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HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: August 2

Weekly fishing report: August 2

The Michigan DNR is joining the Detroit Tigers to sponsor a Hunting and Fishing Night at Comerica Park on Sept. 27, 2023. Come watch the Tigers reel in a win and help support local groups teaching the love of hunting and fishing to people in the Detroit area. Did we mention there is a collectible beanie from Carhartt, celebrating Michigan’s love of hunting and fishing? Get your tickets at https://fevogm.com/event/Tigershuntfish23

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Presque Isle: Anglers reported decent numbers of lake trout between 90 to140 feet of water. Dodgers and Spin-N-Glos worked well when fished close to bottom as well as bright colored spoons. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon were spread out but could still be found in the top 30 feet while trolling bright colored spoons on lead cores. Chinook salmon, coho, and pink salmon were caught in 50 to 70 feet down while trolling spoons, flasher/fly combos and meat rigs. Walleye anglers had marginal success trolling spoons over deep water and crankbaits after dark. The waters around Black Point and north were producing the best results. Bass anglers reported good catches along the drop offs in north bay and Thompson Harbor. 

Cheboygan River/Lake Huron: Smallmouth bass were available throughout the entire stretch of the Cheboygan River below the dam, as well as in Duncan Bay. Northern pike were found in the weed beds of Duncan Bay and along the Cheboygan River channel edges beyond the pier. Salmon and trout fishing was going strong in Cheboygan but appeared to have slowed slightly. Lake trout and Chinook salmon were the most common but other salmonids were present.

Rockport: Anglers targeting walleye had marginal success as the fish were moving a lot and hard to locate at times. Deep diving crankbaits had the best results from Middle Island north to Presque Isle. Salmon and trout anglers fished the waters east of Middle Island to the Nordmeer Wreck. Good numbers of all the salmon and trout species were taken in 80 to120 feet of water on spoons and flasher/fly combos. Lead cores ran high were taking a modest number of steelhead and Atlantic salmon as well as the bonus walleye.

Alpena/Thunder Bay River: Anglers targeting lake trout reported excellent fishing in the deep waters around Thunder Bay Island and to the south. Spoons and dodger Spin-N-Glos were working well when fished close to the bottom in 80 to120 feet. Chinook salmon and coho were caught while running spoons 50 to 60 feet down in the same waters. Anglers reported a decent number of walleye caught on short lead cores set for Atlantic salmon and steelhead. Walleye were reported to be hit or miss closer to shore while fish were found in 20 to 30 feet, but they were tough to catch. Both harnesses and crankbaits were catching a few fish early in the day and late evenings. Catfish were caught from the Holiday Inn to the 9th Avenue Bridge on crawlers. A few pike and walleye were caught off the pier in the evenings and after dark on crankbaits and minnows.

Tawas: For the most part, anglers were catching limits of walleye in 50 to 70 feet of water. For a couple days, anglers were only able to pull in one or two walleye. Anglers were having more luck with catching walleye around structure in the bay. Catches of catfish were becoming prevalent by walleye anglers. There was a report of a steelhead here and there while trolling for walleye. Crawler harnesses, spoons and crankbaits worked for walleye.

Oscoda/Au Sable: Anglers reported walleye, lake trout, a couple steelhead and a Chinook salmon in 140 feet of water. The river was mainly producing smallmouth bass and rock bass.

Rogers City: Anglers were catching Chinook salmon, lake trout and walleye with an occasional steelhead, Atlantic salmon and coho salmon. Anglers were running lines throughout the water column. Usually, they were splitting them up half deep or below the thermocline and the rest scattered in the top half of the water column. Anglers were using spoons, regular size, along with a few mag sized. Anglers were also starting to use dodgers and hootchie flashers with flies and squids for salmon. Anglers were starting to use cut bait, meat rigs with flashers. Good colors were greens, whites, blues and glow stuff early and late. Good depths of water to try were at least 70 to 130 feet. The Atlantic salmon and steelhead anglers were running lead core higher in the water column. Anglers fishing lines higher in the water column were incidentally catching quite a few walleye as well, especially in the evening hours towards dark. The salmon were coming before daylight and after sunset so those would be the best hours to try for them. 

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Manistee: Fishing was hit or miss, but anglers were finding Chinook salmon straight out along the shelf, both north and south of town, in 90 to140 feet of water when fishing 30 to 60 feet down. Glow/green spoons and meat rigs did best but flasher fly combos and J-Plugs were catching fish. In the mix came a few coho, steelhead, and a couple lake trout. Pier anglers reported smallmouth and freshwater drum. Early morning bites were the best with most hits before 7 a.m.

