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Michigan fishing report 8-19-09

August 19, 2009 at 08:36 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Salmon and lake trout fishing continues to be good when anglers can get out, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says in its weekly recreational fishing report.

Light numbers of salmon have started to move into some rivers, but the big spawning run is still a few weeks away. Warmer weather has improved walleye fishing, the DNR says.


Huron River: Bass are still hitting on crawlers, crayfish and leeches. Some nice bluegills have been caught near the brick wall up by the dam.

Detroit River: Angler are catching yellow perch on the south side of Sugar and Celeron Islands, and the shipping channel. Some 14 and 15 inch fish have been caught by those using perch rigs with shiner minnows. The walleye bite has picked up in the Trenton Channel.

Lexington: Lake trout are still being caught. Perch anglers are doing well on the various weed beds but anglers will need to move around to locate fish. Pier fishing at all the Thumb ports slowed with only the occasional bass and panfish being caught. Channel catfish are hitting at night.

Port Sanilac: Lake trout and steelhead have been caught in 100 to 125 feet of water. Perch fishing continues on the various weedbeds north of the port.

Harbor Beach: Boat anglers trolling in 100 to 130 feet of water ar e getting lake trout near the bottom and steelhead near the surface. A few chinook salmon were also caught and walleye were hitting in 25 to 45 feet of water.

Port Austin: Lake trout are hitting 6 to 7 miles north of the lighthouse in 110 to 120 feet of water. Walleyes continue to hit on the reefs west of the port and east to Grindstone City in 25 to 45 feet of water.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing is still good around the end of the shipping channel, the dumping grounds west of the shipping channel, the Callahan Reef, and the Slot. If fishing around weedbeds, try trolling crawler harnesses without bottom bouncers to keep the bait above the weeds. This works best in 8 to 10 feet of water where the weedbeds are thickest. All ports are still producing fish, but early morning is the most productive. A few perch are starting to show up about a mile west of the Spark Plug in 20 feet of water. Perch were running 7 to 9 inches for the most part, with a few up to 13 inches . Those trolling for walleye were picking up the occasional large perch on crawler harnesses.

Saginaw River: Some walleye are still being caught in the lower river mostly by bait anglers seeking other species. Good catches of channel cats were still coming from the Hot Pond channel.


St. Joe: Chinook salmon have been caught straight off the piers in 60 feet of water. If the fish have started to stage, pier anglers should start catching them soon. Perch anglers were finding fish in 40 feet of water.

St. Joe River: There have been reports of steelhead in front of the creeks however the bite was slow. A few fish were caught up near the Berrien Springs Dam.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers have been fishing 75 to 100 feet down in waters 90 to 120 feet deep. Catch rates were better in the early morning when using green and white J-Plugs and flies. Pier anglers are still catching catfish and sheephead.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: As salmon begin to trickle in, anglers have caught a few fish up near the Sixth Street Dam in the early morning. Most are floating crawlers under a bobber while others prefer flies or yarn. A few were caught on spoons above the coffer dam. A couple walleye were caught on a cr awler harness with glow or red beads and a small No.7 split shot. Pike were caught in the early morning near the cold water creeks. Flathead cats are hitting on suckers and channel cats on crawlers. Some big crappies were caught on minnows under Bridge Street and Fulton Street.

Grand River at Lansing: Catfish and yellow bullhead were being caught below the North Lansing Dam. Try chubs, shiners or crawlers. A few walleye were also caught. Catfish and bullhead action should be good below all the dams.

Reeds Lake: Perch were hitting on the northwest side of the Sunken Island. Leaf worms were the ticket.

Muskegon: Anglers are finding chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout 45 to 60 feet down in waters 75 to 85 feet deep.

Muskegon Lake: Large and smallmouth bass have been caught on crawlers or leeches along the weed beds. Catch rates for walleye were sporadic but fish were caught on spinners and crawlers during the day and Husky Jerks after dark.

Mus kegon River: Trout have been caught up near Croton Dam.


Rogers City: Bigger chinook salmon are being caught. Most are averaging 10 to 15 pounds however some are bigger. Most were caught south between Calcite and Adams Point when trolling the top half of the water column. Some are shallow while others could be found in 70 to 110 feet of water. Good colors were green and silver, blue and silver, watermelon, black and white, green or blue. The bite was best right at sun up or right after sunset when using anything that glows.

