Hook & Hunting: September 20th Weekly Fishing Report


Cheboygan:  Anglers continue to target trout and salmon when trolling orange or silver spoons. 

Cheboygan River:  Salmon are beginning to stage near the mouth of the river.  A couple fish were harvested near the dam.

Hammond Bay:  North winds and rough waters are making it hard for anglers to get out.  Salmon, steelhead and lake trout can still be found in 90 feet of water.

Rogers City:  Is producing fair to good catches of fresh salmon as well as younger salmon and steelhead.  Try 50 to 90 feet of water and look for baitfish because water temperatures do not seem to mean much right now.  Good numbers of steelhead were caught a little higher in the water column.  Few fish were seen near Swan Bay.  Boat anglers need to be careful of low water levels.  Anglers are reminded to watch for coded wire tagged fish.  They have the missing adipose fin which is located between the large dorsal fin and the tail.  Supplies to collect the heads can be found at the fish cleaning station.   

Presque Isle:  Boat anglers caught young salmon, steelhead and lake trout in 50 to 120 feet of water.  Try straight out off the Red Can, north between the lighthouses, or south.  Finding baitfish is the key, no matter where they are in the water column.

Rockport:  Chinook, coho, steelhead, lake trout and even a few walleye were caught by those trolling spoons or plugs.  The lake trout are 100 feet or deeper.  Salmon and steelhead were caught higher in the water column.  Pink, orange and purple were good colors.  Pier anglers are casting spoons or rapalas.   

Alpena:  Has good steelhead fishing in 50 to 100 feet of water.  Chinook and lake trout were also caught.

Thunder Bay River:  Salmon were seen up near the 9th Street Dam but few fish were caught.  Smallmouth bass and catfish have been caught in the marina. 

Harrisville:  Salmon are moving in and out of the harbor and that is where boat anglers were fishing.  Spoons, body baits or floating spawn worked best.  Try silver with orange, blue or green as well as glow spoons.  Steelhead were caught 25 to 30 feet down in 55 to 70 feet of water with orange or blue spoons and body baits.

Oscoda:  Pier anglers are catching salmon in the early morning when casting Cleo's or wobblers.  Hot colors were green and silver, blue and silver, gold and orange.  A few walleye and smallmouth bass were caught off the pier.   

Au Sable River:  Salmon and trout fishing is picking up.

Lake Margrethe:  Was producing some jumbo perch.  

Houghton Lake:  Was still producing a few walleye.

Lake St. Helen:  Had good bluegill fishing.  Various other panfish have also been caught by those using minnows, wax worms or a piece of crawler.  

Tawas:  Pier anglers caught a few yellow perch.

Tawas River:  A few stray chinook salmon have been caught. 

Au Gres:  Had good perch fishing in the shipping channel between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres but windy conditions are keeping boat anglers close to shore.

Au Gres River:  Is producing the occasional salmon near the Singing Bridge.


Petoskey:  Strong winds have kept boats off the big lake.  The few that were out did not get much past the breakwall.  Salmon were caught by those casting small Cleo's and stick baits off the east side.  Some are salmon fishing off the breakwall, the marina docks or surfcasting with spoons and crank baits in tiger or bright colors.

Bear River:  Rain pushed a good number of salmon up to the dam.

Charlevoix:  A few fish were caught in shallow waters near the cement plant.  Some were 30 feet down but some were as shallow as 15 feet down in 22 feet of water.  Spoons along with flasher/fly combos worked best.  Blue was the hot color.  Pier anglers caught salmon off the North Pier using glow spoons and stick baits.  Those surfcasting near Medusa Creek caught salmon on green and orange stick baits. 

Traverse City:  Boat anglers were bringing in chinook, coho and lake trout.  Hot colors were green, blue, silver and pearl.  Lake trout and whitefish were caught by those jigging.  Some were still-fishing for perch.

Elk River:  Small steelhead have been caught when floating wax worms.  Salmon were caught on skein or spawn bags.  Pink or chartreuse were good colors.

Boardman River:  The salmon are in.  Bobber fishing with pink skein has produced the most bites.  Fish were caught near the mouth when casting glow spoons in the early morning and evening.   

Platte Bay:  Had very good coho fishing for those trolling in 12 to 30 feet of water with green J-plugs.  Those surfcasting with spinners also caught fish.

Platte River:  The fish are moving especially after the wind and rain.  Fisheries staff have passed over 4000 adult fish and there are still many fish below the weir.  From this point forward, staff will be passing fish on Friday's for the weekend anglers.

Betsie River:  A portion of the lower river and the eastern end of Betsie Bay (also known as Betsie Lake) will close to fishing on October 10, 2012 and remain closed until further notice to protect the fall salmon run in the river.  Low water levels in Lake Michigan have caused very low levels in the east end of Betsie Bay, with sand flats becoming exposed. Because of the extremely low water, chinook salmon are having a difficult time entering the river to spawn.  Anglers are being asked to avoid the area.  Those walking around on the exposed sand flats are unintentionally spooking the fish, causing them to beach themselves and die before they can enter the river to reproduce.  Additional information regarding the closure can be found at http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/MIDNR-538d7e

Arcadia:  The fishing pressure has stopped. The last time anyone went out they were catching coho and steelhead 70 feet down in 200 feet of water.

