BIG RAPIDS -- The state saw fewer anglers this week now that many are hunting during the firearm deer season, the DNR said.

This is also the time of year when the whitefish action really picks up for pier fishermen, DNR said.

In Mecosta County perch fishing has been good on the inland lakes. Walleye are moving into the shallows at night, the DNR said.

“They’re still fishing for walleyes on the river,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “From what I hear, they’re getting some good ones. I had a guy who had a 22, a 25 and 27-incher. He’s been hitting them pretty good below Croton Dam. Most guys are fishing at Hardy or even above that. He’s been hiding out, laying low and not attracting a lot of people. They’ve been finding perch, but a lot of little ones.”

In Osceola County, “everybody is out hunting,” Brad Cox of Buck’s Country Bait Store said. “The only fishermen out are going for steelhead at Tippy Dam. Hopefully we’ll get early ice. My shop is switching over to ice season.”

In northwest Michigan, pier and shore anglers are still getting some steelhead, the DNR said. River fishing for steelhead has also been spotty but should start getting better with the latest rain.

The Manistee, Pere Marquette, Betsie and White rivers all had a good amount of rain to help raise water levels.

A spokesman at Captain Chuck’s in Ludington said anglers are still catching steelhead off the pier and in the river.

“There’s not much for walleye or perch quite yet,” he said. “They are getting some smaller perch but they won’t be sizable. We haven’t heard anything of bluegills or crappies.”

The Manistee River had reports of decent steelhead pushes after the rain. Steelhead have been caught up at Tippy Dam. Water temperature is still playing a significant role on fish activity on the Upper Manistee. The DNR said anglers should try streamers in the early morning to target the trout. On the cloudy, rainy days, blue-winged olives were the most successful fly, the DNR said.

“There’s still some river and pier fishing going on,” Steve Forrester of the Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia said. “There’s some steelhead in the river and occasionally off the pier when they can get out there. The water is so high and the wind comes up, it splashes over the pier and no one can fish. There’s a few coho in the Platte and the Betsie, kind of latecomers.”

The Pere Marquette River had a decent push of steelhead moving up into the river, the DNR said.

“We’ve had so much wind,” Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina said. “This weather has been crazy. We haven’t had no shortage of wind at all.”

Fishing Tip: Tips for targeting steelhead this fall

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

If you decide to target steelhead on Michigan’s rivers while in a boat, there are two options you can turn to. Consider offering bait underneath a centerpin-style reel. The line will come off smoothly, allowing float-suspended baits to work long distances downstream, plus it offers drag-free drifts.

If you’re not confident on a centerpin style or if you’re a novice angler, try a level-wind reel. It allows you to drop the float behind the boat and wait for the strike. It will take care of the hard work while reeling in your catch by guiding the line properly.

Make sure the stream is open for steelhead by checking the regulations in the Fishing Guide.

Now is the perfect time to target steelhead! For more information, visit the steelhead page on our website.

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.

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