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Gone fishin’

September 30, 2011
By The Associated Press , The Mining Journal


AuTrain: Surface water temperatures remain in the low 60s. Catch rates for salmon and lake trout were slow.

Rock River: Had a few pink salmon, but water levels were low with little water running over the spillway.

Munising: Boat anglers are focused on coho salmon in the bay. Catch rates were fair to slow with the better fishing in the early morning with dodgers, flies and spoons. Water temperatures were still up near 60 degrees. The average coho was three pounds. Splake action was hit-or-miss.

Grand Marais: Had fair lake trout fishing along the shipping channel, but most were small. The occasional coho and pike have also been caught. A couple steelhead were taken near the mouth of the Sucker River, but there were no reports of any fish caught in the bay yet.

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing activity was down at all ports, but river fishing has improved. Those casting spoons and spinners have caught chinook, coho and even a few brown trout.

Marquette: Had low angler activity and slow catch rates.

Dead River: Water levels are low, but pink salmon have started to move in and some females were starting to spawn.

Carp River: Coho and chinook action were slow due to low water levels.

Menominee: Anglers are still targeting walleye around Green Island. Some are jigging perch minnows while others are trolling crawler harnesses.

Menominee River: Those jigging minnows have caught perch at the Menominee Marina. Early morning and late afternoon produce the bigger fish. Catch and release sturgeon fishing between the Hattie Street Dam and the end of the breakwalls will close today. Those targeting sturgeon have caught smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers were trolling crawlers in 12 to 28 feet of water near the Black Bottom and the Narrows. Northern pike were active at Kipling and Aronson Island for those casting or trolling spinners, crank baits or spoons in 10 to 17 feet of water. Several large fish were caught near Escanaba when casting crank baits or small spoons near the mouth of the river. Perch action was fair in 10 to 20 feet of water at Kipling or 10 to 12 at Gladstone.

Ford River: Salmon are moving into the river, but catch rates were slow.

Big Bay De Noc: Has smallmouth bass with mixed reports, but it is still a bit early as most of the fish have not showed up around Snake Island. Boat anglers are drifting minnows 10 to 25 feet down between Garden Bluff and Snake Island.

Manistique: Boat anglers are still catching salmon near the mouth of the river and just past the breakwall. Small spoons or rapalas produced the most fish.

Manistique River: Those wading near the Upper Dam are targeting trout and salmon. The shoreline is filling with anglers casting small double jointed and floating rapalas. A blue and silver combination or perch were good colors. Some are drifting orange colored yarn in the fast water. Anglers are starting to see a few brown trout, but no steelhead to report.

St. Mary's River: Walleye were hitting in Munuscong Lake and around Lime Island. Orange and black or chartreuse and purple are still good colors.

Detour: Salmon and trout anglers are trolling the shipping channel to the Number Three green can and the lighthouse with green, orange and yellow spoons. Use caution and watch for the gill nets.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pier anglers at Hessel are catching smallmouth bass and pike. The marina is full of splake so anglers were fishing spawn under a bobber in six feet of water. Pike were caught in Musky Bay and Middle Entrance when trolling or casting. Perch fishing was limited in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay and Snows Channel.

Nunn's Creek: Is experiencing a run of chinook salmon. Fish are hitting on orange and glow or green and glow spawn bags.

Carp River: Pink and chinook salmon can be found at the mouth, but anglers need to watch for gill nets set in the area. Salmon are upstream near the Mackinac Bridge Trail and McDonald Rapids.

St. Ignace: Trout and salmon anglers are fishing high in the water column and in the current with silver and green or gold and green J-plugs, as well as fire-tiger spoons.


