Report from the Dock
Trout fishermen report that most of the popular hatches are done and trout are being caught on an assortment of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Caddis, olives and terrestrials have produced a good night bite so take an afternoon nap and plan to stay up late when you hit the river. Spinners have taken a fair number of fish, too.
Great Lakes anglers report mixed results. The lake trout bite has slowed a little on Lake Superior. When the fish turn on the action is red hot, but there seems to be more down time than hot time. In the Lower Peninsula Great Lakes, anglers report catching a mixed bag of salmon and trout on both Lake Huron and Lake Michigan – more salmon in Lake Michigan than Lake Huron. The fish have been found in water ranging from 60 to 200 feet.
Walleye fishing remains very good along the southeast side of the Lower Peninsula. Anglers report catching good numbers of fish in Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and Saginaw Bay. Most of the success has been on nightcrawlers, but a few fish have been caught by anglers trolling crankbaits.
Panfish, bass, and northern pike are being caught on inland lakes across the state. Most of the lakes have warmed up enough to push the fish into summer patterns and into the deeper weedbeds.
Lake St. Clair
Walleye and perch action has picked up significantly on Lake St. Clair. The perch bite was best between the Nine Mile launch and the Canadian border in 15 to 18 feet of water. Perch were also coming in from Anchor Bay and from the water near the mouth of the South Channel. Anglers were catching perch on minnows and crawlers. Limit catches of walleyes were reported by anglers fishing at the Dumping Grounds in 18 feet of water. Smaller catches of ‘eye were taken from the northeast portions of Anchor Bay and the channel mouths. Most walleyes were caught on crawler harnesses, but some were hitting artificial lures. The smallmouth bass action was good near the Dumping Grounds in 17-plus feet of water, near Grosse Point,and in the northeast portion of Anchor Bay. Muskies have been caught in this area of the Bay too. Muskies have been caught by anglers trolling and casting near Gull Island, Goose Bay, and near Strawberry Island in 10 to 18 feet of water.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Bass fishing has been pretty good on inland lakes in northern Oakland County. A good bite has been reported by anglers fishing in the stump field in Lakeville Lake, and in Anchor Bay and around the point straight out from Park Island in Lake Orion. Crankbaits, topwaters, and soft plastics have all caught fish. Light numbers of panfish have been caught on East and West Graham, but the weeds are getting thick.
Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.
Luna Pier Area
Walleye were being caught at the west end of Lake Erie by the state line off of the Fermi Nuclear Plant. Anglers were finding lots of weeds down by the Dumping Grounds. Anglers running crawlers were enjoying success with green harnesses. Hot-N-Tots were also catching fish. Purple and chartreuse are productive colors. Crawlers and bottom bouncers fished in 27 to 28 feet of water were also doing well for walleyes. Yellow perch fishing was starting to pick up. Anglers were finding success out in front of Luna Pier and Toledo Beach. Shiner minnows were producing the best results for yellow perch. A few large channel catfish have been caught out deep off of Bolles Harbor. Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
Fishing has slowed a little in Van Buren County. Light numbers of panfish, bass, and a few walleyes are hitting in Paw Paw Lake. Walleyes are hitting crawlers and leeches in 20 to 30 feet of water. One local youngster caught a 23-pound, 11-ouncs channel catfish. Bass are hitting soft plastics. The pike bite has been slow. Walleyes, smallmouth bass and light numbers of steelhead have been caught in the St. Joseph River. A fair number of perch have been caught in Lake Michigan in 40 feet of water, but the fish are moving in and out at St. Joe. Better action has been reported at South Haven.
Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522.
Fishing has been pretty good on inland lakes. Panfish are hitting wax worms and crickets on Algonquin, Carter, Leech and Middle lakes along with several of the other inland lakes. Bass fishing also has been good on the same lakes. Soft plastics are catching a good share of fish.
Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.
Saginaw Bay Area
Walleye fishing remains very good in Saginaw Bay. Good numbers of fish have been caught two miles east of the Spark Plug in 24 feet of water on nightcrawlers. Walleyes were also caught in 7 feet of water off Finn Road on nightcrawlers. Yellow perch were hitting minnows at the Black Hole in 24 feet of water. At Smith Park in Essexville, shore anglers were catching channel catfish, freshwater drum, and some smallmouth bass. Worms were producing good results.
Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Trout fishing has been good on the Pere Marquette River. Nymphs, small streamers, terrestrials, olives and caddis have all been catching fish. The night bite has been productive. Bluegill fishing remains pretty good on inland lakes in the area including Idlewild and Big Star. The bigger fish have moved out to deeper weedbeds. Bass fishing has been good on the inland lakes, too. Soft plastics fished in 8-15 feet of water have produced good results.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.
Boats anglers on Lake Michigan were catching a mix of salmon and trout 60 to 120 feet down in 80 to 160 feet of water. Green meat rigs and flies were working well for salmon. Pier anglers were catching a few freshwater drum while casting spoons.
Fish-on Charters and Bait, (616) 402-4307.
Chinook and coho salmon have been caught in Lake Michigan, straight out from the harbor in 50 to 100-feet-plus of water, south toward the Project in 60 to 110 feet, and at Big Sable Point in 80 to 160 feet. Spoons and flies worked well. A couple lake trout and steelhead were also in the mix. In the harbor, smaller salmon were caught by trollers along with a few freshwater drum. A few pike were also caught in the harbor from the piers The early morning salmon bite has been best. A couple chinook were caught in evening, but it was hit or miss.
Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.
Harbor Beach Area
Some lake trout were caught in Lake Huron out in 150 to 170 feet of water. Dodgers and Spin-N-Glos running close to the bottom have produced a good bite. Steelhead were caught in 150 feet of water on 10 colors of lead line, off planer boards, and off the Dipsey rods back 150 feet with bright colored spoons. A few salmon were taken in 165 feet of water on spoons 60 feet down. Walleyes were caught in 70 to 150 feet of water on small spoons and bodybaits. Bass were caught close to shore while casting small bodybaits and spoons.
Frank’s Place Bait & Tackle, (989) 864-5634.
Walleye fishing remains pretty good in the St. Clair River, although it has slowed a little. The early morning and late evening bites have been best. Those trolling crawler harnesses are doing well in the mornings and handliners are catching the fish at night. Perch action is starting to improve in multiple spots from Lexington in Lake Huron to Marysville in the river.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
Fair numbers of chinook were starting to show up in Lake Michigan. The early morning bite was more productive than afternoon and evenings. Trolling out front in 100 to 150 feet of water and working the top 75 feet with meat rigs, spoons, and flies and flashers has worked well. Lake trout were caught in the same area on spoons trolled closer to bottom. Steelhead and brown trout were being reported so swapping out lures later in the day may help. At Onekama, anglers heading straight out to 140 to 200 feet of water are catching a few chinook in the mornings in the 80 feet of water. Anglers were fishing into the Barrel later in the morning to try their luck on lake trout.
Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.
Walleye fishing has been good right behind Pilgrim Village on Lake Mitchell. Crawler harnesses and crankbaits have both produced good results. Perch and bass are hitting at the east end of Lake Cadillac in 12 feet of water. Try minnows for the perch and soft plastics for the bass. Anglers are catching a lot of smaller perch and having to sort for the bigger ones, but fish up to 12 inches have been caught.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Trout fishing remains good on the Au Sable River. The majority of hatches are done and anglers report catching fish on an assortment of flies including olives, caddis, terrestrials, and streamers. Inland lake fishing has been decent. Bass, panfish and light numbers of walleyes all have been caught.
Skip’s Sport Shop, (989) 348-7111.
Old Au Sable Fly Shop, (989) 348-3330
Houghton Lake Area
Fishing has been good on Houghton Lake. Walleyes and bass were caught in 12 to 15 feet of water in East Bay. Anglers were mostly using crawler harnesses and leeches.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Bass and panfish continue to keep anglers busy on Fletcher Pond and Twin Lakes. The fish have moved out to the drop-off but are moving in shallow early in the mornings.
Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.
Drummond Island Area
Smallmouth bass and northern pike are keeping anglers busy at Drummond Island. Pike anglers are bobber fishing with chubs. Spinners and Ned rigs are taking the smallies. Good action has been reported in both Scotts and Maxton Bays. Look for weedbeds, and bull rush for pike, work the rock piles for the smallies. A few walleyes are starting to show up in Scotts Bay. Those slow trolloing with crawlers and bottom-bouncers report a fair bite. Lake trout are being caught beyond the light house along the flats in the St. Mary’s River.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
St. Ignace Area
Walleye fishing near the mouth of the Pine River was still good. Anglers drifting with leeches are catching a lot of smaller ones mixed in with a few keepers. At the Les Cheneaux Islands anglers report the best smallmouth bass fishing in years. Anglers were catching smallmouth bass in Muskie Bay, too. Perch and pike have been caught off the pier in Hessel, mostly in the early morning hours.
Ace Hardware, (906) 643-7721.
Walleye are being caught in Little Bay de Noc out of north shore launch and off the mouth of the Whitefish River. Smallmouth bass action has been good and some anglers fishing off the Gladstone fishing pier were catching perch and pike. Smallmouth bass are keeping anglers busy in Big Bay de Noc. Perch anglers had variable success, with some able to catch their limit.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Lake trout catches were spotty on Lake Superior out of Marquette Harbor. Some Anglers found fish in 140 to 180 feet of water. A couple coho and a brown trout were caught, too. Over at Munising, fishing pressure has been light and recreational boating traffic has been heavy. Those anglers who did venture out reported catching good numbers of lakers – five or more fish per party of two and up to some limits. There was a heavy mayfly hatch last week. Fishing at Big Reef was excellent with anglers either jigging or trolling along the top and sides of the reef. Several fish in the 15- to 20-pound range have been caught.
Gwinn Bait & Tackle (906) 346-3330., (906) 226-8300
Lake Gogebic fishermen targeting smallmouth bass and yellow perch report doing very well. The walleye action has dropped off and has been slow. Most of the walleyes that have been caught are smaller fish. Crawlers and leeches fished in 8 to 12 feet of water have been producing the best results. Walleye anglers working the mud flats with planer boards and crawler harnesses are reporting some success
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Fishing has slowed a little bit on Lake Superior. When anglers did find fish, they primarily caught lake trout with an occasional coho mixed in. With the cooler water temperatures, the fish have scattered and anglers are having to look all over to find active fish. The lake trout coming in were loaded up with smelt with the average fish being in the two- to four-pound range. Walleye fishing on the Ontonagon River has been hit or miss as anglers were finding a good number of sub-legal fish and fighting to find the legals. Trolling and jigging were productive but make sure to bring extra tackle as the river is a snaggy beast.
Grieg’s Taxidermy & Tackle, (906) 884-2770.
— The DNR contributed to this report.