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HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: July 28, 2021

Weekly fishing report: July 28, 2021

Michigan DNR

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Boat anglers targeting walleye were productive near the dumping grounds. Anglers were also finding largemouth bass in Brest Bay. Yellow perch anglers were having productive catches off C buoy and at the dumping grounds. For walleye, use hot ‘n tots and wiggle warts to avoid bycatch. The recommended colors are blue, chrome and purple. Crawler harnesses were still productive on yellow, green and chrome.

Lake St. Clair: Perch were caught at the Nine Mile launch and at the Canadian border in about 16 to 18 feet of water. Perch were also coming in from the mouth of the south channel and in Anchor Bay. Walleye were coming in from the Dumping Grounds and the water surrounding it in 18 feet of water. Smaller catches of walleye were taking place in the northeast portions of Anchor Bay and the channel mouths. Smallmouth bass action was good near the Dumping Grounds in 17 to 19 feet of water and near Grosse Pointe. Anglers caught smallmouth bass in the northeast portion of Anchor Bay, near Goose Bay and at Strawberry Island in 17+ feet of water. Musky anglers were successful trolling and casting in the eastern part of the lake in 15 to 18 feet of water. Musky were caught this week from the mouth of the south channel, in Goose Bay, and near Strawberry and Grassy Islands in 10 to 18 feet of water. Anglers were catching perch with minnows and crawlers. Most walleye were taken trolling with crawler harnesses, but some were taken on artificial lures.

Harbor Beach: Some lake trout were caught in 150 to 170 feet of water on dodgers with spin and glows. A few salmon and steelhead were caught on spoons in the same area. Try some 5, 7 and 10 color lead lines. For walleye, try fishing in 40 to 70 feet of water north of the harbor with small spoons, crawler harnesses and body baits. Bass were caught closer to shore while casting small body baits.

Saginaw BaySome walleye were caught off Quanicassee in 8 to 12 feet of water and up in the slot from Sunset to Sebewaing in 16 to 18 feet of water. Some walleye were found in Wildfowl Bay around weed beds. Crawler harnesses and flicker shads were catching walleye.

In lower Saginaw Bay, walleye were caught in 12 to 14 feet of water near Pinconning. Walleye were also caught at Finn Road in 8 to 10 feet of water and near the Sparkplug in 20 to 24 feet of water while using crawlers. Anglers were casting tub jibs at the mouth of the Saginaw River for smallmouth bass.

Grindstone: Lake trout were found in 130 to 150 feet of water while trolling with downriggers, leadcore and spoons with an occasional steelhead being caught. A few walleye were caught in 20 feet of water using both artificial lures and crawler harnesses.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Pier anglers were catching freshwater drum and an occasional catfish by mostly using nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Perch and salmon anglers had very slow fishing. There were a couple decent catches south of the piers and a few lake trout and steelhead caught in 125 feet of water.  

South Haven: Pier fishing was slow for all species. The perch are very scattered. Most fishing pressure was to the south of the piers. Most boats were fishing around 40 feet of water.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were finding a mix of salmon and trout in 60 to 140 feet down in 120 to 220 feet of water. Salmon were caught on green and white flies along with glow spoons. Some lake trout were caught near the bottom on blue and yellow spin n glows. Pier anglers were catching a few freshwater drum while casting spoons. Anglers were reporting that the best action was either early in the morning or late in the evenings.

Muskegon: Salmon were caught 60 to 130 feet down in 120 to 200 feet of water. Green flies and meat rigs were working well along with glow spoons. A fair number of bluegills were caught in the channel, but you will have to sort. Leaf worms under bobbers were working best.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Rogers City: Anglers caught a mixed bag of lake trout, steelhead, walleye, pink salmon, coho salmon, Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon and walleye. The best depths were between 60 to 130 feet of water. Lake trout were caught near the bottom with flashers and spin and glows. Run a line or two near the bottom for lake trout then spread the remaining lines throughout the water column focusing on fishing near the thermocline. Anglers were using an assortment to deploy lures, leadcores, downriggers and dipseys. Anglers were using spoons, attractors with flies, squids and/or cut bait.  Good colors to use were greens, blues, orange and black, orange and silver, black and white and glow stuff early and late. 

