and in 28 feet of water off Fermi. Most were using minnows on perch rigs with or without green, orange and chartreuse spinners. Limits were caught with ultralight rods and perch rigs with no spinners on the bottom. A few walleye have been caught on Bandits fished near the Dumping Grounds or Husky Jerks fished east of Buoys 1 and 2.

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


Union Area

Fishing has been slow on inland lakes in Cass and St. Joseph counties. Bluegills started hitting in 20 to 30 feet of water on several of the local lakes, until a heat wave moved through the area. Since then, fishing pressure has been light.

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

Kalamazoo Area

Inland lake anglers reported catching good numbers of bluegill. Eagle Lake has been very productive for those trolling with Bo’s Bluegill Busters. Bass fishing has been inconsistent. The Kalamazoo and Grand rivers are still seeing good smallmouth action, and a few salmon are starting to move in. Inland lakes have been hot or cold for bass fishing. Some consecutive days of cooler weather should make for much more productive fishing.

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

Grand Rapids Area

A few salmon have been caught in the Grand River up near the Sixth Street Dam, however the fish were few and far between because of the warm water. Anglers are using a mix of spawn, spinners, Cleo’s, Thundersticks and flies. 

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

Plainwell Area

Fishing pressure has been light. Good numbers of crappies are hitting on Gun Lake in 15 feet of water, 4 to 7 feet down, off the sunken islands. A couple of walleyes have been caught in 20 feet of water off Bay Point and between the Suck Holes. Bluegills are hitting on some of the private lakes in the area.

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


Saginaw Bay Area

Fair numbers of perch and a few walleyes have been caught in Saginaw Bay in 10 to 15 feet of water off the Saganing and Pinconning bars. Perch were caught from several locations including 16 feet of water off Linwood, the Crib, Sailboat Buoys G & H, and off the mouth of the Saginaw River. A fair number of fish ranged 10 to 12 inches. A couple of walleyes were caught by perch anglers using minnows. 

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Lansing Area

Light numbers of walleyes have been caught in the Grand River at Moore’s Park. Try a Twister Tail grub tipped with a minnow. On Morrison Lake, anglers report catching bluegills, perch and crappie 15 to 20 feet down and near the bottom. Anglers were using perch rigs, crawlers and deep-diving crankbaits. 

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

Grand Haven Area

Boats anglers are catching a few chinook and coho salmon in Lake Michigan, 65 to 130 feet down in 120 to 175 feet of water. White or green flies and green meat rigs have produced a good bite. Pier anglers continue to take channel cats and freshwater drum on gizzard shad.

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

Ludington Area

Surface temperatures on Lake Michigan have been about 72 degrees. High winds and strong thunderstorms have pushed chinook salmon into Pere Marquette Lake and the river. Those out trolling 70 to 100 feet down in 300 to 400 feet of water have caught coho, steelhead and lake trout on spoons and flies. Pier fishing has been slow. A good number of anglers have been fishing for salmon in the Pere Marquette River. Light numbers of fish have been caught. 

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


Caseville Area

Walleye fishing has been pretty good in Lake Huron. Anglers trolling nightcrawler harnesses in 40 to 45 feet of water off Oak Point are catching fish right down on the bottom. Light numbers of perch have been caught, but the fish are scattered and the bite has been hit or miss. Warm weather hampered the goose opener, but the action should improve with cooler weather moving in. 

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

Harbor Beach Area

Some lake trout and a couple of walleyes have been caught in Lake Huron. Those fishing in 120 to 150 feet of water report a good bite about halfway down. To the south, a few lake trout and walleyes were caught in 120 to 160 feet of water at Port Sanilac. Straight out of the harbor in 80 to 100 feet of water, anglers are catching good numbers of steelhead and Atlantic saloon. Small gold and purple spoons have been the hot bait. Pier fishing has been very slow. 

