Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Michigan Fishing Report – July 20, 2022

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: The fishing in the western basin of Lake Erie was producing legal-sized walleyes. However, the rapid growth of weeds caused problems for anglers looking to drag bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses. Anglers fishing out of Sterling State Park were catching walleye in 25 to 28 feet of water in front of Fermi Power Plant on the edges of large seaweed patches. Some anglers were using spoons or flicker minnows to try and pick up less weeds on their lines. Yellow perch limits were not reported but anglers were still catching some in 15 feet of water inside Breast Bay. The best bait to use for yellow perch were minnows/emerald shiners on weighted perch spreaders. Anglers out of Luna Pier were continuing to catch legal size walleye at a slower pace in 18 to 22 feet of water with many undersized walleye being caught and thrown back.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught two miles northeast of Spoils Island in 15 feet of water on crawlers. Fish were also caught at buoy A and B in 16 feet of water on crawlers and at buoy 1 and 2 in 25 feet of water on Flicker Shads. Some freshwater drum and smallmouth bass were caught at Smith Park in Essexville by shore anglers using worms. Walleye were scattered around the entire east side of the bay. Anglers were catching walleye on the shallow side of the slot in 10 to 13 feet of water, in the slot around 14 to 17 feet, on top of the bar, and over the bar in 22 to 25 feet of water. A few walleye were caught around Oak Point and out by the Charity Islands. Body baits and crawlers worked well and a few walleye were caught on spoons.

Harbor Beach: Some walleye were caught while trolling out of Harbor Beach. Anglers were picking up just a few here and there while trolling body baits and spoons straight out in 50 to 60 feet of water. Anglers were marking a lot of fish and baitfish in this area.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: The piers were on the slow side for steelhead. A few freshwater drum were caught. Anglers also reported that the perch fishing was slow. The fish were deep and very spread out. Boat anglers targeting salmon were catching a few fish around 100 feet of water.

South Haven: Perch fishing was very spotty. Anglers were catching a few fish in 70 feet of water, but catches were not consistent. Boat anglers fishing salmon were catching a few lake trout around 100 feet of water. Pier anglers were catching an occasional steelhead on shrimp.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Houghton Lake: The bluegill fishing was slow. Anglers were catching walleye and pike while trolling.

Tawas: Walleye were caught in the weed beds near buoys 4 and 6 while trolling crawlers. There were some walleye, Atlantic salmon and steelhead caught out past buoy 2 and towards Charity Island in 30 to 70 feet while trolling spoons, crankbaits and crawlers. Fishing at Gateway Park on the Tawas River was slow with some largemouth bass, rock bass and catfish caught while casting and still fishing with spinners, plastics and crawlers.

Alpena: The lake trout fishing was steady with limits. The best places to fish were Thunder Bay Island, Nordmeer Wreck and at the humps. The best depths were in 60 to 90 feet of water. Anglers were running a couple of lines deep while scattering their other lines up higher. An occasional steelhead, pink salmon, coho, Atlantic and Chinook were caught on the lines higher in the water column. Good colors were greens, orange and silver, orange, blues, and glow stuff early and late. The lake trout were coming in on flashers with spin glo flies. Walleye fishing was still on the slow side because of cold water. A few walleye were caught in the very southern part of the bay near Sulphur Island and Scarecrow Island. The best depths were in 15 to 30 feet of water. Anglers were using harnesses and crankbaits.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were fishing with live bait and/or casting with an assortment of spinners, spoons and body baits. They were catching smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum, catfish, bowfin and pike. The walleye fishing was slow.

Au Gres: Walleye fishing was good with limits caught out near the Charity Islands and east across the Shipping Channel in 12 to 35 feet while trolling crawlers and crank baits. Fishing was also good south of the shipwreck in 20 to 30 feet while trolling crawlers and crank baits. At the Pint River Access, there were some crappie, pike and largemouth bass caught while casting plastics, spinners, body baits and crawlers. Walleye fishing was good there as well, while casting in the weeds with crawlers and body baits and trolling in 15 to 30 feet with crawlers and crank baits.

