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Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report – Aug. 12, 2020

Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report – Aug. 12, 2020
Inland lakes in this region were good for panfish, fair for walleye and very good for pike and bass. Rivers with brook trout had good catch rates.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers had success trolling and jigging for lake trout. A few lucky anglers picked up a couple Chinook and steelhead; however, it took time and effort.

Marquette: Limits of lake trout were caught, and fishing pressure has increased. Most were out in the early morning or evening, and the average fish was 2-3 pounds. Fish near the White Rocks, “Sand Hole,” Granite Island, “Clay Banks,” Stannard Rock and Granite Loma Farms. A few coho, steelhead or brown trout were taken. Catch rates out near Shot Point were getting a little better in 120 to 180 feet.

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported spotty catches, with fish taken off Breezy Point with crawlers in 16 to 18 feet and at the Minneapolis Shoals with crawlers and stick baits in 30 feet. In front of the Terrace Bay Inn, fish were found in 25 feet of so when using a crawler harness. Fish were also found at the mouth of the Whitefish and Escanaba rivers with crawlers in and around the weed beds. Fair to good perch catches by the ship docks in Escanaba with crawlers in 30 feet. Just off the Ford River, smallmouth bass were caught when casting jigs or plastics around the weeds and rocky areas in 5 to 10 feet. A couple salmon were caught near the Ford River Buoy when trolling spoons and flies in 80 feet.

Manistique: Anglers are starting to target fish heading to the river. Boats going out 3 to 6 miles looking for fish had little to report.

Manistique River: Chinook salmon are starting to show up, so many will start trolling the river or shore fishing.

Munising: Anglers are catching primarily lake trout out near the White Rocks, West Channel, Wood Island Reef, Trout Bay and Grand Portal in 120 to 160 feet.  A few were suspended, but most were near the bottom. Anglers were putting in five hours or more to get fish. There were various bug hatches in the area. Big Reef was also producing some lake trout, either trolling or jigging. Anglers reported young smelt in some of the fish caught.

St. Marys River: Anglers are fishing the shipping channel for walleye. Lake George was producing good numbers of northern pike. Behind the Powerhouse, some Atlantic salmon were caught, but very few whitefish.

Raber: For walleye, try near the mouth of Carlton Creek when trolling just off the weed beds in 8 to 12 feet with a black and chrome crankbait or crawler harness, early or late.  For musky, try trolling the north shore of Raber Bay to Point Aux Frenes with a black bucktail spinner or a large chrome spoon with a red eye just off the weeds in 8 to 12 feet.

Detour: Reported some nice catches of Chinook, lake trout and Atlantic salmon along the Detour Reef. Try fishing along the east side of the lighthouse to the first red buoy.  Target 100 feet of water with good rocky structure and baitfish. The thermocline was 55 to 58 feet down in over 100 feet. Salmon were hitting flashers with orange and gold spoons with a black ladder back.

Cedarville and Hessel: Northern pike were caught on creek chubs in 18 to 22 feet at the Middle Entrance in the Les Cheneaux Islands. Try off Little LaSalle Island in 18 to 22 feet near the weed beds. Good pike action in Musky Bay when trolling a large black bucktail spinner with black and yellow spotted blades in 6 to 8 feet in the early morning.  A few perch were caught in 8 to 12 feet off Connors Point. Good smallmouth action in Duck Bay when casting gold spinner blades. Young anglers will find bass, pike and panfish from the fishing platform off Hill Island Road. For Hessel, yellow perch are still being caught within the finger docks at the marina.  Pike are hitting early morning. Try large minnows or creek chugs two cranks off the bottom in 8 feet.

St. Ignace: Anglers caught pike in St. Martins Bay when casting spoons, spinners and crankbaits. Those casting and trolling crankbaits caught smallmouth bass. Fishing pressure on the Pine River slowed, as those trolling a harness or crankbait up near the rapids had little success for walleye. Those fishing at the sea wall on the Carp River have taken a few perch and walleye when bottom bouncing worms or leeches. Those casting spinners and crankbaits had no luck.

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Fishing Tip: Catching big pike in the summer

Most anglers consider winter the best time to catch a trophy-sized pike, but following a few key pointers can make summer pike fishing worthwhile.

When it’s very warm out, think about where pike will hide – places with cooler water. These spots include along the thermocline (the layer of water between the deep and surface water), where cold-water streams/rivers flow into lakes or around springs.

Look for bodies of water that aren’t densely populated with pike, so the ones there may have a chance to grow fairly large. Also consider locations that have special regulations like size limits.

Lastly, focus on bodies of water that have a good base of fish that pike feed on – particularly other species that prefer cooler water.

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