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Michigan fishing report 8-26-09

August 26, 2009 at 06:15 PM

Fall fishing patterns are starting to emerge as August winds down, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said in its weekly recreational fishing report.

Cooler temperatures by the weekend could boost the salmon catch, while the catfish bite has been very good and it’s a good time of year to catch big bluegills, the DNR said Wednesday.


Lake Erie: Walleye anglers were only bringing in a couple fish per boat and those were caught while drifting a crawler harness. Yellow perch fishing was best in 25 feet of water off of Stoney Point when using live minnows. Large and smallmouth bass fishing was fair to good in the channels and marinas around Bolles Harbor, Sterling State Park and off the mouth of the River Raisin. Those fishing off Metro Park or Point Mouillee have caught bass, bluegill and catfish.

Huron River: No word on the steelhead run. Anglers are still targeting bass, bluegills and catfish. Try up near the dam or the backwaters.

Detroit River: Yellow perch have been caught around Celeron Island and Powder House Island which is off Grosse Ile. Run perch rigs with shiners in about 13 feet of water along the edge of the weedbeds. Some limits of walleye were caught in the Trenton Channel when trolling small rapalas, spoons or crawler harnesses. Go od colors were pink, purple or black and gold.

Lake St. Clair: Is producing a few walleye and some nice perch in the cooler waters in and around the shipping channel. Some nice smallmouth bass were also caught. Shore anglers are still catching large channel catfish in the mouth of the spillway and freshwater drum were hitting on crawler harnesses throughout the lake.

Lexington: Anglers are still doing well on lake trout. Look for salmon and steelhead in 90 to 100 feet of water. Chinook are about halfway down while the steelhead can be found near the surface. Perch can be found in about 35 feet of water.

Port Sanilac: Perch continue to hit in 30 to 40 feet of water.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout fishing continues to be good.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye catches are holding up on the Callahan Reef in 4 to 10 feet of water. Troll crawler harnesses without weights in this shallow water to avoid fouling in the weeds. Fishing was slower in the Slot but a few walle ye were found in 15 feet of water. Walleye were caught about one and a half miles northeast of Spoils Island while perch were caught east of the island and west of the Spark Plug.

Saginaw River: Some walleye are still being caught in the lower river.


St. Joe: Boaters are catching salmon. Some are heading out deep while others have found fish in 60 to 80 feet of water. Cooler temperatures this weekend could provide fishing opportunities for the pier anglers.

St. Joe River: Has good skamania movement right now. Cool nights along with higher water levels have fish on the move. Anglers should try below the dams at Berrien Springs, Buchanan, and Niles. When temperatures increase, these fish will search out cooler streams like the Dowagiac River, McCoys Creek, Townsend Creek, Pipestone Creek, and Brandywine Creek. Try spinners, plugs or flies.

Kalamazoo River: Walleye have been caught up near the Allegan Dam. For steelhead, those fishing near the mouth of the feeder creeks or up near the dam have caught fish. No word on salmon.

Grand Haven: Boats are still heading out and some are catching fish in close to shore while others are heading out to deeper waters. Ste elhead were caught off the piers at night but catch rates were slow. Anglers are still catching catfish and freshwater drum.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Salmon have been caught up near the Sixth Street Dam. The big push is not here yet however the action has started. Most fish were taken on crawlers however spoons and flies have also worked. Walleye are hitting on crawlers and rapalas. For channel cats and flatheads, try live or cut bait. Pike have been caught on sucker minnows, spoons or body baits.

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing lots of channel cats. Anglers are using crawlers, chicken liver and other stink baits. Fishing has been good along the entire river. A few pike were caught over at the Moore<

Reeds Lake: Perch and crappie have been caught on leaf worms or minnows.

Muskegon: Boats are still going out for chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout. Many are waiting for the lake to turn over. Cooler weather this weekend could push some f ish. Those fishing the channel have caught walleye and bass.


Rogers City: Has a lot of baitfish especially towards Forty Mile Point, but few anglers have been out there fishing. Most are heading south towards Swan Bay and Adams Point. The fish were there but scattered due to recent storms. Try fishing the entire water column in 45 to 90 feet of water with spoons, J-Plugs, and attractors with squid. Good colors were green, blue, silver or anything bright up high. The lake turned over this week so water temperatures are colder.

Presque Isle: Things are finally starting to happen now that the lake has turned over. Salmon, lake trout, steelhead and walleye have been caught straight out from the harbor, north between the lighthouses, or in the “Hole”. Fish the top half of waters 50 to 90 feet deep with the same baits as Rogers City.

Rockport: Steelhead, lake trout and coho have been caught in 120 feet of water. Fish were caught off Stoneport when using spoons, plugs and flies.

