The weekend should still produce panfish, bass and pike and even some walleye. The warm humid weather will give way to cooler temperatures and that could slow catch rates. We get closer to fall fishing patterns as we move into the last holiday weekend of the summer. As salmon start to show up in the rivers, anglers are reminded that snagging or retaining a fish not hooked in the mouth is unlawful.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: Due to the large amount of weeds along with an algae bloom, walleye action has slowed so most boats are targeting perch. A good number of fish were found in 19 to 22 feet of water in Brest Bay. Those launching out of Bolles Harbor are doing well off the River Raisin around the E Buoy.
Huron River: Smallmouth bass are still being caught. Bluegills were hitting on leaf worms or wax worms in the backwaters.
Detroit River: For perch, try fishing around the islands such as Celeron or Sugar Island. Try jigging or hand-lining in the lower Trenton Channel for walleye.
Lake St. Clair: Smallmouth bass action has been fantastic with fish up to 6 pounds caught in the deeper areas of the lake using a variety of baits and tactics. Walleye fishing has slowed a bit but fish were still being caught along the shipping channel or anywhere in Michigan waters over 17 feet deep. Anglers are also picking up some yellow perch in the same area. Muskie fishing continues to be very good for anglers casting along the delta channels as well as those trolling along the shipping channel and down towards the Detroit River.
St. Clair River: Smallmouth bass are being caught all the way up past Marine City. Walleye fishing in the channels has started to pick up. Try the North, Middle, or South Channels while jigging or drifting crawler harnesses.
Lexington: Perch fishing was slow but one boat fishing in 30 feet of water did come back with a very large rock bass. Pier anglers caught a mix of smallmouth bass, pike, bluegill and crappie.
Port Sanilac: Had good catches of steelhead and lake trout with the occasional salmon mixed in from 80 to 140 feet of water.
Harbor Beach: Had decent catch rates for steelhead, lake trout and the occasional chinook or coho caught in 80 to 140 feet of water. Steelhead and walleye were caught 45 to 55 feet down while the lake trout were near the bottom. Use small spoons about 2 ½” long. One boat anchored inside the harbor caught some nice perch near the light. Bass and pike are still being taken casting or trolling spoons and body baits in close to shore or inside the harbor. Fishing around the weed beds is still giving the best results.
Grindstone City: Lake trout were caught near the bottom in 100 feet of water.
Saginaw Bay: In general, walleye fishing has been slow which is consistent with late August. This is the time of year when the number of forage fish reaches its peak, so walleye are less interested in chasing a crawler harness. One 30 inch walleye was caught by a shore angler at Essexville. Other than that, about the only thing caught was smallmouth bass, white bass and freshwater drum.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph: Salmon fishing remains good and boats targeting 100 feet of water are doing best. Perch fishing has slowed so most boats are targeting trout and salmon. Pier fishing is very slow however if the lake temperature changes, pier fishing will pick up quickly.
St. Joseph River: No steelhead to report however good numbers of smallmouth bass have been caught on crank baits, tube baits or crawlers. Flathead and channel cats have been caught on sucker minnows or cut bait.
South Haven: Has good salmon fishing for those starting out in 80 feet of water and heading deeper. The perch seem scattered but those willing to work a little are catching fish in 35 to 40 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow.
Kalamazoo River: Look for walleye and catfish below the Allegan Dam. Smallmouth bass action was good. Look for salmon down near Saugatuck.
Holland: Boat anglers are finding salmon in 80 to 100 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow except for catfish and freshwater drum. Try casting spoons in the early morning or late evening for trout and salmon.
Grand Haven: Boat anglers are doing very well catching good numbers of chinook and coho 15 to 40 feet down in 100 feet of water with white or pearl J-plugs. Pier anglers have caught a few fish when casting spoons. No perch to report.
Grand River at Lansing: Carp and catfish were caught over at Moore’s Park when using crawlers and bread. The North Lansing Dam is producing some fish. Carp are hitting on corn and catfish are hitting on crawlers and stink baits.
Muskegon: Boats are catching salmon 15 to 50 feet down in waters 150 feet deep. Start at the end of the pier and work your way out. Most are using J-plugs around the piers and switching to flies and spoons out deeper. Green was a hot color.
Muskegon Lake: Is producing chinook for those jigging near the Sand Docks.
Whitehall: The water turned over so salmon moved back into the 60 to 80 foot range. Pier anglers caught a few salmon.
White Lake: Salmon have started to move in so this would be a good time for anglers to try casting or trolling in the “Narrows.”
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Rogers City: Strong winds blew warm water into the area which in turn put a damper on salmon fishing. With the warm water anglers will want to fish early before the sun comes up or the last hour or two of daylight. Look for salmon to be staging in waters 50 to 90 feet deep off Swan Bay. Fish up high in the early morning and deeper later in the day. Look for structure and baitfish. A mixed bag of chinook, lake trout, brown trout, steelhead and walleye were caught up towards Forty Mile Point. A few salmon were caught on plugs and flashers or attractors with flies and squid. Good colors were black, white, green, blue or anything that glows early and late.
