Northern Michigan Fishing Report Nov. 18: Whitefish Action

Northern Michigan saw fewer anglers now that many are hunting during the firearm deer season. This is also the time of year when the whitefish action really picks up for pier anglers. It might be a good idea for those hunting to take along a fishing pole!

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license. If you’re headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you’re feeling well. Practice proper social distancing (at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household) and keep a face-covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Pier and shore anglers are still getting some steelhead. River fishing for steelhead has also been spotty but should start improving with the latest rain, as it appears the Manistee, Pere Marquette, Betsie and White rivers all received a good amount to help raise water levels. 

Torch Lake: Whitefish spearing is taking place on the south end around the sandbar. If the weather cooperates, multiple boats will be out after dark. Some of the best opportunity for whitefish takes place during the end of November.    

Manistee Lake: In Kalkaska County had the best walleye fishing of the year taking place. Limits of 17- to 20-inch fish were caught using crankbaits and crawler harnesses. Lake temperatures have dropped, and the walleye are grouping together in the deep pockets of the lake.

Manistee River: Had reports of decent steelhead pushes after the rain. Steelhead have been caught up at Tippy Dam. Water temperature is still playing a significant role on fish activity on the Upper Manistee. Try streamers in the early morning to target the trout. On the cloudy, rainy days, blue-winged olives were the most successful fly.

Pere Marquette River: Also had a decent push of steelhead moving up into the river. 

Mecosta County: Perch fishing has been good on the inland lakes. Walleye are moving into the shallows at night.

Upper Peninsula

Walleye fishing was picking up on the inland lakes. More steelhead were starting to show up in the rivers. 

Little Bay de Noc: Had walleye anglers, and while many are marking fish, few catches were reported. Most fished the head of the bay from the mouth of the Whitefish River to the “Narrows.” The best area was between the Center Reef and the Third Reef when trolling stick baits or a crawler harness in 14 to 30 feet. Some had success when jigging the east bank along the drop-offs. 

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