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Weekly Fishing Report: August 22, 2019

The weekly fishing report is intended to give you an idea of fishing conditions around the state. The updates come from a combination of creel clerks and other DNR staff around the state and reflect past fishing conditions over the last seven days. Due to the nature of the Great Lakes, fishing conditions on them can change daily if not hourly based on wind and rain events. You can also get the weekly fishing report by calling 855-777-0908.

Cooler daytime and night temperatures by the end of the week should help improve catch rates. Salmon are still being caught out in the big waters as movement towards the rivers has been slow. Inland lakes are producing panfish, bass, walleye and pike.

If your Labor Day weekend travel plans include crossing the Mighty Mac, please keep in mind the Mackinac Bridge Authority will close the bridge Monday, Sept. 2 from 6:30 a.m. to noon for the 62nd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk.

Why not make the most of your extra time and explore one Michigan’s state fish hatcheries in the Upper or Lower Peninsula? Check them out at Michigan.gov/Hatcheries.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: The walleye bite was on and off but there are still fish in Michigan waters to be caught. Overall the bite has slowed however some were picked up in front of Fermi in 22 to 26 feet, straight out from Bolles Harbor in 22 feet and near the old Dumping Grounds. Anglers are trolling crawler harnesses and crank baits. The yellow perch bite has been slow as most were only picking up a few on minnows. Channel cats, white bass, white perch and freshwater drum were also caught. Pike and largemouth bass were caught when casting artificial baits along the shoreline and rock walls.

River Raisin: Some nice largemouth bass were caught at the mouth when casting artificial lures.

Lake St. Clair: Has had fewer anglers and more pleasure boats. Perch and walleye were caught near the St. Clair Light and in the shipping channel. Artificial lures seem to work better than harnesses. No muskie action to report.

Lexington and Port Sanilac: There was little fishing activity at Lexington. At Port Sanilac, walleye were caught on a crawler harness or artificial in 55 to 65 feet. Lake trout and steelhead were taken on spoons in 120 to 130 feet. Steelhead were caught to the north near Forester in 100 to 130 feet. Only one or two fish per boat but they are being caught. Lake trout and a few walleye were mixed in.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout were caught straight out and north in 160 to 200 feet when trolling dodgers with spin-glo’s near the bottom or spoons 50 to 90 feet down. Steelhead were hitting bright colored spoons. Walleye were caught straight out and north of the harbor on spoons, worm burners or Hot-n-Tot’s in 40 to 90 feet. Bass are hitting small spoons and body baits close to shore.

Michigan fishing photo
Photo by fish stray cat

Saginaw Bay: A decent number of yellow perch were caught in front of Eagle Bay Marina and south towards the Saganing and Pinconning Bars in 17 to 18 feet. Walleye fishing is slowing down, but a few fish were still being caught out near Buoys 1 & 2 in 25 to 30 feet with crawlers. Catch rates for yellow perch were starting to pick up a little near Buoys A, B and F as well as along the Pinconning Bar and the old shipping channel with worms and minnows. Along the east side, anglers had a hard time finding walleye, but a couple were caught between Quanicassee and Fish Point. Please note: the DNR boat launch at Quanicassee will be closed the week of August 26-29 so the large willow tree next to the boat ramp can be removed.From Sebewaing, Bay Port and Caseville, anglers had to work hard to find active walleye and most only caught one or two fish. From Caseville, anglers heading to the Charity Islands or fishing off Oak Point found a couple fish. Not much perch activity to report as more anglers were asking about them than fishing for them.

Saginaw River: Walleye were caught in the lower river when trolling crawlers. Shore anglers at Smith Park caught the usual channel cat or freshwater drum.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Weather once again hampered fishing for boat anglers, and few had been out. Perch fishing was slower as the fish were scattered. Try anywhere from 20 to 55 feet. Pier fishing for salmon and steelhead was slow. A couple freshwater drum along with a few perch were taken on live bait.

South Haven: Boat anglers are still catching lake trout in 90 feet or Chinook and steelhead in 100 feet or more. Spoons and meat rigs caught fish. Perch fishing slowed as the fish were scattered however 35 feet was still the best depth. Pier fishing was slow for all species except freshwater drum.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers caught a few trout and salmon 55 to 120 feet down in 75 to 275 feet however the fish were scattered. Try green spoons, meat rigs and glow plugs. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum on gizzard shad.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Those wading were using spawn or wax worms for steelhead. No word on salmon as it has been too warm. Those targeting catfish did well with chicken liver or cut bait.

