Michigan DNR Fishing Report for July 23rd

Boats are trolling for trout and salmon on the Great Lakes but the fish were scattered. Inland fishing has been good for large and smallmouth bass, bluegills, and crappie. Look for post spawn fish to be out in deeper waters. With the cooler than normal summer we have had so far, anglers might have to adjust their fishing techniques if they want to find fish.


Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie – The cold front slowed fishing but walleye were still being caught in 22 to 24 feet of water near Stoney Point. Anglers were trolling Erie Dearies and spoons. Perch fishing was also good.

Huron River – Anglers are still catching a good number of catfish and a few bass. Crappie could be found in the backwaters and bluegills up near the dam but the fish were small.

Detroit River – Boat and shore anglers are doing well for walleye throughout the river. Some of the better action has been in the Trenton Channel as well as both sides of Grosse Isle. Crawler harnesses, pencil plugs and rapalas were taking fish. Bass anglers are doing well around the islands.

Harbor Beach – Lake trout are being taken in 90 to 140 feet of water straight out and north of the harbor. Try spoons or dodgers with green and white spin and glo’s close to the bottom. A few salmon were also caught. Steelhead action was fair when using color lines in 160 feet of water with bright pink and orange lures 150 feet back from the offshore boards. Walleye fishing is good north of the harbor when using crawler harnesses or Hot-n-Tots in 20 to 40 feet of water. Hot colors were copper, orange, green or yellow with small blades in front. Bass are still hitting near the weeds and a few perch were caught on minnows in 30 to 60 feet of water south of the Cemetery.

Port Austin – Walleye have been caught on the reefs between the port and Caseville when the winds were light. Those fishing to the south caught walleye in 25 to 40 feet of water. Not much to report in the way of salmon and lake trout activity.

Saginaw Bay – Catch rate were spotty but anglers are catching fish out near the Black Hole, the Shipping Channel, Callahan Reef, the Slot and the sailing buoys. Average catches were 2 to 3 fish per boat. On the windy days, those that stayed close to shore caught walleye in the lower Saginaw River from the mouth to the Coast Guard station. Crawler harnesses fished off bottom bouncers seem to catch more fish because they were staying on the bottom and not feeding actively. The Hot Ponds are producing lots of catfish.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Benton Harbor – Good numbers of perch have been caught along the rocks north and south of the piers. Target the waters 30 to 40 feet deep.

St. Joe – Pier anglers were catching skamania steelhead. Most were floating shrimp or alewife under a bobber, about 6 to 8 feet below the surface.

St. Joe River – Steelhead have been caught up at the Berrien Springs Dam. A few walleye have also been caught along the river. Water levels were low above the Buchanan Dam and the Berrien Springs Dam.

Kalamazoo River – A one-mile stretch of river between the Penn Central Railroad Crossing and the Plainwell No. 2 Dam will be closed to public access starting Saturday, Aug. 1st. Cleanup operations to remove soil and sediments containing PCBs will continue until December of 2010. Boaters will not be able to access or pass the Plainwell No. 2 Dam structures or the Mill Race. No form of portage is available around the dam or through the Mill Race.

Grand Haven – Pier anglers caught some steelhead but those fish moved out to deeper waters. Perch were caught in front of the south pier but no big numbers. Boat anglers are trolling green spoons just off the bottom in waters 70 to 120 feet deep. Those using 11 and 13 color leadcore and green spoons also caught fish.

Grand River at Grand Rapids – Water levels are low and it would not be a good idea for boat anglers to go above Fulton Street. Be careful and watch for stumps. Skamania steelhead and brown trout are still hitting up near the dam. Good numbers of pike and channel cats have been caught. Walleye are hitting on crawlers, leeches, minnows and body baits. Some big bluegills and crappie were caught in Felix Bayou when using spinners with leaf worms. Carp and suckers are hitting on dough balls. Bass were hitting on black jitter bugs or Hula-poppers at Millennium Park.

Grand River at Lansing – Good numbers of catfish have been caught at the Moore’s Park Dam and the North Lansing Dam. The hot baits were liver or any live bait. Some big rock bass were caught on red worms near the dams. The river is also producing bluegill, pumpkinseed, walleye and suckers.

Maple River – Anglers are catching good numbers of catfish and pike.

Morrison Lake – Continues to produce good numbers of crappie. Anglers are using a dropper line with minnows and rubber grubs on the bottom.