Ludington: After high winds and waves over the weekend, fishing was hit or miss. Anglers who found Chinook salmon fished straight out and southwest of the port, out from the projects in 130 to 200 feet of water while fishing 40 to 70 feet down. A few were also caught at Big Sable Point and north in 100 to 130, and 180 to 250, 35 to 60 feet down; steelhead and coho came in the mix as well. Glow spoons and meat rigs worked along with flasher fly combos. The early morning bites were the best.

Charlevoix: Anglers reported steady numbers of Chinook salmon over the past week. Several 20 pound plus Chinook salmon were reported from North Point down to Fisherman’s Island. Trolling in 75 to 150 feet of water at 90 to 120 down produced the best results. Anglers targeting lake trout had success fishing deep north out of Charlevoix. Anglers fishing the piers reported a good increased number of legal sized smallmouth bass both inside and outside of the channel.

Petoskey/Harbor Springs: Anglers targeting salmon in Little Traverse Bay reported most success near Bay Harbor and Petoskey. The majority of the Chinook salmon were small, however, there were some large 20 pounders reported. Anglers fishing the Bear River reported a slow increase in the Chinook bite, as well as some small brown trout. Anglers targeting lake trout north of the refuge continued to have good success.

Frankfort: Anglers were reporting slow bites both in the evening and morning. Chinook salmon were caught as the water temperatures moved up to 25 to 50 feet down. Trolling in 125 to 180 feet of water and working just below the temperature break was working if you can find them. Meat rigs seemed to be catching the bigger Chinook salmon. Lake trout were hitting good for trollers off the bottom with cow bells and jiggers working the best. Steelhead were caught by anglers running a high line with orange spoons.

Onekama: Anglers were heading straight out from the pier heads and going out to 160 to 220 feet of water to catch Chinook salmon in the early morning hours as they worked the top 50 feet with spoons and meat rigs. Greens and blues were working best.

Portage Lake: Perch and panfish anglers had some luck working the drops in 14 to 18 feet of water. Worms, wiggles and minnows were working best. Bass anglers were reporting moderate numbers throughout the lake around structures and the drops.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported catching a few fish in the 15 to 19-inch range. Trolling crawler harnesses and jigging near black bottom and the Escanaba River produced fair results. Some yellow perch were harvested; despite low numbers of fish being harvested, the perch were nice size, around 10 inches.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing. Casting soft plastics with a natural color pattern was what most anglers used with good success. Walleye anglers reported slow fishing.

Fairport: Chinook salmon fishing was good. Anglers were catching a mixture of year classes with plenty of adults being reported. Average water surface temperatures were around 69 degrees.

Marquette: The best places for anglers to catch was near Granite Rock and between Presque Isle pier and the White Islands. Anglers trolling around 45 to 120 feet of water were harvesting the most lake trout, Chinook, and coho salmon near the White Islands. While anglers trolling for lake trout around Granite Rock were having the most luck 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 bluish flasher flies were popular for lake trout and coho near the White Rocks.

Au Train: The best places for anglers to catch fish was near the east side of Grand Island. Anglers trolling or jigging around 60 to 80 feet of water near Grand Island were harvesting the most lake trout. Trolling bright green spoons, crankbaits, or cow bells around Grand Island were common baits.

St. Ignace: Walleye fishing in the Pine River appeared to have slowed down. Anglers were targeting walleye upstream from the boat launch as opposed to at the mouth.  Boat anglers on the Carp River were targeting northern pike at the river mouths in weed beds of Saint Martin Bay. Salmon and trout fishing was decent around the Straits area. Anglers were fishing around Mackinaw/Round Island. Most catches were lake trout and Chinook but other species were present.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers in the Hessel area were catching a few perch using worms and leaches. There were a lot of little ones so anglers really had to pick through to get a few keepers. Anglers were catching pike in the Hessel area mostly using live baits. In Detour, anglers were catching a few herring out around the islands. They were also catching a few lake trout and Chinook salmon around the lighthouse while trolling with spoons. Anglers reported catching some walleye but they were mostly on the smaller side.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers were able to catch Chinook and coho salmon however the catch was less than that of previous weeks. Some anglers were also able to find brown trout but in smaller numbers. Most anglers were able to find lake trout in a variety of depths of water and found throughout the water column. Almost every fish was caught while trolling with artificial lures. Most anglers were catching fish while trolling between 60 and 150 feet of water.

Big Traverse Bay/South Portage Canal: Anglers were catching lake trout during the last week and some salmon. The salmon catch slowed down somewhat from previous weeks however some were still being caught. Most fish were caught while trolling and most boat anglers were running spoons and flies. Anglers were trolling anywhere from 50 to 170 feet of water and finding fish throughout.

