Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Aug. 17, 2018

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Lake St. Clair

Walleye fishing has been fair on Lake St. Clair. The best action is coming to anglers working the American side of the shipping channel. Nightcrawler harnesses fished early in the morning before the sun comes up have produced the best results. The bass bite has been pretty good, but mostly early and late in the day. Once the sun gets overhead, the bite slows down. Anglers report a good bite just before dark in 12 to 14 feet of water. Muskies are hitting on the Canadian side of the lake. The big boys have been caught in 18 to 23 feet of water. 

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Irish Hills Area

Panfish action has been decent in the Irish Hills. Bluegills are hitting on Wamplers and Devils lakes. The fish have moved into deeper water and are sometimes being found suspended over 20 feet of water. Bass fishing has been decent. A lot of anglers are heading over to Lake Erie to fish for walleyes.

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

Lake Orion

Bass and panfish action has slowed, but remains steady, on Orion and Lakeville lakes. Try dragging a crawler of soft plastic along the first weedline off shore for largemouths. panfish have moved of the shallows and are suspending over 12 to 20 feet of water. Brown trout fishing started out pretty good in Paint Creek, but has slowed with warming water and light flow.

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

Trenton Area

Anglers report catching a mixed bag in the Detroit River. The best walleye bite has been early in the morning. Anglers jigging and handlining both report catching fair numbers of fish. A few bass and occasionally a sheepshead have been caught, too.

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

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.

Luna Pier Area

Yellow perch fishing has been good in Lake Erie out of Bolles Harbor in 16 feet of water and near the E-Buoy and the Dumping Grounds in 22 to 24 feet of water. Minnows fished on spreader rigs with green spinners and crappie rigs with orange and chartreuse have produced a good bite. A few limit catches of walleyes have been taken along the Dumping Grounds and the E-Buoy on orange or chartreuse spoons, Wiggle Warts, crankbaits or Hot-N-Tots. A good walleye bite has been reported by anglers fishing in 25 feet of water off the River Raisin with fire-tiger crankbaits or in 21 to 23 feet of water between Stony Point and Fermi with Bandits or when trolling a green, purple or chartreuse crawler harness. White bass, white perch, freshwater drum and large channel cats were also caught. Those targeting the Hot Ponds were catching a good number of catfish on shrimp or nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass were hitting spinners and Twister Tails at the mouth of the River Raisin and the Hot Ponds. 

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

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Paw Paw Area

Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been pretty good on Paw Paw Lake. Largemouth are hitting soft plastics under the docks and top-water baits fished in the shallows. Smallmouth bass are hitting crankbaits and jigging minnows. Walleyes are hitting on the St. Joseph River and one angler caught a 40-pound flathead catfish there last week. 

Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522

Kalamazoo Area

Perch fishing has been very inconsistent compared to the recent past. Those fishing for perch only had luck on Lake Michigan. South Haven had the best reports of all the piers in southwest Lower Michigan. Fish were in anywhere from 30 to 60 feet of water. Anglers had better luck catching panfish. Live baits such as nightcrawlers and crickets were the best. Bass are sticking pretty close to structure in all areas. Smallmouth are still being caught consistently on both the Kalamazoo and Grand rivers. Live baits as well as artificial baits in natural colors have been working well.

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

Grand Rapids Area

Few anglers were fishing the Grand River last week because of the hot weather and the low water levels. Those fishing early morning or late evening should find some smallmouth bass and panfish. Summer steelhead were scarce. 

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

Plainwell Area

The walleye bite has been very good on Gun Lake. Fish between 13 and 30 inches have been caught. A lot of 13- to 15-inchers have been caught so the future is looking good. Bluegill action has been pretty good, too. Pine Lake producing good numbers of crappies and bluegills. Pike fishing has slowed, but some nice big catfish have been caught on Gun Lake and Fish Lake. Bass fishing has been pretty good, too. A few perch have been caught, but overall they have been on the small side.

Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

We are in the midsummer fishing mode and the walleyes are out deep for the most part. Walleye fishing in the inner bay is spotty as the fish are scattered. The most consistent area was near Buoys 1 and 2 at the end of the shipping channel in 30 feet of water or more. Walleyes continue to be caught at most locations if anglers put in enough time. Try the shallow side of the Slot between Sebewaing and Sand Point in 10 to 12 feet of water. Crawler harnesses seem to work best though some were also using spoons or crankbaits. Perch fishing was starting to pick up in several locations especially in the Old Shipping Channel off the mouth of the Saginaw River in 17 feet of water. Other spots include Sailboat Buoys A and B or F and G off Linwood and the Spark Plug at Buoys 11 and 12. The fish have averaged eight to 10 inches. Limits are possible but not the norm.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Baldwin Area

Very few salmon have been entering the lower Pere Marquette River, where the water is still running a little warm. There are some salmon in the lower stretch, but not in any significant numbers. Trout fishing has been pretty good on the PM with good numbers of browns being caught when the weather cools. The bluegill bite has been good on Big Bass, Idlewild and Big and Little Leverance lakes. Red worms and crickets have been the ticket to success.

Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.

Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.

Lansing Area

Water levels were up some on the Grand River after the recent rains. A few channel cats have been caught, mostly on live bait such as nightcrawlers, leeches and small bluegills. Longnose gar have been caught at the Webber Dam. 

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

Ludington Area

Chinook fishing on Lake Michigan continues to get better with a good number of fish weighing 30 pounds or more being caught. Most were hitting spoons, meat rigs and J-plugs trolled 50 to 100 feet down in 130 to 300 feet of water. On Pere Marquette Lake, fair numbers of chinook were still being picked up in the channel and over near the river. At Pentwater, anglers fishing on Lake Michigan in front of the dunes report a light bite, but those fishing the south side of Little Sable Point caught decent numbers of chinook, steelhead, and lake trout 40 to 70 feet down in 80 to 150 feet of water. Meat rigs, green or blue spoons and flies were all catching fish. Large and smallmouth bass were hitting on Pentwater Lake in 8 to 12 feet of water. Anglers jigging white soft-plastics or casting bodybaits along the drop-offs reported the best action. Those fishing off Longbridge Road can still find bullhead, sunfish and bass when drifting or fishing on the bottom with crawlers and red worms. 

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

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Walleye fishing remains very good in Lake Huron. Anglers trolling with nightcrawler harnesses are picking up good numbers of fish from Sand Point east through Oak Beach in 20 to 30 feet of water. A few fish have been caught on bodybaits, too. Anglers fishing off the breakwall in Caseville report catching bass, pike, walleyes and catfish. 

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

Harbor Beach Area

Fishing has been slow on Lake Huron as the fish are scattered and only a few were taken in the early mornings. Try running spoons from top to bottom or dodgers with Spin-N-Glos near the bottom. Start in 80 feet of water and work your way out to deeper water north of the harbor. For steelhead, try bright colored spoons. Walleye were scattered but, water temperatures were finally starting to warm so the bite should improve. Try small spoons, harness or Hot-N-Tots to put some ’eyes in your cooler. 

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

Port Huron

Walleye fishing remains pretty good on the St. Clair River. The best action has been early and late by anglers handlining or drifting nightcrawlers. Fair numbers of Atlantic salmon have been caught in Lake Huron at Port Sanilac in 80 to 120 feet of water. Decent numbers of perch have also been caught in Lake Huron on minnows fished between Port Sanilac and Lexington in 15 to 30 feet of water. 

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

Fishing has slowed a little on Lake Charlevoix. Perch action has been good in the south arm along the weeds in 6 to 17 feet of water. Fair numbers of walleyes have also been caught 17 to 19 feet down over 25 to 30 feet of water, and 25 feet down in 50 feet of water on the main lake. Salmon fishing has been pretty good on Lake Michigan and lake trout fishing has been very good. The best action has been in 100 to 300 feet of water, 50 to 80 feet down. Flashers and flies, and meat rigs are taking fish. River fishing has been slow with low, warm water. 

