Report from the Dock
River anglers are flooding Michigan rivers up and down the state as the fall salmon spawning runs begin to peak on southern streams. From St. Joseph to Petoskey and from Port Huron to Cheboygan, streams in the Lower Peninsula are full of fish.
In the Upper Peninsula the salmon runs are just getting started but decent reports have been filtering in from Nunns Creek and the Carp River at the east end to the Falls, Silver, and Huron rivers to the west.
An assortment of baits have produced and it’s good to have options as the fish are finicky when they hit the rivers. Spawn bags, flies like egg-sucking leeches and yarn flies, spinners, beads, and crankbaits all have caught fish. On some rivers a few steelhead and brown trout have been mixed in.
Lake St. Clair
Good bass fishing has been reported in Lake St. Clair off the Metropark. Stickbaits, crankbaits, and soft plastics all are catching fish. Muskie anglers report catching a decent number of fish in front of the spillway and at the Belle River Hump in 13 to 18 feet of water. Perch fishing remains very good off the Yacht Club, Dumping Grounds, and Strawberry Bar.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Irish Hills Area
Fishing pressure has been light, but anglers report catching bass and panfish on inland lakes including Devils and Wamplers. Goose hunting has been good in Jackson County, and archery deer hunters are gearing up for what should be a good season. Deer numbers are in good shape.
Knutson’s Sporting Goods, (800) 292-0857 or (517) 592-2786.
Walleye fishing has been pretty good in the Detroit River, but most of the fish are on the Canadian side of the river. If you go, be sure to have a Canadian license and don’t anchor, moor, come in contact with another boat, or go ashore unless you want to spend your time in a Canadian Border Service office.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.
Luna Pier Area
Anglers were enjoying good catches of yellow perch north of E Buoy in 19 to 24 feet of water. Fish also were being caught offshore from the Edison Power Plant and around Luna Pier in 15 feet of water. The walleye bite has been slow. A few largemouth bass have been caught along the rock wall near Sterling State Park.
Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
St. Joseph Area
Pier anglers were catching a few cohos and kings in Lake Michigan. Most fish were caught by casting spinners and spoons. Perch fishing was a little slow. There were reports of fish being caught in 70 feet of water. There were a few salmon in the lower St. Joe River and reports of fish being caught at the Berrien Springs dam.
Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.
Bluegills are hitting on inland lakes in the area including Leach and Middle lakes. Bass fishing also has been very good. The archery deer season should be good. Farmers report seeing a lot of deer.
Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.
Saginaw Bay Area
Good numbers of yellow perch were caught in front of Gambill’s Marina in 17 feet of water. Yellowbellies also have been caught in 16 feet of water at Linwood, and in 17 feet of water on the edge of the old shipping channel. Goose hunting has been pretty good. Archery deer season should be very good with solid numbers of deer in the area.
Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Salmon have moved up the Pere Marquette River, and anglers are catching fair numbers of fish. Yarn eggs and egg-sucking leeches are catching fish along with beads, spinners, and spawn bags. Grouse hunting has been slow with leafy cover hampering success. The deer season should be pretty good. Deer numbers are in decent shape in Lake County.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.
Anglers report catching decent numbers of smallmouth bass and channel catfish on large minnows fished in the Grand River. The best action was between dusk and 9 p.m. Goose hunting has been good in Clinton and Shiawassee counties. The archery deer season should be good, too.
Grand River Bait & Tackle, (517) 482-4461.
Grand Haven Area
Pier anglers were catching a few coho salmon on spawn or while casting spoons in Lake Michigan. Glow spoons worked best. The Grand Haven boat launch on Harbor Island will remain closed through Oct. 15.
Lakeview Marine & Tackle, (616) 842-2770.
Anglers report catching a lot of silver fish in the St. Clair River off the wall in Port Huron. Kings, steelies, and cohos are hitting spoons fished on three-way-rigs. Smallmouth bass fishing also has been very good in the river with tubes and big minnows producing the best results. The goose season has been very good, and there are still a lot of birds in St. Clair County. Archery deer season should be very good. Hunters report seeing a lot of big bucks so far this year.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
Traverse City Area
Grouse hunting has been decent, but action has been limited by heavy leaf cover. Bear hunting has been good with several nice bruins taken in the area. Goose hunting has been fair. Salmon numbers are peaking in most of the rivers and fishing pressure has been high. Steelhead and brown trout are being caught along with the salmon especially in the Boardman and Betsie rivers. Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good in South Lake Leelanau with spinnerbaits and Alabama rigs catching fish. Bowhunters are looking forward to what should be a good season.
WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.
Small kings and cohos have been caught in Lake Michigan at The Shelf and out to 200 feet of water. Pier anglers and boats trolling the harbor are catching freshwater drum and a few dark salmon. Salmon have moved into the Manistee River and anglers there report good action on spawn bags, spinners, flies, and beads.
Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.
