Michigan DNR Fishing Report for October 24, 2018

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Bear River: Water levels were back to normal. Angler pressure continues to be low at the dam and down at the mouth. Catch rates were slow with only one coho and one Chinook caught. Anglers are drifting spawn and flies at the dam. Most are waiting for the steelhead to show up. Down near the mouth, a Chinook, coho and one lake trout were taken on spawn, spinners, spoons or crank baits.

Traverse City: Steelhead fishing was slow in the Boardman River.

Manistee River: Boat anglers in the lower river are catching steelhead but there has been no word on fish up near Tippy Dam. The Little Manistee River is low and clear which makes steelhead fishing more difficult.

Pere Marquette River: Water levels are low and clear. We need some rain to get the steelhead moving.

Continue reading “Michigan DNR Fishing Report for October 24, 2018”

Michigan DNR Fishing Report for October 17, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: Has steelhead as fish have been spotted going through the fish ladder at the Berrien Spring Dam. Try spinners, spoons, flies, crawlers or eggs in the swift moving water.

Black River: Anglers were out trying but the steelhead fishing was slow.

Kalamazoo River: Salmon are still being caught but most are turning quite dark. Steelhead were caught on spawn, small spoons, spinners and crawlers.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is still producing some coho up near the dam. Steelhead are moving in and a few more fish have been caught on real or artificial spawn, beads, egg pattern flies or spinners.

Grand River at Lansing: A few coho have been caught near the North Lansing Dam and the Moore’s Park Dam.

Muskegon: When the weather allows, a couple small coho were caught by pier anglers. The steelhead action was slow.

White River: Salmon fishing was good for those drifting skein or fly casting with egg pattern flies.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Anglers caught lots of Chinook salmon with real and artificial spawn, skein, spoons and crank baits however skein and crank baits worked best. A couple steelhead and walleye were also caught.

Ocqueoc River: Had some fishing pressure but no fish were harvested. Most were using real and artificial spawn or crank baits. Rumor has it a good number of Chinook were caught at the Ocqueoc Falls.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers had been fishing mostly around the 9th Street Dam on both sides of the bridge. The Chinook are beginning to deteriorate so most of them are being thrown back. A few brown trout and Atlantic salmon have been caught. Anglers are casting body baits and spoons, drifting flies or floating spawn and beads under a bobber.

Black River: Salmon anglers were casting spinners and spoons or still-fishing and floating spawn and skein at the mouth but fishing was very slow.

Au Sable River: A few Atlantic salmon were caught between the Whirlpool and Foote Dam by those drifting skein and streamer flies, or beads under a float. A couple Chinook were caught by those casting rapalas and swinging streamers. Most of the Chinook have been released as their condition is deteriorating. Small steelhead were taken by anglers floating or drifting spawn bags and beads on the gravel. Smallmouth bass were hitting on streamers and pike were hitting on large spinners.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Bear River: The water level has dropped some over the last week but was still flowing high and fast. Angler pressure was lower at the dam, but fish were still being caught. Most were getting mainly lake trout, Chinook, coho and a couple steelhead when drifting real and artificial spawn or using flies. Anglers reported a couple brown trout being caught but those fish must be released as the season is closed. Those fishing the mouth and between the bridges below the dam had good catches including a couple pink salmon. The Chinook and coho were turning dark.

Platte River: Still had some coho and Chinook. The Chinook are fun to catch but most are being released as they were in bad shape.

Betsie River: Chinook salmon were reported at the Homestead Dam but they are spawned out and deteriorating.

Manistee River: The Chinook salmon are on the downswing. There are still plenty around, but they are dark and actively spawning. Anglers caught small steelhead and a couple Atlantics while drifting or floating beads, spawn, and skein right behind the spawning Chinook. The steelhead seem to be actively feeding on anything egg-like. The Atlantics appear to be waiting for their turn on the gravel, occasionally grabbing whatever the current brings by including eggs, streamers and spinners.

Big Sable River: A good number of coho remain between the foot bridge and the dam. More anglers are starting to catch them using thunder sticks, Cleo’s and spinners.

Pere Marquette River: The Chinook salmon run is just about done. The remaining fish are now spawning and will deteriorate rapidly. Anglers will find some coho along with a fair to good number of steelhead.

Upper Peninsula

Two Hearted River: Following heavy rain all last week, the river is well above average for this time of year. These high flows are creating difficult fishing conditions for catching salmon. Fish are in the river and catch rates should pick up as the water comes down.