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Frankfort Area

Large chinook salmon have been caught in Lake Michigan at Frankfort including several fish weighing 30 pounds or more. Most were trolling the top 80 feet in 140 to 170 feet of water with meat rigs. Lake trout were taken off the bottom with on Spin-N-Glos at the Six-Mile Hole.

Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.

Cadillac Area

Fishing has been hot and cold on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell as the fish have settled into their summer patterns. The water is pretty warm and fish have moved into 10 to 15 feet of water. Anglers are catching decent numbers of bass, pike and a few bluegills and crappies. A few walleyes have been caught, too, but the window of opportunity has been brief, early in the mornings and late in the evenings. 

Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.

NORTHEASTERN LP

Mio Area

Trout fishing has been slow with warm water in the trophy waters of the Au Sable River. The water was up to 76 degrees at Mio earlier this summer and the browns have been hiding in the deeper holes and cooler water. Most trout anglers are not fishing because they don’t want to stress the fish in such warm water conditions. Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good on the Tittabawassee River.

Au Sable Angler, (989) 826-8500.

Houghton Lake Area

Decent numbers of walleyes have been caught in Houghton Lake by those trolling a crawler harness tipped with crawlers or leeches. The best bites have come to anglers fishing along the drop-offs in eight to 12 feet of water. Pike have been caught throughout the lake and bluegills are hitting along the weedbeds in 6 to 8 feet of water. 

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Higgins Lake Area

Lake trout fishing has been good on Higgins Lake for anglers trolling or jigging just off the bottom in 90 to 120 feet of water. A couple of rainbow trout have been caught in 60 to 70 feet of water off Big Creek and the south state park. Perch have been found in 40 to 50 feet of water off the south end of the Sunken Island and Treasure Island. Smallmouth bass and lots of rock bass have been caught throughout the lake. 

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

Rogers City Area

Anglers report catching a nice mixed bag in Lake Michigan. Anglers have caught chinook, Atlantic and coho salmon, lake trout, steelhead and occasionally a walleye. The thermocline was higher, so anglers were targeting 50 to 120 feet of water. Set your lines throughout the water column. Spoons have worked best and the hot colors have been green, blue, orange, green and blue, black and white, or glow fished early and late. Flashers with flies, squid and cut bait were taking some of the bigger fish. 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Oscoda Area

Steelhead, lake trout, and the odd Atlantic or small chinook have been caught in Lake Huron by anglers trolling spoons, meat rigs and Spin-N-Glos with dodgers. Most of the fish have been caught 35 to 65 feet down in 85 to 130 feet of water. Lake trout have also been caught in the bottom 30 feet around the drop-off. Quite a few suspended walleyes were caught incidentally by those trolling spoons for salmon and trout. Anglers still-fishing from the pier with nightcrawlers and leeches have caught channel catfish, smallmouth bass and a few walleyes. The catfish bite was best in the evening. On the Au Sable River, those still-fishing and drifting crawlers in the lower river caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum and a few small walleyes. Those casting spinners have caught northern pike while smallmouth bass were taken on poppers or a weedless soft plastic. Smallmouth bass, small walleyes, and a few nice pike have been caught on streamers or when casting crankbaits between Mio, Alcona and Loud Dam. 

Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Walleye fishing has been good in Munuscong Bay with nightcrawlers and crankbaits producing the best results. A few perch have been caught. Good numbers of perch are being caught at Cedarville, too, around the Les Cheneaux Islands. 

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Salmon fishing has been pretty good in the St. Marys River. Anglers report catching fish in 80 to 100 feet of water. Atlantics have been caught 25 feet down and kings 60 feet down. A mixed bag of bass, pike and perch have been caught in Potagannissing Bay. Walleyes have been caught on the west side of Peck Island in Scotts Bay, 12 to 16 feet down. Crawlers and stickbaits have both produced good action. 

