UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released their weekly fishing report for the Upper Peninsula, along with a new fishing tip.
Lac Vieux Desert: Had good catches of bass, pike and panfish. Those chasing panfish need not go far as most vegetation was holding bluegills, perch, crappie and even some bass. Live or artificial baits will do however be prepared to do sort out the small ones. A couple smaller walleye were caught by those fishing live bait in deep water for perch. Muskie anglers have seen a few fish.
Little Bay De Noc: Had good fishing as walleye anglers reported good to excellent catches in the southern waters. Breezy Point was best with most trolling a crawler harness in 12 feet. A lot of undersize fish right along with the limits of good eating size fish. Walleye were caught straight out from the Ford River and south by Round Island in eight to 21 feet. At Kipling, night anglers were trolling a crawler harness 15 feet down along the east bank. Some bigger fish were caught in 18 to 30 feet in the Minneapolis Shoals area. Good perch catches off Kipling with jumbos caught in 24 to 30 feet near the green buoy at Saunders Point. The best area was off the mouth of the Escanaba River near the ship docks in 30 feet with minnows. Pike were active and caught by walleye anglers. Good pike action near the Escanaba ship docks in eight to 14 feet or just on top of the break at the mouth of the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when trolling spoons, spinners or crank baits. No salmon to report.
Big Bay De Noc: Those targeting walleye had none. Mostly smallmouth anglers again. Some of the bass have moved to deeper water making it a little more difficult to find them. Casting by the weed lines in Ogontz was still pretty good but most were too small. The action was good off Butlers Point in 10 feet and straight out to the “rock” in eight to 12 feet when casting plastics or leeches. Only a few perch were caught by bass and walleye anglers off Ogontz. Some very large fish were reported off Fairport, but the numbers were very low. Most were fishing 45 to 90 feet down in 110 to 170 feet at the Poverty Island gap but were spreading out when the fishing got tough. The area just had another fly hatch so look for steelhead.
Marquette: Catch rates were hot with limit catches of lake trout taken between the white rocks and Granite Island and near Shot Point in 150 to 200 feet with cut bait, spoons in various colors along with flies and even stick baits. With surface temperatures in the mid 60’s, the coho and Chinook were few and far between.
Au Train: The Wood Island Reef was good for lake trout with most boats that make the trip getting their limit. Lake trout are still being caught just north of Au Train Island but catch rates were spotty. Most were caught down deep in 130 to 200 feet.
Munising: A light number of boat anglers were out targeting lake trout in the early morning or late evening. Some limit catches were taken near the bottom when trolling in the west channel, near Wood Island Reef and the east channel towards Grand Portal in 150 to 200 feet. Catch rates were slower for those jigging. Nearshore surface temperatures were in the upper 60’s to near 70 while the offshore waters were in the low 50’s. A couple coho were caught on high-lines when trolling for lake trout.
Grand Marais: Boat anglers were taking some limit catches of lake trout. Average trip was 3 to 4 hours with anglers reporting several doubles on. Fish four to six pounds were caught along the edge of the reefs off Au Sable Lighthouse, Five Mile Reef and Big Reef. Coho were caught with downriggers on the bottom along the flats near Big Reef. The fish were full of smelt. No pier or shore fishing to report.
Schoolcraft County: The Manistique River was producing a good number of walleye. Trout anglers had success on both the Fox and the Driggs River when using worms or spinners.
Manistique Lake: Those trolling or jigging found walleye in deeper water.
St. Marys River: Walleye fishing picked up along the river especially for those trolling a crawler harness in the shipping channel.
Detour: Walleye fishing was good upstream from the Detour ferry boat at Pipe Island. Fish in the 17-19 inch range were caught when trolling bottom bouncers with blades and crawler harnesses in 12 to 20 feet in the early morning and late evening. Trout and salmon fishing was steady. Chinook are staging around Fry Pan Island and were hitting spoons 55 to 60 feet down in 80 feet. Atlantics were hitting gold spoons 45 to 60 feet down in 90 feet at the green buoy northwest of the Detour Lighthouse. A couple Chinook were caught east of the lighthouse at the red buoy on flashers with white and chartreuse squid baits. Anglers need to use caution when approaching the red buoy as the water level goes from 80 to 40 feet. Good lake trout action south of the lighthouse along the 90-foot flat that runs east and west with chartreuse and white spin-glo’s on short leaders and flashers.
Cedarville and Hessel: A few yellow perch have come from Cedarville Bay. Catches were reported in the 12-foot channel that runs between La Salle Island and Connors Pointe when still-fishing or drifting minnows and worms. A few nice catches of pike were reported between Sand Bay and the mouth of Peck Bay when still-fishing with creek chubs in 14 to 18 feet. Pike were caught at Dollar Island. A large black bucktail spinner with red spotted blades took some of the bigger fish. Good catches of largemouth bass were taken throughout Cedarville Bay when casting shallow running crank baits. Hessel had no perch reports. A few splake were caught on deep running crank baits near Coats Point. The hot color was orange or chartreuse with black hash marks. Troll as slow as you can and run the crank bait just off the bottom in 15 to 20 feet off the rocky points and deep channels. Good panfish action in Mackinaw Bay.
Fishing Tip: Catching bass on top of the water
Many anglers would agree there’s an excitement that comes when you’re using topwater techniques to target bass. There’s something to be said for seeing a bass strike your lure with your own two eyes.
But how do you fish for this species on top of the water? It mostly comes down to location and lure selection.
Target areas that provide good cover for the bass that have a few feet of water over them, such as weedbeds, logs, big rocks, etc. Cast a floating lure next to the cover and play with a bit before reeling it in.
When it comes to lures, select those that float and are designed to resemble the favorite foods of bass, such as frogs.
Also, top water fishing for bass works best in low-light conditions such as early in the morning or late in the evening.
For more information on fishing for bass in Michigan, visit their page on the DNR’s website.