Presque Isle: Those working hard have caught a mixed bag of mostly chinook, lake trout and the occasional steelhead. Salmon and trout were caught around structure between the two lighthouses. Try halfway down in 45 to 90 feet of water. Those targeting walleye are trolling crawler harnesses just off the bottom.
Rockport: No limit catches this week but anglers were targeting walleye on the northeast side of Middle Island. A few fish were caught on reef runners and body baits in 40 feet of water. Those targeting steelhead found a few fish when trolling the top portion of the water column in 80 to 120 feet of water.
Alpena: The walleye seem to shut down as anglers returned empty handed.
Thunder Bay River: Shore anglers caught and released a few small rock bass and freshwater drum.
Harrisville: Those able to get out in windy conditions have caught steelhead, lake trout and the occasional salmon. Steelhead were 30 to 40 feet down in 75 to 85 feet of water while the lake trout were in 180 feet of water straight out from the harbor. Lead core, dipseys and downriggers are all working with a variety of colors and flashers in the early morning or late afternoon. Walleye were hitting on crawler harnesses or body baits in 25 to 50 feet of water around Sturgeon Point.
Higgins Lake: Is producing a few perch and some rock bass. Those trolling will find lake trout just off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet of water.
Houghton Lake: Had good bass fishing. Try crawler or leeches with slip bobbers along the weed beds. Pike are hitting on sucker minnows but many were small.
Oscoda: Had good steelhead and lake trout fishing in 130 to 140 feet of water. A few salmon were also caught. Try spoons or cut bait. Most of the fish coming in were full of smelt so try baits that resemble them. Walleye were also caught at the same depths as the lake trout.
Au Sable River: Is producing a few walleye for those using small spoons.
Tawas: Walleye fishing was slow. Pier fishing was also slow but some perch were caught off the end on the lake side. Anglers did a lot of sorting for a few keepers. Inside the harbor, panfish, especially rock bass were caught. Boat anglers did manage to catch some perch off Jerry’s Marina and the old Coast Guard Station in 12 to 20 feet of water.
Au Gres: All fishing effort is focused on perch with limit catches reported between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres or the shipping channel in 40 to 50 feet of water. Perch ranging from 7 to 10 inches with the occasional 12 inch fish were caught.
Au Gres River: Was slow with only a few small perch caught.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey: Salmon fishing on the bay is the best it been in a few years, with good numbers of chinook and coho. Most are using a green or white rotator with green flies or green, blue and glow spoons. Pier and shore angler have also caught fish on body baits or spoons in the early morning.
Bear River: Has seen one good push of salmon, but it will still take a good rain to put more fish in the river.
Charlevoix: Had good fishing for chinook and coho. Salmon have been hitting 80 to 110 feet down in 100 to 150 feet of water on a green rotator with green fly, glow plugs, or spoons.
Traverse City: Has good salmon fishing in the West Bay when trolling from Greilickville to the north in 80 to 120 feet of water.
Frankfort: Those fishing the landings for the car ferry have caught fish in the early morning and late at night. Boats trolling 60 to 110 feet down in 125 to 160 feet of water have caught chinook on spoons, plugs and meat rigs. Coho are starting to hit as well. The average size has been 9 to 11 pounds. Platte Bay reports say coho are passing through the lower weir.
Betsie River: The chinook salmon are stacked up in the river like cord wood. Several fish in the 20 pound range have been caught legally on flies and spawn.
Onekama: Anglers are still finding good numbers of fish in the Barrel and off the golf course. Those fishing 60 to 80 feet down in 100 to 135 feet of water caught a mix of chinook, coho and brown trout.
Portage Lake: Activity slowed this week as it seems the fish have moved to deeper water. Bluegills were found at 20 and 25 feet.
Lake Cadillac: Boat and shore anglers were catching bluegills and crappie. Pike and bass were caught along the weed beds but the pike were running on the small side. Those drifting a crawler harness with leeches or crawlers have caught a couple walleye.
Manistee: Salmon were caught from the end of the pier out to 120 feet of water on flies and meat rigs. Pier anglers caught a few salmon in the early morning.
Manistee Lake: Salmon fishing has been very good at times for those trolling.
Manistee River: Brook trout and brown trout were hitting on flies in the upper river. Salmon are in the river but no big numbers yet.
Ludington: Boat anglers are catching salmon all the way out to waters 80 feet deep when using plugs and meat rigs. Try early morning off the pier.
Pere Marquette River: Has groups of salmon from the M-31 Bridge in Ludington to the flies only water in Baldwin. The fish are consistently moving upstream at night and in the early morning but as the sun gets higher, the fish are concentrating in the deeper holes. No fish were on the gravel yet. Try flies and small streamers in the upper stretches or drifting spawn in the lower stretches.
