Hook & Hunting: August 30 Weekly Fishing Report - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Hook & Hunting: August 30 Weekly Fishing Report

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NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA


Cheboygan:  Boat anglers targeting trout and salmon are trolling spoons from the bell to Mackinaw City, the back side of Bois Blanc Island, off LaFayette Point and Cordwood Point. Good colors were black and chartreuse, purple and cream glow, watermelon and light orange. 

Cheboygan River:  Anglers are fishing the Foot Bridge to the Lock for smallmouth bass, rock bass and freshwater drum. Use live or artificial crawlers. 

Hammond Bay:  Those able to get out are trolling off 9 Mile Point for salmon, steelhead and lake trout. Most are fishing 20 to 30 feet down in 90 feet of water with spoons or silver flashers and flies. 

Rogers City:  Anglers have caught chinook, coho, pink salmon, lake trout, brown trout and a few walleye. No salmon yet in the shallows at Swan Bay as they are still out in deeper water. The fish are scattered up and down the coastline with no one spot better than the other. Find structure and you should find fish. Try 50 to 120 feet of water and fish near the thermocline. Regular or magnum spoons seem to work best. Good colors were green, blue, yellow, orange or black and white. 

Presque Isle:  Had fair to good fishing straight out and north between the two lights or south towards Stoneport and False Presque Isle. Look for the thermocline in waters 50 to 120 feet deep when using regular or magnum spoons. J-plugs with attractors were not really working yet. Use the same colors as Rogers City. Those out marking reported a good number of game fish and baitfish. 

Rockport:  Chinook, steelhead, and lake trout have been caught by those trolling spoons or J-plugs around Middle Island and out near the Nordmere Wreck. 

Thunder Bay River:  Smallmouth and rock bass were caught on worms or rapalas. Yellow perch were caught on worms in the marina. A few salmon were caught.   

Harrisville:  Fish seem to be moving in and out. Start in 65 to 75 feet of water in the early morning and move out as the day goes on. Salmon and steelhead have been caught on blue spoons in 70 to 90 feet of water. A few walleye were taken north of the harbor towards Sturgeon Point. Try crawler harnesses or body baits.   

Oscoda:  Salmon, lake trout, steelhead and walleye were caught south towards Au Sable Point. Water temperatures and baitfish seem to be holding fish in the area. Blue spoons have produced the best in 65 to 90 feet of water. Most of the fish were suspended about two thirds of the way down. 

Higgins Lake:  Those trolling spoons, rapalas, cowbells, dodgers or spin-glows continue to catch lake trout. Fish were also taken by those jigging. Catch rates were good for smallmouth around Treasure Island and the south end of the lake. Lots of rock bass are still being caught. This is a good fishery for young anglers. 

Houghton Lake:  Walleye anglers will do better in the early morning or late evening. Try slow trolling or drifting with crawlers or leeches between the North Bay and Muddy Bay or near the mouth of the Cut River. Look for bluegills in deeper water.

Tawas:  A few walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses near Buoys 2, 4 and 6. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass, channel catfish and small perch. 

Au Gres:  Perch anglers have done very well in 30 to 45 feet of water off Point Lookout, Pointe Au Gres and the mouth of the river. The perch are running eight to 12 inches. Some say this is the best perch fishing they have seen in years.

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA


Harbor Springs:  Salmon catches are hit-or-miss. Most anglers were fishing just outside the harbor and to the east with squid or anything that glows. Fish were caught 80 to 90 feet down however be willing to adjust as the fish were scattered. 

Petoskey:  Fishing was slow especially for those heading out in the evening. Early morning may be the better time to fish. A couple salmon were taken 95 to 110 feet down. Try green and white or purple spinners and spoons. A few fish were caught 20 to 35 feet down in 35 to 55 feet of water near the pier. Most were fishing between the pier and the treatment plant but a few went as far as Bay Harbor. Anglers targeting salmon off the pier are using spoons and those fishing near the mouth of the river are using spawn bags, flies and spoons. 

Bear River:  Has quite a few fish up at the dam. Anglers are targeting salmon before sunrise and after sunset. Spawn bags work best but some are also using flies or yarn. A nice brown trout was also caught.   

Charlevoix:  Salmon fishing slowed with the warmer weather. Those fishing late had better success between the cement plant and North Point. Some are fishing the "Can" while others were in front of the dunes. Salmon were caught anywhere from 35 to 120 feet down in 120 to 300 feet of water with spoons, J-plugs, Hootchie Mamas or flashers and flies. Green and white or anything that glows were good colors. Meat rigs also caught fish. Some nice smallmouth bass were mixed in with all the small ones being caught off the pier.  Most were using leeches. 

