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HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: July 26

Weekly fishing report: July 26

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All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Presque Isle: Good numbers of salmon were reported from the new lighthouse to Black Point. Meat rigs and flies were working well as were spoons fished 40 to 60 feet down in depths of 80 to 120 feet of water. Greens, black/white, chartreuse and watermelon colors had the best results in low light conditions. Lake trout were found low in the water column from 90 to 160 feet of water. Anglers targeting trout trolled Spin-N-Glos and spoons in white and chartreuse for the best results. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon were more spread out but still caught on 3-7 color lead cores. Orange, orange/gold, pink, and UV watermelon spoons were catching good numbers of fish.

Cheboygan River/Lake Huron: Within the Cheboygan River, smallmouth fishing was very good with large smallmouth bass biting lures throughout the river. At the river mouth and pier, some anglers were successfully targeting bowfin. Duncan Bay was holding large smallmouth bass along with pike of all sizes. Salmon and trout fishing was going very well for anglers in Cheboygan. Chinook salmon and lake trout were the most common catches, but some anglers brought back an Atlantic, steelhead or walleye.

Rockport: Anglers reported fair catches of salmon and trout in depths of 70 to 120 feet of water. Flasher/fly combos as well as spoons were catching Chinook salmon and coho 50 to 70 feet down while trout were coming in on dodger/Spin-N-Glo and cowbell fished closer to bottom. Chartreuse, greens, golds, and watermelon baits were the most productive. A few walleye were taken while trolling crankbaits from 20 to 40 feet. Walleye fishing was slow as the fish were scattered and hard to locate.

Alpena: Anglers targeting salmon and trout caught good numbers of Chinook salmon, coho, steelhead, pink salmon, Atlantic salmon and lake trout. The waters near the humps and the Nordmeer wreck gave up good numbers. The 2-5 color lead cores worked well for steelhead and Atlantic salmon while riggers and dipsy sets caught Chinook salmon, pink salmon, and trout from 50 to 100 feet down. Spoons were working the best in a wide variety of colors. Walleye anglers reported fish were scattered and at times hard to find. Crankbaits in natural colors were productive in the early morning, late evenings and after dark. Catches occurring in the daylight hours were caught on crawler harnesses in 24 to 30 feet of water with gold, green, and orange working best. Best results for walleye were coming from the waters near Thunder Bay and Scarecrow islands.

Thunder Bay River: A few walleye were caught from shore anglers but they reported the fishing to be slow. A few smallmouth bass and an occasional pike were caught from the river mouth to the 9th Street Dam.

Tawas: Walleye were caught almost any time of the day in about 50 feet of water. Anglers were fishing all over from right off Tawas Point to over by Charity Island. Smallmouth bass were caught in great numbers by anglers who were out targeting them. Crawler harnesses were the preferred method, but there were some limits reported with stick baits and spoons.

Oscoda/Au Sable: Majority of catches were smallmouth bass. There was an occasional walleye here and there and a couple steelhead and Atlantic salmon caught.

Hammond Bay: Anglers were fishing both 9 Mile Point and 40 Mile Point. The best depths were 65 to 120 feet of water. Anglers were running lines all over the water column. Spoons were working best. A couple of lake trout and salmon were caught. 

Rogers City: Lake conditions were changing some as wind directions changed the location of the thermocline often. Anglers were fishing straight out of the harbor and up the lake towards 40 Mile Point and south towards Adams Point. Fishing was good with reports of mixed bags. Anglers were catching lake trout, Atlantic salmon, steelhead, Chinook salmon, coho, pink salmon and walleye. The area was in the middle of a mayfly hatch along with other bugs too. The steelhead, Atlantic salmon and coho were caught fairly high in the water column with regular to smaller sized spoons. Good colors were silvers, orange and silver, orange, green and silver or bright colors. Anglers were deploying planer boards with 2, 3, 5, 7 segments of lead core for best results. Anglers were also using sliders off downriggers too. Chinook salmon were caught on a regular basis as well. Spoons as well as flasher fly combos and some meat rigs were working.  Good colors were greens, blues, white, black and white. The Chinook salmon fishing was best very early before sunrise or after sunset. Some anglers staying out late did descent. The best water depths were from 70 to 120 feet of water. Anglers should run lines all through the water column. The fish seemed to be everywhere right now.  Sometimes they were above the thermocline and sometimes they were in the cold water below the thermocline. A lot of the Chinook salmon were feeding heavily on smelt so blue and silver might be a great color.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Manistee: Anglers found Chinook salmon straight out and south along the shelf in 100 to 120 feet of water when fishing 35 to 70 feet down. Spoons that glow and meat rigs did best, but flasher fly combos also caught fish. In the mix came a few coho, steelhead, and a couple lake trout. Pier anglers reported smallmouth and largemouth in the harbor while fishing with night crawlers. Early morning bites were the best with most hits before 7am.

