Archive for September, 2010

Michigan DNR Fishing Report: 9.30.2010

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Anglers are reminded that lake trout and splake season on Lake Huron closes on September 30th. On Lake Michigan, lake trout season closes on September 30th however splake is open all year. Lake trout season on Lake Superior is open all year. For inland waters, all Type 1 and Type 2 rivers and streams along with Type A and Type D trout lakes close to fishing on September 30th.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie - Fishing was good when anglers could get out. Good perch fishing in recent days in 18 feet of water off Bolles Harbor. A few walleye were caught in 15 feet of water near the Fermi Plant and Stony Point when using crawlers or crank baits. A good number of white bass were also caught in the same area.

Huron River - A couple steelhead along with a few walleye were caught on rooster tails near the dam at Flat Rock. Steelhead are just starting to move into the river.

Detroit River - Perch fishing has been good around the islands especially north of Sugar Island. Some limit catches were reported and the fish were 8 to 12 inches. Most anglers were hand-lining with flat fish or rapalas.

Lexington - Some 18 to 20 inch brown trout have been caught by pier anglers casting spoons or plugs.

Harbor Beach - Also has pier anglers catching small brown trout.

Saginaw Bay - Perch are still being taken along the shipping channel from Au Gres south to the mouth of the Saginaw River, when boats can get out. Beyond that, shore anglers in various marinas around the east side of the bay were getting some bluegills, crappie and rock bass on leaf worms and wax worms under a bobber.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River - Water levels are VERY LOW due to work being done on a dam in Indiana. Some anglers are struggling just to launch a boat. Be sure to go slow and use caution. Fish are running up the river however catch rates were slow. Try early morning and night fishing. Anglers casting spinners have caught fish however most are drifting spawn. Catch rates should pick up once more fish arrive. Smallmouth bass fishing was decent for those using small crank baits or jigs.

Grand Haven - Salmon fishing was slow. Boat anglers are using downriggers 100 to 160 feet deep in 200 to 240 feet of water. Try spoons in green and yellow or your best spinner baits. Pier anglers did fair in the early morning when casting spoons.

Grand River at Lansing - Small coho are being caught on spinners at Moore’s Park and the point where the Grand meets the Red Cedar. Catfish are hitting on crawlers while pike and smallmouth bass were hitting on crawlers and minnows at Moore’s Park. Look for smallmouth bass at the North Lansing Dam.

Sessions Lake - Is still good for panfish in deep water.

Muskegon Lake - Has a few boats out perch fishing.

White River - Salmon fishing was great in the lower river with most drifting spawn.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Mullett Lake - Perch fishing continues to dominate. Try fishing the points, the bays and near the mouth of the Indian River with crawlers or minnows in 15 to 30 feet of water. Walleye fishing slowed with no fish recorded. Perch anglers have also caught a few pike in 20 to 25 feet of water on minnows. Fish were 18 to 25 inches. Bass anglers can be found at Needle Point, Dodge Point, Round Point and near Aloha with crawlers, artificial worms, tube baits, crank baits and spinners.

Rogers City - Reported slow going for salmon. Anglers in the shallow waters of Swan Bay are trolling, anchoring and casting. Those trolling are using bombers off planer boards while those casting are using Cleo’s or body baits. Pier anglers have caught a few brown trout, but no salmon.

Thunder Bay River - Is producing some chinook, steelhead and pink salmon.

Harrisville - Salmon are starting to come into the harbor and the fish look healthy. Try spawn in the harbor and J-plugs outside the walls. If you plan to fish spawn, anglers will want to purchase their bait before they get to Harrisville as there are no bait shops in town.

Oscoda - Catch rates were slow even when boats can get out. Anglers fishing off the pier are having the most success with blue and silver or green and silver little Cleo’s. Boats are mainly using chrome and green J-plugs.

Au Sable River - There are no fish in the river and only a few caught off the piers.

Tawas - Pier anglers caught walleye at night behind the State Police Post.

Au Gres - Perch are still being caught along the shipping channel when boats can get out. Fish were also caught out near Buoy 18 as well as 30 to 40 feet of water straight out from the mouth of the Au Gres River.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey - Has been hit-or-miss with good numbers of salmon one day and light numbers the next. Shore anglers fishing off the breakwall, piers, and docks have taken fish on glow spoons, reef runners and rapalas.

Bear River - The fish were not holding in the river very long. They are either dropping back to the lake or pushing past the falls. Try spawn, yarn or flies.

Charlevoix - Boats were long-lining with plugs in 10 to 40 feet of water. Those casting have caught fish on glow spoons, rapalas, thundersticks and rattle traps. Medusa is producing the best salmon action for those using skein under a slip bobber. The first harvest at the Medusa weir produced 684 chinook and 6 coho.

Traverse City - The East Bay shows good numbers of fish in 120 feet of water but the bite was slow. Those boats finding the baitfish also found active whitefish. Those jigging caught good numbers of cisco and lake trout. Whitefish were active in 100 feet of water south of Yuba Creek. In the West Bay, good numbers of fish were marked at various depths in front of the Boardman. Strong winds have slowed the bite but try trolling thundersticks or plugs in the early morning or late evening in shallow waters.

Elk River - Salmon and lake trout are slowly moving up near the dam. Mid-day seems to be best bite. For lake trout, try using live or artificial minnows due to the number of baitfish at the dam.

Boardman River - Has seen a very good run of fish and many have moved up river to the weir. The next good rain should push another round of fresh fish into the river. Try drifting skein under a bobber in the deeper holes.

Platte Bay - Salmon were caught in shallow waters in the early morning when using small spoons.

