October 18, 2018
Gale warnings have kept boat anglers off the Great Lakes. Strong wave action has made for dangerous conditions on the piers keeping those anglers on shore. When they can get out, fish are being caught. The Chinook runs are winding down and the remaining fish are deteriorating. Steelhead fishing will only get better.
Lac Vieux Desert: A hard cold spell dropped the water temperature by 10 degrees which slowed fishing activity. A few muskie were caught by those trolling or drifting suckers however it was difficult to get the fish to bite. No bass or walleye anglers and the panfish anglers were few and far between. Those targeting pike did well when jigging the bottom with red tails.
Marquette: All the recent rain has the rivers running high and stained with lots of debris floating downstream which makes fishing very difficult. When they can get out, boat anglers looking to take that last trip were trolling in front of the Chocolay and Carp Rivers, just outside the Lower Harbor in 50 feet or less and slightly north near the white rocks. Most boats had at least two fish consisting of lake trout, brown trout, Chinook and coho salmon. A few lake trout were caught off the Lower Harbor breakwall. As the water continues to cool and the fish come in shallow to spawn, shore and river anglers should see more action.
Little Bay De Noc: Water temperatures were in the low 50’s to high 60’s. Walleye anglers reported fair catches mostly in the southern waters. The hot spots were the southern end of the “Black Bottom” when trolling stick baits in 15 to 30 feet or the just south of the Ford River near the “Fingers” in 18 to 22 feet. Several good perch catches were reported in the Kipling area and north to the Day’s River with minnows or crawlers in 17 to 35 feet. Fair smallmouth action out deeper in 18 to 30 feet. Most were casting or drifting plastics on drop-shot rigs.
Big Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers were trolling stick baits between St. Vital Island and Round Island, but no fish were caught. Fair to good perch catches in Garden Bay with minnows in 35 to 40 feet near the mouth of the bay. Good smallmouth action around Snake Island and near Snail Shell Harbor with minnows along the break in 25 to 40 feet.
Au Train: Fishing pressure was virtually nonexistent with the rain and brutal winds. A few anglers tried casting from the rocks but had no success as they were not able to land any fish.
Munising: Heavy rain and strong winds caused flooding and many rivers were high and turbid. Boat anglers heading out reported very slow fishing with only one coho taken. Poor fishing was reported by shore anglers. There had been no major runs reported.
Grand Marais: Heavy rain coupled with windy conditions limited fishing. Rivers in the area including the Sucker River were extremely high.
Two Hearted River: Following heavy rain all last week, the river is well above average for this time of year. These high flows are creating difficult fishing conditions for catching salmon. Fish are in the river and catch rates should pick up as the water comes down.
Detour: There was no fishing effort for Atlantic or Chinook salmon at the Detour Lighthouse. Those that want to target them may still find some young fish around Fry Pan Island and the green buoy just north of the lighthouse. Walleye have been caught up the St. Marys River including around Pipe Island and at Swedes Point. Try shiners with slip-bobbers set at 10 to 12 feet down along the underwater humps. For walleye, try near the mouth of Carlton Creek which is two miles south of the Raber launch when trolling a bottom bouncer and crawler harness with purple smiley blades just off the weed beds in six to 10 feet.
Cedarville and Hessel: The pike action off Cedarville was fair in Snows Channel and Musky Bay. Try trolling crank baits in eight to 12 feet at the Middle Entrance and between Sand Bay and Peck Bay. A few yellow perch were caught by those drifting worms or shiners from Conners Point to Urie Bay or in 12 to 18 feet between Island Number 8 and Government Island. At Hessel, perch anglers were trying in the Hessel Marina, but no fish had been caught. Some splake were caught from the marina and finger docks however splake season is closed.