Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 28, 2018


Lake St. Clair

Large and smallmouth bass action has been a bit sluggish on Lake St. Clair. Anchor Bay was producing most of the fish, but anglers were working hard for them. Try the deeper sections a few miles north of the Harley Launch and Bouvier Bay. The lake was calmer so light-colored baits worked best. Yellow perch numbers were good, however anglers had to sort through a lot of small ones. Most were fishing the Dumping Grounds and along the mile roads. Walleye fishing was slow with only a couple caught in the channels. The early goose season is of to a good start.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Lake Orion

Fishing pressure has been light in northern Oakland County. A few anglers are still targeting bass on Lake Orion. Panfish are hitting on Graham, Squaw, Clear and Tan lakes. Small-game season got off to a warm, slow start. The archery deer season should be good with a lot of whitetails in the area.

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

Trenton Area

Fishing remains decent on the Detroit River. Anglers jigging near Calf Island were catching fair numbers of walleyes. A few perch have been caught near Sugar Island, but most of them were undersized. 

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

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.

Luna Pier Area

The perch bite has picked back up on Lake Erie. Anglers reported catching between 20 and 50 fish while a few boats limited out. Most were caught just north of Buoys 1 and 2, east of Stony Point in 24 to 25 feet, and near the E-Buoy. Minnows fished on perch rigs worked best. Anglers also caught white bass, white perch, freshwater drum and channel cats. Very few anglers targeted walleye with light success. Largemouth bass were caught using green pumpkin worms and drop-shot rigs off Bolles Harbor and the backwaters in Toledo Beach Marina. Channel cats continue to be caught on worms in the Hot Ponds. 

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


Coldwater Area

Perch are hitting on Gilead and Carey lakes. Worms and wigglers are producing good results. Small-game hunting pressure has been light. The archery deer season should be very good. There are a lot of deer in the area.

Hoskins Bait House, (517) 36o9-1330.

Kalamazoo Area

Salmon have moved into the Kalamazoo River and anglers are catching a few fish at the Allegan Dam. Inland lakes are producing good panfish action and bass anglers report a decent bite, too. Archery deer season should be very good. Turkey hunting should be good, too, with lots of birds in the area. 

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

Grand Rapids Area

The Grand River had a good run of coho salmon recently. Anglers reported catching fish below the Sixth Street Dam. Anglers should continue to find some fish in the area or up in the Rogue River as the cooler weather and rain moves in. 

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

Plainwell Area

Fair numbers of walleyes and northern pike have been caught in Gun Lake. Bluegills are also active and hitting crickets fished in 20 feet of water. Anglers fishing on Long, Cloverdale and Selkirk lakes also report catching good numbers of bluegills. A few salmon have been caught in the St. Joe River at the Allegan Dam. One angler caught a 7-pound smallmouth there. The archery deer season should be good. 

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


Saginaw Bay Area

Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay had slow but steady perch fishing, with the best bites coming in 10 to 15 feet of water along the Saganing and Pinconning bars. A few walleyes were taken on crawler harnesses fished in 15 to 20 feet of water. A few perch were caught at the Sailboat Buoys, the Crib, and near the Spark Plug. The fish were running nine to 12 inches long and the average was 10 to 15 per boat. Goose hunting has been good. Archery deer season should be good, too, with a healthy herd of whitetails in the area. 

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Lansing Area

A few coho are starting to trickle up the Grand River closer to Lansing. A couple of fish were seen at the Webber Dam and one was caught near the North Lansing Dam. No big numbers yet but a couple were starting to show up. Bass are hitting along the weeds on Lake Ovid.

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

Grand Haven Area

A few salmon have been caught in Lake Michigan by anglers trolling the channel and near the piers. Pearl or chrome plugs have worked well. Those fishing farther out in the lake have found a mix of trout and salmon 50 to 120 feet down in 200 to 300 feet of water. Orange or green spoons have produced good results. Pier anglers have reported slow salmon fishing. 

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

Ludington Area

Surface water temperatures warmed back up on Lake Michigan. A good number of coho were caught 30 to 70 feet down in 150 to 200 feet of water along the shelf. Lake trout and steelhead have also been caught. Spoons and meat rigs were the ticket. Pier fishing was slow with light numbers of coho being caught on spoons. Chinook salmon fishing in Pere Marquette Lake has slowed. 

