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Gone fishin’

June 8, 2012
The Mining Journal

EDITOR'S NOTE: The weekly fishing report is compiled by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Michigan's annual summer free fishing weekend is Saturday and Sunday. Residents and non-residents can fish without a license.

This is a great opportunity for novice anglers to introduce someone new whether young or old to the sport of fishing and the opportunities that Michigan has to offer.

Upper Peninsula

Marquette: Lake trout averaging 3 to 4 pounds were caught just outside the Lower Harbor breakwall toward Shot Point and the Sand Hole when fishing 20 feet off the bottom in 180 to 200 feet of water with silver or copper spoons.

AuTrain: Anglers caught chinook and lake trout near Shelter Bay, Laughing Whitefish Point, Wood Island and outside AuTrain Island. They were using a combination of flies and spoons tipped with cut bait. Chinook salmon were caught in 40 to 50 feet of water near Scott Falls where schools of sticklebacks were found.

Munising: If the winds die down, boat anglers should still find trout, salmon and whitefish. Those in small boats fishing near shore did catch splake and whitefish but most of the splake were sub-legal. Pier anglers caught a few menominee on worms.

Grand Marais: Pier anglers have caught some whitefish. Many were running on the small side, however fish weighing up to 3 pounds were caught. Boat anglers are starting to target coho instead of steelhead. Those seeking lake trout were fishing five to seven miles north of the bay in 100 to 180 feet of water. Those fishing the banks a couple miles north of the bay caught coho, steelhead and lake trout with high-lines. Shore anglers caught a few perch near the boat launch and marina.

Keweenaw Bay: Is producing a few lake trout and salmon for those trolling from Sand Point north to the Red Rocks at the road side park. Try a variety of spoons 40 to 75 feet down in 50 to 80 feet of water. Trolling speed was between 2.1 and 2.8 mph. Those jigging caught lake trout in 240 to 280 feet of water off Pequaming and the south end of Big Reef. Some were starting to catch yellow perch off the Baraga Marina when using worms. Near the South Portage Entry, a few salmon were caught on crawler harnesses near the South Lighthouse.

On the inland lakes, bluegills were starting to move into the shallows for spawning.

Black River Harbor: The morning bite was good for those fishing the top one third of waters 120 feet deep. Green or blue flies with dodgers worked best.

Ontonagon: Was producing some nice catches of lake trout in 40 to 60 feet of water. Target the middle of the water column with green spoons.

Ontonagon River: Fishing was slow and most of the walleye were sub-legal.

Menominee: Chinook and brown trout were caught in 40 to 50 feet of water near Chambers Island when using black and white spoons. No walleye were caught near the mouth of river or south in Wisconsin waters. A few boats were trolling crawler harnesses off the Cedar River in 8 to 12 feet of water for walleye.

Menominee River: Water levels near the dam were still low. Shore anglers near the Mystery Ship caught smallmouth bass, pike, freshwater drum, rock bass and the occasional walleye when bouncing crawlers on the bottom.

Cedar River: Bass anglers are fishing between the mouth and the first rapids. Catch rates were slow with smaller fish hitting on green tube baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were fair to good and some pike were caught along the head of the bay and south along the reefs when trolling or drifting crawlers in 10 to 28 feet of water. The night bite was good for those trolling crank baits in 8 to 14 feet of water. Fair catches were reported along the beach at Gladstone in 18 to 30 feet of water and off the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling or drifting crawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water along the weed line. Fish were caught along the "Shelf" in 8 to 16 feet of water but some were deeper in 30 feet of water. Good smallmouth action off Garth Point, Squaw Point and the mouth of the Ford River when casting crank baits or plastics along the weed lines or rocks. Perch fishing was fair out from the Vagabond Resort in 14 feet of water. Most were still-fishing with crawlers. Perch were also caught near Gladstone Beach when using crawlers in 18 to 25 feet of water.

Escanaba River: Has good bass fishing for shore anglers.

