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Gone fishin’

July 29, 2011
The Mining Journal

By The Associated Press

Anglers continue to catch trout, salmon and walleye in the Great Lakes, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report. It said catch rates have been good for pike, while perch and crappie will most likely be found in deeper water.


Marquette: Water temperatures 30 feet down were in the upper 40s. Lake trout fishing was scattered with only a few limit catches reported. Most were fishing toward Granite Island, Little Presque Isle or just north of the White Rocks. Jigging was slow with only a few fish caught 180 to 220 feet down north of the White Rocks and near the Sand Hole. Those fishing around Stannard Rock had good reports of lake trout averaging 8 to 15 pounds, with a few more than 20 pounds.

AuTrain: Catch rates were spotty as the lake trout were suspended 70 to 90 feet down in 160 to 180 feet of water. Most are using spoons and flies tipped with cut bait. No salmon or steelhead to report.

Munising: Fishing was slow and few anglers were out except for a couple targeting lake trout out near Wood Island. Pier and dock anglers did manage to catch splake.

Grand Marais: Pier fishing for whitefish is pretty much done with only a few smaller fish caught in the morning. More boats are heading out for lake trout. Fish were caught from the shipping channel to five or seven miles out in water 70 to 300 feet deep. Some limit catches were reported however the fish continue to run on the small side. Pike were caught by those trolling the shoreline. Coho were caught when trolling east and west just outside the bay.

Keweenaw Bay: The bite has slowed for those trolling or jigging. Anglers are putting in a lot time to catch a coho or lake trout. Fish were caught in Traverse Bay when trolling for lake trout between Big Louie's and Gay Point as well as Five Mile and Seven Mile Reefs. Some caught fish near the Huron Islands when trolling in 90 to 180 feet of water.

Copper Harbor: Splake have been caught on small minnows hooked through the nose so they can free swim. Strong winds have limited fishing on Lake Superior.

Gratiot Lake: The walleye bite was good between 5 and 8 a.m. and again in the evening between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Some are slow trolling with crawlers with lindy rigs in 19 to 26 feet of water while others are still-fishing with minnows.

Menominee: Had a large die-off of alewife between the port and the Ford River. Boat anglers are trolling for salmon near Chambers Island and Green Island but no fish were caught.

Menominee River: Is good for a mix of walleye, smallmouth bass, catfish, freshwater drum and rock bass. Water levels were down some so most anglers were drifting crawlers.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers fishing in the evening caught fish just off the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 12 to 20 feet of water. Fair catches were reported between Breezy Point and Round Island in 12 to 16 feet of water. Good perch fishing on the Second and Third Reefs when still-fishing with crawlers in 14 to 25 feet of water. Walleye and salmon anglers reported large numbers of alewife combined with a large mayfly hatch.

Big Bay De Noc: Had fair to good smallmouth bass fishing around Porcupine Point, Kates Bay, Ansell's Point and Garden Bluff when casting tube baits in 12 to 15 feet of water. Walleye anglers seem to be targeting the southern waters near Round Island. Anglers report a large number of alewife in this area. Fairport seems a bit slower than previous years, however a good number of fish over 20 pounds have been harvested. Most were trolling 40 to 80 feet down in 70 to 100 feet of water in the "Gap." Try spoons or artificial cut bait.

Manistique: Chinook and steelhead were caught out over 10 miles and fishing in waters 120 to 150 feet deep. On average, anglers were netting zero to three fish per boat when trolling different size spoons with flies.

Evenings were best.

Manistique River: Is producing a mix of pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp and freshwater drum. Fish have been caught from the mouth to the first dam. Those fishing from the docks are using crawlers and leeches while boat anglers are using spoons, crank baits or rapalas.

St. Marys River: Some Atlantic salmon were caught at the powerhouse in Sault Ste. Marie. A few walleye were also caught in the channel near Munuscong Lake by those using a red crawler harness and bottom bouncer. Herring and whitefish activity has picked up off the north end of Butterfield Island, the north side of Maple Island, and between Butterfield and Macomb Islands. Anglers are fishing pink or red teardrops with a wax worm. In Raber Bay, walleye were caught trolling bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses near the Canadian rock pile on the north side of Lime Island.

De Tour: Boats are targeting Atlantic and chinook salmon, rainbow trout and lake trout. The better catches came from the shipping channel to the (hash)3 Green Can, off the lighthouse, the (hash)2 Red Can and three miles south for limits of lake trout. For spoons try purple with pink dots, green and gold or white with orange dots. Walleye were caught near Drummond Island when trolling or long-lining crawler harnesses in Scott Bay or the north side of Peck Island. A few perch and sunfish were caught off the Yacht Haven pier when using minnows.

Cedarville and Hessel: Hessel remains excellent for pike while still-fishing with chubs or casting in 8 to 10 feet of water. Perch fishing in Hessel Bay and Snows Channel was good using minnows or crawlers in 8 to 12 feet of water. For perch, try Musky Bay, Moscoe Channel and the Middle Entrance in 12 feet of water. Pike fishing along the south shore was good and Government Bay was good.