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


Caseville Area

Goose hunting has been very good around Caseville with lots of birds in the area. Walleye fishing has been good in Lake Huron with a good bite reported by anglers fishing in 45 feet of water off Oak Point. Perch fishing has been slow. A few bass and light number of walleyes are being caught off the breakwall in Caseville. Turkey hunting pressure has been light, but there are a lot of birds in the Thumb. The archery season should be pretty good. Beans and some beats are being harvested. 

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

Harbor Beach Area

Fishing improved in Lake Huron last week with good sized lake trout taken north of the harbor in 140 to 170 feet of water. Dodgers and Spin-N-Glos fished near the bottom were producing good action. Atlantic salmon and steelhead were also caught on bright colored spoons trolled behind planer boards. Walleye were caught on small spoons and bodybaits with Dipsy Divers fished 150 to 200 feet back. Bass have moved in close to shore and are hitting small spoons and bodybaits. Archery deer season should be good up and down the Thumb.

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

Port Huron

Atlantic salmon are hitting in Lake Huron at Lexington. A few kings and lakers have been caught, too. Walleyes are hitting salmon spoons trolled in 80 feet of water. The fall walleye fishery has yet to get started in the St. Clair River system. The water is still a little too warm. The archery deer season should be good this year in St. Clair, Sanilac and Huron counties.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


East Jordan Area

Fishing slowed a little on Lake Michigan. There are a lot of fish in the rivers. Skein spawn fished under a bobber is taking salmon in the Boyne, Bear and Jordan. Cohos have showed up, too. Fair numbers of walleyes have been caught by anglers trolling crawler harnesses, but fishing pressure has been light. Good numbers of perch are being caught in 6 to 20 feet of water along the cabbage weeds. Panfish are hitting on the Bellaire Chain of Lakes and good numbers of bass are hitting on Six Mile Lake. Goose hunting has been slow. The archery deer season should be good. Hunters report seeing a lot of nice bucks in the area.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Frankfort Area

Fair numbers of chinook salmon can still be found in Lake Michigan out in front of the piers and in the harbor, but the number of fish coming in is slowing down. Lots of coho were seen in Platte Bay, however the trick was getting them to hit when trolling, jigging or casting. Betsie River anglers reported a lower number of chinook salmon being caught. 

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

Manistee Area

Surface water temperatures on Lake Michigan climbed back up to near 70 degrees. Dredging continues in the area, so boat anglers need to be mindful and not make a wake. The chinook bite slowed, however lots of cohos are coming in. Fish were caught 40 to 70 feet down in 150 to 220 feet of water with spoons and meat rigs. A small number of lake trout and steelhead were also caught at the same depths. Pier fishing was slow, but fish are being caught in the Manistee River all the way up to Tippy Dam 

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.

Kalkaska Area

Salmon fishing has been pretty good in the Manistee River. Walleye fishing has been decent on Birch Lake, and Lake Bellaire and Manistee Lake. The small-game opener was warm and hunting pressure was light. The archery deer season should be pretty good in Kalkaska County. Deer numbers are in pretty good shape.

Jack’s Sport Shop, (231) 258-8892.


Houghton Lake Area

Bluegills are being caught along the weedbeds in 6 to 8 feet of water on Houghton Lake. A couple of walleyes were taken by those trolling crawler harnesses. Bass and pike fishing has been good, but most of the pike were on the small side. Early goose season has been decent and the archery deer season should be pretty good with whitetail numbers on the rise. 

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Atlanta Area

Inland lake fishing pressure has been light in Montmorency County. Elk hunters are having pretty good success in the early season and the bulls are really starting to bugle. Grouse hunting has been fair, but heavy foliage is hampering shooting. Bird numbers seem to be down a little. The archery deer season should be good. There are quite a few acorns in pockets and bear hunters are starting to struggle because bruins are leaving the bait and heading to the acorns.

