Hook & Hunting: June 28 Weekly Fishing Report - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Hook & Hunting: June 28 Weekly Fishing Report

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Weekly Fishing Report

June 28, 2012

New lake trout and splake regulations went into effect on June 14, 2012. The new regulations affect certain ports on Lake Huron. The daily possession limit is three (3) lake trout or splake and the minimum size limit is 15 inches. The possession season is from May 1 through September 30. Click here for additional information.


Lake Erie:  Anglers are catching walleye between Fermi and Stony Point in 23 to 25 feet of water. Straight out from Brest Bay in 25 to 27 feet of water has also been producing good numbers. The boats launching out of Bolles Harbor and Half Way Creek have been finding a lot of walleye straight out from Toledo Beach near the MI-OH line in 22-23 feet of water. A few limits of perch were caught out from Stony Point in 22 to 23 feet of water using perch rigs with minnows. Out from Toledo Beach in 14 to 15 feet of water is also producing great numbers of perch. Anglers trolling crawler harnesses with purple, copper or pink blades were doing the best.

St. Clair River:  SHORE FISHING ONLY – Anglers are seeing some catches of walleye at night in Port Huron both still fishing from the boardwalks and casting jigs with twister tails at Lincoln Park. Best time seems to be from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Limit catches of white bass are still available from Port Huron as well as around the mouth of the Black River. Casting minnows is the best method followed by casting jigs with small paddle trails or twisters. Morning and evening are the best times but fish are available throughout the day. There are tremendous numbers of sheepshead in the river right now. The best baits are live crayfish if you can find a shop that sells them. Master Angler-sized fish are routinely being caught. The Algonac boardwalk is the hotspot followed by the mouth of the Black River.

Port Sanilac:  Good catches are being taken off the edge of the reef near the lighthouse. Trollers are working 40 to 80 feet of water and taking a mix of salmon and trout using high lines for steelheads and some salmon while getting lake trout near the bottom. Perch fishing is spotty. Pier and small boat anglers are taking brown trout and walleye while casting Little Cleos.

Caseville:  Walleye fishing is picking up off Oak Point and on the reefs off Sleeper State Park.   

Lexington:  Trollers are working 40 to 80 feet of water at all ports taking a mix of salmon and trout. Steelhead are biting high lines while lake trout are biting near the bottom. Perch fishing is spotty. Pier and small boat anglers fishing at the mouths of the harbors early in the morning and in the evening are taking brown trout and walleye.

Harbor Beach:  Steelhead are being taken on the color lines. Start in 60 feet of water and work out. Use pink, orange and bright colored spoons. Coho are being caught in 60 to 130 feet of water using spoons. Yellow tails, mongoose and watermelon colors are working. Browns are in close to shore near the surface. Lake trout is fair to good in 80 to 130 feet of water using dodgers with spin and glows close to the bottom. 

Pike and bass are still being taken inside the harbor and close to shore on spoons and body baits. Perch fishing is slow; try south of the harbor using minnows. Walleye fishing is also slow but try north of the harbor using crawler harnesses and small spoons. Keep lines tight.

Grindstone City:  Walleye anglers are doing well in 25 to 35 feet of water and a lot of boats are going northwest to fish near the Port Austin lighthouse. Blue water trollers are fishing 100 feet of water straight north of Grindstone and getting a mixed bag of Chinooks, pinks, Coho, steelheads and lake trout.

Saginaw Bay:  The inner bay has walleye hitting 20 feet off the Pinconning Bar, off buoys 1 and 2, the Black Hole, the sailboat buoys off Linwood, five feet of water off the Hot Pond, the Callahan Reef, the middle of the slot, the west side of the bar, the vicinity of the Spark Plug (buoys 11 & 12), and drifting and jigging in Wildfowl Bay. Anglers have a tendency to follow the fish to deeper water as the air and water temps continue to rise.

Saginaw River:  Some walleye are being taking in the lower river by trollers on days when it's too rough out on the bay. Shore anglers are getting catfish, drum and a few bass around Essexville.


St. Joseph:  There are record low water levels in the St. Joseph River. Due to the low flows and high water temperatures, there has been little upstream movement of summer-run steelhead. Any steelhead that moved into the river prior to the recent warm up are seeking refuge at the spring seeps or the mouths of coldwater tributaries. Cold water near the pier will continue to make fishing good in that area. Perch fishing is up and down and will improve with warmer water. Anglers should target 30 to 40 feet of water. Good catches of salmon are being made in 60 feet of water out to 150 feet. Boat anglers are catching steelhead in close.

