Thursday, June 14, 2018

6/14/2018 Northwest Lower Peninsula, Michigan Fishing Report

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs Smallmouth bass anglers were doing well in the shallows between the State Park and Harbor Point.  The fish were not on the beds yet and the bigger fish were out in deeper water.  Lake trout were caught from Harbor Point to the north.  Lake herring were caught around Harbor Point and out into the bay.   

Petoskey:  Boats are catching lake trout when trolling from the breakwall to Bay Harbor.  The fish were scattered as water temperature in the bay keeps changing because of the winds.  On the 
Bear River, a couple small steelhead were reported up near the dam.  Those fishing the mouth caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, freshwater drum, pike, walleye and bluegills on worms and stick baits.  

Charlevoix:  Boat anglers were catching lake trout and lake herring from Fisherman’s Island to North Point.  Salmon were caught mainly to the south.  Lake herring were caught in the channel in the early morning with anything flashy like spoons, jigs, blade baits and spinners.  

  • For a more accurate report on Lake Charlevoix I suggest reaching out to the people at Tom's Bait & TacklePhone: (231-536-3521)

Traverse City:  Bass fishing in the East Bay was good with fish caught in shallow waters south of Deepwater Point and the M-37 launch, towards Yuba and in Elk Harbor.  Lake trout fishing was very good straight out from the Elk Rapids Marina when trolling or jigging.  Lake trout and lake herring were also caught on the north side of Deepwater Point and off the M-37 launch.  The Elk River had plenty of nice bass caught between the dam and the mouth when using crawlers, leeches or tube baits.  In the West Bay, bass were caught south of 
Bowers Harbor and around Power Island.  Lake trout were caught north of Bryant Park.  Lake herring and lake trout were found in shallow water in Suttons Bay.  Lake trout were caught when jigging at Northport and north of Old Mission Peninsula.  In the Boardman River, a few bass were caught at the dam and plenty of rock bass were caught at the mouth.   

  • For a list of bait and tackle shops in the Traverse City area: Click Here!

Frankfort:  East winds pushed the warmer water out deep and anglers were getting good catches of Chinook salmon and lake trout in 550 to 650 feet and working the top 80 feet with green flies 150 to 200 feet out with copper and green or blue spoons.   

  • For a list of bait and tackle shops in the Frankfort area: Click Here!

Arcadia Lake:  Pike and smallmouth bass are still being caught though the bite did slow.  A few anglers were targeting perch and other panfish.  

Onekama:  Chinook catches are picking up in and around the “Barrel” and in front of the golf course when trolling green spoons and flies in the top 25 to 65 feet of waters 250 to 300 feet deep.  Lake trout and steelhead were also caught.    

Portage Lake:  Still no mayfly hatch to report so anglers were taking good catches of bass and panfish.  Perch were found in 18 to 25 feet off Eagle Point.  Bluegills were caught in the weed beds along the east end and bass were caught in all areas.   

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:  A few walleye were caught by those trolling a crawler harness.  The panfish were in shallow and were hitting on spiders, small flies and artificial baits.  Crappies were caught with a slip bobber in eight to 12 feet.  

Manistee:  Surface temperature readings were about 56 degrees. Anglers are reminded the south pier remains closed.  Off shore, fishing slowed way down as the fish were scattered.  A small number of Chinook and lake trout were caught on spoons in 120 to 300 feet.  Baitfish are still in the harbor and anglers fishing off the north pier caught Chinook and steelhead.  Those trolling in the channel caught a few fish. Ludington:  Had surface water temperatures near 54 degrees.  Fishing slowed here also with only a few Chinook along with a couple steelhead and lake trout taken on spoons in 85 to 250 feet.  Pier anglers were few.  Baitfish are in the harbor and those trolling caught Chinook, brown trout, steelhead and the occasional lake trout.  