Rogers City: Anglers are dropping anchor and casting in Swan Bay. Those trolling had limited success as the adult fish are not hitting at this time. Fishing out deeper in 30 to 70 feet of water has produced younger chinook salmon, steelhead and lake trout. The key is to find the large schools of baitfish then try fishing about halfway down. Good colors were yellow, green, orange and silver or blue. Brown trout were starting to show up in the marina. Anglers are reminded that the Swan River is on private property. Fishing is illegal at the mouth, the weir and for those wanting to walk the river bank.

Presque Isle: Has been good for younger chinook, steelhead, lake trout and the occasional coho. Head straight out of the harbor or north between the lighthouses and fish halfway down in 30 to 80 feet of water. The marina is closed for the season, but the launch ramp is still open.

Alpena: Anglers were targeting walleye in the bay, but had no success. A few lake trout were caught near the first set of "Humps." Smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers just north of the river.

Thunder Bay River: Those drifting spawn at the Ninth Street Dam have caught Chinook, but catch rates were still on the slow side.

Harrisville: Is seeing a good return of chinook salmon with lots of fish in the harbor. The best times are early morning and late at night. Strong winds have kept boat anglers in the harbor. They are anchored and casting spawn, black and silver stick baits or spoons. When they can get out, boats were trolling in 15 to 25 feet of water using J-plugs or spoons off planer boards and long-lining. A few walleye were also caught.

Oscoda: Pier anglers caught a few salmon early in the morning or late at night.

Au Sable River: Salmon and trout season is still a bit early as water temperatures were in the mid-60s. A few fish were caught on spawn near the mouth or stick baits further upstream.

Tawas: Perch have been caught off the pier, but many were small.

Tawas River: A fair number of chinook salmon have been caught early or late by those casting down at the mouth.

Au Gres: Some perch were caught in 25 to 30 feet of water between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres. Boat anglers will need to move around to find an active school of fish.

Au Gres River: Steelhead are starting to show up in Whitney Drain.


Petoskey: Anglers can find plenty on salmon inside the breakwall and the marina. Fish have been caught on skein under a bobber; spawn bags on the bottom, and various spoons or body baits. Try fishing from shore or the various docks and piers.

Bear River: The number of salmon present in the river changes daily, though anglers can always find fish between the dam and the mouth. There are still plenty of fish waiting to run upstream.

Charlevoix: Most of the boats have been put away for the winter as most of the salmon fishing has been in the shallow waters near Medusa and the mouth of the Boyne River and the Jordan River. Chinook were caught in the St. Mary's boat slip when casting glow spoons at night or spawn during the day. There are still some fish in Medusa Creek. Some are turning dark but silver fish are also present.

Traverse City: Boat anglers in the East Bay have done well when jigging for lake trout or whitefish. The whitefish are averaging five pounds. In the West Bay, boat anglers had limited success when trolling spoons or flies near the Boardman.

Elk River: Shore anglers caught a few salmon below the dam and at the mouth.

Boardman River: Salmon fishing was fair with most anglers using spawn or skein.

Platte River: Has a good number of coho above the weir.

Betsie River: Is producing chinook for those using spawn, spinners or small spoons.

Portage Lake: Anglers are testing the waters for perch, but the fish have not moved into the shallows yet. Bass are starting to bite off the drops and near Little Eden. Pike anglers caught fish when trolling body baits and spinners along the shoreline.

Onekama: Boats fishing 25 to 40 feet down in 225 to 250 feet of water are picking up 3-year old chinook and coho. Those trolling the shoreline reported slow catch rates with only a couple steelhead landed.

Manistee: Salmon and trout have been found out deep in more than 400 feet of water. Try small spoons 30 to 80 feet down. Pier fishing was slow.

Manistee River: Anglers are reporting a good run of salmon. Those fishing below Tippy Dam are catching salmon and steelhead or brown trout above the dam.

Ludington: Trout and salmon fishing was good for boat anglers trolling small spoons 40 to 80 feet down in 120 to 200 feet of water between the Bath House and Big Sable Point. Pier and shore fishing off the State Park were slow.