South Haven:   Yellow perch are picking up. Water temps need to warm up a little and fishing will improve. Decent catches are being made in 35 feet of water. Boat anglers are struggling to catch salmon. Pier fishing is decent when the water is cold.

Grand Haven:  Boats are fishing at the pier heads and catching steelhead and a few kings. Spoons are working best in orange and yellow. Run baits high with 3 and 5 color lead cores. No more than 20 feet down for riggers. Pier anglers will also do well on steelhead fishing a bobber and shrimp. No perch were reported.

Grand River at Lansing:  Below the dams are the best spots right now. Pike and catfish below the Smithfield Dam are biting on minnows, shiners and suckers under a bobber. There hasn't been much crappie action. Carp are being caught with bread and corn. Anglers are catching small mouth bass at Moore's Park below the dam using spinners, leaches, rubber swim shads and minnows.

Gun Lake:  Northern Pike and walleye have been biting in the evening while trolling.

Kalamazoo River:  Now open from Marshall and downstream. The only area closed is at the Morrow Lake Delta near Galesburg. The river is running low and clean making it perfect for smallmouth bass. Great reports are coming from Marshall, Comstock, Kalamazoo and Plainwell. Use spinners, woolly buggers and twister tail jigs.

Muskegon:  Salmon anglers are fishing 100 to 120 feet and 80 feet on the downriggers. Use spoons and a few white spinnies/flies. Lots of UV spoons and blue and white. No perch or pier angling was reported.


Cheboygan:   Anglers in Hammond Bay are harvesting salmon and lake trout straight out from the refuge in 80 to 100 feet of water. Salmon are hitting 30 feet down, while lake trout are a little deeper. The break water rocks at Hammond Bay are also producing northern pike and smallmouth bass.

Cheboygan River: Anglers fishing the Cheboygan River mouth are harvesting walleye from the river mouth to the back side of the paper mill using crawler harnesses in purple/white, silver/white and silver/black. Limited rock bass, yellow perch and bluegill are coming in as well.

Rogers City:  Anglers are fishing in 65 to 90 feet of water and fishing about half way down. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon have been taken in the top 30 feet of water using lead cores of 3, 5 or 7 colors. Bright colors like orange and silver, yellows, reds, and pinks have all been good. Steelhead love the mid-morning sunshine. They have been hitting well around 9:00 a.m. and later. The salmon have been hitting greens with spots, white, purple, black and white. Glows have been working early and late.

Presque Isle:  Has been good for anglers as well. Mornings have been better here while evenings have been better in Rogers City. There have been some winds over the weekend and it has slowed the fishing some, but the fish are still there. This seems to have moved the baitfish in. Finding structure has helped anglers a lot. Anglers have gone back around to where they have picked up fish previously and have had better success.

Rockport:  There's been little angler activity on the Rockport shore and pier this past week. Those going out in boats have caught lake trout, a few Coho salmon and steelhead. Chartreuse and blue spoons have been successful. Anglers have mentioned fish being in 40 feet of water. The Nordmeer Wreck and Middle Island were areas anglers found fish.

Alpena:  Boat anglers in Alpena have been catching walleye in Thunder Bay using crawler harnesses, crank baits, husky jerks, and spinners. Sulphur Island, Grass Island, North Shore and just outside the mouth of the river have been areas where anglers have been successful. Some smallmouth bass, rock bass and northern pike have been caught in the river using worms, leeches, minnows, and spinners. The 9th Street Bridge and Mill Island have been good areas. Walleye have been caught in the river as well using worms and artificial bait.

Harrisville: Weather has played a big part in the lack of fishing pressure this past week. Hot to rainy and high winds have not helped, but for those who were able to get some fishing in reported slow conditions. A few lake trout were caught in 80 to 100 feet of water straight out and north of the harbor on spoons, spin and glows and flies. Silver/white, blues and greens were producing catches as well. Steelhead are up high in 65 to 75 feet of water off planner boards and dipsy's hitting orange and silver, and blue and sliver. Walleye action has still been slow, but with better weather forecasted catches should improve.

Oscoda:  The Oscoda pier has slowed somewhat, but there are still walleye being caught. Crawlers on slip bobbers, leaches and body baits have been doing well. Big lake fishing has been slow due to weather conditions, but look for the lake trout and salmon to be out in 70 to 100 feet of water and suspended in the water column. Steelhead will be in 65 to 85 feet of water and toward the top. 

Au Sable River:  Various stretches of the mainstream of the Au Sable River and South Branch of the Au Sable in the no kill zone are seeing good trout fishing.