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:
Don's Sporting Goods: (231) 723-5028
Tangled Tackle Co.(231) 887-4242
Pappy's Bait & Tackle: (231) 848-4142
Andy's Tackle Box: (231) 477-5737

Pentwater:  Chinook, steelhead and lake trout were caught 20 to 60 feet down in 80 to 160 feet.  Green flies, blue or green spoons, and blue or purple meat rigs all caught fish. 

Pentwater Lake:  Those casting body baits in five to 15 feet caught smallmouth bass and pike.  Sunfish and perch were caught from Longbridge Road when floating a worm under a bobber.  

Fremont Lake:  Some walleye were caught along the south shore. 

6/14/2018 Northeast Lower Peninsula, Michigan Fishing Report

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River:  Anglers caught walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, catfish, rock bass, and freshwater drum when drifting worms at the dam and DNR station.  Many walleye were undersize but those harvested were 15 to 20 inches.  One chute on the dam was open.  

Rogers City:  The Atlantic salmon fishing was very good with many boats catching multiple fish especially in the morning on calm days.  Anglers are using short lengths of copper 75 to 125 feet with lead core and 1-3 colors off planer boards.  Many were also using sliders off the boards.  Try regular size spoons, mini spoons, slim spoons or slammers in bright colors in 50 to 90 feet.  These fish love structure especially off points, walls, and around marinas.  Lake trout fishing has been excellent with limit catches.  Most were caught in the bottom 15 to 20 feet with spoons or dodgers and cowbells with spin-glo’s.  Chinook salmon were also caught 50 to 60 feet down in 60 to 90 feet with blue, green, chartreuse or glow spoons.  There has been a lot of baitfish in the area.    

Alpena:  Had very good Atlantic salmon fishing in the top 30 feet.  Lake trout were caught near the bottom but some were suspended and hitting on large attractors with spin-glo’s and spoons.  Chinook were about halfway down in 50 to 120 feet and were hitting on green, orange, blue and bright colored spoons.  Walleye were hitting at night.  Try off the city beach, North Point and near Grass, Sulphur and Scarecrow Islands when trolling body baits in eight to 25 feet.    

Thunder Bay River:  A couple walleye were caught in the early morning or at night when trolling or jigging crawlers and leeches in the turn basin.  Up at the dam, anglers caught the occasional rock bass, smallmouth bass or bowfin on worms or when casting body baits. 

Black River:  A couple small walleye and pike were caught when casting crank baits at the mouth.  Those
trolling body baits in 15 to 25 feet caught a few walleye. 

Harrisville:  Those trolling spoons between Harrisville and Sturgeon Point caught lake trout in 60 to 75 feet.  Most fish were hugging the bottom but a few were suspended up higher.  Chartreuse, chrome and blue were good colors.  Those trolling body baits or a crawler harness and bottom bouncer in 20 to 30 feet caught a couple walleye between Harrisville and the Black River.  

Oscoda:  Lake trout were caught in the bottom 15 feet of waters 70 to 90 feet deep.  A couple Atlantics were caught on spoons higher in the water column.  Pier anglers had good catches of channel catfish when still-fishing with crawlers.  Walleye were caught from the pier and the river mouth when still-fishing or drifting crawlers as well as casting body baits and jigs.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass along with freshwater drum were caught by those casting jigs with twister tails or drifting crawlers.  

Au Sable River:  Those still-fishing crawlers from shore or drifting crawlers from boats caught walleye, channel cats, freshwater drum, and carp between River Road and the mouth.  Smallmouth anglers took fish when casting jigs or crank baits.  Try targeting the holes and near woody debris for smallmouth bass and walleye.  The deeper holes near Foote Dam can also provide some good size smallmouth bass this time of year.   

680 River Rd.
Oscoda Twp. Mi 48750
(989) 739-5332

Higgins Lake:  Lake trout are still being caught in 80 to 100 feet or more when trolling or jigging cast masters and Swedish pimples just off the bottom.  Smallmouth bass were hitting both artificial and live bait in 10 to 20 feet.  A fair number of perch were caught off the northeast point of Treasure Island in 40 feet but most were small.    

