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Michigan Fishing Reports

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WEEKLY FISHING REPORT 6/9/21

Michigan’s annual Summer Free Fishing Weekend will be observed this Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13. On these two days, both residents and non-residents can fish without a license. All fishing regulations still apply. This is a good time to introduce a family member or friend to the sport of fishing. 

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

Buy your license

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Walleye were caught in front of Fermi and near the River Raisin. Most were using a chartreuse crawler harness. 

Detroit River: The occasional walleye was caught down near the mouth. Limits of perch were taken around Celeron Island and Horse Island when using minnows. Lots of white bass have been caught on leeches and crayfish. 

Lake St. Clair: Anglers caught some walleye in the shipping channel in 19 feet when trolling crawler harnesses. Fish were also caught near the 400 Club and near Fair Haven in 15 feet. Yellow perch anglers using minnows at the mouth of the North and South Channels found fish in 20 feet. Preseason bass anglers have caught fish in Anchor Bay on purple and green lures.  

Port Sanilac: Anglers caught lake trout and a couple steelhead in 65 to 120 feet when trolling lead core and spoons.   

Harbor Beach: Lake trout were caught straight out and to the north when using dodgers with spin-glo’s near the bottom or spoons throughout the water column. Salmon and trout were scattered in 120 to 160 feet near the color lines. Walleye were caught when trolling in 40 to 60 feet north of the harbor. Try small body baits and spoons. Good colors were perch, blue, orange and black. Bass were caught in close to shore when casting small perch colored or silver body baits. Rock bass were caught from the breakwall with crawlers. 

Grindstone City: Smallmouth bass were caught by boat anglers casting along the shoreline in 3 to 4 feet.

Port Austin: Walleye were showing up west of the harbor and hitting artificial lures in 25 to 35 feet. Smallmouth bass were caught inside the harbor from boat and shore anglers when casting artificial lures.   

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught out near Buoys 1 & 2 in 30 feet, near the Sailboat Buoys A & B with crawlers and 1 to 2 miles east of the Spark Plug in 22 to 24 feet when trolling crawlers and crankbaits. On the east side, fishing was inconsistent with most boats getting less than 6 walleyes. Fish were caught in the Slot between Sunset Marina and Sebewaing in 16 to 18 feet however anglers had to cover a lot of water to get them. Most were using a crawler harness right near the bottom. Bass were caught from Sebewaing to Wildfowl Bay when using artificial baits. Largemouth were caught in Wildfowl Bay. A couple walleye were caught near the Sand Point water tower when trolling a crawler harness.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Salmon fishing for boat anglers was slow. Perch fishing has also been slow. Pier anglers have caught lots of freshwater drum. The lake warmed up and the steelhead have moved out deeper. 

St. Joseph River: Anglers have caught bass and some panfish. 

South Haven: Boat anglers targeting salmon reported slow catch rates as the fish were scattered. Those trolling spoons did manage to catch a couple salmon and steelhead in 60 to 100 feet or more. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum. Perch fishing was slow. 

Grand Haven: Boats found a few salmon and trout in 120 to 220 feet when using orange spoons and green flies. Pier anglers caught a couple steelhead on shrimp. Freshwater drum were caught in the channel when casting silver spoons.

Grand River near Grand Rapids: Those using minnows have caught smallmouth bass and catfish. A couple walleye were also taken on minnows near the creek mouths and near the bridges. 

Muskegon: Catch rates slowed for boat anglers with only a few salmon and steelhead caught in 140 to 220 feet. Orange and green spoons did best in the top 60 feet.

Muskegon River: Is low and clear. Some trout can be found along the banks and in the deeper holes. Anglers are getting smallmouth bass. The better walleye fishing was at dusk and right at daybreak.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Rogers City: Continues to have excellent lake trout fishing when running a line or two near the bottom and scattering any remaining lines throughout the water column. Most are using spoons or dodgers and cowbells with spin-glo’s in 45 to 70 feet. Find the rocky bottom which is where the gobies are. Atlantic salmon were caught in the top 15 feet with bright colored spoons such as green, orange, blue or glow early and late. 

Rockport: Anglers were getting limits of lake trout straight out, up near Stoneport and off the Middle Island light when fishing in 40 to 60 feet.  Most are using spoons, flashers with spin-glo’s or flies and cowbells with spin-glo’s. Put two lines near the bottom and scatter the rest throughout the water column. Good colors were green, blue, orange, silver, chartreuse and yellow. Atlantic salmon were in the top 15 feet. The stray Chinook, coho and pink salmon or steelhead were also caught. 

Alpena: Catch rates were slow except for lake trout being caught by those trolling in 30 to 40 feet with spoons. Hot colors were orange and gold or blue and silver. 

Thunder Bay River: Bass have moved in, so anglers were casting body baits, stick baits and spinners. Anglers are still catching pike and the occasional walleye using body baits and jig heads with twister tails.

Oscoda: Catch rates were slow but anglers were getting lake trout and the occasional steelhead when trolling spoons in 70 to 100 feet. Pier anglers caught bass when casting stick baits and body baits. The occasional Atlantic salmon was also caught when casting spoons or floating minnows under a bobber.   

Au Sable River: Bass are moving in and being caught when casting stick baits and body baits. Anglers caught the occasional walleye and freshwater drum when trolling body baits but those casting a jig head with twister tails or bottom bouncing crawlers had better success. 