Grand River at Lansing: Bass anglers fishing near the dams caught a few fish in the early morning or evening. Panfish were found in shaded areas.

Looking Glass River: Anglers have caught bowfin and the odd pike.

Muskegon: Salmon and trout action was slow as the fish were scattered. A few were found 50 to 100 feet down in 85 to 250 feet with spoons, glow plugs or green and red meat rigs. Pier anglers caught largemouth bass and channel cats on leeches.

Muskegon Lake: Had a couple salmon seen just inside the lake near the channel but no big numbers yet. Walleye were caught on the west/northwest side when trolling spinners with crawlers in 15 to 20 feet. Bass were caught along the rocks near shore.

Muskegon River: Continues to produce some good size smallmouth bass. Those fishing Croton and Hardy Ponds caught a few walleye, perch and other panfish.

Big Blue Lake: In Muskegon County was producing some bigger bluegill near the camp and the county park.

Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay: A couple limit catches of lake trout were taken by those trolling or jigging in the deeper waters of Huron Bay and the Keweenaw Bay. The launch in Traverse Bay is mostly cleared out from dredging that has been going on. Some coho are starting to be caught along with lake trout by those trolling.

Marquette: Fishing picked up. Many boats were catching lake trout, and some did very well especially when trolling spoons right on the bottom in 60 to 150 feet. Anglers were marking large numbers of fish up high, but they did not want to bite. Most were fishing the White Rocks area and near Granite Island. Salmon numbers were light however a fair number of steelhead were caught.

Little Bay De Noc photo
Photo by Dane Van

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair catches off Gladstone Beach when trolling or jigging crawlers in 14 to 25 feet or the Kipling reefs in 12 to 30 feet however most of those fish were undersize. Perch catches were fair between the First and Second Reef with crawlers or minnows in eight to 23 feet. Good northern pike action throughout the Bay. Some were undersize but several large fish were caught when trolling spoons, spinners or crank baits in eight to 15 feet. No smallmouth bass reports this week although anglers were doing best around Garth Point or between Hunters Point and Squaw Point when casting plastics with drop shots.

Manistique: Salmon have started entering the river and so have the anglers. Most boats were looking for staging fish near shore, but few were caught.

Manistique River: Anglers are fishing the “Bass Hole” and the rapids by the High Dam spill over. Most were casting J-plugs or spawn sacks. Very few catches were reported however it is still early. Good walleye action in the same area when drifting crawlers in the current. Good northern pike catches were reported along the breakwalls and into the river near the marina when trolling spinners, rapalas or sucker minnows.

Munising: Not many anglers were out and those trolling for lake trout had slow catch rates. Those targeting coho had no luck. Water temperatures were low to mid 60’s.

Grand Marais: Those targeting lake trout had good results with most taking limit catches out near Five Mile Reef and Au Sable Point. Those trying for coho had no luck.

Detour: Atlantic salmon and a few Chinook were caught at the green buoy northwest of the lighthouse in 80 feet. The thermocline was up high at 35 to 45 feet depending on wind direction and that is where the salmon were caught when trolling in 80 to 90 feet.

Drummond Island: Had good walleye fishing on the north side of Peck Island which is located at the north end of Scott Bay in 18 to 20 feet when trolling a purple crawler harness with blades and bottom bouncers. Good smallmouth fishing near Bruce Point when casting or jigging dark brown and orange tube jigs off the points. Also try the north side of Burnt Island with tube jigs along the rocky shelfs.

Cedarville and Hessel: Currently, the Cedarville launch on Meridian Road is open for all boats to launch. Good large and smallmouth bass action throughout Government Bay with artificial and live crawlers under the docks. Crank baits were also taking fish under docks throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. Yellow perch were caught near Connors Point with shiners or worms in 12 to 14 feet. For Hessel, some limit catches of perch were taken from the finger docks in the morning. The perch have attracted some schools of walleye. Pike were hitting early morning outside the pier. Try creek chubs or large minnows two cranks off the bottom in eight feet. Good pike fishing in Mismer Bay along the shallow weed beds or deeper. Good bass fishing in Mackinaw Bay or try around Echo and Lone Susan Island with spinners and crank baits. A couple walleye were found east of Mackinaw Bay in eight to 12 feet with shiners or worms early morning and after dark.

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