Tawas Bay:  Walleye and some steelhead were being picked up out around Buoy #2. Pier anglers were getting a few rock bass and smallmouth bass.

Au Gres:  Lots of walleye activity here and lots of fish being caught at all depths. Walleye were reported taken anywhere from five to 50 feet of water. Many anglers were going out to the Charities, many were going south into the inner bay south of Pointe Au Gres, and some were fishing right out front of the Au Gres River. Crawler harnesses still work best, but the walleye are also starting to hit spoons and hot-n-tots as well as other crank baits.


Lakes Cadillac & Mitchell:  Bass, pan fish and walleye are the prevalent fish being caught.

Traverse City:  Both bays have good bass fishing and there continues to be some late spawning activity. Try fishing for bass in depths of six to 12 feet. Lake trout were being caught at depths around 75 to 90 feet and sometimes shallower in the early morning hours. Chinook salmon are beginning to show up in the catch as well.

Elk River:  Anglers are targeting smallmouth bass with a variety of tackle. Live bait seems to be working the best. Many of the larger bass have been thinned out, but a few nice ones can still be caught.

Boardman River:  Anglers have been mainly targeting carp and smallmouth bass. Try live baits for the smallmouths.

Platte Bay:  Fishing is slow. Anglers are catching one fish per trip in West Bay, trolling in 100 feet of water down 60 feet. They are using green spoons. Some smallmouth bass were caught off the mouth casting plastic baits.

Pentwater:  Anglers have taken limit amounts of salmon and trout. Many anglers that fished across from Silver Lake and the dunes were very successful. The most success came in 95 to 120 feet of water while fishing 30 to 50 feet off the bottom. A lot of Chinook salmon, steelhead and brown trout were taken. Fishermen have begun moving to the north of the launch to fish.

Whitehall:  Very few fish and anglers in Whitehall. The 70 to 90 foot area has produced some fish. Steelhead were taken on dipsies on lines running 30 feet down at the same depths. Anglers reported schools of large fish banked up in the 50 foot area. Baitfish and suckers are still in the channel. No pier action to speak of.

Frankfort:  Salmon fishing has been very good in the past several weeks. Anglers are catching limits north of the point in 120 to 200 feet of water and trolling 70 to 120 feet down. Depths change daily so check with local shops. Meat rigs with green flashers and flies have landed some nice sizes but the UV lures were best for repeated action.

Arcadia:  Fishing is still good. The anglers trolling in 80 to 120 feet of water down 70 feet on anything green or blue are catching one fish per hour.

Lake Michigan:  The Onekama tournament produced good catches and sizes with meat keeping the lines active but Magnum glow spoons were best. Watermelon was the hot color.

Portage Lake:  With the warmer weather, pan fish are heading a bit deeper but are still hitting good on any fresh bait. Bass anglers are hitting the drops with some nice keepers being landed. Increases in recreational boating and warmer temps have forced the fish into their summer hiding spots.

Manistee:  Boats are doing well for salmon and trout 60 to 130 feet down in 120 to 200 feet of water. Green/blue spoons and meat rigs have worked really well. Summer run steelhead are being caught at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River. Trout fishing in area rivers like the Pere Marquette, Pine, Little Manistee and Manistee have been fair in general but very good during or right after rainstorms.

Ludington:  Anglers are doing well for salmon in 120 to 180 feet of water. Meat rigs have been successful 70 to 130 feet down. Green and orange spoons have worked higher in the water column.


Ontonagon:  Fishing is good for lake trout all through out the bay. Many were caught just out from the mouth on the Ontonagon River as well on Spin-n-Glows. Spoons in greens, blues, and oranges have been good colors. A few Coho have also been showing up in the catches. The Ontonagon River is yielding walleye. Bond Falls Flowage is yielding good crappie catches.

Marquette: Anglers did fair over the past week targeting lake trout. Best areas producing were east of Marquette towards Shot Point in depths of 160 to 180 feet of water, the White Rocks and Granite Loma. Good numbers of lake trout were being caught jigging at Stannard Rock producing many fish averaging four to 15 pounds.

Menominee:  Most of the boats are targeting Chinook salmon. Salmon and brown trout are being caught in front of the Menominee marina in 50 feet of water. Anglers are also trolling on the north and south side of Green Island with fair to good results.  Water levels near the dam are still fairly low which makes for low numbers of fishing effort. Shore anglers near Stephenson Isle were catching a few smallmouth bass, freshwater drum and rock bass. These anglers are using minnows and crawlers while still fishing.

