Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 12, 2018


Lake St. Clair

Bass fishing has been tough on Lake St. Clair. Water temperatures have dropped, but the bass were not biting. Walleye started to come back near Grassy Island. Lately there has been a small window from 8 to 9 a.m. when the fish were biting. Off Metro Beach, a couple of nice perch were caught on scented minnows or nightcrawlers. In the St. Clair River, a few bass have been caught in the North Channel. Those fishing the mouth of the North Channel caught a couple of walleyes. Bowhunting has been good. 

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Lake Orion

Fishing pressure has been light in northern Oakland County. Bass anglers report a decent bite on Lake Orion and there have been several reports of anglers catching walleyes in Orion, as well. Pike, bass and panfish are hitting in Lakeville Lake and a few panfish have been caught on East and West Graham Lakes. The archery season got off to a wet start, but hunters that did get out reported seeing decent numbers of deer.

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

Luna Pier Area

Lake Erie is producing good perch fishing with boats getting 20 to 60 fish per trip and even some limit catches. The better fishing was in the mornings in 14 to 22 feet of water in Brest Bay, in 26 feet of water off Fermi, in 27 feet of water off the mouth of the River Raisin, and near the C-Buoy. Most were using emerald shiners on perch rigs with green, orange, red or chartreuse spinners and beads. Chartreuse was the hot color. White bass, white perch and the occasional walleye were also caught. Excellent bass fishing continued along most of the shoreline and near the harbors. Mornings and early afternoons were best; lots of largemouths being caught and light numbers of smallmouths. Good action has come to those fishing in 4 to 6 feet of water off the Sterling seawall, the Bolles Harbor and Toledo Beach Marina breakwaters ,and in the Hot Ponds. Most were using green pumpkin, black and gold, or watermelon worms. The Hot Ponds continue to produce channel cats, too. The archery deer season got off to a slow start. 

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


Allegan Area

Fishing pressure has been light on southwest Michigan lakes. A few coho, light numbers of chinook, and a couple of fresh steelhead were moving through the ladder on the St. Joseph River at Berrien Springs. Out on Lake Michigan, boat anglers are still catching lake trout even though the action has slowed. Most were caught in 100 feet of water or so. Pier fishing has been slow for all species. Perch fishing slowed, too, with only a few caught in 40 feet of water. The archery deer season got off to a wet start, but hunters reported seeing good numbers of deer.

Webber & Sons Marine and Tackle, (269) 673-6294.

Kalamazoo Area

Coho fishing has been pretty good at the Allegan Dam on the Kalamazoo River. Anglers are still getting some steelhead and kings, too, with some limit catches reported. Beads, flies and spawn sacks are producing the best results. The archery deer season is off to a very good start. One hunter shot a 14-pointer on opening day.

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

Grand Rapids Area

The Grand River is still producing a decent bite for chinook, coho and even a couple of steelhead. Most anglers are fishing up near the Sixth Street Dam with spawn bags, skein, Thunder Sticks and small spoons. The archery deer season is off to a decent start and should improve as the weather cools.

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.


Saginaw Bay Area

Wind and rain kept most anglers grounded on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. A couple of perch were caught off the Saganing and Pinconning sand bars as well as off the mouth of the Pine River in 10 to 15 feet of water. Off Linwood, perch were taken out in 17 feet of water. The fish were running 10 to 12 inches but no big numbers. Perch were also found near Sailboat Buoy F, northeast of Spoils Island in 15 feet of water, and along the old shipping channel in 17 feet of water. The old shipping channel produced the best catches when boats could get out there.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Lansing Area

Grand River at Lansing had a good push of coho around the Webber Dam. Fish were also being caught near the Portland Dam. Most are using spinners or spawn. Water levels are high, which is not good for those looking to wade. Archery deer season is off to good start.

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

Grand Haven Area

Boat anglers on Lake Michigan are catching lake trout along the bottom in 100 to 150 feet of water. Yellow Spin-N-Glos and flashers are producing good results. Pier anglers reported slow salmon action, but the archery deer season is off to a good start. 