Big Bay De Noc: Had fair to good smallmouth bass fishing after the storms. Fish were caught all around the head of the bay with Kate's Bay, Porcupine Point, Stony Point and Ogontz the best. Most were casting crank baits or plastics in 10 to 12 feet of water while others were jigging or drifting crawlers. Walleye action was fair to good for those drifting crawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water between Porcupine Point and Poplar Point or Kate's Bay when trolling or drifting in 20 feet of water. Fairport had good fishing with salmon caught 65 to 100 feet down in waters 90 to 120 feet deep when trolling green, purple, and blue spoons and flies.

St. Marys River: Is producing Atlantic salmon, lake trout and chinook. Those fishing Raber Bay caught walleye straight out from the Lime Island dock when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 6 to 8 feet of water.

DeTour: Had good catches of Atlantic salmon, lake trout and the occasional chinook from the lighthouse east to the first red buoy on the south end of Drummond Island. For Atlantic salmon, use downriggers with sliders at 22 feet with smaller gold and orange spoons. Lake trout and chinook were hitting 45 feet down in waters over 80 feet deep. Green and chrome were good colors.

Drummond Island: Is producing a few good catches of walleye in Scott Bay when trolling planer boards in 8 to 12 feet of water between Paw Point and Pack Island. Boaters are reminded to use caution and watch for submerged rocks when fishing around the island.

Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers trolling for pike in Cedarville Bay are catching the occasional perch but many were small. A few perch were caught off the Hessel Marina pier however pike and bass are the hot species right now. For bass, try casting along the weeds and gravel. A few salmon have also been caught.

Carp River: The mouth is producing walleye, rainbow trout and pike.

St. Ignace: Is producing a few salmon.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan River: Is producing a few walleye, rock bass, suckers and bullhead for those using worms or leeches.

Rogers City: Lake trout are still catchable but it seems they have moved out to waters 40 to 70 feet deep and were hitting cowbells and dodgers with spins-glows just off the bottom. The hot spots were south towards Adams Point or west towards Seagull Point and Forty Mile Point when fishing the top half of waters 50 to 90 feet deep with green or blue spoons. Glow spoons were good in the early evening or late. For Atlantic salmon, try bright colored spoons higher in the water column. Anglers say to get the lures out and away from the boat.

Presque Isle: Is still producing lake trout in 30 to 80 feet of water. Out deeper, the fish were suspended but in shallow waters the fish were in the bottom 10 feet. Cowbells and dodgers with spin-glows were the ticket. Atlantic salmon were in the top 30 feet of waters 40 to 70 feet deep and hitting on bright colors like green, orange, yellow and silver.

Rockport: Boat anglers were marking fish just outside the old pier. Shore anglers caught Atlantic salmon off the old pier when using golden shiners.

Alpena: Boat anglers caught walleye on crawler harnesses and body baits when fishing in Thunder Bay, Squaw Bay, around Grass Island or Sulfur Island.

Thunder Bay River: Shore anglers caught smallmouth bass and rock bass between the 9th Street Dam and the marina when using jerk baits, minnows, worms or leeches. A few pike were caught on spinners and jerk baits in the river and the marina. Some walleye were caught on leeches and minnows.

Fletcher's Pond: Anglers are catching bass on artificial or live bait.

Hubbard Lake: Is usually a good spot for walleye, perch and smallmouth bass.

Harrisville: Catch rates were limited. Lake trout were taken straight out and south of the harbor in 60 to 80 feet of water. The fish were suspended so anglers were using planer boards and dipsy divers with small spoons or spin-glows. Hot colors were black and silver or blue and green.

Van Etten Lake: Is producing some walleye. Try trolling crank baits or drifting crawler harnesses between Loud Island and Pierce Point.

Oscoda: Boat anglers found lake trout north of the river in 50 to 80 feet of water. Spoons on downriggers close to the bottom worked best. Favorite colors were black and white or a combination of blue, green and silver.

AuSable River: Walleye fishing has slowed and the fish being caught were on the small side. Anglers were using crawlers, leeches, and stick baits.

Higgins Lake: Some perch were caught along the south end of the Sunken Island by those using minnows or wigglers. Good numbers of rock bass have been caught on worms and small spinners.

