The catch and keep bass season on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and the Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters opened on Saturday, June 20. Heavy rain and windy conditions have scattered fish in the Great Lakes and caused higher water levels on the inland lakes and rivers which make fishing conditions a little more difficult.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses around Stony Point and the West Sister Islands in Ohio waters. Most were using chartreuse and pink harnesses but some had luck with spoons. Look for walleye fishing to be better in the deeper waters in Ohio. Perch were caught by those bottom bouncing with minnows.
The Huron River: Is producing bass, catfish and some panfish.
Lenawee County: Lake Hudson is producing a few musky. Bass anglers continue to do well with top water and slow moving baits. Those looking for catfish might want to try drifting a crawler harness in six to 12 feet. On Devils Lake, fishing remains fair despite the heavy rains. Panfish anglers say the fish have begun to find cover in the weed beds and along the drops. Bass and pike anglers are starting to fish deeper.
Detroit River: When the weather permits, anglers reported fair to good catch rates for walleye along the northern half of the Canadian side. A few boats had limit catches. The better fishing continues near the casino, whiskey plant and salt mines on the Canadian side or the cow pasture and up near Lake St. Clair on the Michigan side. Most are using bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses but some are hand-lining with spoons and stick baits or jigging on the Canadian side. A good number of white bass are still being caught right along with freshwater drum and rock bass. Shore anglers at Belanger Park were catching a good number of white bass along with large and smallmouth bass, muskie, suckers, freshwater drum and white perch.
Lake St. Clair: Muskie fishing was fair to good with the best action coming from the Ontario side. Smallmouth bass fishing remains very good with reports of fish caught from waters up to 12 feet deep as water temperatures are warming up. The bass harvest season opens on Saturday, June 20. The white bass action remains good along the southern end near Grosse Point, the Metro Park and the mouth of the Clinton River. Walleye fishing has been spotty, but some were caught south of Huron Pointe and off the 400 Club.
St. Clair River: Walleye fishing has been better after dark even with the runoff and turbid conditions but a few fish were still taken during the day when trolling bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses. A few muskie were caught along the edge of the channels especially along the contour breaks. The DNR sturgeon survey has caught an unusually high number of large channel catfish.
Lexington and Port Sanilac: Have the same report as last week with good trolling success for lake trout and steelhead along with a few coho in 60 to 90 feet with most fish caught in the 70 to 75 foot range. Lakers are hitting on lead core with spin-glo’s or a dodger/fly combo about 20 feet off the bottom. Steelhead were hitting on dipseys with orange spoons about 20 feet below the surface. No perch to report.
Harbor Beach: Anglers are getting a few walleye in the evening and steelhead were still being caught in the Edison Channel by shore anglers casting small rapalas. Pier fishing was slow. The storms and windy conditions have the fish scattered. Try starting straight out from the lighthouse and work your way north for lake trout. Use clean spoons off downriggers and dodgers with spin-glo’s near the bottom.
Port Austin: Walleye anglers have picked up some fish in the evening.
Saginaw Bay: It may be best to avoid the southern and southeastern end for a few days as the water was pretty muddy after all the rain. Walleye fishing has been very good just beyond the red Spark Plug (Buoys 11 & 12) in 26 to 30 feet. Some were doing better on blue spoons and lead core than on crawler harnesses. Walleye were still caught off Finn Road in 6 feet but muddy water may put an end to that. Fishing in the Slot has slowed but was still good for those not wanting to run how many miles out to the Spark Plug and most everyone is getting a few fish. Best spinner colors were chartreuse, pink, purple, and brass. Walleye fishing was fair in Wildfowl Bay and outside the islands at Bay Port. There are fish there but you have to work for them. A couple walleye were caught off Caseville.
Sanford Lake: Good catches of crappie continue, mainly from deep waters in the river channel. Worms and small artificial baits were the most productive. Bluegills and bass were also caught.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph: Had very good salmon fishing in waters 100 feet and deeper when using a variety of lures and methods. A few fish were also caught as shallow a 40 to 50 feet. Pier anglers continue to catch freshwater drum and the occasional catfish when using shrimp or crawlers on the bottom.
St. Joseph River: Has a light number of steelhead but no big pulse of fish at the Berrien Springs ladder this month which is normal for this time of year. Flows are high and the water is turbid.