Reeds Lake – Anglers are catching perch in 15 to 30 feet of water. Good bluegill and crappie action behind the Fire House.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Mullett Lake – Anglers have been targeting walleye, rainbow trout, muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, yellow perch and panfish. Catch rates were slow but those trolling for walleye did catch fish on deep diving rapalas.

Rogers City – A mixed bag of chinook, coho and atlantic salmon along with steelhead, lake trout and brown trout have been caught. Those fishing around structure or finding baitfish have done well. Try straight out from the harbor, west towards Forty Mile Point or south of the harbor 70 to 85 feet down in waters up to 100 feet deep. Fish the top 25 feet with planer boards and 3 to 5 color leadcore for steelhead. Good colors were green and silver, black and white, green, yellow or anything that glows for early and late fishing.

Presque Isle – Fish were caught 65 to 75 feet down in waters 70 to 95 feet deep straight out of the harbor and north between the lighthouses.

Rockport – Chinook and lake trout were caught on the north side of Middle Island in 100 feet of water. Lake trout, salmon and steelhead were caught using black and white lures in 90 to 120 feet of water around the Nordmere Wreck. For lake trout, green and chartreuse were good colors. Anglers found walleye around the Middle Island when fishing about 18 feet down in 45 feet of water.

Alpena – Chinook and coho have been caught from the waters surrounding Thunder Bay Island. The island is located on the northern edge of Thunder Bay, about 13 miles out. Try 85 to 95 feet of water with a variety of colored spoons. A few limits of walleye and some steelhead were caught in 15 feet of water around North Point.

Thunder Bay River – Only a few sub-legal bass and small rock bass were caught.

Harrisville – Boat anglers were catching mainly lake trout with a few salmon mixed in. The lake trout were on the bottom in 100 to 150 feet of water while the salmon were in 60 to 80 feet of water. Peanuts and wobble glo’s were taking fish.

Higgins Lake – Boats are going out for lake trout and perch.

Oscoda – Lake trout and salmon have been caught in waters 100 to 130 feet deep. Anglers reported an abundance of baitfish at those depths and that might explain why catch rates were slower. Some did manage to catch a couple steelhead along with some coho and pink salmon.

Au Sable River – Walleye action was still slow but should start to pick up because work on the dam is finished and the water is flowing again. A few fish were caught on crawler harnesses and slip bobbers.

Tawas – Pier and shore anglers along the river managed to catch a few bass, catfish, carp and freshwater drum. Those trolling down near Alabaster caught walleye in 20 to 25 feet of water.

Au Gres – Anglers were still getting walleye but not in big numbers. Most are trolling in 30 to 35 feet of water straight off the mouth of the river. Those fishing 6 to 8 miles south of Au Gres did seem to catch more fish.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey – Lake trout fishing has been good for those using dodgers and flies as well as cowbell rigs. Try 60 to 90 feet deep along the hotspots and off the banks. Salmon were caught in the early morning or late evening, 30 to 95 feet down off Bay Harbor. Try glow spoons and flies. Smallmouth bass have been caught along the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay.

Charlevoix – Has good lake trout fishing off North Point. A few salmon have also been caught and some of those were in the 15 pound range. Glow spoons and flies were the ticket.

Lake Charlevoix – Smallmouth bass have been caught in 20 feet of water along the rocks and drop-offs. Perch were deeper and caught in 15 to 30 feet of water.

Traverse City – In the East Bay, salmon and lake trout were caught when trolling spoons 50 to 70 feet down in waters 100 to 120 feet deep. Whitefish were caught by those jigging Swedish Pimples in the southern portions of the bay. In the West Bay, lake trout were caught on the south and west side of Marion Island, the red buoy and along the white walls when trolling spoons with flashers and flies 40 to 70 feet down in waters over 100 feet deep.

Leland – Several nice catches of chinook were caught in the early morning by those using glow green spoons and flies. Most were caught between 50 and 90 feet on the First Shelf, the Second Shelf or the north side of Big Manitou Island. A few brown trout were also caught. Lots of lake trout were taken in 40 to 50 feet of water just off the harbor.

Glen Arbor – Pyramid Point has been a favorite spot to hit in the early morning or evening for chinook. Some nice fish over 20 pounds have been caught. Canners Point and the West side of South Manitou Island were also producing good numbers of fish when using different colored spoons and flies. Anglers were marking lots of baitfish.

Platte River – Had good brown trout fishing. Water levels are low and clear and the fish are hitting on nymphs.

Manistee – Fishing has been a challenge as the fish are scattered. Most are trolling deeper in the water column along the Shelf. Try the spin/fly combinations or green and blue spoons. A few lake trout were also caught on orange or red spoons trolled in the top 40 feet of water.