Ontonagon River: Fishing on the river slowed as a result of recent weather causing poor fishing conditions and limiting the opportunities for anglers to get out. A combination of trolling and jigging yielded the best results for the anglers that were able to get out on the water. Successful trips consisted of a few walleye harvested with an occasional rock bass caught as well. Fish were reported to be caught at all times of day.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Access to the lake from these ports was somewhat limited over the past week. This was due to occasional storms along with recent winds that caused rough waters for fishing. On some of the nicer days, anglers were able to find respectable numbers of lake trout with a few coho salmon thrown in the mix. Angler reports showed that successful trips involved trolling artificial lures across a wide range of depths. Catches occurred at all times of day.

Black River Harbor: Over the past week, the harbor had lower fishing efforts. This was perhaps due to recent winds on the lake limiting accessibility for smaller vessels. Despite the weather, fishing was relatively good with consistent lake trout and coho salmon catches. Anglers found success in trolling artificial lures across a wide variety of depths and at all times of day.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Walleye moved into deeper waters, with very few fish per boat being caught in the deepest parts of the dumping grounds and at the shipping channel. Yellow perch were caught on minnow perch rigs in 20 feet of water out from Luna Pier. Another good perch location was in 24 feet of water out from the coal power plant. Largemouth bass continued to hit on tube lures.

Saginaw Bay: Anglers were targeting walleye east of the shipping channel in 25 to 30 feet of water with mixed results. Catches were mostly 2 to 4 walleye per angler. Some anglers were fishing in the slot straight out from Sebewaing and down towards Fish Point in 15 feet of water. Both crawler harnesses and body baits were catching walleye. A couple boat anglers attempted to fish for yellow perch and reported very slow fishing on the east side of the bay. Walleye were caught while trolling near buoy 1 in 30 feet of water while using crawlers. The lower part of Saginaw River and Callahan Reef was also producing walleye on crawlers.

Caseville: Good numbers of walleye were caught while trolling off Oak Point in 40 feet of water. Both night crawler harnesses and body baits were catching fish.

Bayport: Some anglers were catching walleye outside the islands in the slot in 12 feet of water while trolling Flicker Shads. Anglers were catching a few largemouth bass in Wildfowl Bay while casting various artificial baits.

Port Austin: Walleye fishing was very good from boats trolling in 25 to 35 feet with crawler harnesses, bottom bouncers and artificial lures. Anglers were fishing in front of the harbor and to the west.

Grindstone: Walleye were caught in 35 feet of water in front of the harbor and to the south while using mostly crawler harnesses but some anglers were having good catches with artificial lures. Salmon and trout were caught in 100 to130 feet of water with downriggers and spoons. A mix of lake trout, steelhead and coho were caught.

Harbor Beach: A few boat anglers were trolling for walleye that were scattered between 40 to 60 feet of water while using both artificial lures and crawler harnesses.

Port Sanilac: Perch fishing slowed down. Boat anglers trolling for salmon and trout had good catches of lake trout, steelhead, coho and a few Atlantic salmon and pink salmon and a walleye now and then. They were using planer boards with lead core and spoons, downriggers with sliders and mini streaks. They had downriggers and spoons staggered in different depths. Some walleye were caught in 40 feet of water while using crawler harnesses in the early morning and evening hours.

Lexington: Walleye were caught in 40 feet of water in front of the harbor while trolling with crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers in the early morning and evening.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

South Haven: Salmon anglers continued to make decent catches of fish. Depths of 120 feet of water seemed to be the most productive. Meat rigs and rotators and flies were catching most of the fish. Pier fishing was slow for steelhead. Anglers were catching freshwater drum and a perch or two with live bait. Perch fishing was very inconsistent. Anglers were on fish one day and not the next. Anglers were targeting fish in 35 to 45 feet of water. Most of the fishing pressure was to the south of the piers.

St. Joseph: Salmon anglers had decent fishing. The best water was from 90 to 125 feet of water. Rotators and flies along with spoons seemed to be doing best. Anglers were catching a mixed bag of trout and salmon. Pier fishing was slow for all species. Perch anglers were finding fish inconsistently. The best waters seemed to change all the time, but anglers were fishing from 30 to 75 feet of water. 

Muskegon: Boat anglers were reporting a mix bag of salmon and trout. The best action occurred 50 to 90 down in 90 to 130 feet of water. A mix of spoons, flies, and meat rigs all worked well for salmon. The early morning and late evening bite continued to be good.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were catching decent numbers of Chinook salmon along with a few lake trout, coho salmon and steelhead. Salmon were caught 55 to100 down in 80 to 130 feet of water. Glow spoons, green meat rigs, and white flies were producing Chinook salmon. Pier anglers were catching a few freshwater drum while casting spoons. A few salmon were caught on glow plugs.

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