Gone fishin’

UPPER PENINSULA

Marquette: Those targeting lake trout had fair results catching between two and four fish near the “Sand-Hole” and north of Granite Island toward Little Presque Isle when trolling spoons on dipseys or downriggers. Surface water temperatures near shore were warmest near the mouth of the Chocolay and Sand rivers. Those trying for salmon caught very few fish. Those jigging near Stannard Rock caught lake trout up to 10 pounds when fishing along the edge in 100 feet of water.

AuTrain: Anglers reported mixed results and were mainly targeting lake trout. Surface water temperatures near shore were in the low 50’s and offshore waters were in the mid to upper 40’s. Anglers did best with spoons or flys tipped with cut bait off the Shelter Bay Flats and toward Laughing Whitefish Point when fishing along the edge in 160 to 180 feet or with downriggers east of AuTrain Island and Wood Island Reef.

Munising: The number of boat anglers dropped because catch rates were very slow. The few heading out were fishing in the bay and around Grand Island. Surface water temperatures were 45 to 52 degrees but few anglers were targeting lake trout. Pier fishing was slow and catch rates were poor for those targeting splake.

Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates were still up and down. Those trolling 15 to 90 feet down in 20 to 120 feet did harvest some splake and lake trout from the head of the bay north to Carla’s Restaurant.

Trolling speeds were 1.9 and 2.5 mph. Those launching from Traverse Bay Marina were trolling five feet off the bottom in 100 to 150 feet at the 5-, 6- and 7-Mile reefs. Lake trout were also caught in 120 to 165 feet off Big Louie’s, Gay Point and Hermits Cove when using spoons in a variety of colors. Some were jigging in 140 to 260 feet off Big Louie’s and the 6- and 7-Mile reefs.

Lake Antoine: Was still producing good numbers of panfish for those drifting, jigging or still-fishing with crawlers. Anglers caught yellow perch, bluegills, pumpkinseed and rock bass. Many were on the small side. Those targeting bass had fair to good catches of smallmouth when trolling crawlers or casting crank baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Is still producing good catches of walleye in the southern bay between Breezy Point and No-See-Um Creek. At Breezy Point, anglers are trolling crawler harnesses in 10 to 12 feet or straight out from the Ford River near the “Fingers” in 16 to 22 feet with crank baits and crawler harnesses. Down by No-See-Um Creek, they are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in four to 10 feet and several limit catches were reported.

Fair catches near the Escanaba River and the “Black Bottom” in 10 to 20 feet. The head of the Bay was quiet with low participation. Some perch were caught in Kipling and Gladstone when using crawlers in 10 to 25 feet. Northern pike were active in Kipling near the power plant in 10 to 12 feet. Try spinners or crank baits. Several nice pike were reported in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor by those trolling spoons or crank baits along the channel. Salmon anglers have started to catch Chinook out near the Ford River Buoy when trolling 70 to 80 feet down in 120 feet with spoons. Steelhead were also caught.

Big Bay De Noc: Had very low angler participation and no walleye reports. Smallmouth bass anglers reported fair to good catches using plastics, crank baits or crawlers in Kate’s Bay. Most were trolling or casting in eight to 14 feet. Fairport was pretty much the same as last week with fair catches reported by those trolling spoons or meat rigs 60 to 80 feet down in 120 feet. Anglers reported schools of alewife so the action should only get better.

Grand Marais: Had increased angler activity leading into the annual lake trout tournament. Evenings were more productive but most of the fish caught were less than 12 inches and no limit catches were reported. Catch rates were much better three to six miles out in the shipping channel and near Sable Point. Most of the fish were two to four pounds but a few up to 13 pounds were taken in waters between 70 and 200 feet deep. Shore anglers fishing near the marina had poor results.

