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Michigan Fishing Report: Fresh fish harder to find

By The Associated Press, found at

October 28, 2009, 7:53PM

Salmon are still being found in some locations around Michigan, but it is getting harder to find fresh fish, the state Department of Natural Resources said.

The rivers have started to fill up with steelhead and whitefish are being caught in the waters of Lake Michigan, the DNR said Wednesday in its weekly recreational fishing report.


Lake Erie: Fishing was good when the weather was good, but poor when strong winds were present. Perch fishing was good near Stoney Point, Bolles Harbor, out near the shipping channel and the Sputnik buoy in 11 to 15 feet of water. Perch were still being caught in 8 feet of water along the edge of the channel near Metro Park Marina. The marina will open up on Sunday. Anglers are advised to come up Lee Road. Walleye fishing continues to improve with fish caught from Sterling State Park to Stoney Point and in Brest Bay when trolling crank baits. Good bass fishing in the Hot Pond near the Monroe Power Plant.

Huron River: Has more steelhead and fish have been caught up near the coffer dam and the Flat Rock Dam. Try a jig and minnow or spawn. Bluegills were hitting on wax worms in the backwaters.

Detroit River: Walleye have been caught off Gibraltar when using a jig and minnow or trolling with floating rapalas. Some perch were caught along the shoreline and the canals around Grosse Ile.

Lexington: Steelhead were hitting on a variety of artificial lures or crawlers floated under a bobber near the bottom. Perch were hitting on minnows but anglers will need to sort out the small ones.

Port Austin: Shore anglers are catching a few perch in Bird Creek.

Saginaw Bay: Reported some decent catches of perch along the shipping channel, near buoys 17 and 18 and out by the Spark Plug. Some were 9 to 10 inches but a few were closer to 12 inches. Shore anglers caught perch in the Linwood Marina and the Eagle Bay Marina. Though sorting is necessary, anglers were taking enough fish to keep it interesting. Activity on the east side of the Bay was slow except for a few perch caught in the marina and the river at Sebewaing.


New Buffalo: Is producing whitefish off the piers. Limit catches were reported.

St. Joe: Reported limits of whitefish caught off the pier when using a small hook with a single egg.

St. Joe River: Steelhead and lake trout were caught up at the Berrien Springs Dam.

Paw Paw River: Steelhead have been caught below the Watervliet Dam.

Grand Haven: Pier anglers are catching steelhead on spawn. Fair to good numbers of whitefish were also caught.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers are catching good numbers of steelhead along with an occasional chinook on spawn bags and choker bags. Some are back bouncing spawn off the Pearl Street walk bridge while other are floating spawn under a bobber off the Fulton Street Bridge. Water flow is good so jet boats should be able to go over the coffer dams. Good walleye action off the Fulton Street Bridge. Try Twister Tails or bouncing small jigs with shiners off the bottom. Riverside Park has been a good spot for bluegills and crappie.

Grand River at Lansing: A few leftover coho have been caught over at the Moore's Park Dam and the North Lansing Dam but the action is winding down. Try spoons or spinners. A few pike were caught on spinners.

Muskegon: Pier fishing has been slow. Look for steelhead and whitefish movement in the next week or so.

Muskegon Lake: Anglers are going out and trolling for walleye however few fish were caught. Fall perch fishing has not started yet. Those fishing in the channel have caught the occasional steelhead.

Whitehall: Pier anglers caught a few steelhead but the fish were small.


Cheboygan River: The Forks DNR dock has been removed.

Mullett Lake: A few anglers were still catching perch on minnows when fishing around Dodge Point or between Parrott Point and the Indian River. All public docks including the Mullett Lake DNR dock, Aloha State Park dock, and the Jewell Road DNR dock have been pulled for the season.

Rogers City: Brown trout should start showing up around the breakwall soon. Anglers will want to try casting minnow type baits, Cleos or Crocodiles in chartreuse, blue and silver or green and silver. Try body baits that look like smelt and emerald shiners. Boat anglers are pretty much done.

Harrisville: Salmon continue to move in. Some of the fish have turned dark, but a lot of silver fish still are making their way into the harbor. Floating spawn and body baits worked best however blue and silver spoons also caught a few fish. Steelhead and brown trout were caught outside the harbor. Those fishing off the breakwall in the early morning and late evening caught walleye on jointed body baits. Blue and silver, fire-tiger and clown were good colors.

Oscoda: Steelhead, brown trout and walleye are being caught off the pier.

Au Sable River: Fish are slowly moving into the river. Some are dark but fresh fish are still being caught up near the dam when casting spoons. Brown trout and walleye have also been caught.

Houghton Lake: A few walleye and pike were still being caught in the shallows for those fishing late evening and into the night. Most are using stick baits.

Tawas: Has mostly pier or shore fishing. Perch fishing picked up some inside the harbor but anglers will need to sort out the small ones. Walleye were caught by those casting lures or still-fishing with large minnows. Try behind the State Police post.

Au Gres: Had rumors of perch out near the shipping channel in 40 feet of water but the reports say perch fishing was slow.

Au Gres River: Those fishing the East Branch near the Singing Bridge have caught a fair number of steelhead when drifting spawn bags.


Burt Lake: Is providing some perch action but no big numbers.

Bear River: Recent rain did bring in additional salmon.

Charlevoix: Small steelhead were caught off the docks and piers when using spawn.

Lake Charlevoix: Perch anglers are finding fish but catch rates were hit-and-miss.

