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Where the fish are biting this week, June 13 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

Cheboygan: Anglers fishing the Cheboygan River anywhere from the DNR field office to the dam reported catching some small smallmouth and rock bass. They also reported catching larger smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, carp and bowfin when using natural bait. Walleye anglers tested their luck at night after the rain, but they were not successful.

Alpena: Thunder Bay was described as hit or miss for walleye. A few fish were caught on crawler harnesses and crank baits from the river mouth to Grass Island in 15 to 20 feet of water. A number of catfish and drum and a few pike were also caught in the same waters. Nighttime anglers had success between Sulphur and Scarecrow islands when trolling shallow-running crankbaits. A few anglers reported decent walleye numbers around Thunder Bay Island and North Point. Those targeting 50 to 80 feet of water found good numbers of lake trout in the bottom half of the water column. Flasher/Spin-n-Glow combinations and spoons in chartreuse, white and watermelon were most productive. Atlantic salmon, steelhead and a few coho salmon were caught while fishing bright-colored spoons in the top 30 feet of water.


Thunder Bay River: Fishing was reported to have slowed, with only a few walleye caught. Those who were successful reported using leeches and crawlers from 2nd Avenue to 9th Street early and late in the day. A few bass and freshwater drum were caught while using crankbaits, spinners and crawlers. A few catfish were caught after dark on crawlers near the walking bridge and the Holiday Inn.

Rockport: Anglers reported very good trout fishing in 15 to 80 feet of water. Crankbaits and spoons in orange, watermelon and gold worked well throughout the day. Near Stoneport, anglers reported good numbers of steelhead and Atlantic salmon as well as a few Chinook and coho salmon. Spoons in green, orange and watermelon had the best results. Near Middle Island, anglers reported lake trout in big numbers, with Atlantic and Chinook salmon mixed in. With cold water temperatures, fish have been found all through the water column from the surface to the bottom.

Rogers City: Steady fishing for lake trout continued, with some limits being taken. The occasional Atlantic, coho and Chinook salmon were also caught, but there wasn’t a lot of action for them yet. Lake trout were reported to have been caught just about anywhere in the water column. Anglers were also finding fish shallow, in around 35 to 60 feet of water. The best places were reported to be structured areas that hold rocky bottoms. Anglers were reported to be running spoons off lead core and downriggers, with one near the bottom and one around halfway down, with dodgers and Spin-n-Glos or spoons. Good colors were greens, chartreuse, oranges, blues and combinations of those colors. Silver dodgers and chartreuse or green Spin-n-Glos also worked well.

Tawas/Au Gres: The wind kept most boats off the water, with the north wind also bringing in colder water temperatures. Walleye anglers who made it out were coming in with only a fish or two, if any, in both Tawas and Au Gres. The choppy water seemed to work in favor for bass anglers out in the bay, who caught good numbers of smallmouth bass and a couple largemouth bass. Shore anglers at Gateway Park caught throwback perch, a few smallmouth bass and bluegill. Shore anglers at the Pine River caught some throwback perch, pike and smallmouth bass.


Oscoda/Au Sable River: Walleye fishing in the lower river remained decent. Most walleye were caught drifting crawlers or leeches along the bottom. Anglers casting deep jerk baits/plugs off the end of the pier from dusk into the night were doing well on walleye. Smallmouth bass fishing in the river seemed to pick up. Lake trout fishing remained decent using spoons and Spin-n-Glos in 40 to 70 feet of water. A few coho salmon were caught in around 100 feet of water, 15 to 20 feet down, on spoons. There were also reports of some pink salmon caught.

Harrisville: Lake trout fishing remained great, with fish being caught in 35 to 50 feet of water using spoons and Spin-n-Glos. There were reports of Atlantic salmon being caught mixed in with the lake trout, but not in high numbers, as well as a few Chinook salmon off of spoons. A couple steelhead were caught offshore as well.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Charlevoix: Boat anglers targeting lake trout found steady success fishing in anywhere from 75 to 150 feet of water near bottom. Lake trout were caught between Fisherman’s Island and North Point. Trolling the east edge of the refuge also proved somewhat successful. Those targeting salmon found small Chinook, with the occasional 10-plus-pounder, 15 to 40 miles west of Charlevoix, north of the Leelanau Peninsula. Cisco fishing in the channel proved slow throughout the week; however, anglers have still found some success primarily fishing the ends of the piers and in the middle of the Pine River.

