LANSING, Mich. (AP) — This is the time of year when fishing reports are harder to come by as most anglers turn their attention to deer hunting, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Those heading out for the firearm season are reminded that late fall and early winter offer prime fishing on inland lakes for hungry walleye, pike and bass, the DNR said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report. It says now also is a good time to catch big perch, bluegill and crappie.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: A few walleye have been caught by those trolling in shallow waters early or late in the day. Perch are spotty but still being caught in that 15 to 30 foot range when trolling perch rigs. Those looking for perch, crappie or bluegills will want to try the docks at the Metro Park Marina.
Huron River: Has a good number of steelhead in the river. Anglers fishing above the dam are using a wax worm under a bobber while those fishing below the dam are bouncing flies. Hot-n-Tots or cleo's have also caught fish. Bluegill and crappie are in the backwaters.
Detroit River: A few perch were still being caught in the lower river. Try fishing the north end of Celeron Island with shiners on perch rigs. Check out the canals around Gibraltar for panfish.
Lake St. Clair: Has good muskie fishing with quite a few large fish caught and released.
Lexington: The steelhead and brown trout action should pick up for pier and shore anglers. Boat anglers looking for perch will want to target the weed beds.
Port Sanilac: Perch fishing was spotty but steelhead action has improved. Pier anglers should see whitefish in the next week or so.
Harbor Beach: Still has one dock in at the boat launch. Look for walleye and brown trout behind the Edison Plant.
Saginaw River: Shore anglers are still taking some perch. Look for walleye up near the confluence of the Tittabawassee and Shiawassee River.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph: Pier anglers are catching whitefish on a small hook with a single egg. Steelhead were caught in the harbor in the early morning or late afternoon.
St. Joseph River: Has prime steelhead fishing right now even though angler numbers were down.
Kalamazoo River: Had good numbers of steelhead all the way up to the Allegan Dam. Those fishing below the dam caught walleye.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Salmon fishing is pretty much done but the steelhead action continues to grow with some large fish caught between Fulton Street and the dam. Try spawn under a bobber, small spoons or flies.
Grand River at Lansing: Steelhead were reported in Prairie Creek near Ionia and below the dam at Lyons. No reports for Lansing.
Muskegon River: Has lots of steelhead downstream from Newaygo. Some are fly fishing while others are floating fresh spawn. Walleye and pike were caught near Hardy Dam and smallmouth bass were caught upstream of the dam.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Ocqueoc River: Anglers have caught steelhead when drifting spawn, yarn, wax worms or spinners.
Thunder Bay River: Perch were still being caught by those floating minnows. Cooler temperatures should push more steelhead and brown trout into the river and whitefish should also start showing up.
Harrisville: Salmon runs are winding down as more steelhead move in. The last of the boat anglers are still taking a few walleye when trolling crawler harnesses.
Higgins Lake: Is producing some perch but the fish are scattered. Try 25 to 40 feet of water around the Sunken Island and off Big Creek. The boat ramps have been pulled at the west launch so anglers are now surfcasting for brown trout.
Houghton Lake: A few anglers are still heading out for walleye. Try floating minnows under a bobber. Look for large and smallmouth bass in the canals.
Au Sable River: Is still giving up salmon although the chinook are starting to turn dark. More steelhead are moving up into the river. Try fresh spawn, flies or yarn.
Tawas: Pier anglers are still catching some perch however many were small.
A couple whitefish were caught at first light.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Boardman River: Steelhead are on the move and those using spawn, spinners, or flies have caught fish. Those fishing between the mouth and Sabin Dam did catch a few lake trout and brown trout. Try spawn or small spoons.
Betsie River: Is producing some steelhead up near the Homestead Dam. Warmer weather has the fish in the deeper holes but cooler weather and rain puts fish on the gravel.
Manistee: Pier anglers caught fish in the early morning or late evening. Those surfcasting caught steelhead on spawn.
Manistee River: Steelhead fishing continues with some nice fish caught below Tippy Dam. Changes in weather calls for changes in gear, bring a variety of spoons, spinners, and flies.
Pere Marquette River: Is still producing the occasional coho along with lots of steelhead. Try fresh spawn, flies or small spoons. Green and silver or blue and silver are good colors to try.
Menominee River: Is a good area to target steelhead, brown trout and walleye when drifting fresh spawn, yarn, small spoons or rapalas. Try fishing off the rocks on the Wisconsin side for walleye.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye action is picking up as water temperatures have dropped to the upper 40's. Many are fishing at night however good catches were also reported during the day. Hot spots were the Narrows, the Second Reef, the Third Reef and up to the Day's River. Fish were also caught near the buoy off the Terrace Bay Inn by those jigging minnows in 45 feet of water. Night anglers are using crank baits in 10 to 24 feet of water while those fishing during the day are drifting crawlers, trolling with minnows or jigging when anchored. Most of the fish were between two and four pounds. Good perch fishing this week around Butler Island when still-fishing with minnows in 6 to 23 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were caught off the Terrace Bay Inn.
Manistique River: Additional steelhead are moving up into the river. Try flies, spawn, yarn or small spoons.
St. Mary's River: Boats are still trolling crank baits along the upper end of Munuscong Bay for walleye. This is a great time of year to target smallmouth bass around the islands and points.
Carp River: Continues to produce a good number of steelhead. Try spawn, flies or wax worms under a bobber between the Mackinac Trail and the McDonald Rapids.