2019 Week 25 June 17 - June 23

Up North! - A mentality, Not a Destination

Big Mouth Buffalo Record Set!


State Parks Host Workdays


State Fishing Report



Another Year, Another Bigmouth Buffalo State Record Broken

Earlier this month, Tyler Fisher of St. Charles, Michigan, caught a record-breaking   bigmouth buffalo, unseating the previous state-record fish that was caught in 2017. Fisher caught his fish – weighing in at 32.01 pounds and measuring 38 inches – while   bowfishing in the Shiawassee River in Saginaw County. Kathrin Schrouder, a   DNR fisheries biologist out of Bay City, verified the new record.

Roy Beasley of Madison Heights, Michigan, held the previous bigmouth buffalo   state record, a 27-pound, 35.25-inch fish he caught while bowfishing on Monroe County’s River Raisin in May 2017. Over the last 10 years, anglers have caught 14 state-record fish in Michigan – a tribute to the growth and health of the state’s world-class fisheries and the long-term management efforts that help sustain them. According to a recent MUCC study, an estimated 1.1 million licensed anglers a year contribute $2.3 billion to Michigan’s   economy. Plentiful opportunities to fish a variety of species continue to   draw both new anglers and accomplished veterans to Michigan waters.

State-record fish are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must   exceed the current listed state-record weight, and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist. The DNR reminds anglers who bowfish to properly dispose of all specimens they harvest. See the current roster of record-setting fish at Michigan.gov/StateRecordFish.


Volunteer at a state park in June; support PlayCleanGo

Several state parks in southern Michigan will host volunteer stewardship workdays in June. 

The workdays support the first PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, taking place June 1–8, with events across North America encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to take action to avoid spreading invasive plants and pests while enjoying the activities they love.

Volunteers are needed to remove garlic mustard, an invasive plant that threatens native habitats. Workdays are an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors getting to   know Michigan’s state parks and their unique ecosystems.  

“Garlic   mustard is a good example of an invasive plant easily spread through outdoor   activities,” said Heidi Frei, DNR natural resources steward. “The PlayCleanGo   campaign is a simple reminder to clean shoes, clothing and gear before moving   on to a new location. This can include brushing off mud, seeds and plant   fragments and hosing down bikes and ORVs to ensure invasive species aren’t   carried to the next destination.” 

Workdays   are scheduled for:

  • Saturday, June 8: Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County), 9 a.m. to noon
  • Saturday, June 8: Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 15: Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 15: Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22: Ludington State Park (Mason County), 10 a.m. to noon.
  • Saturday, June 22: Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22: Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29: Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29: Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29: Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For information on meeting locations and directions to parks and to complete the   stewardship volunteer registration form, visit Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers. See the Volunteer Calendar for event specifics.

Learn   more about preventing the spread of invasive species by following the Take   Action tab at Michigan.gov/Invasives.


Michigan DNR State Fishing Reports

Fishing Tips!


Tricks and cheats to help land the big ones..or the little ones - they count too!

Southeast Lower Peninsula


Lake Erie, Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River, Lex/Port Sanilac, Harbor Beach, Port Austin, Saginaw Bay and the Saginaw River

Southwest Lower Peninsula


St. Joseph, South Haven, Black River, Kalamazoo River, Grand Haven, Grand River at Grand Rapids, Grand River at Lansing, Murray Lake, Muskegon, Muskegon River, Whitehall, White Lake, White River

North East Lower Peninsula


Cheboygan River, Ocqueoc River, Rogers City, Alpena, Thunder Bay River, Black River, Harrisville, Oscada, Au Sable River, Ogemaw County, Houghton Lake, and Tawas

Northwest Lower Peninsula


Petosky, Bear River, Traverse City, Frankfort, Portage Lake, Lake Missaukee, Manistee, Manistee River, Ludington, Pere Marquette River, Pentwater, and Pentwater Lake.

Upper Peninsula


Lac Vieux Desert, Marquette, Little Bay De Noc, Big Bay De Noc, Au Train, Munising,  Raber Bay, Drummond Island, Cedarville and Hessel

Fishing Tips!


Fishing Tip: Help Prevent Invasive Species with New Grant

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Water Resources Division announces a new grant program to aid in the control or eradication of aquatic invasive plants in Michigan’s inland lakes.

