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Saturday starts state’s annual Free Fishing Weekend

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 10:58 AM

The arrival of summer weather means fishing has picked up, so the weekend should be good, the DNR said.


Bluegills were on the beds everywhere in this area of the state.  Nice fish were caught either on the beds or in deep water near the beds. 

St. Joseph:  Pier anglers are catching lots of freshwater drum when using crawlers on the bottom.  Boat anglers said fishing was spotty.  Most are trolling in 150 to 200 feet of water with spoons.  Perch fishing was slow. 

South Haven:   Boat anglers are catching a few lake trout but the salmon action was spotty in waters up to 200 feet deep.  Perch and pier fishing were slow.

Grand Haven:  Boat anglers are catching chinook salmon 40 to 75 feet down in waters 120 to 130 feet deep.  Spoons or spin-fly combos are working best.  Hot colors were green or green with blue.  Pier anglers are catching alewife in cast nets but not trout or salmon were caught.  One angler caught 52 freshwater drum.  No perch to report. 

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Water levels are coming down and the fishing is heating up.  Good smallmouth bass action on minnows, twister tails, soft shell crabs and crawlers.  Channel cats are hitting on cut up suckers and crawlers.  Pike are going after spoons or suckers under a bobber.  Bluegills are getting ready to spawn, try leaf worms or wax worms and crappie were still good on minnows, twister tails or wax worms. 

Reeds Lake:  Has been very good for bass, pike, bluegills and crappie. 

Muskegon:  Boat anglers are fishing in waters 60 to 220 feet deep with downriggers set 40 to 125 feet deep.  Most are using spoons or spin and fly combos.  Green and blue worked deeper while orange caught fish higher in the water column. 

Whitehall:  Had good salmon fishing 40 to 60 feet down in 80 to 110 feet of water with downriggers and dark colored spoons.   

White Lake:  Had excellent panfish action with bluegills and pumpkinseed caught west of the Narrows along the south shore. 


Traverse City:  In the East Bay, bass anglers were fishing in waters 12 feet deep or less along the south bank.  Try tube baits or jerk baits.  For lake trout, some are jigging in 80 feet of water north of the Center Road launch while others are trolling in 120 feet of water off Yuba.  Near Elk Rapids, smallmouth bass were caught near the mouth of the Elk River and around the point.  In the West Bay, anglers did well when jigging or trolling for lake trout.  A few hot spots were in 40 feet of water just up from the Elmwood Marina near the Red Buoy or south of the Island in 100 feet of water.  Shore anglers caught fish off Bryant Park.  

Boardman River:  Those drifting leeches or crawlers near the mouth caught smallmouth bass.  Perch and smallmouth were caught up at the union Street Dam. 

Frankfort:  Several nice chinook salmon have been caught in the Herring Hole when trolling 80 to 130 feet down in 110 to 220 feet of water.  Those trolling south to the point have caught coho and steelhead on spoons.  Pier fishing was slow due to the large number of alewife in the harbor. 

Onekama:  Those trolling south toward Manistee have caught chinook, steelhead, lake trout and brown trout in the early morning.  Try 70 to 90 feet down in 100 to 130 feet of water with body baits. 

Portage Lake:  Smallmouth bass were on the beds and bluegills have been caught in the weeds near Little Eden.  Largemouth bass were starting to make beds.  Those fishing with jigs along the shoreline have caught smallmouth bass and rock bass. 

Manistee:  Salmon are being caught 50 to 100 feet down in waters 100 to 200 feet deep.  Green or blue spoons worked beds.  Pier fishing for brown trout was slow. 

Ludington:  Boat anglers are doing well on salmon when trolling spoons 50 feet down in waters up to 150 feet deep.  Green and blue were the hot colors.  Most boats can be seen between the Bath House and Sable Point.  Pier fishing was slow. 

Pere Marquette River:  Fishing slowed with bug hatches taking place all day long.  Worms have been working but an egg sucking leach fly worked better.  More suckers have moved up on the gravel from Walhalla Road to M-37.

Pentwater:   Fishing has started with chinook being caught by those trolling halfway down in 60 to 100 feet of water with green or blue spoons.  A few lake trout were also caught.  Alewives have moved into the channel.  

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