FISHING REPORT: Fishing generally slower than normal, smallmouth, some panfish to be had

MANISTEE — The DNR reports those fishing the inland lakes caught bass, pike walleye and panfish this week. The DNR adds trout fishing on the rivers and streams was good.  Trout, salmon and whitefish continue to be caught in the Great Lakes.  

In northwest Michigan, trolling in the harbor slowed at Manistee but fishermen, the DNR said, were still picking up a few brown trout and the occasional Chinook.  Anglers using spoons were getting a mix of Chinook, lake trout, steelhead and brown trout in 75 to 100 feet down in 150 to 200 feet. They are also finding steelhead off the north pier when using spawn.  

“It’s slow, except for smallmouth bass,” Gordon Park of Andy’s Tackle Box of Brethren said. “That’s about the only bright spot right now. On the skamania run, we haven’t seen any more fish. I don’t know what’s going on with that.”

The hex hatch has started and the Manistee River should be in great shape for trout fishing, the DNR indicated.

“Lake Michigan fishing isn’t too bad,” Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina, in Manistee said.”They’re caching salmon and lake trout. They’re having the Budweiser Tournament this weekend. There’s few boats in town for that. The fishing isn’t quite as good as it was earlier, but it’s still pretty good.”

At Arcadia, a mixed bag of salmon, lake trout and steelhead were caught in front of the pier heads or off the golf course when trolling green, blue and orange spoons. At Onekama, chinook salmon were caught in the top 65 feet of waters 200 to 250 feet in the early morning. 

The DNR added lake trout at Onekama were caught on spin-glo’s a little further down and there was still a good number of baitfish. 

The mayfly hatch at Portage Lake is in full swing and most anglers experienced slower activity, the DNR said. Bass fishing was effective with largemouth caught along the drop-offs. Panfish were still hitting on worms in the shallows, the DNR added.

“It’s been pretty slow, too hot out,” Dan Osborn’s Sport Shop of Bear Lake, said. “They’re catching a lot of rock bass (at Crystal) Lake.”                                                          

At Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, the crappie were out deeper and hitting on a jig and minnow, the DNR said, adding those targeting bluegills and sunfish were getting fish in three to eight feet. Those trolling found some walleye in deeper water. A few limit catches were taken on a crawler harness.  

The DNR reports at Frankfort, the early morning Chinook bite was starting to improve.  Large bait plumes are being reported near the bottom and anglers are trolling just above them, the DNR said, using green flies and spoons working best but meat rigs were also effective. Steelhead numbers were also picking up because of fly hatches.    

“They’ve been catching some perch, rock bass and on many of the smaller lakes they’ve been catching fish,” Desyre Shelton, of Benzonia, said. “The Betsie has been slow. There’s a few trout out there.”

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