DNR Fishing Report
June 7, 2023
Free Fishing Weekend is June 10 and 11, 2023 is held in conjunction with "Three Free" weekend, where residents and nonresidents can grab a fishing rod, ride the off-road trails and visit state parks and boating access sites - all free of charge. During Free ORV Weekend, Michigan residents and visitors legally can ride without buying an ORV license or trail permit. All other ORV rules and laws still apply. For more information visit Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.
All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.
Buy your license ►
Little Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing. Anglers reported contacting fish in shallow water and smallmouth moved off their beds. Use of soft plastics that resemble gobies or water baits were successful. Walleye anglers reported slow fishing. Those fishing the head of the bay were catching small fish, although a few keepers were caught. Anglers were having some success south of Gladstone and around the Escanaba River. Trolling cranks, crawler harnesses or pitching a jig and worm were methods anglers used to catch fish. Some anglers caught a few perch.
Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth anglers reported good fishing, less luck for walleye anglers. Yellow perch anglers were struggling and pike were common bycatches.
Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers were lucky with the fantastic weather on Keweenaw and Huron bays. Lake trout, whitefish and salmon were caught in decent numbers all through the last week. Some anglers reported better fishing during the mornings however fish were steadily caught during all hours of the day. Fish were caught using both artificial and natural baits and lures. Successful fishing trips were done in both deep and shallow waters however fish were reported closer to the bottom of the water column.
Big Traverse Bay/South Portage Canal: Anglers fishing around the mouth of the Portage Canal and along the east side of the Keweenaw Peninsula found good fishing for lake trout through all times of the day. Anglers reported many lake trout to be good eater size. Jigging and trolling were both popular fishing methods with boats trolling picking up some other trout and salmon species during their fishing trips as well. Fish were not concentrated in the mornings or the day however some anglers reported increased luck while the sun was setting or just before then.
Munising Bay: Boat anglers reported good to fair catches of lake trout with anglers stating the bite was slow. Most anglers were trolling outside of Grand Island – White Rocks and Wood Island Reef. Water temperatures increased to 60 degrees and higher due to extremely hot weather in the 90s. Boat anglers were trolling within Munising Bay for coho. Anglers reported fair to good catches with most fish suspended. A few scattered Chinook salmon were also reported. There was a large tree pollen bloom on surface of water and a major mayfly hatch this past week with some fish reported surface feeding. Shore/pier anglers reported slow fishing with only a few Menominee reported.
Ontonagon River: Earlier in the week, anglers were having great success finding good numbers of walleye in the river. Most anglers used a combination of jigging and trolling and found the best results in early mornings. However, recent rains upstream left the river very muddy, and the bite had been significantly slower as a result of the lower visibility. Anglers also found some success jigging for whitefish off the rocks and from boats at the mouth of the river.
Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Some recent storms slightly limited fishing efforts out of these ports. Anglers who went out on the lake caught lake trout, coho salmon, and brown trout by trolling artificial lures in shallow waters. These fish were caught in respectable numbers by those who could find them. Successful trips occurred at all times of the day.
Black River Harbor: Over the past week the harbor had low angler activity. The few anglers that went out on the lake were able to find some lake trout and coho salmon. These catches reportedly came in waves throughout the day and were the result of long trips on the water. Trolling artificial lures in relatively shallow waters was the method of choice among anglers.
Grand Marais: Boat anglers reported excellent catches of lake trout with best areas offshore and towards shipping lanes. Water temperatures increased into low to mid 60s. Boat anglers and pier anglers reported a few scattered catches of coho salmon. The whitefish action on pier was slow due to hot weather this past week.
Fishing Tip: How to catch your own nightcrawlers
Are you interested in catching and keeping your own nightcrawlers? It’s fairly easy to do – just follow these simple steps:
- Know where to look. Scout locations such as parks, playgrounds and open, grassy areas after a good rain. Look for nightcrawler castings (the little piles of dirt they leave behind) and then plan to visit again following the next good rain.
- Know when to collect. Nightcrawlers are best caught an hour or so after dark.
- Bring the right equipment. Nightcrawlers are sensitive to vibrations, so wear lightweight shoes. They’re also sensitive to bright light, so consider rigging your flashlight with a red cover over the lens.
- Store them properly. When you catch nightcrawlers, just lay them on top of some storage bedding – don’t mix them in. This will allow you to remove sick or dead ones more easily.