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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 14, 2021

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Walleye fishing was slow with little success due to east winds hitting the lake. Anglers were catching walleye ranging from 16 to 18 inches. The Dumping Grounds were producing with pink and purple being good colors to run. Anglers were fishing the channels and catching channel and occasional bullhead catfish. Bass fishing has still been good in Brest Bay with little perch success.

Lake St. Clair: Bass were found in water about 12 to15 feet deep near 9 Mile Road and the mouth of the Shipping Channel. Bass, walleye and a few musky were caught in Goose Bay and at the mouth of the North Channel. Some musky were caught near the South Channel while trolling as well. Anglers have been doing well catching yellow perch near 9 Mile Road and the Dumping Grounds in about 15 to 16 feet of water. Pike were caught near Strawberry Island.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout were caught straight out and north of the harbor on dodgers with spin and glows and spoons near the bottom in 170 feet of water. Best colors have been white with pink, green, orange and black. Some Steelhead were caught in 75 to 120 feet of water with bright colored spoons off the 5, 7, and 10 color lead lines. Walleye were caught closer to shore using worm burners, small body baits and small spoons. Work the 60 to 80 feet of water areas. Boards and downriggers were used, try some 2 and 5 color lead lines. Steelhead were taken straight out and north of the harbor in 50 feet of water off the 5 color lead lines. White with pink bombers were also working well.

Saginaw Bay: Anglers fishing off Quanicassee caught walleye in 9 to 11 feet of water.  The slot is producing walleye in 16 to 18 feet of water and occasionally shallower in 12 to 14 feet. Around Caseville, anglers might find walleye around the end of Sand Point and off of Oak Beach. Crawler harnesses were still working well and catching most fish.  Flicker shads and spoons have also taken walleye.

Off Finn Road, anglers were doing well overall trolling for walleye. Some limits were caught but they had to work for them. Straight out in 8 to 10 feet of water and north into the slot off Fish Point in 17 to 20 feet of water produced the best. From the mouth of the Saginaw River, walleye anglers did well trolling east of the shipping channel in 25 to 26 feet of water, and north of the man-made island in 17 feet of water. Catch rates were all over the place but some limits were caught.

Grindstone: Lake trout were caught in 150 feet to 160 feet of water straight out of the harbor and to the north using downriggers about halfway down with magnum spoons.

Port Austin: Walleye are showing up just to the west and out front of the harbor in 30 to 40 feet of water while trolling with crawler harnesses and artificial lures.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Boat anglers targeting salmon caught a mix of Chinook, coho, lake trout and steelhead. The best catches were in 120 feet and deeper. Pier anglers were catching freshwater drum and some steelhead when using alewife or worms. Pier anglers were also catching a few catfish. A small number of steelhead were caught on shrimp. The lake temperatures keep changing so quickly the steelhead are coming and going from the piers. Perch fishing was very slow. The best depths were around 30 feet of water.

South Haven: Pier anglers had slow fishing for all species except freshwater drum.  Overall fishing was slow, but a few anglers did very well for perch. Most anglers were fishing south of the piers in 35 to 40 feet of water. Salmon anglers fishing from boats had very slow fishing. The few Chinook and steelhead that were caught seemed extremely scattered and spread out. Boats were fishing from 80 feet of water to very deep.

Grand Haven: Good numbers of salmon and trout were caught in 80 to 170 feet of water. Anglers were finding the best action down 40 to 100 feet of water. Pier action was very slow for steelhead. The larger Chinook were coming in on meat rigs, flies and j plugs. There was a good number of Chinook coming in over 20 pounds with a couple over 30.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Alpena: Angling in the bay slowed down. Lake trout, rainbow trout and salmon were still caught by mostly trolling spoons in 100 to 140 feet of water. Walleye harvest decreased in the bay, but anglers were still finding success while trolling crawler harness and body baits in 10 to 20 feet of water.

Houghton Lake: Walleye, pike and bass were caught on the south shore while using a purple Beetle Spin. Crawlers and minnows were also doing well.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were catching bass, pike, freshwater drum, catfish and the occasional walleye. Common methods used by anglers to catch bass, pike and the occasional walleye include casting stick baits, body baits and spinners.

