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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 9, 2021

Report from the Dock

Fish are moving into their summer patterns across much of the state and fishing has been pretty good.

Bluegills and sunfish have moved out of the shallows and into the first weedbeds in lakes across most of the Lower Peninsula. On some of the more northern lakes and in the Upper Peninsula some fish have moved out of the shallows and some are still spawning so plan your strategy accordingly. Try crickets, leaf worms, or red worms.

Bass fishing also has been good across most of the state. The best bites are occurring in the early mornings and later in the evenings. Good action has been reported along the breaks and weeds in Paw Paw, Orion, Isabella, Fletchers, Manistique, and many other lakes.

Walleye fishing has been very good in Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay, Lake Charlevoix, South Lake Leelanau, Raber Bay, Manistique Lakes, Lake Gogebic, to name a few. Nightcrawlers and leeches are both catching fish and spoons in bright colors are also producing good results.

Salmon and trout fishing in the Great Lakes has moved off shore with most of the action taking place in 100 to 200 feet of water or more. Lakers are hitting at the bottom of the water column, kings and cohos in the middle depths, and steelhead in the top 20 to 40 feet, depending on your location.

SOUTHEASTERN LP

Irish Hills Area

Fishing has been pretty good in Jackson County. Panfish are hitting crickets and panfish worms on most of the lakes. A few fish on the beds on some of the smaller lakes. Bass fishing has been good on Center, Clark, and Devils.

Knutson’s Sporting Goods, (800) 292-0857 or (517) 592-2786.

Lake Orion

Bass and panfish are keeping anglers busy on Orion, Lakeville, Orchard, and Cass lakes. A few pike have been caught too, with the best action coming on spinnerbaits fished early in the mornings. Bass are hitting crankbaits, and soft plastics along with nightcrawlers and leeches. The panfish bite has been hot with leaf worms, crickets and wax worms.

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

Luna Pier Area

Anglers on Lake Erie have been catching walleyes out in 24 to 28 feet of water. Crawler harnesses with green spinners are showing good results. Anglers, trolling over 2 mph, running Bandits and spoons have had less by-catch. Purple and chartreuse have been hot colors. Anglers have been running into a lot of weeds to the north by the Fermi Power Plant, so fishing the Dumping Grounds has been a good alternative. Not many people were catching perch still, but bass fishing in Brest Bay was good with the occasional northern pike being caught, too.

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

SOUTHWESTERN LP

St. Joseph Area

Pier anglers were catching catfish and drum in Lake Michigan. Fishing for steelhead and perch was slow. There were a few fish being caught in 35 feet of water. Boat anglers targeting salmon also had slow fishing. Anglers caught some decent fish well past 120 feet of water. Spoons seemed to be the most productive lures.

Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.

Coloma Area

Bass have taken the spotlight on Paw Paw Lake. Good numbers of fish have been caught on Ned rigs and small crankbaits. Walleye fishing has been decent in 17 to 20 feet of water. Leeches, crawlers, and minnows are all taking fish. One walleye angler caught a 23-pound, 11-ounce channel catfish in 25 feet of water. The panfish bite also remains good. 

Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522.

Hastings Area

Bass fishing has been good on most of the lakes in the area including Middle, Leech and Carter lakes. Soft plastics in purple or white have been very popular. Ned rigs are also producing good results. Most of the action has been off the weed patches in 6 feet of water or more. Bluegills are still hitting, too. They have moved off their beds on most lakes and hitting wax worms, red worms, and crickets.

Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

 In lower Saginaw Bay, boat anglers are catching walleyes at Pinconning in 12 feet of water on crawlers, and at the  Blackhole in 24 feet of water. At Linwood ‘eyes are hitting crawlers and crankbaits in 20 to 24 feet of water. The Dumping Grounds are also producing some walleyes in 20 feet of water and anglers report catching good numbers of ‘eyes one mile north of sailboat buoys A and B in 18 to 20 feet of water. At Smith Park in Essexville shore anglers are catching smallmouth bass on perch rigs and worms. Walleye were scattered throughout the eastern part of the bay. Anglers caught fish out from Quanicassee in 10 to 12 feet of water. The Slot is producing walleyes in 16 to 18 feet from Sunset to Sebewaing and up towards the islands. Anglers going over the sand bar are finding some walleye in 20 to 25 feet of water.

Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Weidman Area

Walleye fishing has been pretty good on Coldwater and Chippewa Lake. Leeches and crawlers are producing the best results. Bluegills are hitting crickets and worms fished in 10 to 12 feet of water on most lakes in the area. Bass fishing also has been good on Coldwater, Isabella, the Martiny Chain of Lakes and most other lakes in the area. 

Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.

Ludington Area

Salmon were scattered in Lake Michigan. After the water cooled down a few coho have been caught.  Light numbers of chinook were found straight out from the harbor, south of the harbor, and near Big Sable Point. The salmon were in anywhere from 120 to 200 feet of water and out to 400 feet and in 120 to 350 feet of water off the point. Lake trout and steelhead were also in the mix from depths of 60 to 150 feet of water. A couple smallmouth were caught off the north pier using lures and plastics. If the adipose fin (fin between the dorsal and tail) of your catch is missing, your fish may have a coded wire tag. Save the head or snout of that fish and put it in one of the head freezers at Copeyon Park or the Manistee fish cleaning station. Your name could be drawn at the end of the year to win a gift card. 

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

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Walleye fishing has been very good in Lake Huron between the Sand Point Buoy and Caseville in 16 to 20 feet of water, and from Oak Point to Sleeper State Park in 25 to 50 feet of water. The best action has been on bright colored crawler harnesses. Anglers are catching a mixed bag of fish off the breakwall in Caseville including bass, pike, walleye, sheepshead, catfish, and more.