Frankfort - Boat anglers heading out did mange to mark fish however could not get them to bite. A nice steelhead was caught in 75 feet of water on an orange crush spoon. Pier anglers caught fish as well.

Betsie River - Fishing is still good around the Homestead Dam with chinook caught on the gravel, in the holes and near the log jams. A fresh run of fish just moved into the river. Most anglers are drifting artificial bait.

Portage Lake - Cooler weather pushed the perch into shallow waters.

Manistee - Weather permitting, boats are finding good numbers of steelhead and immature chinook salmon 8 to 16 miles offshore. Try running small spoons in orange or green. Those trolling around the piers caught few fish.

Manistee River - Is still producing salmon. Those fishing up near Tippy Dam are drifting spawn and flies or casting spinners and crank baits.

Big Sable River - Salmon have been in and out of the river mouth depending on the day. Only a few fish were up near the Hamlin Lake Dam.

Ludington - Boats are doing well for salmon and steelhead in 200 to 400 feet of water when trolling small spoons. Both pier anglers and those surfcasting at the State Park reported slow action.

Pentwater - Big water fishing has shifted to steelhead and two year old salmon. The fish are out deep about 100 feet down in 250 feet of water.

Pentwater Lake - Is producing some salmon. Good bluegill and perch action in 15 feet of water.

Pentwater River - Salmon have been caught in the flats off Monroe Road.

Upper Peninsula

Black River - Water levels were high and fast. Anglers are now catching chinook in the 10 to 12 pound range. Coho and brown trout are also starting to run.

Black River Harbor - Lake trout have been caught in 80 to 120 feet of water when trolling spoons about halfway down.

Ontonagon - Fishing was slow and the mud line was out in 100 feet of water. A few lake trout were taken 60 to 70 feet down in 100 to 115 feet of water when trolling spoons or spin and glows.

Firesteel River - Has good pink salmon fishing but the chinook action was only fair.

Keweenaw Bay - The bite was good with most anglers catching coho along with a couple steelhead. Boats are trolling from Sand Point northward to the first set of red rocks. Try 30 to 70 feet down in waters up to 150 feet deep with spoons, body baits or dodger and flies. Fair to good action for lake trout in Traverse Bay for those trolling spoons or dodgers with peanuts in 130 to 150 feet of water.

Marquette - Angler reports say salmon are moving up into the rivers however high water levels made fishing difficult. Pink salmon along with a few chinook salmon were caught on small Mepps spinners in the Dead and Carp Rivers. Fish were marked inside the Lower Harbor breakwall.

Little Bay De Noc - Heavy rainfall of 4 inches caused rivers in the area to rise fast. Rivers like the Sturgeon, Ogontz and Day’s had high water and strong currents which put salmon fishing on hold until water levels recede. Walleye anglers reported mixed results with most wanting to go further south. Gladstone was good for those drifting or jigging crawlers in 25 to 35 feet of water. Several perch were also caught. The North Shore and the Ford River launch were difficult to use due to the fast water.

Big Bay De Noc - Still had primarily smallmouth anglers that were trying to make it out to the Garden Bluff area where good catches were reported 15 to 30 feet down along the break when using minnows. Walleye anglers marked fish between Garden Bluff and the Shoals in 20 feet of water however few were caught.

Au Train - Heavy rain did push some fish into local rivers. Anglers did catch a few coho, chinook and steelhead in the Rock River when using spawn sacks.

Munising - Anglers had mild success when trolling the bay for coho however they had to work hard for the fish they caught. Coho fishing has increased, with a successful trip yielding 1 or 2 salmon for the most part as limit catches were few and far between. Coho were caught by those using spawn bags or casting spinners and spoons. Steelhead were also caught but the fish were running small. Shore anglers were taking splake on spawn bags and the time of day did not seem to matter.

Grand Marais - Fishing was slow as boats had found it difficult to troll near the mouth of the Sucker River due to strong winds. Those able to get out into the bay caught the occasional coho and steelhead. Pier and shore anglers had limited success.

Indian Lake - Some walleye were caught along the west shore in front of the park when trolling crawler harnesses and small rapalas. Smallmouth bass and pike were caught near the weeds on the north end when casting crank baits or crawlers. Fair to good numbers of perch were caught when drifting or jigging crawlers in the deeper holes on the south, west, and north shore.

St. Mary’s River - The pink salmon run has slowed however a few are still being caught off the Pier Power Plant when casting pink Little Cleo’s. Walleye and yellow perch fishing slowed with the recent storms. Smallmouth bass action is still good on the rock piles along the south end of Neebish Island. Crank baits worked best in the stained water.

De Tour - Chinook salmon have been caught just off the bottom in 40 to 50 feet of water with spoons. Best colors were chartreuse and silver or purple and cream glow. Same areas, Drummond Island side of the red can and near the lighthouse. Albany Creek is full of pink and chinook salmon. Try orange or pink spawn bags.

Cedarville and Hessel - Few anglers were out except for those targeting perch In the east end of Hessel Bay, the west end of Snows Channel, Musky Bay and the Middle Entrance. Fish were caught on minnows in 12 feet of water. Both pink salmon and chinook salmon can be found in Bush and Beavertail Creeks.

Carp River - Salmon are on the beds near the Mackinaw Trail Bridge and the McDonald Rapids. Use caution by the rapids as this area flooded after recent rainfall.

Latest Perch Report for Lake Erie

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

I haven’t been on the water in the last week while getting ready for the annual  Block Party/Fish Fry last weekend. So I scrounged through a few different sites to get a consensus of where all the perch action on Lake Erie had been happening.  Pretty much the same as the last time I had been out.