Michigan DNR Fishing Report for October 11, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: Still had good movement of salmon and steelhead through the fish ladder at Berrien Springs.

Dowagiac River: Had good numbers of salmon and a couple steelhead being caught. Most were taken on spawn.

Paw Paw River: Has salmon in the system but no big numbers.

Kalamazoo River: Salmon have been caught from Saugatuck to the Allegan Dam.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Still has a few Chinook and coho being caught up near the dam. Higher water levels made fishing a little more difficult.

Grand River at Lansing: A few scattered coho have been caught at the Portland Dam and the Webber Dam. Pike were hitting on spinners. A couple smallmouth bass were caught at Moore’s Park. Channel cats were caught on live minnows or cut bait.

Muskegon River: Has trout and salmon but also had good pike and walleye fishing.

White River: Anglers caught Chinook salmon while drifting skein or spawn bags through the deep holes.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Higher water levels and a strong current made it hard to float fish. Anglers have caught Chinook ranging six to 17 pounds when bottom bouncing skein or casting crank baits at the dam. Those targeting pink salmon were using spoons, spinners or spawn behind the paper mill but not many fish were caught.

Ocqueoc River: Anglers caught Chinook on spinners, spawn and crank baits. Fish up to 18 pounds were caught and most of the females were loose.

Thunder Bay River: Has Chinook salmon but anglers had a hard time getting them to hit. Fresh skein under a bobber seems to work best. Atlantic salmon are slow to come in this year, but the action should pick up soon. Try casting body baits, spinners and Cleo’s or drifting beads.

Black River: Anglers were targeting salmon and trout at the mouth when casting spoons, spinners, and crank baits or still-fishing with spawn. A couple small yellow perch were caught on crawlers.

Harrisville: A few anglers targeting Chinook were casting spoons near the mouth of Mill Creek but had no luck. Pier anglers caught walleye when casting rapalas.

Au Sable River: Atlantic salmon continuing to trickle in. Anglers are casting spoons and spinners, floating spawn bags or swinging and drifting streamer flies. Most fish were caught above the Whirlpool, but the numbers were still low. A couple Chinook salmon, smallmouth bass, and pike were taken when casting rapalas and spoons. The river was high and fast. Water temperatures were in the low 60’s and dropping.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Bear River: Water levels were high. Chinook and coho along with the odd pink salmon and lake trout were caught at the dam but anglers had a hard time landing them. Some of the Chinook had turned quite dark. A couple very small steelhead were hooked. Most were using real and artificial spawn bags or a single egg and flies.

Platte River: Still had good numbers of coho along with a few Chinook and steelhead. Staff at the lower weir plan to allow more fish to pass upstream Friday morning so the weekend anglers should find a decent number of fish.

Betsie River: Had a good run of Chinook salmon in the lower river last week. Coho are also in the river.

Manistee River: Had a good number of salmon all the way up to Tippy Dam and lots of anglers targeting them. Expect the fish to start dying off here in the next week or so. As that happens, coho and steelhead will be moving into the river. Those looking to avoid the crowds might want to fish the upper stretches near Hodenpyle.

Big Sable River: Coho continue to be present at the state park however some anglers had a hard time getting them to hit. A few had success casting wobblers or spinners. The occasional Chinook was taken on spawn.

Pere Marquette River: Had a very good run of Chinook salmon in the lower river. Many are dark in color which will only get worse as the fish start to die off in the next week or two. Look for coho and steelhead to start moving in.

Pentwater River: Anglers drifting skein or egg-pattern flies caught Chinook.

Upper Peninsula

Lac Vieux Desert: The cool wet weather did not hamper muskie anglers hoping to land a big fish. A handful of fish 32-47 inches were caught on suckers or artificial baits. A few small pike were caught right along with fish ranging 30 inches or so. Walleye and panfish anglers were few and far between however some decent size perch were caught on minnows. Anglers had to sort through a lot of small ones to get them.

Marquette: The weather has once again limited fishing. The few boats heading out did catch a couple Chinook, lake trout and steelhead just outside the breakwall. Overall catch rates were low with most getting just one or two fish. Shore anglers had some luck catching coho and steelhead on both the Carp and the Chocolay Rivers. The Dead River is still producing a few Chinook, but the fish are beginning to die off.

Manistique River: Anglers were still getting salmon including some pinks and some Chinook which were turning dark. Walleye have also been caught.

Two Hearted River: Continues to produce some coho. The action did slow with the warmer weather but should pick back up with the cold front.

