Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 20, 2018

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Lake St. Clair

Fishing has been pretty good on Lake St. Clair. Anglers fishing along the American side of the shipping channel are catching walleyes and perch, but the fish are still gorging on mayflies.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Lake Orion

Bass fishing remains pretty good on Lake Orion and Lakeville Lake. Paint Creek has been barely flowing, but brown trout fishing has been pretty good. Worms and minnows are taking fish there. 

Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.

Luna Pier Area

Walleye fishing picked back up in Lake Erie’s Brest Bay, off the River Raisin and up near Stony Point in 24 to 26 feet of water. Some anglers managed to get limit catches when trolling a copper, purple, chartreuse or lime crawler harness with a bottom bouncer 50 to 65 feet back. Those targeting walleyes have also caught white bass, white perch, some large channel cats and freshwater drum. A few perch anglers caught 20 to 30 fish when jigging minnows in 22 to 25 feet of water off buoys 1 and 2. 

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

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Kalamazoo Area

Bass fishing on Gull Lake has been fair. Jigs, Senkos and drop-shot rigs have been picking up a few fish. Bluegill fishing has been fair on most lakes in the area. Now that water temps are higher, fish are suspended in deeper water. Trolling with Bo’s Bluegill Busters or slip bobbers and red worms have been successful for catching decent numbers of gills. Portage Lake and Eagle Lake (Bloomingdale) have had reports of decent bluegill fishing. Perch fishing on Lake Michigan has been slow. The variable water temps have kept the fish moving in and out between 25 to 45 feet of water. St. Joe has seen better fishing than South Haven lately. Salmon fishing has been decent. Cohos have shown up in 130 to 170 feet of water. 

D and R Sports, (269) 372-2277.

Grand Rapids Area

Water levels are down on the Grand River but anglers are still getting some fish. Bass are being caught on a variety of live and artificial baits including crayfish patterns. Those targeting catfish continue to do well with live or cut bait. 

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

The recent warming trend has moved the walleye out to deeper water in Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay and the bite is a little slower than it has been. Spoons and jets are still working well but the guys running crawlers down deep seem to be doing a little better. Perch reports have been few and far between but some anglers are finding them in and around the weedbeds in 8 to 12 feet of water. The good perch fishing usually doesn’t start until the first part of August.
 Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Lansing Area

The Grand River continues to produce a good smallmouth bass bite. Anglers did well near the Portland Dam with a crayfish imitation or live and artificial leeches. Some are getting channel cats but catch rates have been sporadic. The pike are scattered throughout the river. Those targeting carp seemed to catch more fish on worms and leeches. 

Grand River Bait & Tackle, (517) 482-4461.

Ludington Area

Lake trout are hitting spoons and flies in 120 to 250 feet of water on Lake Michigan. A small number of chinook, coho and steelhead have also been caught. Pier fishing was slow. Light numbers of chinook have moved into Pere Marquette Lake. Down at Pentwater, anglers picked up a few chinook salmon, lake trout and steelhead when trolling spoons in the bottom half of waters 100 to 150 feet deep. Bass anglers report a good bite on Pentwater Lake. Smallmouth bass have been caught in 6 to 12 feet of water when casting crankbaits along the weed lines. At Longbridge Road, smallmouth bass and panfish were caught on red worms or by drifting crawlers along the bottom. 

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

THE THUMB

Harbor Beach Area

Lake trout are hitting in Lake Huron straight out and north of the harbor in 80 to 130 feet of water. The fish are hitting dodgers and Spin-N-Glos fished near the bottom or spoons 40 to 80 feet down. Hot colors were orange, pink and black. Salmon and steelhead were caught on bright colored spoons. Try 5, 7, and 10 colored lead lines working from the top to 80 feet down. A few walleyes have been caught in 50 to 80 feet of water north of the harbor. Try spoons, Hot-N-Tots, worm burners or a crawler harness. Bass were still hitting spoons and bodybaits close to shore. 

