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HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: October 20, 2021

Weekly fishing report: October 20, 2021

salmon fishing
Photo credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Anglers were having fair catches of yellow perch fishing near Fermi Power Plant in 27 feet of water. Steady catches of yellow perch were also made near buoys 1 & 2 at River Raisin and in 15 feet of water near Toledo Beach. Largemouth bass were caught off the rock walls between Sterling State Park and around the mouth of the River Raisin. Edison Power Plant discharge channel was still producing some fair catches of channel catfish. Anglers using emerald shiners on perch harnesses produced best results. Bass were biting well on tubes and wiggle worms.

Lake St. Clair: Anglers were catching walleye with crawler harnesses in Anchor Bay in 8 feet of water. Walleye were also caught in the mouth of the Detroit River in 21 feet of water. Smallmouth bass anglers had fair success in the river mouth in about 9 feet of water while using ned rigs. Yellow perch anglers were doing very well with some anglers limiting out near the shipping channels and in the dumping grounds on drop-shot rigs with worms or minnows. Musky fishing was slow, and the fish seem to be running in deeper water and not hitting on lures often.

Saginaw Bay: Yellow perch were caught on the east side of Spoils Island in 14 feet of water. The average size was around 10-12 inches. The old shipping channel was also producing some nice size yellow perch.

Quanicassee: Perch anglers were doing well with average catches of 10-15 per angler. The best catches were straight out of the Quanicassee River in 9 to 12 feet of water.

Fish Point: A few bluegills, pumpkinseeds and crappies were caught in the various cuts.

Sebewaing: A few pike were caught by anglers fishing minnows in the marina looking for perch. Perch fishing was slow.

Port Austin: Minnows were starting to come into the harbor and anglers were dipping for them to use for perch fishing. A lot of small perch were caught and thrown back, but a few bigger ones were kept. Pike were also caught while using live bait.

Harbor Beach: Walleye and a few cohos were caught from the breakwall while casting artificial lures. The early morning and evening hours performed the best. Lake trout were caught in 150-170 feet of water while fishing in 100-120 feet down while trolling with downriggers and spoons.

Port Sanilac: An occasional steelhead, pike and coho were caught from the breakwalls while casting artificial lures.

Lexington: Perch and catfish were caught while using bobbers and minnows. A few steelhead and the occasional Atlantic and walleye were caught while casting artificial lures.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Grand Haven: Boats anglers were catching lake trout with the occasional salmon and steelhead in 120 to 180 feet of water. Green and orange spoons worked best. Pier anglers found the steelhead action to be slow.

South Haven: Pier anglers were catching a few coho and steelhead. Most fish were caught on spawn. There were a few steelhead and an occasional salmon caught in the Black River.

St Joe: There were good numbers of coho and a few steelhead going through the Berrien Springs Dam. Boat anglers were catching steelhead below the dam.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan: There was a large salmon presence at the Cheboygan Dam, although there was a decrease in the catch rate. Several anglers reported catching a few steelhead while fishing near the dam. Anglers had the best results in the early morning and evening hours while using spawn sacs or imitation spawn sacs when fishing for salmon.

Houghton Lake: Bluegill and crappie were caught in the weed beds. Walleye have been hard to find.

Ocqueoc River: Anglers were reporting a decrease of Chinook salmon in the Ocqueoc River below the Lamprey Weir. Anglers who were reporting catches of salmon were using spawn sacs. Please note that fishing is prohibited within 100 feet of the Lamprey Weir.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were targeting salmon. There were a lot of fish jumping but catch rates were slow. Chinooks were mostly caught but the very occasional coho and Atlantic were also caught. Anglers were casting with an assortment of body baits and spoons. Anglers were also fishing bobbers with fresh spawn or spawn bags. They were also drifting the bottom with spawn bags or yarn flies. The fresh spawn had been performing best for anglers.

Tawas: Pier anglers were catching a few small perch and catfish in the harbor off perch rigs with minnows. Dock and shore anglers at Gateway Park on the Tawas River were catching a few catfish while using crawlers.

Au Gres: Boat anglers were catching some perch in 20 to 25 feet straight out from the river mouth and near Pt. Au Gres while using perch rigs and minnows. Dock anglers were catching small perch in the river while using perch rigs and minnows.

Pine River: Boat anglers were catching perch in 4 to 6 feet of water near the mouth of the river. Perch were also caught out near the Saganing and Pinconning bars in 7 to 15 feet of water while using perch rigs and minnows. Dock and shore anglers were catching some smaller perch, bluegill and rock bass while using minnows or crawlers.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Charlevoix: Fish were being marked in shallow waters. Smallmouth bass anglers were using crawlers and artificial worms. Some anglers were fishing off the pier for salmon.

Manistee: Pier anglers were catching steelhead and small coho. The early morning hours was the best time to fish. Most anglers were using spawn in bright colored bags.

Ludington: Boat anglers fishing in 300+ feet of water were catching Chinook. Pier fishing was hit or miss but there were some nice catches. Most anglers were fishing with spawn.

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon: Anglers were catching lake trout but having to put in some time to catch them. The average size was between two to four pounds with a few coming in around 10 pounds. Depths were ranging between 50 and 100 feet.

Union Bay: Anglers were catching lake trout. A small number of Chinook and brown trout were also caught. Fishing depths were between 60 and 100 feet while running spoons.

Black River: Boat anglers were catching lake trout in around 100 feet of water while trolling spoons.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers were reporting lake trout, coho, rainbow trout and Chinook catches out of Keweenaw Bay. Anglers were having success with salmon both shore fishing beaches and river mouths. On boats, anglers were catching coho and rainbow trout while trolling in shallow water. Fish seemed to be coming off the water in the mornings more than in the afternoons. Salmon and steelhead coming out of the lake were also beginning to develop their run colors.

Munising: Pier and shore anglers were catching coho and steelhead. Some splake were also caught. Anglers were having the best action with spawn sacs or casting with orange/gold cleos or spoons.

Grand Marais: Shore anglers off the mouth of the Sucker River reported a few steelhead catches.

AuTrain: Anglers shore fishing off the Rock River caught a few small steelhead. Boat anglers were mainly catching lake trout and steelhead.

Big Traverse Bay/ South Portage Entry: Anglers coming off the water were mostly reporting lake trout catches from fishing in waters of medium depth. Some salmon and trout were caught from the break wall and piers. Most fish were caught on spoons of green and blue color. Most anglers were having luck around the lighthouse at the  mouth of the South Portage entry canal.

Little Bay de Noc: Perch anglers reported a significant slowdown but were still catching small numbers. Anglers were drifting or setting anchor in front of Kipling. Walleye anglers continued to struggle but remained optimistic that as the fall turnover approaches action will improve. Anglers were trolling crawler harnesses or jigging with minnows or soft plastics.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers were having success when fishing in deeper waters. Anglers fishing in areas around 25 feet of water produced some fish. The southern portion of the Garden Peninsula and the drop offs in Ogontz were the preferred focus areas.

St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: Fishing efforts slowed down in both ports. There were a few Chinook swimming up into Nunns Creek but the majority of salmon were done. There were a few smallmouth bass and pike caught around Haven Island.

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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