This year, approximately $100,000 will be available through the Aquatic Invasive Plant (AIP) Control Grant for the reimbursement of permit fees required for projects to control or eradicate inland lake aquatic invasive plant species using physical, biological or chemical control activities that occur in 2019.


Details on grant eligibility are available on the Aquatic Invasive Plant Control Grant webpage located at Michigan.gov/Invasives under the “Grants” tab. This grant program is implemented in accordance with the addition of Part 414 to the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended.

The grant handbook and application process are currently being developed. The handbook will contain detailed information on eligibility, instructions for applying for the grant, and items to be included with the grant application. Grant applications will be accepted from June 1 through July 1. The handbook will be made available on the AIP Control Grant webpage on June 1.

Roughly half of EGLE’s annual budget flows back into Michigan communities in the form of grants.

For questions about this new grant opportunity, please contact us at egle-wrd-aip@michigan.gov.

Michigan's Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Michigan departments of Agriculture & Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Natural Resources

Need help, besides using sonar, in planning your next fishing trip? Visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.


Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Limit catches of walleye have come out of Brest Bay. Fish were caught out from the beach at Sterling State Park and out in front of the Edison Stacks near Bolles Harbor. A few were in 14 feet, but the majority were caught in 17 to 22 feet when trolling or drifting a crawler harness or using artificial baits. A couple yellow perch along with a good number of white bass, white perch and freshwater drum were also caught. Largemouth bass and channel cats were caught in the Fermi Hot Pond and in the canals and marsh areas around Point Mouillee.

Detroit River: Walleye are still being caught but anglers are working harder to get them. White bass are present but have not taken over the river. Those targeting large and smallmouth bass found fish in the canals and near bridges.

Lake St. Clair: Warmer temperatures helped to improve fishing however continuous rain has kept the water high and a bit cloudy. Walleye fishing is picking up. Anglers did well when trolling along the day sail area at the Metro Park and in front of the 400 Club. Body baits seemed to work better than harnesses. Smallmouth are still close to shore in 10 to 15 feet along the Mile Roads. Many white bass and freshwater drum have been caught by walleye and smallmouth anglers. A good number of legal and sublegal pike and muskie were also caught along the Mile Roads.

Lexington and Port Sanilac: Those trolling in 40 to 50 feet caught mostly lake trout followed by steelhead, Chinook, coho and pink salmon. Most were using spoons, but a few were running body baits.

Harbor Beach:Lake trout were taken with spoons in 90 to 110 feet. A few walleye and the occasional whitefish were taken in 25 to 35 feet with small body baits. Those casting spinners, tube baits, leeches or crawlers caught the occasional bass.

Port Austin: Had good catches of walleye west of the harbor when trolling crank baits in 12 to 20 feet.

Saginaw Bay: Limit catches of walleye were taken with a bottom bouncer and crawler harness in eight to 12 feet near the Pinconning Bar. A few yellow perch, catfish, white bass or freshwater drum were also caught. Walleye were caught off the State Park, near the Dumping Grounds and the Spark Plug near Buoys 1 & 2 in 20 to 23 feet with a crawler harness or crank bait. Off Quanicassee, walleye were found in eight to 10 feet straight out or in the south end of the Slot. Catfish, carp, and longnose gar were found near shore and in the cuts and rivers. Walleye were caught in the Slot and all the way up to North Island in 10 to 14 feet. From Quanicassee to Caseville, largemouth bass and pike were hitting artificial baits near shore.

Saginaw River: Had high water levels from the recent rains. At Smith Park in Essexville, catfish were caught on crawlers.

Tittabawassee River: Is running high, fast and muddy. The launch at Center Road was somewhat flooded. Fishing in these conditions has been poor.


Southwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Bass were on the beds in the Kalamazoo area. Bluegills were starting to move on the beds in the shallow lakes.

St. Joseph: Boat anglers continue to take a decent number of Chinook salmon on spoons in 100 to 130 feet. A mixed bag of lake trout and coho were taken on spoons in 40 to 70 feet. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum on alewife or when casting spoons. Channel cats were caught on stink baits. No perch to report.

South Haven: Boat anglers targeting salmon caught a fair number in 85 to 120 feet. Most were Chinook. Lake trout and the occasional steelhead were also caught. Pier fishing was very slow for all species.