Pere Marquette River: The salmon run is in full swing. A good number of anglers are fishing the flies-only section with white flies. Maple Leaf Campground was a hot spot where a good number of chinook were caught on orange flies.


Lake Erie: Perch are scattered and most boats are fishing in 22 feet of water off Fermi and the River Raisin. Some boats are seeing lots of fish, however many were small. A few walleye were caught in waters 17 to 19 feet deep when trolling crawler harnesses or body baits.

Huron River: Steelhead are moving up into the river and fish are being caught all the way up to the dam at Flat Rock. Anglers are using a variety of baits and lures including spawn, minnows, crawlers, spinners, and small spoons.

Detroit River: Walleye have been caught on the northeast side of Celeron Island, the Bell Buoy and the Horse Island Flats. Perch were found along the east side of Celeron Island in eight to 11 feet of water.

Port Sanilac: Those trolling in 150 feet of water are still getting lake trout just off the bottom and steelhead about 30 feet down. Anglers are reminded that lake trout season in Lake Huron will close on September 30. The season will re-open on January 1 for the waters from Harrisville to Lexington.

Harbor Beach: Good numbers of brown trout were caught when trolling in the harbor. The fish are hitting on spoons and running 18 to 22 inches.

Saginaw Bay: Had good perch action near Buoys 1 and 5, north of the Pinconning Bar, Buoys 11 and 12, and near Spoils Island. Most keepers are running eight to nine inches with the occasional bigger fish caught. The perch have not yet moved into the cuts, river mouths and marina basins. The best shore fishing in the fall for perch starts in November and continues until ice-up. A few walleye were caught off Spoils Island. Shore anglers in the marinas are still catching bluegills, sunfish, crappie and very small perch.


St. Joseph River: Has good fishing as chinook and coho continue to move into the river system.

Kalamazoo River: Chinook and steelhead are being caught up near the Allegan Dam. Anglers are reminded that the river between Marshall and the Morrow Dam is still closed to fishing and all other recreational use as the cleanup of submerged oil is taking longer than expected.

Grand Haven: Those trolling caught fish on spoons as well as spin/fly combos in 80 to 150 feet of water. Good colors were blue, white and yellow. Pier anglers were still taking fish when casting orange spoons in the early morning. Some are catching gizzard shad in cast nets and trying to use them for bait, but no fish were caught.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing good numbers of fish for those using spawn bags, cleo's, wobble glows and thundersticks. Chinook and brown trout are coming in strong, however the coho run could peak by the end of the week. Steelhead and the occasional lake trout were caught on jigs and wax worms. Those fishing off the eastside wall were using yarn with a six- to 10-foot leader. Fish were caught off the Fulton Street Bridge. Try spawn or a blue chrome Hot-n-Tot with red lips. Riverside Park was good for bluegills and crappie, but the bigger fish were caught in Millennium Park and Floyd's Bayou.

Grand River at Lansing: Is enjoying the best salmon run the area has seen in a few years. Coho are being caught at Moore's Park and the point where the Grand meets the Red Cedar River. Try spinners in orange, chartreuse or pink. Coho have also been caught in Portland by those using spinners or spawn. Smallmouth bass have been caught near Eaton Rapids and walleye were caught near Lyons.

Looking Glass River: Is producing some pike.

Morrison Lake: Is still producing some crappie for those using spec minnows.

Reeds Lake: Is fair to good for bluegill, crappie, pike, largemouth bass and perch. Try crawlers, leaf worms or wax worms.

Muskegon: Warm water temperatures have salmon anglers fishing in waters 80 to 150 feet deep. Lures have changed back to spoons and spin/fly combos in blue, yellow or white.

Muskegon Lake: Those trolling caught salmon off the old paper plant and the Conservation Club.

Whitehall: Salmon were caught on spoons 45 to 65 feet down in 120 to 140 feet of water. Boats are heading straight out from the channel. Hot colors were green, blue or anything that glows.



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