Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 23, 2022

Report from the Dock

The perch bite is heating up. Good reports have surfaced in Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Saginaw Bay, Houghton Lake, the St. Mary’s River, Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel, and Drummond Island. Minnows have been the bait of choice.

Salmon have moved into the rivers. There have been good reports from anglers fishing in the Grand, Kalamazoo, Boardman, Platte, Manistee, Boyne, Bear, and many others. Anglers are fishing with crankbaits, skein, flies, and beads.

Out on the Great Lakes anglers are still catching salmon and lake trout. The fish have moved in closer to shore in most areas and are being caught in 70 to 120 feet of water.

SOUTHEASTERN LP

Lake St. Clair

Perch fishing has been good on lake St. Clair off the Grosse Point Yacht Club, at the Belle River Hump, and at the entrance to the South Channel. Anglers are catching fair numbers of walleyes at the South Channel, too. Perch and smallmouth bass have been caught in good numbers at Metro Beach. The key is to get there early and fish the early morning bite. Muskie action has been good off the Thames River. Anglers report catching good numbers of fish, but no real monsters. Waterfowl hunting has been good. No flight birds have come through yet.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Trenton Area

Anglers are catching a few walleyes in the Detroit River when trolling and drifting between Ballenger Park and Ecorse in approximately 35 feet of water. Most of the action was near the mouth of Lake Erie. Anglers were catching perch near Sugar Island in 5 to 10 feet of water using minnows. 

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

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.

Luna Pier Area

Perch fishing remained slow on Lake Erie with the windy and hot weather. Anglers were having the best luck at the mouth of the Detroit River and south along the Michigan-Ohio line. Perch rigs baited with minnows caught fish. Walleyes have disappeared with only very small fish being caught. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing was good right out of Sterling State Park when using artificial lures. Anglers targeting catfish did well at the hot ponds. Waterfowl hunting has been good. The archery deer season also should be good.

Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.

SOUTHWESTERN LP

St. Joseph Area

Salmon anglers had fair fishing on Lake Michigan. The most productive water was around 120 feet deep. Perch fishing has been inconsistent. Anglers have been catching a few fish in 35 to 90 feet of water. The fish were moving in and out of different depths. Anglers were also fishing both north and south of the piers. Pier fishing has been slow for all species. Up at South Haven, salmon anglers reported that the best water was beyond 120 feet, but some decent numbers of fish have been caught in 80 to 100 feet of water also. Spoons have produced the best results. Pier fishing was very slow for all species and perch fishing has been slow, too. The perch seem to be very deep. The best bites were in 60 to 100 feet of water. Deer numbers are in good shape and hunters are expecting a good archery season.

Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.

Hastings Area

Cohos and chinook have moved into the Grand River and Kalamazoo rivers. Anglers report good action on both. Inland lake fishing pressure has been very light, but crappies are hitting on Carter and Thornapple lakes. Squirrel hunting has been good and squirrel numbers are up. Turkey season is off to a good start. The archery deer season should be good. Deer numbers are in great shape in Barry County.

Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

Good numbers of yellow perch have been caught in Saginaw Bay at Gambills in 14 feet of water, at the Pinconning Bar in 12 feet of water, at Linwood in 20 feet of water, and northeast of Spoils Island in 16 feet of water. On the east side of the Bay, fishing was slow. Those fishing around Callahan Reef caught some walleyes in 14 to 16 feet of water while trolling crankbaits. Anglers who were putting in a full day of fishing were reporting the best results. Those targeting yellow perch reported a slow bite. Deer hunting should be very good and there are a lot of turkeys in the area.

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

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Muskegon Area

Boat anglers were finding immature Chinook salmon along with a few lake trout in Lake Michigan, 85 to 130 feet down in 130 to 210 feet of water. Rotators with white or green fly combinations worked well. The salmon bite was slow for anglers trolling near the breakwalls. No salmon were reported by pier anglers casting spoons. Waterfowlers reported mixed results but there is no shortage of whitetails in Muskegon County.

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

Ludington Area

Anglers reported warm water on Lake Michigan. A few salmon were found when fishing 90 to 120 feet down. Pere Marquette Lake has produced catches of chinook for anglers trolling and jigging but it has slowed down a little. Cohos have been observed at the state park, but the bite has been slow. Hunters are flushing grouse and woodcock but heavy foliage has kept shots to a minimum. The archery deer season should be good.

Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Fishing pressure has been light on Lake Huron. A few walleyes have been caught in Wild Fowl Bay, but not in big numbers. Goose hunting has been very good and there are a lot of turkeys in the area. The archery deer season should be very good.

Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.

Harbor Beach Area

Light numbers of walleyes and coho salmon have been caught off the breakwall on Lake Huron. Anglers casting crankbaits in the evenings reported the best success. Goose hunting has been good and the archery deer season should be very good in the Thumb. There is no shortage of whitetails.