St. Ignace: Boat anglers are catching chinook, steelhead and lake trout between the Coast Guard Station and the four tanks as well as the northeast and southeast corners of Mackinac Island. Try spoons in watermelon, green with white stripes or black with white glow. Check out the primitive launch on the east side of the bridge for pike and largemouth bass. Try weedless hooks with crawlers or spinner baits.


Cheboygan River: Is producing some walleye and bass.

Burt Lake & Mullett Lake: Were both producing good numbers of bass along with a few walleye.

Rogers City: Fishing was good before the water warmed up. Steelhead were high and hitting on lead core in 3 to 5 colors with spoons in orange, pink, green glow or bright green fished in the top 30 feet of water. Chinook were caught in the early morning on green spoons or anything that glows worked early or late in the day. The bigger chinook were caught about one hour before the sun comes up. Try 55 to 115 feet of water and look for the temperature break. A fair number of Atlantic salmon were caught along with the occasional lake trout or brown trout.

Presque Isle: Chinook and steelhead were caught straight out of the harbor, north between the lighthouses and off Big Lighthouse Point. Chinook, steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lake trout, brown trout and walleye were caught off Stoneport. Try shallow early in the morning and find the thermocline as the sun comes up. Early morning seems to produce more fish.

Rockport: Trout and salmon were caught northeast of the launch toward Stoneport, and around the Nordmeer Wreck in 150 feet of water. Salmon and steelhead were about 60 feet down. Blue and red were hot colors for salmon. Walleye were caught around Middle Island in 30 to 40 feet of water. Smallmouth bass and walleye were seen along the shoreline and near the launch.

Alpena: Walleye were caught around Sulfur Island and Grass Island. The fish were up high so anglers were trolling planer boards 30 to 60 feet back. Those looking for lake trout and salmon traveled 20 to 30 miles out to the "Humps" and fished in 150 to 200 feet of water. Lake trout were on the bottom, salmon and steelhead 60 to 80 feet down. Metallic blue and silver were the hot colors for trout and salmon. Pier anglers caught catfish on rapalas.

Thunder Bay River: Had little to no action. Smallmouth bass and freshwater drum were caught on crawlers.

Harrisville: Lake trout are hitting south of the harbor and down to the last set of nets off Greenbush in 100 to 130 feet of water. Try cowbells, hot-n-tots or white and green spoons. Steelhead are near the top in 60 to 80 feet of water where planer boards, dipsy's and lead core worked best. Blue, silver and orange were good colors. Walleye were caught outside the breakwall and north of the harbor off the lighthouse when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses or body baits.

Lake Margrethe: Is producing some perch.

Houghton Lake: Is producing some nice large and smallmouth bass.

McCollum Lake: Was providing good panfish opportunities.

Oscoda: Lake trout were caught north of the river in 85 to 120 feet of water. To target steelhead, try fishing closer to shore with planer boards, lead core and high lines. Try orange and blue spoons or cut bait.

Au Sable River: Has been slow with only a few walleye caught each day. No big numbers of catfish in the river yet.

Tawas: A few walleye were caught around the artificial reef in 15 to 25 feet of water and out near Buoy (hash)2 in 30 to 35 feet, but a lot of boats are going south to deeper water off Alabaster where they're picking up walleye in waters as deep as 60 to 70 feet. Pier fishing is slow with only bass and panfish caught.

Tawas River: Is producing some catfish and freshwater drum.

Au Gres: Had more fishing activity especially north of Big Charity Island in waters 12 to 60 feet deep. A few fish were still being caught straight off the mouth of the river and south of Pte. Au Gres. Good bass fishing was reported in Wigwam Bay.


Petoskey: Lake trout fishing was decent for those trolling near the bottom between the pier and Nine Mile Point in 100 to 150 feet of water. Salmon are slowly starting to show up in the bay however the better action could be found between Seven Mile Point and Good Hart when fishing in deep water.

Charlevoix: North Point remains the best location to find salmon when fishing 70 to 120 feet down in waters 150 to 300 feet deep. Lake trout can be found near the bottom. Try a variety of spoons and flies.

Pine River: Smallmouth bass and walleye are still being caught in the channel when using crawlers, leeches or blue and silver spoons.

Frankfort: Has produced several chinook over 20 pounds. Fish have been caught by those staying closer to shore and fishing 50 to 65 feet down in 90 to 120 feet of water as well as those heading out deeper and fishing 75 to 85 feet down in 200 to 250 feet of water. Try spoons or j-plugs.

Onekama: A good number of fish have been caught to the north along the Shelf when trolling 40 to 65 feet down in 90 to 140 feet of water.

Portage Lake: Panfish are still hitting on worms and perch were found in deeper water. Anglers are catching lots of rock bass at the moment.

Lake Missaukee: Some nice pike have been caught.

Lake Cadillac: Is producing a fair to good numbers of largemouth bass in the early morning or late evening with crawlers, spinners or curly tail grubs. Fish the weed beds or places with structure. Panfish are there but may be in deeper water.