Salmon fishing has been good on the Manistee River with fish being caught all the way up to Tippy Dam. Anglers are fishing with spawn sacks, spinners, egg flies, and beads and catching good numbers of fish. Grouse hunting has been fair. Hunters are flushing birds but shooting has been tough. The archery deer season should be good. Deer numbers are solid.
Pappy’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 848-4142.
Fishing pressure has been light in Presque Isle County. Anglers report catching a few salmon off the mouth of the Ocqueoc River but inland lakes have been quiet. The archery season should be pretty good. Upland bird hunting has been slow to get started, but action should improve when the leaves start falling and the forests open up. Elk hunting has been very good.
Onaway Outfitters, (989) 733-2472.
Fishing has been slow on Lake Huron. Some anglers reported catching mixed bags of walleye, lake trout, steelhead, and a few salmon. Trolling spoons and Spin-’N-Glows in various depths have caught fish. Crankbaits were producing for those targeting walleyes in the bay. Chinook salmon have moved into the Thunder Bay River, and anglers are following. Anglers were also catching panfish, bass, pike, catfish, and a couple walleyes.
Clem’s Live Bait & Tackle, (989) 354-2070.
Salmon have moved into the Au Sable River. Anglers are starting to catch fish at Foote Dam using spawn, spinners, crankbaits, beads, and flies. On Lake Huron anglers were catching salmon, lake trout, steelhead, and walleye. Trolling spoons of various colors fished in 80 to 100 feet of water have been the popular method for catching salmon and trout. Pier anglers report a good bite for bass, pike, walleye, coho, and kings. Floating leeches, nightcrawlers, stickbaits, and crankbaits attracted the pike, bass, and walleye.
Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.
Walleyes are hitting in 13 to 16 feet of water along the weeds in Munuscong Bay. Nightcrawlers have produced the best action. At Cedarville the perch fishing has been very good in 6 to 12 feet of water. Minnows, crawlers, and worms are all producing and some very nice fish have been caught. Salmon and steelhead fishing have been good in Nunns Creek and the Carp River. Spawn bags, spinners, wax worms, beads, and flies all have their moments. Grouse hunting is off to a good start and goose hunters report very good success. Bear hunters are enjoying a good season with bruins up to 350 pounds being registered at Wilderness Treasures. The archery deer season should be good. Deer seem to have made it though last winter in great shape.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Grouse hunting has been good. Hunters report flushing a lot of birds, but not getting many shots. Deer numbers are in good shape on the island and hunters can expect a decent archery season. Perch fishing has been very good in Scotts and Maxton bays but anglers are having to sort through their catch to find the keepers. A few smallmouth bass and northern pike have been caught, too.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
Walleye, perch, bass, and pike are keeping anglers busy on Manistique Lakes. Live bait has produced the best results. Grouse season is off to a decent start. Hunters are flushing birds, but shots are few because the foliage is still fairly thick. The action should improve when the leaves start falling. Bear hunting has been good.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Fishing has been slow for boat anglers on Lake Superior with only a few scattered coho being caught. Shore and pier anglers had better success for splake and coho with a few steelhead observed, too. The cohos were still silver and a combination of males and females have been caught.
Curly’s Hilltop Grocery, (906) 387-3056.
Perch anglers report fair to good success in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. Those fishing off Kipling in the shallows above the drop-off report a good bite on nightcrawlers or minnows. Walleye anglers have experienced tough fishing, but were optimistic that the bite will improve once fall temperatures set in. Smallmouth anglers have been catching fish, with many targeting the reefs. Over on Big Bay de Noc, good numbers and sizes of smallmouth bass have been caught off Ogontz and Nahma. Grouse hunting is off to a good start but success is being hampered by heavy foliage. Shooting will improve when the leaves fall. Bear hunting has been good and hunters are expecting a good archery deer season.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Bear hunting has been very good in Baraga County with lots of bears in the 200- to 250-pound range being registered. Bird hunters are flushing a lot of grouse and woodcock but shooting has been limited by heavy foliage. Fishing has been very good in Keweenaw Bay. Anglers are catching good numbers of kings along with decent numbers of lakers, cohos, and some big brown trout. The best action has been in 50 feet of water or less. Salmon are starting to move into the Silver, Huron, and Falls rivers. Spawn sacks, yarn eggs, and bright spinners have all produced good results
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Fishing has been slow on Lake Gogebic. Those working the weeds seem to have better success than others. Try crawlers, leeches, minnows, and artificial baits. The minnow bite should kick in soon. Grouse numbers are looking good but hunting pressure has been very light. The bear season has been good. Fall colors are coming quickly. They are at about 80% and nearing peak in some areas.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Anglers have been fishing in shallow waters while trolling for salmon with spoons but after a while they’ve been heading for deeper water. Productivity for lake trout was good with near limits coming from anglers trolling spoons in 100 to 150 feet of water. In Union Bay a few decent lake trout have been caught in 100 to 200 feet of water.
Grieg’s Taxidermy & Tackle, (906) 884-2770.
— The DNR contributed to this report.