Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report – July 14, 2021
Written by Abbie on July 19, 2021
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|Ontonagon: Anglers fishing out of Ontonagon and Union Bay had to do some searching to find fish but once they were located the fish were fairly cooperative. Trolling spoons was the primary tactic for anglers and lake trout comprised most of the bags that came in. A few stray coho and Chinook were caught as well. The winds during the week stirred up the water so finding the thermocline was not a very useful tactic for locating fish. The Ontonagon River was producing a few legal walleye for folks who were trolling and jigging but there was a lot of sorting to be done for the legals. For salmon and trout trolling, vary depths and colors of lures until you find one the fish like.
Keweenaw Bay: Anglers in Big Traverse Bay and near south Portage Entry had lots of luck fishing in deeper water for lake trout. Anglers were successful both trolling and jigging for these fish. In Keweenaw Bay, anglers had a tough time battling the winds but those who got out found lake trout in medium depth water. Fishing in Huron Bay was high early in the week with anglers having success east a few miles from the mouth of the bay. These anglers mostly caught lake trout as well. Coho were caught further north up Keweenaw Bay and mostly in the later hours of the day. Shore anglers in Portage Entry found rock bass, perch and smallmouth bass around weeds on the shoreline.
Au Train: Some boats came in with fish and some didn’t. Trolling was effective if you found the fish. Most success was in 170 to 200 feet of water.
Munising: Pleasure boat and traffic has been extremely high. Trailer counts have been well over 50 to 75 boat trailers at peak times in the afternoon with about 10% fishing boats. Lake trout anglers were doing well with limits being reported. Fish are averaging around the 3 to 4 pound range. A few lake trout have been approaching the 15 to 20 pound range. Anglers were doing well with the common areas being fished near White Rocks, Grump’s Hump, and areas along Wood Island Reef. Best depths were around 120 to 150 feet of water. Big Reef was producing some nice catches of lake trout up to 20 pounds. A few Chinooks were caught with some nice splake around 3 to 4 pounds.
Grand Marais: Very few boat anglers have been out however the boats that have been out were producing limits of lake trout with most averaging around 3 to 4 pounds. Anglers were targeting Five Mile Reef – shipping lanes and towards AuSable. Best depths were around 200 feet of water.
Little Bay de Noc: Perch anglers were experiencing mixed results. Those that found schools had to work for bites and plucked away to catch fish of a reasonable size.
Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth anglers were reporting good catch rates. Fishing around the islands showed signs of improvement. Anglers launching out of Nahma were landing multiple large fish. Perch anglers in Ogontz struggled, but some managed to bring in small numbers. Salmon fishing in Fairport was excellent, with some reports of success with steelhead; many targeting 100 to 180 feet of water.
St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: Anglers in St. Ignace continued to have a hard time finding lake trout close by but are traveling to Boblo Island and were doing well in that area with few being caught around Mackinac Island. Pike and walleye were still being caught in the carp and near the mouth of the Pine River. In the Hessel area, anglers were continuing to do well with splake within the west entrance and were still catching pike off the pier. The walleye fishing picked up and anglers were doing well in Snows Channel. Cisco fishing slowed in the area, but locals were reporting that it was the best it has been in years. Anglers were having luck fishing with chubs for pike and crawler harnesses while trolling for walleye.
Fishing Tip: Fishing for bass at night
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. You still can find fish at dusk and dawn, 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.
If you’re feeling adventurous, get on the water at 10 p.m. and fish the shallows for bass until midnight or 1 a.m. The results can be spectacular!