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

Port Huron

Walleye fishing remains very good in the St. Clair River and at the south end of Lake Huron. Crawler harnesses are producing a good bite.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

Walleye fishing has been pretty good in the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix. Crawler harnesses fished in 17 feet of water have produced good results. Perch fishing has been good along the weedbeds in less than 17 feet of water. Look for the cabbage weeds. Lake trout are suspended and being caught on four and five colors of lead core on small silver flashers and Spin-N-Glos.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Frankfort Area

Windy conditions have rolled Lake Michigan over and the baitfish scattered to smaller pods throughout the bay. Those trolling in Betsie Bay have caught chinook and steelhead that have moved in to feed on the mayflies. 

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

NORTHEASTERN LP

Houghton Lake Area

The walleye bite slowed a bit on Houghton Lake and the fish were not as big, but anglers were still getting a few in 9 to 14 feet of water. Crankbaits, flicker shad, Hot-N-Tots and a crawler harness were all producing. Hot colors were pink, purple, orange, red and chartreuse. Bluegills have been hitting in 10 to 12 feet of water. Lots of pike and some rock bass have also been caught. Many were fishing in the East Bay and the surrounding area or along the south shore weedbeds. 

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Higgins Lake Area

Perch fishing has been pretty good on Higgins Lake. Decent numbers of fish have been caught around the Sunken Island and out from the South State Park in 35 to 40 feet of water or deeper. Anglers are picking up a good number of rock bass and smallmouth bass, too For lake trout, some are trolling with downriggers but many are jigging sand kickers and Swedish pimples just off the bottom in 90 to 110 feet of water. 

Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.

Atlanta Area

Fishing has been fantastic in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. The panfish bite has been very good on Grass, Avery and Fletcher lakes. Good numbers of northern pike have been caught on Grass while largemouth bass are hitting on Fletcher and Avery. The bass are done spawning and have moved to deeper water just off the breaks. Stream anglers report a good brook trout bite on the Black River.

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

Rogers City Area

The summer fishing patterns are setting up on Lake Huron with a deeper thermocline where anglers have caught chinook and lake trout along with the occasional steelhead or Atlantic salmon. Run lines throughout the water column while focusing both above and below the thermocline. Spoons and dodgers and flies have produced good results. Good colors were green, blue, chartreuse, green and blue, silver and blue, or glow early and late. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Walleye fishing has been pretty good in Munuscong Bay and around Round Island in Raber Bay. Nightcrawlers have been the bait of choice. Herring fishing has been good in the St. Marys River from Drummond Island through Lime Island. Tear drop and wax worms as well as mayfly larvae have been the hot baits. Pike fishing remains very good on Lake Huron around the Les Cheneaux Islands.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Curtis Area

Despite a pretty good mayfly hatch, walleye fishing remains pretty good on Big and South Manistique Lakes. Those trolling and drifting with nightcrawlers report good action. A fair number of perch also have been caught on Big Manistique and panfish anglers are catching bluegills in South Manistique.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Marquette Area

Fishing has been steady on Lake Superior. Good numbers of lake trout have been caught along with light numbers of coho and steelhead when trolling spoons near the “white rocks” and near Granite Island. Most were 20 to 50 feet down in 120 feet of water or more. 

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Walleye fishing slowed in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc with an abundance of food from fly hatches and alewife. Anglers trolling crawlers and Rapalas in 14 to 28 feet of water report a decent bite between Breezy Point and No-See-Um Creek. Several nice pike have been caught in the Escanaba River.

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

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

Light numbers of chinook salmon have been caught in 70 to 200 feet of water on spoons or a flasher/fly combo. In Traverse Bay, a few lake trout were hitting spoons trolled in 100 to 150 feet of water.  

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

The Lake Gogebic report has gone from hot to not. Mayflies continue to hatch daily and anglers are struggling to find a bite. Reports range from a few perch here, a smallmouth there and occasionally a walleye or northern but with no set patterns. A few of the better reports are coming from anglers trolling crawlers on bottom bouncers in deep water.

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

Watersmeet Area

Walleye fishing remained slow on Lac View Desert. The bigger fish have been found in the deeper holes when trolling or jigging artificial baits. A couple of muskies have been caught by those putting in the time and casting large lures over the weedbeds. Pike and largemouth bass have been caught around submerged vegetation when casting spinners and crankbaits. The vegetation in both Indian Bay and Rice Bay is coming in thick. Panfish were hitting both live and artificial baits fished in 6 to 12 feet of water.

Sylvania Outfitters, (906) 358-4766.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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