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

Harbor Beach Area

A few smallmouth bass were caught in the harbor. Lake trout were taken straight out and north of the harbor using Dodgers and Spin-N-Glos, and spoons in green, blue, and white with pink dots in 130 feet of water. Some walleye were taken in the same areas and also in closer to shore with green and chartreuse, and orange colored bodybaits or crawler harnesses. A few steelhead were taken around the color lines on the 7, 9, and 10 colored lead lines with bright colored spoons.

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

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

Lake Michigan anglers report catching fair numbers of salmon on the backside of North Point in 90 to 120 feet of water. Lake trout are hitting Spin-N-Glos fished right on the bottom along 9 Mile Point. Shore anglers are catching perch and smallmouth bass along the rocks by the North Pier, and bullhead and catfish at the mouth of the Jordan River. Walleye fishing has been good in the South Arm on Lake Charlevoix. Try trolling crawler harnesses in 16 to 19 feet. Topwater baits have been producing a lot of smallies off docks in the shallows on the sand flats. Perch have been caught in Charlevoix, too . The best bites have been south of Holy Island on the weedbeds. Decent numbers of bluegills, perch, and crappies have been caught in 6 Mile Lake.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

A sporadic numbers of king salmon have been caught at the south end of West Grand Traverse Bay. The best action has been early in the mornings. When the salmon bite wanes anglers are heading out to Power Island and fishing lake trout along the drop-offs in 110 feet of water. Try cowbells and Spin-N-Glos. Inland lake anglers report good walleye and pike action on South Lake Leelanau in 8 to 15 feet of water. The hex hatch is over.  

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com. 

Manistee Area

Fishing on Lake Michigan has been  hit or miss. A few chinook were caught along the shelf in 100 to 200 feet of water or more, and south towards Big Sable Point. Light numbers of lake trout were caught in about 100 feet of water. A few steelhead were in the mix, usually from the top 30 feet of water. 

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.

NORTHEASTERN LP

Higgins Lake Area

Rock bass and smallmouth bass are hitting along the flats on Higgins Lake. Leeches and nightcrawlers are both attracting attention. The lake trout bite has been decent early in the morning in 90 to 100 feet of water.

Sportsman’s Barn, (989) 821-9511

Atlanta Area

Bluegills have moved off their beds on most of the lakes in Montmorency County. Look for them in the weeds in 6 to 10 feet of water. Bass fishing has been real good on Grass, Fletchers, and West Twin lakes, but  walleye fishing has been slow on East and West Twin. The turkey hatch was fantastic this spring. There are a lot of chicks on the ground.

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

Rogers City Area

Limits of lake trout have been reported on Lake Huron, but anglers are having to work for them. Good places to fish are west towards 40 Mile Point or south towards Swan Bay and Adams Point. The best depths have been anywhere from 65 to 120 feet of water and anglers are running lines throughout the water column for a chance at an occasional coho, chinook or steelhead. Atlantic salmon have also been taken while running lines in the top 20 feet of water. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Herring fishing remains pretty good around Drummond Island. Anglers are fishing wax worms and mayflies in 14 to 20 feet of water with good success. Decent numbers of Atlantics salmon and lakers are hitting at DeTour. Perch, pike, and bass are being caught in Lake Huron around the Les Cheneaux Islands. Walleye fishing has been pretty good in Raber Bay in about 14 feet of water. 

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Curtis Area

Walleyes, bluegills, perch, crappies, and bass are keeping anglers busy on Manistique Lakes. Walleyes are hitting crawler harnesses baited with nightcrawlers and leeches. Purple, pink and firetiger have been hot colors. Perch, ‘gills, and crappies are being caught on leaf worms, crawlers and minnows. Pike and bass are hitting spinnerbaits, minnows and flicker shad.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Marquette Area

Fair numbers of  lake trout and coho have been caught in Lake Superior out of Marquette. Over at Munising, fishing pressure was light with most boats heading south to Fairport/Manistique for chinook salmon. Good numbers of lake trout were caught at Grand Portal, the west channel near White Rocks, and the Wood Island Reef. A few boats went to Big Reef and did well with a few limits reported.  

Superior Outfitters, (906) 273-0229.

Escanaba Area

Walleye fishing has been fair in Little Bay de Noc with a lot of undersized fish being caught. Perch anglers were finding some action when using worms in shallow waters. Shore anglers along the Ford River were catching smallmouth bass. 

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

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

Lake trout were being caught in the afternoons by anglers trolling in the deeper water in both Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay. Some anglers were still able to reel in an occasional coho. In Big Traverse Bay, anglers had some luck trolling in medium depth water for lake trout. 

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic walleye and perch have been hitting crawlers fished in the weeds in 5 to 10 feet of water. Anglers working leeches in 12 to 18 are catching walleyes and smallmouth bass. Those trolling the mud flats flat with crawlers and stickbaits on boards have caught suspended fish.

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

Ontonagon Area

Anglers fishing out of Ontonagon continued to do well while trolling for lake trout. Fish were found anywhere from 30 to 120 feet of water and spoons seemed to be the ticket. A few brown trout and coho were picked up but the primary catch was lake trout. The Ontonagon River was producing a few legal walleyes but there was a lot of sorting for anglers trolling and jigging. Piers anglers were finding a few legal fish and the occasional sturgeon while using crawlers. Union Bay has not been very busy but the anglers fishing out of there have had similar success to Ontonagon. 

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

The DNR contributed to this report.

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