St. Marys River: Is producing a few Atlantic salmon on the discharge side of the Cloverland Power Plant. Try casting spoons, small yellow and white crank baits or medium size minnows. Walleye were caught by those still-fishing minnow in eight to 12 feet on the discharge side of the power plant. Whitefish were also caught by those using small black fly type baits. A few rainbow trout and whitefish were caught off the Canal Bridge upstream from the power plant when drifting small spawn bags for whitefish or maroon back flat fish with a chrome belly for rainbows. Walleye fishing was slow at the mouth of the Charlotte River. A few pike were taken by shore anglers using crawlers under a bobber in four to six feet in the early morning. Raber Bay and Lime Island were slow for walleye. Aquatic vegetation is short in most of the bays this year due to the cold weather. Anglers have been looking for fly hatches in order to catch lake herring but none were reported yet.

Cedarville and Hessel: Report good pike fishing in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay, Snows Channel, Cedarville Bay, Government Bay and Moscoe Channel. Anglers are casting or still-fishing with chubs. Perch fishing has picked up along the east end of Cedarville Bay and Snows Channel and good bass fishing along the Snows Channel for those casting spinner baits. The herring are not in yet.

St. Ignace: Chinook and lake trout are still being caught behind Mackinac Island, at Round Island and around Bois Blanc Island.

NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Rogers City: Anglers are catching limits of lake trout including a lot of smaller fish. Most are fishing throughout the water column and not just off the bottom. Steelhead are starting to show up and were caught higher in the water column on spoons with orange on them. Use short segments of lead core with 1, 2, or 3 colors and sliders on downriggers and bright colors. Chinook were scattered. There really is no large thermocline. Anglers are trying up and down the water column with spoons in green, blue, silver or anything that glows early and late. Try straight out, Adams Point, Swan Bay or up near the State Park and Forty Mile Point.

Alpena: For walleye fishing, some days are better than others. Most are fishing at night around Sulphur Island, Grass Island and Scarecrow Island, North Shore and North Point. Early morning was just as good a night fishing when trolling a mix a body baits and crawler harnesses. If one doesn’t work, try the other when fishing up on the shoals in shallow water. Those fishing around Thunder Bay Island caught the occasional Chinook, pink, Atlantic salmon or steelhead. Try short segments of lead core with sliders and bright colors. Chinook are around but no big numbers. Try up and down the water column with spoons in 40 to 60 or 70 to 90 feet.Thunder Bay River: Not much to report even though anglers are fishing. They caught a couple keeper smallmouth bass right along with sub-legal smallmouth and lots of tiny rock bass.

Harrisville: Has walleye in good numbers. Try 12 to 30 feet north and south of the harbor and between Greenbush and Sturgeon Point. Fish shallow in the early morning and move deeper mid-day. Try crawler harnesses, bottom bouncers and body baits. Lake trout, salmon and steelhead were caught in 60 to 120 feet on spoons, spin-glows, cut baits and fly’s behind dodgers and flashers. Look for steelhead along the scum line.

Oscoda: Pier fishing was on and off. Early morning and late evening were best with the occasional mid-day catches. Salmon, lake trout and steelhead were holding south of the river were scattered and on the move. Try 50 to 150 feet and look for baitfish which were abundant. Scum lines were few and far between but that’s where the steelhead are and hitting on dark colored baits.

AuSable River: Look for walleye all the way to Foot Dam. Body baits and crawler harnesses are producing the most. Catfish are moving in throughout the night.

Higgins Lake: The hex hatch is done. Anglers are catching lots of rock bass including some in the 11-inch range. Good numbers of perch were caught near the Sunken Island, the Main Island and along the ridge that runs off the west boat launch. Smallmouth bass were hitting on spinners and crawlers. Lake trout can still be found in 80 to 100 feet. Rainbow trout were suspended in 20 to 40 feet. Both are hitting on rapalas and bombers in blue and silver or rainbow.

Houghton Lake: The better fishing was for walleye and bluegills along the weeds.

