Michigan DNR Fishing Report: 10.28.10

Steelhead are starting to move as the salmon runs are winding down. Rain this week should help with low water levels and bring some fresh fish up into the rivers. This is a good time of year to catch big bluegills, crappie, bass and pike.

Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie – Strong winds slowed the bite and kept boats on shore. The yellow perch bite should be good by the weekend after the waters have settled. Bolles Harbor, Metro Park and Stony Point were still good spots to fish.
Huron River – Water levels have started to come back up slowly. Steelhead fishing is just getting started with only a few fish taken so far by shore anglers. Crappie and bluegills were caught in the backwaters. Try jigs with wax worms or rooster tails.
Lexington – Was the most productive port over the last week with some perch caught in the harbor everyday along with a couple steelhead and brown trout. Some chinook salmon were taken after dark on a variety of baits and lures. There has been very little boat activity anywhere on southern Lake Huron.
Port Sanilac – A few perch were in the harbor.Harbor Beach – Had a few perch in the harbor as well. Some brown trout were spotted near the fishing site at the Detroit Edison plant however they did not want to bite. Try casting small baits such as spoons. A few walleye were caught off the north wall when fishing at night.
Saginaw Bay – Strong southwest winds have made for very low water conditions at launch sites along the inner bay, hampering anglers and duck hunters alike. There has been a lot of perch fishing activity at the mouth of the Saginaw River and around Spoils Island. A lot of sorting is necessary, but some bigger fish are being caught. When the weather allows, a few anglers are fishing out near the Spark Plug and even as far out as Buoys 1 and 2 as that is where the bigger perch are. Walleye were caught in and around the Hot Pond channel mostly by those wading and casting jigs or crank baits. Boat anglers caught perch off the mouth of the Quanicassee River while shore anglers were mostly sorting through little ones. It may be a bit early, but this is the season when larger perch often enter the lower parts of area rivers where shore anglers can catch them. It depends on rain and water temperatures, but fishing in local rivers usually picks up about the first of November and can be very productive right up until ice forms. Rather than waiting to hear that the fishing is good, it makes more sense to start fishing these rivers now. If you wait until you hear about it, the run will be over by the time you get out there.
Saginaw River – Has not had any reports concerning walleye in the lower river however some fish should be in there.Sebewaing River – Was only producing small perch.Pigeon River – Had nothing but small perch as well.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph – Pier anglers are starting to catch whitefish with a hook and single egg.St. Joseph River – Overall fishing remains slow as water levels were still low. Caution should be used by all boaters as water levels were very low and producing many more obstacles. Look for improved catch rates with cooler temperatures and rain this week. Some nice smallmouth bass were caught by those using crank baits.
South Haven – Fishing was slow except for a couple steelhead caught off the north pier when still-fishing with live bait.
Grand Haven – Pier anglers caught the occasional steelhead on spawn and menominee on wax worms. Those surfcasting also caught some steelhead.
Grand River at Grand Rapids – Had a good push of steelhead. Anglers are using chartreuse and pink spawn bags with floats, Hot-n-Tots, small Cleo’s, small chrome and red wobble glows tipped with 3 eggs and a 5 foot leader. A few fresh salmon were also caught. Riverside Park had bluegills hitting on leaf worms and wax worms. Crappie are hitting on minnows, wax worms and small crappie jigs. Millennium Park is good for bluegills, crappie, bass and pike. Those fishing the Felix Bayou caught bluegills and crappie on leaf worms and wax worms.
Grand River at Lansing – Some nice crappies were caught on minnows and wax worms above Moore’s Park Dam. For catfish, the best action continues to be at Moore’s Park and the North Lansing Dam. For bass, anglers will find both large and smallmouth below any of the dams
.Sessions Lake – Is still producing some nice bluegills for those using wax worms.
Jordan Lake – Bluegill and crappie have been caught on minnows.
Reeds Lake – Perch have been caught off the bottom in 20 to 30 feet of water on minnows and wax worms. Bass were hitting on blue and chrome rattle traps and pike were going after live suckers and large spoons.
Muskegon – A couple steelhead were caught off the south pier on the channel side.
Whitehall – Salmon are still being caught under the causeway at the mouth of the river when using crank baits. Steelhead fishing off the pier has started to pick up. A few brown trout were also caught. Boats able to get out to 80 to 120 feet of water have also caught steelhead.