Grand Haven:The salmon action is heating up with good numbers of Chinook caught throughout the water column in 40 to 120 feet with orange and green spoons or with a white flasher/fly combo. Large and smallmouth bass were caught on swim baits.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: The water is still high and muddy so very few anglers have been out.

Muskegon: Boat anglers caught a decent number of Chinook 30 to 100 feet down in 60 to 120 feet with orange spoons, green and white flies and white meat rigs.

Muskegon Lake: Bluegills were coming up into the shallows on the north end and were starting to prepare the beds. Fish were found in 3 to 10 feet. Walleye are still being caught around the channel and near the Coast Guard Station when casting rapalas. High water continues to hinder fishing efforts. The Hartshorn boat launch was under water.

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were up between the high 50’s and low 60’s. Water levels were still high. A mayfly hatch is currently ongoing. Trout could be found on the gravel.

Mona Lake: Largemouth bass were caught near structure. Crappie were caught off the bridge. 


Northeast Lower Peninsula


Cheboygan: Those trolling spoons in 50 to 70 feet caught lake trout off Poe Reef. A few limit catches were taken off Cordwood Point with spoons and J-plugs in 60 to 80.

Cheboygan River: Two gates at the dam were closed but water levels were still extremely high. Fishing has been difficult, but anglers have caught a few walleye, smallmouth bass and pike when drifting worms, casting crank baits or jigging a minnow imitation. Boat anglers had the most success for walleye when drifting a crawler harness. Anglers could see steelhead in the shallow areas near the dam.

Rogers City: The lake is warming and catch rates will really pick up once the surface water temperatures get closer to 50 degrees. Warmer water could be found south of the harbor and that is where most were fishing. Lake trout were scattered and found in waters up to 70 feet deep. Try spoons or attractors with spin-glo’s. Both Chinook and Atlantic salmon were caught in top 30 feet with gold and orange, green or blue spoons. Body baits were working in 25 to 60 feet.

Presque Isle: Lake trout are being caught but it still needs to warm up before the Atlantic salmon start to hit. Lake trout were found about halfway down in 50 to 90 feet with dodgers or cowbells and spin-glo’s. Hot colors were green, blue, orange, yellow and chartreuse. Run a couple lines up high when searching for Atlantic salmon.

Alpena: Lake trout along with a couple Chinook salmon were caught in 50 to 70 feet when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s out near Thunder Bay Island and to the north. Walleye were taken in the bay when trolling a crawler harness or body bait inside 25 feet. Pier anglers caught walleye in the evening when casting body baits.

Thunder Bay River: A couple walleye and the odd brown trout were caught by those casting body baits or drifting crawlers. Channel cats were caught when still-fishing or drifting crawlers below 2nd Avenue. Decent smallmouth bass were taken on crawlers and crank baits.

Oscoda: Lake trout were caught when trolling spoons, spin-glo’s and flies in 40 to 70 feet between Three Mile Beach and Au Sable Point. The occasional Chinook or steelhead were also caught when trolling spoons. Green, orange, purple and chrome were hot colors. The walleye action was slow, but a few were taken early morning or late evening when casting body baits. Fire-tiger, rainbow trout and clown were good colors. Smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers or minnows. Pier anglers caught carp, freshwater drum, rock bass and a couple nice channel cats on crawlers.

Au Sable River: Water temperatures are approaching 60 degrees. Steelhead were slow this week as most have dropped back to the lake. Those drifting crawlers, flies or beads as well as casting spoons in the holes did catch a couple steelhead and suckers. A few Atlantic salmon were up as far as Foote Dam and were caught when drifting wax worms or swinging streamer flies. Walleye fishing was slow down near the mouth, but a few were taken when drifting crawlers or casting jigs and body baits. On Foote Pond, a few pike were taken when casting large crank baits and panfish were taken when floating crawlers in shallow water. Cooke Pond had smallmouth bass hitting body baits and jigs with soft plastics.

Higgins Lake: Had no word on lake trout but the perch anglers were still getting some fish near Treasure Island and the south Sunken Island in 15 to 30 feet. Most were using minnows. Surface water temperatures were about 50 degrees.

Houghton Lake: Crappie were caught near the weed beds in eight feet in the main part of lake. Bluegills are coming up into the shallows but were not on the beds yet.

Tawas: Lake trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon were taken on spoons in 40 to 60 feet near Tawas Point. Walleye were caught on spoons or bottom bouncer with a crawler harness in 25 to 35 feet.