Tawas: Those trolling are heading to the north side of the Charity Islands and picking up large walleye in 25 to 35 feet. Pier and river fishing were slow.

AuGres: Fishing remains excellent with a lot of anglers, a lot of walleye being caught and a lot of limit catches reported. On days with a north wind, anglers did well straight off the mouth of the river in 25 to 40 feet.

AuGres River: Catch rates for catfish picked up immediately after the rain.

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

Harbor Springs: Smallmouth fishing from boats seems to have slowed. Lake trout anglers around Harbor Point found fish shallow and suspended last week. Success was found in 20 to 60 feet but the water was starting to warm so the fish may be moving deeper.

Petoskey: Wind and fog have made it difficult for boat anglers. Those able to get out did catch a couple lake trout and cisco. Those fishing on the D Pier near the mouth of the Bear River caught lots of rock bass, bluegill and sub-legal smallmouth. It appears the freshwater drum may have moved out. Most are using crawlers, crank baits, soft plastics and flies.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers are still focusing on the area between North Point and the cement plant. Lake trout were still caught in shallow waters. Try 10 to 40 feet down in waters up to 180 feet deep. Spoons and winged glow bobbers in green were still working best. Schools of fish were also marked out in front of the lighthouse in 70 to 80 feet but the water was too rough for jigging. Smallmouth fishing in the channel was hit-or-miss but a few large fish were caught by those using crawlers, leeches, soft plastics or crank baits. Cisco were caught in the channel.

Bear River: Angler pressure was low. Some are trying for summer steelhead which usually show up this time of year. Most are using spawn bags.

Traverse City: Windy conditions and currents in the East Bay caused water temperatures to drop and the smallmouth action slowed. Bass anglers will want to look for areas with warmer water and the fish are more active. Lake trout fishing was good in waters 15 to 50 feet deep. In the West Bay, the smallmouth action was slow but lake trout fishing was good.

Elk River: Is producing mostly sub-legal smallmouth bass. Anglers are using tube baits, crawlers and leeches. Freshwater drum were also caught.

Boardman River: Catch rates were slow with only a few smallmouth bass, rock bass, carp and the occasional pike being caught.

Frankfort: Anglers are working the shelf from the pier and trolling north while fishing the top 80 to 120 feet in waters 300 to 400 feet deep. Flies, meat rigs and spoons are getting hits and blue was the hot color.

Onekama: Those trolling in deeper water reported good catches of chinook salmon. Most were heading west of the piers and targeting the top 60 to 90 feet of waters 450 to 500 feet deep. Spoons worked best and gold was the hot color.

Portage Lake: Mayflies are still washing up on shore so panfish activity was still slow in the shallows. Those fishing deeper in 18 to 22 feet around the buoy off Little Eden caught fish. Bass anglers are working the drop-offs with worms.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Have good bass fishing. Anglers are using spinners, rapalas or crawlers. Those trolling bottom bouncers with crawlers and leeches caught walleye in deeper water.

Manistee: Salmon and steelhead were caught 30 to 80 feet down in 100 to 200 feet on orange and pink spoons.

Manistee River: Is producing Skamania near Tippy Dam. Try flies, spinners or rapalas. A fair to good number of brown trout have also been caught.

Ludington: Is producing salmon and steelhead in the top 80 feet of waters 100 to 250 feet deep. Try orange spoons and green flies.

SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Lake Erie: Algae blooms are causing walleye to move into shallower water. The better fishing was in 16 to 20 feet off Stony Point and at the Dumping Grounds. A few large fish were caught as shallow as 10 feet. Most are using spoons and crank baits with the low visibility. Perch numbers are increasing in 20 to 24 feet off Stony Point. Walleye were caught in 10 to 17 feet off Luna Pier by those using Hot-n-Tots or Erie Dearies.

Huron River: Is producing smallmouth bass on crawlers and spinners.

