Weekly Fishing Report Michigan

Weekly Fishing Tip: Catching a Catfish in Michigan
The new state record flathead catfish caught on May 22 on the St. Joseph River has brought a relatively unheralded species into the daylight.

The record flathead, which weighed 49.81 pounds and measured 45.7 inches, was caught by Rodney Akey of Niles, who was fishing with an alewife for bait. That’s one of the main differences with fishing for the flathead than other catfish species – anglers often use live baitfish when pursuing flatheads, unlike the various earthworms, shrimp or various stink-bait concoctions many catfish anglers use.

Flatheads tend to live in slow-flowing rivers where they typically inhabit deep holes. Veteran flathead anglers often pursue them at night, fishing on the bottom in the leading edge of the hole or on the flats upstream. Large minnows, small sunfish or cut suckers are preferred baits.

Summer is the most popular season to fish for flatheads – what better time to get out and try your luck!

For more information on fishing for catfish, check out the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them section of the DNR’s website.


Be sure to check out the new lake trout and splake regulations for Lake Huron.

Ontonagon:  Lake trout are still scattered but were caught in 40 to 100 feet of water. Trolling spoons worked best however fish were also taken on spin-glows with cut bait.

Keweenaw Bay:   The bite has been very slow and of those that did get out, most returned with no fish.  Perch fishing was spotty but a few were caught in the Baraga Marina. Those fishing the South Portage Entry caught lake trout when trolling in 60 to 120 feet of water on the Mud Banks and Farmers Reef. Good lake trout catches in Traverse Bay for those trolling near Hermits Cove and the Gay Stacks in 90 to 140 feet of water. Anglers were also trolling between the Gay Stacks and Big Louie’s Point in 120 to 150 feet of water, along 6-Mile Reef in 90 to 130 feet of water and the east side of the Huron Islands in 100 to 130 feet of water. Those jigging picked up a few fish in 240 to 260 feet of water.
Marquette:  Anglers did well for lake trout with some limit catches reported. The fish averaged three to four pounds and were caught east towards Shot Point in 160 to 180 feet of water and near the Sand-Hole. It appears the fish have been eating mainly small plankton. A lake trout weighing 34 pounds was caught near Stannard Rock. Those jigging at Stannard Rock have caught good numbers of lake trout.
Menominee:  Boat anglers caught salmon and brown trout in 50 feet of water near the marina. Fair to good catches were reported by those trolling on the north and south sides of Green Island. A good number of chinook salmon were caught near Washington Island and near the Whalesback in 100 feet of water. Most of the fish were about 50 feet down but some were caught near the surface. A silver spoon with a red eye in the middle worked best.
Menominee River:  Those trolling caught freshwater drum, channel cats, smallmouth bass and northern pike. The walleye fishery has slowed considerably. Water levels near the dam were very low which made casting and trolling difficult. Shore anglers near Stephenson Isle were catching a few smallmouth bass, freshwater drum and rock bass when still-fishing with minnows and crawlers.
Cedar River:  Bass anglers are fishing from the mouth upstream until the water level gets low. Some nice smallmouth were caught by those using a goby look alike and by those fishing under the M-35 Bridge.
Little Bay De Noc:   Walleye catches were down but fish were caught off Breezy Point when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 10 to 28 feet of water. Night anglers reported fair catches in the north part of the bay when trolling stick baits in 10 to 14 feet of water.
A few limit catches were taken near the Black Bottom when jigging crawlers along the weeds in 10 to 12 feet. Most of the walleye from the upper bay were small. Several large northern pike were caught by shore anglers casting spoons or crank baits in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. Some nice perch were caught off Gladstone Beach and southern tip of Butler Island in 6 to 28 feet of water. Bass anglers reported fair to good catches near the mouth of the Ford River when casting crank baits or plastics in six to 12 feet of water. Good salmon action out by the Ford River Buoy when trolling spoons 70 to 90 feet down in 80 to 120 feet of water. Several large flathead and channel cats have also been caught.
Big Bay De Noc:  Walleye anglers had fair catches when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 18 to 20 feet of water out by the “Boot.” Good smallmouth bass action off Ogontz in 10 to 12 feet, Poplar Point in 12 to 18 feet, and Kates Bay in 10 to 12 feet of water. Anglers were trolling crank baits or plastics or live bait. Several large flathead and channel cats have been caught. Fairport had good to excellent salmon fishing 70 to 80 feet down in 80 to 120 feet of water.
Au Train:  Most anglers are targeting lake trout. Catch rates remain consistent with most anglers averaging two to five fish in a five hour trip. Most are using a combination of downriggers and high-lines using assorted spoons, flies and cut bait.
Munising:  Those heading out are targeting lake trout around Grand Island, especially off the west side. Small boats fishing near shore caught mostly sub-legal splake and some whitefish. Pier anglers had fair catches of splake when still-fishing with spawn bags.
Grand Marais:  Fishing was slow but boat anglers did mange to catch lake trout five to seven miles north of the bay in waters 100 to 300 feet deep. Limit catches are less frequent as many fish were only 10 to 12 inches. Success for whitefish depends on wind conditions so anglers were leaving empty handed or catching small fish only. The best time to fish was around sunrise or about 45 minutes after sunset.
St. Mary’s River:  Walleye are in Raber Bay. Those trolling or drifting should focus their efforts around Raber Point and Round Island.
DeTour:  Atlantic salmon catches remain good. Try spoons 10 to 22 feet down in waters over 80 feet deep between Detour Reef and the first red buoy on the south side of Drummond Island. Lake trout were also caught here on spoons in 55 to 65 feet of water. Fly hatches are beginning to appear in Chippewa County, at Detour and Cedarville. No cisco were caught yet.
Cedarville and Hessel:  Had excellent catch rates for herring in McKay Bay. Limit catches were reported. Try 10 to 14 feet of water using a teardrop with a wax worm or casting a Swedish Pimple.  Large and smallmouth bass,  northern pike and perch were still hitting. Try Snows Channel, Musky Bay, Hessel Bay and the marina pier.
Carp River: Is producing bass, northern pike, walleye, and rainbow trout for those still-fishing or casting in four to six feet of water.St. Ignace:  Has good salmon fishing between the old fuel tanks and the Coast Guard Station. Try 35 to 40 feet down in waters 60 to 80 feet deep.