Higgins Lake: Anglers are trying for lake trout in 80 feet and deeper. The key is to find a school of fish and stay put while fishing just off the bottom. Perch are being caught around the islands however anglers are sorting through a lot of small ones to get a few keepers. Smallmouth action picked up and anglers continue to catch lots of rock bass. 

Houghton Lake: Bass were most active in the morning and late afternoon. Crappie could be found along the edge of the weed beds in 8 to 12 feet. Walleye were caught near the drops along the weed beds in 10 to 14 feet when using a crawler harness or crankbaits. Hot colors were green, orange, or blue and silver.  Those bowfishing for carp have done very well in the shallows.    

Tawas: A few limits of lake trout along with a couple Atlantic salmon and steelhead were caught out past Buoy #2 when trolling spoons in 70 to 80 feet. Walleye fishing was slow with most anglers going out of Au Gres. Pier anglers caught a few pike, smallmouth bass and rock bass when using crawlers and body baits. 

Tawas River: Fishing was slow at Gateway Park with only a few pike and smallmouth bass taken on crawlers and body baits.    

Au Gres: Walleye fishing improved with the warmer weather. Most anglers were getting a few in 30 to 40 feet out near the Charity Islands, between Pt. Lookout and Pt. Au Gres, and south towards the weather buoy when using crawlers and crankbaits. 

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: Most boats were going out for smallmouth bass. Good size fish were caught when casting along the shoreline and near structure. Those targeting lake trout had a hard time, but some were caught from Harbor Point to the north. While some fish were caught as shallow as 30 feet others were suspended over 100 feet. Smallmouth bass anglers did better when casting along the shoreline and near docks. 

Petoskey: Most boat anglers were fishing the Harbor Springs side of the bay. Those fishing near the mouth of the river caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, creek chubs and bullhead. A nice smallmouth was caught off the D Pier. Most are using minnows, worms, jigs with soft plastics and crankbaits. 

Bear River: Is running low with the dry hot conditions. There might be a couple steelhead up near the dam. Angler effort was low.    

Traverse City: Water temperatures have been all over the place in both bays due to the wind and very warm weather. Temperatures range from 50 degrees to 65 degrees up near shore. In the East Bay, bass fishing was slow but should pick up. Cisco fishing has picked up and some are getting limit catches. Some have done well in shallow water while others found fish in 30 to 60 feet. In the West Bay, anglers were getting a good number of Cisco in shallow water around Lee Point, Marion Island and off the tip of Mission Peninsula. Bass fishing was slow.   

Frankfort: Wind and heavy fog have kept anglers away from the big lake. When they can get out most were fishing 60 to 90 feet down in 160 to 180 feet.   

Onekama: Recent strong winds blew in some warmer water. Anglers were having a hard time trying to find the temperature breaks. 

Manistee: Those trolling caught a few steelhead and a couple kings along the “Shelf” and in deeper water. Fish were anywhere from 100 to 200 feet. Spoons and flies worked best. A couple lake trout were also caught. Pier anglers had little luck, but baitfish are in the area.   

Ludington: A couple king salmon were caught in 200 feet south of the projects and in 100 to 140 feet near Big Sable Point. The occasional lake trout and steelhead were also caught. Pier fishing was slow

Upper Peninsula

Trout streams in the Eastern Upper Peninsula currently have fly hatches taking place which has triggered the trout to start surface feeding. Good waters to try would be the Fox River, Two Hearted River, Sucker River and Au Train River. These rivers are wider, offering a more open fly angling experience. Best time to fish would be in the morning and evening. Common fly hatches would be sulphur, brown drake, stonefly, caddis and midges.

Ontonagon: Lake trout fishing was good with mostly small fish being caught. Some also caught coho, kings, steelhead or brown trout. Depths varied up to 100 feet as the fish were scattered. Most were using spoons and crankbaits. Walleye fishing remains hit-or-miss on finding legal size fish. Most are trolling, jigging or drifting.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers caught lake whitefish when jigging and coho when trolling. Lake trout were caught in Huron Bay and Traverse Bay while trolling in less than 100 feet. There has been minimal pressure on both the Silver and the Falls River. 

Au Train: Had good lake trout fishing with limit catches reported. Most are fishing in 140 to 200 feet. The occasional steelhead or brown trout were also caught. 

Munising: Boat anglers were fishing early morning though most caught no lake trout.  No reports of any coho or splake either as fishing was slow. The occasional splake was caught from the Anna River dock. Water temperatures are in the low 50’s offshore and 60 degrees or more near shore which is very warm for this time of year. 

Grand Marais: Surface water temperatures offshore were in the mid 50’s and close to 60 degrees nearshore. Lake trout fishing was good with limits reported just off the first break near the shipping channels. Pier fishing for whitefish slowed with only a few caught in the early morning. Most were released as they were small.

Fishing Tip: How to catch your own nightcrawlers

Are you interested in catching and keeping your own nightcrawlers? It’s fairly easy to do – just follow these simple steps:

  • Know where to look. Scout locations such as parks, playgrounds and open, grassy areas after a good rain. Look for nightcrawler castings (the little piles of dirt they leave behind) and then plan to visit again following the next good rain.
  • Know when to collect. Nightcrawlers are best caught an hour or so after dark.
  • Bring the right equipment. Nightcrawlers are sensitive to vibrations, so wear lightweight shoes. They’re also sensitive to bright light, so consider rigging your flashlight with a red cover over the lens.
  • Store them properly. When you catch nightcrawlers, just lay them on top of some storage bedding – don’t mix them in. This will allow you to remove sick or dead ones more easily.