Weekly Fishing Tip: Try Tawas for Lake Whitefish
Always popular with commercial anglers, lake whitefish have become increasingly popular for recreational anglers throughout Michigan as well. Several Great Lakes piers offer prime spots to target them in late fall, including Tawas on Lake Huron!
The whitefish fishing at Tawas is usually done with long rods mounted with spinning reels, light line and bait that consists of a single salmon egg or a wiggler on a small hook fished under a bobber (set the bait within a few inches of the bottom). This species has a soft mouth so you have to be careful, a long-handled landing net is essential for success. Most anglers at Tawas set up on the outside of the wall, as the whitefish like to spawn along the rocks at the base of the wall. Early mornings are best, and the fish seem to bite better if there’s just a little chop on the water.
For more information on lake whitefish in Michigan, visit their page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
- Lake Erie: Is producing a few walleye for those trolling perch rigs in the early morning or late evening. For bluegill, perch and crappie, try the docks at the Metro Park Marina.
- Huron River: Is producing steelhead downstream of Flat Rock. Those fishing below the dam are drifting spawn and wax worms or bouncing flies.
- Detroit River: Perch were caught in the lower river. Try fishing near Sugar Island, the north end of Celeron Island or the Trenton Channel with shiners on perch rigs.
- Lake St. Clair: Should still have some good perch fishing even though fishing usually drops off this time of year as most anglers have put their boats away.
- St. Clair River: Was muddy after the rain and strong winds so it may take a few days for the water to clear up.
- Harbor Beach: Still has one dock in for those that may want to fish for walleye or brown trout behind the Edison Plant.
- Saginaw Bay: The walleye are moving in closer to shore so those trolling or drifting will want to fish shallow or near the mouth of the rivers especially at night.
- Saginaw River: Walleye are being caught near Bay City. Some are fishing up near the confluence of the Tittabawassee and the Shiawassee River. Shore anglers caught perch in the lower river.
- Tittabawassee River: Has walleye however boat anglers will need to watch for low water levels.
- Kawkawlin River: Has walleye. Anglers may have to put in some time but they should catch some fish.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
- St. Joseph River: Continues to produce steelhead for those drifting spawn bags or casting plugs. Fish the deeper holes if it warms up. A couple brown trout were caught between Shamrock Park and the Berrien Springs Dam.
- South Haven: Pier anglers caught steelhead in the early morning or late evening. Most are floating spawn or wax worms.
- Kalamazoo River: Is producing steelhead all the way up to the Allegan Dam. Anglers are using spawn, spinners, plugs or yarn.
- Grand Haven: Pier anglers and those surfcasting continue to target steelhead. Not much on whitefish as catch rates were slow.
- Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has a good number of steelhead. Off the east wall, try white jigs with a couple wax worms about three foot down or small spawn bags on a #10 or 12 hook. Some were also casting wobble glows. White jigs and wax worms caught fish near the Post Office. Off Fulton Street, try Hot-n-Tots or back bouncing spawn with bait casters. Walleye were caught off the east wall by those using bucktail jigs and three inch white twister tails.
- Grand River at Lansing: Is producing the occasional steelhead but no big numbers yet. Walleye were caught near the Waverly Bridge by those using golden shiners or crawler harnesses.
- Looking Glass River: Pike are being caught off Babcock’s Landing. Anglers are using shiner minnows or bluegills.
- Muskegon River: Has more steelhead moving up into the river even though water levels are low. Anglers are floating spawn and wax worms, casting small spoons or fly fishing.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
- Cheboygan River: Leftover salmon were still being caught up near the dam. The better fishing for steelhead was early morning or late evening with spawn, yarn, small spinners or small spoons. Good colors are blue and silver, orange and silver, pink and chartreuse.
- Rogers City: Pier anglers should find brown trout when casting cleo’s, bombers or small spoons.
- Thunder Bay River: More steelhead were moving in as temperatures dropped. Most are floating spawn or casting rapalas and small spoons up near the dam. Good colors were orange, chartreuse, pink or silver.
- Oscoda: Pier anglers targeting steelhead will want to try spoons or body baits.
- Au Sable River: Steelhead coming in from the lake can be found all the up to Foote Dam. The numbers are increasing and the fish are good size. Spawn or small spoons have caught fish in all areas of the river.
- Higgins Lake: This can be a good time of year to find perch. Try 25 to 40 feet of water around the Sunken Island or just off Big Creek.
- Houghton Lake: Look for large and smallmouth bass in the canals. Those looking for walleye could try floating minnows or drifting crawler harnesses.
- Tawas River: Still has a few leftover salmon. More steelhead were moving up into the river. Try spawn or wax worms.
- Au Gres River: Should still have some good action for steelhead, brown trout and Atlantic salmon. The better action has been in the lower end of Whitney Drain and for those surfcasting near the Singing Bridge. Try spawn, spoons or plugs.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
- Petoskey: Pier anglers are out and trying for coho, Chinook or pink salmon with spawn, small spinners or small spoons. Try orange, pink or chartreuse.
- Bear River: Anglers are now catching more steelhead. Try spawn, skein or yarn. Some are fly fishing.
- Elk River: Is producing coho and steelhead. Try floating spawn and skein or casting small spoons and spinners.
- Boardman River: Is producing coho and steelhead even with the lower water levels. Fish the deeper holes for now.
- Frankfort: Steelhead have been caught in the surf and off the piers.
- Betsie River: Is producing steelhead. Those fishing up near the Homestead Dam caught fish on spawn.
- Manistee: Is producing some steelhead for those surfcasting as well as those fishing off the piers. Try early morning, late evening or during the day when the weather is nasty.
- Manistee River: Water levels are low and clear again which makes steelhead fishing somewhat difficult. Conditions like this require light leaders and small stealthy presentations to get them to bite.
- Ludington: Steelhead were caught in the surf and off the piers. Fish early, late or when the weather is nasty.
- Pere Marquette River: Water levels were low and clear and could stay that way for a while. The low and clear water conditions require light leaders especially if fish are on the gravel. For now, try fishing the deeper holes.
- Keweenaw Bay: Salmon and lake trout are still out there for those that have not put their boats away.
- Fall’s River: Is producing coho and steelhead for those casting spoons and spinners or drifting crawlers and spawn bags.
- Menominee River: Is a good spot to target walleye, steelhead or brown trout. Try drifting fresh spawn, small spoons or rapalas.
- Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches are getting better every week as water temperatures drop below 50 degrees. The fish are in so there is no better time than now. Fish were caught during the day but the better reports are still coming by those fishing at night. During the day, the best catches were taken between the Second and Third Reefs by those trolling stick baits in 25 to 30 feet of water. Night anglers reported good catches between the Center Reef and the Black Bottom. Most were trolling crank baits or stick baits in 10 to 28 feet of water. The fish were averaging 21 to 23 inches. Perch action was fair for those using minnows or crawlers in 10 to 25 feet of water off Kipling.
- St. Mary’s River: This is a good time of year to target smallmouth bass. Try fishing around the points and the islands.
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