FISHING REPORT: Local salmon, trout plentiful but finicky in lakes and rivers

The DNR reports cool wet weather has helped bring salmon and trout close to shore and up into the rivers, but the bite has been a bit slow.

At the Platte River, the DNR said there’s good numbers of fish below the Lower Weir which has provided some good fishing in the lower river. Fish are being found down near the mouth when casting.  

Those trolling and jigging in Betsie Bay or fishing at the tubes are getting a few Chinook salmon in the Frankfort area. Coho were stacked in Platte Bay, the DNR said, and ready to run but the bite was slow.    

Anglers from the Homestead Dam are reporting lower numbers of Chinook and the fish are darker at the Betsie River.

“They’re starting to catch steelhead at Frankfort and off the pier, and a few silver salmon,” Christine Murphy at Frankfort Tackle Box, said. “We did have a push of salmon a few nights ago in the Betsie River. They’re starting to catch perch at Crystal Lake. Platte River is full of coho.”

At Portage Lake, anglers got some good size perch in 18 to 22 feet in front of the city launch and at the mouth of the channel. Minnows were being used to have success.

“We have steeelhead in the big river starting to move in,” Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangle Tackle Co. in Manistee said. “A few coho are being caught off the pier. It’s kind of a good time to be here.”

Surface temperature readings at Manistee were about 56 degrees, the DNR said, and the fish cleaning station is now closed. Anglers were able to catch a few coho when trolling artificial lures in the harbor.

“We are starting to see more steelhead in the river,” Chelsea Pete of Dloop Outfitters, in Wellston, said. “You can still find trout. The salmon bite is starting to die down. There’s still a couple hanging around.”

Manistee River had a good run of coho at Tippy Dam and fishermen are getting a few brown trout, some walleye and the occasional pike.  

“Salmon fish at Tippy Dam, the Big Manistee, is approaching its peak,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston, said. “Water temps is below 60. The flow is up, but we’re not high. They’ve taken eggs on the Little Manistee, another indication salmon fishing is approaching its peak. There’s still some pan fishing around. Most people are focusing on salmon.”

The Big Sable River had a good run of coho salmon.    

Surface temperature readings were about 58 degrees at Ludington, the DNR said. Fishing had been slow with only a small number of Chinook and coho taken by those trolling in the harbor and around the pierheads, the DNR added.

Pere Marquette River still has decent salmon fishing, the DNR said, and anglers are also catching steelhead.  

At Pentwater, salmon anglers casting spoons from the pierheads say fishing is slow.

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