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Fishing Report: Salmon run about to start

Contributed • Jul 21, 2015 at 3:05 PM

It's that time of year when the salmon and trout start to move in closer to shore as they prepare for the annual fall spawning runs. Salmon are starting to trickle into the river systems but no big numbers yet. Those fishing the inland lakes are doing well for panfish, pike, bass and even catfish.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

The inland lakes continue to provide good bluegill fishing in deeper waters. Anglers are using crickets, leaf worms, or a wax worm and fly combination.

Port Sheldon: Chinook salmon fishing is picking up. A thermocline is finally setting up for the first time this summer. Fishing was good in 120 to 135 feet when using J-plugs, spoons and meat rigs.

Grand Haven: Anglers were fishing 60 to 110 feet down in 115 to 175 feet. Some had 300 feet of coppers working well for them but the best bite was on a spin/fly combo up high or a paddle/fly combo deeper. Hot colors were white and UV followed by green or green and white. Some are using anything that glows or meat rigs in any color. Pier fishing was slow.

Muskegon: Pier anglers were casting or jigging for salmon but had no luck. Boat anglers were fishing 60 to 110 feet down in 120 to 170 feet with a spin/fly combo up high or paddle/fly combo down low. Those using meat rigs caught fish as well as those using anything that glows.

Muskegon River: Continues to provide good smallmouth bass fishing.

Whitehall: Anglers found fish 70 feet down in 150 to 200 feet. Meat rigs worked best. Downriggers may start working better as the fish were no long near the top of the water column. Pier anglers caught a couple salmon but no big numbers yet. Walleye action in the channel was good one day and cold the next.

White Lake: Was producing some large panfish.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Manistee: Boats are targeting salmon 100 to 150 feet down in 100 to 200 feet with a flasher/fly combo or plugs. Those trolling around the pier caught a few chinook on plugs and pier anglers caught a few on glow spoons.

Manistee River: Is still producing summer steelhead for those using streamers, spinners and rapalas. Salmon are starting to show up but no big numbers yet.

Ludington: Boat anglers are targeting trout and salmon 40 to 100 feet down in 100 to 250 feet. The best bait was still green meat rigs and plugs. Pier anglers are catching a few salmon when casting glow spoons.

Pentwater: Anglers are catching chinook salmon on meat rigs in 60 to 80 feet. The fish seemed to be biting in 60 degree water. Catch rates were spotty as changing wind directions affected catch rates. Pier anglers using live bait caught a couple smallmouth bass.

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