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Where the fish are biting this week, May 30 report

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

Oscoda/Au Sable River: Anglers had success walleye fishing in the lower river and off the pier. Drifting crawlers under a deep slip bobber seemed to produce the best results. Walleye were also caught when casting jerk baits. Lake trout fishing remained decent out of Oscoda in 50 to 70 feet of water using spoons and Spin-n-Glos. A few pink salmon and coho salmon were also caught. Steelhead fishing in the Au Sable slowed down, and not many fish were reported to be left in the river.

Cheboygan: Cheboygan River boat anglers had success catching walleye when drifting yellow nightcrawler harnesses or just using nightcrawlers on a hook with yellow beads. Reports show that upstream of the pedestrian walkway seemed to be a good area to catch walleye. Lake trout anglers had luck at depths of 15 to 35 feet near the second lighthouse from the river’s mouth. Anglers were using either flashers and flies, flashers and Spin-n-Glos, or cowbells and Spin-n-Glos. Good colors were reported to be oranges, yellows, silvers and chartreuse.


Harrisville: Lake trout fishing remained decent, with most fish being caught in 30 to 60 feet of water using spoons and Spin-n-Glos. There were a few Atlantic salmon caught in 20 to 30 feet of water using spoons and long lines.

Alpena: Boat anglers in Thunder Bay reported lake trout fishing as very good in waters 40 to 70 feet deep. Anglers found good catches of Atlantic salmon and a few Chinook salmon around Thunder Bay Island in 50 to 80 feet of water. Spoons in green, watermelon and oranges had the best results. A few walleye were caught while trolling natural-colored crank baits in anywhere from 12 to 20 feet of water. The waters from Grass Island to Sulfur Island produced better catches in low light conditions and after dark.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers fishing the Thunder Bay River had success when fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and catfish. The mouth of the river up to the Ninth Street dam was reported to be productive. Walleye were caught primarily in low light conditions while fishing with crawlers and crank baits. Catfish were caught throughout the day and night on crawlers and leeches. Tube jigs and spinnerbaits worked well for northern pike and smallmouth bass. Those fishing the pier reported the walleye fishing as slow; however, smallmouth bass, northern pike and freshwater drum were all caught while casting crank baits.

Rogers City: Lake trout were reported to be abundant, with anglers doing well once they were able to locate the fish. Good places seemed to be up the lake toward the state park and 40 Mile Point or south toward Adams Point and Swan Bay. The best depths were anywhere from 30 to 70 feet of water. Anglers deployed a variety of techniques such as lead core, dipseys and downriggers and were running lines all through the water column for best results. Dodgers with Spin-n-Glos and spoons were also used. Good colors were reported to be greens, oranges, blue, yellow or other bright colors.


Ocqueoc River: Steelhead were reported to be gone. Anglers who used small spinners and body baits while casting did good on smallmouth bass.

Hammond Bay: Lake trout should be available. Try fishing in 30 to 60 feet of water and run lines throughout the water column. Dodgers with Spin-n-Glos or spoons should work well.

Tawas: Fishing effort was low due to windy conditions; however, boat anglers caught and released good numbers of smallmouth bass as well as a couple walleye. Shore anglers at Gateway Park also reported catching and releasing decent numbers of smallmouth bass.

Au Gres: Many boat anglers going out from Au Gres and the Pine River were able to get their limit of walleye. Trolling crawler harnesses seemed to be most successful. White bass, channel catfish, northern pike, freshwater drum, largemouth bass and the occasional yellow perch were also reported to be caught. Boat anglers at the Pine River also had success while bowfishing carp and channel catfish.


Northwest Lower Peninsula

Charlevoix: Anglers targeting cisco in the channel reported limited success throughout the past week. Casting spoons while giving a short twitch or jig seemed to produce the best results. Gold, silver and light blue spoons were the most consistent colors. Anglers also reported the occasional lake trout, smallmouth bass and northern pike while targeting cisco in the channel. Boat anglers targeting lake trout had success trolling between the Medusa plant to 9-Mile Point fishing in anywhere from 65 to 100 feet of water. Spoons, Spin-n-Glos and flies all produced results while fishing near the bottom.

Little Traverse Bay: Lake trout anglers found the most success trolling in 70 to 95 feet of water near the “humps” or around the lake trout refuge west of Harbor Springs. Those trolling near shore picked up the occasional lake trout and cisco on spoons. Anglers targeting bass found success on the north side of Little Traverse Bay casting soft plastics, small jigs and crank baits.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair fishing. They found success drifting or trolling crawler harnesses, with some also catching a few on small crank baits. Anglers fished near the Escanaba River, as well as near Black Bottom. Anglers who were fishing for walleye at the head of the bay reported slow fishing. Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing, with some bed fishing.

Manistique: Walleye anglers reported slow fishing but managed to catch a few by trolling crank baits or casting jigs. Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing. Slow fishing was reported for anglers trolling for salmon and trout.


Ontonagon River: Reports show that walleye were being caught in good numbers, with many anglers having the best luck in the mornings. These fish were caught by those trolling and jigging alike.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Angler reports show that good numbers of coho salmon, brown trout and lake trout were being caught. Many have stated that they were finding these fish at varying depths throughout the water column while trolling.

Black River Harbor: Fishing efforts from the harbor were reported to be average over the past week. Anglers reported catching coho salmon, brown trout and lake trout, all in respectable numbers. They also reported that these fish were being caught in shallow waters while trolling and that the bite was sporadic.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers had lots of good days fishing in both Keweenaw and Huron bays in the last week. Anglers had success not only during trolling trips but with jigging trips as well. Jigging anglers caught lake trout and whitefish with both artificial and natural baits. Fish were found in a variety of depths ranging from 50 all the way down to 250 feet of water. Lake trout were the main catch while jigging and trolling. Chinook and coho salmon were the next most abundant catch, and those were caught while trolling. Mornings seemed to be producing more fish than trips that left later in the day.

Traverse Bay/South Portage Entry Canal: Anglers reported successful fishing trips while both trolling and jigging, with the focus being on salmon. Jigging produced more fish when anglers were using cut bait; however, lake trout were biting on both natural and artificial presentations. Trolling trips produced mainly lake trout and coho salmon, with plenty of good-sized fish being caught. Some anglers also targeted northern pike in the nearshore water in former weed beds with some luck.

Marquette: The number of lake trout and Chinook salmon continued to increase from boats leaving the lower harbor and trolling from the Chocolay River out to Laughing White Fish Point. The upper harbor saw more anglers on days when the lake was calmer, with good numbers of lake trout caught when jigging or trolling around White Rocks and out toward Granite Island. Anglers fishing for salmon and brown trout mostly did well in around 40 feet of water from the Chocolay River out to Shot Point. There continued to be a few straggler coho salmon and steelhead caught each week as a bonus for some anglers. Trolling chartreuse or hot pink crankbaits or green multicolor moonshine glow spoons were still reported to work well for salmon at a little higher trolling speeds. Lake trout were caught while jigging white plugs around the northeast side of White Rocks or trolling between White Rocks and Granite at lower speeds of 1.8 to 2.2 mph in around 120 to 180 feet of water.

Au Train: Anglers found great numbers of Chinook salmon, brown trout and lake trout, with numbers still improving as water temperatures continued to rise. Most fish were reported to be caught in around 40 feet of water along the coast of Scott Falls Honey Hole to 5-Mile Point, or in around 100 feet of water north to northwest of the Au Train Island while trolling toward the Clay Banks. Hot pink and chartreuse crankbaits, spoons or flasher flies were all reported to have worked well.

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