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops: 
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle: (989) 821-9517 
Sports Barn: (989) 821-9511

Houghton Lake:  Some nice walleye 20 inches plus have been caught when drifting a harness with crawlers and leeches or crank baits along the edge of the weed beds in nine to 14 feet.  Pink and purple were the hot colors.  Good bass fishing especially for those using a purple artificial worm.   Bluegills were shallow in three to four feet but some were also caught about 6 feet down in 9 feet.  Try 10 to 12 feet for crappie.  Lots of pike have been caught but many were small.    

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:

Tawas:  Walleye were caught off Jerry's Marina and out near Buoy #2 in 60 feet however success in Tawas Bay was spotty.  

Tawas River:  Shore anglers caught an assortment of bass, freshwater drum, catfish and some pike.  

Au Gres:  Had excellent walleye fishing with lots of limit catches taken.  Many were fishing straight off the river mouth in 25 to 30 feet, off Eagle Bay Marina and south towards Pinconning in eight to 22 feet.  Big yellow perch and pike were also caught.  

Au Gres River:  Shore anglers caught crappie, pumpkinseed, bullhead, freshwater drum, catfish and pike.   

6/14/2018 Southeast Lower Peninsula, Michigan Fishing Report

Casual Friday's - After Work Fishing / Meetup 

June 15, 2018 at 5 pm! Meeting at the Stony Creek Metropark boat launch. Looks to be an awesome night to be out on the water. Hope to see you there, all are welcome.

For more events like this one and daily kayak fishing updates check out the Kayak Fish The Great Lake Fishing Group on Facebook!  

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  Walleye fishing continues throughout.  A good number of fish have been caught out of Bolles Harbor, Brest Bay, around the Dumping Grounds, off the Banana Dike and off the Metro Park.  Those looking for shore fishing opportunities are encouraged to head down to Pt. Mouillee. 
  • If you're planning on fishing any of the canals near Lake Erie Metro Park or Point Mouillee State Game Area you can get all of your bait & tackle needs met at  Bottom Line Bait & Tackle
  • If you're planning on fishing out of Sterling State Park or the Brest Bay area you can pick up tackle from the nice people at Jeff's Bait & Tackle.

Huron River:  Usually has good bass and catfish action this time of year.  Smallmouth bass and northern pike have been hitting very well on the Huron in the last week.  Many of them have been taken on squarebill crankbaits and whopper ploppers.  

  • 7.6 Miles North of Huroc Park there is a Dicks Sporting Goods
  • 7.6 Miles North of Huroc Park there is also a Meijer which carries fishing tackle and some live bait
  • 7.6 Miles North of Huroc Park there is also a Petsmart which carries crawlers, wax worms, mealworms and red wigglers
  • 5.3 Miles south east of Huroc Park the people at Bottom Line Bait & Tackle can help with any bait and tackle you need whether you're chasing bass, steelhead or walleye. 


Detroit River:  Is still producing some walleye even though a good number of fish have moved down into Lake Erie.  Most fish were caught down near the mouth.  The white bass action has slowed but anglers were still getting a few. 

Lexington and Port Sanilac:  When boats can get out, they caught Atlantic salmon, lake trout and walleye in 44 to 53 feet.  Atlantic salmon and coho were caught in the harbor at Lexington and some nice Atlantics were caught from the wall at Port Sanilac when using live minnows.    

Harbor Beach:  A few salmon and steelhead were caught straight out and north in 50 to 70 feet when trolling seven to 10 colors of lead lines with spoons off downriggers.  Green, pink, and orange were the hot colors.  Lake trout were also caught in 80 to 100 feet with dodgers and spin-glo’s or spoons near the bottom.   Work top to bottom for best results.  Hot colors were green, white, yellow, orange and pink.  Bass and a few walleye were taken close to shore when casting small body baits or spoons.

Grindstone City:  Shore anglers and those wading caught smallmouth bass in the harbor when using tube jigs.