Oscoda: Anglers were catching lake trout, rainbow trout and few coho and pink salmon by mostly trolling spoons between water depths of 120 to 180 feet. Off the pier, anglers were catching mostly bass, sheepshead and channel catfish with the occasional walleye using drop shot rigs or floating worms.

Au Sable River: Bass was the most common species caught while casting stick and body baits. Catfish were caught with drop shot rigs with cut bait or worms. Anglers were occasionally catching walleye and freshwater drum most commonly by trolling crawler harnesses and body baits.

Tawas: Boat anglers were catching walleye out near Tawas Point in depths that ranged from 12 feet out in front of the East Branch of the Au Gres River at the Singing Bridge access, to 30 to 50 feet near buoy #2 and near the Charity Islands. Crawlers and crank baits both worked. It was slow fishing on the pier and at Gateway Park. A few small perch and catfish were caught off minnows and crawlers.

Au Gres: Boat anglers were catching walleye in 20 to 35 feet off crawlers and crank baits. The fish were scattered from out near the Charity Islands and south to the Saganing Bar. Bass anglers were catching both largemouth and smallmouth bass, pike and walleye in the Au Gres River near the mouth and nearby weed beds and structure off spinners and body baits.

Pine River: Boat anglers caught walleye and catfish in 20 to 30 feet of water straight out of the river and near the catfish hole. Both crawlers and crank baits worked well. Largemouth bass and a few pike were caught closer to shore along the weed beds and structure while using spinners and body baits.

Cheboygan River: Anglers were catching several freshwater drum. Shore anglers continued to struggle catching walleye; however, several undersized walleye were caught using natural bait. Undersized smallmouth bass were caught along the river, with reports of some smallmouth bass reaching lengths of 17 inches. Anglers were frequently catching freshwater drum, smallmouth bass and walleye when using natural bait.

Hammond Bay: The first report of Chinook salmon being caught out of the Hammond Bay region occurred this past week. Along the Ocqueoc River, undersized smallmouth bass continued to be the prominent catch. Shore anglers were having the best luck using both, artificial and natural bait to catch smallmouth bass.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: There were reports of good lake trout catches with a couple Chinook showing up north of Harbor Springs around 5 Mile and 7 Mile. Chinook were also reported near Harbor Point, but in lower numbers. Boat anglers were fishing deep in 130 to 150 feet of water.

Grand Traverse – East Bay: Lake trout fishing was good out of Yuba launch. Fishing in 80 to 120 feet of water was best. Smallmouth bass fishing slowed down but a few were being caught. Only a few bass were still on beds, most have moved to the edge of the drop-offs. Most bass were caught next to structure near the drop-off. A few salmon and steelhead were caught.

Grand Traverse – West Bay: A few bass were caught in Bowers Harbor near the drop-offs and around any structure. Few bass are left on beds. Lake trout fishing was picking up around Marion Island. A few salmon were caught but the big numbers of salmon were not there yet.

Frankfort: Chinooks were starting to show up on a regular basis. Anglers are finding the temperature break down around 58 feet, trolling in water 105 to 140 feet and working above and below the break. The morning bite is reporting good numbers, but the afternoon/evening bite was also producing a nice mix of steelhead, coho, lake trout and Chinook. Flashers/flies and meat rigs seem to be landing the bigger 20+ pound Chinooks.

Onekama: Anglers heading straight out to 120 to 150 feet of water and working the top 70 feet of water were reporting some Chinooks and lake trout in the early mornings. Later in the day, anglers were moving into the Barrel to land a few lake trout. Green and blue spoons and flies were getting just a bit more bites.

Arcadia: Anglers trolling in front of the golf course were reporting a few Chinooks and lake trout in the early mornings as bait pods were beginning to show up in more regularity. Most hits are coming on random colors – change your lures often.

Charlevoix: Most anglers were fishing offshore and had some luck with lake trout and cisco. Most luck was between 100 to 130 feet of water. Anglers were mainly targeting smallmouth bass in the channel in Charlevoix with real and artificial worms. A few keepers were caught, but other days were slow.