Alpena: Limits of walleye have been caught however the fish are scattered in waters 12 to 60 feet deep. Boat anglers are heading straight out a couple miles towards North Shore or around Thunder Bay Island. Artificial baits were best but crawler harnesses caught fish. Steelhead were caught in 20 to 30 feet of water but the lake trout were deep in 90 to 100 feet of water. Fishing has picked up around Middle Island. Anglers are trolling a variety of spoons right on the bottom in 90 to 120 feet of water. A few walleye were caught on crank baits in 40 feet of water.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers are catching smallmouth bass, walleye, and catfish. Shore anglers are still-fishing with worms and leeches. Boat anglers trolling for walleye did good on green and silver Hot-n-Tots. The best spot for walleye and bass is alongside the foot bridge behind the Boys and Girls Club.

Otsego Lake: Has been producing a lot of walleye along with some nice perch. Most of the walleye we re sub-legal.

Harrisville: Is producing salmon, steelhead and lake trout. The salmon have moved in a southern direction and were caught straight out of the harbor to Sturgeon Point. The fish were still 60 to 80 feet down in 120 to 170 feet of water. Good colors were orange, blue or gold. Planer boards with lead, stackers and sliders are working well for steelhead. Walleye were 25 to 50 feet down in 80 to 90 feet of water.

Oscoda: Had reports of salmon and lake trout south of the river. Try 50 to 85 feet down with blue, orange, chrome and gold or glow spoons or plugs.

Au Sable River: Has excellent fishing for brook trout and brown trout on the North Branch and the mainstream for those fly fishing with size 18 Bluewinged Olives. Catch rates for rainbow trout and brown trout were good below Mio as the White Fly hatch is in full swing. A few walleye have also been caught.

Higgins Lake: Lake trout are still hitting on cowbells and body baits.

Those j igging Swedish Pimples or Castmasters have caught whitefish. Rainbow trout were found suspended about 60 feet down in waters 90 feet deep. Find the thermocline.

Houghton Lake: Walleye action was still good for those using crawlers, leeches or crank baits. Some big bluegills have been caught shallow but the fish are scattered. Crappie were hitting on minnows in 8 to 10 feet of water.

Tawas: Walleye fishing picked up for boat anglers. Some are fishing Tawas Bay and out near Buoy No.2 but most are targeting 15 to 30 feet of water on the north side of Big Charity Island where limit catches were reported. Pier anglers were catching a few smallmouth bass and rock bass however boat anglers fishing the weedbeds around the piers were catching perch. Plan to sort out the small ones.

Au Gres: Boats anglers here are also trolling the north side of Big Charity Island and doing well. Walleye were also caught straight off the mouth of the Au Gres River in 20 to 30 feet of water. Perch fishing was slow.


Petoskey: Salmon have started staging near the rivers however there are still a lot of fish out in deep waters. The fish seem scattered anywhere from 120 to 250 feet of water. Some were fishing about halfway down while others were fishing just off the bottom. A few fish were caught in the Bear River but no big numbers yet.

Charlevoix: Salmon have started staging in the warm waters here as well. Pier anglers were taking fish in the early morning or late evening. Boat anglers are trolling spoons, plugs or flies as there are still a lot of fish out deep.

Lake Charlevoix: Good pike fishing was reported at the north end of lake when using live minnows.

Lake Bellaire: Surface temperatures were in the mid 60’s throughout the entire lake. Walleye are still being targeted near the Fisherman<

Traverse City: Fishing was still hit-or-miss in the East Bay as fish were caught anywhere from 20 feet down to 150 feet down. Best baits were meat rigs, flasher/fly combinations and plugs. Salmon were scattered in the West Bay where water temperatures were about 67 degrees from the surface to 150 feet down, depending on where you are in the bay. The better fishing was near the “Hole” and the red buoy. Try green and white flasher/fly combinations, J-Plugs or glow spoons.

Leland: This is a great time to be out fishing the north side of North Manitou Island as anglers have caught limits of chinook along with a few coho. Most are trolling lures about halfway down in waters 200 to 300 feet deep.

Glen Arbor: Limits of chinook have been caught here as well when trolling the west side of South Manitou Island. The key here is speed. Watch the current and the wind when trolling a mix of J-Plugs, spoons and flies.

Platte Bay: Fishing was hit-or-miss except for a few limits taken 130 feet down in 230 feet of water in the West Bay. Green or blue spoons were the ticket. No coho were seen however rumor has it some were located around Betsie Point.

Platte River: The coho have not moved into the river yet. There were no fish at the Lower Weir.

Frankfort: Salmon fishing has been good between the piers and the Herring Hole. Try meat rigs, green flies with white or yellow flashers, and spoons. Pier fishing was fair with a few chinook caught by those casting off the end with Cleo<

Betsie River: There has not been a large run of fish in the river yet, but a fair number continue to work their way upstream. Fish have been caught on spawn from the M-22 Bridge all the way up to the Homestead Dam.