The only difference is that it seems like the fish has been concentrating into tighter school in those areas.  Out in front of Stoney Point in 22 to 25 fow has been one of the hotter spots.  There is still some action around the River Raisin channel although not getting the numbers of a week ago.

As in the “Decoy” piece I did a few weeks back, big minnows have continued to be the key to getting bigger perch.  Try using the bigger minnows on top hook of your vertical rigs to call them in from a distance.  Its worth the little extra money per scoop or dozen to get the jumbo’s interested.

Vexilar’s NEW FL-22 HD

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

One of the best sounds in the morning is the ringing of the doorbell announcing the arrival of an UPS or FedEx delivery.  In this case it meant that my new FL-22HD Vexilar ice fishing unit has arrived.  I have already heard from my buds, its only  September they say!  I say its time to start thinking about ice fishing, and there are a lot of new products on their way for this 2010-2011 season!

For all the new features and how to work the newest model of 3 color flasher from Vexilar, just click on this link:   Vexilar’s FL-22 HD    The new 3 ducer tech, allows you to adjust your cone angle in all types of fishing situations. You will also see how to work the other models available from Vexilar by just clicking on the model you have or are interested in!

Since I am on the staff for Vexilar, I have to keep on top of the newest products, and if anyone ever has any questions, you can even go to my pro staff page:  Chuck Mason on Vexilar and click on the email section to ask questions without posting them on this site.  As always, readers can also reach me at , as well.

2010 Block Party in the Books

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Another fun filled Saturday was had by all, and as Monday rolled around the back is feeling a bit better.  That is the price to be paid by your favorite local angler when he has the Ida neighbors over to help celebrate a fine 2010 fishing season.  On the menu, 5 gallons of walleye fillets, 1 gal of chicken strips, 8 quarts of perch,  5 qts of bluegill, and 3 qts of crappie.  By Sunday only 2 quarts of perch were left to be fried up.

Note to self; make sure to get more boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Danny’s (Monroe) or be known for another year by the kids as, the man who ran out of chicken strips.  Who knew chicken tenders would be such a hit at a fish fry!

All the neighbors from a 4 mile square (that’s what we call a block out in the country by  the way) came, plus some good folks that I have worked with in the past, and even from the wild days from good ol’ Eastern Michigan University, back in the day we were the Hurons!  Dishes were brought to pass, and oh my they were GOOD.

I started the fryers up at 5 pm and three and half hours later I was able to sit down and sample that good home cooking!  Although I never had time to break out the camera, will try to dig up some past photo’s here and there to get the general idea.

This is from my class reunion, but you get the idea of what we did.  Took four 10 x 20 camo tarps and walled off the shop and it really opened things up.

The popcorn machine I got off of Ebay was a huge hit with the kids and adults before the food was served.

We had a nice bonfire, with about 20 kids roasting these HUGE marshmellows that Meijers carried this year.  Funny parents these days, way too worried about sugar overload :)-

This is actually from last year, but you get the idea of what it was like with all the fish thawing out at once.  Except this year I pulled the bags out of the freezer the night before.

Had the 3 burner and fryers going for 3.5 straight hours.

Had the shakers filled with my secret concoction of batter and spices

Had the cook counter loaded and ready for action.  Would say bear, but that’s another cookout at a later date!

And of course my fav niece was there, just another year older, and dressed up for the cold compared to this pic.  She had some cute tie dyed looking camo outfit with a white fuzzy hooded vest….simply adorable.

Michigan DNR Fishing Report: 9.23.2010

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Strong winds have hampered fishing on the Great Lakes. The salmon runs are going strong especially in the northern Lower Peninsula. Anglers are reminded that it is unlawful to snag fish or retain a fish not hooked in the mouth.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie - Fishing remains the same with yellow perch caught on shiner minnows in 22 to 25 feet of water. Hot spots were Stony Point, Bolles Harbor and near the mouth of the Huron River. Walleye were caught in 15 feet of water near the Fermi Plant.

Huron River - No steelhead to report yet however it should not be long. Anglers are catching carp, catfish, bluegill and bass.

Detroit River - Perch have bee caught near Rat Island and Sugar Island in 10 to 14 feet of water. For walleye, anglers are hand-lining or jigging around Horse Island, between the Ford Yacht Club and Celeron Island, and up into the Trenton Channel. Hand-lining worked best with flat fish and rapalas. Good colors were fire-tiger and purple with copper flash.

Lake St. Clair - Most anglers were targeting bass.

Port Sanilac - Anglers are still getting some steelhead in 30 to 50 feet of water as the fish continue to move in closer to shore.

Port Austin - Is still producing some steelhead in 60 to 70 feet of water however the fish should be moving in closer to shore. A couple walleye were caught in waters over 100 feet deep.

Saginaw Bay - The inner bay has good perch fishing at the Spark Plug near Buoys 11 and 12, along the shipping channel near Buoys 13 and 15 or around Spoils Island. No walleye to report.

Flint River - Is producing some nice catfish. Those trolling the Holloway Reservoir have landed a few walleye.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River - Fishing was slow due to the low water levels however rain this week should improve conditions. There are some salmon and steelhead in the river however anglers caught few fish.

Grand River at Grand Rapids - Heavy rain pushed more salmon up into the river. Coho were still running small but some nice chinook and brown trout have been caught. Boat anglers are still drifting crawlers and trolling crank baits for walleye.

Grand River at Lansing - Has good catfish action at Moore’s Park while the North Lansing Dam is producing catfish, smallmouth bass and some pike. A couple small coho were caught at the point where the Grand meets the Red Cedar.

