Fromt DNR Reports

Weekly fishing report through September 3. 

Muskegon area

Muskegon Lake: Had some chinook salmon near the old paper mill and near the Sand Docks were anglers were jigging.

 Is fishing the same as Grand Haven because of the warm water. Put white paddles and spinnies with blue and green flies 70 to 100 feet down in 80 to 160 feet. Those using meat rigs and J-plugs have also caught fish. Green and yellow were good colors.

Muskegon River: Those targeting smallmouth bass continue to do well when using plastics, spinners or flies.

Grand Haven: The water warmed up. Salmon anglers were fishing 70 to 105 feet down in 80 to 160 feet and setting wire divers out 220 to 240 feet. The better bite was on white paddles and spinnies with green, blue, UV or green and blue flies but some were also using meat rigs in UV greens and yellows. A few fish were taken on J-plugs, “Atomics” and glow spoons. No perch with the warm water.

Whitehall: Salmon were caught right on the bottom in shallow waters 50 to 80 feet or about 70 feet down in waters 200 feet or deeper. Meat rigs were the ticket including a new copper and meat rig combination.

Ludington: Catch rates for trout and salmon were hit-or-miss. Boat anglers found fish 40 to 100 feet down in 80 to 200 feet when trolling yellow or green meat rigs along with orange or green spoons. Pier fishing was slow.


Harbor Springs: Most boats have been fishing the Petoskey side of the bay. There are still lake trout at multiple depths in Harbor Springs and some have also picked up a couple salmon that were 75 feet down in 130 to 140 feet. Boats running up the coast toward Seven Mile Point or staying close to harbor have caught fish.

Petoskey: Still had a thermocline about 50 feet down. A few salmon were caught on spoons 50 to 75 feet down. A good number of lake trout were caught, with many in the Slot. The fish were scattered but caught 50 to 90 feet down when trolling over multiple depths. Not many pier anglers. A few casting spoons or crank baits in the early morning caught the occasional salmon but no big numbers yet.

Bear River: A couple salmon are starting to show up at the dam. Some have caught the occasional steelhead on spawn.

Charlevoix: Salmon fishing seemed to be slightly better in the evening. Boat anglers could be found near the cement plant and towards Fisherman’s Island. Many are catching a lot of lake trout which are further up in the water column as compared to a typical year. Fish were caught anywhere from 35 to 90 feet down in 120 to 170 feet and salmon were more shallow about 50 feet down. Try spoons, hootchies with flies or meat rigs. Those running sliders have done well. Sub-legal smallmouth were caught on crawlers or leeches along the bottom in the channel.

Traverse City: Salmon fishing has been sporadic in the East Bay with most taking zero to three chinook per outing. Depths were variable, but most were fishing 30 to 70 feet down. Lake trout fishing was good in 100 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in shallow water or along the first drops. In the West Bay, salmon are beginning to stack up in “The Hole” but catch rates were still hit-or-miss. Most are using flies or spoons. Lake trout fishing was good for those jigging or trolling north of Traverse City in 100 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good.

Elk River: Smallmouth bass have been caught below the dam, as well as small panfish when using live bait. Most of the bass were sub-legal.

Boardman River: Fishing continues to be slow except for a few smallmouth and rock bass hitting on live baits. There have been rumors of salmon entering the river.

Platte River: Catch rates were still slow except for a few rainbow trout taken up near the hatchery. Water temperatures were 74 degrees which is keeping the fish out. A few were seen jumping near the mouth but did not want to bite.

Platte Bay: Coho are in the East Bay. They are scattered however anglers did find them in the top 20 feet of waters 40 to 100 feet deep in the southwest corner near the commercial nets and along Otter Beach. Anglers need to use caution near the commercial nets as the lines may extend several hundred feet in any direction from the floats. Try blue or green spoons and blue J-plugs.

Frankfort: Catch rates were hit-or-miss. The chinook were right in front of the piers but moved out deeper. Anglers are working hard to locate fish from 40 feet to 500 feet. The morning bite was best out from the pier with fish hitting on meat rigs and J-plugs. Pier anglers catching alewife caught a couple chinook, coho and one very nice 44 inch pike. Those jigging Swedish pimples and Jonah jigs caught chinook. Hot colors were green, pink and purple.

Onekama: The Barrel is producing nice catches in the early morning. Anglers are working the top 60 feet with 2 and 3 colors of lead, 100 to 150 feet back on dipseys with meat rigs catching the bigger kings. Coho were in the same area and hitting on blue or green spoons.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers continue to have a great season throughout the lake. Cooler water temperatures had the bass in close and along the drops. Walleye were hitting on crawler harnesses near Little Eden and the Inn.

Lakes Cadillac & Mitchell: Are producing some nice largemouth bass. Bluegills were hitting on leaf worms and wax worms. Minnows caught crappie and perch. Pike anglers have done well.

Manistee: Salmon fishing has not been easy as the fish were scattered. Anglers did find fish 40 to 90 feet down in 80 to 180 feet when trolling green meat rigs or flies and orange spoons. Use glow spoons or plugs in the early morning. Pier fishing is slow. Those trolling near shore early or late have caught a few kings.

Manistee River: Decent numbers of Skamania steelhead were present at Tippy Dam. A few kings were mixed in but no big numbers yet.


Port Sheldon: Was producing a mix of chinook, coho and steelhead in 165 feet.

Kalamazoo River:
 Has good smallmouth bass fishing when the water clears. There is still some dredging going on so stay upstream of Marshall or downstream of Kalamazoo for the best water conditions.

St. Joseph River:
 Continues to provide good smallmouth bass fishing.

St. Joseph:
 Perch fishing is very inconsistent as the fish seem to be scattered in 30 to 70 feet. Salmon fishing was decent with most fish taken in the early morning in 90 to 120 feet. Pier fishing was slow.

Dowagiac River:
 Skamania steelhead are hitting in the lower river below the Pucker Street Dam. Salmon fishing was good when using spoons in 80 to 90 feet in the early morning. Pier fishing was slow.

Gun Lake:
 Was producing largemouth bass in Robins Bay and Pickerel Cove.

Grand River at Grand Rapids:
 Anglers are finding steelhead and the occasional salmon. Pike have been caught throughout the river. Those drifting crawlers with a #7 split shot have caught a few walleye. Panfish were caught at Millennium Park.

Reeds Lake:
 Continues to produce bluegills and crappie. Most are using leaf worms and wax worms.

Grand River near Lansing:
 Had good largemouth bass action for boat anglers fishing between Moore’s Park and Dimondale. Most are using golden shiners or artificial minnows. The smallmouth and catfish bite has slowed. Those looking for bluegills and crappie might want to try fishing the deeper water.