Arcadia: Has good fishing with big chinook salmon caught in 100 to 200 feet of water near the Golf Course. J-Plugs were taking the most fish however some did well using flasher/fly combinations.

Onekama: Fishing out front in water 100 to 190 feet deep has produced good catches of chinook with a few coho mixed in. Meat rigs, plugs, and spoons wer e taking fish. Try trolling 45 to 100 feet down with green or blue ladder back plugs, spoons like the Agent Orange, Ludington Watermelon, Atomic Crush, or Nuked Veggies.

Portage Lake: Bass fishing on the east end of the lake has been good in the early morning. Bluegills have been caught but the fish were still out in 20 feet of water. Try wax worms or crickets.

Lake Missaukee: Had good pike fishing.

Manistee: Boat anglers are taking salmon 70 to 120 feet down in waters 125 to 200 feet deep when running glow plugs or green and white spinnies with green flies.

Manistee River: Fish are trickling in however the main run has not started yet. The better fishing so far has been below the dams.

Ludington: Boat anglers are catching salmon in 125 to 225 feet of water. Most fish were caught deeper in the water column with spinnies and flies. Good colors were green and blue. Pier fishing was slow.


Keweenaw Bay: Cooler weather slowed catch rates for those trolling. A few caught lake trout when jigging in waters over 180 feet deep.

Marquette: Has good lake trout action along with chinook and coho located near the Carp and Chocolay River. Water temperatures are near 60 degrees. The salmon are becoming more active around the breakwalls and just outside the harbor.

Chocolay River: Has some reports of brown trout and steelhead action.

Menominee: Those fishing Green Bay have caught chinook both north and south of the Cedar River when fishing 60 to 75 feet down in waters 80 to 90 feet deep. Try spoons and flies with flashers in a variety of colors. Walleye fishing picked up in 18 to 25 feet of water when trolling a crawler harness or rapalas.

Menominee River: Walleye fishing started to pick up along the entire river. Trolling crawler harnesses or still-fishing with crawlers from shore is working well. Smallmouth ba ss, rock bass and freshwater drum were caught on crawlers.

Cedar River: Smallmouth bass fishing has slowed and only small fish were caught.

Little Bay De Noc: Good walleye catches reported out in the southern sections when trolling crank baits in 15 to 20 feet of water out by the “Fingers” and the Minneapolis Shoals which is about 10 miles south of Peninsula Point. Several limits were reported. On the north end, walleye were caught in the “Narrows” when jigging crawlers in 20 to 30 feet of water. Perch fishing was fair near the docks in Escanaba. Try crawlers in 30 feet of water. Good bass fishing for those casting tube baits or crank baits long the weedbeds in 10 to 17 feet of water. Salmon action was fair northwest of the Ford River Buoy when trolling spoons or flies 60 to 80 feet down in 80 to 110 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc: Fair walleye catches north of Round Island for those trolling stick baits in 20 to 30 feet of water. Perch were caught in Snail Shell Harbor. Try minnows or worms in 25 feet of water. Excellent bass fishing near Ogontz when drifting or casting crawlers, jigs or tube baits in 10 to 16 feet of water. Garden Bay also had good bass action for those casting tube baits in 12 to 25 feet of water. Fairport had fair to good salmon action 60 to 90 feet down in 120 to 160 feet of water.

Au Train: Catch rates were good for lake trout. Anglers are trolling jigs and spoons with cut bait around the islands. No reports on chinook or coho.

Munising: Limits of lake trout were still being caught but not as many. Anglers fishing shallow waters 55 to 120 feet deep also caught the occasional salmon and steelhead. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand Marais: A few limits of lake trout were still coming in. Boat anglers have also caught salmon and steelhead. Slow action off the piers and docks.

De Tour: Some are trolling the channel to the lighthouse while others are heading out three miles to the lighthouse . They have caught chinook, lake trout and the occasional Atlantic salmon on glow spoons, green flashers with flies or silver J-Plugs.

Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers fishing off the marina pier at Hessel are bringing in perch and northern pike while still fishing with a chub and bobber. Some are trolling spinner baits in 6 to 10 feet of water in the bay and the west end of Snows Channel for bass and pike. Salmon anglers are heading out towards Goose Island and fishing 25 to 40 feet down. Catch rates were fair with more lake trout than salmon caught. In Cedarville Bay, pike are hitting in 6 to 8 feet of water. The better perch fishing was in the Moscoe Channel. Catch rates were weather dependent. Try minnows or worms. For salmon, try 50 to 60 feet of water on the south end of Boot Island.

St. Ignace: Chinook salmon have been caught between the old fuel tanks and the Coast Guard as well as off the north point of Mackinac Island. Try 50 to 60 feet down with spoons. Good colors were silver and lime or green with yellow and white.

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