July 20, 2017
Hot July temperatures are warming the waters and driving the fish deeper especially during the day. Try heading out in the early morning or late evening when fish come into the shallows to feed. Look for areas where cooler water is coming from spring-fed streams or target lakes that have natural springs and where the waters are cooler.
On the west end, good fishing was reported in Iron, Gogebic and Dickinson Counties. Summer fish patterns are starting to emerge with the recent bug hatches.
Lake Gogebic: A few walleye were caught when trolling crank baits and crawler harnesses or when floating a leech under a slip bobber. Panfish seem to be moving into deeper water. Pike fishing was slow and most of the fish caught were sub-legal. The consistent fishing was for smallmouth bass.
Menominee River: Shore and boat anglers caught walleye, smallmouth, catfish and freshwater drum. Boat anglers trolling stick baits and bottom bouncers with live bait and shore anglers were using crawlers and minnows on the bottom.
Little Bay De Noc: The walleye action was slow. Most fish were caught from the Escanaba River south to the Ford River. Near the Escanaba River, anglers were trolling a crawler harness in 18 to 24 feet. Off Breezy Point, anglers were using a crawler harness or stick baits just off the break in 16 to 22 feet. Fair perch catches at Kipling and near the Day's River Buoy with crawlers in 3 to 25 feet. Smallmouth bass were caught off Garth Point in 18 to 24 feet and Hunters Point in 20 feet. The better catches came from the Farmers Dock area in 10 to 26 feet when casting jigs with plastics or crank baits. The best trout and salmon action was 65 to 90 feet down in 120 to 130 feet past the Ford River Can.
Munising: The few boats heading out had mixed results as some got no hits and others caught several lake trout averaging 4 to 5 pounds. Pier anglers at the Anna River reported poor catch rates.
Grand Marais: Boat anglers managed to catch a few lake trout in the early morning in 100 to 120 feet. The fish were feeding on smelt. Pier anglers caught whitefish on a single egg but most of them were small at 11 to 12 inches.
Tahquamenon River: Had slow catch rates. The main catches were small bluegills, rock bass and pumpkinseed sunfish. Pike and musky were few and far between as anglers were casting and trolling everything they had but had little luck.
St. Marys River: Fishing in Sault Ste. Marie has really begun to pick up as those targeting Atlantic salmon and whitefish have done well when drifting flies behind the Edison Power Plant. Those trolling had decent catches of Atlantic salmon and steelhead behind the Federal Power Plant with stick baits that resemble smelt and green and orange or silver spoons. Shore fishing for Atlantics is just starting off the Sugar Island Ferry docks. Fishing on Sugar Island is very slow with almost no walleye caught. Pike fishing was inconsistent. A few yellow perch were caught in the North Channel. In the lower river, slow walleye action was reported from Neebish Island to Sweet's Point. Those drifting a crawler harness near Round Island caught walleye and several nice yellow perch in 12 to 18 feet. Use bright colors like orange, green and red. The lake herring bite was slow. It appears the herring are staying to the south and will continue to do so until the mayfly hatch shifts to the north.
Detour: Trout and salmon fishing slowed way down at the Detour Reef because of the large mayfly hatch. Most anglers have now switched to fishing lake herring and whitefish. Limit catches of lake herring mixed in with whitefish and a few yellow perch have been caught just south of Burnt Island which is on the north end of Drummond Island when using a tear-drop with a wax worm or a dark brown fly with a hint of gold mixed in.
Drummond Island: Lake herring were still being caught in Potaganissing Bay. Mayflies continue to hatch and are keeping fish in the area. A good number of whitefish have also been caught. Hot spots for herring include the south side of Harbor Island, near Burnt Island and near Long Island. Use tear-drops and other ice jigs with a wax worm near the bottom. Hot colors were red, purple and brown.
Cedarville and Hessel: At Cedarville, Snow's Channel was producing some nice catches of northern pike 28 to 30 inches for those trolling black and yellow bucktail spinners in 6 to 8 feet off any of the weed beds throughout the channel. Good panfish action in and around the docks with worms or minnows. Some nice largemouth bass and rock bass were caught from Hill Island Road Bridge with small worms and minnows. A few walleye were caught off the Club Cut that borders the Cedarville Golf Course at the west end of Snow's Channel to the east end of Mackinaw Bay when drifting shiners under a bobber in 6 to 10 feet early morning or late evening. In Hessel, pike fishing was good when still-fishing chubs in 6 to 10 feet in Wilderness Bay. Schools of yellow perch were seen moving through the finger docks at the Hessel Marina. Try small worms and shiners.
St. Ignace Had no anglers but fishing pressure on the Carp River increased as several walleye averaging 18 inches were caught with leeches and crawlers on a harness or a slip bobber with a leech. Pike averaging 28 inches were caught at the mouth when trolling a yellow and white crawler harness. Fishing on the Pine River was slow.