Detroit River: Those hand-lining with flat fish have caught walleye as well as those jigging with a piece of crawler on a black jig. Most are fishing near the mouth and around Celeron Island or Sugar Island. White bass are still in the river. Those vertical jigging or casting from Belle Isle to Wyandotte caught a few musky.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Bass anglers continue to do well fishing the flats and drop-offs. Try plastic worms or jigs in waters between two and 12 feet deep. For bluegill try the coves on Strawberry Lake and Whitewood Lake.

Lake St. Clair: Has good smallmouth bass fishing in 15 to 17 feet of water along the Mile Roads and south of Huron Point. Walleye and perch fishing were slow in Michigan waters but good reports were coming from the Ontario side of the lake.

St. Clair River: Had slow walleye fishing between Algonac and Port Huron. Anglers may want to try hand-lining at night.

Lexington: Fishing along the outside of the Thumb slowed but lake trout and steelhead were still hitting. Windy conditions made fishing difficult.

Harbor Beach: The fish are scattered so anglers will need to do some searching to find them. Try straight out, north or south of the harbor with lines in the bottom 30 feet of waters 50 to 125 feet deep. For salmon and steelhead try spoons with 2,3,5,7 and 10 color lines and offshore boards. Bright colors are best like orange, green, silver, purple and gold. Fly hatches are ongoing and the fish are full of them so it is hard to get them to bite. For lake trout use dodgers or spin doctors with spoons and spin-glows near the bottom or spoons 50 to 100 feet down. Walleye were caught by those casting from the wall or trolling close to shore. Early and late are best with small body baits and spoons in perch colors, silver, blue and black.

Grindstone City: Walleye were hitting very well in 25 to 40 feet. Anglers using lead core and small spoons are catching fish and limit catches were reported. Large whitefish were also caught and some were in the 10 pound range. The very tip of the Thumb is a good place to fish if the wind is out of the south.

Port Austin: Is producing a few walleye. It appears that the fish have not yet moved onto the reefs between Caseville and Port Austin.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing continues to be very good but windy conditions are hampering trollers. There is some indication that the fish are moving toward deeper water. More boats are working out near the Green Spark Plug (Buoys 1 & 2) at the end of the shipping channel, the deep side of the Bar, and areas similar. Those trolling out of Caseville were getting some bigger walleye off Oak Point and north of the Charity Islands.

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

St. Joseph: Salmon fishing has slowed however boat anglers have caught a decent number of perch. Pier anglers are catching good numbers of freshwater drum along with the occasional steelhead.

South Haven: Fishing for all species was slow. Some caught perch but overall fishing was tough.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers are fishing 45 to 120 feet down in 110 to 165 feet. Blue spoons and blue meat rigs have done well but white paddles were also starting to catch fish. Pier fishing was very slow. Some were casting for large and smallmouth bass. No perch to report.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing lots of channel and flathead catfish off the east side wall and near Fulton Street and Bridge Street. Try live suckers, bluegills, cut bait or soft shell crayfish. Walleye were caught by those drifting crawlers, casting body baits or when trolling crawler harnesses and body baits. Some caught the occasional Skamania on fly’s, crawlers or minnows. For panfish, try the backwaters with leaf worms or wax worms. Pike were hitting on live suckers.

Grand River at Lansing: Water levels are up however smallmouth bass and catfish have been caught below the dams. Pike were caught below the North Lansing Dam.

Maple River: Had high water levels. Boat and shore anglers need to use caution until water levels recede.

Morrison Lake: Had good crappie fishing.

Reeds Lake: Was good for bluegill, crappie, bass and pike.

Muskegon: Is still producing some trout and salmon 45 to 120 feet down in 110 to 165 feet. Try spoons and meat rigs. Blue was the hot color. No perch and no pier fishing to report.

Muskegon River: Is producing smallmouth bass on flies and soft plastics.

Whitehall: Had few anglers. Those fishing the channel caught bass when using cut bait or green and yellow body baits.