Saginaw Bay:  Had excellent walleye fishing when the wind stops blowing and boats can get out.  Good catches were reported off Gambil’s Marina near Pinconning in 23 feet, and around the Old Dumping Grounds.  Excellent fishing was reported in the Slot from Quanicassee to Sebewaing and near the weed beds in Wildfowl Bay.  Most have switched over to crawler harnesses, but a few are doing well on spoons, Flicker-Shad, and other assorted crankbaits.  At Caseville, walleye anglers were exploring the waters around the Charity Islands and along the reefs between Caseville and Port Austin.  

  • For a more accurate report on Saginaw Bay I suggest taking a look at the weekly Saginaw Bay Fishing Report given to you by
Nearby Bait Shops Include 

Franks Great Outdoors (989) 697-5341

GW's Fishing Lures (989) 684-6431

The Party Dock (989) 684-2150
West Marine (898) 667-2100
Live Bait (989)992-7770

Saginaw River:  Those trolling in the lower river caught walleye as far upstream as the Coast Guard Station.  This is the place to go if it’s too windy to fish out on the bay.  

  • For a more accurate report on fishing the Saginaw & Tittabawassee Rivers I suggest joining the Michigan Fish Slayers group on facebook.  There are always quite a few people giving updates on Saginaw & Tittabawassee River fishing. 
With warm weather beginning to be come normal across the state there are ample opportunities to get out and fish.  With that in mind I suggest reaching out to the local bait shops in southeast Michigan to verify what your best options are.  Below are links to bait shop listings orgnized by county:

6/14/2018 Southwest Lower Peninsula, Michigan Fishing Report

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph:  Boat anglers targeting salmon reported slower fishing but some decent size Chinook were caught in 120 feet or more.  The more consistent fishing was found in around 100 feet.  Coho and lake trout were also caught.  Pier anglers caught steelhead on shrimp but the action was slow.  Catfish are hitting on stink baits and freshwater drum were caught on spoons.  

Nearby Bait Shops Include: 
Fishin Hole (269) 982-3474
Tackle Haven (269) 925-0341
Great Lakes Tackle  (269) 208-6178
Fishing Hole 2 (269) 468-7522

South Haven:  Anglers caught a mix of Chinook and lake trout in 100 to 120 feet with spoons and meat rigs.  Pier anglers caught steelhead when floating shrimp under a bobber.  Freshwater drum were caught on small tube jigs.  

For more places to fish in Van Buren County: Click Here!

Grand Haven:  Salmon were caught 30 to 80 feet down in 80 to 180 feet with orange and blue spoons.  Pier anglers caught steelhead on shrimp.

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Anglers are still getting the occasional walleye near the bridges and creek mouths.  Fair to good smallmouth action was reported.  Catfish were caught on live bait.    

  • For a more accurate report on the Grand River at Grand Rapids I suggest reaching out to the people at Al & Bob's SportsPhone: (616-281-0777)
Looking Glass River:  Those drifting or shore fishing have caught bowfin and carp.  

Morrison Lake:  Bluegill anglers were taking a good number of fish on crickets.  The fish should be heading to deeper water soon.     

Muskegon:  Had good salmon action 25 to 90 feet down in 70 to 180 feet with orange, blue and green spoons.  Pier anglers caught freshwater drum.    

Muskegon Lake:  A few walleye were caught on a crawler harness in 15 feet just west of the Bear Lake channel.  Bass were hitting on crawlers, leeches and blade baits.  Bluegills were in the shallows up near the North State Park.  Channel cats were caught throughout the lake including near the mouth of the Muskegon River.  Smallmouth bass and freshwater drum have been caught in the channel.  

Muskegon River:  Is producing some nice smallmouth bass.  Look for walleye and bass in both Croton Pond and Hardy Dam Pond.  

  • For a more accurate report on the Muskegon Lake & the Muskegon River I suggest reaching out to the people at Snug Harbor OutfittersPhone: (231-719-0759)
Whitehall:  Boats trolling in the top 70 of 100 to 180 feet caught Chinook, coho, steelhead and the occasional lake trout on green or blue spoons and purple or green meat rigs.  Pier anglers caught the occasional steelhead on alewife near the bottom.

