Boating activity continues to decline as most have winterized their vessels, or have transitioned to deer and waterfowl hunting. Those looking for salmon will still find a good number of fish in most of the main river systems. The chinook are turning dark but fresh coho can still be found. Pike and bass action was good on the inland lakes.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Petoskey: No boat anglers were interviewed. The Bear River had high water levels and two really good runs of fish after the rain last weekend. A lot of coho were coming in with the chinook which were getting ripe and turning quite dark. Most were using spawn, flies and artificial eggs. Fish were jumping at the mouth and beyond but only a couple small steelhead and salmon were caught as most fish were taken further up in the river.
Charlevoix: Had very few boat anglers. Smallmouth bass fishing in the channel was still good but the bite at times was still hit-or-miss. Anglers reported some good size fish caught on live or artificial crawlers. The Medusa Weir is still in operation so the creek is closed to fishing within 100 feet of the mouth. A couple anglers casting out past the mouth caught one small chinook salmon. The Jordan River had more salmon than recent years. The Boyne River was active with salmon.
Traverse City: On the East Bay, the lake herring action was good out from the Center Road launch. Some big fish were suspended in 80 feet off Deepwater Point. A couple steelhead were caught by those trolling for lake herring. The Elk River was good in the early morning for coho, chinook and the occasional steelhead. The kid’s pond was also good on certain days. Spawn worked best.
A few perch were caught off Old Mission. The West Bay had spotty perch fishing at the north end but anglers did manage to catch a few fish in Suttons Bay. The fish were scattered at Northport and the action was hit-or-miss off Lee Point. Minnows worked best but some fish were taken on worms. Fishing in the Boardman River slowed but a few chinook were caught in the early morning.
Leland: A few salmon and small perch were caught in the harbor. The salmon were hitting on spoons and body baits. The Leland River had a decent number of chinook, coho and steelhead. Salmon were hitting on spoons and spawn bags.
Platte Bay: A few coho were caught near the mouth of the Platte River and some of the smaller rivers as well. Most were casting spoons or spinners but a few did well with spawn bags.
Platte River: Chinook and a good number of coho are still being caught in the lower river. Skein, spawn bags, flies and beads were all producing fish.
Betsie River: Still had salmon with many fishing below the Homestead Dam.
Manistee: Boat fishing was slow. A small number of steelhead were caught off the north pier and by shore anglers using spawn. The fish cleaning station is closed however the restrooms and docks were still available.
Manistee River: Still had salmon including some large fish being caught on spoons or body baits. Anglers were still finding some fresh fish mixed in the darker ones.
Pere Marquette River: Had a good number of salmon with numerous fish over 20 pounds. Anglers reported some fresh fish still pushing upstream.
Pentwater: Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass and freshwater drum when still-fishing crawlers or casting body baits.
Pentwater Lake: Those casting body baits or spinners at Longbridge Road caught the occasional chinook salmon in the early morning. Boat anglers caught perch and bluegills on dropper-rigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers in 12 to 20 feet.
Muskegon River: Salmon fishing picked up with the rain and cooler temperatures. The better fishing was early morning and late evening and the fish were usually found in deeper water.
Whitehall: Fishing days for boat anglers were limited by poor weather including windy conditions. Pier anglers caught channel cats, largemouth bass and bluegills when still-fishing or drifting crawlers.
White River: Chinook salmon were spawning and could be found all the way up to the Hesperia Dam.