Presque Isle: Anglers are catching chinook, lake trout and walleye in 65 to 110 feet of water between the lighthouses or straight out from the Red Can at the harbor. Use anything that glows in the top half of the water column. Find structure and baitfish.

Alpena: A few walleye were caught in 20 to 30 feet of water around Thunder Bay Island. North Point is also producing some fish. Reef runners seem to work best.

Thunder Bay River: More anglers ar e fishing the river and taking home walleye, smallmouth bass and catfish. Most everyone is fishing with crawlers and leeches. Night fishing is best for catfish and walleye. A good number of walleye have been caught around the mouth in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Au Sable River: Fly fishing has been very good this summer. The North Branch and the mainstream have excellent hatches of tiny olives and trico. White flies are starting below Mio and catch rates are very good for rainbow trout.

Higgins Lake: Rock bass have been caught everywhere. Warm weather had the perch hitting out around Treasure Island and the area called the Table Top. Lake trout have been caught when trolling cowbells with body baits.

Houghton Lake: Walleye were being caught but catch rates for pike slowed. Smaller bluegills are shallow while the bigger fish were suspended in deeper water.

Tawas: Walleye have been caught near the Steeples, 50 to 70 feet of water off Tawas Point, the reefs northeast of Big Charity Island and down toward Alabaster. Crawler harnesses caught the most fish. Pier and river fishing remains slow, with a few perch, smallmouth bass or rock bass caught.

Au Gres: Had very good walleye fishing in 30 to 35 feet of water off the mouth of the Au Gres River, out around the Charity Islands, and south of the port.


Petoskey: Salmon have been caught but the fish are scattered. Anglers have taken fish 95 feet down in 150 feet of water on spoons and flies. A few fish were taken in shallow waters in the early morning or late evening. Pier anglers fishing at night should start catching fish soon.

Lake trout have been caught just off the bottom in 140 feet of water.

Charlevoix: Salmon continues to be the focus with fish caught on spoons and flies 95 to 140 feet down in waters 250 to 300 feet deep. Good lake trout action just off the bottom in waters 140 feet deep. Pier anglers should start to catch salmon in the next few weeks. Spawning runs are still a few weeks away.

Lake Bellaire: Walleye anglers are trolling near the access sites and the narrows with crawler harnesses, spoons, or stick baits. Some caught fish when jigging leeches or crawlers. Small to medium bass were caught near the mouth of the river and along the west s ide of the lake. Anglers are casting tube baits, crank baits or plastics. Pike are hitting on spinners or stick baits in 15 feet of water. Yellow perch were caught but most were small.

Traverse City: In the East Bay, salmon are scattered throughout and the bite has not been consistent. Whitefish were found by those jigging spoons between Deep Water Point and Elk Rapids. In the West Bay, salmon have been caught in the “Hole” off the Boardman River. The better action has been in the early morning or just before dark when trolling flasher/fly combinations in green or white and glow spoons during low light conditions. Good lake trout action on the south side of Marion Island.

Frankfort: Salmon have been caught out deep. Most are trolling meat rigs and J-Plugs in the early morning or late evening. Pier fishing was slow.

Betsie River: Light numbers of salmon were reported in the river but the main run has not yet begun.

Onekama: Fishing has been good straig ht out in 100 to 200 feet or 320 to 350 feet of water. Many were fishing 90 to 120 feet down with flies in purple/gold or blue/aqua patterns with white or blue flashers, spoons and meat rigs. The Barrel was slow but a few fish were caught in the early morning. Pier fishing was slow.

Portage Lake: Panfish action was a little better however the bluegills and sunfish were still deep. Try crawlers in 20 to 30 feet of water near the center of the lake. Anglers trolling at night caught a few walleye on crawler harnesses and those trolling during the day caught pike. Bass fishing has been very good in the morning with good numbers of smallmouth caught on crank baits near the piers and the shipwreck. Largemouth bass were caught on plastics in 7 feet of water along the weed beds.

Lake Cadillac: Warm weather increased the walleye and bass bite, but slowed the pike action. Anglers were trolling, drifting or floating crawlers and leeches in the early morning or late afternoo n. Some nice perch were caught.

Lake Mitchell: Pike fishing slowed however panfish were hitting. Bass are hitting on crawlers or leeches and some big sunfish were caught along the south end.

Manistee: Salmon fishing has been good, when anglers can get out. Both the fish and the thermocline are more than 100 feet down. J-Plugs and meat rigs were good in the early morning and late evening. Pier fishing was poor due to warm water however night casting with glow spoons did mange to catch a few chinook.

