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: Very little activity was seen in Thunder Bay. A few boats made it out, weather permitting, but had no success.
Thunder Bay River: There were still a few decent Chinook and coho salmon around, but fishing pressure slowed. At the 9th Street Dam, anglers had some success floating beads and eggs. A few Atlantic salmon were caught while using spoons and small spinners. Anglers reported a few perch and walleye caught from the 2nd Avenue Bridge to the mouth of the river. Perch minnows and wax worms yielded the best results.
Rogers City: The marina is now closed and preparing for winter. Fishing pressure was very low due to poor weather conditions.
Ocqueoc River: With recent rainfall, water flow was reported to be increased. Anglers reported steelhead and some late coho as being catchable. Using fresh spawn drifted below a bobber and casting spinners worked well.
Tawas: Fishing was reported to be very slow in this area. However, the walleye came in closer to shore and anglers reported catches off the state dock, the mouth of the Tawas River and off the shore at the boat launch.
Au Gres: Fishing pressure was reported to be low. Some small perch were caught in the Au Gres River near the launch. Shore anglers at Eagle Bay caught bluegill and some crappie here and there, along with some throwback perch. Boat anglers launching from the Pine River reached or almost reached their limit of perch.
Cheboygan River: The vast majority of Chinook salmon were trying to spawn and looked to be in rough condition. Angler effort was down due to the slowdown of salmon season and the poor weather. There was a fishable number of steelhead, but all six gates were open at the dam due to recent heavy rains, which made drift fishing difficult. The few steelhead that were caught ran small and were chrome. Though few anglers were targeting them, keeper-size northern pike seemed to be biting well in the vicinity of the pier. Anglers had the most success with orange lures. Smallmouth bass anglers in Duncan Bay saw low numbers of fish.
Oscoda/Au Sable: Anglers reported the steelhead catch to be steady in the river system. Lake trout were reported to be caught around the mouth of the river. The coho bite seemed to decrease, but a few were still being caught off the pier. The walleye bite also seemed to decrease; however, the best time to fish was reported to be at night.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey/Harbor Springs: Anglers who targeted salmon in the Bear River found an occasional dark Chinook, good-looking coho, brown trout and steelhead. Due to heavy rains, water level and current increased dramatically, making drift fishing more difficult, with low catch rates. Perch anglers in Harbor Springs reported a slow bite on minnows.
Charlevoix: Anglers found a few late Chinooks while fishing in Medusa Creek. Drifting flies in the creek and near the mouth produced some results.
West Grand Traverse Bay: Poor weather resulted in low fishing pressure. Those who made it out caught some perch in front of the Grand Traverse Yacht Club. Wigglers were reported to work the best. Smallmouth bass fishing was reported to be slow.
Frankfort: Following some very poor weather, the steelhead were beginning to start hitting after a late start. Shore and pier anglers reported low numbers, but they were hitting on spawn off both piers and from the shoreline. The Frankfort cleaning station is closed for the season.
Onekama: The north pier was reported to be getting some activity as the steelhead were starting to hit on spawn. Anglers reported that they were pleased with the sizes.
Manistee: Salmon were reported to be wrapping up; however, a few fish were still showing up in the Manistee River.
Oceana County: Very few Chinook were reported to be left in the main branch of the White River. Anglers were catching some perch on Pentwater Lake off the Pentwater Yacht Club.
Little Bay de Noc: Yellow perch anglers reported good fishing when jigging with minnows or on a slip bobber. Anglers targeting walleye had some luck trolling the upper bay, while others had a few bites night fishing.
Big Bay de Noc: Yellow perch anglers reported good fishing, with a few limit catches. Some nice-sized perch, averaging around 9 to 10 inches, were reported, with a few larger fish in the mix. Smallmouth bass fishing was reported to be good. Windy conditions resulted in anglers fishing protected areas, with some success. Fishing was better when anglers were not impeded by winds. Anglers reported having a fair number of bites and landing some large fish weighing in at 6 pounds or more. Natural colors, soft plastics or live minnows drifted or casted were productive for anglers.
Carp River/Nunns Creek: In the Carp River, anglers were mainly targeting steelhead but did not have very much success. Anglers who were looking to fish for late salmon also returned empty-handed. Nunns Creek was flowing quickly due to the recent rain, but Chinook salmon numbers in the creek appeared to be dwindling.
Grand Marais/Munising Bay: Munising had a few anglers fishing off the dock at the Anna River with no luck. The coho run was reported to be done. There were a few local anglers starting to fish Menominee off the break wall at Grand Marais, but with poor luck. A few anglers were shore fishing off the mouth off the Sucker River and reported catching one steelhead.
Marquette: Numbers of coho salmon caught were few and far between for boat anglers. In the rivers, coho were reported to be right there, but it was still difficult to get them to bite. Individuals going out on the break wall did very well at catching lake trout. The best times to fish were early morning and at dusk. There were also reports of good numbers of steelhead being caught in the rivers around Marquette. Anglers reported that chartreuse, bright orange and glow spinners were good colors to use. It was also reported that raw shrimp and worms puffed up with a syringe were excellent for rainbow trout.
Au Train: Fishing pressure was low; however, those who made it out reported catching a few nice lake trout. There were also reports of whitefish in Au Train Bay.
Ontonagon River: Fishing on the river slowed almost to a stop as winter weather began to roll in. Very few anglers were on the river over the past week due, in part, to snow, sleet and rain. Reports suggest that little to no fish were being caught.
Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: These ports were inaccessible due to harsh weather conditions. High winds, flurries and cold temperatures reduced fishing efforts to almost nothing. The fish cleaning station at the Ontonagon Marina is closed for the season. No fish were reported to be caught from these ports.
Black River Harbor: Fishing efforts out of the harbor diminished to almost nothing as snow, rain and high winds were consistent over the past week. No fish were reported to be caught from this port.
South Portage Canal/ Superior Big Traverse Bay: Reports indicated that fishing slowed. Some lake trout jigging and trolling was successful; however, those events moved to shallower water than previous weeks as the fish were moving into shallower water for spawning. Fish were caught on natural/live bait as well as artificial lures.
Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers mostly moved off Lake Superior with their boats; however, shore fishing pressure was picking up in river mouths and in nearshore waters with rocky shoals. A few anglers reported catching coho salmon, brown trout and splake from shore with the ever-occasional lake trout as well. Reports suggest both natural bait and artificial lures made successful fishing trips. Successful fishing occurred more often in the morning hours near sunrise; however, all times of day produced fish.
Chippewa County: Walleye fishing around Drummond Island was producing some very nice-sized walleye.
Delta County: Perch were reported to be caught by anglers who were fishing in Kipling.
Schoolcraft County: Fish were reported to be present in Thompson Creek.
Fishing tip of the week
With the colder months quickly approaching, many anglers may be getting ready to store their gear for the season. Below are a few maintenance tips you should follow so your gear is cared for and ready to be used next season.
- Make sure your gear is clean and completely dry before storing it. Start by cleaning everything (rods, reels and line) in fresh water with soap or with the manufacturer’s recommended solution to remove any materials that may have become attached or embedded.
- Inspect your gear for any damage and make any repairs or prepare for replacements.
- Don’t store any of your gear in direct sunlight or in a place where heat and/or moisture might build up.
Air out your waders completely, and don’t forget to hang them upside-down for the months they are out of use.