Manistee River – Trout fishing is decent because water levels are low. Steelhead fishing at Tippy Dam was good during the cooler weather.

Ludington – Boats were picking up a few trout and salmon in waters up to 160 feet deep between the Bathhouse and Sable Point. Green and blue spoons or green spin/fly combinations were taking fish.

Pere Marquette River – Has fair to good trout fishing because of low water levels.


Copper Harbor – Anglers were catching small splake.

Eagle Harbor – Fishing was good with limits of lake trout taken especially out where the scum line is forming. Anglers are trolling spoons and flies.

Keweenaw Bay – The salmon bite was slow with only a few chinook caught in 40 to 90 feet of water between the Baraga Marina and Sand Point or Carla’s Restaurant. Lake trout action was fair for those jigging in 90 to 270 feet of water, trolling in 70 to 180 feet of water off the Big Reef or those jigging in 200 to 260 feet of water straight out from the pine tree on Pequaming Point. In Traverse Bay, lake trout were caught off Gay Point in 100 to 160 feet of water when using spoons. Those trolling near the lighthouse at the south Portage Entry found salmon in 30 to 60 feet of water. Lake trout were caught when jigging in 180 to 240 feet of water near the Farmers Reef and the Mud Bank.

Marquette – A few limits of lake trout were taken in slightly shallower waters, 75 to 125 feet deep. Good fishing continues out near Stannard Rock with limits of fish ranging from 10 to 25 pounds caught. The salmon bite was slow.

Menominee – Anglers are catching more chinook salmon north of Green Island and around Chambers Island. Try 70 to 80 feet down in waters 100 to 110 feet deep. Off the Cedar River, chinook were caught 65 to 85 feet down near the Whaleback Shoal. Chinook and steelhead were caught north or south of the river.

Menominee River – Shore and boat anglers are taking lots of smallmouth bass, rock bass, channel cats and freshwater drum on crawlers. Some big walleye were caught in the deep holes in the early morning or late evening when trolling a crawler harness. Some nice pike were also caught.

Cedar River – Is still producing good numbers of smallmouth bass between the mouth and the first rapids. Crawlers were the first choice but some are doing well when using a white Mr. Twister.

Little Bay De Noc – Has been quiet overall due to the alewife and Mayflies. The better walleye fishing was near the mouth of the Escanaba River, but many were sub-legal. Most were trolling or drifting crank baits or crawlers in 12 to 25 feet of water along the weeds. Perch were caught along the southeast side of Butler Island in 20 feet of water. Good smallmouth action off the mouth of the Day’s River, Escanaba River, Ford River and around Butler Island. Try 8 to 20 feet of water with crank baits or tube baits. A few salmon were caught out by the Ford River Buoy when fishing 60 feet down in 80 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc – Fair walleye catches off Ogontz when trolling crawlers in 14 to 18 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were hitting crank baits or tube baits in 10 to 14 feet of water but many were small. Good numbers of freshwater drum were caught off the mouth of the Sturgeon River. Salmon fishing has really heated up off Fairport. Limit catches were taken 60 to 80 feet down in waters 80 to 100 feet deep. Try red and silver or green and white spoons. Artificial cut bait also worked well.

Grand Marais – Lake trout fishing has been very good in waters as shallow as 40 feet to waters as deep as 270 feet. A few salmon were caught by those running high lines 30 to 70 feet down.

De Tour – Is producing lake trout, chinook and atlantic salmon between Drummond Island and the green can when fishing 30 feet down with blue and purple spoons. Lake herring were caught in 22 feet of water around Butterfield Island when using a teardrop tipped with a wax worm. Burnt Island and Pigeon Cove were also producing fish. Lake whitefish were caught in 12 to 15 feet of water around Burnt Island.

Cedarville and Hessel – Northern pike fishing remains excellent for boat and pier anglers at Hessel. Pike can also be found along the south end of Little Joe Island. Most are trolling, casting or still fishing with minnows in 6 to 10 feet of water. Some perch were also caught. For bass, fish the west end of Snows Channel. Perch fishing has picked up in 4 to 7 feet of water in the Moscoe Channel and McKay Bay is the hot spot for lake herring. Try casting small red or yellow Swedish Pimples in 7 to 12 feet of water.

St. Ignace – Chinook and lake trout have been caught between the old fuel tanks, the Coast Guard Station and Mackinaw Island. Most are fishing green spoons about 10 feet off the bottom in the early morning.

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