Ludington: Salmon fishing picked up over the weekend. Anglers who found Chinook salmon fished straight out and southwest of the port, out from the projects in 100 to 140 feet of water while fishing 60 to 80 feet down. A few were also caught at Big Sable Point in 100 to 120 feet of water, 60 to 70 feet down but it was slower in general. Some steelhead and coho came in the mix as well. Glow spoons and meat rigs worked along with flasher fly combos. Pier anglers reported slow perch fishing.

West Grand Traverse Bay: Lake trout fishing was good in 70 to 120 feet of water throughout the bay with trolling working best. A few salmon were caught around the white walls and at the south end of the bay in 70-120 feet of water. Thermocline was anywhere from 50 to 80 feet down and surface temperatures were 68-72 degrees. Bass fishing was slow.

East Grand Traverse Bay: Bass fishing was mediocre in 15 to 30 feet of water; most boats only getting 10 bass or less. Lake trout fishing was good in 70 to 100 feet of water and trolling produced the best results, but some did well while jigging. A few salmon were caught in 80 to 100 feet of water. Just like West Grand Traverse Bay, the thermocline on East Bay was anywhere from 50 to 80 feet down and surface temperatures were 68 to 72 degrees.

Leland: Anglers had great luck while trolling for lake trout in 60 to 90 feet of water. Some anglers tried jigging for lake trout and didn’t have much luck. Silvers and greens seemed to be hot colors for the area. Anglers that went out into deeper waters were rewarded with very fresh Chinook salmon. Typically, 15+ miles out of port was where anglers were finding them.

Charlevoix: Anglers targeting salmon near Charlevoix had limited catch success fishing to the south. While trolling in 75 to 150 feet of water, anglers reported good schools of bait fish and some numbers of suspended fish. Anglers fishing the piers had growing success fishing for smallmouth bass. Fishing crawlers or leeches off the bottom produced the best results.

Petoskey/Harbor Springs: Salmon anglers reported increased numbers of salmon on both the north and south side of Little Traverse Bay. Several 8 to 12 pound+ Chinook salmon were caught, while anglers also reported some steelhead on high lines. Lake trout fishing northwest of Harbor Springs continued to produce very good results.

Frankfort: The Chinook salmon were moving, one day they were in close and the next they were out deep. With the changing weather patterns, anglers were having a difficult time finding and staying on the bait fish but when they did the Chinook salmon were biting. Depths of 160 to 220 feet of water and working the top 100 feet was getting the most action on spoons as anglers were working different colors. Steelhead and coho were reported up a little more towards the top on 3 to 5 color.

Onekama: Anglers trolling in 140 to 160 feet of water were reporting good numbers of bait and a few good hits as the rain moved in this week. Bouncing Spin-N-Glos through the barrel landed some good numbers of lake trout.

Portage Lake: Over the weekend, bass anglers had to deal with rain, but the bass did not seem to mind as some very nice largemouth and smallmouth bass were caught throughout the lake. The lake temperatures were on the rise so working the drops worked best.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair to good fishing at black bottom, as well as the Escanaba River. Trolling crawler harnesses along the bottom produced good eater-sized walleye. A few perch were harvested.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass fishing improved. Drop shot rigs and tube jigs were all producing fish.

Fairport: Salmon and steelhead were caught, with some large fish in the area. Divers and down rigger rods with flashers and flies, and long lines with spoons were reported to have bites. Anglers with an understanding of how the currents affect their lures action had more bites.