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

Ludington Area

Surface temperature readings were about 58 degrees on Lake Michigan. Fishing had been slow with only a small number of chinook and coho taken by those trolling in the harbor and around the pier heads. Coho have returned to the State Park and had started to stack up. Catch rates were not very high yet, but a few anglers had success when casting artificial lures. The Pere Marquette River still has decent salmon fishing. Many of the bigger chinook have spawned and are turning dark. A few coho have made their way into the river. Anglers are also catching steelhead. The Big Sable River also had a good run of coho salmon. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been good and the archery deer season also got off to a decent start. There are a lot of acorns this year so key in on the oak ridges.

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


Harbor Beach Area

Fishing pressure has been light on Lake Huron. A couple of walleyes were taken by those casting small spoons or body baits at night. 

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

Port Huron

The thermocline was all over the place on Lake Huron and the fish were scattered between Lexington and Port Sanilac. Minnows are just starting to come into the harbors. Atlantic salmon have shown up in the Lexington Harbor and one or two have been caught each day on small spoons. Night anglers have caught walleyes off the breakwall at Port Sanilac when casting small spoons and bodybaits. The archery deer season got off to a wet start, but deer sightings were up.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


East Jordan Area

Salmon fishing remains pretty good on Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. Meat rigs and flies have produced a fair bite. Salmon are being caught off the docks on the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix. Grouse and woodcock flush rates have been decent, but heavy foliage has made shooting tough. 

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Frankfort Area

Those trolling and jigging in Lake Michigan’s Betsie Bay or fishing at the tubes are getting a few chinook salmon. Coho were stacked in Platte Bay and ready to run but the bite has been slow. On the Betsie River, anglers fishing near the Homestead Dam are reporting lower numbers of chinook and the fish are dark. Small-game hunting has been good and so has the early archery deer season. 

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

Manistee Area

Surface temperature readings were about 56 degrees on Lake Michigan. The fish cleaning station is now closed. Fishing slowed but some anglers did manage to catch a few coho when trolling artificial lures in the harbor. A small number of chinook and coho were caught off the pier. On the Manistee River, decent numbers of coho are being caught at Tippy Dam. Anglers have also found a few brown trout, some walleyes and a pike or two. Grouse hunters are flushing decent numbers of birds and the archery deer season is off to a pretty good start. Fall colors are arriving.

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.


Grayling Area

Fishing has been pretty good around Grayling and the fall perch bite is heating up on Lake Margrethe. Anglers report catching a lot of 8- to 9-inch perch and the action should improve as the water temperature drops. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been pretty good. The harvest has been light because the foliage is thick, but hunters are flushing good numbers of birds. The archery season got off to a windy start. Hunting was slow the first week of the season. There is a good acorn crop this year so hunters working the uplands report better action. Bear hunting has been good. 

Skip’s Sport Shop, (989) 348-7111.

Rogers City Area

Lake Huron’s Swan Bay is producing a good chinook salmon bite. Those trolling were using J-plugs and Bombers and those casting were using Cleo’s and bodybaits. For younger salmon and steelhead, try 90 feet of water and deeper with spoons trolled throughout the water column. Green, blue and orange would be good colors. Grouse hunting has been slow with heavy foliage hampering hunters. Action should improve as the leaves begin to fall. Leaves are changing colors. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Alpena Area

Windy conditions had the water in Lake Huron stirred up. Anglers had a difficult time finding fish though they should still be getting Atlantics, steelhead, young chinook and walleyes. Try straight out to 70 feet of water when trolling spoons or bodybaits. Chinook salmon are jumping in the Thunder Bay River but were difficult to catch. Atlantic salmon fishing has been slow. Successful anglers are casting spoons and bodybaits or drifting spawn under a bobber. Grouse hunting has been decent and woodcock numbers appear steady. Action will improve when the leaves start top fall. Archery deer season is off to a good start. Hunters report seeing good numbers of deer.

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

Oscoda Area

Those trolling spoons and J-plugs in Lake Huron off the mouth of the Au Sable River had little success for salmon. Walleye up to 26 inches and a few pike were caught in the mornings and evenings by those casting crankbaits from the pier. A couple of good-sized smallmouth bass were also caught when still-fishing or jigging nightcrawlers or minnows. On the lower end of the Au Sable River, a couple of Atlantic salmon were caught between Foote Dam and the Whirlpool by those floating spawn, drifting and swinging egg or streamer flies through the holes, or fishing behind the gravel. Smallmouth bass have been caught, too. Archery deer hunting has been pretty good with good numbers of deer in the area. 