Manistee River: Trout fishing has been decent below Hodenpyl Dam and Tippy Dam. A few summer steelhead were caught below Tippy. The occasional salmon has been seen however the main run has not yet started.

Ludington: Anglers are catching salmon but the fish are deep. Look for the thermocline. Try spoons, meat rigs or J-Plugs. Pier fishing was slow due to all the warm water. First and last light are the best times for pier anglers to catch chinook. Night ang lers casting glow spoons have caught a few fish.

Pere Marquette River: A few salmon have been seen in the river however the main run has not yet started.


Lac La Belle: Fishing has been good with walleye caught on crawlers in 25 feet of water along the flats. Smallmouth bass were caught in 12 to 15 feet of water.

Copper Harbor: Lake trout fishing outside the harbor in 200 feet of water has been good. Try spoons near the bottom. Eagle Harbor is producing lake trout out near the scum line. Rainbow trout and salmon were also caught.

Keweenaw Bay: The salmon and lake trout bite was slow but some yellow perch were caught off the Baraga Marina when using night crawlers. Those trolling the South Portage Entry found lake trout in 50 to 70 feet of water when pulling spoons behind planer boards.

Marquette: Had good catch rates for lake trout. There have been more reports of chinook and coho spotted near the Carp and Chocolay Rivers. Those fishing near the mouth of the Dead River caught steelhead.

Iron Lake: Near Iron River is producing some very good smallmouth bass action. S mall bluegills were found in the shallows near shore but the adults were suspended in deeper water. A few walleye were found on the deep edge of the weed bed.

Smoky Lake: In Iron County is also producing good smallmouth action in the areas that offer woody cover.

Menominee: Chinook have been caught near Green Island and Chambers Island. Pier anglers in the marina caught small yellow perch on crawlers and minnows.

Menominee River: Fair to good numbers of walleye have been caught when trolling a crawler harness between the mouth and the First Dam.

Cedar River: Chinook, rainbow trout and brown trout have been caught north and south of the river as well as out near the Whaleback. Try 40 to 70 feet down in waters up to 80 feet deep with spoons or dipsy divers with flies or flashers.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were up for anglers trolling or drifting crank baits or crawlers in 20 to 35 feet of water along the southern sections. Good bass fishi ng in 14 to 25 feet of water off Stonington and in 10 to 20 feet of water off the mouth of the Ford River. Salmon action was fair in the Aronson Island channel and out by the Ford River Buoy with glow spoons 60 to 70 feet down in 80 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc: Lots of walleye were marked north of Round Island but few fish were caught. Those able to catch fish were trolling crank baits in 25 to 30 feet of water. Excellent bass fishing in Ogontz, Ansell’s Point and Garden Bluff when drifting or casting tube baits or crank baits in 18 to 33 feet of water. Small perch were caught in Ogontz and Garden Bay. Off Fairport, salmon have been caught out in the Gap when trolling glow spoons and flies 60 to 80 feet down in 80 to 90 feet of water.

AuTrain: Fishing has been good for lake trout when using jigs with cut bait or trolling spoons around the islands. Water temperatures were in the upper 50’s.

Munising: Limits of lake trout are still being reported however it has been taking a little longer. Salmon and steelhead were also caught on high lines as the fish appear to be suspended about halfway down.

Perch Lake: Which is 25 miles north of Newberry in Luce County will temporarily close the Boating Access Site beginning Aug. 31 through Sept. 17 due to reconstruction of the boat ramp and parking lot. The site will be open for public use during the Labor Day weekend.

St. Marys River: A few muskie were caught in Raber Bay when trolling large double bladed spinners with black bucktail hair. Due to the cool water temperatures, the walleye are scattered.

Drummond Island: Yellow perch are being caught in the early morning until 10 A.M. off the Yacht Haven Dock. Most are using worms or minnows. Warmer weather improved the walleye bite in Scott Bay. Anglers did well trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses on the northwest side of Peck Island.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pier anglers at Hessel are still taking some nic e pike while those trolling or casting have caught pike, smallmouth bass and perch. Snows Channel and Musky Bay are still good for pike. Warmer water in Cedarville Bay caused an increase in catch rates for perch, but the pike fishing slowed. Those trolling for trout and salmon are still heading out toward Goose Island.

St. Ignace: Those trolling from the old fuel tanks across the bay to the Coast Guard and in front of Bois Blanc Island have caught chinook and lake trout 30 to 70 feet down. Try green combination spoons.

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