South Haven: Not much has changed. Those able to get out have caught a few trout and salmon on spoons in 80 to 100 feet. Pier anglers have caught freshwater drum and catfish when using shrimp on the bottom. Perch fishing was slow.
Grand Haven: When boats can get out, salmon were caught 30 to 90 feet down in 130 to 200 feet. They are using blue and yellow spoons up high or meat rigs down deeper. Those cleaning Chinook reported the fish were hitting three and four inch alewife. Steelhead were still hitting high on orange spoons. Pier anglers caught the occasional steelhead on shrimp or alewife. No perch to report.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are several feet up and large woody debris is coming down the river. Flathead and channel cats are being caught off the wall and below the 6th Street Dam when using worms, small bluegills and liver. Walleye were caught on minnows below the dam and some smaller fish were caught on flies.
Looking Glass River: Had high waters levels which made fishing a little more difficult. Watch for debris come down the river.
Muskegon: Had little fishing pressure with the fog, storms and windy conditions.
Muskegon River: Those fly fishing have done well for steelhead.
Whitehall: Chinook and steelhead were caught in 100 to 130 feet south of the pier to Duck Lake and north to Flower Creek. Salmon were hitting 75 feet down and steelhead 40 feet down. Word has it some anglers found pockets of warm water out deep and did quite well.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Cheboygan River: Anglers are catching some walleye at the mouth.
Mullett Lake: Fishing has been sporadic at best. Anglers are catching fish one day and getting skunked the next. On the good days, they caught some decent pike, walleye and panfish. Bass fishing has been slow because they tend to cruise the calm water which has not been possible with the windy conditions.
Rogers City: Fishing for lake trout has been fantastic with lots of limit catches coming in. Fish are being caught just about everywhere but some of the favorite spots have been north to Seagull Point, the sand dunes, the State Park and Forty Mile Point. To the south, anglers can be found off Calcite, Swan Bay or Adams Point. They are fishing from the shoreline out to 70 feet and fish have been caught on spoons close to the bottom or suspended. Green, orange, white and blue were good colors. Anglers are using cowbells or dodgers with spin-glo’s in the bottom 10 feet. The occasional Atlantic salmon was caught by those trolling high-lines with orange spoons in 20 to 50 feet. The breakwall was slow side but anglers may still find the occasional Atlantic salmon or lake trout when casting orange, gold and silver crocodile spoons.
East & West Twin Lakes: Walleye fishing was slow on both lakes and many small ones were caught in 13 to 14 feet on West Twin but a few up to 18 inches were caught in the 10 foot holes. Fish were caught in 17 to 20 feet on East Twin but it was not easy fishing. Bass fishing has been great on both lakes and bluegills were caught on the east side of West Twin.
Alpena: Walleye fishing continues to improve with a few limit catches taken. The night bite has been very good. The early morning or evening bite has also taken fish and overcast days were productive. Try along the city beach, out from the Blair Street access, Grass Island, Sulphur Island, Scarecrow Island and Partridge Point in eight to 30 feet. Anglers are using a 50/50 mix of body baits and crawler harnesses. Hot colors were green, purple, orange, chartreuse, and fire-tiger.
Thunder Bay River: Has been on the slow side with anglers catching mostly small panfish, rock bass, bluegills and freshwater drum. Walleye anglers were casting body baits or fishing live bait such as crawlers and leeches off the 9th Street Bridge but catch rates were slow.
Harrisville: Boat anglers can still get out even with the ongoing dredging operation. Good numbers of lake trout have been caught in 80 to 100 feet when using spoons, wobble glows, cut bait and body baits. Walleye fishing slowed with the changing weather patterns however fish were caught late evening or very early morning before the sun comes up. Try crawler harnesses, body baits, stick baits or small spoons.
Oscoda: Pier fishing has slowed because of the inconsistent weather or because the fish are not making their way north in good numbers yet. Boat anglers are having a lot of success catching lake trout with the occasional Chinook or steelhead in 100 to 120 feet. Lake trout are in the bottom third of the water column and hitting on spoons, cut bait and spin-glo’s.
Au Sable River: Anglers are still having some luck when drifting crawlers and casting body baits.
Tawas: Walleye fishing was slow in the bay but those trolling in 50 to 70 feet are getting some lake trout. A couple walleye were taken around Buoys 4 & 6. Pier fishing was slow.
Tawas River: Fishing was slow and limited to smallmouth bass, carp and gar.