Marquette: Over the past week there was a wide range of weather from fair to bad. The weather in Marquette that gave way to the most fish was fair to moderate the day before thunderstorms. The best places for anglers to catch fish was by Granite Rock and between Presque Isle Pier and the White Islands. Anglers trolling around 45 to 60 feet of water were harvesting the most lake trout, Chinook salmon, and coho salmon near the White Islands. While anglers trolling around Granite Rock were having the most luck for lake trout were trolling at around 120 to 150 feet of water. Gold colored spoons and silver crankbaits with raspberry accents were good colors out by Granite Rock while either bright green or reddish flasher flies were popular for lake trout near the White Rocks.

Au Train: The weather in Au Train was similar to Marquette and the days before thunderstorms yielded the most fish for anglers. The best places for anglers to catch fish was by the east side of Grand Island and the northeastern part of the Big Reef. Anglers trolling or jigging around 60 to 80 feet of water near Grand Island were harvesting the most lake trout. Anglers trolling around the Big Reef were having the most luck for lake trout when trolling at around 60 to 120 feet of water. Live bait with bright green colored cow bells where popular out by the Big Reef while jigging with live bait was popular by Grand Island along with trolling bright green and orange crankbaits.

Munising Bay: Fishing pressure was low for boat anglers. Most fishing activity occurred in the early morning when anglers were mainly targeting coho, Chinook salmon and secondary lake trout. Coho and Chinook salmon fishing continued to be good with nice quality coho averaging around 4 pounds or better with Chinook running from 8 to 12 pounds. Depths varied while some suspended 70 to 100 feet or more. Large amounts of baitfish were still present in bay. Spoons appeared to work the best. Lake trout anglers reported good catches fishing from White Rocks/Grand Portal/Grumps Hump/Wood Island Reef and Big Reef. Anglers were fishing the edges around 150 to 200 feet.

Grand Marais: Fishing pressure was low. Most boat anglers were targeting lake trout with best areas being near Five Mile Reef and AuSable Point. 

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Some anglers continued to have good catches of lake trout while other anglers reported that salmon may have started moving out of the bays and heading north. Anglers who were able to land salmon and lake trout in the bays were successful while trolling with artificial lures such as spoons, body baits and flies. Fish were reported to have been caught mostly in waters deeper than 60 feet and suspended in the water column.

Big Traverse Bay/South Portage Canal: Over the last week, a lot of salmon, specifically coho, were seen and caught while trolling. Lake trout catches stayed steady as the main catch being found in waters from 30 feet down to the bottom of the water column in a range of depths. Anglers were using large spoons and flasher flies on successful trolling trips. Trips where anglers were catching fish took place during at all times of the day. Catches were scattered throughout the day.

Ontonagon River: River water conditions were quite dirty with limited visibility due to consistent rains over the past week. On nicer days, anglers had luck in finding some walleye and rock bass by using a combination of trolling and jigging. However, jigging seemed to be the preferred method among most and reportedly yielded higher success. Mornings were the most popular time to fish on the river, but fish were caught at all times of day.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Despite some poor weather conditions, anglers had no issues finding respectable numbers of lake trout with a few coho salmon thrown in the mix. Anglers reported windows of high action occurring in spurts randomly throughout the day. Successful trips involved covering a lot of water while trolling artificial lures as fish were caught across a wide range of depths.                             

Black River Harbor: Fishing from the harbor was good over the past week with an uptick in numbers of lake trout and coho salmon caught. Anglers were trolling artificial lures and reported fish being caught in a variety of depths and at all times of day. The most successful trips were the result of long days spent on the lake.

Pine and Carp rivers: Both the Pine and Carp rivers were producing some walleye, but neither were very busy. The Carp River had more walleye now than a few weeks ago but the Pine River was more productive overall. Good numbers of lake trout and Chinook salmon were caught in the Straits area and around the various islands. The salmon fishing picked up earlier in the summer compared to last year. The occasional Atlantic salmon, steelhead, pink salmon or coho was also caught.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Yellow perch were abundantly caught out from the Raisin Riven using minnows on perch rigs in around 20 feet of water. They were also caught out in the dumping grounds with the same method. Decently sized walleye were caught out in the dumping grounds in deeper water on crawler harnesses. Largemouth bass were caught in the Bolles Harbor channel on lures that make sound.

