Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report – June 18, 2020
If you’re headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you’re feeling well. Practice proper social distancing, at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.
Fishing conditions improved this week for a variety of species for boat and shore anglers. Large and smallmouth bass fishing has been good statewide. The bass opener on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River is this coming Saturday, June 20.
All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.
Keweenaw Bay: Those able to get out caught a few Chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout. Very few reports have come in from Huron Bay, but those going out did find lake trout. A 39-inch fish was caught recently.
Marquette: Lake trout action was hit or miss. A few boats did say they were marking lots of fish, but they did not want to bite. Some fish were suspended 30 feet down in 60 feet near Picnic Rocks. Some nice steelhead and brown trout were caught. The Sand Hole, Little Presque Isle and Shot Point had slow action as well.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye action was good, mainly at the mouth of the Whitefish and Escanaba Rivers when trolling or drifting crawlers. Perch anglers reported the best catches off the mouth of the Days River with crawlers in 16 to 20 feet and just east of Butler Island in 24 feet. A few fish were caught in the Gladstone Beach area. Good northern pike action near Kipling with spinners and crankbaits in and around 12 feet. The smallmouth action was still good in most areas, including Squaw Point, Hunters Point and Garth Point when using plastics in 2 to 10 feet.
Manistique: Chinook and lake trout catches are picking up, with the best action between Barques Point and the buoy with flies or spoons 40 to 60 feet down. Anglers reported a lot of baitfish in the area, and several salmon over 20 pounds were caught.
Manistique Lake: Was producing bluegills and crappie on South Manistique. Fishing picked up when trolling a crawler harness for walleye or drifting worms for perch.
Manistique River: The number of anglers targeting steelhead and brown trout has tapered off. Walleye and smallmouth bass anglers reported spotty catches.
Au Train: Had reports of slow salmon action. The few targeting lake trout found fish near Wood Island Reef.
Munising: Boat anglers trying for Chinook and coho reported little action within the bay. Lake trout anglers had fair to good catches off the White Rocks and toward Wood Island Reef when trolling or jigging in 120 to 180 feet along the banks and drop-offs. Good action was reported near Grumps Hump northeast of Grand Island. Pier anglers report slow fishing, with very little splake or coho action.
St. Marys River: Was producing good walleye catches on the north side of Lime Island, which is 2 miles from the Raber Bay boat launch. Try the underwater humps and grassy weeds beds just off the shipping channel in 8 to 14 feet with a crawler harness or shad-colored crankbait in the early morning. Those trolling in the shipping channel on the southwest side of Lime Island caught a few Atlantic salmon with two to three colors of lead core and a gold and orange spoon. In Munuscong Bay, good walleye catches were reported by those trolling a small 2-inch crankbait 8 feet behind the boat in 4 to 6 feet. Hot colors were brown and orange or black and chrome.
Detour: Mild weather improved the bite for Atlantic salmon at the Detour Reef and lighthouse when using an orange and gold 3-inch spoon 20 to 55 feet down, as the fish were hitting baits up high in the early morning. For both Chinook and Atlantic salmon, try from the lighthouse east to the first red buoy and for lake trout try 2 miles south of the lighthouse along the 90-foot flat when using flashers with chartreuse and white spin-glo’s behind a 26-inch leader.
Cedarville and Hessel: The boat launch on Meridian Road is open. There has been no yellow perch effort in Cedarville Bay. For young anglers that want to shore fish, try off Hill Island Road at the new bridge where sunfish, rock bass and largemouth bass can be caught on worms or when casting spinners. For Hessel, the pike action was good at the marina fishing pier in the early morning when using chubs and large minnows two cranks off the bottom in 8 feet. Mackinaw Bay, which is east of the Hessel Marina, was producing good catches of large and smallmouth bass when casting spinners in 4 to 6 feet.
St. Ignace: Pike anglers casting spoons at the mouth of the Carp River had no luck. Those drifting worms and leeches caught walleye and pike. The walleye were 14-18 inches, and the pike were 20-29 inches. Walleye were also caught in the Pine River when drifting crawler harnesses and leeches.
Fishing Tip: Taking great catch-and-release photos
Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?
Here are some steps you can follow:
- Wet your hands before you handle the fish; that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (or slime) that coats the fish’s body.
- Remember fish can’t breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.
- Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, so if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water and not on a hard surface.
- While holding the fish, don’t pinch or squeeze it and don’t stick your fingers in its gills.
- Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.