Au Gres: Had excellent walleye fishing in waters 30 to 35 feet deep.
Au Gres River: Is producing a few catfish. Try crawlers, cut bait or shrimp.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Harbor Springs: Boat anglers looking for lake trout will want to try off Harbor Point. Smallmouth bass anglers are still fishing along the shore all the way down to the State Park.
Petoskey: The bay is still cold with surface temperatures at 50 degrees. There was another midge hatch that was pretty bad out on the water but lake trout fishing was still good. Anglers are trolling from the breakwall to Bay Harbor and fishing near the bottom in waters 35 to 80 feet with spoons. Those fishing the mouth of the river and down the beach caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish, suckers, pike, freshwater drum and lots of bullhead. Most were caught on worms off the D Pier but those casting crank baits and spinners off the beach also caught fish.
Bear River: Water levels were up after the rain and few anglers were fishing near the dam. One steelhead was caught on spawn.
Charlevoix: Lake trout fishing has been phenomenal as the fish seem to be just about everywhere near the bottom in 30 to 90 feet and out deeper where they were feeding along the scum line. Most are using spoons and did well near 9 Mile Point and the cement plant. Some salmon and Cisco were also caught. More smallmouth bass are showing up in the channel but the bite was slow. A couple nice ones were caught on spoons or spinners. Walleye are still around after dark but catch rates may be slowing. No lake trout were caught off the end of the piers so they may be moving to deeper water.
Elk River: Smallmouth bass and rock bass were caught below the power dam. Crawlers and leeches were the bait of choice but some were caught on tube baits.
Traverse City: The East Bay had good lake trout fishing. Most are trolling near the drops in 20 to 40 feet. Cisco were also caught. Smallmouth bass fishing was hit-or-miss. In the West Bay, lake trout were caught when trolling near the first drops in 35 feet or when jigging deeper in 80 to 100 feet. A few boats were targeting smallmouth bass along the rocky areas. Cisco and a couple whitefish were caught in waters between 20 and 85 feet deep.
Boardman River: Fishing on the upper stretch in Grand Traverse County has picked up a little. Those fly fishing or casting spinners have caught brown trout. Some were keepers and some were undersize. Brook trout were caught on crawlers. Carp were caught on shredded wheat at the Union Street Dam and anglers reported Skamania below the dam. Bass fishing at the mouth has slowed.
Frankfort: Chinook salmon are biting around the Herring Hole and North to the point. Numbers are low but anglers have caught fish on meat rigs 40 to 80 feet down. Lake trout were caught by those bouncing cowbells off the bottom.
Onekama: Anglers are heading straight west and trolling 60 to 120 feet down in 150 to 250 feet. Fish were caught on meat rigs and spoons. Mixed veggies were a popular color.
Portage Lake: The mayfly hatch was small but cooler temperatures may have pushed it back. Anglers have caught bluegills, perch, largemouth bass and rock bass but many were small.
Manistee: Boats are catching trout and salmon in the top 80 feet of waters 100 to 200 feet with orange and green spoons. Pier anglers caught brown trout on alewife.
Ludington: Salmon and trout have been caught in the top 75 feet of waters 80 to 180 feet deep. Most are using orange, green or chartreuse spoons.
Pentwater: Had few boat anglers. Those fishing the channel caught the occasional steelhead. A few small perch were taken at Long Bridge.
Keweenaw Bay: Those trolling were working hard to catch trout and salmon from the head of the bay north to Old Mission. They are trolling spoons and body baits shallow to deep and fishing high in the water column while trying to find the right depth and temperature. Most fish caught were taken closer to the surface. Those jigging for lake trout are picking up fish in 220 to 260 feet out from Jentofts Dock, the Whirl-I-Gig and Pequaming. Some nice catches of lake trout were taken in 90 to 200 feet over Newton’s Reef, Big Reef and Farmers Reef. Try a variety of spoons and trolling speeds between 1.9 and 2.6 mph. In Traverse Bay, trolling was slow but those jigging out from Big Louie’s picked up lake trout with jigs and cut bait.
Lake Gogebic: Some are going home with a couple walleye if they are lucky but most are going home with none. Anglers are still-fishing with minnows and leeches or trolling crank baits and crawler harnesses. Those using crank baits catch few walleye but bigger walleye. Smallmouth bass were caught by those casting the rocky shoreline. Those targeting panfish in Bergland Bay and along the south end near the Gogebic County Park have caught pumpkinseed sunfish and crappie.
