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Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 3, 2021

Report from the Dock

Salmon are in the rivers and the fishing will continue to improve there for the next couple weeks. Many of the rivers were running high and dirty due to recent rain storms, but the fish are moving in. Plugs, spawn bags, skein, beads and flies will all attract attention at this time of year so experiment a bit if one tactic doesn’t produce.

Salmon and trout still are being caught in the Great Lakes. The early and late bites have been best and fish have been caught in as shallow as 30 feet of water on Lake Huron at Rogers City out to 250 feet at Grand Haven on Lake Michigan. An assortment of spoons, J-plugs, squid, flies, and meat rigs have all had their moment in the limelight.

Perch fishing is heating up across the state with decent or better action being reported in Lake St. Clair, Saginaw Bay, Lake Michigan at St. Joseph, Manistee Lake, Portage Lake, Lake Huron at the Les Cheneaux Islands, Drummond Island, and in Manistique Lakes.


Lake St. Clair

Anglers were catching good numbers of perch off the Hump in Canadian waters in 20 to 30 feet of water (don’t bring live minnows from Michigan with you). Lots of smallmouth bass and good numbers of perch have been hitting at the entrance to the South Channel. Perch are hitting crawlers in about 18 feet of water at the Dumping Grounds and between the St. Clair Light and Metro Beach. Early goose season has been good.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Irish Hills Area

Bluegill fishing has been pretty good on Devils and Wamplers lakes. The fish seem to be holding in about 30 feet of water. Crickets are producing the best result. Bass anglers are catching good numbers of fish in the shallows and around the docks. Teal hunting has been slow. Early goose season has been decent. 

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

Trenton Area

Walleyes are hitting on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. Anglers report very good action on nightcrawlers and jigs.

Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.

Monroe Area

Anglers on Lake Erie were finding yellow perch at buoys 1 and 2. Largemouth bass were caught near Point Moulliee, the Banana Dike, and out from the River Raisin. Yellow perch were caught in 17 feet of water out from River Raisin and in 25 feet of water along to Sterling State Park. Bass were biting well on stickbaits. There are a lot of geese in the area.

Domka Outdoors, (734) 244-5240.


St. Joseph Area

Perch fishing continued to be very good in Lake Michigan. Nice sized fish were caught both north and south of the piers. The fish were caught in 35 to 55 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow for all species. Salmon fishing for boat anglers was slow, too. Light numbers of lake trout and occasionally a coho have been caught. The most productive water was out well beyond 100 feet of water. 

Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.

Coldwater Area

Fishing pressure has slowed quite a bit on inland lakes in the area as anglers transition into the hunting seasons. Good numbers of crappies and bluegills have been caught on leaf worms and minnows on Madison and Cary lakes. Early goose hunting has been pretty good. No word from duck hunters on the teal season.

Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.


Saginaw Bay Area

In lower Saginaw Bay, anglers were catching yellow perch in the Old Shipping Channel in 16 feet of water. They were also catching yellow perch between the Saganing Bar and Pinconning Bar in 12 to 15 feet of water. Walleyes were caught in 10 to 13 feet of water on crawlers at the Finn Road Boating Access Site. Walleye fishing on the eastern side of the bay was slow. Some walleyes were caught in the southern end of The Slot in 12 to 15 feet of water. Walleyes were also caught in 12 to 14 feet of water from Sunset Marina up towards Sebewaing, and a few were caught out over the sand bar in 18 to 22 feet of water. Crawler harnesses were producing most of the fish, but Flicker Shads worked well too.

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

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Muskegon Area

River salmon runs are under way. Some streams were high and dark from the recent rains, but salmon were present in the rivers. Anglers should fish low light conditions for adult Chinook salmon in rivers as they seem to be most aggressive during these times. Boat anglers on Lake Michigan found salmon 60 to 100 feet down in 120 to 220 feet of water. A combination of spoons, plugs, flies, and meat rigs all produced good results.

Fish-on Charters and Bait, (616) 402-4307.

Grand Haven Area

Salmon fishing was slow for boat anglers on Lake Michigan. The best action was 60 to 120 feet down in 140 to 250 feet of water. Glow spoons and J-plugs worked well. Pier anglers were catching freshwater drum and catfish on worms. The morning bites were the best. Down at South Haven, pier fishing was slow for all species. Perch and salmon fishing was slow, too. Some fish were caught in 45 feet of water. There were a few lake trout caught in around 100 feet of water. 

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


Harbor Beach Area

A good mix of lake trout, steelhead, walleye, Atlantic salmon, and an occasional Chinook were caught in Lake Huron in 80 to 120 feet of water using leadcore. Mini Streaks, downriggers with Dodger and squid, and Silver Streaks all produced. A few smallmouth bass were caught inside the harbor from the breakwall and from boat anglers casting lures.

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

Port Huron

Steelhead fishing has warmed up at the south end of Lake Huron. Anglers report catching good numbers of fish in 80 feet of water on Silverstreaks and Dreamweaver Super Slims. Fair numbers of Atlantics and cohos are being caught, too. Walleye fishing has picked up now that the Canadian border water is open. Goose hunting has been very good.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.


