Michigan DNR Fishing Report for November 1, 2018

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Bear River: Water levels were normal. Angler pressure was low at the dam with the major salmon run tapering off. Anglers could still find a few lake trout or a couple coho. Most were drifting real or artificial spawn and flies up near the dam. The mouth had the most fishing pressure and anglers caught Chinook, coho, lake trout and one small steelhead on spawn, spinners, spoons and crank baits.

Traverse City: In the Elk River, lake trout and a couple Chinook were caught at the dam on spawn bags. A couple small steelhead were also reported. The Boardman River has been slow with only a couple Chinook and steelhead reported at the dam. No sign of lake trout yet.

Manistee River: Boat anglers on the lower river have caught a few fish. There is still a small number of salmon present however they are actively spawning and will be gone soon. Steelhead fishing was tough as the water is low and clear.

Pere Marquette River: Was low and clear which made steelhead fishing more difficult.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: DNR staff cleaned out the fish ladders at Berrien Springs, Niles and Buchanan and reported a few Chinook and steelhead in each ladder. Fishing pressure was light below Berrien Springs.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Those fishing up near the dam are getting a few coho and steelhead.

Grand River at Lansing: A odd coho was caught at the Moore’s Park Dam and the North Lansing Dam however there are no big numbers of fish. Try spinners or spawn bags. A few catfish have been caught.

Muskegon River: Anglers are still getting some Chinook salmon although the fish have turned dark. Look for more steelhead after the recent rain.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Anglers caught steelhead and the occasional Chinook on real or artificial spawn bags at the lock and dam. The steelhead were three to eight pounds while the Chinook were three to seven pounds. Most were males.

Thunder Bay River: Had lots of angling pressure as many are waiting for the Atlantic salmon to finish spawning and the bite to pick up which usually happens early to mid-November. Casting spoons and body baits worked best however some were also drifting spawn, beads or flies under a bobber. No steelhead yet but they should be in shortly. Be sure to check the Atlantic salmon for a missing adipose fin and a coded wire tag in their snout. The heads can be turned in at the Alpena Research Station or Clem’s Bait and Tackle. Both have the bags for the fish heads and the forms to fill out.

Black River: A couple anglers were casting body baits, spoons, and spinners for walleye, trout, and salmon, but catch rates were low.

Au Sable River: Atlantic salmon are in spawning mode, so it has been hard to get them to strike. Those casting spoons and spinners or swinging and stripping streamer flies had the best luck, with fish up to 12 pounds caught. Atlantic salmon with a missing adipose fin have a coded wire tag in their snout. Anglers are asked to turn the heads in at Wellman’s, Au Sable River Store, Haglund’s, The Dam Store, or Harrisville State Park. The steelhead action picked up a little bit as fish were caught by those casting spoons or bottom bouncing and floating spawn bags and beads. A few post-spawn Chinook up to 18 pounds along with the odd lake trout, coho or lake run brown trout were caught by those casting spoons and spinners or when backtrolling with plugs in the lower river.

Upper Peninsula

Marquette: Had a couple days of decent weather and a few boat anglers were out targeting lake trout and salmon between the Lower Harbor and the “white rocks” area. Most caught lake trout in 30 to 70 feet including a few limit catches. Salmon fishing was slow with only a few Chinook and coho picked up. The end of the breakwall in the Lower Harbor has been a hot spot with anglers getting a fair number of lake trout along with the occasional coho and steelhead. The lake trout have just started spawning so if the weather cooperates there should be a few more chances for anglers to get out and catch more fish. The Carp, Dead, and Chocolay Rivers had meager reports with only a few coho, steelhead and brown trout caught. The coho still look very fresh and many have not spawned so we may see another good push of fish in the rivers soon.

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