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Hook & Hunting

Where the fish are biting this week, Sept. 7 report

Here’s how fishing looks this week in the Northwest Lower Peninsula, Northeast Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, according to the latest report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Presque Isle: Fishing pressure was down, but anglers who did make it out reported good catches of lake trout, Chinook, steelhead and coho. Depths of 50 to 150 feet of water were productive, with a wide variety of baits and colors catching fish. Good numbers of bait were reported all throughout the water column from the old lighthouse as far north as Black Point. Anglers reported catching walleye 15 to 30 feet down while targeting steelhead. Golds, greens and coppers worked best.

Rockport: Anglers who targeted lake trout did the best in around 100 feet of water. A few walleye were also reported to be caught while fishing that depth. Anglers did not report many Chinook being caught, but those that were caught could be found in 30 to 60 feet of water. Walleye anglers who fished during the day did not have much luck and reported better fishing at night.


Alpena: A few Chinook were caught off the pier and in the waters of the bay. Those who trolled spoons and plugs found success in 20 to 40 feet of water early and late in the day. Pier anglers caught a few Chinook while casting stick baits and heavy spoons. Anglers who fished Thunder Bay Island to the Nordmeer wreck had decent catches of lake trout, steelhead, Chinook and the occasional walleye fishing in 90 to 140 feet of water. A wide variety of spoons, plugs and flasher/fly combos were productive. The majority of trout were caught closer to bottom, while silver fish were targeted 15 to 60 feet down. Walleye anglers had success trolling crankbaits in 10 to 25 feet of water along the north shore and Sulphur and Scarecrow islands after dark. Using black/gold, blue/silver and purples yielded the best results.

Thunder Bay River: A fair number of Chinook, along with a few coho, were moving in and out of the river. Crankbaits, spoons and spawn caught a few fish from shore, while those trolling had on-and-off success with spoons and J-plugs. A few pike and bass were caught by anglers who used spinners, crawlers and leaches from 2nd Avenue to the 9th Avenue Bridge.

Rogers City: Most anglers targeted Chinook that were staging off Swan Bay. Anglers fished from 10 to 90 feet of water and used lead core, downriggers, copper dipseys and highlines. Running lines throughout the water column yielded the best results. Anglers also used spoons, J-plugs, flashers with flies or squids, and meat rigs. Good colors were greens, blues, black and white, oranges and chartreuse. The best success for salmon was before sunup and after sundown.

Au Gres: Perch fishing picked up near the mouth of the Pine River. Anglers who had the best luck were jigging spoon-tipped minnows in about 15 feet of water. Near the Au Gres River mouth, anglers reported seeing a few decent-sized walleye as well as some bass.


Oscoda/Au Sable: The vast majority of anglers targeted Chinook at the end of the pier or in boats around the river mouth. Anglers reported catching Chinook as well as a couple coho. However, warm weather later in the week caused salmon fishing to slow. Anglers who fished the river had good luck with smallmouth bass and the occasional pike. Anglers also reported the early morning being the best chance to get a bite.

Cheboygan: Hot weather and little rain slowed the salmon bite in Cheboygan. Chinook salmon were caught from the shore at the dam and at the pier. Boat anglers were more successful when trolling a way out in front of the river mouth. Night fishing was reported as good for both boat and pier anglers.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Charlevoix: Salmon anglers reported steady success trolling out front of the piers. Trolling flasher flies, spoons and J-plugs all produced results with a variety of greens, silvers, blacks and pinks working best. Meat rig bites also started to pick up success at deeper depths. Those fishing in front of Medusa Creek reported good numbers of Chinook before sunrise. Chinook, coho and the occasional steelhead were all reported to be caught.

Frankfort: The Chinook were setting up for staging for the run. Not many had hit the river, but very good numbers were out front in the early morning and evening. As the sun came up, anglers moved out to 100-130 feet of water and worked 30 to 50 feet down. Anglers jigging in the bay reported moderate activity throughout the day. Platte Bay started to jump with coho. Anglers trolling, casting and jigging the east bay area reported good numbers.


