FISHING REPORT: Perch biting on minnows, but fishing generally slow in warmer weather

MANISTEE — It’s been too warm for decent fishing action in recent weeks, the Department of Natural Resources confirms.

The DNR reminds anglers that the season on all Type 1 and 2 stream and Type A and D inland trout lakes ends on Saturday. Anglers should contact their DNR fishing guide for more information.

The DNR said perch were biting with numbers and sizes starting to increase with anglers using minnows. Bass anglers report nice sizes and numbers throughout the lake with smallmouth being frequently on the west end and in the channel, the DNR said.

“They’re starting to get steelhead and browns on the pier,” Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods, in Manistee said. “It should be a good weekend for the river. All the rivers have fish. Manistee Lake had some good catches of perch, bluegill and pike.”

The DNR reports surface water temperatures were about 68 degrees at Manistee. Fishing has been slow but some anglers have had success as deep as 300 feet. Chinook, coho and lake trout were being located at those depths, but pier fishing was slow.

“We have spawning salmon in the Big Manistee,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop on Wellston said. “Spawning has been going on for about a week now in spite of the warmer temperatures. We got some rain Thursday night which we were anticipating. We’re supposed to have a frosty night on Friday, so we’ve reduced our river temperatures which will bring us back to where we need to be.

“Inland fishermen have been catching perch at Portage Lake, Manistee Lake, and Crystal Lake. People have bene active for bluegills in the smaller lakes.”

The DNR reports plenty of coho up near Tippy Dam.

“Temperatures are cooling off and that’s making fish a little happier to bite,” Amy Barkman, at DLoop Outfitters in Wellston. “We’re seeing plenty of coho.”

Fishing activity was slow at Ludington with 68-degree water temperatures. The Pere Marquette River was still producing fish.

The DNR reports that boats trolling near the bottom in 150 to 200 feet caught lake trout with paddles and flies or spoons. They were finding some Chinook or coho while trolling 70 to 100 feet down in 180 to 250 feet.

The DNR reports there were good numbers of coho and a few chinook reported at Platte Bay. Fish were caught while trolling or jigging, mostly on body baits. Shore and boat fishermen were casting spinners and spoons and catching fish at the mouth of the river.

“The Platte River is full of coho,” Dave Rommell of Frankfort said. “The perch bite is waiting to get going but that will probably be another week or two.”

Platte River has had good numbers of coho and a few chinook in the lower river. Skein and spawn were popular but flies and beads were working.

At Frankfort, there’s been reports of a lot of fishing for salmon and lake whitefish moving but not much action because of the warmer temperatures. Anglers got coho in East Platte Bay or spoons and plugs in 80 to 100 feet and trolling just off the bottom. Anglers at Betsie River were getting chinook and some coho.

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