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HomeOutdoorsWeekly Fishing Report - July 22, 2020

Weekly Fishing Report – July 22, 2020

Northeast Lower Peninsula
Cheboygan River
Two chutes were open at the dam. Anglers have caught smallmouth bass, rock bass and walleye when bottom bouncing or drifting worms. The walleye were 15 to 17 inches.

Rogers City
Anglers are catching lake trout, steelhead, Chinook and pink salmon, walleye and the occasional Atlantic or coho when fishing throughout the water column in 70 to 120 feet using downriggers, lead core, copper and dipsey divers with spoons. Hot colors were green, blue, black and white, orange, purple and glow early or late. A few more Chinook were coming in very early or very late. Baitfish are being marked both shallow and out deep.

Presque Isle
It continues to produce the same species in 50 to 130 feet with the same colored spoons. A lot of baitfish were marked in 30 to 70 feet and most appear to be smelt about 3-inches long, so match your baits to them.

Those targeting salmon and trout caught a mixed bag of lake trout, steelhead, pink salmon, walleye and the occasional coho when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 80 to 160 feet off Thunder Bay Island and the Nordmeer Wreck. Anglers found walleye, channel cats and freshwater drum when trolling or casting spoons, crankbaits and a crawler harness. Evenings were best. Walleye were also found suspended in deeper water outside the bay.

Thunder Bay River
Anglers caught smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, rock bass and the occasional channel cat when drifting or floating crawlers.

Anglers caught lake trout, steelhead, pink salmon, walleye, coho and the occasional Atlantic or whitefish. Most were trolling spoons and spin-glo’s with or without attractors in 80 to 180 feet between Three Mile Park and Au Sable Point. Spoons were most effective. Lake trout were scattered throughout the water column and most of the silver fish were 20 to 70 feet down.

Walleye were slow; however, some were found shallower and others were taken by those trolling crankbaits or harnesses. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum, rock bass and smallmouth bass when still fishing, floating or drifting crawlers. The odd walleye was caught on crankbaits in the evening.

Au Sable River
Anglers caught freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, rock bass and a couple small perch with crawlers in the lower stretch of the river. A few northern pike and smallmouth bass were caught by those casting spinners and crankbaits in the deeper holes and near cover. Water temperatures below Mio were above 70 degrees and approaching 80 degrees below Foote Dam.

Houghton Lake
Walleye were caught in the East Bay when trolling a purple harness with a crawler or leeches. A couple crappie were caught near the south DNR Launch but not in big numbers. Bluegills were hitting red worms and wax worms along the weed beds. Those fishing near the Reedsburg Dam caught a few bluegill, smallmouth bass, perch, crappie and pike.

There was good walleye action off Tawas Point and south towards Alabaster with crawlers, crankbaits and spoons in 50 to 70 feet plus.

Tawas River
Fishing was slow at Gateway Park, with only a couple catfish and freshwater drum caught on crawlers.

Au Gres
Walleye fishing was fair as anglers were spending a lot of time locating active fish. Boat anglers were heading north toward the Charity Islands and south to Eagle Bay with crawlers, crankbaits and spoons in 35 to 45 feet. Fish were also found straight out from the river mouth and north towards the bell buoy. A few incidental perch were also caught.

Northwest Lower Peninsula
Harbor Spring
A couple boats going out for smallmouth bass had some luck. Those targeting trout and salmon were heading north of Harbor Point. A couple lake trout were caught in 180 feet or so.

Lake trout were caught out of Little Traverse Bay with spoons and meat rigs 80 to 85 feet down in 90 to 110 feet. A few salmon were found in the top 50 to 60 feet. Smallmouth bass were caught off the breakwall. The Bear River was high and muddy after the heavy rains. A few were fishing at the dam but caught nothing. The Bobber Hole at the mouth of the river was slow except for a couple rock bass, bullhead, bluegills and chubs.

Boat were getting mainly lake trout though a couple did come in with small Chinook. Boats were spread out from 9 Mile Point all the way to Fisherman’s Island. Fish were caught in 100 to 120 feet; however, a few salmon were found as deep as 200 feet.

Spoons and meat rigs were the ticket. Those fishing the channel were targeting smallmouth bass, but most were sublegal. A few pike were caught in the channel. Anglers were using live or artificial crawlers and leeches.

Traverse City
Bass fishing slowed in the East Bay with only a few caught in 10 to 20 feet. Lake trout were caught when trolling or jigging. The odd salmon was caught but no numbers yet. In the West Bay, lake trout were found along the bottom in 80 to 100 feet. Bass fishing slowed. A few anglers tried for perch but had no luck.

Recent storms had fish on the move. A temperature break was noted at 50 to 60 feet down. Chinook salmon were found 45 to 80 feet down in 150 to 210 feet and were hitting on meat rigs. Lake trout were in the same area and hitting on spoons.