White Lake:  Was producing a good number of bluegills.  Try red worms or wax worms.   

For more bait shops in the southwest lower peninsula follow the links below:

Kalamazoo County Bait Shops: Click Here!
Berrien County Bait Shops: Click Here!
Allegan County Bait Shops: Click Here!
Ingham County Bait Shops: Click Here!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Product Review: Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line

Product Description: Berkley's Trilene XL® Smooth Casting Line is an excellent all-purpose mono line that combines incredible handling with exceptional strength for trouble-free fishing. Famous for its super limpness, low memory, smooth handling and toughness, this easy casting Trilene XL Line's unique formula also ensures less line twisting, fewer kinks, minimal backlashes and superior abrasion resistance.
  • Incredible handling plus exceptional strength
  • Super limp
  • Low memory
  • Smooth handling

Price:  $5.78

How I Used: I matched the Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting line, in 10lb test, up with a Quantum Triax 30 spinning reel. The reel and line combo were paired up with a 6'6" Shakespeare Outcast rod that I did a review on.  I used this combo because I figured it would be a good combination for both lipless crank bait fishing and bottom fishing for catfish.

Review: The Berkley Smooth Casting line is very accurately described in its company description.  Overall it turned out to be very strong, catching multiple catfish and carp over 10lbs without having any issues of line breakage.  It is limp and has very little memory even after a years worth of use on my set up.

The only issue I found with the Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting line is that it is prone to line stretch under certain conditions.  What conditions do I mean? This year I spooled my Okuma Voyager spinning reel with the Trilene smooth casting line in 6lb test in the hopes of it being a good fit for the kit.  What I found is that after catching around 15 or 20 fish with it the line got very bad line stretch causing me to have to cut off large sections of it in order to retie without having knot slippage.

Initially I thought I just had a random bad package, as this happens some times.  But after purchasing a new spool and putting it on the reel I found that I was having the same problem. When this happened I started looking at the differences in set up to figure out why this line wasn't performing as well with the voyager set up as it had with the outcast set up.

What I figured out is that this line is designed to be fished with slow to moderate action rods, which the voyager spinning kit is not.  Due to its limpness then Trilene line needs this slower action so the rod can absorb more of the energy produced by fighting fish, rather than the energy being absorbed into the line itself. So if you're gonna use this line, especially in the low pound test, make sure you pair it up with a slow to moderate action rod to get the full benefits of the line.

Beyond the line stretch issue I had with the line it is great and I'll definitely use it again, just under the right circumstances.

Pros: strong, low memory, limp and cast very well
Cons: subject to bad line stretch

Quick Tips: 
1. If you're gonna use this line, pair it with a slow to moderate action rod that way the rod can absorb a fair amount of the shock and stress of catching fish.  If you don't you'll incur alot of line stretch due to the suppleness of the line.

2. If you're gonna use this line tie on your baits with a palomar knot as it will hold better in case of line stretch.

Here is some footage of the Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line in action:

Thursday, June 7, 2018

6/7/2018 Nortwest Lower Peninsula Michigan Fishing Report

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Good bass and bluegill fishing has been reported on most inland lakes.

Harbor Springs:   Lake trout were caught along the drop-off around Harbor Point. A few cisco were also caught around that area as well.  

Charlevoix:   Lake trout seemed to be scattered as some were caught around the cement plant in deeper water while others were found in shallow water. A few cisco were also caught in shallow water in front of the hospital. Despite a lot of angler pressure, fishing in the channel was hit-or-miss as water temperatures have dropped.  Smallmouth bass were also in the channel. Carp were up in the shallows which can be fun for those fly fishing. A couple lake trout were caught off the end of the piers.  

  • For a more accurate report on Lake Charlevoix I suggest reaching out to the people at Tom's Bait & TacklePhone: (231-536-3521)

Petoskey:   Surface water temperatures were 48 degrees. Some lake trout were caught near the drop-off between the breakwall and Bay Harbor. Near the mouth of the Bear River, anglers will find smallmouth bass, rock bass, bullhead, suckers, freshwater drum and carp. Those fishing the beach, breakwall and D Pier were using worms, spinners or crank baits. Angler pressure was low on the Bear River but a couple steelhead were caught up near the dam.  