Looking Glass River - Is good for pike. They are hitting on black spinner baits or large black plastic baits.

Sessions Lake - Bluegill and crappie have been caught in waters 20 feet deep.

Muskegon - Boat and pier anglers are catching a few salmon and steelhead in and around the harbor.

Muskegon River - Salmon and some brown trout have been caught.

White River - Is also producing some salmon. Some are using spawn while others are casting thundersticks.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Mullett Lake - Surface water temperatures were 62 degrees. Most anglers are perch fishing off Topinabee, Red Pine Point, Pigeon Bay, Long Point, Needle Point, Dodge Point and the mouth of the Indian River. Walleye anglers are trolling crawler harnesses and crank baits 40 to 50 feet down in 60 to 110 feet of water. Fish ranged from 12 to 25 inches. Fishing pressure for trout has been extremely low and catch rates for bass were slow.

Rogers City - Water temperatures have cooled to the upper 50′s and lots of baitfish have been marked. Chinook have been caught but not in big numbers. Those fishing Swan Bay are trolling boards, high-lines and bombers along with J-plugs. Pearl, fire-tiger and purple were good colors. Lake trout and steelhead fishing were good north of the harbor when trolling spoons in the top half of the water column. Steelhead are still hitting on bright colored spoons in the top 30 feet. Try orange and silver or bright green and yellow. Those casting off the breakwall caught brown trout on spoons or body baits.

Presque Isle - Is producing light numbers of chinook and steelhead. Try between the two lighthouses in waters 70 feet deep or less with spoons or J-plugs. Green, blue, purple or silver were the hot colors.

Alpena - Fishing was slow with only a few salmon taken in Thunder Bay. Look for chinook near the mouth of the river. Steelhead were in waters 25 feet or deeper.

Thunder Bay River - A few pink salmon have been caught on thundersticks while chinook were still hitting on flies or spawn. Steelhead were caught on rattle traps.

Harrisville - Salmon continue to move into the harbor. Some are trolling J-plugs and spoons while others are casting or floating spawn inside the harbor. Good colors were green, silver or chrome. A few walleye were also caught between the harbor and Sturgeon Point when using crawler harnesses or body baits just off the bottom in 20 to 30 feet of water. Lake trout were moving into shallow waters and hitting 20 to 30 feet down in 60 to 70 feet of water on silver or white spoons and body baits.

Oscoda - Boat anglers are trolling J-plugs and body baits in front of the piers and to the north. Pier anglers have caught salmon when casting blue and silver Cleo’s. A few walleye were also caught just outside the mouth of the river.

Tawas River - A few salmon could be found at the mouth.

Au Gres - Perch fishing has been very good straight out from the mouth of the river, off the hotel and out near the Gravelly Shoals in 30 to 50 feet of water. Perch are running 7 to 10 inches or bigger. Good smallmouth bass fishing at Big Charity Island. A few salmon and brown trout have been caught in the surf near the Singing Bridge.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey - Boat anglers were struggling in deep water. Try long-lining plugs or body baits around the piers and the no wake buoy. Pier anglers did well when casting reef runners, thundersticks or rapalas.

Bear River - Had good numbers of salmon on those windy and rainy days.

Charlevoix - The worst the weather, the better the bite. Boat anglers did well around the St. Mary’s boat slip. Shore anglers caught fish with skein under a bobber 8 to 12 feet down. Boats are trolling in 15 to 40 feet of water with thundersticks, reef runners, rapalas and J-plugs. Pier anglers caught fish when casting glow spoons into the current. Salmon have started their run into Medusa Creek.

Traverse City - Those trolling in the East Bay have marked good numbers of fish however the bite was slow. Many are trolling in 120 feet of water along the southeast section of the bay while others are targeting the drop offs in the evening. Perch were starting to bite south of Dock Road in 40 feet of water. Cisco and whitefish were marked in 120 feet of water near Yuba. In the West Bay, boats are trolling in 100 feet of water however more fish were found in shallow waters near the river.

Boardman River - Had good numbers of fish. Fish were caught not only in the deep holes but along the entire river. Skein worked best in the early morning.

Platte Bay - Is giving up coho and chinook salmon.

Platte River - Over 9,000 coho have been passed through the lower weir, so coho fishing should be good.

Frankfort - Chinook are trickling in however boat anglers were not marking many fish near the mouth of the river. When conditions allow, boat anglers are fishing 75 to 120 feet down in 120 to 150 feet of water and catching some nice three year old fish. A few coho were caught on flies and spoons. Steelhead were straight out from the lighthouse and hitting on orange spoons in 75 feet of water.

Betsie River - The salmon run here is in full swing. Schools of fish are starting to show up at the mouth. Chinook were caught by those using skein under a bobber off the M-22 Bridge and the old train trestle. Up near the M-31 Bridge, chinook were caught off the gravel and the nearby holes. A fair to good number of chinook and brown trout were caught between the County Line Bridge and the old hatchery when using flies. Eggs and streamers worked best.

Onekama - Boat anglers are heading to the Barrel and trolling 50 to 60 feet down in 75 to 150 feet of water. The fish caught were taken where all the bait fish were marked.

Portage Lake - A few largemouth bass were caught along the 15 to 20 foot drop offs. Bluegills were hitting on worms in 10 to 15 feet of water. Some perch were caught in the early morning however the fish were small.

Manistee - Boat anglers reported good catches of steelhead and young chinook in 120 to 220 feet of water as the thermocline was about 100 feet down.