Rockport: Anglers came in with a mixed bag of lake trout, steelhead, pink salmon, walleye, Atlantic salmon, and coho with a Chinook salmon mixed in. The best depths were between 70 to 130 feet of water. Lake trout were caught mostly near the bottom, but they were suspended as well. Best option was to fish a line or two near the bottom then spread the remaining lines throughout the water column for best results. Nordemeer wreck continued to be a good spot for the mixed bag. Focus on fishing near the thermocline. Anglers were using an assortment to deploy lures, leadcores, downriggers and dipseys. Anglers were using spoons, attractors with flies, squids and/or cut bait. Good colors were greens, blues, orange and black, orange and silver, black and white, and glow stuff early and late. Anglers targeting walleye were having best results in 20 to 50 feet of water. Anglers were targeting the top 30 feet of water using body baits or crawler harnesses. The best time to fish was first light or dark.

Alpena: Anglers were having success with mixed bag limits mostly consisting of lake trout and a few steelhead and various species of salmon. Walleye harvest was slightly lower compared to previous weeks, but anglers were able to harvest limits. Trolling spoons with metallic colors like orange/gold and silver/blue with the use of dipsy divers and downriggers in the deeper water around 150 to 200 feet has been the popular method when targeting salmon and trout.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were catching bass, pike, catfish and the occasional walleye. Common methods used by anglers include casting stick baits, body baits, and spinners or drifting leeches and night crawlers.

Oscoda: Anglers were catching mixed bag limits of lake trout, rainbow trout, and a few coho and pink salmon. Pier anglers were catching mostly bass, freshwater drum, and catfish with the occasional walleye. Trolling spoons with metallic colors like orange/gold and silver/blue with the use of dipsy divers and downriggers in the deeper water around 200 feet of water has been the popular method when targeting salmon and trout. Off the pier, common methods for targeting bass, walleye and catfish have been floating leeches and nightcrawlers and use of drop shot rigs for catfish.

Au Sable River: Anglers were seeing success with bass, pike, catfish and the occasional walleye. Various methods were seeing success. Most commonly was the use of casting or trolling body baits. Catfish were caught with the use of drop-shot rigs with either night crawlers or cut bait around dusk.

Tawas: Boat anglers were catching good numbers of walleye, steelhead and lake trout out beyond buoy #2 in 60 to 90 feet of water off crawlers, crank baits and spoons. Some walleye were also caught south towards the Charity Islands in 20 to 40 feet of water. Pier anglers were catching some smallmouth bass, rock bass and small perch off crawlers, minnows and casting body baits and spinners. There were some small perch and a few large and smallmouth bass caught at Gateway park on the Tawas River off crawlers, body baits and spinners.

Au Gres: Boat anglers were catching walleye with some limits in 20 to 35 feet of water off crawlers and crank baits. The fish were caught from the Charity Island to south of the catfish hole and the Saganing bar and everywhere in between. A few small perch and bluegill were caught off the dock at the Pine River access site off minnows and crawlers.

Cheboygan River: Freshwater drum had slowed down a bit, but smallmouth bass and bullheads picked up along the river. Walleye were caught along the river, but some anglers had to put in several hours to be successful. Natural bait continues to be the dominant choice when fishing along the river.

Hammond Bay: Boat anglers were catching a few lake trout around 9 Mile Point at depths of around 60 to 100 feet. Shore anglers at the Ocqueoc River mouth were catching smallmouth bass in the early morning. Trolling in depths between 60 to 100 feet was providing the best success for boat anglers.

Port Sanilac: Anglers were catching some perch while fishing weed beds south of the harbor, off shore, in 16 to 18 feet of water. Catch rates for perch were low with anglers fishing half a day to keep 15 to 18 fish. Anglers were catching a mixed bag of walleye, steelhead, coho and lake trout while trolling northeast of Port Sanilac in 140 to 160 feet of water running baits 15-60 down.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: Salmon were caught north of Harbor Point and lake trout were located in 120 feet of water. The best lake trout fishing was at 5 mile and north. A couple boats were still targeting smallmouth bass and some success was had near Harbor Point in 15 to 20 feet of water. Flasher fly combos and spoons were popular for both salmon and lake trout in the area. Spin and glows did well for lake trout.

Frankfort: Nice catches of Chinook salmon were caught with several master anglers recorded. The Chinook were mostly hitting out front and jigs were also landing them in the bay. Lake trout numbers were holding steady in the high water and off the bottom in Platte Bay. Fish were also being reported in Platte Bay in the early morning. Flashers, flies and meat rigs are working best for the big Chinook with whites and blue colors.