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

Rogers City Area

Lake Michigan turned over enough times that the water temperature was the same all over. There was no thermocline and the fish were scattered. Lake trout were still near the bottom in 120 feet of water. Swan Bay had a lot of chinook but the fish are spooked easily so the better fishing was very early before daylight or after dark. Most of the fish are turning very dark and were not high quality for eating. Anglers are using bomber and boards in the shallows. Those out deeper are using spoons, J-plugs, and flashers with flies, squid and cut bait. The fish out deeper may be better quality. Lake trout were caught on spoons or flashers with Spin-N-Glos or cowbells. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Alpena Area

A couple of Atlantic salmon and chinook salmon have been caught in Lake Michigan, but the numbers were low. Lake trout could still be found along the bottom out near the Humps. On the Thunder Bay River, a few salmon have been caught, but there has been no big push yet by any means. Most anglers were casting bodybaits.  

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


Pickford Area

Yellow perch have been caught in 8 to 12 feet of water in Lake Huron’s Cedarville Bay. Try both south and east of the Cedarville launch. Best method was to drift shiners or worms. Pike ranging between 25 and 30 inches were caught on chubs in Cedarville Bay and the Middle Entrance to the Les Cheneaux Islands. Largemouth bass are hitting throughout the bay when casting spinners under the docks or artificial frogs just off the weedbeds. The water at the Hessel Marina had warmed again. Prior to this, excellent catches of splake were reported by those fishing off the finger docks, but the fish have moved back out to deeper water. West of Hessel, those fishing Nunn’s Creek report that the salmon have arrived. 

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

A few yellow perch have been caught at Harbor Island. Try fishing at the mouth of Harbor Island in 6 to 10 feet of water, or inside the harbor in 6 feet of water while using spreaders with beads in open water or small worms near the weedbeds. Smallmouth bass are hitting on the north side of Burnt Island when using tube jigs off the rocks. 

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Fishing has been good on Manistique Lakes. Walleyes, northern pike and smallmouth bass are hitting on both Big Manistique and South Manistique. Good numbers of perch have been caught on Big and bluegills are keeping anglers busy on South. Bear hunters are taking a few decent bears. Small-game hunting has been slow to get started. The archery deer season should be fair. 

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Escanaba Area

Walleye catches were down in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. Night anglers reported the best catches between the Center Reef and the Second Reef, or south around the Black Bottom. Anglers were trolling stickbaits at night in 14 to 20 feet of water. Stickbaits and crawler harnesses were picking up fish in 18 to 30 feet of water during the day. Several good catches of jumbo perch were reported in Kipling in 22 feet of water and off Gladstone Beach in 20 feet of water when using minnows. Smallmouth bass action was spotty as the fish are starting to move south. A few were taken on plastics or drop-shots in 18 to 20 feet of water. A couple of chinook salmon have shown up in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. 

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Fishing pressure has been light. Walleyes are hitting at Peavy and Michigammee. A few muskies have been caught on the Paint River. Crappies are hitting at Badwater and Lake Antoine. A few splake have been caught at Lake Ellen. Small-game season got off to a slow start with warm weather and heavy foliage, but a few grouse have been taken. Bear hunters are taking a few bears. The hunt should get better once the mast crops are gone. The archery season should be pretty good this year. Hunters report seeing a lot of fawns this year as well as some 2.5-year-old bucks. Deer numbers are up a little.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.


L’Anse Area

Walleyes are hitting at Chassel in Lake Superior’s Portage Bay. Bottom bouncers and worms have produced a good bite. Salmon are hitting at the head of Keweenaw Bay in 30 to 40 feet of water by anglers trolling and casting watermelon or orange spoons. River fishing has been slow to get started. A few salmon and brown trout have been caught in the Huron River. On Lac La Belle walleyes have been caught on watermelon or green chartreuse spoons trolled behind downriggers. Bear hunting has been pretty good so far. Small-game season is off to a fair start.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Fishing pressure has been light on Lake Gogebic.Perch are hitting crawlers fished along the weeeds. The walleye bite has ben up and down with fish hitting crawlers trolled or drifted along the mud flats. Stickbaits and sucker minnows are also picking up a few fish. Smallies are hitting the sucker minnows, too.Cool temperatures have arrived again and fall colors are coming on quickly.

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

Iron River Area

Muskie anglers have caught a few fish on Lac Vieux Desert, right along with a decent number of northern pike. Walleye fishing remained slow, however a few fish were caught off the docks in the late evenings. Bass anglers did well with top-water lures fished in the morning or late evening. The panfish bite was hit-or-miss as the fish seem to be moving out to deeper water.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

Categories: Michigan Fishing Reports, News

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