White River – Is producing some steelhead for those using spawn.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Mullett Lake – Perch fishing is still the hot topic followed by walleye and bass. Anglers are targeting Red Pine Point, Long Point, Needle Point, Pigeon Bay, Mullett Creek, the mouth of the Indian River and the south sunken islands in 14 to 35 feet of water with crawlers and minnows. One angler caught a walleye near Pigeon Bay when trolling rapalas in 15 to 20 feet of water. For bass, try 7 to 20 feet of water off Needle Point and the mouth of the Indian River with spinners and artificial worms.
Rogers City – Few boats have been out but those taking advantage of late October fishing have caught a couple chinook and steelhead in waters up to 70 feet deep. Lake trout were still hitting but that season is closed. Shore anglers fishing off the breakwall are taking brown trout on a regular basis. Use anything that resembles small shiners or smelt, small Cleo’s or spoons. Good colors were fire-tiger, blue and silver or chartreuse and silver. Spawn under a bobber also caught fish.
Alpena – Had good brown trout fishing. It is getting close to the time whitefish come close to shore and enter the mouth of the rivers to spawn. Were not quite there yet but a few fish were seen on the reefs in Thunder Bay. Those interested in fishing Great Lakes whitefish should put mid-November on their calendars as that is the peak for whitefish which will slowly start showing up by November 1st. There has been no walleye action; it appears the walleye have moved offshore.
Thunder Bay River – Salmon are in poor condition so anglers are releasing them and targeting steelhead and brown trout instead. Most trout were caught on flies or spawn bags up near the Ninth Street Dam. There have been quite a few perch anglers on the docks at the harbor but they are not keeping many because the fish are small. Northern pike are still hanging around the harbor because of the schools of perch. Try casting artificial lures or perch minnows.
Harrisville – Salmon continue to trickle in and the fish seem to be in good shape. Most were caught on spoons, body baits or spawn. Silver has been a good color. Walleye were reported in and around the harbor and a few were caught on crawler harnesses and body baits.
Oscoda – Most fish are being taken from the pier and out to 20 feet of water. Anglers are using Cleo’s and wobblers. Silver was the hot color.
Au Sable River – Catch rates were slow with not many trout or salmon. Walleye seem to be making their way back into the river but catch rates were down.Tawas – Pier anglers were sorting through lots of little perch to get 8 to 10 keepers. Steelhead and brown trout were around the harbor. Not much boat fishing activity but a couple anglers out trolling with rapalas took a nice steelhead and brown trout in 15 to 20 feet of water near the tip of Tawas Point. Emerald shiners were just thick in the harbor and in most of the bay. Those surfcasting near the Singing Bridge caught a couple small steelhead on spawn.
Au Gres – When boat anglers can get out, they are getting some very nice perch in 30 to 50 feet of water straight off the mouth of the river and out to the shipping channel. Perch averaged 8 to 10 inches or bigger.
Au Gres River – A few perch were caught but many were small.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey – Steelhead are starting to appear off the breakwalls and around the docks. Those caught were taken on spawn bags.
Bear River – Recent rainfall has pushed the last of the salmon run into the river and the fish look to be in good shape.
Charlevoix – The salmon run has ended in Lake Michigan. Try the Jordan and the Boyne Rivers for the last of the chinook salmon run. Steelhead and perch anglers had limited success. Steelhead can be found along the shoreline and near the mouth of the river. Try floating spawn bags just off the bottom.
Traverse City – Whitefish and Cisco have been caught in the East Bay, south of the Center Road launch and out from Dock Road in 70 to 90 feet of water. A few perch were caught off Deepwater Point Road in 35 feet of water. Mornings are best. The West Bay has whitefish south of the island in 65 to 90 feet of water. Again, mornings are best. Perch are hitting in 30 to 35 feet of water off M-72.
Elk River – Near the Elk Rapids bypass, lake trout and salmon have been caught near the dam when using spawn bags. Those casting thundersticks later in the evening have also caught fish.
Boardman River – With the weir closed, fish have moved up river to the Union Street Dam. Salmon and trout have been caught on spawn or flies.
