The Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Hot weather is causing summer fish kills and the mortalities of northern pike in many of our rivers due to extremely high water temperatures.

The weather may be lessening some anglers’ enthusiasm to be out on the water, but the fish are out there and are biting if you can find them.

On the inland lakes, the fish should be in deeper waters anywhere from 10 to 20 feet down depending on the lake.

Those fishing the warm water rivers may find the fish sluggish and uncooperative as the rivers do not thermally stratify like the lakes so the temperature stays the same from top to bottom.  Out on the Great Lakes, walleye and other game fish are moving to deeper and cooler waters.


The deeper inland lakes are producing some panfish. Water temperatures in the shallow lakes are just too warm and the fish are sluggish.

Grand Haven: Chinook and steelhead have been caught in the bottom 60 feet of waters up to 100 feet deep. Green and white spinnies and flies were the ticket. Pier fishing for steelhead and perch was extremely slow.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels continue to be low and clear. Anglers are shore fishing or wading in the shallows while casting toward the deeper holes for bass, walleye, catfish and carp.

Muskegon: Is producing mainly chinook salmon 45 to 70 feet down in waters 50 to 100 feet deep. Anglers are using orange and green spoons or green and white spinnies and flies. No pier or perch fishing to report.

Whitehall: Has good fishing near Stony Lake and close to the pier. Fish were still hitting even with the warm water temperatures. Lots of alewife were reported close to shore. For salmon try 50 feet down in 80 to 100 feet of water and steelhead 20 feet down in 40 feet. Blue, green, white and silver were hot colors for salmon but the steelhead prefer anything orange. A few salmon anglers were using green and white flies with silver paddles.