Report from the Dock
Salmon spawning runs are underway on rivers across the state, and the action has been pretty good. Anglers are drifting spawn, wax worms, and night crawlers, and casting spoons and crankbaits and all are producing action.
The bite is slowing a bit on the Great Lakes, but fair numbers of salmon and lake trout are still being caught.
Inland, fish are starting to move into their fall patterns and action is heating up as they head for the weeds and shallower water. Good reports of perch, bluegills, walleyes and bass are coming from many areas of the state. Don’t park your boat for the season just yet. Some of the best fishing of the year is coming to a body of water near you!
Early goose and teal hunting has been mixed, with some hunters reporting good action and others struggling to find birds.
Small game season is off to a slow start, and hunting pressure has been light.
Bear hunters report a good start to the season.
Lake St. Clair
Heavy weeds and high wind have made fishing difficult on Lake St. Clair. Perch fishing has been pretty good but anglers are having to sort through their catch to find the keepers. Walleye fishing has been slow. A few fish have been caught at Cans 18, 22, and 24, and near the cement tower. Muskie and bass fishing remains pretty good. Early goose hunting has been pretty good, too.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Irish Hills Area
Early goose and teal hunting has been good, but hunting pressure has been light in Jackson County. North winds have pushed a few birds down. Fishing is improving as fish move into their fall feeding patterns. A good panfish bite has been reported on Wamplers and Devil’s lakes. The bass bite has been good, too, as the fish are moving into the weedlines closer to shore.
Knutson’s Sporting Goods, (800) 292-0857 or (517) 592-2786.
Luna Pier Area
Walleye and perch fishing has slowed a bit on Lake Erie and fishing pressure has been light. The bite should improve as the water cools. Light numbers of fish are still being caught, but anglers are having to move around to stay on them.
Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
St. Joseph Area
High winds have kept fishing to a minimum on Lake Michigan. Salmon are starting to move into the St. Joe River, and good action has been reported near the dam. Spawn and flies are producing good results. Perch are hitting on Lake Michigan in 30 to 40 feet of water, and lakers are hitting in 120 to 140 feet of water. Early goose hunting has been good. There are a lot of birds in the area.
Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.
Fishing pressure has been light in Barry County. Bluegill fishing has been good on most inland lakes in the area. The water is cooling and the fish are moving in closer to shore. Muskies are hitting on Thornapple Lake. Steelhead and salmon have been caught in the Kalamazoo River at the Allegan Dam. Good salmon reports have come from anglers fishing on the Grand River, too. Early goose hunting has been very good. There are a lot of geese in the area. Archery deer season should be good, too. Hunters report seeing a lot of nice bucks.
Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.
Saginaw Bay Area
High winds have been a big problem and kept many anglers off Saginaw Bay. When they can get out, anglers report catching good numbers of perch at Bay City where a lot of “good-sized fish” have been caught. Walleye fishing has been slow with the best action being reported near Pinconning and Linwood. Early teal and goose hunting has been good.
Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
High winds have made it tough to get out on Lake Michigan. Salmon have moved into Pere Marquette Lake, and anglers are jigging up some nice fish. Salmon also have moved into the Pere Marquette River and good reports have been coming from Custer to the mouth of the river. Early goose and teal hunting has been decent, but hunting pressure has been light. Grouse hunting has been fair.
Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.
Wind and rain have kept boaters off Lake Huron. However, the nasty weather has been good for goose hunters who report very good gunning during the early season. A few teal have been shot, too. Light numbers of bluegills, crappies, and perch are starting to show up in the cuts and canals. Crawlers and leaf worms have produced the best results.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
The fall walleye run has started in the St. Clair River. Shore anglers are catching a lot of fish and those getting their boats out are having good success jigging. High winds have kept boats off Lake Huron. Early goose hunting has been very good. There are a lot of geese in the Thumb.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
East Jordan Area
Coho salmon are being caught at the Bear River Dam in Petoskey. Spawn bags, nightcrawlers, flies, and spoons have all caught fish. A few kings have been caught in Lake Charlevoix off the St. Mary’s Cement Plant in Charlevoix. Salmon are running in the Boyne and Jordan rivers. Perch fishing has been pretty good in the south arm of Lake Charlevoix. The best action has been in 10 to 25 feet of water between Elm Point and the tourist park. Good numbers of perch and fair numbers of walleyes and muskies have been hitting at the north end of Six Mile Lake, and a good perch bite has been reported on Loon Lake. The early goose season has been slow. Bear hunting has been good.
Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.
Salmon are moving into the Platte and Betsie rivers in pretty good numbers. Anglers are reminded of a regulation change on the Betsie at the Homestead Dam. Anglers must stay 300 feet from the lamprey barrier and fish structure. This new regulation took effect Sept. 11 and runs through Nov. 15. Salmon and lake trout fishing has slowed a little on Lake Michigan but a few fish are still being caught in front of the piers, especially at night. Wind has been a problem for boaters. Small game hunting got off to a slow start and hunting pressure has been light.
Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.
High winds have kept boats off Lake Michigan, but good numbers of salmon have moved into the Manistee River and the action there has been good. The early goose season has been decent.
Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.
Houghton Lake Area
Fishing has been very slow on Houghton Lake. A few walleyes have been caught, but overall anglers are really having to work to find the fish. Early goose and teal hunting has been decent. The Liberty Hunt was very good. Several nice bucks were taken.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Fish are moving into their fall patterns and moving closer to shore. Bear hunting has been good with several big boars being killed in the area. The early elk season has been good, too. Bulls are starting to bugle.
Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.
Rogers City Area
High winds have been a problem for boat anglers on Lake Huron. When they can get out, anglers report catching a mixed bag of kings, lakers, and steelhead. A few decent walleyes have been caught, too. The bear season is off to a good start. Grouse hunters are flushing a fair number of birds but shooting has been minimal due to heavy foliage.
Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303
Perch fishing has been good in the St Mary’s River at Barbeau. The best action has been in 20 to 22 feet of water with worms catching a lot of fish. Perch are also hitting in Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel. Good reports have come from the Island No. 8 Bridge, and in Hessel off the docks in the Hessel Marina. Good numbers of splake also have been caught. Salmon are moving into local streams including the Carp and Albany rivers and Nunns Creek. Spawn, spoons, and crankbaits have all caught fish. Walleye fishing has been slow and weather has been poor on Munuscong Bay. The fall walleye and perch bites should pick up any day in Munuscong, along with the muskie bite. Bear hunting got off to a decent start with a couple 300-pound-plus bruins already being checked in. Duck season should be good. Early goose hunting was pretty good.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Perch fishing has improved as fish move into fall patterns. Good action has been reported by anglers fishing with minnows or crawlers in 14 to 16 feet of water between Ashman and James islands. A few bass and pike have been caught, but most anglers are targeting perch. Lake trout are hitting in the St. Mary’s River about 2 miles south of the lighthouse in 90 feet of water. Grouse hunters report good flush rates, but limited shooting due to heavy foliage. Bear hunting is off to a good start with three of the five tags issued on the island already filled as of Sept. 18. The early teal hunt was pretty good, but goose hunting has been slow.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
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. The early goose season was pretty good and duck season also should be good with lots of local ducks in the area. Grouse season got off to a slow start.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Walleye fishing has been fair in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. Night anglers reported the best catches between the Center Reef and the Second Reef. Try trolling stick baits at night in 12 to 20 feet of water. Stick baits and crawler harnesses will also pick up fish in 15 to 30 feet of water during the day. Perch fishing has been decent in 20 to 22 feet of water at Kipling and off Gladstone Beach. Smallmouth bass action has been spotty. Early goose season has been pretty good and bear hunters are tagging a few bruins. Small game hunting has been slow.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Iron Mountain Area
Fishing pressure has been light. Walleyes are hitting at Peavy, Michigamme, and in the lower end of the Menominee River. A couple pinks have been caught, too. Light numbers of muskies are hitting in the Paint River. Bear hunting is off to a decent start. Grouse hunting has been fair, but heavy leaf cover is hindering shots.
Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.
Anglers fishing Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay report catching a mixed bag of trout and salmon. The best action has come to those targeting lake trout with flashers and flies, or dodgers and Spin-N-Glos. On the Baraga side of the bay, shore anglers are catching fair numbers of fish at the Baraga Marina and off the big earth bridge. Brookie fishing has been very good on the Falls and Silver rivers. Pike anglers fishing the Portage South Entry are catching good numbers of northerns, and a few walleyes, in as little as 5 feet of water. Bear season got off to a decent start.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Fishing is improving on Lake Gogebic. Most anglers are using nightcrawlers and leeches for walleyes, but the minnow bite is beginning to improve. Walleye anglers are still working the weeds in 8 to 12 feet of water with live bait and stick baits. Anglers jigging or using slip-bobbers report pretty good action in 26 to 30 feet of water. A few nice perch have been caught in the same areas. Bear hunting got off to a fair start. Grouse hunting has been slow with heavy foliage and tall grass making it tough to see birds.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
Trout fishing remains pretty good on local rivers as the season winds down. Trout fishing ends on Sept. 30 on most designated trout streams. Perch fishing has been pretty good on Chicagon and Stanley lakes. Bear hunting has been good and the size of the bears being registered is good with most averaging around 200 to 225 pounds. A couple were in the 400-pound range. A few grouse have been shot but heavy foliage is hampering shooting. Early goose hunting has been fair. Two days of hard frost last week could shake things up a little and get the birds moving.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.