Portage Lake
There was another mayfly hatch centered on the east end of the lake. Water temperatures were in the mid-70s so anglers were fishing 15 to 22 feet down. Bass, perch and bluegills were reported in low numbers.

Salmon fishing was hit-or-miss. Some fish are there but anglers are catching mostly lake trout. That should change in the next week or two. When anglers can get out, lake trout were found at various depths in 90 to 150 feet. A couple Chinook salmon were caught 40 to 70 feet down in 100 to 150 feet when trolling spoons and meat rigs straight out and to the south.

Manistee Lake
Anglers were getting bass and bluegill on crawlers and leeches.

Manistee River
Stream trout fishing has been tough with the hot weather. Most trout anglers do not fish when water temperatures are over 70 degrees.

A few Chinook salmon were caught straight out and slightly north off Big Sable Point and south towards Little Sable Point when trolling spoons, meat rigs and some flasher/fly combos. Lake trout were straight out and south in 70 to 120 feet. Steelhead were found in deeper water straight out and off Big Sable Point. Pier anglers caught rock bass and the occasional sucker.

Upper Peninsula
Keweenaw Bay
Anglers fishing Huron, Traverse and Keweenaw bay had similar success. Jigging for lake trout remained somewhat productive, while those trolling picked up a few lake trout and the occasional Chinook salmon.

Surface water temperatures are very warm for Lake Superior with the mid-to-upper 60s offshore and above 70 degrees near shore. A few anglers out trying for lake trout did poorly, with only one or two fish taken. Water levels were high at the mouth of the Dead River.

Little Bay De Noc
Walleye catches were best along the “Black Bottom” when trolling crawlers or stick baits along the east bank in 20 to 30 feet; near Breezy Point right along the break; and a little further south near Round Island in 16 to 24 feet. Perch fishing was spotty with only a few caught near the green buoy by the Day’s River and along the First or Second Reefs with crawlers or minnows in 14 to 35 feet. There was good bass action near the mouth of the Whitefish River when casting plastics.

Weather conditions have limited anglers. Most salmon anglers are still fishing the buoy area and towards Barques Point at 60 to 90 feet down in 100 to 120 feet. Most boated two to three fish.

Manistique River
There was still some walleye being caught up near the High Dam spill-over when using stick baits, jigs, and crawlers. The breakwall was good for walleye, but many were undersize.

There were very few anglers. Fishing was slower with only a couple lake trout taken. Fishing off the Anna River dock has been poor this summer with very few fish being caught.

Anglers had good catches of northern pike along the north shore of Raber Bay when trolling and casting crankbaits or a chrome spoon with a red eye just off the weed beds in the early morning. For perch, anglers were fishing between Big Lime and Little Lime Island in 6 to 8 feet with worms and shiner minnows. Also try a small white rubber body spinner bait near the weeds. There were no reports of lake herring at Lime Island.

Effort for trout and salmon slowed at the Detour Reef, since most are targeting lake herring. A few caught Atlantic salmon, pink salmon and lake trout two miles south of the Detour Lighthouse. Lake trout are staging in either direction once you hit the 90-foot flat. East of the lighthouse, head to the first red buoy, which has structure and baitfish for salmon. Stagger your lines from 25 to 40 feet for Atlantics or 52 go 60 feet for Chinook. Fair walleye catches were reported off Sweets Point for those trolling bottom bouncers with shad colored crankbaits in 8 to 12 feet off the points and rocky shelves. Those anchoring and still fishing with a slip bobber and shiners in 8 to 10 feet also caught walleye.

Drummond Island
There were good catches of lake herring on the north side of the island. Try red or brown teardrop jigs tipped with a wax worm in 25 feet near Burnt Island, Pigeon Cove, Fair Banks Point and Butterfield Island.

Cedarville and Hessel
There were no reports of herring at Prentiss Bay or McKay Bay near Cedarville. For smallmouth bass, try the Middle Entrance of the Les Cheneaux Islands or the mouth of Duck Bay when casting spinners or jigging with an orange tube jig in 4 to 6 feet. There were no reports of yellow perch caught throughout Cedarville Bay or the channel that runs parallel to Islington Road. For Hessel, yellow perch could still be found near the finger docks at the marina.

Many are small but anglers have caught bigger fish on worms and small white or chartreuse spinners with a rubber body. Early morning was best. Some nice pike were caught off the Hessel fishing pier when using large minnows or creek chubs 2 cranks off the bottom in 8 feet.

St. Ignace
Those fishing the Pine River caught walleye when trolling and drifting worms or leeches. Many were small. On the Carp River, anglers caught walleye and perch when drifting worms and leeches off the sea wall. A few limit catches of walleye were taken in the early morning.

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