DNR Report

September 21, 2017

Water levels are low and clear in many rivers and streams and water temperatures are too warm for this time of year.  Expect slower catch rates for trout and salmon as we need rain and cooler temperatures for fall fishing.   

Menominee River:  Anglers caught walleye, pike, smallmouth bass and catfish when trolling or jigging between Bum Island and the mouth.  No salmon were observed.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Walleye catches were spotty throughout the Bay with the better fishing at the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling a crawler harness or stick baits along the weed lines.  Perch fishing was good in the same area with minnows in 18 to 25 feet.  Good pike catches in several areas between the south end of the Black Bottom and the Escanaba beach area.  Most fish were hitting crank baits and spinners in 6 to 12 feet.  A few salmon were caught near the mouth of the river as well.  

Manistique River:  Salmon anglers reported fewer catches as water temperatures increased to the high 60’s.  Shore anglers up near the dam caught coho and the occasional steelhead or brown trout.  Those fly fishing took a couple steelhead between the “Big Bass Hole” and the ORV bridge.  Chinook were seen jumping throughout the river and the better catches came in the late evening.    

Munising:  Boat anglers are targeting mainly coho and catch rates were slightly better.  Scattered catches were reported by those trolling inside the bay but those trolling the west channel and in Trout Bay did slightly better when trolling 60 to 70 feet down in deeper waters.  The key is to look for baitfish.   Splake fishing was poor.    

Grand Marais:  Boat anglers trolling in 50 to 60 feet caught a few coho east of the breakwall and off the beach area when moving towards the Sable River.  Some did well for coho in shallow waters less than 30 feet deep however some never caught a fish.  Try very early morning or late evening.  Some were fishing the mouth of the Sucker River but very few fish were caught.    

Tahquamenon River:  Boat anglers had luck for musky by trolling and casting upstream of the Natalie State Forest launch.  Yellow perch anglers caught fish when floating a worm in the Dollarville Flooding.  Shoreline fishing was slow for panfish.

St. Marys River:  Up near Sault Ste. Marie, Cloverland continues to perform maintenance on the turbines, and will periodically shut the plant down.  When this happens, fishing will be poor so be sure to check the flow from the park to east of the powerhouse first.  Pink salmon fishing was slow with only a few taken.  Yellow perch fishing was inconsistent in the North Channel.  Try 25 feet with minnows or crawlers on the bottom.  Walleye fishing is inconsistent in the shipping channel in 30 to 32 feet using bottom bouncers and a green or motor oil crawler harnesses between the 3-Mile and the 7-Mile Buoys.  In the lower river, very few walleye were taken when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses over the deep weeds and rock piles.  Yellow perch action remains slow with only a few caught by those targeting walleye.  Muskie anglers trolling or casting caught a few but most were under 40 inches.  Some decent size pike were caught on spoons and crank baits in front of the two piers in Raber, near Maude Bay and Raber Point.  

Detour:  Was producing limits of lake trout and a few Chinook.  Try two miles straight south of the Detour Lighthouse when trolling the 90 foot flat with spin-glo’s and a 24 inch leader.  Best colors are orange or chartreuse with white.  Best area to target Chinook is Fry Pan Island, which is the first island south of ferry boat lane that runs to Drummond Island.  A few were caught on spoons 55 to 60 feet down in 80 feet.  

Drummond Island:  Yellow perch catches were decent but nowhere near peak yet.  Warm water temperatures have kept the bigger fish from entering the bay.  Anglers caught 5 to 20 perch above the legal size of 7 inches with a few 11 to 13 inches but were sorting through a lot of small ones.  Smaller minnows seem to be the bait of choice, either drifted with small bladed rigs or floated under bobbers.  The location of the schools changes daily, but some of the spots to try would include Maxton Bay and the islands of Rutland, Peck, James, Grape, and Bald.  Colors to try would be green, red, and reflective silver or gold blades on sunny days.  

Cedarville and Hessel:  Yellow perch fishing slowed in the Les Cheneaux Islands.  Those doing best were moving around the islands and targeting a variety of weed beds while casting with a slow retrieve.  Both shiners and worms are good baits.  Connors Pointe which sits between Urie Bay and Musky Bay is usually a good perch location in September especially when the water temperatures cool to 45 degrees.  Snows Channel was productive for pike when trolling a chrome spoon with a red eye.  Creek chubs were taking pike in 8 to 10 feet between Duck Bay and Little La Salle Island.  

Carp River:  Fishing pressure picked up but not many fish were harvested.  Many reported seeing fish surface and some believe the pink salmon have already run up the river.  Still lots of fishing pressure on Nunn’s Creek.  Anglers are catching Chinook on skein, spawn bags or spoons.  Most of the fish have turned dark.