As the salmon runs start to wind down, steelhead action will increase. Boats fishing shallow waters in the early morning and pier anglers are starting to catch steelhead. Perch fishing has been good in the lower Detroit River and Lake Erie.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie – Has very good yellow perch fishing with jumbo perch caught straight out from the Metro Park Marina in 10 feet of water. Good perch fishing south of the Banana Dike in 15 feet of water off Estral Beach. Limit catches were reported by those using perch rigs with shiners.
Huron River – Water levels are still extremely low. We need rain to bring water levels up and the fish in. Boat anglers have caught a few fish downriver but nothing up near the dam yet. With the low water levels, try rooster tails.
Detroit River – Perch fishing has been very good with limits of 9 to 15 inch fish caught in the border waters south of Sugar Island and the southern part of Celeron Island. Walleye were caught in the lower Trenton Channel and around Horse Island when jigging shiners. Near Gibraltar, those fishing off the docks were just starting to catch panfish.
Lexington – Those trolling were taking some steelhead in waters 20 to 30 feet and deeper. Shore and pier anglers were getting some perch, a few brown trout, and the occasional steelhead and pike. There were reports of salmon jumping around the harbor at night.
Port Sanilac – Did not have much shore-fishing activity however anglers may be missing out, for there is no reason fish should not be in there.
Harbor Beach – The docks are still in at the boat launch. Few have been out but those trolling should be able to find steelhead and brown trout. This is a good time for pier anglers to catch trout.
Saginaw Bay – A lot of perch are being taken from boats at the mouth of the Saginaw and Kawkawlin Rivers, around Spoils Island, and near buoys 16 and 17. Sorting is a must however those willing to put in the time can get enough for dinner. Those wading off the mouth of the Hot Pond and off the end of Jones Road are getting a few walleye when casting jigs or crank baits. Boat anglers are doing fair off the mouth of the Quanicassee River with keepers running 7 to 12 inches. The city marina at Caseville is now open to shore fishing, but the perch are still running small. Most of those in Wildfowl Bay are duck hunting.
Sebewaing River – Shore anglers have caught small perch and assorted panfish.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph River – Water levels are still extremely low. Boat anglers need to use caution as some of the boat launches are proving to be very difficult to use. Some boats have suffered prop and lower unit damage. There are salmon in the river however catch rates were slow. Boat anglers drifting spawn or running crank baits have caught a few fish. For smallmouth bass, try casting small jigs near the log jams.
Grand Haven – Had no report from boat anglers however pier anglers targeting steelhead have caught catfish. Most are using spawn.
Grand River at Grand Rapids – The salmon run has peaked and is now on the downside. Steelhead and the occasional coho were still being caught on spawn bags and flies. Fishing off Fulton Street has been very good for those using plugs between 5am and 9am. Hot colors were chrome and blue or black and gold with red lips. Small thundersticks also worked well. Those spey fishing (fly fishing with a pole that is 12 to 14 foot or longer with heavy flies) have also done well with large pink and white streamers. Riverside Park was producing limits of big bluegills and crappie. Try minnows, leaf worms and wax worms.
Grand River at Lansing – No trout or salmon to report this week. Boat anglers need to use extreme caution as water levels are extremely low. Those fishing the North Lansing Dam have caught good numbers of large and smallmouth bass when using crawlers. Water levels are so low you can see the bottom near the dam.
Reeds Lake – Is still producing bluegills, perch, crappie, bass and pike. This is a great time of year to fish for these species.
Muskegon – Pier anglers trying to catch steelhead with spawn have caught catfish instead. No perch to report.
Muskegon Lake – Is still producing some yellow perch however the fish are small.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Cheboygan – Salmon numbers are low to non-existent in the streams and rivers of both Cheboygan and Presque Isle Counties.
Burt Lake – Is producing some nice catches of fall perch.
Mullett Lake – Perch anglers are still going out and targeting 8 to 40 feet of water around the points, the sunken islands and the mouth of the Indian River when using crawlers or minnows. Those targeting bass were using tube baits and crank baits in 8 to 10 feet of water.
Rogers City – A few hardy boat anglers reported mixed results. Salmon along with a couple steelhead have been caught in the top half of waters 40 to 120 feet deep. Blue and silver, green and silver, and orange were still the hot colors. Though anglers are reporting lots of lake trout, that season is closed. Pier anglers have caught some brown trout however they reported a good number of light hits or misses. Try spawn under a bobber, Cleo’s or body baits. The harbor was full of shiners so use anything small that resembles a shiner. The marinas as well as the fish cleaning station and the restrooms are all closed for the season.
Rockport – The docks are still in however no anglers were present.
Alpena – Had walleye action along North Point and Sulfur Island. Most are using crawler harnesses in 12 to 15 feet of water. Perch have been targeted inside the harbor but the fish were small. Good pike fishing here as well.
Thunder Bay River – Fishing has slowed as most of the fish are turning quite dark and not striking. Those drifting artificial flies did mange to catch the occasional silver fish. Steelhead have started to move into the river. Anglers are drifting spawn bags and artificial flies.
Harrisville – Salmon are still coming into the harbor but the numbers are lower. Most of the fish caught were good size and healthy. J-plugs, spoons and spawn are working well and the hot colors were green and silver. A couple steelhead were caught shallow in 30 to 40 feet of water by those targeting walleye with body baits.
Au Sable River – Continues to be slow with few fish in the river. A couple salmon were caught at the mouth when using Little Cleo’s, wobblers and body baits in green and silver, blue and silver or green and white. A few walleye have been working their way into the river but catch rates were slow.
Tawas – Pier anglers are taking a good number of perch however there are a lot of small ones to sort out. There are a lot of minnows in the harbor which are attracting the perch and other species. Brown trout, pike and smallmouth bass have also been taken. Boat anglers were not catching much.