Houghton Lake: Walleye fishing has picked up. Try fishing the Middle Grounds or Walleye Alley which is located between the North Bay and Muddy Bay. Anglers are jigging, drifting and bobber fishing with crawlers and leeches. For bluegill, try worms or crickets. For bass, try the weed beds with crawlers, spinners or tube baits.

Tawas: Pier fishing was slow with only a few rock bass, bluegill or smallmouth bass caught. Boat anglers fishing inside the bay did very well for smallmouth. Not much walleye action so anglers were hauling their boats down to Au Gres where the bite was much better.

AuGres: Had very good walleye fishing when boats can get out. The hot spot was south of Point AuGres in 30 to 35 feet of water when using crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers or small spoons and crank baits higher in the water column. Good smallmouth bass fishing around the Charity Islands.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Lake trout were caught about 5 feet off the bottom in waters 120 feet deep off Harbor Point with dodgers and spin-glows. Yellow perch were marked in 70 feet of water.

Bear River: Steelhead can still be found and were caught on crawlers or when drifting flies.

Petoskey: Shore anglers caught smallmouth bass near the mouth of the river when using crawlers and leeches. Those fishing off the old dock caught rock bass, carp and suckers.

Charlevoix: Walleye anglers on the pier did manage a couple limit catches when casting crank baits around midnight.

Elk River: Most anglers are targeting smallmouth bass with leeches or soft plastic baits. A few northern pike have been caught.

Traverse City: Has good lake trout fishing in both bays. Boats are trolling in 20 to 90 feet of water but most fish were caught in the 50 feet. A few whitefish and cisco were also caught.

Boardman River: Most anglers are targeting smallmouth bass or carp. Live bait was best for smallmouth but those using artificial bait have also caught fish. For carp, try crawlers, corn or chicken liver.

Platte Bay: Had good lake trout fishing in 55 to 80 feet of water with anything that looks like a goby. Boats are trolling in the East Bay. Some large chinook salmon were caught off Empire Dunes.

Frankfort: Those trolling 40 to 70 feet down in waters 115 to 205 feet deep reported nice catches of chinook, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead at the Herring Hole and the point. Try lures that glow before 7:00 am but after that green and blue spoons were the ticket as meat rigs were not working. Alewife can be found around and just outside the piers.

Arcadia: Fish were caught 60 to 80 feet down in 150 to 180 feet of water when trolling dark colored spoons like black.

Onekama: Those fishing 45 to 60 feet down in waters 160 to 180 feet deep when heading north towards the Golf Course landed some nice catches in the early morning. Use glow spoons at first light.

Portage Lake: Anglers seem to be pretty happy with their catches so far this year. Those working the shallow waters have caught bluegill, perch, walleye and pike. Bass were caught along the drop-off. The water was cool but the fish seem to be active throughout the day.

Lake Cadillac: It seems the bluegills are still on the beds. Crappie were caught on jigs with minnows and a few walleye were chasing crawler harnesses. For pike, fish the weed beds with spinner baits or large minnows.

Lake Mitchell: Is another good lake for bluegill, crappie and pike. For smallmouth bass, fish the shallows early morning and late afternoon or along the drop-off with a slip bobber the rest of the day.

Manistee: Salmon and trout have been caught in waters 60 to 240 feet deep. Try 30 to 90 feet down with orange or green spoons. Pier anglers caught a few brown trout when casting spoons.

Manistee River: Those fly fishing below Tippy Dam caught small brown trout.

Hamlin Lake: Would be a good bet for bluegills, black crappie or perch. Look for largemouth bass in the upper lake and smallmouth bass in the lower.

Ludington: Boats trolling in waters 80 to 230 feet deep caught trout and salmon 40 to 120 feet down with orange, green or blue spoons.

Pentwater: Salmon fishing slowed but a few anglers still managed to find fish 70 feet down in 120 feet of water. Try orange and green spoons.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Fishing was slow as the water was muddy. Before all the wind, limits of walleye were caught from Ohio waters and a few limits here in Michigan waters. Most boats were heading straight out from Sterling State Park and Stony Point and fishing in 25 feet of water. Perch were caught out of the River Raisin Channel in 18 feet of water. If the water is muddy, try body baits with rattles. Good colors were pink, purple or antifreeze.

