FISHING REPORT: Recent heavy rains make fishing tricky; steelhead biting in Big Manistee

MANISTEE — The DNR reports weather continues to hurt fishing opportunities.

Some activity with perch, walleye, salmon and steelhead has been reported. Anglers fishing from piers are having some success.

“We have too much rain and water,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait So in Wellston said. “The Little Manistee is fishable. They took the weir out Oct. 19. They harvested a bunch of chinook salmon, got eggs. That’s a great opportunity. The high water at Tippy Dam has gone down a little bit. They’re fishing at the dam for cohos, a few kids and quite a few steelhead. The perch fishing, because of the river, I haven’t heard too much about that. They’re getting smaller ones out of Portage. There’s some pan fish out of Manistee Lake. But the weather hasn’t been very conducive to that.”

The DNR said a handful of steelhead was being caught off the north pier and the shore at Manistee.

“They’re up at the pier and beach for steelhead,” Kristen Loeffler of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee said. “Other than that, it’s mainly perch toward Onekama and Arcadia. They’re doing some fishing over here in the lake. A lot of people went out on Friday.”

Anglers were having the best luck with spawn. The DNR also reported plenty of steelhead in the Big Manistee River.

“It’s very good up by the (Tippy) dam,” Jim Haeck, who has fished the river since the 1970s. “Guys in the boats are doing quite well with beads and whatever. Most of the fishing is done within the first couple of miles up river.”

The Platte River was producing a few steelhead along with some salmon with spawn bags, beads and flies all producing a few fish.

“There’s a lot of steelhead off the piers,” Christine Murphy of Frankfort Tackle Box said. “I measured two master anglers this week. They’re still fishing the river for steelhead. But a lot of people haven’t been able to get out because of the weather.”

Pier fishing was being hampered by the weather at Pentwater. Those were able to fish caught the occasional steelhead while still fishing with span in the surf or from the pier heads.

Anglers casting body baits or jigging soft plastic minnows in the channel were catching smallmouth bass at Pentwater Lake.

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