Menominee River: Was running high and fast which made fishing more difficult. Some walleye were caught on crawler harnesses between the mouth and Stephenson Island. Musky anglers report the fish are few and far between. Some action was occurring around Boom Island. Catfish and freshwater drum were caught on live bait by shore and boat anglers.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported a few catches especially around Breezy Point when trolling crawler harnesses in eight to 12 feet or in and around the mouth of the Escanaba River in 14 to 22 feet. Several nice catches of perch were reported just north of Brach’s Cabins when using minnows in about 12 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing has been unusual this year as the fish keep moving in and out with the colder temperatures. The best area is the Ford River when casting spinners, crank baits and plastics in the mouth and out to the island in three to 12 feet.
Big Bay De Noc: Had a large fly hatch and no walleye reports. The smallmouth bite was fair at best as the fish have been unpredictable because of the weather. The better catches were from Ogontz to Martins Bay with minnows or tube baits in four to 10 feet or Porcupine Point and Kate’s Bay in three to 12 feet. Many of the pike caught have been undersize. Fair to good catches were reported in Garden Bay, Kate’s Bay and near Ogontz. At Fairport, boat anglers have started to head out for salmon and steelhead. Chinook were caught on spoons 30 to 60 feet off the bottom in 100 to 150 feet. Anglers are looking for slightly warmer water. Several nice steelhead were caught 20 to 30 feet down.
Marquette: Surface water temperatures remain cool at 42 degrees. Anglers were fishing from Shot Point all the way up to Little Presque Isle and the Garlic River but all they caught was a few lake trout, Chinook and coho. The lake trout had lake herring and sticklebacks in their stomachs. Shore anglers fishing near the mouth of the Carp River had little to no action.
Au Train Lake: Fishing in general has been up and down. Some reported fair walleye catches with fish up to 23 inches while others caught none. Pike anglers casting spinners in the weed beds or trolling small crank baits reported slow action and any fish that were caught were undersize. Smallmouth bass anglers did fair when casting spinners and power baits. Surface water temperatures were just about 60 degrees and most of the weed beds are starting to evolve. Perch fishing was slow with only a few small ones caught.
Munising: When anglers can get out, catch rates were slow for Chinook and coho. Anglers are trolling in 60 to 200 feet near Sand Point and Trout Bay. Fresh spawn was the bait of choice off the dock of the Anna River where a couple small splake were caught and released. Water temperatures were in the 40’s.
Grand Marais: Anglers are pier fishing or heading about five miles for lake trout where the action has been good as anglers are bringing in fish every trip. Average size was 18 to 30 inches. There has been no effort near the mouth of the Sucker River. The whitefish action has slowed. Those caught were taken on a single egg. Most were around 11 inches but a few 20 inches or bigger were also showing up. Water temperatures in the bay were in the 40’s but only the high 30’s out deeper.
South Manistique Lake: The largemouth bass are biting heavily along the shallows at the southern end west of South Shore Resort. Try top water lures and spinner baits. Walleye catches were up along the north end near the town of Curtis. Anglers are using red jigs with crawlers in 13 to 16 feet.
DeTour: Boat anglers are taking a mix of Atlantic, lake trout and a few Chinook when trolling from the De Tour Reef east to the Red Buoy and back west to the Green Buoy. Orange and chrome spoons worked best 12 to 20 feet below the surface in waters 80 feet deep. Atlantic salmon and lake trout were hitting chartreuse spoons high in the water column at just 12 to 25 feet down.
Drummond Island: Cold water temperatures in Scott Bay have slowed the morning walleye bite. As the water warms in the afternoon, the trolling or drifting in the evening caught fish between the south end of James Island and the old sportsman’s club point where water temperatures reached 62 degrees. Copper hammered crawler harnesses worked best. A few pike measuring 28 to 32 inches were caught when trolling or casting a chrome red eye mouse lure in 4 to 6 feet on both sides of the DNR access site in Maxton Bay.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch are in the Hessel marina however they are not hitting in big numbers. Pier anglers are targeting pike and smallmouth bass with minnows or chubs. Those trolling the deeper water are getting a few pike. The water is high and still very cold. Casting in the shallow bays has been more productive. Fly hatches are starting and should pull the herring in.