Huron River: Is still producing a few leftover white bass but most anglers are catching large and smallmouth bass on golden shiners.

Detroit River: Yellow perch have been caught off Gibraltar by those using perch rigs with shiner minnows. Those fishing the Horse Island Flats reported a few limit catches of walleye. Largemouth bass were caught in the shallows and canals by those casting spinner baits. A few pike have also been caught.

Lake St. Clair: Continues to have very good smallmouth bass fishing. Some musky have also been caught. No word on perch but catch rates should start picking up with the fish moving into the deeper waters along the shipping channel.

St. Clair River: Walleye are being caught near Marina City and around Algonac.

Lexington: Had good catches of salmon and trout when trolling in waters 40 to 80 feet deep although a few fish were also caught way out in 140 fee. Pier anglers caught fish both inside the harbor and outside.

Port Sanilac: Those trolling caught chinook, coho, lake trout, steelhead and pink salmon. Pier anglers fishing off the end caught the occasional brown trout on small spoons or crank baits. Bass and walleye were caught inside the harbor.

Harbor Beach: Has very good steelhead fishing 30 to 60 feet down in waters 50 to 140 feet deep straight out or north of the harbor when using color lines with bright colored spoons. For coho, try north of the harbor in 60 to 120 feet of water. Put spoons or body baits off dipsy's and downriggers at 50 feet. Silver, green and white, green and black and glow were good colors. Lake trout are still hitting north or south of the harbor in 60 to 100 feet of water. Fish dodgers with spin-glows near the bottom. Walleye fishing was slow as the fish were scattered. Try small spoons, crawler harnesses or Hot-n-Tots in 40 to 70 feet of water. Pike and bass fishing was good inside the harbor. For perch, try inside the harbor or south near the Cemetery.

Saginaw Bay: Depending on the weather, walleyes were hitting in 12 to 17 feet of water off Linwood. Fish were also caught in the Slot between Quanicassee and Sebewaing, off Jones and Knight Roads behind Spoils Island, Callahan Reef, the Bar and off Bay Port in Wildfowl Bay. There are still a lot of sub-legal fish being caught. Windy conditions have churned up the water and there are a lot of floating weeds.

Saginaw River: Those trolling in the lower river caught walleye on crank baits.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Boats are still heading out for trout and salmon but catch rates were slow as windy conditions scattered the fish. Pier anglers may find freshwater drum when fishing worms near the bottom.

St. Joseph River: Should be good for those seeking bass, catfish, bluegills and rock bass. Try small spinners or live baits such as crawlers, leaf worms, or leeches.

Kalamazoo River: Is producing some catfish.

Grand Haven: Salmon anglers were struggling. Most were trolling in 130 to 200 feet of water with downriggers set in the top 60 feet with small yellow, green and orange spoons. Pier fishing was hit-or-miss. They were using shrimp under a bobber for steelhead or alewife for perch

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Should have good smallmouth bass fishing. Try minnows, leeches, crawlers, spinners or twister tails. For channel cats, try crawlers or cut bait. Bluegills should be hitting on worms. Check the brush piles for crappie.

Grand River at Lansing: Pike action at the North Lansing Dam has slowed but those fishing the Smithville Dam near Eaton Rapids have caught pike on minnows. Those fishing Moore's Park caught bluegills in the early morning. Try red worms on the bottom.

Lake Lansing: Should be good for bluegills and bass this weekend.

Lake Ovid: Boat and shore anglers will find bluegill, largemouth bas, crappie and some big catfish.

Park Lake: Near Bath is producing some crappie for those willing to put in the time to locate the fish.

Sessions Lake: Should have some bluegill fishing for shore anglers.

Muskegon River: Is producing some rainbow trout for those fly fishing. Anglers should find good smallmouth bass fishing especially between Bridgeton and Muskegon Lake.

Whitehall: Chinook and coho were caught in 120 feet of water. Orange and yellow were the hot colors. Suckers are still in the channel.

White Lake: Panfish action picked up. Bluegills are hitting crawlers and wax worms.

 
 

 

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