Chad Dilts – Coastal Angler Fishing Report – September 2018

What an amazing August! Sport Fish Michigan and clients had a terrific August, taking advantage of multiple fishing opportunities throughout the Traverse City Region. The lake trout and salmon fishing really picked up pace leading into this month, we are very excited to capitalize on every minute of action our area has to offer.

The lake trout, cisco, and perch fishing on Grand Traverse Bays in September can be red hot, allowing anglers the chance to take multiple species in one outing on the water. Anglers trolling and vertical jigging will have great success fishing in and around the thermocline for both trout and cisco.

The lake trout will be found in depths ranging from 75-120ft of water depending on wind direction. Most of the ciscos can be found making their way back to the southern portions of each bay over deeper water, 80-150ft. Larger schools of cisco transitioning to steep drop offs and deeper flats will almost always be found suspending in large schools in depths ranging from 80-110ft. When trolling and jigging over these deeper schools, anglers will also find hungry king and coho salmon. Looking for larger active marks on top of or underneath schools of bait fish can be very helpful in hopes of capturing some nice salmon!

Anglers looking for perch should mainly focus on depths ranging from 50-90ft. Areas with weed and gravel/rock coverage will produce more active schools than areas without. Last fall offered some excellent perch fishing, get out and enjoy some of these great tasting fish.

If the open water is getting old, don’t miss out on what our area tributaries have to offer this time of year. This summer we have witnessed some of the largest king and coho salmon our area has seen since the late 70’s and 80’s! Anglers looking to fish conventional gear in the area tributaries can primarily focus on using cured salmon eggs under floats and casting crank-baits. For those looking to tackle these hard fighting fish on the fly, larger streamer patterns can yield some positive results. No matter your preference, make sure you get the chance to get after some of the largest fish we have had in decades!

We at Sport Fish Michigan wish everyone a safe and successful September!

Ben Wolfe – AnglingBuzzTV Fishing Report – Late July

Captain Ben Wolfe of Sport Fish Michigan – AnglingBuzzTV fishing report for mid-July featuring information and tips about salmon and lake trout vertical jigging.

Chad Dilts – AnglingBuzzTV Fishing Report – Mid-July

Captain Chad Dilts of Sport Fish Michigan – AnglingBuzzTV fishing report for early July. Summer is here, and temperature increases have pushed fish into deeper waters in both Lake Michigan and inland lakes. Check out angling opportunities for salmon, lake trout, walleye, and smallmouth bass.

Chad Dilts – Coastal Angler Fishing Report – July 2018

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By: Capt. Chad Dilts

We at Sport Fish Michigan have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of summer, and with July upon us, it is finally time for some consistently warm weather and great fishing opportunities.

With the warming weather trends in June we are seeing the start of a very defined thermocline in the Grand Traverse Bay’s, forcing the majority of the lake trout, cisco and other predatory species away from the shallow water flats and steep breaks where they have spent most of May and June.

This is an exciting time for anglers looking to vertical jig for a variety of species. Some of the best lake trout jigging in July will take place in depths ranging from 80-110 ft of water. Finding isolated humps and steep drop offs just adjacent to deep water is almost always the most productive place to concentrate your efforts. When utilizing your electronics to find active fish, don’t be afraid to set up over 1-3 individual fish marks, some times these can be the most aggressive fish to take advantage of. Jigging spoons such as Jonah Jiggs, PLine Jigs and Swedish Pimples in a 1-2 ounce size are a great option for this presentation.

With the southern end of Lake Michigan experiencing such great numbers of king and coho, July is setting up to be an incredible time to take advantage of some good salmon action in the northern Lake Michigan ports. Anglers looking to either troll or jig vertically for these hard fighting fish should definitely not miss out on the opportunity. Success will be found in areas with a define thermocline that periodically presents schools of bait fish. With the moderately cooler Lake Michigan water temperatures we have experienced in May and June, most of the active salmon will be found 60-120 ft down depending on the port and wind direction. We are very excited to see such great numbers of salmon with a very good average size. Anglers have been consistently reporting fish in mid to upper 20 lbs range. We hope all anglers have a safe and successful July, we hope to see you on the water!

