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Michigan Fishing Reports

Scroll down and click on additional links below for the most recent fishing reports from DNR & other sites. Additional reports are being developed by SC staff and contributors that will also be posted here.


Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Anglers were battling algae blooms and strong winds outside of Fermi. Fish were scattered; however, a few people were still catching them on crawler harnesses in 18 to 21 feet of water. Silver for the harness blade was popular in that area. Those going south to the dumping grounds out from Luna Pier saw mild successes running crawler harnesses still, but with the weather fishing was slow. Yellow perch fishing has yet to pick up in mass, but early anglers were catching them on minnows closer into shore, around 10 to 12 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing has been steadily picking up with anglers catching them on artificial lures.

Saginaw Bay: Anglers were catching walleye at Linwood while trolling with crawlers in 18 to 21 feet. Anglers were also catching fish near A-B buoy while jigging with blade baits in 17 feet of water and at Finn Road while trolling with crawlers in 10 to 12 feet of water. Anglers reported excellent walleye fishing in the vicinity of the spark plug buoy in the shipping channel. Some limits were caught while trolling both night crawler harnesses and body baits. Anglers were catching walleye off Callahan reef in 8 to 12 feet of water, out from Quanicassee in 10 to 12 feet of water, and in 12 to 14 feet in the slot. A few walleye were caught out deeper, but fishing was inconsistent. Crawlers, body baits and spoons all produced when anglers found active walleye.

Harbor Beach: Anglers were trolling in 80 to 110 feet of water using downriggers, lead core and spoons. They were getting a mix of lake trout, steelhead, cohos and a few walleye out in deep water. Steelhead were coming from the top 30 feet.

Grindstone: Walleye were showing up in 30 to 40 feet of water north and east of the harbor while trolling with crawler harnesses and artificial lures.

Port Austin: Walleye were caught in 20 to 40 feet of water west of the harbor and straight out around the lighthouse and towards Grindstone. Anglers were using artificial lures and crawler harnesses.

Port Sanilac: Trolling for trout and salmon was slow. A few anglers were looking for perch in the weed beds south of the harbor with no success.

Lexington: Good catches of perch were caught in 20 to 30 feet of water while drifting and anchoring with minnows.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Grand Haven: Salmon fishing was slow for boat anglers. A few were caught 45 to 120 feet down in 100 to 180 feet of water. A mix of flies, spoons, and meat rigs have all produced. Pier anglers continued to catch freshwater drum while casting body baits or silver spoons. Steelhead action has been very slow. Lake trout were caught on bottom in 100 to 180 feet of water. Spin-N-Glos worked best.

Muskegon: Boats anglers were finding the salmon action to be slow. The best action was 45 to 100 feet down in 100 to 200 feet of water. Spoons in blue and green performed good. Pier anglers were catching a few freshwater drum while casting spoons. Lake trout were caught on the bottom in 100 to 140 feet of water. Yellow Spin-N-Glos worked best.

St. Joseph: Pier anglers were catching good numbers of steelhead. Shrimp and live alewife were catching most of these fish. Boat anglers were catching good numbers of steelhead. Anglers were trolling small crankbaits and spoons around the pier heads.   Most of the fishing pressure was around the pier heads with few boats heading offshore.  Perch anglers were catching fish in 30 feet of water. The lake temperatures dropped, and perch fishing slowed down. There were still a few fish being caught in 40 feet of water.

South Haven: Fishing pressure was low. Very few boats made it out on the lake due to conditions. There were a few perch caught in 30 feet of water.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Tawas: There were some steelhead, brown trout, lake trout, Chinook salmon and walleye caught out past buoy 2, south towards the Charity Islands in 30 to 70 feet while trolling spoons, crankbaits and crawlers. At Gateway Park on the Tawas River, a few largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish were caught while still fishing with crawlers and casting spinners, plastics and body baits.

Alpena: Lake trout fishing was steady with limits reported. Best places to fish were near Thunder Bay Island, Nordmeer Wreck and at the humps. The best depths were in 60 to 90 feet of water. Anglers were running a couple of lines deep while scattering their other lines up higher. Some silver fish were caught on the higher lines. An occasional steelhead, pink salmon, coho, Atlantic and Chinook were caught on the lines higher in the water column. Spoons were catching silver fish. Good colors were greens, orange and silver, orange, blues, and glow stuff early and late. The lake trout were coming in on flashers with spin glo flies. The walleye fishing was on the slow side because of cold water. A few walleye were caught in the very southern part of the bay near Sulphur Island and Scarecrow Island. The best depths were in 15 to 30 feet of water. Anglers were using harnesses and crankbaits.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were still fishing with live bait and/or casting with an assortment of spinners, spoons and body baits. They were catching smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum, catfish, bowfin and pike. Walleye fishing was slow. 

Au Gres: Walleye fishing was good with limits caught out near the Charity Islands and east across the Shipping Channel in 12 to 35 feet while trolling crawlers and crank baits. Fishing was also good south of the shipwreck in 20 to 30 feet while trolling crawlers and crank baits. At the Pint River Access, there were some crappie, pike and largemouth bass caught while casting plastics, spinners, body baits and crawlers. Walleye fishing was good there as well, while casting in the weeds with crawlers and body baits and trolling in 15 to 30 feet with crawlers and crank baits.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Ludington: Catches were hit or miss but a few Chinook and coho were caught at Big Sable Point in 80 to 180 feet of water when fishing 50 to 80 feet down and straight out and south off the project in 100 to 150 feet of water when fishing 60 to 80 down. Spoons worked best. The piers remained slow.