Tawas River – Is producing a few chinook salmon.
Au Gres – Boat anglers are doing well on perch when the weather allows them to get out. Typical catch has been 15 to 20 fish per boat. Try 32 to 47 feet of water straight off the mouth of the Au Gres River. A few walleye were caught by those trolling large rapalas. Those surfcasting have caught a few chinook salmon.
Au Gres River – Was producing some small steelhead in the East Branch.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey – Steelhead and coho salmon are starting to show up inside the piers. Try spawn under a bobber.
Bear River – Has probably experienced one of the last strong runs of salmon which was triggered by the rain late last week. The next rainfall should push the remainder of salmon up into the river.
Charlevoix – Anglers have been out looking for perch, menominee, and steelhead with only limited success. Fishing should improve as we move further into fall. Salmon could still be found around Medusa Creek. The fish are dark in color but a few were caught on spawn or bright colored body baits. As for the salmon run, check out the Jordan River or the Boyne River.
Traverse City – Cisco and whitefish have been caught in 100 feet of water in the East Bay. Perch were caught in 35 to 40 feet of water off Deepwater Point Road. In the West Bay, whitefish were caught west of the island in the early morning in 80 to 120 feet of water. For perch, they are fishing in 30 feet of water off M-72 and south of Lee Point Road with minnows and wigglers. Lake trout season is closed in the bays.
Elk River – Salmon and trout were caught near the dam in the early morning or late evening when using natural baits. A few perch were also caught.
Boardman River – Salmon numbers are down and the water is crystal clear, so the best bite has been on cloudy days or at first light. Lake trout were caught on spawn down near the mouth when fishing under the bridge.
Frankfort – Boat anglers are finding young salmon and steelhead when trolling 30 to 60 feet down in 85 to 135 feet of water. Several limits of 8 and 10 pound steelhead were reported. Those surfcasting and those fishing off the piers in the early morning have caught steelhead.
Betsie River – Had no steelhead to report.
Onekama – A good number of young chinook and some steelhead were caught straight out from the light when trolling 40 to 60 feet down in 130 to 200 feet of water. Try smaller spoons in orange or green. Surface water temperatures are starting to drop so look for steelhead to move into the shallows soon.
Portage Lake – Had good catches of smallmouth bass along the drop-offs near Little Eden and largemouth bass were caught out in deep water. Perch anglers have caught fish in the 6 to 8 inch range.
Manistee – Boat anglers were still catching a mix of steelhead, coho and young chinook in 80 to 160 feet of water. Anglers are reminded that lake trout must be released immediately as the season is closed. Steelhead started to show up around the piers and off the beaches.
Manistee River – Salmon fishing continues but we are now on the downside as the fish spawn and deteriorate. A couple steelhead were caught in the lower stretches of the river however rain is needed to bring more fish into the river.
Ludington – Limits of salmon and steelhead were caught in 100 to 200 feet of water when using small orange and green spoons. Pier fishing is slow for steelhead.
Lake Gogebic – Was producing limits of 15 to 17 inch walleye.
Ontonagon – Not much to report. Boats have been put away for the season and the fish cleaning station will be closing this week.
Keweenaw Bay – Those trolling have caught a few coho, lake trout and steelhead and those casting off the rocks in L’Anse managed to pick up a few coho. The Falls River has low water levels and slow fishing. Traverse Bay is still producing the occasional lake trout southeast of Big Louie’s Point in 100 to 130 feet of water while those jigging caught fish in 220 to 240 feet of water. Limits of lake trout came from the South Portage Entry in 80 to 130 feet of water when trolling east. Catch rates were slower for those jigging.
Marquette – Good catches of lake trout were reported north of the white rocks and near Granite Island when fishing just off the bottom in 140 to 180 feet of water. Gold and silver spoons were the ticket. Those jigging also did well. The occasional steelhead and coho were caught by those trolling just outside the Lower Harbor. Surface water temperatures were in the mid 40’s.
Dead River – Had slow action with only a few coho taken.
Ellen Lake – In Iron County is producing some good catches of splake.
Indian Lake – Nice perch were in 8 to 10 feet of water along the south end of the lake and hitting on minnows. Pike anglers were on the north end of the lake with crawlers on large spinner baits. Smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers fished on the bottom. Walleye action was still slow with only a few smaller fish caught on crawler harnesses or leeches near the rock pile.
Munising – Coho season on the big lake is winding down and shore anglers say splake fishing has slowed. A few leftover coho have been caught from shore when casting spinners or spoons. Orange and silver were the hot colors. Fish averaged 3 or 4 pounds. Steelhead were caught by those casting or drifting spawn. Small boats heading out to 25 or 35 feet of water caught whitefish when jigging.
Grand Marais – Had slow fishing except for the occasional steelhead caught when trolling in 5 to 10 feet of water in the bay. Shore fishing was fair for those using spawn bags near the mouth of rivers and creeks. Early morning fishing is best.
St. Mary’s River – Yellow perch were caught in the bay at Brimley when using minnows and small worms in the early morning. Good perch action in Bay Dewausi when using perch rigs and minnows in shallow waters. Those trolling Munuscong Bay have caught 3 to 5 pound walleye on blue, red and chrome crank baits.
Cedarville and Hessel – Angling pressure is low. Pier anglers are seeing chinook and splake. Perch anglers are fishing Musky Bay, Cedarville Bay, Snows Channel and the Moscoe Channel. Try minnows in 6 to 12 feet of water. Pike and smallmouth bass are present.
Carp River – Anglers were catching limited numbers of chinook and steelhead.
St. Ignace – Although the salmon are starting to turn dark, there should still be some fish available near the docks and inside the breakwall.