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HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: September 21, 2022

Weekly fishing report: September 21, 2022

fall salmon fishing
Photo credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Tawas: There were some walleye and steelhead caught out past buoy #2 while trolling body baits and spoons in 50 to 60 feet of water. A few walleye were caught inside the bay near buoys 4 & 6 while trolling crawlers and flicker shad in 15 to 20 feet. At Gateway Park on the Tawas River, there were some Chinook salmon caught while casting lures and drifting spawn.

Au Gres and Pine River: Some walleye were caught out past the mouth of the river and near Pt. Au Gres while trolling crawlers and flicker shad in 25 to 28 feet. There were some smaller sized bluegill and perch caught in the river while still fishing from the docks with worms. Some largemouth bass were caught near shore between Lookout Point and Au Gres Point while casting body baits, spinners and plastics. At the Pine River Access, there were some perch caught straight out from the river and south towards the Saganing and Pinconning bars in 10 to 15feet.

Rogers City: Chinook salmon were staging off Swan Bay. When the water was on the cooler side, fishing was better, and the fish were more aggressive and bit better. Lots of mature jacks were caught and lots of larger ones as well. The best fishing was on cloudy days, or very early in the day or late after sunset. Anglers were trolling anywhere from inside the bay out to 70 feet of water. Anglers were running lines throughout the water column for best results. Anglers were using spoons, J-Plugs, attractors with flies or squids and meat rigs. Greens, blues, silvers, black and white or glow were all good colors. Anglers not wanting to fish south were doing descent up the lake targeting younger Chinook, steelhead and lake trout along with an occasional coho, mature Chinook or walleye. Anglers were finding the bait and fishing that for best results. Anglers were fishing anywhere from 40 feet of water and out. The key was to fish the bait and to stick with it. Spoons were mostly being used and deployed throughout the water column. There seemed to be a good number of steelhead around as they were keyed in on the young of the year smelt. The younger Chinook, coho and lake trout were also feeding heavily on them to. 

Alpena: Lake trout were caught while fishing the humps or the Nordmeer Wreck.  Anglers fishing close to the bottom while adding additional lines throughout the water column encountered younger Chinook, steelhead, coho and maybe walleye. There were reports of a few Chinook caught at Michelys Hole. Once the bay cools down, a mix of steelhead, walleye and younger salmon along with staging coho should also be caught. 

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were trolling the river early and late for Chinook and coho.  A few fish were present, but fishing was slow. A few fish entered the river, but it was a very slow bite. Anglers were trolling flatfish spoons and body baits. Anglers were also fishing up towards the dam, but it was very slow. There was a small push of salmon in the river but with the current warm spell anglers were going to have to wait till fall weather sets in for better amounts of fish.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Ludington: Anglers reported warm water on Lake Michigan. A few salmon were found when fishing 90 to 120+ feet down. Pere Marquette Lake produced catches of Chinook for anglers trolling and jigging but it slowed down. Coho were observed at the state park, but the bite was slow.

Manistee: The north pier was slow for Chinook as water temperatures were warm. Windy and wavy conditions made it tough for anglers to make it out into Lake Michigan. Anglers reported catches very deep; 150+ feet down.

Portage Lake: Anglers reported catches of a few coho in Portage Lake at the mouth.

Frankfort: Jigging in the harbor was productive and anglers were running slip bobbers with skien, which landed good catches. Coho in Platte Bay were hit and miss as winds were persistent, but good sizes and moderate numbers were reported.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Anglers targeting walleye were focusing on areas close to the first reef, out in front of Kipling, near Gladstone, and between the Ford River and No See-um Creek. Perch anglers were fishing along weed edges out of Kipling and near the Days River.

Manistique: Anglers reported a fair amount of pink and Chinook salmon in the river. Typical float fishing methods and casting crankbaits both proved successful for anglers. Some walleye were also caught.

Marquette: Fishing activity was slightly up this past week in Marquette. There was not a major change in anglers reporting lake trout catches. Best locations for catching lake trout were near White Rocks (70+ feet of water), and near Granite Island (100+ feet of water). Some Chinook and coho salmon were reported near the Chocolay River. Anglers reported catching Chinook and coho salmon in 60 to 80 feet of water while trolling spoons near the mouth of the Chocolay River. A couple salmon were reported coming from in the river itself.

Munising Bay: A few more shore anglers were out with very few fish caught.  A few undersize splake and one coho were caught. Water temperatures were still in upper 60s, and water levels were low at the Anna River. Anglers were casting spoons, or fishing with spawn. A few boat anglers were out with no action. Anglers tried trolling within the bay all the way into Trout Bay with no action.

Grand Marais: A few pier anglers were fishing for whitefish with no success. The Sucker River water levels were low. 

Keweenaw Bay/ Huron Bay: Anglers were getting anxious with the anticipation of salmon moving into the bays with a few reports of coho and Chinook salmon found near river mouths. Most anglers out in the bays were having success. Lake trout were biting on spoons and flies in medium depth waters. Most successful anglers were trolling. The time of day varied greatly.

