Hook & Hunting: Weekly Fishing Report - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Hook & Hunting: Weekly Fishing Report

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources May 31, 2012 "Weekly Fishing Report."

NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Cheboygan:  Is producing lake trout and Atlantic salmon for those trolling purple and pink spoons.  Those fishing Hammond Bay caught Atlantic salmon and northern pike. Try silver, fire-tiger, purple or pink stick baits. Only suckers were caught in the river.     

Rogers City:  Was producing very good catches of lake trout with the occasional limit. The key is to find the fish. Good spots to fish include west of the harbor towards 40 Mile Point and past it, up to the "Humps" off Evergreen Drive, Seagull Point, the pavilion off the State Park, Adams Point and the Dyno Shack. Try just off the bottom in 30 to 65 feet of water with dodgers or cowbells with spin-glows.  Chinook were caught out in deeper water. Good colors were orange and silver, blue and silver, or green. The marina is open and the fish cleaning station is open. 

Presque Isle:  Has been very good for Atlantic salmon and lake trout. A few chinook were also taken. Lake trout were caught near the bottom with dodgers or cowbells and spin-glows in 30 to 80 feet of water.  Atlantic salmon were caught in the top 25 to 45 feet in 50 to 70 feet of water. The marina is open. 

Rockport:  Atlantic salmon were caught off the old pier and by shore anglers using minnows or spoons. Those trolling caught lake trout with orange or glow spoons. Fish were caught in 50 feet of water out near the Nordmere Wreck and Stoneport.  

Alpena:  Boats heading out to Thunder Bay caught walleye when trolling crawler harnesses or crank baits. Fish were also caught near Grass Island. 

Thunder Bay River:  Walleye were caught by those still-fishing with leeches in the marina and Mill Island. Several rock bass were caught between the 9th Street Dam and the marina and off the pier when using crawlers, minnows, or artificial baits. Smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers, leeches and rapalas. 

Harrisville:  Warmer weather did move the fish out to deeper water. Lake trout were caught out in 60 to 80 feet however they were suspended. Good colors were black and silver or black and orange. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon were also caught higher in the water column. Walleye were caught in 20 to 40 feet of water around and north of the harbor when using crawler harnesses or stick baits.  

Oscoda:  Walleye may have moved out to deeper water. Try small spoons or stick baits. Brown trout were caught off the pier by those using minnows. Lake trout, salmon, steelhead, and Atlantics have been caught in 50 to 70 feet of water on planner boards and dipsys, spoons, stick baits and spin-glows.  

Higgins Lake:  Boats are still trolling for lake trout when the winds allow. Those jigging did find some whitefish. A few perch were caught on minnows and wigglers along the drop-off. This is a good time of year for kids to start catching rock bass.   

Houghton Lake:  Anglers are catching a few walleye and bluegills. There is a fly hatch in progress so crawlers and leeches were the ticket.     

Tawas:   Boats trolling crawler harnesses caught walleye in 20 to 40 feet of water near Buoy #2 and around the Point. Another group trolling in 50 to 60 feet of water caught a mix of coho, steelhead, lake trout and brown trout on spoons and body baits. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, pike and small perch. 

Tawas River:  Is producing channel catfish, smallmouth bass and pike.  
 
Au Gres:  Boat anglers heading out two to eight miles due south of Point Lookout were catching walleye in 35 feet of water but many were sub-legal. 

Au Gres River:  Shore anglers caught catfish and pike. Small boats trolling crank baits caught pike and walleye.

 

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

Harbor Springs:  Was producing good smallmouth bass action near the state park. 

Bear River:  Steelhead fishing has pretty much ended. Anglers fishing the mouth caught carp, suckers, rock bass, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum. 

Petoskey:  Was producing lake trout in 110 feet of water near Bay Harbor. 

Charlevoix:  Salmon were caught 50 to 80 feet down in waters 130 to 150 feet deep when trolling spoons or body baits. Lake trout were caught in 40 feet of water between the channel and Fisherman's Island. Walleye fishing was slow but pier anglers were still night fishing in the channel with both natural and artificial baits. 

Elk River:  Had lots of anglers targeting smallmouth bass as good numbers of fish were between the dam and the mouth. Try leeches, crawlers or soft plastic baits. 

Traverse City:  Lake trout are being caught in both bays by those trolling in 20 to 60 feet of water or when jigging in 100 feet of water. Those jigging were also picking up a few whitefish. Smallmouth bass were in the shallows. 

Boardman River:  Anglers are targeting smallmouth bass. Live bait worked best. Carp, perch, rock bass and the occasional pike were also caught. 

Leland:  Anglers looking to fish will want to contact the City Marina first as the boat launch was removed for repairs.  

Frankfort:  Weather permitting, some nice chinook salmon were caught 60 to 90 feet down in 150 to 200 feet of water. They hit on spoons, plugs and meat rigs. A couple brown trout were caught off the north pier by those casting Cleo's. Alewife can be found in and around the piers. 

Onekama:  Had good fishing despite the weather. 

Portage Lake:  Bluegills were caught off the east shore and smallmouth bass along the southwest shoreline. For largemouth, try casting along the drop-offs and areas with structure. Perch were caught in 14 to 18 feet of water near the buoy and the occasional keeper pike was taken off Little Eden. 