Little Traverse Bay: Anglers targeting lake trout found success trolling the north side of the lake trout refuge. Fishing on bottom with flasher flies, Spin-n-Glos and spoons produced the best results. Those targeting smallmouth bass had continued success on the north side of the bay, as well as in front of Bay Harbor on the south side. Those fishing the Bear River found the occasional summer steelhead.


Manistee: Salmon fishing was reported as slow. The piers produced some steelhead while using spawn. A good number of bowfin, along with some smallmouth bass, and northern pike were caught on artificial lures and alewife.

Ludington: Salmon fishing was hit or miss. Those who found Chinook salmon fished north by Big Sable Point in 110 to 220 feet of water when fishing 50 to 90 feet down with green and orange spoons. In the mix also came a steelhead and cisco.

Frankfort: Anglers reported high numbers of small Chinook salmon throughout the area hitting on spoons and flies. Anglers heading north were picking up good numbers of lake trout while bottom-bouncing with cow bells. Good numbers of baitfish were also being reported throughout the area.

Onekama: Anglers fishing off the golf course and working the “Barrel” reported a few lake trout and smaller Chinook salmon in the early morning bite. Be sure to check your lines frequently, as the smaller Chinook salmon may not trip the release.


Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported slow fishing; however, some anglers caught a few while jigging at Black Bottom. Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing and were catching quality fish. Baits that resemble gobies were productive.

Manistique: Anglers targeting salmon reported limited success and noted that few fish were remaining in the area, as well as limited bait. Anglers anticipate that will change as the summer progresses. Some anglers had luck fishing for lake trout.

Marquette: Anglers leaving the lower harbor and trolling from the Chocolay River out to Laughing White Fish Point continued to do well on both lake trout and Chinook salmon. The upper harbor saw an increase in anglers on days when the lake allowed for fishing, with good numbers of lake trout caught while jigging or trolling around White Rocks and out toward Granite Island. Anglers fishing for salmon were trolling in around 40 to 50 feet of water and usually at higher trolling speeds. There still were some coho salmon being caught from the lower harbor out toward Shot Point. Trolling hot pink crankbaits or green multicolor moonshine glow spoons worked well for salmon at a little higher trolling speeds, around 2.8 to 3 mph. Lake trout were still being caught while jigging white plugs around the northeast side of White Rocks and when trolling green/silver flasher flies between White Rocks toward Granite Rock or Clay Banks at lower speeds, 2 to 2.2 mph, in around 120 to 180 feet of water.

Au Train: Reports show that a few Chinook salmon were still being caught. Lake trout continued to see better and better numbers. On days when the wind blew northwest, most fish seemed to be caught in around 40 feet of water along the coast of Scott Falls Honey Hole to 5-Mile Point. When the wind was blowing from the south or east, more lake trout seemed to be caught around 100 to 120 feet north to northwest of the Au Train Island trolling toward the Laughing White Fish Clay Banks. Hot pink or chartreuse spoons or crank baits and green/silver flasher flies were reported to be good color combinations.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers in Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay had a successful week of fishing! Anglers fishing early in the mornings were able to find salmon on their highest lines and lake trout throughout the water column. All lake trout and salmon caught while trolling were caught using artificial baits. Some anglers opted for jigging and also had great success. Jigging events returned large lake trout and some lake whitefish as well.

Traverse Bay/South Portage Entry Canal: Anglers reported catching lots of lake trout and salmon. Anglers who found salmon were trolling with lines down to 75 feet all the way to the surface. Anglers fishing for lake trout found them spread through the whole water column. Whitefish were caught during some jigging events as well and were found anywhere from the middle of the water column to the bottom. Fishing in the morning was the most productive time of day in this area.

Ontonagon River: Over the past week, fishing on the river was reported to have slowed down. Reports show that walleye were being caught in low numbers. Successful anglers had the most luck when trolling in the early mornings.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: The fishing from these ports was slow over the past week, despite healthy angling efforts. Reports show that anglers were catching lake trout in low numbers. These fish were found at varying depths while trolling.

Black River Harbor: The harbor saw low angling efforts over the past week. Reports show that those fishing were catching lake trout in low numbers. Angler reports show that fish were being caught in varying water depths while trolling.

Fishing tip: How to know if you’ve found an invasive species

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm, to Michigan’s economy, environment or human health.

Think you’ve found an invasive species? Familiarize yourself with potential invasive species threats to Michigan available at

You can search for species of plants, insects, diseases, mollusks, fish, mammals, birds or crustaceans and learn about watch list versus non-watch list species. You can also learn how to identify invasive species and how to report it if you think you’ve found one.

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