As we wrap up June, anglers have been successful in the search for lake trout, especially with the use of spoons. Salmon has yet to emerge, but the season is just beginning! Take a look at what’s been happening in your region.
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.
All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Harbor Springs: The lake trout bite was slow, but a few fish were picked up north of Harbor Point. Try 5 mile and 7 mile and around the humps up north. Many were fishing over 125 feet of water trying to find cooler temps.
Bear River: The Bear River was up over the weekend with heavy rains, and quite muddy. A couple people were fishing the dam and catching rock bass and creek chubs. Shore and pier anglers are still fishing the mouth of the river mainly. Anglers caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, small panfish, bullhead and catfish. Anglers are using worms, minnows, jigs with soft plastics and crankbaits.
Charlevoix: Anglers did well with lake trout near 9 Mile Point. An angler went south past Fisherman’s Island looking for salmon and trout but all they caught were cisco in shallower depths, 30 to 80 feet of water. There were still a couple cisco being caught in the channel last week. Anglers are targeting smallmouth bass in the channel more. Bigger bass and carp were seen in the channel. A good technique for smallmouth bass fishing in the Charlevoix channel is to drift the current on the bottom with a worm or leech, real or artificial will both work.
Frankfort: Anglers are still reporting low numbers of Chinook salmon but they are starting to show up. Try trolling in deep water, 220 to 300 feet of water with spoons and flies and working the top 160 feet of water. Lake trout are hitting in the same areas but better numbers are being reported off the point and the bay area. Heavy rains have warmed the waters up a bit and the mayflies are hatching.
Onekama: The Barrel and in front of the golf course are still reporting catches of lake trout but Chinook anglers are moving offshore to the shelf. Steelhead are being caught in the top 30 feet of the water column.
Arcadia: Straight out and heading north in 140 feet of water has been working okay. Numbers are low but still worth a trip.
Manistee: Salmon fishing was mostly slow. A couple scattered Chinook were caught straight out along the shelf in 100 to 200+ feet of water; some came from the south towards Big Sauble Point. Lake trout were caught both suspended and near bottom in 100feet of water. A few steelhead were caught in the mix from the top 30 feet. The north pier slowed down for steelhead although a pike or two were caught. Anglers should know that some Lake Michigan fog horns can be activated with your marine radio. A quick google search will point you in the right direction for the port you fish.
Ludington: Salmon fishing was slow although a couple Chinook were caught near Big Sable Point. The piers were slow. The DNR fish head freezer is now at the Copeyon Park fish cleaning station. Please turn in all adipose fin clipped salmon and trout heads or snouts. It may lead to a reward at the end of the season!
Ontonagon: Anglers have been finding lake trout consistently, but they have been scattered out to 100 feet of water. Trolling with spoons has been a productive tactic and anglers are picking up a few late trout in the 10 to 15 pound range. Coho, browns, rainbows and Chinook are becoming rarer but anglers are bumping into them on occasion. The Ontonagon River started to clear up towards the end of the week and anglers were starting to fish it a bit more. Walleye fishing has been hit or miss with a lot of sublegal fish being caught. Drifting and jigging have been the main fish producers.
Keweenaw Bay: In Keweenaw Bay anglers had luck pulling in whitefish as well as a few lake trout and the occasional salmon. Most fish were caught in deeper water. In Huron Bay anglers were catching lake trout when fishing at the mouth of the bay and further east. Most successful trips were during periods of calm water, but a few anglers were able to find fish in the rougher water as well, especially in Keweenaw Bay. Pressure on the Silver River was low, but the Falls River saw more action. Some anglers on the Falls River had luck catching rock bass. With steady warm temperatures and less storms coming later this week expect fishing to pick up.
Au Train: Fishing has been good the past week. Decent catches of lake trout were reported. Anglers who were trolling did better than those jigging. Lake trout were being caught all over the board in various depths. No salmon were reported this week.
Marquette: Fair numbers of lake trout were brought in over the past week. Various depths were fished. No reports of any salmon were caught.
Munising: A few boats have been doing well for lake trout fishing on the west channel, White Rocks, and towards Wood Island Reef from 80 to 140 feet of water. Fishing pressure continues to be low – again local anglers are targeting Chinook out at Manistique and Fairport. A few nice splake have been caught off the pier but in general fishing is pretty slow with somedays local anglers not catching any to a few fish.
Grand Marais: Pier fishing for whitefish is on a downhill slide with very few anglers out and only a few fish being reported. Boat angling has been light with a few anglers going out for lake trout and doing well and catching limits of lake trout.
Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers are struggling to find active schools. Some fish were found out in front of the Whitefish River, although many were reporting undersized catches. Mixed reports were reported from perch anglers. Anglers launching out of the Whitefish had the most success when using crawlers. Shore anglers along the Ford River caught smallmouth bass and pike.
Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers reported a tough bite after the cooler weather caused water temperatures to drop. However, many still had success when trolling crank baits or casting soft plastics. Most fishing activity was out of Nahma and Ogontz. In Fairport, anglers were catching Chinook and steelhead. Most fish were taken on spoons.
St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: The fishing has picked up some but not much. In the St. Ignace area few lake trout are being caught but anglers are traveling longer distances to get to them. Pike, walleye, and few perch are still being caught at the Pine and Carp rivers. In the Les Cheneaux area, anglers are still catching smaller perch and pike off the pier. Anglers are also seeing smallmouth bass in the area but cannot seem to catch them. Cisco have recently moved into the Cedarville area and anglers are doing well catching those.