Charlevoix: Smallmouth fishing in the Charlevoix channel was up and down. Some caught one or two keeper size bass, but most anglers only caught smaller smallmouth.  A couple of nice size freshwater drum were also caught using the same techniques used for smallmouth fishing. Most anglers were fishing bottom with real or artificial worms or leeches.

Petoskey: A couple small Chinook were caught near Bay Harbor about mid column over 100 feet of water. There were also some caught near the breakwall. Lake trout were caught from 110 to 120 feet down over 120 to 150 feet of water. The Bear River was flowing at a high level and a couple anglers were at the dam and they caught a couple rock bass. Anglers fishing the Bobberhole (mouth of the Bear R.) caught some small smallmouth bass, rock bass, bullhead and small panfish.

Manistee: Some Chinook were caught along the shelf in 100 to 200 feet of water both north and south of the harbor. Depths ranged from 60 to 90 feet down or more. Spoons, JPlugs, and meat rigs worked well. Lake trout were caught in 100 feet of water while fishing near bottom and in the mix when fishing for salmon. A few steelhead were caught as well. The piers were slow. Early morning and late-night bites have seemed to be the best.

Ludington: Some Chinook and coho were caught straight out from the harbor, south toward the projects, and north to Big Sable Point. Spoons, JPlugs, flies and meat rigs worked well. The salmon were anywhere from 50 to 100 feet of water straight out, around 60 to 120 south and at 100 to 170 off the point. Depths ranged from 70 to 75+. A couple lake trout and steelhead were also in the mix.

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon: Anglers trolling spoons were getting mixed bags of lake trout, coho, Chinook, brown trout and steelhead, but catch rates were low for the effort being put in. Lake trout were in the two-to-four-pound range which made them the perfect eating size. The Ontonagon River continued to show decent numbers of small walleye with a few legal fish mixed in. Trolling and jigging were productive but make sure to bring extra bait as rock bass were very happy to steal a juicy crawler when given the chance.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers were having the most luck fishing for coho and lake trout. Most fishing was done around structure and depths have been variable. Anglers found the most luck when fishing early morning or later in the evenings.

Marquette: The lake trout bite picked up the past week. A couple of coho were caught.

Au Train: Boats were coming in with one or two lake trout or none at all.

Munising: Most anglers were targeting Chinook. A few boat anglers were fishing for lake trout and were doing fair with some groups reporting 6 or 7 fish per party of two. Most were averaging around the 3-to-4-pound class. A few anglers were out by Big Reef and did well, however winds this past week were not as favorable.

Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers were reporting limits with several different size classes observed. A number of smaller fish were brought in around 17 to 18 inch range with other fish averaging around 5 pounds. The best areas anglers have been targeting were Five Mile Reef, near AuSable, and Big Reef when winds are favorable.  A few coho were also reported.

Little Bay de Noc: Anglers targeting walleye caught a few when trolling. Best success was had by those launching out of the north shore ramp, although there were many reports of undersized fish. Perch anglers had fair to good results. Most were fishing depths of around 10 feet, working in and around weed beds. Try trolling crankbaits for walleye and use crawlers for perch.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass fishing was good throughout the bay, most notably around Nahma. Anglers in Fairport were catching salmon as well as having numerous encounters with steelhead. Most were fishing depths of 110 to 180 feet of water. Try fishing around rock structure for smallmouth bass.

South Portage Entry/ Big Traverse Bay: During days when wind was favorable and there was no rain, anglers found mostly lake trout. Fishing took place mostly in waters below 80 feet of water. From shore, anglers were catching a host of yellow perch and northern pike using mostly live bait.

St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: Only a few walleye were caught at the mouth of the Pine River. Anglers were catching a few perch in that area as well. Anglers from the Carp were reporting few small walleye. Lake trout and salmon anglers were having a hard time finding fish and were coming in empty, reporting few fish sightings and no hits. In the Les Cheneaux area, anglers were catching perch ranging from 8 to 10 inches along the docks and at the marina. Walleye were caught throughout Snows Channel while using crawler harnesses. Smallmouth bass were targeted and caught within Musky and Urie Bay. Try using leaf worms and a drop shot while fishing for perch.

This report is intended to give you an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from Fisheries staff and conservation officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species.

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