Weekly Fishing Report – August 22, 2019
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.
All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.
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.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Cheboygan: Those heading out to Bois Blanc Island caught Chinook salmon up to 15 pounds off Lafayette Point and on the south side of the island. J-plugs and flies were not working.
Cheboygan River: There was one chute open at the dam. Those drifting crawler harnesses or bottom bouncing with leeches for walleye had no luck. Pike 24-28 inches were caught. Rock bass, freshwater drum and a few perch were taken on worms and leeches.
Rogers City: The Chinook salmon are beginning to stage off Swan Bay and anglers are catching some nice ones however most were only getting 0-3 fish per boat. Very early or very late were best. Deploy lines throughout the water column in 20 to 90 feet with spoons, J-plugs or attractors with flies, squid and cut bait. Those using the cut bait did a little better. Lake trout along with the occasional Atlantic, coho, steelhead or walleye were also caught.
Presque Isle: Fishing pressure slowed here as many were heading to Rogers City for salmon. Those out trolling were getting a mixed bag of trout and salmon in 60 to 140 feet with spoons, J-plugs and attractors.
Alpena: Lake trout, walleye, steelhead and even some coho were taken by those trolling spoons, meat rigs and spin-glo’s in 80 to 150 feet off Thunder Bay Island and the Nordmeer Wreck. Lake trout and salmon were eating young smelt. Walleye were a little slower, but anglers managed to get a few on crawler harnesses or crank baits in 20 to 60 feet off the north shore, North Point and down near Sulphur Island. Smallmouth bass and the odd channel cat were caught by those trolling harnesses.
Thunder Bay River: Anglers caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum and the odd pike or channel cat when floating crawlers. Walleye fishing was slow.
Oscoda: Atlantic salmon, coho, steelhead and lake trout were caught by those trolling spoons, meat rigs and flies 85 to 120 feet down in 160 to 190 feet around the “Hump.” Pier anglers caught channel cats, smallmouth bass, rock bass and the occasional crappie when floating or drifting crawlers and minnows.
Au Sable River: Anglers caught a few channel cats, smallmouth bass, rock bass and freshwater drum on crawlers. Pike were caught by those casting spinners or crank baits. Those casting poppers and streamers caught the odd largemouth bass, smallmouth and rock bass.
Higgins Lake: Those using jigs caught a couple lake trout just off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet. Perch including some that were eater size on minnow in 35 to 40 feet near Treasure Island. Rock bass are everywhere and a good fishery for the young anglers.
Houghton Lake: Nothing has changed especially with the hot and humid weather. Try fishing very early morning or late evening. During the day, target deeper water and the weed beds for walleye, bass and panfish.
Tawas: Walleye were caught off Tawas Pt. in 80 to 90 feet when trolling spoons, body baits or crawlers. The fish are suspended at various depths. Rumors of Chinook salmon and steelhead being caught as well. Pier anglers caught small perch, rock bass and even a few walleye in the evening.
Tawas River: Fishing was slow with only a few small perch, some rock bass and the occasional catfish taken on crawlers.
Au Gres: Walleye fishing slowed here as well as the Pine River and Eagle Bay Marina area. A few along with the incidental perch were taken in 20 to 30 feet or more on crawlers or body baits. Largemouth bass were caught off the breakwall when casting various lures.
Au Gres River: A few small perch and some catfish were caught off the docks at the boat access site when using crawlers.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Harbor Springs: Most anglers were targeting salmon out front in Petoskey. Lake trout were caught north of Harbor Point near Five Mile and Seven Mile Point.
Petoskey: Most boats were fishing from just east of the marina to Bay Harbor and East Park. Some salmon were caught anywhere from 40 to 85 feet down along the drop-off with spoons, meat rigs and flies. Lake trout were caught near the bottom in 100 to 125 feet. Pier anglers were starting to target salmon early morning or late evening.
Bear River: Fishing was slow at the “Bobber Hole” and D Pier down near the mouth as the water was too warm.
Charlevoix: Fishing effort has increased with salmon in the area however most boats were not getting any. Most were fishing North Point to the cement plant however some were going as far as Nine Mile Point or south to Fisherman’s Island. The Chinook were about 30 feet down in 50 to 75 feet and hitting spoons, plugs, meat rigs and flies. Lake trout were caught up high in waters 300 feet plus or near the bottom in 120 to 130 feet. Smallmouth fishing in the channel was a bit slow. Try artificial worms and leeches on the bottom.
Traverse City: Anglers have started to catch a few salmon including one fish almost 31 pounds. In the East Bay, a few were caught by those trolling along the south bank and off the M-37 launch in the early morning or evening. Bass were caught near the M-37 launch. The Elk River was slow with only a couple smaller bass and panfish caught. Salmon were caught in the West Bay when trolling the hole at the south end, along the West Bank, north of Elmwood Marina and south of the M-22 launch. Catch rates for bass were hit-or-miss near Power Island, south of Bowers Harbor and in Sutton’s Bay. The Boardman River was slow. A few were looking for early salmon but had no luck.
Frankfort: Chinook, coho and steelhead were caught just out from the piers in the early morning and evening or out to 250 to 300 feet during the daylight hours. Those using spoons and meat rigs 30 to 100 feet down caught more fish.
Betsie River: Chinook salmon are just starting to move into the river. Anglers reported a few catches at the tubes and at the Homestead Dam. Anglers will need to use caution as water levels are higher and much faster than usual.
Onekama: Some very large Chinook salmon along with a few lake trout were caught from here to Arcadia Bluff when trolling spoons in the top 75 feet of waters 150 to 250 feet deep.
Portage Lake: The number of keeper size perch is starting to increase with the cooler temperatures. Most were caught on shrimp.
Manistee: Chinook, coho and steelhead were caught 40 to 70 feet down in 100 to 200 feet with spoons, J-plugs and meat rigs. A decent push of salmon moved into the harbor and were caught by those trolling in the channel and around the piers with spoons and J-plugs. Pier anglers casting spoons also caught a few fish early or late.
Manistee River: Is producing some bass and pike. Below Tippy Dam, a few small brown trout and Skamania were caught above and below the coffer dams and near Suicide Bend.
Ludington: Salmon fishing slowed though Chinook, coho and steelhead were found 40 to 70 feet down in 100 to 200 feet with spoons, J-plugs and meat rigs. Pier anglers also caught fish when casting spoons.
Pere Marquette Lake: Chinook salmon were still being caught in the channel and the lake when trolling spoons and J-plugs.