Lake Mitchell: Is producing panfish, bass and pike.

Manistee: Chinook salmon have been caught up near the piers and out to waters 150 feet deep. Try to find the thermocline when trolling green and orange spoons with flies. Look for steelhead near the surface.

Manistee River: Look for brown trout and smallmouth bass below Tippy Dam.

Pere Marquette River: Fishing was slow but those still interested have caught a few resident brown trout on streamers in the fly's only section.

Pentwater: Had good fishing with a mix of trout and salmon caught by those trolling off Sable Point in 80 feet of water. Hot colors for deep water were green and blue but orange worked best in the top 15 feet of water.


Lake Erie: Those launching out of Sterling State Park were taking good numbers of walleye straight out from Stony Point in 24 feet of water with crawler harnesses or spoons. Hot colors were bright pink, yellow or purple. Ideal trolling speed was 1.5 to 2 mph. Good numbers of perch were caught out from Toledo Beach, the Dumping Grounds and in 24 feet of water near the channel buoy.

Huron River: Had few anglers but catch rates should pick up when water temperatures start to come back down.

Detroit River: Is producing a fair number of smallmouth bass. A few walleye were caught in the lower river in 8 to 14 feet of water. Perch and rock bass were caught near the south end of Celeron Island in 4 to 6 feet of water. Caution needs to be used here as the bottom is covered with large rocks.

St. Clair River: Walleye have been caught mostly at night.

Lexington: Perch fishing was generally good from south of Lexington and north of Port Sanilac along the weed beds. Anglers are drifting until they find an active school of fish then anchoring.

Harbor Beach: Those trolling have done well for trout and salmon. For steelhead, try 40 feet down in 70 feet of water and for lake trout, fish near the bottom in 70 to 145 feet of water. Walleye fishing is starting to get better as the water warms up. Try north of the harbor and north of Port Hope while working close to shore in 30 to 65 feet of water with small spoons or crawler harnesses. Bass and pike are still being caught close to shore or inside the harbor near the weed beds. Try spoons or body baits. For perch, try south by the cemetery or inside the harbor along the channel when using minnows.

Grindstone City: Walleye were hitting in 30 to 40 feet of water. Those trolling have also caught a few whitefish.

Port Austin: The deeper waters northeast of Big Charity Island and around the reefs between Caseville and Port Austin were the hotspot for walleyes. Some were trolling as deep as 50 feet while others were in water 30 feet or less around the Hat, Flat Rock and the Osceola Reefs. The bigger fish were in deeper water. Crawler harnesses and small spoons were catching fish.

Saginaw Bay: Hot weather appears to be driving walleyes to cooler and deeper water though some fish were still being caught along the inner bay. Anglers will need to move to the outer parts of the bay and adjust their methods accordingly. Surface water temperatures along the inner bay were running in the low to mid 80's. A few walleye were caught in 3 to 10 feet of water off Finn Road by trollers' long-lining crawler harnesses over the top of the weed beds. No one was using bottom bouncers. Fish were also caught in the Slot off Sebewaing, Bay Port, and Linwood in 19 feet of water or on the west side of the Coryeon Reef and beyond Buoys 1 and 2 in 10 to 19 feet of water. Crawler harnesses worked best and the hot colors were purple, red and silver or blue and silver blades. Black and white Hot-n-Tots were also producing a few fish.

Saginaw River: Shore anglers fishing at Essexville caught catfish, freshwater drum and a few bass.


St. Joseph: Catch rates slowed for those trolling and for pier anglers. A few perch were caught in 30 feet of water and there are still plenty of freshwater drum.

South Haven: Most of the fishing pressure is for perch. Boat anglers are doing very well in 15 to 40 feet of water north and south of the piers.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were struggling to catch trout or salmon as the fish were scattered due to warm water temperatures. Try 110 to 140 feet of water or deeper with downriggers 40 to 100 feet down. Orange baits were best at 40 to 50 feet down while green and blue were best 50 to 100 feet down. Pier anglers are still getting alewife for bait but they are small. Catfish and freshwater drum were caught.

Grand River at Lansing: Those fishing below any of the dams are getting smallmouth bass, catfish and carp. Channel cats were caught at Moore's Park and the North Lansing Dam after dark when using dead sucker minnows. The Smithville Dam south of Eaton Rapids was good for smallmouth bass. Try crawlers, spinners, or curly tail grubs.

Park Lake: Located near Bath is producing pike and bluegill.

Looking Glass River: Was producing some nice sunfish and the largemouth bass should be active as well.

Lake Ovid: Is producing bluegill, crappie, bass and even a few catfish.

Muskegon: Salmon fishing was a challenge but a few fish were taken on downriggers 40 to 100 feet down in 80 to 100 feet of water with spoons or spin/fly combos. Orange, green and blue were good colors for spoons and flies but green and white spinnies worked best.

Muskegon River: Some nice walleye were caught in the Hardy Dam Pond. Trout fishing was fair to good in the early morning before the recreational activities start.



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