Beast mode on the PM

Salmon fishing on the Pere Marquette continues to be strong, especially in the flies-only section. There’s certainly a lot of fish on gravel if that’s your thing, but there’s also fresher fish back in the holes. Targeting the holes takes a bit more patience and makes for a thrilling hit-and-run!

Lots on anglers out this weekend. Looked like everyone was getting along well and giving a respectable amount of space.

Michigan DNR Fishing Report for Oct. 4, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: A few coho, the occasional Chinook and a couple fresh steelhead were moving through the ladder at Berrien Springs.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing Chinook, coho and even a couple steelhead. Most are fishing up near the Sixth Street Dam with spawn bags, skein, thunder sticks and small spoons.

Grand River at Lansing: Had a good push of coho around the Webber Dam Monday morning. Fish were also being caught near the Portland Dam. Most are using spinners or spawn. Water levels are high which is not good for those looking to wade.

Muskegon River: Is producing salmon but the run has been on the slow side. A couple brown trout were caught and those targeting smallmouth continue to do well.

White River: Those fishing the lower stretches reported slightly higher numbers of new fish entering the system. Try casting body baits in the early morning or drifting skein and spawn bags through the deeper holes.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Fishing pressure picked up. A couple Chinook were caught on crank baits or skein. Most of the fish are dark however fresh fish are still trickling in. A good number of pink salmon were caught on skein, spoons and crank baits up at the dam. Those casting spoons and crank baits or drifting worms caught steelhead, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, pike and one muskie.

Ocqueoc River: Had very little fishing activity. Salmon were spotted upstream of the boat launch, but none were caught.

Thunder Bay River: Chinook salmon are jumping but were difficult to catch. The Atlantic salmon fishery was still on the slow side. Anglers are casting spoons and body baits or drifting spawn under a bobber.

Black River: Anglers were targeting salmon while casting spoons and crank baits or when still-fishing with spawn near the mouth of the river.

Au Sable River: A couple Atlantic salmon were caught between Foote Dam and the Whirlpool by those floating spawn, drifting and swinging egg and streamer flies through the holes or fishing behind the gravel. Smallmouth bass have been caught.

Au Gres River: Had some reports of Chinook salmon jumping off the mouth of Whitney Drain at the Singing Bridge, but none were caught.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Bear River: Had a lot of fish including Chinook, coho and a couple small steelhead that were caught at the dam by those using spawn, artificial eggs and flies. Some of the fish are dark. Water levels were high after all the rain.

Traverse City: Fishing improved some in the Elk River as anglers caught a few Chinook and small coho when using spawn at the dam. In the West Bay, salmon fishing was slow but coho were caught in the south end. Catch rates on the Boardman River picked up with some nice Chinook caught below the pedestrian bridge near J & S Hamburg’s and at the Union Street Dam when drifting spawn and skein.

Platte River: The coho just keep coming! Good numbers of fish were below the Lower Weir which has offered some good fishing in the lower river. Anglers have also caught fish down near the mouth when casting.

Betsie River: Anglers from the Homestead Dam are reporting lower numbers of Chinook and the fish are darker.

Manistee River: Had a decent run of coho at Tippy Dam. Anglers have also found a few brown trout, some walleye and the occasional pike.

Big Sable River: Had a good run of coho salmon.

Pere Marquette River: Still has decent salmon fishing. Many of the bigger Chinook have spawned and are turning dark. A few coho have made their way into the river. Anglers are also catching steelhead.

Pentwater River: Anglers casting body baits or drifting skein caught Chinook salmon. Early morning was best.

Upper Peninsula

Marquette: Fishing started to pick up around the mouth of the Chocolay River and outside the breakwall in the Lower Harbor. Most were targeting salmon, steelhead and brown trout when trolling in front of the Chocolay and Carp Rivers in 30 to 50 feet. Shore anglers on the Carp, Dead and Chocolay Rivers had low catch rates. More coho were starting to get caught at the mouth of the Carp and Chocolay Rivers. Those on the Dead River spotted a good number of Chinook.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers had reports of a few coho taken but the action was slow. Surf and river anglers at the Sucker River caught a few coho. Strong wind and large waves at the mouth made surf-casting more difficult.

Two Hearted River: Anglers had some good opportunities for coho on the river and out from the mouth. Those trolling in front of the river mouth did well on the calm days. Those fishing in the river had luck all the way up to the Reed and Green Bridge.

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