Tawas River: Those fishing near Gateway Park caught smallmouth bass, pike, catfish, or the odd walleye in the evening. Most were casting jigs and lures or still-fishing with crawlers on the bottom.

Tawas Lake:Those casting a scented plastic worm caught a few largemouth bass and smaller pike. Some nice panfish including perch were taken on crawlers under a bobber.

Au Gres: Limit catches of walleye were taken in 25 to 35 feet between Point Lookout and Point Au Gres or between the Rifle River and the Pinconning Bar. Some are using a bottom bouncer with a crawler harness while others are using a body bait. Perch, freshwater drum and white bass were also caught. 


Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Inland lakes were starting to produce some better panfish action as the lakes slowly warm up. We are still two weeks behind in terms of water temperatures.

Harbor Springs: A couple lake trout were caught up around Harbor Point and to the north in 100 to 120 feet. Fish top to bottom as the fish were suspended. Fish were also caught on the Harbor Springs side of the bay. The midge hatch is getting worse.

Petoskey: A limit of lake trout were caught in 50 to 60 feet. The fish were suspended throughout the water column as surface water temperatures were in the high 30’s. Spoons and spin-glo’s were the ticket. The Bear River still has high water levels. A couple steelhead were noted but the numbers are dropping. Anglers were using spawn, beads or flies. Rumor has it pike and smallmouth bass were caught down past the mouth.

Charlevoix: Water temperatures were still a bit cold and catch rates were slow. Few if any boats had been out but the number of pier anglers picked up. A couple smallmouth bass and cisco were caught. Anglers continue to target walleye in the channel after dark. The midge hatch is getting worse.

Lake Charlevoix: The Charlevoix Ironton boating access site will close for construction beginning June 3rd. The project has an anticipated completion date of August 16th. Until then, anglers can use the launch in Dutchman’s Bay or the municipal launches in Charlevoix and East Jordan.

Traverse City: On the East Bay, cisco were caught just south of the marina in Elk Rapids, along the peninsula in shallow waters and around Deepwater Point in 20 to 50 feet. A few bass were caught at the south end of the bay when the weather warmed. The bass opener on the Elk River was slow but a few nice ones were caught on plastics near the dam. Suckers and carp were found at the dam and the mouth. On the West Bay, a few perch were caught in Northport. Cisco were caught in the morning north of Bryant Park. Bass anglers fishing near Power Island and along the peninsula did not have much luck. Bass fishing was slow on the Boardman River. Carp and suckers were caught at the mouth. At the dam, steelhead were observed at the tubes and there were plenty of suckers.

Frankfort: Water levels are up after all the rain. Lake trout have been caught in the harbor and when trolling along the shoreline. There were rumors of young Chinook salmon caught in the Herring Hole.

Onekama: Anglers were trolling the shoreline and the “Barrel” with spoons and spin-glo’s. With water temperatures near 48 degrees the bite was a bit slow, but lake trout were caught by those trolling body baits in 20 to 25 feet in the early morning.

Portage Lake: Perch anglers caught a good number in the early morning, but many were small. Bass anglers did well for largemouth. The fish were staging and not on the beds yet.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Were producing some panfish.

Manistee: Surface temperatures reached 45 degrees and the Chinook salmon have finally showed up and some big fish are coming in. The best fishing was 60 to 80 feet down in 100 to 120 feet with spoons. Good lake trout fishing continues when bouncing the bottom in 40 to 80 feet. Pier fishing is slow, but anglers did manage to get a couple Chinook salmon or a couple walleye at night.

Manistee River: Trout fishing remains strong with higher flows. We are starting to hear of some good fly hatches and dry fly fishing.

Hamlin Lake: Anglers caught a good number of crappie when drifting minnows or soft plastics in front of Indian Pete’s Bayou and the boy scout camp. Bass anglers did well with a good number of largemouth taken. Bluegills were not on the beds yet but should be shortly. Water temperatures were between 59 and 63 degrees with some warmer water in the bayous.

Ludington: Surface temperatures were about 45 degrees. Anglers are getting Chinook salmon here as well when trolling spoons and flies 60 to 80 feet down in 100 to 140 feet. Lake trout fishing has been on fire when bouncing baits off the bottom in 60 to 100 feet. Small pods of baitfish have showed up in the channel and some managed to catch a couple Chinook salmon when trolling in the basin.