Rogers City: The fishing pressure was light. Anglers were catching some lake trout with some limits reported. A mixed bag was starting to show up in angler catches.  Mostly lake trout with an occasional silver fish, Atlantic salmon, coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead. The best depths were in 60 to 95 feet of water. The lake trout were coming near the bottom with flashers and spin glos. The silver fish were coming higher in the water column mostly on spoons. Good colors were greens, oranges, orange and silver, blue and silver, orange green and silver, glow stuff – early and late. A few anglers tried a flasher with fly or squid. The fish were scattered due to the wind.  Once anglers caught one fish, anglers were turning back on the spot where they were catching fish and having success that way. Good places were structured areas, Seagull Point, 40 Mile Point and Adams Point.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Ludington:  The salmon action slowed down but a few Chinook, coho and steelhead were caught at Big Sable Point in 80 to 180 feet of water when fishing 40 to 80 feet down. Fish were also caught straight out and south off the projects in 90 to 150 feet of water when fishing 30 to 80 down. Green and blue spoons worked best. The piers remained slow, but some perch moved in along the north pier.

Manistee: Fishing was generally slow, but a few Chinook, steelhead and lake trout were caught along the shelf both north and south of town, and south towards Big Sable Point in 100 to 200 feet of water when fishing 35 to 90 down. The piers remained slow although some perch were observed along the north pier. Blue and green spoons worked best.

Frankfort: The Chinook numbers were beginning to pick up and anglers reported Chinook out front and in the Herring Hole. Anglers were trolling in 110 to 150 feet of water and setting up in the top 40 to 80 down. Glow spoons were getting the best action. Anglers reported 24+ pound Chinook in the early morning and at dusk. Anglers reported slowing speed to 1.9 mph worked to get a few hits.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers had success when trolling the east band of Black Bottom. Most anglers were using crawler harnesses. Perch fishing reports were fair near Butlers Island or near the second reef. Smallmouth bass anglers had success casting soft plastics. A few anglers ventured out salmon fishing on the outer portion of the bay with limited success. Both flasher flies and spoons were productive.

Manistique: Salmon anglers had mixed results with some large fish caught. Anglers had the best success with flasher flies. Walleye anglers reported slow fishing, although some fish were caught in the river when jigging or drifting crawler harnesses.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers continued to catch perch off the pier in Hessel while using crawlers and leeches. They were also catching a few pike early in the morning while using live bait. There were a few splake caught in Wilderness Bay. The herring fishing was slow, however anglers were still catching a few in both Cedarville and around Drummond Island. The walleye bite was still good up towards Scotts Bay.

Marquette: Anglers mainly reported lake trout with a few reports of Chinook and coho salmon in the lower harbor area. Anglers fishing near upper harbor reported catching lake trout. Lake trout and salmon coming out of the shot point area were caught in around 50 feet of water. Try slower speeds for lake trout (about 2mph), and slightly faster speeds (greater than 2mph) for Chinook and coho salmon. Multi-color spoons had the best success at catching both lake trout and salmon. As for the upper harbor area, light blue and bright color spoons had the best success. Around the white rocks area, try trolling at about 2mph in about 150 to 160 feet of water.

Au Train: Fishing activity slowly increased over the last couple weeks. Lake trout was the only species reported by anglers fishing the Au Train area. Most reports came from around Au Train Island, where anglers were fishing in 150+ feet of water. Some reports also came from near the mouth of the Au Train River, where fish were caught in 80 to 100 feet of water. Anglers should try jigging cut-baits in around 150 feet of water near Au Train Island. Also, try trolling in deep water or trolling in the flats around the island for best success. Tri-color spoons worked best for around the Au Train Island. For anglers fishing to the east of the boat launch, try trolling bright orange spoons or stick baits in around 85 feet of water.

Upper St. Mary’s: Whitefish pressure slowed down over the past week up-river of the Soo Locks. Anglers were using wax worms, crawlers, and other types of natural bait while fishing just above the bottom of the river. Near the Soo Locks, anglers found success fishing for rainbow trout and the occasional menominee throughout mid-day and later in the evening. Anglers fishing out of Waishkey Bay area were targeting and catching steady amounts of Chinook and coho salmon out in the deep water. Anglers were using a mix of spoons in 100 feet of water at around 50 feet deep. Walleye, pike, and perch were targeted with very limited success in the bay.

Whitefish Bay: Salmon anglers near Whitefish Point had slow but steady success over the past week. Reports of Chinook, coho and brown trout were caught in a range of water depths (100 to 150 feet deep, fishing at 20 to 75 feet). Anglers were using artificial lures, primarily spoons and body baits. Anglers near the Tahquamenon River mouth targeted pike and muskie, with success on mainly small and non-legal sizes. Up-river anglers reported several muskie follows and larger 40-inch class fish.


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