Pentwater: Has good fishing as those trolling in 40 to 140 feet of water have caught chinook, coho and lake trout just north of Little Sable Point and north of the Pentwater pier. Green and blue spoons worked well however flasher/fly combos and J-plugs were also starting to catch fish.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was slow except from Traverse Bay where coho were caught in 40 to 50 feet of water off Buffalo Reef. Early morning was best. Those trolling around Five and Seven Mile Reefs caught fish in 60 to 140 feet of water while Big Louie and Gay Point produced fish in 130 to 185 feet. Jigging in deep water also produced a few limits of fish.
Marquette: Surface water temperatures have cooled to the low 60’s. Lake trout fishing was good with the light winds. Several limits were taken off the bottom near the “Clay Banks” and Granite Island in 160 to 200 feet of water. Spoons and flies with cut bait did best. No salmon to report.
Menominee: Anglers trolling near Green Island and Chamber Island reported slow trout and salmon action however walleye were caught near Green Island. Some are jigging minnows while others are trolling stick baits and crawler harnesses. Those trolling the drop-off along the Wisconsin shoreline picked up some nice walleye when trolling crawler harnesses.
Menominee River: A few walleye have been caught in the deeper holes by those trolling crawler harnesses or stick baits upstream of Boom Landing or the Mystery Ship landing. Pier anglers jigging crawlers in the early morning found some yellow perch. Those drifting crawlers caught freshwater drum, rock bass and smallmouth.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported good numbers of small fish from the “Narrows” north to the Center Reef. Water clarity was very good despite the wind so most were drifting or trolling crawlers in 18 to 30 feet of water. The East Bank in Gladstone also produced fair catches off the break in 30 feet of water. Breezy Point and south to Round Island produced mixed results with anglers trolling crank baits or drifting crawlers in 8 to 20 feet of water. Perch were caught near the Second Reef off Kipling when still-fishing with worms in 10 to 28 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were caught near Hunters Point and Garth Point when casting tube baits in 10 to 18 feet.
Big Bay De Noc: No walleye reported here but perch fishing was fair out from Goully Bay when still-fishing with worms in 10 to 16 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were caught off Ansell’s Point, Garden Bay and Ogontz when casting tube baits, crank baits or minnows along the breaks. Off Fairport, salmon anglers reported more catches but the fish were smaller. Try 75 to 80 feet down in 100 to 125 feet of water.
Au Train: Surface waters have cooled but the fish remain deep within 30 feet of the bottom in 160 to 180 feet of water.
Munising: More boats are attempting to catch coho but catch results were extremely slow. Those trolling for salmon have caught small lake trout or splake. A few coho were caught in Trout Bay. Lake trout anglers continue to take fish around the Wood Island Reef when trolling spoons or flies. Some are jigging. Pier and dock anglers managed to catch a few splake when casting spoons and spinners or using spawn.
Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers continue to do well five to seven miles north out to the shipping channel. Some limit catches were reported in waters 70 to 200 feet deep. Average size was 3 pounds. Most are trolling lures sometimes tipped with cut bait. White, watermelon and copper were good colors.
Manistique: A few chinook were caught by those putting in their time and trolling in waters 140 to 170 feet deep. No hot baits to report, instead anglers are using a variety of spoons, flies and dipsey divers.
Manistique River: Those fishing off the docks near the city launch found bluegill, rock bass and smallmouth bass when using crawlers and leeches. Boat anglers trolling stick baits, spoons or rapalas caught a few smallmouth or pike.
St. Mary’s River: Had good walleye action in Raber Bay on the east side of Lime Island as well as between Hart Island and Edwards Island when trolling purple crawler harnesses along the weed beds in 8 to 15 feet of water. Slow pike and bass in the upper river.
Detour: Drummond Island was slow for perch and walleye.
Cedarville and Hessel: Salmon were caught 25 to 35 feet down in 60 to 70 feet of water off Hessel, the Yacht Entrance and Goose Island. Hessel Bay had excellent pike and perch fishing. Pike are hitting in 8 to 13 feet of water when still-fishing with chubs. Musky Bay and Government Bay are also good for pike. Good perch fishing along the south shore of Hessel Bay, off the Marina dock, Haven Island and Snows Channel. Try minnows or crawlers in 8 to 13 feet of water. A few perch were also caught in shallow waters 4 to 6 feet deep in the Moscoe Channel.
St. Ignace: More anglers are heading out for trout and salmon. The salmon are averaging 5 to 15 pounds. Hit the track between the Coast Guard Station, the old fuel tanks, Round Island and Mackinac Island. Try black and white glow, green flashers and flies, or purple with yellow. Try weedless hooks off the primitive launch for large and smallmouth bass.