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Bluegill, perch, walleye, pike and bass are keeping anglers busy on Manistique Lakes. Bluegills are hitting leaf worms on South Manistique and perch have been caught on minnows and chunks of crawlers on Big Manistique. Walleyes, northerns and smallies are hitting on both lakes. The surface water temperature has been running right around 68 degrees.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Marquette Area

Lake trout anglers were taking some limit catches in Lake Superior. The hot spots have been between the White Rocks and Granite Island, off Shot Point, Sand Hole and way out to Stannard Rock. Many anglers reported that the fish had moved deeper to 150 to 200 feet of water. The odd brown trout or coho were also caught. Spoons and plugs worked best. At Au Train, most boats were taking good numbers of lake trout just north of Au Train Island in 200 feet of water or more. A few boats were going out to Wood Island Reef and catching fish. Over at Munising, boat anglers on Lake Superior targeting lake trout were getting fish up to 10 pounds near Wood Island Reef and Grand Portal in 140 to 200 feet of water. Pier fishing has been poor. 

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Walleye anglers reported good numbers of undersize fish throughout Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. Fish that were just legal size were caught between the Second and Third reefs when trolling crawlers or jigging in 20 to 28 feet of water. Fish were caught south of the Ford River near Round Island by anglers trolling nightcrawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water. The same area produced smallmouth bass when casting plastics or drop-shotting along the rocks and weed lines. Several large pike were caught off the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling Rapalas in 20 feet of water. 

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

BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.

Iron Mountain Area

Bass fishing has been very good on the Menominee River and on Lake Antoine. The largemouths are hitting early in the mornings and late in the evenings with a hot top-water bite being reported, especially in the evenings. Walleye fishing has been decent on Peavy, Lower Peavy and the Michigammee Reservoir. The best bites have come between 7 p.m. and midnight and anglers report catching four or five keepers each time out. Bluegill fishing has slowed on area lakes, but the crappie bite remains pretty good. Stream trout anglers report warm water and light action. In fact, good numbers of northern pike are being caught in the warm, upper stretches of the Ford River.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

Fishing has been pretty good in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. Anglers are catching good numbers of lakers and chinook, including one 16-pound king recently. Some decent sized brown trout have also been caught. Most anglers are trolling, but some are bobbing for lake trout off Point Abby and off the Huron Islands in 150 to 180 feet of water. Banana jigs and rubber tails have produced good results. River fishing has been decent. Rainbows and brookies have been caught in the Silver, Slate, Huron and Falls rivers. Prickett Dam Flooding has produced a good mixed bag of walleye, bass, pike and panfish. 

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic fishing has been fair. Perch are hitting nightcrawlers fished in the weeds in 9 to 11 feet of water. Walleye are hitting leeches in the same areas with other reports coming from 26 to 28 feet of water. Smallmouth are still active, too. Try working any hard bottom areas using live bait, Twister Tails or stickbaits. 

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

Iron River Area

Fishing has been slow in Iron County. On days when the temperature is in the 80s the bite is slow and the fish move deep. On days when the temperature drops down into the mid or lower 70s, the bite picks up and the fish move into shallower water. The best action in the area has been for smallmouth and largemouth bass on Ottawa Lake. The lake is being managed as a trophy bass lake so it’s strictly catch-and-release for smallmouth and largemouth bass. All other game fish are legal to keep. Stream fishing remains pretty good with lots of brookies and a few browns being caught. Over on Lac Vieux Desert, fishing remained steady with bluegills and sunfish found in 3 to 12 feet of water and crappie in 8 to 14 feet of water. Natural and artificial baits produced best but the key is to find vegetation to fish over. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Bass anglers caught fish by working the weedbeds and casting artificial baits. Walleye fishing has remained slow, as only a few sub-legal fish were caught. A couple of nice muskies have been caught, but angles are putting in a lot of time. Pike fishing slowed but anglers were still running into them when chasing muskies or perch. 

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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