Michigan DNR Weekly Fishing Report: September 20, 2018

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

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: Muskie anglers caught a few fish right along with a decent number of pike. Walleye fishing remained slow however a few were found off the docks in the late evening. Bass anglers did well with top water lures in the morning or late evening. The panfish bite was hit-or-miss as the fish seem to be moving out to deeper water.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were down over the last week. Night anglers reported the best catches between the Center Reef and the Second Reef or south around the “Black Bottom”. Anglers were trolling stick baits at night in 14 to 20 feet or stick baits and crawler harnesses in 18 to 30 feet during the day. Several good catches of jumbo perch were reported in Kipling in 22 feet and off Gladstone Beach in 20 feet when using minnows. Smallmouth bass were spotty as the fish are starting to move south. A few were taken on plastics or drop-shot in 18 to 20 feet. A couple Chinook have shown up in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. The numbers are far less than last year and a little harder to catch.

Big Bay De Noc: Smallmouth bass were scattered but the large fish can be found in the southern waters. Ogontz reported good catches of undersize fish using plastics or drop-shot in 12 to 18 feet. Some bigger fish were found around the Garden Bluff area but catch rates were spotty. Cooler temperatures moving in this week should bring the bass in and around Snake Island.

Munising: Fishing pressure was low. Water temperatures have started to drop and were just under 60 degrees near shore. The salmon action was still slow and splake fishing was spotty with only a few caught.

Grand Marais: A few boat anglers were out with no fish reported. Most were targeting salmon. A few shore anglers were fishing the Sucker River but had no action. Water in the river was very dark and stained from the heavy rains last week. Surface water temperatures have slowly dropped to the upper 50's.

Drummond Island: A few yellow perch were caught at Harbor Island. Try fishing at the mouth of Harbor Island in six to 10 feet or inside the harbor in six feet while using spreaders with beads in open water or small worms near the weed beds. Smallmouth bass were caught on the north side of Burnt Island when using tube jigs off the rocks.

Detour: Windy conditions had once again prevented anglers from fishing beyond the Detour Lighthouse. Southeast winds turned the lake over and scattered the fish. Those fishing in the St. Marys River and closer to the Drummond Island side caught Chinook along with a few pink salmon. When winds are from the east and southeast try trolling in front of the Drummond Island Stone Quarry. Start at the first red buoy below the loading dock and head south to the tip of Drummond Island Point. There is good structure for the salmon plus this area will keep you out of the wind. For walleye, try moving upstream to Pipe Island where fish were taken on a crawler harness and bottom bouncer with blades when trolling the underwater humps and rocky points in the early morning or late evening.

Cedarville and Hessel: Yellow perch were caught in eight to 12 feet throughout Cedarville Bay. Try both south and east of the Cedarville launch. Best method was to drift shiner minnows and worms. Pike ranging 25 to 30 inches were caught on chubs in Cedarville Bay and the Middle Entrance to the Les Cheneaux Islands. Largemouth bass were caught throughout the bay when casting spinners under the docks or artificial frogs just off the weed beds. The water at the Hessel Marina had warmed again. Prior to this, excellent catches of splake were reported by those fishing off the finger docks but the fish had moved back out to deeper water. Moving west of Hessel, those fishing Nunn’s Creek caught Chinook salmon. Most were using waders and casting spoons or jigging with natural and artificial spawn bags.

Fishing Tip: Catching panfish in the fall
Fall can be an ideal time to target panfish as cooler temperatures arrive and aquatic vegetation starts to decline. As a result, these species can be found in much shallower water than usual and will be perfect for targeting.

When choosing your bait for fall panfish don’t be afraid to go with something a little more substantial, such as small plugs and spinners. And of course, the standard hook and worm never hurts!

Be sure to target panfish in their favorite fall locations as well, including by deep weedbeds or near drop-off points.

Want even more information on targeting Michigan panfish this fall? Check out their page on the DNR’s website.

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