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

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

Salmon fishing has been good in Lake Charlevoix, and in the Boyne and Bear rivers, too. Perch fishing has been good in the South Arm around the condos and at the boat launch. Goose hunting has slowed. Archers are expecting a good deer hunting season.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

Salmon fishing has been good in the Boardman, Platte, and Big Manistee rivers. Crankbaits, flies, beads, and skein have all produced good results. Smallmouth bass are moving closer to shore on Skegemog and Torch lakes. Anglers report good action in 3 to 6 feet of water. Alabama rigs have produced good results. Goose hunting has been decent. The archery deer season should be good after two mild winters in a row. Bear hunting has been very good.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com. 

Frankfort Area

Salmon have moved in towards shore on Lake Michigan. Anglers jigging or running slip-bobbers with skien in the harbor have caught good numbers of fish. Cohos have entered Platte Bay but the catch has been hit or miss as winds were persistent. Good sizes and moderate numbers were being reported. Goose hunting has been fair and the archery deer season should be pretty good.

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

NORTHEASTERN LP

Houghton Lake Area

Anglers are catching good numbers of smallmouth bass on Houghton Lake. The best action has been at the north end of the lake. Fair numbers of walleyes have been caught and the perch bite is heating up. Bear hunting has been pretty good and the archery deer season should be good, too. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been decent but the foliage is thick and shots are few. Goose hunting has slowed.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Atlanta Area

Fishing has been very good in and around Montmorency County, but fishing pressure has been light. Good numbers of bluegills and bass are hitting on Fletchers, Grass, Rush, and Tomahawk lakes along with most others. Perch have been caught in the Thunder Bay Backwaters. Bird hunters are moving a lot of woodcock and good numbers of grouse but the foliage is still very thick. Acorns are spotty. Bear hunting was good with some nice bears being killed. Elk hunters are enjoying a very good early hunt. A few flight geese have started to show. Deer hunting should be good following a couple of moderate winters.

Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.

Rogers City Area

Chinook salmon have been staging off Swan Bay. When the water was on the cooler side, fishing was better. Lots of mature jacks have been caught in Lake Huron and lots of larger ones as well. The best fishing was on cloudy days, or very early in the day or late after sunset. Anglers were trolling anywhere from inside the bay out to 70 feet of water. J-Plugs, attractors with flies or squids, and meat rigs all have produced good results. Greens, blues, silvers, black and white, or glow were all good colors. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Fishing has been good in the eastern U.P. Perch are hitting in the St. Mary’s River and in Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel. Good numbers of splake have been caught at Hessel, too. Salmon and lake trout fishing has been “awesome” at Hessel and DeTour. Walleyes have moved into their fall patterns and good to excellent results have been report up and down the St. Mary’s River. Bear hunting has been good and there are a lot of grouse this year. Waterfowl hunting has been slow. Deer season should be fair to good. Deer numbers appear to be up a little in the eastern U.P.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Perch fishing has been decent at Drummond Island in Scotts Bay and around Harbor Island and Grape Island in Maxton Bay. Fair numbers of pike and bass also have been caught. Grouse and woodcock hunting has been fair but foliage is still pretty heavy. Deer numbers are in good shape and bowhunters should have a good season. 

Drummond Island Outfitters, (906) 493-6300.

CENTRAL UP

Marquette Area

Lake trout fishing has been good in Lake Superior at Marquette. Good action has been reported by anglers fishing in 70 feet of water or more at the White Rocks and near Granite Island in 100 feet of water or more. Anglers reported catching Chinook and coho salmon in 60 to 80 feet of water while trolling spoons near the mouth of the Chocolay River. A couple salmon were reported coming from in the river itself. The bear hunting season has been good and archery deer season should be good, too.

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Munising Area

A few undersized splake and one coho were caught in Lake Superior at Munising. Water temperatures were still in upper 60s, and water levels were low at the Anna River. Anglers were casting spoons, or fishing with spawn. A few boat anglers were out with no action. Anglers tried trolling within the bay all the way into Trout Bay with no action. 

Hilltop Grocery, (906) 387-3056.

Escanaba Area

Anglers targeting walleye were focusing on areas close to the first reef, out in front of Kipling, near Gladstone, and between the Ford River and No See-um Creek. Perch anglers were fishing along weed edges out of Kipling and near the Days River with good success. Bear hunting has been good and the archery season also should be good. 

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

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

Salmon fishing has been decent in Keweenaw and Huron bays. There were a few reports of coho and Chinook salmon being found near river mouths. Most anglers out in the bays were having success. Lake trout were hitting spoons and flies in medium depth waters. Most successful anglers were trolling. Bear hunting has been good and bird hunters report flushing good numbers of grouse and woodcock.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Keweenaw Peninsula

Anglers trolling silver spoons in Big Traverse Bay and the South Portage Entry have caught lake trout in waters from 50 to 130 feet deep. The salmon bite has been slow. Some anglers had luck with pike and bass in near-shore waters and from docks. Bear hunting has been good.

Northwoods Sporting Goods, (906) 482-5210.

— The DNR contributed to this report.

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