Lake Bellaire: Surface water temperatures are now between the mid and high 40s, so few anglers were out. No walleye were caught but boats were trolling crawler harnesses and stick baits near Fisherman's Paradise and the Northwest Arm. For bass, they are trolling in 10 to 50 feet of water with crawler harnesses or casting tube baits and spinners in the same locations. A few perch were taken near the mouth of the Intermediate River and along the western shoreline when using crawlers in 3 to 25 feet of water. Sizes ranged from 5 to 10 inches.

Elk River: The chinook run is over but the coho salmon are just starting to show up. Try using spawn, spoons or spinners.

Boardman River: The salmon run is winding down though there are still a few decent fish below the Union Street Dam. Steelhead and lake trout are starting to show up in the river. Spawn bags have been the most effective.

Platte River: Those using spawn are catching steelhead at the mouth.

Frankfort: Pier fishing and surfcasting have been pretty good for the last week. Good numbers of steelhead in various sizes along with a few whitefish have been caught on spawn. Boats trolling from the piers to Point Betsie have also caught decent numbers of chinook, brown trout and steelhead. Try orange or blue spoons or a white flasher/fly combination 45 to 50 feet down in waters 80 to 160 feet deep.

Betsie River: The salmon run is pretty much done however anglers were still taking a few fish up near the dam. Light numbers of steelhead were caught from Betsie Bay to the US-31 Bridge.

Arcadia: Had good steelhead fishing for those trolling orange or white spoons in the top 20 feet of waters 30 to 100 feet deep. Surf and pier anglers are also doing well when using spawn about 100 feet from shore.

Onekama: Chinook and steelhead were caught in 100 to 150 feet of water when trolling south to the Bar Lake outlet or north to the Barrel. Small spoons or flasher/fly combinations in orange, blue or green worked the best. Pier action was slow.

Manistee: Steelhead and salmon have been caught in 100 to 200 feet of water. Try fishing the top 30 feet with orange and red spoons. Pier and surf anglers are catching steelhead on spawn.

Manistee River: Salmon are fewer but steelhead numbers are improving, especially in the lower stretches.

Ludington: Boats are doing well on steelhead when the weather allows. Try 75 to 150 feet of water between the Point and the Bath House with orange spoons. Steelhead can be found off the piers and in the surf.

Pere Marquette River: Steelhead numbers are improving but most fish were still being caught in the lower river.

Pentwater: Pier anglers were taking good numbers of steelhead.

Pentwater Lake: Those out trolling have caught steelhead.

Pentwater River: Steelhead have been caught by those drifting spawn.


Keweenaw Bay: Pier anglers in L'Anse have caught light numbers of coho and steelhead when casting Cleos or spinners. Gold, orange and green were good colors. Some lake trout were caught near the mouth of the Falls River, the pier in Traverse Bay and also by those trolling in 15 to 30 feet of water on Buffalo Reef.

Fall's River: Anglers have caught a few coho and steelhead.

Marquette: Anglers have caught lake trout, splake and whitefish off the lower breakwall when using spoons or spinners. Those targeting whitefish caught a few small splake. Boats trolling off the breakwall in 40 to 50 feet of water caught a few lake trout in the 3 to 5 pound range.

Dead River: Anglers were catching a few coho and chinook.

Chocolay River: Anglers were catching a few coho and chinook.

Menominee: A couple walleye were caught south of the Cedar River in 20 feet of water. Try rapalas and different colored stick baits.

Menominee River: Most anglers are wading or shore fishing near Stephenson and Boom Island, the Cat Walk or the platform near the Hattie Street Dam. Fishing did pick up for those targeting trout and salmon near the rocks on the Michigan side near the dam and under the bridge on the Wisconsin side. Chinook, steelhead and brown trout were caught on spawn, yarn and spoons. Walleye action was fair off the Cat Walk when jigging zip lures or casting rapalas at night or in the early morning.

Little Bay De Noc: Good numbers of fish were marked in the northern Bay however catch rates were slow. The better action remained off the Center Reef when trolling rapalas in 8 to 23 feet of water. Night anglers were fishing the same area including the Second Reef. Fair to good pike action off the coal piles in Kipling when trolling bucktails and large crank baits in 10 to 20 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were caught off Hunter’s Point on tube baits or minnows in 15 to 20 feet of water.

Day's River: Some steelhead have been caught by those using spawn and yarn.

Big Bay De Noc: Fall bass anglers are doing well when drifting or casting sucker minnows along the break. Several limit catches were taken in 10 to 25 feet of water. Salmon season off Fairport is pretty much done.

Munising: Salmon were caught near the mouth of the Anna River when boats could get out. Pier anglers also caught fish when casting Cleos or floating spawn.

Grand Marais: A few salmon and some steelhead have been caught near the mouth of the Sucker River. Shore anglers caught steelhead when floating spawn near the mouth of the Sucker River or the creeks in and around the harbor.

De Tour: Did not have much activity. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass and pike should try the coal docks north of the city launch. Perch anglers might want to try fishing around James and Ashman Island.

Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers were catching a fair number of perch in Musky Bay when casting or drifting with minnows. The West Bay and the east shore near Middle Entrance were producing some fish in 6 to 14 feet of water.

Carp River: Anglers are targeting steelhead at the mouth. They are still-fishing with spawn or fly fishing with a single artificial egg drifting in the current. Water levels were elevated and muddy.

St. Ignace: Pier anglers are casting for chinook as fish are still inside the rocks.
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