Platte River – A couple hundred chinook and some coho were harvested at the lower weir the beginning of the week. Crews should be able to harvest out the rest of the coho at the upper weir this week.
Manistee – Salmon fishing is tapering off, although some fish can still be found. Pier anglers and those surfcasting should be catching some steelhead now.
Manistee River – Salmon season is pretty much done as steelhead are now moving into the river. Until water level come up, fish the deeper holes with streamers. Rain in the forecast should help bring additional fish up into the river.
Ludington – Windy conditions have kept boat anglers on shore. Pier and shore anglers have started to catch some steelhead.
Pentwater – A couple steelhead were caught off the south pier and by those surfcasting with spawn.
Pentwater River – Fresh salmon and some steelhead were caught off Monroe Road.
Upper Peninsula
Black River – A few small coho were caught off the breakwall this past week however river fishing was slow.
Lake Gogebic – Was producing walleye and perch in Bergland Bay and the weed beds in front of the Ontonagon County Park.
Copper Harbor – Splake were caught in the harbor when using cut bait or spawn.
Twin Lakes – In Houghton County, had good crappie fishing for those using minnows near the weed beds.
Keweenaw Bay – Inclement weather is keeping anglers on shore. Those fishing off the dock in L’Anse were catching coho and steelhead. Those casting off Sand Point near Baraga had also caught a few coho. Near the south Portage Entry, those able to get out in boats have caught lake trout between the Mud Banks and Rabbit Island when trolling in 40 to 90 feet of water.
Marquette – Was still producing some limit catches of lake trout off the Lower Harbor breakwall when casting spoons, spinners and crank baits. Those able to get out to the white rocks caught a few fish but the lake trout have moved in closer to shore. Steelhead and coho were caught between the Lower Harbor and the Carp River in 30 to 40 feet of water. Menominee moved in closer to shore as they get ready to spawn.
Little Bay De Noc – Walleye reports were mixed with no one area better than another. Anglers were switching over to crank baits but catch rates were still a bit slow for this time of the year. Those fishing just north of the Narrows caught a mix of perch and walleye in 20 to 30 feet of water. Perch anglers did much better when fishing around the green buoy near the Day’s River. Several good catches of jumbo perch were taken by those using minnows in 14 to 20 feet of water.
Big Bay De Noc – Walleye anglers caught a few fish near Ogontz when using crawler harnesses in 14 feet of water. Smallmouth bass fishing was still very good between Garden Bluff and Snail Shell Harbor. Try minnows 15 to 30 feet down.
Indian Lake – Walleye anglers were struggling. A few perch were caught but most were on the small side. Anglers were drifting crawlers along the south shore.
Munising – Pretty much all the salmon have found their way up river at this point. There are still a few leftover coho that have been caught from shore however anglers should not be surprised to leave empty-handed. Try casting spinners and spoons. Splake fishing was slow but the steelhead action has increased for those casting or still-fishing with spawn. Small boat anglers continue to catch a few whitefish when jigging in 25 to 35 feet of water.
Grand Marais – Boats trolling in the bay have caught some nice steelhead in shallow waters up to 10 feet deep. Fish averaged between 4 and 8 pounds and were hitting on body baits. Shore anglers caught steelhead when drifting spawn bags near the mouth of rivers and creeks. Pier anglers fishing for menominee had little success but catch rates should improve a great deal in the coming weeks.
St. Mary’s River – Yellow perch fishing has slowed. Walleye up to five pounds have been caught at the north end of Munuscong Bay and near Moon Island when using medium crank baits in 8 to 12 feet of water. Blue, chrome and red were good colors. Good smallmouth action around the south end of Neebish Island when jigging tube baits near the rock piles in 6 to 8 feet of water.
Cedarville and Hessel – Perch have been caught along the south shoreline of Snow Channel, from the first cut east and down around Dollar Island and in Musky Bay. Try shiners in 6 to 12 feet of water.
Carp River – Has produced some nice 15 inch rainbow trout along with a couple chinook salmon.
St. Ignace – Chinook salmon can be seen cruising under the docks and around the breakwall. Try jigging spawn or casting small spoons and spinners. Hot colors were orange and white or green and white. Silver salmon are slowly coming into Nunn’s Creek. Anglers are jigging or casting spawn. 






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