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

Port Huron

Good numbers of walleyes are hitting in the St. Clair River just north of the Blue Water Bridge. A north wind finally showed up late last week and gave the water a little stain. That stain pushes the fish closer to shore and shore anglers start catching fish.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


East Jordan Area

Perch fishing has been very good in Lake Charlevoix. Those fishing in 8 to 20 feet of water in the cabbage weeds in the South Arm are catching a lot of fish with some running up to 14 inches. Walleyes are hitting between the state park and Horton Bay in 40 feet of water. Crawler harnesses with pink, purple and rainbow blades have produced the best results. Panfish action has been red hot on the Ballaire Chain of Lakes and anglers on Torch Lake report a good perch bite in 40 feet of water. Salmon fishing remains good in Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. Anglers are finding good numbers of coho and chinook 80 to 130 feet down in 80 to 250 feet of water. Meat rigs and flies behind glow paddles are both taking fish. 

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

Bass fishing has been very good on the Torch Chain of Lakes. Fish are moving up to the first breakline and hitting tubes and drop-shot rigs with finesse worms. Crappie fishing is improving on Spider Lake. Minnows have been the bait of choice. Lake trout fishing ahas been very good in Grand Traverse Bay off Elk Rapids. Those jigging in 100 to 120 feet of water are catching good numbers of fish.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com. 

Frankfort Area

Those trolling and jigging in Frankfort Bay and around the pier heads have landed several chinook and coho. Those in Platte Bay reported hit-or-miss coho action. Those jigging seem to have better luck. Smaller boats are launching from Platte Bay however they are walking their boats through the shallows. The coho run on the Platte River had been slow. 

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

Manistee Area

Surface temperature readings have been about 70 degrees on Lake Michigan. Chinook fishing slowed, but coho were hitting spoons in 180 to 250 feet of water. Trolling has been tough because of the deep thermoclines. Many of the chinook salmon have moved into Manistee Lake and up into the rivers. The Manistee River had a lot of anglers fishing for salmon. Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.


Houghton Lake Area

Fishing has been slow on Houghton Lake with only a few walleye, pike and bluegills being caught. The bite has not been consistent. The only good bite seems to be from the rock bass. Try early morning or late evening and if your normal gear and techniques are not working, try just a plain hook with a worm or leech.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Higgins Lake Area

Perch fishing has been good on Higgins Lake. Good numbers of fish have been caught on the northwest side of Treasure Island and on the southwest end of the lake off the Gerrish Township Marina. Smallmouth bass and rock bass were hitting nightcrawlers fished near the Sunken Island. 

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

Atlanta Area

Fishing pressure has been light on area inland lakes with a heat wave moving through the area. Fletcher and Grass lakes are producing a good bass bite. A few pike have been caught, too. The early elk hunt got off to a good start. A couple of hunters already tagged big bulls in the 330-class. 

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

Rogers City Area

Anglers continue to take a mix of salmon, lake trout, steelhead and walleye on Lake Huron in 20 to 90 feet of water. The fish are scattered so run lines throughout the water column. Spoons, j-plugs, bombers and flashers with flies, squid or cut bait were all productive. Good colors were green, blue, black and white, purple, or glow. The better fishing has been an hour before daylight or an hour just after sunset. Chinook salmon were staging off Swan Bay. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Alpena Area

Anglers on Lake Huron have caught lake trout along with the occasional chinook, Atlantic or steelhead. The lake trout were near the bottom while the other fish were about halfway down in 70 to 120 feet of water. Lake trout were hitting flashers with flies and Spin-N-Glos while the salmon and steelhead were hitting spoons. A couple of chinook and Atlantic salmon have been caught up near the dam on the Thunder Bay River. Those using live crawlers caught the occasional channel cat, freshwater drum, rock bass, smallmouth bass and even a small walleye. 

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


Pickford Area

Walleye anglers reported good catches in the St. Marys River off Raber Point, which is about two miles south of the boat launch at Raber. Most were trolling planer boards with pencil plugs just off the weedbeds in 8 to 12 feet of water. Try fishing the mouth of Carlton Creek in the early morning or late evening. Some nice pike were taken by those trolling or casting spinner blades up near Point Aux Frenes. Down on Lake Huron, anglers report catching perch up to 11 inches when drift fishing the 12-foot channel in Cedarville Bay. A few were caught under the docks at Viking Boat Works. 

