By The Associated Press
Not only is this a great time of year to fish, but anglers will find more room to do so because boat launches, docks and other types of fishing piers are not crowded, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
This is when shore anglers catch steelhead and whitefish, the department said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.
Inland lakes and the backwaters of rivers also provide excellent fishing opportunities for pretty much any species out there including bluegill, crappie, perch, bass, pike, and walleye.
Marquette - Shore anglers are looking for Menominee. Best action comes from a small hook with a single egg or wax worm off the Lower Harbor breakwall.
Little Bay De Noc - Had fair walleye fishing with most anglers trolling crank baits in the flats between Saunders Point and Garth Point or just off the reefs in 10 to 35 feet of water. Some were also drifting chubs along the weeds. Best time to fish was late evening and into the night. Some large fish were caught off the east bank along Stonington in 8 to 30 feet of water. Overall, good numbers of fish were marked throughout the Bay with catches increasing every week. Perch fishing was still fair to good from the Narrows north to the Day's River. Try minnows in 10 to 25 feet of water from the Second Reef to the green buoy just off the Day's River.
St. Marys River - Walleye are being caught in Munuscong Bay.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Alpena - Good whitefish action is the story this week. Opening day of deer season also marks the date when the peak of the whitefish spawn occurs in Lake Huron. Try the reefs in Thunder Bay with ice fishing jigs and small minnows at dusk and dawn.
Thunder Bay River - Steelhead have been caught up near the dam. Brown trout have also been caught and whitefish can be found in the lower river.
Au Sable River - Some really good steelhead fishing is to be had from Oscoda upstream to Foote Dam however low water levels are making it harder to catch fish. Whitefish should be in the lower river as they prepare to spawn. Early morning and late evening are best when using small jigs with a minnow, wax worm or single egg.
Tawas - Whitefish are schooling along the breakwall. Try ice fishing jigs with small minnows or other small lures. Best fishing is dusk and dawn.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey - Recent reports say fair to good steelhead fishing in the harbor. Wind and weather determine if the fish move in or not and a northwest wind is best when fishing in this area. Try floating spawn bags off the city dock in town or off the beach between the river and the breakwall.
Charlevoix - Is producing steelhead and whitefish. Fishing off the rocks into the boat slip at the Medusa Plant is a good bet. A single egg is good for whitefish and steelhead however those floating spawn bags off the bottom will catch more steelhead.
Lake Charlevoix - Those fishing near the mouth of the Boyne River have caught good numbers of steelhead. Boat and shore anglers are catching jumbo perch.
Betsie River - Steelhead fishing has been slow. Those fishing above the M-31 Bridge have caught fish on spawn and black streamers. A few chinook were caught on flies at the Homestead Dam.
Manistee - Pier fishing and surfcasting for steelhead continues with good catches on the right day.
Manistee River - Has been crowded on the weekends. Steelhead fishing continues to be the main game however the clear and low water levels are making it difficult.
Pere Marquette River - Needs rain to bring up water levels. Those fishing the lower river have caught a couple nice steelhead on flies, eggs or streamers. A few brown trout were also caught however they were small.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie - Is producing a few nice perch for those fishing off the docks at the Metro Park Marina. The bluegill bite has been slow however a few crappie were caught.
Huron River - Anglers are getting steelhead. Some are fishing between Flat Rock and Rockwood while others are concentrating near the mouth. Try a jig and wax worm or small crank baits.
Detroit River - This is the time of year to catch big perch. Anglers have done well around Sugar Island on perch rigs with minnows. Walleye are hitting on black jigs with natural colored worms near Gibraltar and Horse Island.
Port Sanilac - Pier and small boat anglers are fishing for perch and brown trout inside the harbor and around the piers.
Harbor Beach - Still has one dock in at the launch.
Port Austin - Also has one dock in at the public access site.
Saginaw Bay - Had no reports however anglers should still be able to find some walleye especially near the mouth of the Saginaw River. Check out the cuts and canals for panfish.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph River - Water levels remain very low which means boat anglers need to use extreme caution especially if you do not know the river. Boats are consistently coming in with engine and hull damage. Steelhead fishing remains good. Boat anglers are catching more fish than shore anglers. Spawn was the bait of choice.
Grand Haven - Is still producing some steelhead and whitefish. Early morning and late evening are best.
Grand River at Grand Rapids - Is still producing some steelhead up near the dam for those floating or drifting flies, streamers or spawn. Those fishing near Fulton Street are doing well with Hot-n-Tots or spawn bags in the early morning.
Grand River at Lansing - No reports on steelhead this week. Not many anglers were out except for a few taking pike over at the Moore's Park Dam.
Looking Glass River - Usually produces some good pike action this time of year.
Muskegon - Both pier anglers and those surfcasting have caught steelhead.
Muskegon Lake - Walleye can be found along the weeds and drop-offs when trolling rapalas or drifting crawler harnesses.
Muskegon River - Those fishing the lower reaches have caught steelhead. Water levels are low and clear which makes fishing more difficult.