Manistee River - Recent rain pushed fish into the river and the salmon run is going strong. Try drifting or casting spinners and crank baits.

Ludington - A few salmon have been caught in 80 to 160 feet of water between The Bath House and Big Sable Point. Pier action was slow.

Pere Marquette River - Is also reporting a good run of chinook salmon.

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon - Lake trout have been caught in 80 to 120 feet of water when trolling spoons in the middle of the water column. Salmon are still staging near the rivers.

Black River - Chinook and coho should start their run anytime now.

Keweenaw Bay - Anglers are picking up a mix of coho and lake trout trolling between Sand Point and the red rocks near the roadside park. Try 30 to 70 feet down in 40 to 140 feet of water with spoons, dodgers, flies or body baits.

Fall’s River - Anglers have caught a few coho on crawlers or spinners.

Marquette - Surface water temperatures were in the upper 50′s. A few coho were caught but catch rates were still spotty. Most are trolling between the lower harbor and the Chocolay River in 40 to 80 feet of water with spoons. Catch rates in the Carp River and the Dead River were also spotty.

Little Bay De Noc - No salmon to report at the mouth of the Ford River but anglers have just started fishing the area. This time last year was good for walleye off the Ford River however that is not the case this year, at least not yet. Fair walleye and perch action between Gladstone and the Narrows when jigging or drifting crawlers in 25 to 35 feet of water. Walleye were caught from the southern Black Bottom south to the lighthouse with crawler harnesses in 15 to 35 feet of water. Good perch fishing north of Butler Island but the fish were small.

Big Bay De Noc - Has been slow with mostly smallmouth bass caught. Most are drifting or trolling minnows 25 to 30 feet down along the break from Garden Bluff south to Snake Island. Walleye anglers have to go out several miles from any launch to find fish, but weather has been a factor.

Au Train - Surface water temperatures were in the upper 50′s. Local rivers have cooled off and were averaging 58 to 60 degrees.

Munising - Good numbers of fish were marked in the Bay however catch rates were slow. Most anglers reported one or two salmon per trip when casting spinners, spoons or spawn bags. Steelhead were also caught. Shore anglers were still taking a fair number of splake when using spawn bags.

Indian Lake - Those drifting crawlers near the weeds along the west shoreline and the rock pile have caught walleye and perch. Those casting picked up smallmouth bass or pike. Perch anglers did well when jigging crawlers in the deep holes along the north end of the lake or in front of the state campground.

St. Mary’s River - Pink salmon are beginning to slow down at the Power Plant, in Sault Ste. Marie, but anglers are still catching a few limits at the Soo Locks near the boat tours. Downstream, yellow perch fishing is good in 10 feet of water just south of the Menominee Resort when using minnows. Perch were also caught near Round Island in 12 feet of water using half a crawler in the weed beds.

De Tour - Not many were out but a few boats were still harvesting lake trout, steelhead, and chinook just 5 or 10 feet below the surface. Those fishing the Drummond Island side near the red can or the lighthouse are trolling due south for one mile. Try planer boards with hammered silver spoons.

Cedarville and Hessel - Anglers are targeting yellow perch which are scattered throughout the islands. They are hitting on minnows now instead of crawlers along the north shore of Musky Bay, Middle Entrance, Moscoe Channel, south shore of Hessel Bay and the north side of Haven Island. Pike were caught by those still-fishing with chubs. The smallmouth bite should pick up in the next week or so. Try small spinners along the rocky points around the islands. Pink salmon are present in Bush and Beavertail Creeks.

Carp River - Anglers are fishing the mouth or upstream in the McDonalds Rapids. The rapids were hot with chinook and pink salmon caught on chartreuse or gold spoons, spinners or spawn.


Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

With the garden shrinking fast, I do not care if this is not about fishing, food is a good thing!  It takes my favorites and rolls them into one great meal!

In this case it was steak grinder time last night for supper.  You can use a variety of meats, but this is a chuck roast, trimmed and sliced vertically and then marinated at room with some bourbon, beer, worcestershire and seasonal salt.  Its all to taste and I don’t do measures, so start off with a little and adjust.  Throw meat with all the juice into frying pan and cook up till you still see a little pink showing.  It will finish cooking in the oven later and helps it avoid getting tough.

The bread is an easy thing,  you go down to the grocery store that has it’s own bakery and get some italian bread. Love when Meijers has their’s on sale two loafs for 3 bucks.  One loaf will feed a family of four.  Cut loaf in half with a bread knife and then turn and place the cut end down on a board. Make three thin cuts so you end up with four slices.

Now preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Next place two pieces of bread on a baking sheet, top bottom piece with your meat, and add your favorite steak or bbq sauce to it now.  Top with with fresh peppers and onion.  This one is made with cubanelles and hungarian rings from the garden.  You can grill them first, or fry with a little butter, but with all the cheese that goes on next, I try to keep it a little healthy and just stack them up.

The cheese is next, and this one was made with sliced swiss.  You can use grated or shredded cheese, but I like the melt you get with slices, it just melts into every place it can get into.  Just about any cheese can be melted, love pepper jack on this sandwich, but anything but cheddar will do.  Cheddar produces too much oil when heated up.

Put the baking sheet into the oven and set the time for 8 minutes.  This allows for a nice melt of the cheese and toast of the bread.  You can butter the top slice that goes in naked, put the cheese on that slice or throw some more cheese to double up the yum factor.  Cheese will come out a little browned and the toast perfect.

Top off with tomatoes and slap the two sides together and enjoy. I still have Roma’s on the vine and the small slices allow for maximum coverage on the sandwich.  If you like bacon as much as me, then it won’t hurt to throw some strips on top of the veggies, or under the cheese on the top slice of bread!!!