Lake Cadillac:  Is producing walleye for those trolling crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers. At night, fish the shallows with minnows. Bluegills were still on the beds. Crappie action was fair to good with minnows. Pike are hitting spinners or suckers. 

Lake Mitchell:  Is producing bluegill for boat and shore anglers. Crappie, pike, bass and the occasional walleye were also caught.   

Manistee:  Boats anglers did well for trout and salmon in waters 120 to 240 feet deep. Try 50 to 130 feet down with green or blue spoons. Pier anglers caught a few brown trout when casting spoons.
 
Ludington:  Salmon were caught in the top 60 feet of waters 120 to 350 feet deep. Steelhead and smaller salmon were caught 60 to 120 feet down with green and blue spoons or meat rigs. 

Pentwater:  Had no pier anglers as the channel was muddy. Boat anglers caught steelhead 15 feet down in 240 feet of water but a few fish were also caught in shallow waters. Salmon were taken 70 feet down in 120 feet of water. Orange and bright green were good colors. 

 

UPPER PENINSULA

Keweenaw Bay:  Is producing chinook, coho and some lake trout. Try 40 to 60 feet down in waters 50 to 70 feet deep. Lake trout were caught off Pequaming in 220 to 260 feet of water. Along the South Portage Entry, salmon and lake trout were caught near the lighthouse in 30 to 80 feet of water. Lake trout were also caught near the Mud Bank, Farmers Reef and Newton's Reef. 

Marquette:  Strong winds kept many off the big lake but those venturing out caught salmon and a few limits of lake trout. Try the Sand Hole, the white rocks, north of Granite Island or about five miles east towards Shot Point. Look for schools of baitfish in waters 140 to 200 feet deep and fish off the bottom. A salmon was caught near the Sand River. Surface water temperatures were in the low 40's. 

Menominee:  Boat anglers targeting musky had slow results. A few fish were caught near Boom Landing but most came back empty handed. Those trolling for walleye had fair results near the mouth of the Cedar River when trolling in eight to 12 feet of water with rapalas or crawler harnesses. Boat anglers trolling in 50 feet of water near Chambers Island were picking up some brown trout on spoons with or without flies. 

Menominee River:  Water levels near the dam were low which made casting and trolling difficult. Shore anglers near the Mystery Ship caught smallmouth bass, pike, rock bass, freshwater drum and the occasional walleye. 

Cedar River:  Anglers were fishing from the mouth up to the first rapids for bass. Catch rates were slow for those using crawlers but tube jigs caught smallmouth bass.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Had fair to good walleye catches for those trolling or drifting crank baits or crawlers along the reefs in Kipling to the north of the bay in 12 to 24 feet of water. Fish were caught in Gladstone when trolling crawlers in 25 to 35 feet of water but the better catches were south from Portage Point to the Ford River when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses along the shelf in eight to 14 feet of water. Good pike action along the north end of Saunders Point in 10 to 12 feet of water and near the Day's River in eight to 14 feet of water. Perch was fair north of Butler Island in 20 to 23 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were caught near Garth Point when casting crank baits or plastics in four to eight feet of water and Hunters Point in three to eight feet of water or the mouth of the Ford River.  

Big Bay De Noc:  Had good walleye fishing from late evening into the night. Most were launching from Nahma and heading north to Porcupine Point and out to the "Boot" while trolling crawler harnesses in eight to 16 feet of water.

Au Train:   Those able to get out were targeting lake trout. Try just past Au Train Island in 120 to 180 feet of water but the fish are usually smaller here. Another good area is near Wood Island where there are a series of deep humps that average 150 to 200 feet deep. Be sure to fish right on the bottom. Fish averaging five to 10 pounds can be caught here. Surface water temperatures remain in the mid 40's in the bay and the low 40's around the islands. 

Munising:  Some boat anglers are targeting a mix of fish including chinook, lake trout, smallmouth bass and perch. Others are fishing for lake trout near Grand Portal Point and Trout Reef. The fish are running smaller at two and three pounds. Pier fishing was very slow. 

Grand Marais:  Had fair to good success for whitefish off the pier. Some limit catches were reported with smaller fish tending to bite before sunrise and the bigger fish after sunrise. Boat anglers are now shifting their attention to lake trout when trolling in 100 to 300 feet of water which is five to seven miles north of the bay. 

St. Mary's River:  Those fishing in Raber Bay caught a few walleye on the north side of Lime Island and just off Round Island. They were slow drifting with crawlers in eight feet of water near the weeds.   

DeTour:  Anglers are catching Atlantic salmon when trolling spoons and flies in over 80 feet of water between the red buoy and the lighthouse. Most fish are caught eight to 10 feet down. A few chinook were caught. Lake trout can be found in schools below the Atlantic salmon so fish 35 to 45 feet down.   

Cedarville and Hessel:  Still have very good pike fishing. Try off the Hessel pier with chubs or minnows in the early morning or when casting or trolling in Cedarville Bay, Moscoe Channel and Musky Bay. The occasional perch was also caught. 

Carp River:  Fishing in slow. Anglers should target trout upstream for better results.