Petoskey: Pressure was light past the mouth of the river, but a couple smallmouth bass were caught on worms in this area. A couple smallmouth were caught near the break wall too, on the outside/west side in the cooler water.

Manistee: A few Chinook were caught along the shelf in 100 to 300 feet of water and south towards Big Sable Point. Spoons and flasher fly combos worked at depths of 30 to 70 feet. Lake trout were caught at 90 to 110 feet while fishing near bottom and in the mix when fishing for salmon. A few steelhead were caught as well, usually from the top 30 feet. The north pier was slow.

Ludington: A few Chinook and coho were caught straight out from the harbor and near Big Sable Point. Spoons and flies worked. The salmon were anywhere from 120 to 200+ feet of water and at 100 to 160+ feet of water off the point. Lake trout and steelhead were also in the mix from depths of 60 to 150 feet of water. Lake trout fishing was decent in 100 feet of water. In the harbor, smaller salmon were caught while trolling. A few smallmouth bass were caught near the rocks in the harbor as well.

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon: Anglers fishing out of Ontonagon and Union Bay had to do some searching to find fish but once they were located the fish were fairly cooperative. Trolling spoons was the primary tactic for anglers and lake trout comprised most of the bags that came in. A few stray coho and Chinook were caught as well. The winds during the week stirred up the water so finding the thermocline was not a very useful tactic for locating fish. The Ontonagon River was producing a few legal walleye for folks who were trolling and jigging but there was a lot of sorting to be done for the legals. For salmon and trout trolling, vary depths and colors of lures until you find one the fish like.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers in Big Traverse Bay and near south Portage Entry had lots of luck fishing in deeper water for lake trout. Anglers were successful both trolling and jigging for these fish. In Keweenaw Bay, anglers had a tough time battling the winds but those who got out found lake trout in medium depth water. Fishing in Huron Bay was high early in the week with anglers having success east a few miles from the mouth of the bay. These anglers mostly caught lake trout as well. Coho were caught further north up Keweenaw Bay and mostly in the later hours of the day. Shore anglers in Portage Entry found rock bass, perch and smallmouth bass around weeds on the shoreline.

Au Train: Some boats came in with fish and some didn’t. Trolling was effective if you found the fish. Most success was in 170 to 200 feet of water.

Munising: Pleasure boat and traffic has been extremely high. Trailer counts have been well over 50 to 75 boat trailers at peak times in the afternoon with about 10% fishing boats. Lake trout anglers were doing well with limits being reported. Fish are averaging around the 3 to 4 pound range. A few lake trout have been approaching the 15 to 20 pound range. Anglers were doing well with the common areas being fished near White Rocks, Grump’s Hump, and areas along Wood Island Reef. Best depths were around 120 to 150 feet of water. Big Reef was producing some nice catches of lake trout up to 20 pounds. A few Chinooks were caught with some nice splake around 3 to 4 pounds.

Grand Marais: Very few boat anglers have been out however the boats that have been out were producing limits of lake trout with most averaging around 3 to 4 pounds. Anglers were targeting Five Mile Reef – shipping lanes and towards AuSable. Best depths were around 200 feet of water.

Little Bay de Noc: Perch anglers were experiencing mixed results. Those that found schools had to work for bites and plucked away to catch fish of a reasonable size.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth anglers were reporting good catch rates. Fishing around the islands showed signs of improvement. Anglers launching out of Nahma were landing multiple large fish. Perch anglers in Ogontz struggled, but some managed to bring in small numbers. Salmon fishing in Fairport was excellent, with some reports of success with steelhead; many targeting 100 to 180 feet of water.

St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: Anglers in St. Ignace continued to have a hard time finding lake trout close by but are traveling to Boblo Island and were doing well in that area with few being caught around Mackinac Island. Pike and walleye were still being caught in the carp and near the mouth of the Pine River. In the Hessel area, anglers were continuing to do well with splake within the west entrance and were still catching pike off the pier. The walleye fishing picked up and anglers were doing well in Snows Channel. Cisco fishing slowed in the area, but locals were reporting that it was the best it has been in years. Anglers were having luck fishing with chubs for pike and crawler harnesses while trolling for walleye.


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