Here’s how fishing looks this week in the Northwest Lower Peninsula, Northeast Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, according to the latest report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Alpena: Fishing pressure has been very low. A handful of walleye anglers went out but had very little success. Perch anglers around the harbor caught a few fish from shore using minnows and crawlers. Those casting from the pier reported catching only a few walleye after dark while using crankbaits. Steelhead, coho and Atlantic salmon can be expected to start showing up in the harbor.
Thunder Bay River: Anglers reported seeing walleye in the river; however, they were not successful in catching these fish. Only a fish or two were caught on crankbaits and minnows in the early morning hours. Perch anglers reported the bite as slow, with only a few being caught when using minnows and crawlers. A fair number of Atlantic salmon were reported to be in the river. Spoons, spinners and spawn all caught a few fish, with orange, silver/blue and green being the most productive colors. Fishing for Chinook and coho salmon was winding down. Although a few fresh fish were still being seen, the majority of them were well beyond table fare. Anglers reported that steelhead were showing up and being caught on fresh spawn and by drifting beads. Some nice brown trout were still being caught on crankbaits and spoons.
Rogers City: Due to high winds and rough water, anglers were not able to make it out fishing.
Ocqueoc River: A few anglers tried for salmon but had little success. Most of the Chinook salmon were reported to be past table quality, but there were still a few stray coho around. Fishing with spawn under a bobber seemed to work well for anglers.
Tawas/Au Gres: A few anglers in Au Gres reported catching crappie and bluegill in the cut. Those who targeted bass saw both largemouth and smallmouth. A few small perch, a handful of pike and some catfish were also reported to be caught.
Cheboygan River: Though Chinook were being caught, they were looking quite dark and were not biting very well. Anglers reported that skein was still the best bait, and that a crankbait was the best lure. Steelhead numbers were increasing, but they still were running small. However, there were a few larger fish present.
Oscoda/Au Sable: Anglers were still catching Chinook and coho salmon in the river system. Coho were reported to be in the river from the mouth all the way to Foote Dam. Steelhead and a few Atlantic salmon were reported to be interspersed in the river as well. Using spawn bags and spinners seemed to work best when fishing for salmon and steelhead. Walleye were reported to be caught in the evening through the night.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey/Harbor Springs: Anglers fishing the Bear River reported slower numbers of salmon in the system. Anglers did report a slight increase in steelhead numbers both at the dam and at the mouth of the river. Bouncing beads and spawn had the most success, while a few anglers had some success casting crank baits in the ‘bobber hole.’ Boat anglers targeting perch in Harbor Springs reported very slow numbers.
West Grand Traverse Bay: Perch were caught out in front of Elmwood Marina and the Grand Traverse Yacht Club. No limit catches, but enough for dinner, with good-sized perch. Smallmouth bass fishing was slow, with only single-digit numbers caught in 20 to 40 feet of water. Some cisco were caught on the southeast corner of West Bay.
East Grand Traverse Bay: The cisco fishing was hot. Anglers reported limit or near-limit catches of cisco throughout East Bay. Trolling with small spoons was best; very few people were jigging. Smallmouth bass fishing was slow, with most anglers only reporting around 10 bass per trip. The smallmouth bass were still deep in 20 to 40 feet of water.
Elk River: Anglers reported the river as being slow, with very few fish caught. A few coho and Chinook were left in the river, but not many. Only a handful of steelhead seemed to be in the river.
Manistee/Ludington: Due to poor weather conditions, fishing pressure was very low as it was too rough for anglers to effectively fish.
Little Bay de Noc: Anglers reported good yellow perch fishing. Perch rigs, drifting with minnows or still fishing was the common presentation. Walleye anglers reported fair fishing when trolling crawler harnesses. Some anglers reported contacting walleye outside of the bay in areas farther south between the Ford River and Seagull Point.
Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers reported good numbers of bites and some quality-sized fish. Some anglers had success when drifting with the waves and dragging live sucker minnows or casting soft plastic baits. Yellow perch anglers caught fish, with some reports of limits. Anglers used minnows while fishing closer to bottom when either drifting or anchored.
Carp River: The Carp River was not producing many fish. Anglers were most likely to catch steelhead, though Chinook, coho and pink salmon were still present. Anglers reported spinner baits as the best lure to use.
Nunns Creek: Anglers reported a large amount of Chinook salmon stacked up right near the bridge. These fish were looking quite dark and small, but an occasional large and fresher salmon was reported. Anglers had more success with small lures compared to larger ones.
Grand Marais: A few anglers were shore fishing at the Sucker River but reported very slow fishing. There were a few scattered reports of coho; however, most appeared to have been spawned out.
Munising Bay: Due to gusty winds, fishing activity was slow. Anglers who were casting and still fishing off the dock at the Anna River reported no action. Anglers reported that it appears as if the coho run is done for the season.
Marquette: Anglers reported catching increased numbers of coho salmon, especially on the rivers and in boats trolling the mouths of the rivers and the break wall in around 40 to 70 feet of water. Individuals going out on the break wall did well when fishing for lake trout. The best time to fish seemed to be early morning and at dusk. Anglers also reported catching good numbers of steelhead in the rivers. Chartreuse, bright orange and glow spinners were all good colors to use, as well as plain worms puffed up with a syringe.
Au Train: Due to poor weather, fishing pressure was low. Boat anglers who did make it out did not have much success.
Ontonagon River: Fishing on the river was fairly slow. Anglers had some luck in finding the occasional walleye. This success occurred at all times of day. Reports show that the methods of jigging and trolling yielded similar results.
Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: While the marina in Ontonagon saw limited fishing efforts, the Union Bay Launch stayed busy. Anglers brought in great numbers of lake trout, with most obtaining their limits. Reports show that many had luck when jigging lures in shallow waters. Trolling these shallower waters also yielded good numbers of fish. Anglers had luck catching fish at all times of day.
Black River Harbor: Fishing efforts out of the harbor were very low. The few anglers who made it out on the lake were successful in finding some lake trout. Reports show that fish were caught in a variety of depths when trolling artificial lures. Successful trips occurred at all times of day.
South Portage Canal/ Superior Big Traverse Bay: Anglers had continued luck fishing for lake trout around shallower waters when weather was sufficient to get out. Most fish were caught on artificial presentations. Anglers were mostly trolling; however, some anglers who were casting found success as well.
Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers had some continued luck fishing from shore for steelhead, brown trout and coho salmon. In boats, anglers had luck casting in shallow and nearshore waters for lake trout and northern pike. Anglers who trolled with crank baits and spoons in a variety of depths covering most of the water column had luck. The most successful fishing was done with artificial baits; however, anglers were catching fish on natural baits as well. Overall, fishing near shore from the bank or in a boat seemed to work well for anglers.
Les Cheneaux/Detour: There were a few Chinook salmon swimming around in the marina, but nothing was caught. A few anglers went out looking for perch and smallmouth bass but did not have much luck.
Fishing tip of the week
Did you know simple mistakes can make or break your fishing adventures? Check out these basic things to avoid if you want to have better success on the water:
- Make sure your reel is filled with line – don’t wait until it gets to half-empty and risk losing a great catch due to an inadequate amount of line.
- Check your knots – monitor their strength and durability after each fish. If the strength gets compromised, cut the line down a few feet and start again.
- Set the hook – don’t forget to do this each time you even think you’ve got a bite. Why waste a great catch just because you forgot to set the hook?
- Want more tips for fishing in Michigan? Visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.