Menominee River:  Anglers trolling the Menominee River are getting many freshwater drum, channel catfish, smallmouth bass, northern pike and some small class walleye with a few larger walleyes being caught. Using crawler harnesses or trolling different colored Rapalas are producing the catches this week.

Cedar River:   Anglers are getting some limits of Chinook near Whalesback in 100 feet of water. Calm waters and early mornings yield the best results. Most of the fish are 50 feet down but some were caught near the surface. Also those trolling in front of Wells State Park in 50 feet of water are bringing in one to three fish per boat. Watermelon colored spoons worked well this week. Bass anglers are fishing from the mouth of the Cedar River upstream until the water level gets low. Some nice smallmouth bass were caught this week. The goby look-alike was working well along with fishing underneath the M-35 Bridge. Shore anglers near the boat launch also did well dragging crawlers and casting crank baits. Smallmouth bass, channel catfish and freshwater drum were caught.

Little Bay De Noc: Salmon fishing has been good for anglers out by the Ford River buoy trolling spoons in 80 to 90 feet of water and 65 feet down. Spoon colors varied and the Chinook averaged in the low to mid teens in weight. Good smallmouth bass catches reported with the Escanaba Power plant area being best casting cranks or plastics in six to 10 feet of water. Hunters Point also reported fair to good catches in 10 to 18 feet of water.

Walleye has slowed mainly because of mayflies and alewife providing good food supplies. Best catches are still in the southern waters from Breezy Point south to Bark River area. Anglers in "Black Bottom" area reported fair catches jigging crawlers in 10 to 14 feet of water in the weeds. Garth Point anglers at the head of the Bay reported good numbers of sub-legal's in eight to 13 feet of water with very few keepers reported.

Big Bay De Noc:  A few anglers were walleye fishing at night in Nahma and did fairly well. Bass anglers reported fair to good catches in Ogontz, Poplar Point and Kates Bay. Most cast artificial baits but a few had good success using crawlers. Most were in 10 to 18 feet of water. Excellent Chinook catches in Fairport this week. The winds have been harsh up here in the Bays but when anglers can get out they do great.  Anglers are still mainly in 80 to 90 feet of water and 65 to 75 feet of water using a variety of spoons. The season started with a bang and keeps getting better.

Au Train:  Catch rates remain consistent from previous weeks with most anglers averaging two to five fish. Anglers report poor fishing off Laughing Whitefish Point and the shipping channels. Fishing was better east of AuTrain Island in 200 to 210 feet of water. Wood Island reef also was a productive area fishing the reef in 200 feet of water.

Munising:  An increase in boat fishing activity over the past week with fair weather conditions. Boat anglers are now targeting lake trout almost exclusively. Lake trout anglers spent the majority of their time near Wood Island, catching fish in the two to seven pound range. Reports from Big Reef indicate some nicer fish present there but having to work for your limit catches. Small craft anglers fishing near shore had some success catching mostly sub-legal splake mixed with a few keepers and some whitefish. 

There were also reports of some smallmouth bass being caught near Grand Island. Pier anglers saw fair results fishing splake primarily still-fishing with spawn, though some fish have also been caught casting. A couple limit catches were reported though anglers were putting in many hours of hit-and-miss fishing. Keeper fish are typically running between one and a half to three and a half pounds. There were no reports from shore anglers for the week.

Grand Marais: Reports fair to poor success fishing from the pier for whitefish while angler effort level has decreased substantially. Fish in the 10 to 13 inch size range have been the typical keepers. Most reliable fishing action has come in the hour around sunrise and the 45 minutes after sunset. No limit catches were reported for the week.

Boat angling activity has begun to pick up with anglers targeting lake trout with fair to good success. Lake trout anglers had success fishing in anywhere from 100 to 300 feet of water five to seven miles north of the bay. There were no reports from shore anglers for the week.

DeTour:  Catch rates for salmon are still high with crawler harnesses being the most active lures.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Herring are excellent in McKay Bay with some anglers limiting out. They are fishing in 10 to 14 feet of water using a teardrop with a wax worm or casting a Swedish pimple. Northern pike, small and largemouth bass and perch are also present and hitting.  Anglers are fishing Snows Channel, Musky Bay, Hessel Bay and Hessel Marina Pier.

St. Ignace:  Salmon fishing is excellent. Anglers are fishing from the old fuel tankers south past the Coast Guard in 60 to 80 feet of water, 35 to 40 feet down. The mouth of the Carp River is still producing bass, northern pike, walleye and rainbow trout while still fishing or casting in four to six feet of water.

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