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Fishing Report: Salmon entering area rivers

Contributed • Jul 21, 2015 at 3:02 PM

Salmon movement into the rivers is still on the light side but it won't be long. The inland lakes are producing panfish, bass and pike. The upcoming holiday weekend should have plenty of fishing opportunities for all.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Perch fishing is very inconsistent as the fish seem to be scattered in 30 to 70 feet. Salmon fishing was decent with most fish taken in the early morning in 90 to 120 feet. Pier fishing was slow.

St. Joseph River: Continues to provide good smallmouth bass fishing.

Dowagiac River: Skamania steelhead are hitting in the lower river below the Pucker Street Dam.

South Haven: Perch anglers are fishing as shallow as 20 feet or as deep as 60 feet but catch rates were not consistent. Salmon fishing was good when using spoons in 80 to 90 feet in the early morning. Pier fishing was slow.

Kalamazoo River: Has good smallmouth bass fishing when the water clears. There is still some dredging going on so stay upstream of Marshall or downstream of Kalamazoo for the best water conditions.

Gun Lake: Was producing largemouth bass in Robins Bay and Pickerel Cove.

Port Sheldon: Was producing a mix of chinook, coho and steelhead in 165 feet.

Grand Haven: The water warmed up. Salmon anglers were fishing 70 to 105 feet down in 80 to 160 feet and setting wire divers out 220 to 240 feet. The better bite was on white paddles and spinnies with green, blue, UV or green and blue flies but some were also using meat rigs in UV greens and yellows. A few fish were taken on J-plugs, "Atomics" and glow spoons. No perch with the warm water.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers are finding steelhead and the occasional salmon. Pike have been caught throughout the river. Those drifting crawlers with a #7 split shot have caught a few walleye. Panfish were caught at Millennium Park.

Muskegon: Is fishing the same as Grand Haven because of the warm water. Put white paddles and spinnies with blue and green flies 70 to 100 feet down in 80 to 160 feet. Those using meat rigs and J-plugs have also caught fish. Green and yellow were good colors.

Muskegon Lake: Had some chinook salmon near the old paper mill and near the Sand Docks were anglers were jigging.

Muskegon River: Those targeting smallmouth bass continue to do well when using plastics, spinners or flies.

Whitehall: Salmon were caught right on the bottom in shallow waters 50 to 80 feet or about 70 feet down in waters 200 feet or deeper. Meat rigs were the ticket including a new copper and meat rig combination.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Platte Bay: Coho are in the East Bay. They are scattered however anglers did find them in the top 20 feet of waters 40 to 100 feet deep in the southwest corner near the commercial nets and along Otter Beach. Anglers need to use caution near the commercial nets as the lines may extend several hundred feet in any direction from the floats. Try blue or green spoons and blue J-plugs.

Frankfort: Catch rates were hit-or-miss. The chinook were right in front of the piers but moved out deeper. Anglers are working hard to locate fish from 40 feet to 500 feet. The morning bite was best out from the pier with fish hitting on meat rigs and J-plugs. Pier anglers catching alewife caught a couple chinook, coho and one very nice 44 inch pike. Those jigging Swedish pimples and Jonah jigs caught chinook. Hot colors were green, pink and purple.

Onekama: The Barrel is producing nice catches in the early morning. Anglers are working the top 60 feet with 2 and 3 colors of lead, 100 to 150 feet back on dipseys with meat rigs catching the bigger kings. Coho were in the same area and hitting on blue or green spoons.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers continue to have a great season throughout the lake. Cooler water temperatures had the bass in close and along the drops. Walleye were hitting on crawler harnesses near Little Eden and the Inn.

Lakes Cadillac & Mitchell: Are producing some nice largemouth bass. Bluegills were hitting on leaf worms and wax worms. Minnows caught crappie and perch. Pike anglers have done well.

Manistee: Salmon fishing has not been easy as the fish were scattered. Anglers did find fish 40 to 90 feet down in 80 to 180 feet when trolling green meat rigs or flies and orange spoons. Use glow spoons or plugs in the early morning. Pier fishing is slow. Those trolling near shore early or late have caught a few kings.

Manistee River: Decent numbers of Skamania steelhead were present at Tippy Dam. A few kings were mixed in but no big numbers yet.

Ludington: Catch rates for trout and salmon were hit-or-miss. Boat anglers found fish 40 to 100 feet down in 80 to 200 feet when trolling yellow or green meat rigs along with orange or green spoons. Pier fishing was slow.

Pentwater: Anglers are catching salmon out from the dunes at Silver Lake and a few miles north of the port. Some were shallow in the 50 to 80 feet range and hitting right along the bottom while others were caught 70 to 80 feet down in 200 feet or more. Meat rigs are still working the best.

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