Manistee: A few salmon and lake trout were caught along the shelf both north and south of town, and south towards Big Sable Point in 120 to 200 feet of water when fishing 40 to 90 down.

Frankfort: Anglers trolling the shelf in 120 to 150 feet of water and setting lines from 50 to 80 down were picking up a few good-sized Chinook with most being landed on flies and meat rigs. Lake trout were in the same areas or bouncing the bottom with cowbells in Platte Bay.

Onekama: Chinook numbers were down as the alewives were still schooled in good numbers. Anglers were reporting lake trout in the barrel up high and off the bottom.

Portage Lake: Perch were reported off the south Stub Pier in 18 to 22 feet of water and the fish were hitting on minnows. The water was warming up so bass anglers were working the drops with some luck.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers report mixed results. Those fishing the head of the bay continued to have some success, but most fish were undersized. The east bank of Black Bottom was producing walleye, as well as some perch. Additionally, anglers were having some action when fishing out of the Ford River where the fish have generally been larger. Perch fishing has been fair to good; anglers were targeting Nelson’s Bay and Butlers Island. A few Chinook salmon were caught on the outer portion of the bay.

Manistique: Salmon fishing was good. Anglers were catching multiple year classes and large fish catches were common. Flasher flies seemed to be the best producer, although spoons and meat rigs were also taking fish.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers found some success while fishing for trout and salmon in the bays. Most of the fish caught were lake trout with a low number of Chinook salmon and rainbow trout caught as well. Most fish were caught while trolling with artificial baits. Most anglers use spoons during this time of year, and they seemed to be working as well as ever when fish are around. Trout and salmon were both caught in water around 170 feet. Those fish were found anywhere from 10 feet off the bottom all the way up to suspended at 60 feet down. Most fish were caught during the morning and the early afternoon.

Traverse Bays/ South Portage Canal Entry: Anglers were catching more lake trout compared to other species. Most anglers were trolling with artificial baits like flasher flies and spoons. Some anglers found luck while jigging for lake trout in and around nearby islands. Most anglers were having their best catch hours during the morning with a few fish caught in the afternoons. Fishing pressure seemed to die down during the late afternoon.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers in the Les Cheneaux area were catching perch at the marina in Hessel and also at the CORA launch in Cedarville within McKay Bay. Nightcrawlers, leaches and mayflies were the best for perch. Anglers were also still catching a few pike at the marina in Hessel, early in the morning using live bait. Lake herring were caught within McKay Bay, as well as a few master anglers caught around Goat and Haven islands. There were also some walleye reported within Hessel Bay. In Detour, most anglers were headed north for the herring bite. They were catching a lot of fish; however, they were on the smaller side. Top bait for herring were mayflies and wax worms. The walleye bite was hot to the north up around Drummond Island as well.

Marquette: Fishing activity remained constant, and most anglers reported catching mainly lake trout. There were some reports of coho, Chinook and steelhead coming from the shot point area. For the best opportunity to catch lake trout, Chinook, coho and steelhead, try fishing in 40 to 50 feet of water near the Chocolay River down through shot point. While trolling, run deep lines for lake trout and high lines for salmon and steelhead. Try using multi-color spoons for best opportunity. Lake trout were reported being caught near White Rocks. Try trolling spoons or flickers in deep water (140+ feet).

Munising: Fishing pressure was very low however there were reports from a few anglers that a few Chinook were caught along with a few splake near Trout Bay and towards Miner’s Castle. A few boats had some good catches of splake and lake trout out towards Williams Island and the west channel in less than 50 feet of water.

Grand Marais: Fishing pressure was low however some nice catches of lake trout were caught in areas west of Grand Marais towards Sable and also a few miles offshore towards Five Mile Reef in about 150+ feet of water. Boat anglers near Big Reef produced some limits of nice lake trout while trolling on top.

Au Train: Anglers were reporting catches of lake trout coming from deep water around Au Train Island. Anglers should try trolling spoons or jigging cut-baits in 150+ feet of water. While trolling, try going at speeds just under 2mph while using bright colored spoons or stick baits. As for jigging, try jigging cut-baits in 140 to 160 feet of water.

Upper St. Mary’s: Whitefish anglers were continuing to catch lake whitefish up-river of the Soo locks. Anglers were reporting an increase of menominee over the past couple of weeks while jigging with wax worms. Some anglers were also targeting rainbow trout with slow but steady results using primarily natural bait. In the Brimely area, anglers were targeting walleye and northern pike within Waishkey Bay. An increased number of anglers were also moving out to deep water targeting Chinook and coho. Salmon anglers were reporting catches in 100 to 120 feet deep while fishing around 50 feet deep.

Fishing Tip: Taking great catch-and-release photos

Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Wet your hands before you handle the fish; that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (or slime) that coats the fish’s body.
  • Remember fish can’t breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.
  • Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, so if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water and not on a hard surface.
  • While holding the fish, don’t pinch or squeeze it and don’t stick your fingers in its gills.
  • Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.