FISHING REPORT: Smallmouth bass, panfish biting early in inland lakes

MANISTEE — The DNR reported inland lakes are producing bluegills as some have spawned and others still had eggs. The action was fair to good for panfish, bass, pike and walleye, the DNR said.

In northwest Michigan, Arcadia had a few anglers while a couple Chinook and lake trout were caught in front of the golf course.  

The DNR said Arcadia Lake reported good catches of smallmouth bass with a few pike and large bowfin mixed in.  

Those anglers at Onekama trolling in 120 to 250 feet in and around the “Barrel” say there’s been Chinook and lake trout activity, but added the early morning bite was best.  

“They’re getting some perch on the piers,” Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods, said. “They’re getting some coho, which came in on Manistee Lake. They’re starting to troll there. There’s some coho in the Little Manistee. They’re getting bluegills and pike out in Manistee.”

The mayfly hatch is done for now at Portage Lake, the DNR said. It was a very light hatch, which means fishermen are now seeing a steady rise in bass and panfish catches. Perch, mostly small ones, are being reported.

“They are catching a few summer run steelhead at Tippy Dam, the skamania,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston, said. “We’re also getting the usual resident brown as well. The mayfly hatch continues for fly fishermen, but it’s a little past its peak. Bluegill spawning has been disrupted by the weather.”

Surface temperature readings at Manistee were about 55 degrees and a recent fishing tournament produced a 25-pound Chinook salmon. Chinook, lake trout and steelhead were caught on spoons in 120 to 200 feet, the DNR said, while adding morning hours were working best.  There is still some baitfish in the harbor. Some anglers caught brown trout by trolling in the basin.

“We have the hex hatch going on right now,” Avery Kiefer, of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston said. “That’s kind of a big deal, and is pretty much the extent of what we’re doing.”

At Frankfort, Chinook and steelhead were active in the top 20 feet and hitting on orange spoons.  The hot spoons for Chinook were the blue dolphin, wonder bread, Kevorkian or green skinny jeans.  Lake trout were being found 60 to 90 feet down and biting on spoons. 

Some fishermen at Ludington were still getting small Chinook and brown trout in the basin and were catching Chinook and lake trout in 110 to 200 feet.  The numbers were down but some bigger Chinook were caught.
Boats trolling 30 to 70 feet down in 80 to 150 feet caught Chinook, steelhead and the occasional coho on spoons and meat-rigs at Pentwater, the DNR said. 

Leave a Reply