Northern Michigan Fishing Report August 26: Brook Trout Looks Good

The Michigan DNR Fishing Report for the week of August 26, 2020, reports that brook trout fishing will be good in Northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. No sign of salmon yet! Find your fishing ground below and check out what’s biting.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey: Boat anglers fishing from the break wall to Magnus Park caught a few Chinook 100 to 135 feet down but most were smaller fish. Those heading west did better for lake trout when fishing near the bottom. Most were using spoons, meat rigs and flasher/fly combos. More anglers were on the Bear River, but very few fish had been caught. Shore anglers targeting salmon in the early morning could see them, but none were caught.    

Charlevoix: Boats heading straight out and fishing 110 feet down did find a couple salmon when trolling spoons. Those jigging around South Point caught cisco and lake trout in 100 to 120 feet. There has been no activity in Medusa Creek. Those fishing the channel have caught smallmouth bass with live or artificial crawlers and leeches. No salmon in the channel yet.

Traverse City: Salmon were caught in the East Bay on the south bank, around Deepwater Point and near the white wall. Cisco fishing was good when the bite was on.  Bass fishing was slow. In the West Bay, salmon were caught in the hole in front of the Boardman River. No big numbers yet, but a few. Lake trout fishing was slow. Those trying for smallmouth bass were struggling.

Grand Traverse County: Slow fishing was reported on Long Lake, Bass Lake, Elk Lake and Lake Skegemog. 

Leland: Lake trout were still being caught deep off the harbor and near North Manitou Island. Salmon were also caught, but still low numbers.  

Lake Leelanau: Walleye were caught on the south end of the South Lake. A few Chinook were also caught, but the fish were smaller. 

Frankfort: Chinook salmon were hitting in 90 to 150 feet when trolling spoons 40 to 80 feet down. Some good-size fish have been caught, but the numbers were on the low side. Platte Bay anglers reported good numbers of coho in West Bay when trolling and jigging. 

Onekama: The Chinook bite was spotty, with a few landed out deep in 250 feet or more and working the top 100 feet with spoons. Anglers reported good numbers of baitfish.

Portage Lake: Water temperatures are still on the rise, and the bite was on the slow side. Bass, perch, and panfish anglers reported some activity but lots of little ones.

Manistee: Chinook and coho were caught 60 to 90 feet down in 80 to 200 feet to the north and south as well as along the Shelf when using spoons, J-plugs, meat rigs and a flasher/fly combo. The bite was hit or miss at times. A few lake trout and steelhead were also caught. Pier fishing was slow.   

Manistee River: Continues to provide some decent brown trout and the occasional steelhead. Pike and bass fishing were good below the dams.    

Ludington: A mix of Chinook and coho were caught straight out from the harbor, off the projects to the south and around Big Sable Point 45 to 80 feet down in 50 to 160 feet. Fishing was hit-or-miss at times. A few lake trout and steelhead were caught on spoons, meat rigs and J-plugs. A couple Chinook were caught in the harbor and off the pier. 

Pere Marquette Lake: A few Chinook salmon were caught both trolling and jigging, but the action was still hit or miss. 

Pere Marquette River: Those using spawn, beads or a jig and wax worm caught the occasional steelhead in the deeper holes. 

Mecosta County: The Martiny Chain was good in the early morning for panfish and pike. A few good size bass were also caught. Chippewa Lake was slow, with only a few largemouth bass and panfish caught.

Upper Peninsula

Rivers and streams had good trout fishing. The pike and walleye action picked up some on the inland lakes.    

Keweenaw Bay: Those fishing Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay caught lake trout when trolling or jigging. A few limit catches were reported. Traverse Bay is also producing a decent number of lake trout along with a few coho. Boat anglers are having to do some searching to find fish. 

Marquette: Anglers are catching lake trout about 5 or 6 per trip but no limits. Most were fishing the drop-offs in 150 to 180 feet from the White Rocks to Granite Island, the Clay Banks and near Little Presque Isle. Surface water temperatures were still warm, from the mid 60’s to near 70 degrees near shore. Still no real Chinook or coho action other than a few scattered reports. 

Little Bay de Noc: The best walleye fishing continues to be in the southern waters near Round Island and out by the Minneapolis Shoals when trolling a crawler harness or stick baits in 10 to 30 feet at night or early morning. Fair perch catches near Kipling with worms in 10 to 20 feet and near the ship docks in Escanaba in 30 feet. Good smallmouth action when casting plastics in 6 to 12 feet at the mouth of the Ford River. 

Manistique River: Salmon are in, but the numbers are low. The better catches were from shore up near the gates of the dam. Several brown trout were also reported in the area. Walleye fishing was excellent, with many limits reported. Shore anglers fishing the “Bass Hole” by the overpass bridge reported excellent catches just using crawlers in the fast water. Boat anglers headed to the high dam spillover area also did well fishing the fast water with a jig and crawler.

Manistique Lakes: Fishing slowed, but a few walleyes were caught just before dawn and shortly after dusk with crankbaits and crawler harnesses. 

Munising: Had no real salmon action yet; however, boat anglers reported fair catches of lake trout near Wood Island Reef, Grand Portal and Trout Bay. 

St. Marys River: Was producing walleye, pink salmon, Atlantic salmon and pike. 

Raber: Good walleye catches reported on the north end of Lime Island when trolling a crawler harness just off the weed beds in 12 feet in the early morning. A couple musky were caught from the north end of Raber Bay to Point Aux Frense with a large bucktail spinner with yellow spotted blades in 8 feet.

Detour: Salmon fishing improved at the Detour Reef and Lighthouse, with anglers getting Chinook, Atlantic and pink salmon. Chinook were hitting chartreuse and white J-plugs 55 feet down in 90 to 100 feet, and pink salmon were up higher at 35 to 40 feet down. Lake trout were found in 90 feet 2 miles south of the lighthouse. They continue to hit orange and white spin-glo’s behind flashers. 

Cedarville and Hessel: Had fair catches of yellow perch at Island #8 Bridge, off Hill Island Road, Connors Point and near the Viking Boat Works in Cedarville Bay in 12 to 14 feet with worms and shiners. Good pike action at the Middle Entrance to the Les Cheneaux Islands when using large minnows and creek chubs two cranks off the bottom in 20 feet. For Hessel, perch were caught from the finger docks. Fair pike action at the marina in the early morning with large minnows in 8 feet.   

St. Ignace: A couple coho and steelhead were caught in St. Martins Bay when trolling spoons in 60 to 100 feet. Those targeting walleye near the mouth of the Pine River in 10 to 30 feet had no luck. On the Carp River, a few walleye and perch were caught by those fishing from the wall. Most were drifting and bottom bouncing worms and leeches.

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