Traverse City:  Boat anglers in both bays were bringing in chinook and lake trout. The salmon were targeted 60 to 90 feet down with spoons, flies and meat rigs. Green and blue were good colors. Lake trout were caught by those jigging in 130 feet of water. 

Elk River:  Has plenty of rock bass hitting on live bait. 

Boardman River:  Is producing smallmouth and rock bass.     

Platte Bay:  Anglers were getting four fish per boat off Empire Dunes. Most were trolling J-plugs 60 feet down in 70 to 90 feet of water. 

Arcadia:  A few chinook salmon were caught 130 feet down in 200 feet of water. Green and white J-plugs were the ticket. 

Lake Cadillac:  Is producing crappie, perch and rock bass for those using minnows, leaf worms or wax worms. Pike and bass have been caught along the weed beds. Those fishing after dark caught some nice bullhead. 

Lake Mitchell:  Has good bass fishing. Try the drop-offs near the sand bars as well as shallow waters around along the shore. For pike, try spinners near the weeds.     

Manistee:  Pier fishing was slow for those casting blue and silver Cleo's or cast masters. Boat anglers reported fair catch rates at 100 and 150 feet down in 150 to 250 feet of water with green or blue splatter back plugs as well as green spinnies and flies. Everyone seems to be waiting for a good north wind to bring cold water and the fish in closer to shore. 

Manistee River:  Salmon are being caught in the lower stretches however some fish have made it up to Tippy Dam. Anglers are using flies, skein or thundersticks. Fire-tiger was a good color. Good smallmouth bass action above the dam.   

Ludington: Fishing has been good but the better fishing was to the south. Try 110 to 150 feet down in 200 to 300 feet of water with spinnies and flies. South winds pushed the thermocline deep and drove warm water in close to shore.     

Pere Marquette River:  Salmon are in the river however the better fishing may still be in the lower stretches.  

Pentwater:  Boat and pier anglers reported slow catch rates. The few fish that were caught were taken about halfway down in waters 200 feet or deeper. Water temperatures are still on the warm side.


Frankfort:  Anglers are catching pre-spawn chinook salmon off both piers. The fish put up a fight and have good color. Best time to fish is 6:30 to 8:00 a.m. when casting glow spoons or Cleo's. Fish were caught by those jigging near the mouth and the old ferry docks but these fish are a bit darker but the meat is still a bright color. Boat anglers trolling near the bottom in 130 to 180 feet of water have caught chinook and coho with J-plugs. Good colors were chrome ladder back, chrome with a red head or a pearl splatter back however meat rigs are still taking more fish. 

Betsie River:  Chinook salmon are starting to move into the river however no fish had made it up to the Homestead Dam.  

Onekama:  The "Barrel" is producing some nice catches in the early morning then anglers are heading out and fishing 90 to 120 feet down in 120 to 180 feet of water. J-plugs and meat rigs worked best and green was the hot color. Coho are hitting in the same area. 

Portage Lake:  Coho are moving into the mouth and those trolling in the deeper water off the north shore and in front of the Portage Inn have landed a few fish. Bass anglers are working the deep drops in 18 to 23 feet of water to find keeper largemouth but catch rates were slow. Perch and other panfish have been caught at the same depths. Try worms, leeches or wax worms.

UPPER PENINSULA


Black River Harbor:  The better salmon fishing was in the early morning and late evening. Some five to 12 pound chinook salmon were caught on a combination of flashers and flies. 

Ontonagon:  Fishing has been good and lake trout were making up most of the catch for those trolling spin-glows and orange flashers in 75 to 105 feet of water. 

Keweenaw Bay:  Catch rates slowed but anglers were still able to catch a mix of chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout when trolling between Sand Point and just north of the Keweenaw Roadside Park. Try 40 to 80 feet down in 60 to 100 feet of water with bright colors if it is sunny or dark colors on overcast days. Trolling speeds were between 2.3 and 2.9 mph. Perch were caught in the marina. Near the South Portage Entry, coho and lake trout were caught near the Lighthouse, Farmers Reef. 