Lake St. Clair: Bass fishing was slow but good-sized smallmouth bass were caught near Grassy Island and near the mouths of the north and south channels of the St. Clair River in 17 to 19 feet of water. Perch and walleye anglers did well near buoys 26 and 27 (2 to 3 miles southeast of Gull Island) and at the mouths of the north and south channels of St Clair River. Perch anglers were doing best using drop shot with minnows three feet off bottom. Anglers fishing for panfish took good amounts of crappie and bluegill from Ford’s Cove while drifting with crawlers.

Saginaw Bay: Fishing on the east side of the bay was slow this week with most boats coming in with zero to three walleye. Walleye were caught in as little as 8 feet of water and out to 30 feet east of the shipping channel with no certain area more consistent than others. Most boat anglers fished the slot in 14 to 16 feet and over the bar in 22 to 26 feet with some walleye and a lot of white bass catches. Anglers caught walleye on both body baits and crawler harnesses. Walleye were caught while trolling in the lower part of the Saginaw River in 12 feet of water while using crawlers. Walleye were also caught while trolling 8 miles northeast of the Sparkplug in 24 feet of water while using flicker shad minnows. Shore anglers were catching channel catfish, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum in Essexville.

Quanicassee: Walleye fishing was beginning to slow down. Catches of 2 to 4 per boat with some doing better was the norm. Anglers were doing the best trolling Flicker Shads on Callahan Reef in 9 to 12 feet of water.

Port Sanilac: Some anglers did well catching perch while others did not. Anglers did best south in 25 to 30 feet of water while moving often to find fish. Anglers should do their best to find shiners which were difficult to find. When they found perch, some limits were taken.

Port Austin: Walleye were caught to the west of the harbor, in front of the harbor and around the lighthouse in 25 to 35 feet with crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers. Some anglers used artificial lures and did well. Smallmouth bass were caught by the lighthouse and towards Eagle Bay in 20 feet of water. Casting tubes worked best.

Grindstone: Walleye were caught in 30 in 40 feet of water while trolling with artificial lures and crawler harness with bottom bouncers. Crawlers were working best straight out of the harbor and to the south. Salmon and trout were out in 120 to 140 feet north of the harbor and were caught with downriggers and spoons. A mix of lake trout, steelhead and a few cohos were caught.

Harbor Beach: Walleye anglers were getting a few fish in 30 to 35 feet of water while trolling with crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers. Lake trout, steelhead and coho were caught in 100 to 130 feet while trolling with lead core with spoons and downriggers. Anglers should set lines at different depths. Some rock bass and smallmouth bass were caught from the break wall while casting lures. Anglers targeting rock bass were using night crawlers.

Port Sanilac: Perch fishing slowed down but there were some good catches. Fish were scattered from 18 to 30 feet of water in and around the weed beds from north and south of the harbor. Good catches of salmon and trout were taken in 110 to 130 feet of water straight out and to the north of the harbor. A mix of coho, steelhead, lake trout and a few Atlantic salmon and occasional pink salmon and walleye were caught while trolling downriggers with spoons.

Lexington: A few walleye were caught straight out from the harbor in 30 feet of water while trolling with crawler harnesses. A few perch were caught in 18 to 20 feet to the north, but fishing slowed down.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

South Haven: Salmon anglers continued to have decent fishing. The best water was around 110 feet of water. Rotators and flies and meat rigs performed the best. Pier fishing was slow for everything but freshwater drum. Perch fishing was slow, but some fish were caught. The best water was around 35 feet of water and most fishing pressure was to the south of the piers. 

St. Joseph: Salmon anglers continued to have good success. The most consistent water seemed to be around 120 feet. Spoons were catching most of the fish, but rotators and flies were catching fish as well. Pier fishing was slow for all species. Perch fishing was still on the slow side. There were some fish caught in 30 and 50 feet of water. The fish were very scattered and spread out.  

Muskegon: Boat anglers were finding the salmon action to be fair. The best action was 60 to 100 down in 90 to 150 feet of water. Green or glow spoons worked well along with green meat rigs. The best bite occurred in low light conditions.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were catching a mix bag of salmon and trout in 80 to 140 feet of water. Salmon were caught 60 to 120 feet down on orange or green spoons. Yellow or green meat rigs worked well. Lake trout were caught on bottom with yellow rotators and yellow Spin-N-Glos. The early morning bite was the best.

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