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


Pickford Area

A few nice catches of walleyes were taken in Raber Bay. Most fish averaged 16 to 19 inches. Walleyes were also caught south of Raber Point when trolling a crawler harness with a bottom bouncer in 8 to 12 feet of water near the mouth of Carlton Creek. At Detour, a few anglers caught chinook salmon in the St. Marys River. Try the Drummond Island side and fish from the red buoy east to the lighthouse and west to the green buoy. Orange and gold spoons fished 40 to 55 feet down in 80 to 90 feet of water have produced the best results. Down on Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel, yellow perch fishing was not good in Cedarville Bay or Connors Point. A few were taken by those drifting shiners and worms just off the bottom in the 12-foot channel south of the Cedarville launch. Few were targeting pike, but some good reports came from the Middle Entrance when trolling a 6- to 8-inch chartreuse or orange crankbait with a black ladder back. 

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Water temperatures are cooling down and anglers reported a few more perch being caught at Ashman Island and on the north side of Grape Island. Shiners fished just off the bottom in 12 to 14 feet of water are producing a good bite. Good pike action was reported on the southeast side of Grape Island when casting or trolling a spoon with a red eye just off the weedbeds in 7 to 9 feet of water. Those targeting the bigger pike were drifting chubs early morning and late evening.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Perch fishing has been very good with a lot of jumbos being caught on Manistique Lakes. Minnows and nightcrawlers fished on Big Manistique in 6 to 8 feet of water are producing good numbers of perch. Bluegill action has been good on South Manistique, but recent high winds slowed the bite. Walleye limits are being reported on Big Manistique. Those fishing in 7 to 8 feet of water report a good bite on crawlers and minnows. Grouse hunting has been fair. The bear season has been good. Archery deer hunting is off to a slow start.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Marquette Area

Fishing started to pick up in Lake Superior around the mouth of the Chocolay River and outside the breakwall in Lower Marquette Harbor. Most were targeting salmon, steelhead and brown trout when trolling in front of the Chocolay and Carp rivers in 30 to 50 feet of water. Shore anglers on the Carp, Dead and Chocolay rivers had low catch rates. More coho were starting to get caught at the mouth of the Carp and Chocolay rivers. 

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Walleye catches were spotty in Little Bay de Noc. The best action was in 18 to 35 feet of water when trolling stickbaits or nightcrawlers. Good catches of perch were reported in the Day’s River when fishing minnows in 16 to 24 feet, and around Kipling in 22 to 30 feet. Fair smallmouth action was reported between Hunters Point and Squaw Point when casting crankbaits, plastics or drop-shots in 18 feet or so. Archery deer season is of to a pretty good start.

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


L’Anse Area

Anglers trolling at the head of Keweenaw Bay and off the Sand Point Lighthouse are catching salmon 30 to 40 feet down. Orange and watermelon have been the hot colors. Fair numbers of lakers and a couple of brown trout have been caught. Fish are starting to run up the Huron, Silver and Falls rivers, but the runs have been slow to get started. Nightcrawlers and spawn have produced good results in the rivers. Bear hunting has slowed. The archery deer season has been good with good numbers of deer being sighted. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been pretty good in the Skanee and Covington areas. Fall colors are at about 60 percent.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic’s early fall fishing has been very slow and fishing pressure light. Those getting out continue to struggle. Most are using jig-and-minnow combos and some are trolling or casting stickbaits. The best reports are coming from those targeting the weeds and weed edges during low light conditions. Some continue to search for perch in the weeds using night crawlers. Grouse hunters are reporting low flush rates and a lot of leaves are still on the trees. 

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

Ontonagon Area

Fishing has been pretty good in Lake Superior with nice catches of lake trout taken in 25 to 75 feet of water. A few coho and brown trout have also been caught. Bear hunting has been good. Archery deer season is off to a decent start and grouse and woodcock flush rates have been good. 

Grieg’s Taxidermy & Tackle, (906) 884-2770.

Iron River Area

Cooler temperatures caused a decline in panfish production on Lac Vieux Desert, but there were still a few decent perch being caught on minnows. Some had success chasing walleyes, but the majority were sub-legal. Muskies and small pike are being caught, however fish measuring 30 inches or more were becoming more common. Bass angling pressure has slowed. Grouse and archery hunting have been decent and should improve as the leaves drop. Fall colors are changing.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

Categories: Michigan Fishing Reports, News

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