Big Traverse Bay/ South Portage Entry: Anglers found luck while trolling for lake trout in waters from 50 to 130 feet deep. Fish were caught in the water column in those depths. Most fish were caught while trolling with silver spoons. Anglers have yet to begin reporting salmon in their catch. Some anglers had luck with pike and bass in near shore waters and from docks.

Au Train: The best opportunities for catching lake trout were while trolling or jigging around Au Train Island in about 150+ feet of water.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers in Detour were catching a good amount of lake trout in the flats in 90 feet of water while trolling spoons near bottom. They were also picking up a few pink salmon and Chinook in the area as well. In the Hessel area, anglers were starting to pick up splake at the marina using spawn. There were a few perch caught around the Island 8 bridge.

Lake George: The fishing in Lake George was productive with catches of pike, smallmouth bass and perch. On occasion there were a few walleye caught as well, which was a distinct increase since earlier this month. Methods used were trolling and jigging, but it varied from day to day with what the fish were interested in.

Lake Nicolet: Fishing in Lake Nicolet improved as the month progressed. Mostly due to the fact of weather and temperatures. The methods remained consistent for the species in question (trolling for walleye, casting for pike and bass, jigging for perch, and casting, drifting, jigging, and trolling for the various salmon), and a few of the surveyed anglers were putting in the hours to track down fish. There were salmon caught, with a couple walleye, pike and perch caught on occasion through the lake as well. More types of salmon were in the river, but surveyed numbers were still on the lower side of things at the present time, but those numbers will start to increase as the season continues as they make a run for spawning habitat this fall. Numbers for pink salmon were on the lower side, but that is partly due to weather influencing the migration, as the run continues, it should increase in both success and numbers.

Upper St. Marys: Anglers had some success catching rainbow trout, yellow perch, pike, and some walleye near the Soo Locks. Water temperatures were cooling down and some weather in the area increased of fish activity. Anglers were primarily using live bait while sitting near the bottom of the river or trolling with crankbaits.

Whitefish Bay: There was low fishing pressure due to windy conditions. Some lucky anglers caught good sized coho trolling with spoons in 80 to 100 feet of water. Some lake trout were also reported throughout the week on the north side of Whitefish Point. Anglers fishing the Tahquamenon River had some success fishing for pike and smallmouth bass. Jigging with crawlers and casting with spinner baits was the primary mode of fishing.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Perch fishing remained slow with the windy and hot weather. Anglers were having luck however going to the mouth of the Detroit River and Turtle Island south on the Michigan-Ohio line, using perch rigs with minnows. Walleye have disappeared with only very small fish caught and thrown back. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing was good right out of Sterling State Park while using artificial lures. Anglers targeting catfish did well out of the hot ponds.

Detroit River: Anglers caught a few walleye trolling and drifting between Ballenger Park and Ecorse in approximately 35 feet of water. Most of the action was near the mouth of Lake Erie. Anglers were catching perch near Sugar Island in 5 to 10 feet of water using minnows. Walleye fishing was slow.

Saginaw Bay: Yellow perch were caught at Gambills in 14 feet of water, at Pinconning Bar in 12 feet of water, at Linwood in 20 feet of water and northeast of Spoils Island in 16 feet of water. On the east side of the Bay, fishing was slow to fair this past week. Those fishing around Callahan Reef caught walleye in 14 to 16 feet of water while trolling crankbaits. Some anglers who were putting in a full day of fishing were doing better. Anglers targeting yellow perch reported slow fishing. Fishing activity from Sebwaing to Caseville was low with only a few anglers catching and releasing largemouth bass.

Harbor Beach: A couple walleye and coho salmon were caught from the breakwall while casting body baits in the evening.

Port Sanilac: A few coho salmon were caught from the breakwall while casting Cleos in the early morning and evening.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Muskegon: Boat anglers were finding immature Chinook salmon along with a few lake trout 85 to 130 feet down in 130 to 210 feet of water. Rotators with white or green fly combinations worked well. Anglers trolling near the breakwalls found the salmon action to be very slow. No salmon were reported from pier anglers casting spoons.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were finding good numbers of immature salmon 85 to 140 feet down in 100 to 200 feet of water. White paddles with green or white flies worked very well along with green spoons. Pier anglers found the salmon action to be slow. A few were caught on glow spoons.

St. Joseph: Salmon anglers had fair fishing. The most productive water was around 120 feet. Perch fishing was inconsistent. Anglers were catching fish from 35 to 90 feet of water. The fish were moving in and out of different depths. Anglers were also fishing both north and south of the piers. Pier fishing was slow for all species. 

South Haven: Salmon anglers reported that the best water was beyond 120 feet. There were some decent numbers of fish caught in 80 to 100 feet of water also. Most of these fish were caught on spoons. Pier fishing was very slow for all species. Perch fishing was on the slow side. The fish seemed to be very deep. Anglers were fishing in 60 feet of water out to 100 feet of water. 

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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