Onekama: Anglers were heading straight out from the pierheads and trolling in 90 to 140 feet of water and running 25 to 60 feet down, and reported that four-color worked well. Meat rigs were also reported to work well in the early mornings.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: There was limited success reported for perch anglers. Walleye anglers caught a few in the upper bay, as well as those who fished waters between the Ford and Cedar rivers. Anglers reported trolling harnesses and casting snap jigs as being successful.

Big Bay de Noc: Yellow perch fishing was fair to slow. Smallmouth anglers reported good fishing with quality fish. Both Garden Bay and Ogontz Bay were producing fish close to shore, as well as offshore around rock structures.

Carp River/Nunns Creek: Both the Carp River and Nunns Creek were producing salmon for fishing from both shore and wading. The bite was slow at Nunns Creek, but fish were caught on both spoons and spawn bags. At the Carp River, salmon were observed throughout the day, but the best time to get a bite was at dawn/dusk. Anglers were successful from the fishing pier/dock and wading upstream from the mouth. Some of the Chinook at the Carp River were looking pretty dark, though fresh fish were still arriving.


Marquette: Anglers reported the best places for catching lake trout as near the northwest side of the White Islands and trolling out toward Granite Island. Anglers trolling at around 80 to 120 feet of water caught the most lake trout near the White Islands, while anglers trolling for lake trout around Granite Rock had the most luck trolling at around 120 to 200 feet of water. Several Chinook and coho were caught in around 40 to 80 feet of water near the Chocolay River on toward Shot Point. Watermelon, silver and pearl multicolored spoons, cow bells, and green and blue flasher flies were good lures for lake trout. Gold spoons, lime green crank baits and moonshine glow spoons were good for Chinook and coho salmon near the Chocolay River.

Au Train: Anglers were catching near their limit of lake trout. Coho and Chinook numbers were starting to increase as well. The best places for anglers to catch fish were near the northeast side of Au Train Island and out toward the Shelter Bay clay banks. Anglers trolling or jigging in 40 to 100 feet of water or trolling along the flats caught the most lake trout. Also, trolling cowbells around 145 feet of water with sucker meat or smelt had good success for some anglers north of Au Train Island. Chinook and coho were caught at around 60 feet while trolling. Green spin and glows at around 80 to 100 feet were successful for lake trout out by the clay banks. Anglers also reported using orange spoons and pink flasher flies as successful for coho and Chinook salmon.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers were catching good numbers of lake trout, with the occasional coho and Chinook salmon as well. Anglers reported most fishing taking place during morning hours, with most fish caught near the top or bottom of the water column regardless of depth. Anglers had most of their catch on artificial lures such as spoons and while trolling.

Big Traverse Bay/South Portage Canal: Anglers continued to catch scores of pink salmon and lake trout, with other silver fish found further north. Cooling water resulted in some fishing moving slightly south to follow those cool temperatures. Anglers mostly trolled with spoons and flies, and fish were primarily caught in the upper third of the water column. Anglers reported the morning as being the most successful time of day for fishing.

Ontonagon River: Anglers reported catching the occasional walleye and rock bass while trolling and jigging on the river. Early mornings were the best time to fish; however, fish were still caught at all hours of the day.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Anglers reported finding good numbers of fish daily. Boat anglers who trolled artificial lures in various depths of water had success in getting mixed bags of lake trout, coho salmon and the occasional brown trout. Successful trips occurred consistently at all times throughout the day.

Black River Harbor: Fishing from the harbor was reported as good, with plenty of boat anglers getting out over the holiday weekend. Anglers found success in catching lake trout and the occasional coho salmon. The key to these catches seemed to be long, morning trips spent trolling artificial lures across a variety of water depths.

Munising Bay: Fishing pressure was low. A few boat anglers who made it out reported scattered catches of lake trout and coho salmon. Large clouds of bait fish were present within the bay, in the west channel area and in Trout Bay. Anglers mainly trolled in depths of 50 to 100-plus feet of water, with fish suspended throughout the water column. A few anglers were fishing off the Anna River, with scattered reports of a few splake.

Grand Marais: Boat angler fishing pressure was low, with most boats targeting lake trout. A few boat anglers had good success on a combination of coho salmon and rainbow trout. These fish were suspended in large clouds of bait fish. A few lake trout were also caught in these bait fish schools, which could be found a few miles offshore. Lake trout anglers also reported good fishing when trolling and jigging out near the shipping channels and Big Reef.

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