Get Ready for the Fall Cranking Season

Monday, September 20th, 2010

With the cooler nights and water temps falling its almost time to put those perch rods away.  While some are thinking about putting away the boats for the season, there are those who cannot wait for the time to start pulling crankbaits through the waters of Monroe’s Brest Bay.  It’s almost cranking time again, and the pigs will be roaming the bay.

Time to organize the big lures for the time when the fall hunt for big fish will be on.  Reef Runner 800′s, Storm Deep Thundersticks and Rapala Deep Taildancers and Husky Jerks rule the fall scene out on the big water.  Run them up high where the big girls will be and dial in the speed till they start hitting.





Spool up some fresh line, the extra cost will be worth it when you tie into a 7 lb plus walleye this fall.  It makes no sense to go trophy hunting with line that has been run all summer long with the stress it has  been subjected to. Ten to 20 lb is the range for new line, with 14 or 15 lb test a good middle ground.

Weekly Michigan DNR Fishing Report: 9/16/2010

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

With so many heading out to fish the river systems, anglers are reminded to do their part and carry out everything you carry in. Have respect for your fellow anglers and the resources around you, do not litter! Those using the fish cleaning stations are reminded to please turn the fish grinders on before placing carcasses in for disposal. This will prevent the grinders from getting plugged.Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie - Fishing has been fair when anglers can get out. Some nice perch in the 8 to 12 inch range were caught in 23 to 25 feet of water off Stony Point, 22 feet of water near the River Raisin, and 18 feet of water near Bolles Harbor. Good catfish action in the Hot Pond near the Monroe Power Plant.Huron River - No steelhead to speak of however rain in the forecast could very well get some fish moving. Carp fishing was good up near the dam at Flat Rock. Bluegill and crappie continue to bite in the backwaters.Detroit River - Anglers targeting perch have done well around Celeron Island and Sugar Island. No word on walleye.Lexington - A few pike were caught around the docks.Harbor Beach - Fish inside the harbor until the winds die down. Try trolling spoons or body baits along the channel. Perch anglers might want to try minnows along the edge of the channel and around the weed beds.Port Austin - Steelhead and walleye were caught 30 to 40 feet down in 100 feet of water when trolling spoons.Saginaw Bay - Some perch were caught on minnows out near the Spark Plug, Buoy H, and Buoy 22. Channel cats were caught at the Hot Ponds and bass could be found in and around the marinas. On the east side, anglers were trying to fish the cuts and rivers but were not successful.Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph River - Fishing is a little slow but anglers are starting to take a few chinook, coho and steelhead up near the Berrien Springs Dam. Most are drifting wobble glo’s or corkies. Fishing in the lower river was slow. Smallmouth bass action was decent for those using small plastic baits. Walleye and catfish were slow. A word of caution to anglers; the river is extremely low which has exposed a lot of new obstructions. Caution needs to be used.Kalamazoo River - Is closed from Marshall to Morrow Dam until further notice.Grand Haven - Pier anglers were trying to catch salmon when casting spoons, shad or alewife. Boats are still trolling out deep, try 85 to 150 feet down in waters 170 to 215 feet deep. Spoons are working best and the hot colors were green, blue, yellow, green and yellow or blue and yellow.Grand River at Grand Rapids - Has good numbers of coho however the fish are running small 12 to 14 inches. Most were caught on pink flies or spawn bags. Chinook and steelhead were caught on spinners, Hot-n-Tots, half a crawler or spawn. Brown trout were hitting on green Caddis flies. Those fishing off Fulton Street did well off the east wall with Hot-n-Tots. Good colors were gold or chrome with blue and a red lip. For walleye, boat anglers are trolling small crank baits upstream and drifting crawlers back down. Some big bluegills were caught in the lagoon at Riverside Park. Try wax worms or leaf worms.Grand River at Lansing - Moore’s Park has lots of catfish being caught in slow waters. A few walleye have been caught in the deeper holes. The hot spot for bluegill was along the far wall. The North Lansing Dam is producing good catches of smallmouth bass and catfish. Both were hitting on spec minnows and crawlers.Reeds Lake - Is producing bluegills, crappie, perch, pike and bass.Muskegon - Boat anglers have been trolling around the piers, in the channel and into Muskegon Lake. Few salmon have been caught as anglers were having a problem with weeds getting tangled around the line. Try plugs in chrome with a red head or anything that glows.Whitehall - Anglers have caught salmon off the south pier when using spoons such as Cleo’s or cast masters. Pier fishing has not been consistent.White Lake - Is where the better salmon fishing has been especially west of the Narrows when trolling or casting stick baits. A few salmon have moved into the river.Northeast Lower Peninsula
Mullett Lake - Anglers were targeting trout while trolling 40 to 60 feet down in 70 to 110 feet of water between the points. For walleye, try 40 to 50 feet down with crawler harnesses and crank baits between Red Pine Point and Round Point or 25 to 40 feet of water between Dodge Point and Needle Point. Perch ranging from 4 to 11 inches were caught near Long Point, Dodge Point, Pigeon Bay and near the south sunken islands in 10 to 40 feet of water. Try crawlers or minnows. Pigeon Bay was good for small pike. Smallmouth bass were caught near the mouth of the Cheboygan River, Dodge Point, Long Point and the northern sunken islands in 9 to 12 feet of water.Rogers City - Fish are finally starting to stage off Swan Bay but the bite was slow. This is a good time for those in small boats to fish Swan Bay, Calcite Harbor and Adams Point. In shallow waters, use planer boards with short leads and J-plugs or bombers. Good colors were pearl, bright orange, yellow or green. Those in deeper waters are fishing the top half with spoons and squid early or late. Good colors were green and yellow, blue and silver, yellow, orange and white, orange and silver or anything that glows.Presque Isle - Try the usual spots such as straight out from the red can, south of Stoneport or north between the two lighthouses. Fish the top half of the water column in 45 to 70 feet of water with spoons. Good colors were green and yellow, blue and silver, orange and white or anything that glows.Thunder Bay River - Anglers are mainly shore fishing and have caught chinook, pink salmon and steelhead. Some of them are dark however there are still plenty of fresh fish. Salmon were starting to hit on spawn. A few pike were caught as well.Harrisville - A few salmon have been caught in the harbor. Spoons and body baits are working well but J-plugs in any combination of silver and green were the most productive. Steelhead are starting to come in closer to shore. Walleye are still north between the harbor and Sturgeon Point in 20 to 40 feet of water. Try crawler harnesses on the bottom.Oscoda - Salmon have been caught off the piers however there were no reports of fish in the river. Spoons and body baits were best at sunrise and sunset. Boats heading out caught fish just outside the piers and in the cove just north of the pier. Long-lining body baits worked best here. Steelhead and lake trout are coming in closer as water temperatures drop.Tawas - Pier action was slow with only a few salmon spotted. A couple walleye were caught off the outside wall in the early morning or late evening.Au Gres - Had no walleye action. When boats can get out, perch fishing was decent with 7 to 11 inch fish caught.Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey - Light numbers of fish have been caught in Traverse Bay as the salmon were scattered in waters 70 to 120 feet deep. Early morning or late evening was best when trolling plugs near the marina and around the pier. Shore anglers caught a few fish when casting reef runners and thundersticks.Bear River - Has seen fish numbers go up and down each time the flow increases or decreases. Look for the next significant rain to bring good numbers of fish back in.Charlevoix - Catch rates for salmon were slow but a few fish were caught on spoons and white flashers with a green or red fly in 90 to 120 feet of water. Those fishing in 20 to 50 feet of water near the Medusa breakwall caught fish in the early morning or evening with plugs or body baits. Shore anglers are fishing the Medusa slip with spoons, body baits or skein under a bobber.Traverse City - In the East Bay, fish have been found along the South Bank in 100 to 150 feet of water. The better catches came in the evening and after sunset. For whitefish, try jigging spoons south of the Center Road launch in 100 feet of water. Near Elk Rapids, light numbers of fish have made their way into the bypass however few were caught. In the West Bay, boats are targeting good numbers of fish in front of the Boardman River when trolling plugs and fly’s in shallow waters in the early morning before the sun comes up. To avoid traffic, some are heading north along the east side of the bay and doing just as well.Boardman River - Has seen its first good run of fish. Anglers are doing well when using skein. Anglers are reminded to carry out everything you carry in. Have respect for fellow anglers and the resources around you, do not litter!Platte River - Coho have been passed for about the last week or so. There is a mix of chinook and coho below the weir.Frankfort - Pier anglers are catching fish in the early morning. Boats are trolling the harbor and around the piers. Try glow spoons, thundersticks or rapalas. Spawn was only working in the river. Three year old chinook salmon were caught when trolling spoons 80 to 100 feet down in 120 to 140 feet of water.Betsie River - Salmon are now being caught mostly in the lower stretches however more chinook are moving up every day.Onekama - Some nice fish were caught near the Barrel when trolling spoons and flies 75 to 90 feet down in 120 feet of water.Manistee - Boat and pier anglers are catching fish in the harbor.Manistee Lake - Is producing chinook for those trolling.Manistee River - Salmon are now being caught mostly in the lower section however more chinook are moving up into the middle stretches. Not many fish up at Tippy Dam but more will be showing up each day.Ludington - A few salmon were caught in shallow waters in the early morning when trolling spoons or plugs that glow. Pier fishing was slow.Pentwater - Fish are still being caught on the big lake in 60 to 80 feet of water. Some anglers are heading down towards Silver Lake while others caught fish in front of the piers.Pentwater River - Had good salmon fishing near Monroe Road.Upper Peninsula
Ontonagon - Fish have started to stage in front of the rivers. Lake trout were still deep in 50 to 65 feet of water.Black River - Salmon have started to gather near the mouth so it will not be long before the run gets started.Keweenaw Bay - Catch rates were spotty however a few anglers did well when trolling in 30 to 70 feet of water from Sand Point north to the first set of red rocks near the roadside park. They caught a mix of chinook, coho, lake trout, steelhead and brown trout when trolling 2.3 to 2.7 miles per hour. Those jigging for lake trout near Pequaming picked up a few fish in 240 feet of water. No salmon in the Falls River. Those fishing Traverse Bay caught lake trout when trolling off Big Louie’s Point and Seven Mile Reef with spoons, dodgers and flies, or dodgers and peanuts in 60 to 130 feet of water. Limits of lake trout were caught by those jigging in 240 feet of water off Big Louie’s Point and the Huron Islands.Marquette - Water temperatures were 59 to 61 degrees. A few chinook salmon were caught near the Carp and Dead Rivers however the bulk of fish have not started to move in yet. Some coho and steelhead were spotted near the Chocolay River. Try casting spoons or using a single egg. If you catch a tagged fish, be sure to contact a local DNRE office.Little Bay De Noc - Walleye fishing was fair between the Escanaba River and the lighthouse when trolling or drifting crawlers in 15 to 35 feet of water. Those fishing between Gladstone Beach and the Narrows caught a mix of small walleye and perch when drifting or jigging crawlers in 25 to 33 feet of water. Good smallmouth action along the break off Escanaba in 25 to 30 feet of water. Try perch rigs or lindy rigs.Big Bay De Noc - Smallmouth bass fishing was very good off Garden Bluff when using minnows just off the bottom in 20 to 35 feet of water. Good numbers of walleye were reported from Round Island south to the shoals off Peninsula Point.Au Train - Water temperatures have cooled off and are averaging 58 to 60 degrees. A couple steelhead were caught out from the Rock River.Munising - Those trolling have caught a few coho in Munising Bay and Trout Bay. Good numbers of fish were marked but catch rates were slow. Shore anglers are taking splake on spawn bags. Fish were averaging 2 pounds. Coho were hitting on spawn bags and lures such as small spoons.Indian Lake - Catch rates picked up with walleye caught near the rock pile and the weeds along the west shore. Most fish were caught near the bottom when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 8 to 10 feet of water. Small perch were caught in front of the State Park. Smallmouth bass were hitting on crawlers and crank baits.St. Mary’s River - Pink salmon have started their fall run. Fish have been caught at the Cloverland Power Plant and near the docks at the Soo Locks boat tours. Anglers are casting and jigging spoons and the bite was best right after sunrise. Good pike action off Kemps Point for those trolling buck tail spinners off the weedbeds. Turn the grinders on before placing your fish carcasses in the machine at the cleaning station.De Tour - A few yellow perch were reported around Drummond between Peck Island and Ashmun Island. Try minnows in 10 feet of water. Catch rates slowed but those going out are harvesting lake trout and pink salmon. Most are fishing the channel from the city launch to the red can or the green can to the lighthouse.Cedarville and Hessel - Perch have been caught off the Hessel Marina pier, the east end of Hessel Bay, the south shoreline, and the north side of Haven Island and Snows Channel. Try 8 to 12 feet of water with crawlers. Out of Cedarville, perch and pike were caught in Musky Bay, Middle Entrance and the Moscoe Channel. A few splake were caught on spawn bags in the marina. Anglers are harvesting salmon in Bush Creek and Beavertail Creek.Carp River - Anglers are harvesting pink salmon and a few chinook on small spoons. Good colors were red and white, red and black, green or glow. Be mindful that the Mackinaw Trail Bridge is closed.St. Ignace - Fishing remains steady between the flats and the Coast Guard Station. Chinook and lake trout were hitting on orange and black or yellow and purple spoons.  






