DNR Report

July 11, 2019

More anglers have been out with the warmer weather however the fish were heading to deeper water due to warmer water temperatures. Early morning and evening were best. The season to take snapping turtles and softshell turtles opened on July 15 and will remain open until September 15. Be sure to check the 2019 Fishing Guide for size and possession limits.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was slow. Those heading out from all ports were putting in their time to catch a few fish. Reports have been coming in that the scum line is up in Eagle Harbor and fishing there was good. Those willing to make the run out to Isle Royal have been rewarded with some nice bags of lake trout.

Marquette: Fishing was hit-or-miss with some boats getting four to eight fish while others reported zero to three. The fish were scattered throughout the water column. This trend could continue for the next week or two with the recent bug hatches and water temperatures in the mid to upper 40’s. Lake trout was the number one catch followed by a couple Chinook and coho. Most boats were heading north towards Granite Island or the White Rocks and fishing in 130 to 200 feet.

Little Bay De Noc: Had a very large mayfly hatch and slow fishing overall. Walleye were caught with a crawler harness in 20 to 30 feet near the “Black Bottom” however most of the fish were undersize. Perch catches were fair at best. Most were fishing the Kipling area south to the Day’s River with crawlers in five to 20 feet. Smallmouth bass anglers reported fewer catches. The best areas were Hunters Point in four to 10 feet, in the Escanaba River along the shoreline and at the mouth of the Ford River in three to 10 feet. Most were casting plastics, spinners or crawlers.

Big Bay De Noc: Was producing some northern pike. Smallmouth bass were hitting spinners and crank baits off Indian Point and St. Vital Island.

Manistique: Salmon anglers were searching but few fish were marked. Lots of baitfish in the area as surface water temperatures were between 60 and 70 degrees. Conditions are good so anglers are just waiting for the Chinook salmon to arrive.

Manistique River: Anglers reported fair catches of smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye with crawlers along the breakwalls and weed beds.

Munising: A few boats out targeting lake trout had good results when trolling or jigging various drop-offs along the reef. The salmon and splake action were slow. A couple boats out near the White Rocks did fair with three to four lake trout while others reported slow catch rates.

Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers continue to do well near Au Sable Point, Five Mile Reef and the Southwest Bank area. Those trolling for salmon outside the harbor reported slow fishing.

Detour: Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, and lake trout are still being caught 18 to 35 feet down. When salmon and trout are in feeding mode, they still want a smaller four-inch spoon behind flashers. The best colors were orange and metallic green. The best area for Atlantic salmon was on the Drummond Island side when trolling from the red buoy back to the lighthouse at 3.5 to 4 mph and near the quarry loading dock. For lake trout, fish the 90-foot flat two miles south of the lighthouse with orange and white or chartreuse and white spin-glo’s behind flashers. Good smallmouth action one mile west of Detour Village at Seymour Creek with gold and chrome spinners or worms.

Drummond Island: Those launching from the DNR boat launch in Detour Village have caught a few cisco. Target the islands on the north end like Macomb, Butterfield and Maple Island. Fly hatches were mild this week but should pick up. On the south end of Drummond where Lake Huron hits the mouth of Whitney Bay, a few Menominee were caught. Best baits were dark brown or red teardrop jigs tipped with wax worms in 25 to 28 feet. Those using four to six-pound test line seem to catch more whitefish.

Cedarville and Hessel: A fly hatch at the yacht entrance to the Les Cheneaux Islands may have triggered the perch bite at Island No. 8 and reports of Atlantic salmon at Boot Island. Those trolling for Atlantic salmon were using chrome and dark blue four-inch spoons about halfway down in 35 feet. Make sure the hooks are sharp. Hill Island Road located two miles east of Cedarville has been very good for youngsters that want to fish from shore or the new fishing platforms. Smallmouth bass, rock bass and pumpkinseed were caught on worms or shiners. Try both sides of the road for panfish in the early morning or late evening. For Hessel, there were no reports of yellow perch in the marina at the finger docks. Good pike fishing northwest of the marina at Mismer Bay when using creek chubs in four to six feet in the early morning or when casting a red eye copper spoon.

Fishing Tip: Fishing deep for post-spawn bluegill

After spawning, bluegills will move to deeper water for the rest of the summer and larger bluegills can be hard to locate. They can be found living near the top of the thermocline where water temperatures approach 69 degrees. Depending on the lake, this depth will usually be somewhere between 12 and 18 feet.

To locate this depth, either use a lake thermometer (available at most larger tackle stores) or contact the nearest DNR office. If the lake has a public access site, fisheries biologists will have surveyed it and will have a temperature-oxygen profile of the lake. This chart will identify the depth with a temperature near 69 degrees.

Try fishing at this depth where the 69 degree temperature is close to the bottom…usually at the deep edge of weed beds. Use light line (four-pound test or less) tipped with a white ice-fishing tear-drop jig baited with a wax worm. Some anglers use slip bobbers, while others fish European-style with very long fiberglass poles. Early morning and dusk are most productive.