Pere Marquette River: Also had some higher flows but anglers were still catching some trout. The river is starting to see some good fly hatches. 

Find out more

Upper Peninsula


Overall: High water levels continue to hamper fishing efforts on the trout lakes. Rivers and streams were at their banks and it does not look like they will be dropping anytime soon.

Copper Harbor: Pier anglers caught a few splake. Some nice pike were caught in Eagle Harbor.

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing has been good the past few days. Those trolling throughout the water column in 20 to 50 feet caught Chinook, coho, lake trout, brown trout and splake with spoons, stick baits or a flasher/fly combo. Mornings were best with trolling speeds between 2.2 mph and 3 mph. Finding the warmer water is key. Temperatures were ranging between 36 and 49 degrees. Coho were found near the scum lines. Schools of smelt have kept bigger fish in the area.

Marquette: The fish cleaning station is back up and running for the season! Boat anglers were picking up Chinook, coho, brown trout and steelhead near shore. Those targeting pike near the old ore docks did not have any luck.

Chocolay River: The upstream waters were still very high making it difficult for anyone trying to target brook or brown trout. Boat anglers fishing near the mouth did manage to pick up a few trout and salmon.

Little Bay De Noc: Water temperatures were in the low to mid 50’s and water levels were still high. The bass opener was good along Garth Point, Gladstone Bay and in the Ford River when casting plastics or crawlers in four to eight feet. Walleye anglers had mixed results at the head of the bay when trolling a crawler harness or stick bait in eight to 20 feet. Fair to good catches were reported south of Garth Point in 32 feet, in the Escanaba River from the US-2 Bridge to the mouth and off Breezy Point with crawlers in 10 feet. A few perch were caught off Kipling in 23 to 30 feet with crawlers. Good pike action was reported near the mouth of the Ford River by those targeting bass.

Manistique River: Steelhead anglers were still getting a few fish in the lower waters when casting yarn or spawn. The lamprey traps are still in so the waters are low and slow. The upper dam is fully open making the spill over and main river high and fast. The fish cleaning disposal is down for repairs at the boat launch. Walleye anglers did very well with several large fish over 10 pounds taken by boat anglers up near the fast water. Big pike were caught near the mouth when casting or trolling spinners and crank baits. Smallmouth bass were caught by shore anglers using crawlers or plastics.

Munising: Boat anglers reported fewer catches of Chinook and coho salmon. The average catch was between zero to just a few per trip. Catch rates for splake have also been down this year. Shore anglers reported poor catch rates.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers continue to do well for whitefish with most reporting good catches while taking fish up to 14 inches or bigger. The coho action slowed for boat and pier anglers. A few Chinook were caught when trolling towards the Sable River. Those out for lake trout did well with limit catches taken near Five Mile Reef.

Two Hearted River: Water levels are high, but a few fish were still caught.

Tahquamenon River: May have a little more traffic with the muskie opener this coming weekend. Anglers are reminded to report their harvest via the hotline or online.

Detour: Fishing effort for trout and salmon at the lighthouse and the mouth of the St. Marys River has been low. A couple lake trout were caught two miles straight south of the lighthouse. Try the 90-foot flat when trolling spin-glo’s. Hot colors were red and white or chartreuse and white. Best trolling speed was 2 mph.

Drummond Island: A few good catches of walleye and pike were taken along the shoreline in four to six feet from Paw Point east to Maxton Road when trolling or casting an orange or light brown shallow running plug. Excellent smallmouth bass action was reported at the south end of James Island in two to four feet. Brown and green tube jigs worked best.

Cedarville and Hessel: No yellow perch were caught from the Cedarville launch. All boaters are reminded that the parking lot directly across from the boat launch on Meridian Road is closed at this time for renovation. Fair to good catches of smallmouth bass were taken in Government Bay and near the mouth of Duck Bay while casting spinners or brown and orange tube jigs in two to four feet. At Hessel, splake and pike fishing were good at the marina pier. The best action was early morning until about 8:30 and again from 7:00 pm until dark. Splake and Atlantic salmon were taken on both natural and artificial spawn 18 inches off the bottom. The yellow perch bite slowed around the finger docks at the Hessel Marina. Hessel Bay was producing splake and pike for those trolling a blue and white or blue and chrome stick bait with planer boards four feet down in 12 to 15 feet.