2018-08-09 / Outdoors

DNR Weekly Fishing Report

August 2

Lac Vieux Desert

Walleye fishing has remained somewhat slow. Those caught were taken in the deeper holes around the lake. Bass anglers reported very good fishing with top-water lures or when casting spinners in the shallows. A couple legal size musky were caught in the deeper holes and when casting along the shallow weed beds. Bluegill, crappie, perch and sunfish were caught in 3 to 12 feet with natural or artificial baits. Be ready so sort through the small ones.

Little Bay De Noc

A few walleye were caught here and there. Fish were found along the “Black Bottom” when trolling a crawler harness in 18 to 24 feet and near the lighthouse in Escanaba when jigging crawlers in 14 to 30 feet. Off Breezy Point, the better catches came in the early morning with a crawler harness along the break in 14 feet. Smallmouth bass catches were fair south of the Ford River and south of Hunters Point when casting crank baits or plastics around the weed lines and rocky areas in 8 to 14 feet. A few perch were taken off Gladstone Beach with crawlers in 18 to 25 feet. A couple salmon were caught 80 feet down in 105 feet near the Ford River Can.

Big Bay De Noc

Smallmouth anglers reported excellent catch rates off Nahma either 2 miles out to the “Rock” or off the golf course and Butlers Point. A good number of limit catches were reported. Those harvesting fish were using mostly live crawlers and leeches while those releasing were using plastics, spinners and crank baits in 6 to 15 feet. Good fishing was also reported in Puffy Bay and Garden Bay and Martins Bay in 6 to 18 feet. At Fairport, catch rates were fair with lake trout and steelhead coming 60 to 90 feet down in 105 to 170 feet. A few large Chinook were also caught.


Lake trout fishing picked up with most boat anglers catching fish including some limit catches. The fish seem to be suspended so cover the entire water column when trolling spoons. Chartreuse was the hot color. Most were trolling between the white rocks and Granite Island, Sand Hole and Shot Point. The occasional steelhead or brown trout were caught but very few salmon. Stannard Rock was a hot spot when the weather was good. Anglers caught a good number of fishing ranging 3-9 pounds.

Au Train

Those fishing the east side of Au Train Island were getting a few fish for a couple hours of trolling. Some were making the 28-mile run to the Big Reef and bringing back a good number of fish.


Boat anglers did well for lake trout along Wood Island Reef and Grand Portal when trolling along the drop-offs in 140 to 200 feet or more. The best trolling speed was about 2 mph with downriggers near the bottom or when using lead core with spoons. Hot colors were firetiger, chartreuse and orange fluorescent. Coho and a few brown trout were also caught. Splake fishing was slow, and pier fishing was poor.

Grand Marais

Limit catches of lake trout were reported near Five Mile Reef when trolling along the drop in 180 to 220 feet with assorted spoons and flies. Lake trout were reported in close to shore when trolling west of Au Sable Point. A few coho and brown trout were also caught. Pier anglers had no luck.


Anglers are catching a mixed bag of Chinook, Atlantic, pink salmon and steelhead at the Detour Lighthouse. Water temperatures were 52 degrees at 60 feet in most areas of the St. Marys River. Chinook were caught from Fry Pan Island south to the green buoy with purple and gold spoons 35 feet down in 60 to 80 feet. Atlantics were caught from the lighthouse to the first red buoy on the Drummond Island side. Anglers are reminded to be cautious of the rocks when approaching the red buoy as the water goes from 80 feet immediately to 35 feet at the buoy. Use lead core with three to five colors and orange spoons.

Fishing Tip

With summer in full swing fish can become quite lethargic. No need to fret. For certain species, such as bass, you just might want to tweak the time of day you set out to target them.

Some of the best bass fishing this time of year occurs during the first hour or so after dark. Dusk and dawn can still produce fish but that first hour or two after dark can be exceptional.

After dark, bass tend to move shallow in search of an easy meal. Target them near the same areas you would during other times of the day while also casting and targeting the shallows. You’ll want to change your technique though. Since after dark you can’t see the weed line or other underwater structures, fishing subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations. After the cast, work them aggressively with a jerking motion making sure they pop and gurgle across the surface of the water during your retrieve. Pay close attention during the retrieve, watching and listening for the strike which can be explosive.

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