Traverse City Area

In West Grand Traverse Bay, salmon have been caught in the hole in front of the Boardman River by anglers who were jigging and trolling. J-plugs and flasher/flies performed well for salmon anglers who were trolling. Lake trout fishing was slow. Anglers were looking for perch in Suttons Bay, Northport, and at Bowers Harbor but no big catches yet. Smallmouth bass were caught in 15 to 35 feet of water. In East Grand Traverse Bay, salmon were caught along the banks on the south end of the bay from Bluff Road all the way around to Deep Water Point. Fish were caught in depths anywhere from 100 to 300 feet of water. Lake trout fishing was slow, but a few were caught by those trying for salmon.

WildFishing Guide Service, 

Wellston Area

King salmon are being caught at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River. The water temperature was running about 71 degrees and the fish have pushed all the way up to the dam already. Black flies and beads are taking decent numbers of fish along with spawn and crankbaits. Perch fishing has been good on Portage Lake out by the buoy towards the channel. Bluegills have been caught in 14 feet of water. On Manistee Lake anglers report catching perch near the coal docks and a few anglers are jigging up salmon there, too. 

Pappy’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 848-4142.


Houghton Lake Area

Bluegill fishing has been decent on Houghton Lake. Anglers report catching fish along the weedbeds. Worms and leeches are both producing a good bite. Goose hunting has been decent.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Atlanta Area

The elk season got off to a very good start with several nice bulls being taken in the first few days of the season. Fishing pressure has been light. Bluegills are hitting on Fletcher Pond and several of the other lakes in the area, but the fish are scattered in 2 to 20 feet of water. Grouse and turkey numbers appear pretty strong in the area. 

Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720,

Rogers City Area

Salmon and trout fishing has been good on Lake Huron. The best depths were anywhere from 30 to 90 feet of water. Anglers were running lines throughout the water column for best results. Spoons, J-plugs, flashers with squids, flies, and cut bait all caught fish. Good colors to use were greens, blues, pearl, white, black and white, white on white, and glow. The early and late bites have been best. Chinook salmon were biting best very early or very late. In the Ocqueoc River, anglers fishing at the mouth were catching largemouth bass. Anglers were having the most luck in the early morning and midday. Night anglers caught northern pike of varying lengths. Crawlers were providing anglers the best chance with bass, while bait fish performed best for northern pike. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303


Pickford Area

King salmon are moving into the rivers and good action has been reported by anglers fishing in the Carp, Pine, and Albany rivers, as well as Nuns Creek. There are a lot of geese in the area. Bear season looks good.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Anglers are catching perch in Maxton and Scotts bays, but are having to sort through them to find the keepers. Pike and bass are hitting, too, but the walleyes  seem to have disappeared. Goose hunting has been slow and hunters are struggling to find teal.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

St. Ignace Area 

Anglers were catching lake trout and king salmon on the back side of Mackinac Island. They were also catching pink salmon by Lafayette Point off Bois Blanc Island. In the Les Cheneaux Islands area, anglers were catching Chinook salmon, along with a few northern pike in and around Nuns Creek and St. Martins Bay. Anglers were catching a few perch off the pier. Goose hunting has been good.

Ace Hardware, (906) 643-7721.


Marquette Area

Good numbers of lake trout were caught in Lake Superior. Several limits were caught during a recent fishing tournament; however, very few salmon were brought to the boat. Some brown trout and small steelhead have been caught. 

Superior Outfitters, (906) 273-0229.

Escanaba Area

Walleye anglers were experiencing good fishing in Little Bay de Noc. Anglers reported good catches when trolling around Minneapolis Shoals and other areas in the bay with baitfish concentrations. Some anglers were spotted trolling north of Gladstone. Crankbaits and crawler harnesses produced good results. Perch anglers were having mixed success. Over on Big Bay de Noc,  smallmouth bass anglers found fish around the islands and on the shallow side of drop-offs. Soft plastics used near the bottom were productive. Anglers should try looking for rock structure as many smallmouth bass were found in the rocky areas. Most adult king salmon made the trek towards Manistique. Goose hunting has been good. No word from teal hunters.

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


L’Anse Area

Cohos and kings are keeping anglers busy on the Baraga side of Keweenaw Bay. The best action has come to anglers trolling in less than 100 feet of water and running spoons  in the top 20 to 30 feet. Wonderbread and blue and green have been the hot colors. River fishing has been slow. Goose hunting has been pretty good.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic continues to produce a mixed bag of fish for anglers working the weeds with crawlers and leeches. Everything from panfish to bass, walleye, perch, and northern pike have been caught. Anglers trolling or vertical jigging over the mud flats are also picking up walleyes. The walleye bite definitely has improved with many anglers reporting better catches. Bears are hitting baits consistently. Grouse numbers are looking positive with larger broods this year, up to four to six birds in a covey. Fall colors are also beginning to emerge, but they are very dull at this time due to lack of rain. Still, there’s an obvious change in the seasons. 

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

Ontonagon Area

Anglers on Lake Superior were catching lake trout in 80 to 120 feet of water. Spoons are still producing good results. Over at Union Bay, lake trout were very active with the average fish coming in between three and five pounds but there were some 10- to 15-pound fish caught, too. Typical water depths ranged from 100 to 150 feet. 

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

— The DNR contributed to this report.

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