Manistee:  Windy conditions have scattered the salmon and trout.  Those able to get out have caught fish 60 to 120 feet down in 100 to 250 feet of water with spoons and plugs.  Those trolling around the piers caught fish on chrome or glow J-plugs.  Pier anglers caught fish when casting glow spoons.

Manistee River:  A few more salmon are being caught including a few fish up near Tippy Dam.  Early morning is the best time to fish.

Ludington:  Anglers are catching fish when trolling 60 to 110 feet down in 80 to 160 feet of water with meat rigs and green flies.  Salmon were caught around the harbor on chrome or glow plugs.  Those casting spoons off the pier also caught fish.

Pentwater:  Pier anglers are catching salmon but the action was spotty.  Cool nights usually increase catch rates in the morning.  Green spoons worked best.  Fish are stacked up outside the piers in about 90 feet of water. 


Keweenaw Bay:  Has good coho fishing along the east shoreline, off the mouth of the Falls River, the L'Anse Township Park and between Sand Point and Carla's.  Most are trolling 35 to 55 feet down in 40 to 70 feet.  The Falls River is low and clear so no fish were seen.  Lake trout and coho were caught in Traverse Bay when trolling off Hermits Cove, Gay Point and Big Louie's Point when trolling a foot or two off the bottom in waters 70 to 160 feet deep.   

Chocolay River:  Reported good catches of coho salmon. 

Marquette:  A few boats were out fishing for salmon and lake trout but windy conditions prevented boats from heading out several miles to fish.  Fish were stacked up near the end of the Lower Harbor breakwall.

Carp River:  Anglers were starting to catch a few salmon with Cleo's, stick baits or crawlers.

Menominee:  Walleye fishing was good in 25 to 30 feet of water both north and south of the Cedar River.  Anglers are using crawler harnesses then switching to Reef Runners or Thundersticks after dark.  Walleye were caught around Green Island and off the mouth of the Menominee River in 15 to 30 feet of water.  Try large stick baits.

Menominee River:  Boat anglers caught walleye but most of the fish were sub-legal.  They are trolling crawler harnesses or casting crank baits.  Rock bass, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum were also caught.  Shore anglers fishing near the Hattie Street Dam caught panfish on crawlers, wax worms or minnows.

Cedar River:  A few smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers were fishing around the mouth of the Escanaba River and out to the “Black Bottom” when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 18 to 30 feet of water.  Very few fish were caught off the Kipling Flats, the Narrows and off the Terrace Bay Inn.  Perch fishing was fair to good in 10 to 23 feet of water off Kipling.  Both the Ford and the Day's River had low water levels and few fish.

Big Bay De Noc:  Has fair to good smallmouth bass action around Garden Bluff when casting or drifting crawlers, crank baits or plastics in waters 10 to 38 feet deep.  The Nahma Boat Launch is now closed for dredging.  The Garden Launch would be best for those looking to head out to the areas where most of the fishing takes place this time of year.

Munising:  Boat anglers are now targeting coho but catch rates were slow.  No lake trout were reported this week.  Surface water temperatures were in the low to mid 60's but could drop quickly with the cold front.  Pier angling activity continues to increase slowly as catch rates for coho and splake are improving slowly.  Some are still-fishing with spawn bags while others are casting spoons or spinners. 

Grand Marais:  Few anglers were out and those trolling in the bay only had a few strikes.  Those surfcasting had no luck. 

St. Mary's River:  Water levels are at an all-time low as the Great Lakes have receded.  Some are having trouble launching their boats.  A good number of pink salmon were in the river.  For walleye, the best reports are coming from Raber Bay off Antelope Point in 12 to 14 feet of water.  Use crawler harnesses with purple and red beads and bottom bouncers along the weed beds.  Also try crank baits as we move further into fall as the walleye appetite changes as water temperatures drop.  

Detour:  Pink salmon are still being caught at the lighthouse when trolling orange and gold spoons 35 to 50 feet down in 80 feet of water.  Lake trout are hitting just off the bottom in 70 to 90 feet of water.  Chartreuse and white spoons were the ticket.  A couple chinook were caught north of the ferry boat lane that runs to Drummond Island.  Try raspberry and black spoons or J-plugs.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Perch fishing has picked up along the east end of Hessel Bay, Musky Bay, Snows Channel and the Middle Entrance.  Perch were also caught along the east end of Cedarville Bay in 6 to 8 feet of water.  Pike and smallmouth bass have been caught in good numbers.

Carp River:  Has a high number of pink salmon along with some chinook at the mouth.  Some salmon have moved upstream.  Try little Cleo's, spoons or spawn.

St. Ignace:  Salmon are still present in 50 to 70 feet of water.

Categories: Hook & Hunting