Michigan Business One Stop
Link to Department and Agencies Web Site Index
Link to Statewide Online Services Index
Link to Statewide Web-based Surveys
Link to RSS feeds available on this site

Related Content
 •  HELP!! I lost my fishing license…
 •  Free Fishing Weekend

Perch Fishing: Got Minnows Left Over?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Ever been perch fishing and had minnows left over?  It could have been a day where the perch were not cooperating, or perhaps the weather changed quickly and you had to get off the water fast.  Either way, its a shame to have to dump the money you put into those minnows onto the ground at the end of your trip.  Welcome to the wonderful world of VHS because you just cannot dump them into the lake anymore.

Regardless, its a shame in today’s economy to be wasting money so here is a quick tip.  Wait for the add to come up in your local Meijer’s store or some such type place that sells fish and aquarium supplies.  This is a 10 gallon tank that usually sells for $24.00, you can get them on sale for less than 15 bucks! Or, you could even hit the garage sale circuit and perhaps get a bigger tank for less. 

Filtered water or well water is the key, the filter system was crap so about every other day or so, I have to change out the water.  To help keep the fish calm and healthy, fill up an old water bottle about 3/4ths of the way, and freeze.  This will help to keep the fish cool, stress free and will slow down their metabolism. Oxygen can be added by what comes with the tank, or Metal Marine makes a nice single or double 110 volt model that you can plug in anywhere.

Its also a great idea to have during the winter, comes in handy when crappie fishing or chasing walleyes around the lake!

Sunday Perching leads to the Decoy Approach

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Hit the water yesterday for some perch action on Lake Erie, with mixed results.  Ended up with 38 really nice perch, 8 inch up to 12 inches. But it was work, not catching that brought them in.  Lots of weeding with the smaller ones, some dry spells, five different moves and when they were biting it didn’t last long.

Our best spot was the first one, away from any other boats in 24 foot of water. It produced some of the bigger fish, but it was not consistent so we moved off to the pack at the end of the River Raisin channel.  Didn’t catch anything big for a while, and did not see anything big being pulled up around us.

But this was the spot where I came up with a new idea.  It all started with a walleye sized emerald shiner being in the mix of spottails.  I put the 4 inch shiner on my top hook for some flash and sure enough it begun to draw the fish in.  After 5 or six decent perch coming on the bottom hooks, a 9 inch perch finally stole my shiner, but I got the perch in the boat.  This lead to my neighbor trying it out, and with similar results before  he lost his big shiner to a 10 inch perch.

The decoy method or approach was born!  I call it the decoy tactic because it reminded of something done during ice fishing.  Those who spear pike in dark shacks place a large wooden(weighted) decoy down the hole to bring in big northerns into the target zone.  Its the same principle, big baits, bring in big fish.  It certainly seemed to work Sunday afternoon when the bite slowed down.

After this revelation and running out of the walleye sized shiners we hit a couple of more spots.  One was totally dry in the bay. The last one produced a few more before calling it quits near Stoney Point in 22 fow.

The fish are on ice and the Tumble Drumm scaler is calling my name!