Traverse City:  Lake trout were caught at various depths around Deepwater Point and along the west shoreline. Anglers were casting and jigging. Cisco were also caught when jigging around Deepwater Point, north of the M-37 launch and off Elk Rapids. Bass fishing was generally good along the south end between Acme and the State Park as well as north of Yuba Creek.  On the Elk River, bass fishing was very good with smallmouth caught down from the dam and near the harbor mouth. Crawlers and tube baits worked best. A few perch and rock bass along with some big carp were also caught. In the West Bay, lake trout and cisco were caught around Lee Point and south of the island. A few perch were caught near the M-22 launch. Bass were caught in Suttons Bay, south of Bowers Harbor, near Power Island and near the mouth of the Boardman. Those fishing up near the dam on the Boardman River caught rock bass and suckers. Bass were caught on crawlers and soft plastics near the mouth.    

  • For a list of bait and tackle shops in the Traverse City area: Click Here!

Frankfort:   The Chinook seem to have moved to deeper water this week with anglers reporting good early morning catches of them, steelheads and lake trout in 120 to 150 feet. Steelhead were hitting on two color with orange crush, lake trout near the bottom with spin-n-glows, and Chinook were hitting blue and green spoons and flies 40 to 80 feet down. 

  • For a list of bait and tackle shops in the Frankfort area: Click Here!

Arcadia Lake Pike anglers were doing very well with many getting limit catches when trolling or casting body baits. Some very large bowfin were also been caught. Bass anglers have done well especially between the breakwalls going out to Lake Michigan. A few perch and some bluegills have also been caught.   

Onekama:  Anglers trolling north and south were getting Chinook salmon 40 to 80 feet down in 120 to 150 feet with green flies and spoons. The early morning bite was producing some big Chinook and good catches of lake trout in and around the “Barrel”.

Portage Lake:  As of June 4 the mayflies had not shown up yet so the fish were hungry and the bite was good. Bass anglers reported respectable sizes and numbers throughout the lake. Perch were reported out near the buoy in 18 to 25 feet. Bluegill were on the beds along the west end.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:  Continue to have good bass fishing for those using both live and soft plastic baits.  Bluegills are in the shallows.  Boat anglers are still getting the occasional walleye when trolling a crawler harness or rapala.      

Manistee:  Surface temperatures dropped to 50 degrees. Boat anglers were still getting a fair to good number of Chinook on spoons in 130 to 250 feet. A small number of steelhead and lake trout were also caught. Pier fishing was very slow because of the large number of baitfish in the harbor. The south pier remains closed.  

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:
Don's Sporting Goods: (231) 723-5028
Tangled Tackle Co.(231) 887-4242
Pappy's Bait & Tackle: (231) 848-4142
Andy's Tackle Box: (231) 477-5737

Ludington:  Surface water temperate readings were at about 51 degrees. Some anglers had success trolling in the harbor. Chinook, browns and steelhead were caught trolling using spoons. Off shore Chinook fishing slowed but many anglers were catching big healthy fish in 130 to 250 foot of water. Steelhead, lake trout and browns also came in at those depths. Spoons were the most successful bait.

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:
Don's Sporting Goods: (231) 723-5028
Tangled Tackle Co.(231) 887-4242
Pappy's Bait & Tackle: (231) 848-4142
Andy's Tackle Box: (231) 477-5737

Pentwater:  Boats trolling 25 to 70 feet down in 120 to 180 feet caught salmon and steelhead from the dunes down to Little Sable Point. Green flies and orange, blue or green spoons all caught fish. 

Pentwater Lake:  Anglers floating red worms caught bluegills and sunfish in three to 10 feet. Those fishing from Longbridge Road caught smallmouth bass and sunfish with crawlers under a bobber.  


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