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

The surface water temperature has been running at about 72 degrees around Drummond Island and perch fishing has been fair. Once the temperature hits 68 or below, the perch action should improve. A few yellowbellies have been caught in 12 feet of water around Grape and Harbor islands. Pike fishing remains good in Maxton Bay and Scotts Bay. Good smallmouth and largemouth bass action has been reported in the bays, too. Lake trout fishing has been pretty good in the St. Marys River, south of the DeTour Lighthouse. The best bites have been right on bottom in 80 feet of water. Salmon fishing remains slow. Goose season is off to a decent start with good numbers of birds in the area.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Perch fishing has been very good on Big Manistique Lake. Perch rigs with floaters and shiners or nightcrawlers are producing very good results. Bass and pike fishing also has been very good on Big. One angler caught a 17.5-pound northern last week. Bluegills and crappies are keeping anglers busy on South Manistique Lake and walleyes are hitting jigs and crawlers on both lakes. 

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Marquette Area

Boat anglers on Lake Superior are still doing well on lake trout in the white rocks and Granite Island areas. Some switched to salmon fishing but very few had any luck. Many are trolling in front of the Chocolay River, off Shot Point, and 50 to 70 feet down inside the Marquette Harbor. Those targeting salmon seem to be picking up bigger lake trout. No reports from Stannard Rock but this time of year it is very important to watch the weather when taking trips that far out. River fishing started to pick up slightly near the dam on the Dead River and on the Carp River. 

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Fair to good walleye catches have been reported from anglers on Little Bay de Noc. Anglers trolling a crawler harness or stickbait in 12 to 16 feet of water off Breezy Point, south of the Ford River in 8 to 14 feet of water, and off the mouth of the Whitefish River in 12 to 18 feet of water, were all catching fish. The Gladstone Bay area out from the Terrace Inn was good at times in 35 feet of water, but the Black Bottom was best. Stickbaits fished in 16 to 25 feet of water in the early morning or at dusk were producing. Perch anglers reported fewer catches but some nice jumbos. Fair catches were reported off Gladstone Beach in 18 to 25 feet of water, and off Kipling in 22 to 24 feet of water. 

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Fishing pressure has been light around Iron Mountain. A few walleyes have been caught on Peavy Falls, Michigammee Reservoir and Paint Pond. Crappies are starting to hit on Brule Backwaters and Lake Antoine. Bass and northern pike have been hitting on most lakes in the area. Stream fishing has been quiet. Most are running high now after several days of rain.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.


L’Anse Area

Fishing success has slowed a little on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. Anglers are still catching some kings, coho, lake trout and brown trout but numbers are down a little. Good action has been reported off Carla’s Restaurant, 30 to 40 feet down over 100 feet of water or so. Anglers jigging out by the Huron Islands are catching good numbers of lakers in 100 to 130 feet of water. Brook trout and brown trout fishing remains good on the Huron and Falls rivers.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic fishing is on the upswing. Anglers are reporting better catches of perch when using nightcrawlers in the weeds. Those trolling the mud flats were also catching a few fish. The walleye bite has improved, as well. Anglers using leeches in the weeds and along the weed edges and those trolling crawlers over the mud are all catching fish. Minnows will begin to be part of tactics with temps beginning to cool down at night. Lows have been in the 40s and 50s, which will bring the water temp down. 

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

Iron River Area

Bass anglers did well with spinners and top-water lures on Lac Vieux Desert. Pike, and a few muskies, were also caught in the shallows around the weedbeds. Panfish anglers stayed busy however sorting and persistence is the name of the game when it comes to getting the bigger fish. Natural or artificial grubs worked best along the weedbeds. A couple of small walleyes were caught. 

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

Categories: Michigan Fishing Reports, News

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