Fall fishing continues and will only get better as temperatures drop. Trout and salmon are in the rivers though numbers are still light in some areas. Fish in the inland lakes are starting to feed more as they prepare for winter.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: Perch fishing did slow some. The better fishing was in 17 to 21 feet near the E-Buoy, 19 to 23 feet near Buoys 1 & 2 off the River Raisin, and 20 to 25 feet off Stony Point. There were a couple reports of decent catches in significantly shallower water in Brest Bay and off the Erie Consumers Power Plant. Most are using perch or crappie rigs with spreaders and shiners. A couple walleye were caught in the early morning when trolling crank baits or a crawler harness straight out from Fermi and the mouth of the River Raisin near Ohio waters. Some caught the occasional legal size walleye, white perch or white bass when using shiners for perch. Shore anglers at the Hoffman Memorial access site caught some decent sunfish on perch or crappie rigs with a crawler or shiner. A couple largemouth bass were caught from the pier. Shore anglers on Whitewood Creek in Luna Pier caught largemouth and panfish on crawlers.
Detroit River: Anglers continue to catch yellow perch with emerald shiners on perch rigs. Walleye were caught in the channels especially between Sugar Island and Grosse Ile and the Trenton Channel.
Oakland County: Water temperatures on both Cass and Union Lake continue to drop and most species are starting to school up. Anglers were seeing good bluegill action though finding bigger fish was not easy. Some are fishing the mouth of the canals while others found fish along the drop-offs. Bass anglers are targeting the sandbars and weedy flats. Those casting baits that imitate baitfish did best. A few pike and walleye were caught on crankbaits and spinners.
Lake St. Clair: Yellow perch were caught with emerald shiners on perch rigs near Buoy 27. Perch and catfish were caught by those still-fishing or drifting in the same area. Walleye were caught by those jigging in 25 to 30 feet near the mouth of the South Channel. Muskie were caught near the spillway and smallmouth bass were taken in eight feet near the mouth of the Middle Channel. On the north end, smallmouth bass were caught in 8 feet near Selfridge when casting crank baits. Those moving around had better luck. Largemouth and pike were caught in less than 10 feet in Bouvier Bay when casting crank baits or spinners. Walleye and drum were caught when jigging or trolling a crawler harness around Grassy Island.
Lexington and Port Sanilac: Atlantic salmon have begun staging off the Lexington Harbor where pier and shore anglers were starting to catch a few. The water was very clear and fish could be seen quite easily. They like bright colored lures like orange and chartreuse. Pier anglers caught a few pike. A couple boats from Port Sanilac did manage to catch a walleye and steelhead.
Harbor Beach: Night fishing for walleye is starting. One angler did well on perch which were suspended halfway down.
Port Austin: Had rumors of walleye being caught off the wall at night.
Saginaw Bay: Perch were caught off the Pinconning Bar near Gambil’s Marina, Buoys 22 & 24 along the shipping channel, and along the old shipping channel. Lots of small fish were caught inside the Linwood Beach Marina. Perch fishing off Quanicassee was boom or bust as one boat came in with a limit and the next came in with none. Lots of smaller perch along with the occasional keeper were caught in the Quanicassee River. Shore anglers at Sebewaing caught panfish, pike and undersize bass at the Municipal Marina with tube jigs. Pier and shore anglers at Caseville are starting to look for perch but it’s still a bit early.
Saginaw River: Was very muddy after all the rain. Boat anglers heading out say the water starts clearing up once you get out past Spoils Island. A limit of perch was taken off the Karn-Weadok Plant at the mouth, off Bay Harbor Marina and near the Wirt Stone Dock at the Independence Bridge.
St. Joseph: There still seems to be a few fish out in 100 feet however boat anglers were struggling. Perch and pier fishing were slow. There is a lot of baitfish around the piers where anglers caught freshwater drum and bass.
St. Joseph River: Those fishing near the Berrien Springs Dam caught salmon and steelhead. Those drifting spawn bags were doing very well.
South Haven: A few lake trout were caught in 130 feet when trolling spoons. Perch fishing was very slow. Anglers report a lot of baitfish around the piers and those fishing have caught freshwater drum.
Black River: Anglers caught a few salmon when casting spoons. Those trolling reported slower catch rates.
Grand Haven: Boat anglers are catching trout and young salmon 30 to 80 feet down in 60 to 110 feet with green, orange or blue spoons. Pier fishing was slow with only a few catfish and freshwater drum taken on minnows. The south pier is closed to the public until the summer of 2017.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Catch rates were spotty for Chinook, coho and steelhead. Most were floating spawn bags.
Grand River at Lansing: Continues to produce a good number of smallmouth bass in areas with sand or gravel as well as below the dams. They are hitting on crawlers, minnows and anything rubber including a jig with a twister tail. A few salmon were caught at the Webber Dam near Portland but anglers were working hard to get them.
Looking Glass River: Anglers caught a few bass and smaller pike.
Lake Ovid: Was producing a few largemouth bass. Not much on bluegills but anglers might find some bigger crappie.
Muskegon: A mix of trout and salmon were taken 20 to 80 feet down in 60 to 120 feet with green and orange spoons and green flies. Lake trout were caught on green or yellow spin-glo’s. The south breakwall is closed for repairs.
Muskegon Lake: Boat anglers caught a few nice perch. The key is to keep moving until you locate a school of fish.
Muskegon River: The higher water levels will help bring fish into the river. Salmon fishing has been slow thus far but should pick up with cooler temperatures. Anglers will be targeting the lower section with flies. Some bass were also caught.
Whitehall: Boat anglers are catching steelhead and salmon 40 to 60 feet down in 70 to 100 feet on plugs and green or blue flies. Pier fishing remains slow, but the occasional salmon has been caught.
White River: A few salmon have been seen up at the Hesperia Dam, but most of the angling has occurred in the lower sections of the river.
The Weekly Fishing Report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from DNR Fisheries seasonal and field staff, and DNR Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species.