Anglers finding salmon and steelhead in Pere Marquette River
BIG RAPIDS - The DNR is reporting inconsistent late summer weather has made things difficult for anglers, especially on the big waters.
The recent storms and strong winds will change fishing conditions, the DNR said, adding fall fishing is beginning to take shape.
In Lake County, the Pere Marquette River has enjoyed decent salmon fishing, especially in the lower stretches, the DNR said, adding a couple nice steelhead have also been caught.
In Mecosta County, "it's going pretty good so far," Tanner Havens of Frank's Sporting Goods in Morley said. "From what I've heard, the salmon are starting to push into the PM River. I know they've been catching some walleye while trolling."
In Osceola County, "a few guys are out and about," Brad Cox, of Buck Country Bait store in LeRoy said. "A lot of guys are chasing salmon right now. I've guys out fishing crappies and pan fish at Rose Lake and Diamond Lake and Sunrise. Trout fishermen are on the Pine River and Hersey."
In northwest Michigan, yellow perch fishing is getting underway on the large inland lakes in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. The action is not full speed yet, but anglers are finding fish on their fall feeding grounds.
"The salmon is going great on the Platte and Betsie River," Steve Forrester, of Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia said. "The bite has been slow coming, but now it's taking off."
The weather has restricted access at Frankfort, but those trolling the pier heads and jigging in the bay have caught fish, the DNR said.
Coho were reported in Platte Bay.
Chinook salmon are moving into the Betsie River at a steady pace.
Portage Lake had no angler activity due to the weather, the DNR said.
"There's lots of coho up above and below Tippy Dam," Julie Fraly of Hank's & Sons Bait & Tackle of Brethren said. "There's some nice kings down the river. The guys are doing well on that too. There's a few steelhead in there yet. I know some guys caught some on Wednesday."
Fishing was slow at Manistee, the DNR said. Anglers marked fish in close and around the piers.
"We've had a lot of wind but there are a few fish being caught," Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina, in Manistee said. "But it hasn't been great. A lot of the fish are in the river now and lakes. With all the wind we've been having, it hasn't been easy."
Salmon fishing was decent at the Manistee River with fresh fish moving up into the river, the DNR said.
"We have salmon fishing in the Big Manistee," Rob Eckerson, of Pappy's Bait Shop in Wellston, said. "It's becoming reasonably good, I guess would be the story. The Little Manistee is closed because of the spawning closure. There's a few people still fishing the lakes. The cold front has slowed the inland fishing down, other than the salmon. It's actually helped that."
Chinook salmon were caught near the pier heads and at Big Sable Point at Ludington by those using spoons and J-plugs, the DNR reported. A couple coho and steelhead were caught in 180 to 280 feet when boats could get out.
Boat anglers trolling and jigging caught a few Chinook salmon at Pere Marquette Lake said.
Fishing Tip: Get your fall fish now
Courtesy of the Michigan DNR
Summer may be drawing to a close, but great fishing is far from over. Many anglers agree that fall is a wonderful time to cast a line as fish prepare for the colder months by ramping up their feeding efforts. Most target - and see much success pursuing - salmon, walleye, perch, panfish and bass.
Get ready to reel in some of these beauties at fall fishing hot spots across the state.
If you're headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you're feeling well. Practice proper social distancing (at least 6 feet away from people who don't live in your household) and keep a face covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.