Marquette:  A few anglers managed to limit catches of lake trout. The fish are showing signs of staging as they prepare to spawn. Silver and copper spoons were the ticket. The better fishing remains east of the White Rocks and east towards Granite Island and Little Presque Isle. A couple coho were caught by those fishing off the Lower Harbor breakwall. 

Carp River:   A few chinook salmon were spotted upstream. Try orange spinners.  

Menominee:  The majority of anglers have switched their gear from salmon to walleye fishing, but those heading out for salmon have caught a few fish in deeper water off Wisconsin. Walleye fishing is fair to good in 20 to 30 feet of water when trolling north and south of the Cedar River, 60 to 75 feet near Green Island and 30 feet of water off Red Arrow Park. Some are using crawler harnesses while others are using artificial baits such as the blue/chartreuse reef runner. Late afternoon or evenings were best. There are a lot of weeds so trolling can be difficult. Bluegills, perch and crappie were caught near the launch at the lighthouse.    

Menominee River:  Water levels start to get very low upstream of Stephenson Island. Those trolling did catch some nice smallmouth bass and a few walleye when using crawler harnesses, rapalas or reef runners. 

Little Bay De Noc:  Produced fair walleye catches in 25 to 35 feet of water out from the Terrace Bay Inn, south of the Black Bottom and out to the coal docks in 18 to 30 feet of water when trolling crawler harnesses. Those off Breezy Point were marking good numbers of fish however catch rates were slow. Kipling had fair to good perch fishing for those still-fishing in 12 to 25 feet of water between the Second and Third Reefs. Several families with children had fun catching perch in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor even though the fish were small. The DNR has started work on the Rapid River launch site. They will be dredging out the old launch area and installing a new launch pad. The parking lot will be used to hold the fill dirt however parking is still available and the site is still open. 

Big Bay De Noc:   Still has fair to good smallmouth bass fishing in the southern bay.  Some are fishing Ogontz and Poplar Point however Garden Bluff and south to Snake Island were better. Anglers are drifting or casting minnows, crank baits, or plastics along the break in 15 to 30 feet of water. Northern pike action was fair off Ansell's Point when trolling large crank baits or spoons in 10 to 16 feet of water. A good number of small perch were caught in Garden Bay when using crawlers in eight to 12 feet of water. Few anglers were seen off Fairport as the salmon season peaked early this year. Those going out were fishing 65 to 80 feet down in 95 to 110 feet of water in the "Gap" or heading out deeper and fishing 65 to 130 feet down in 110 to 180 feet of water. 

Au Train:  Those targeting lake trout are fishing the flats of Shelter Bay and east of Au Train Island. Most are using a combination of spoons and flies. Fish were caught 20 feet from the bottom in 120 to 150 feet of water. No salmon to report in this area or the Rock River. Surface water temperatures were in the mid 60's. 

Munising:  Boat anglers are targeting lake trout are fishing the west side of Grand Island, Trout Bay, the reefs near Wood Island and "Grumps Hump". Some have also started to fish for salmon. Smaller chinook along with coho and splake were caught around Grand Island and near Miners Castle. Anglers are now fishing in 100 to 180 feet of water as the fish begin to stage for spawning. Pier fishing for splake was slow and most of the fish were sub-legal.  

Grand Marais:  Had fair to good lake trout action five to eight miles north of the bay in 120 to 180 feet of water. Some are looking for salmon but no catches were reported. Those fishing in the bay have caught a couple pike. Pier fishing was slow. 

St. Mary's River:  Anglers near Sault Ste. Marie reported chinook salmon near the Garden River which is north of Lake George. The fish were hitting on J-plugs. Good numbers of walleye have been caught off Nine Mile Road and in Lake Nicolet. In the lake, anglers are trolling south to the yellow buoy on the north end of Nebbish Island and using crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers in the shipping channel. In Raber Bay, walleye were caught at Carlton Creek in eight to 12 feet of water. Use crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers just off the weed beds. Good numbers of smallmouth bass have been caught off the north end of Lime Island when jigging tube baits off the rock piles in six to eight feet of water. 

Cedarville and Hessel:  Salmon fishing is good in 60 to 80 feet of water off Hessel.  Anglers caught some nice perch and smallmouth bass along the east end of Hessel Bay and off the marina pier. Northern pike action has picked up for those trolling, casting or still-fishing with minnows or chubs all through out the islands. 

St. Ignace:  Continues to produce chinook and pink salmon between the Coast Guard and the old fuel tanks as well as the east and west sides of Mackinac Island. Most are fishing 60 to 90 feet down.

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