Ben Wolfe: Coastal Angler June 2018 Fishing Report

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The 2018 open water season is in full swing here in Northern Michigan, June has pleasantly surprised us with sunshine
and warmer temperatures. Anglers can finally get out on our are inland lakes and Lake Michigan shoreline without having to dress in ice fishing attire!

Our areas smallmouth bass fishery in the month of June is something that all bass anglers should experience. The Traverse City Area provides ample inland lake opportunities as well as Lake Michigan fishing options in Grand Traverse Bay. Depending on inland lake water temperatures, it is common to see pre-spawn, spawn and even post spawn smallmouth scenarios in the month of June. If you are looking for pre-spawn jerk bait action, drop shot fishing to big spawners, or just simply casting swim baits to isolated dark spots and drop offs, this is the time to get out.

It is no secret that Grand Traverse Bays are offering some exceptional perch fishing in multiple locations, anglers have had a more than productive fall, winter and spring fishery. June is a great time to find the larger schools of post spawn perch feeding in 50-70ft flats mainly comprised of rock and weed coverage, or even in this same depth zone just adjacent to a steep drop off or isolated hump. Perch spreaders tipped with minnows and even soft plastics have been working well for all anglers.

Grand Traverse Bay’s June fishery for cisco, lake trout, and whitefish is a great option for anglers looking to troll, cast and even vertical jig. Most of these fish can be found in the same depth zone depending on water temperature and food supply. The warmest water is typically the best when targeting these species as they are most commonly found in 30-80 ft of water with a surface temperature ranging from 46-55 degrees. Anglers looking to troll will have great success with shorter lead cores, slide divers and down riggers with long leads and smaller spoon presentations. Jigging spoons and blade baits are great options for anglers looking to capture these fish in a casting or vertical jigging scenario.

We wish every angler a safe and successful June, we hope to see you on the water!

Ben Wolfe – AnglingBuzzTV Fishing Report – Late-May 2018

Captain Ben Wolfe of Sport Fish Michigan – AnglingBuzzTV fishing report for late May. Northern Michigan spring bass spawning season is creating outstanding fishing opportunities. Saginaw walleye fishing tips, and Lake Michigan lake trout and salmon update.

Ben Wolfe: Coastal Angler May 2018 Fishing Report

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The month of May is an excellent time take advantage of numerous fishing opportunities in Northern Michigan. Anglers throughout the area will be gearing up in hopes of kicking off the open water fishing season on our area inland lakes and surrounding Lake Michigan ports. The water temperatures are just starting to hit that magical 50-degree mark, filling the shallower water flats and steep breaks with baitfish and all the opportunistic predator fish that we love so much!

On Grand Traverse Bays, the perch fishing has really picked up pace in the last two months. Larger schools of perch can be found just off steep weed- and rock-covered drop-offs in 45-85 ft of water. Any flat in the depth range with a good weed, rock, or gravel bottom composition will also present as a great area to target the larger schools of perch. Anglers using perch spreaders, live bait, and even soft plastics will have no problem taking home good numbers of perch. In this same depth range, anglers will have the opportunity to jig and cast for cisco, white fish, and lake trout. This time of the year is the best time to get into all three of these species in a shallower water situation. Trolling, casting, and jigging are all great ways to capture huge catches of these fish. Everyone should get out to enjoy this awesome fishery.

Anglers looking to take advantage of some spring brown trout action should definitely consider hitting the shallow water shoreline of Lake Michigan in the month of May. Ports like Manistee, Onekama, Arcadia, Frankfort and even Platte Bay will provide good numbers of brown trout on the right days. When in search of these acrobatic footballs, anglers will have good success finding areas where dirtier “stained” water presents. Finding areas with lower visibility and warmth are key when trolling or casting the shallows. Don’t be afraid to scout a shoreline for several miles in search of a temperature increase or color change in the water. Trolling with inline planer boards and fluorocarbon leaders seems to be effective for most anglers. Yozuri, Rapala, Bomber, and Challenger body baits work excellent for this application.

Anglers will also not want to overlook the terrific walleye fishing our area inland lakes have to offer during the month of May. With cooler water temperatures and very limited weed growth, shallow water casting and trolling at this time is extremely effective. Low-light hours and even well into the darkness of night are great times to get on a hot bite. 4-15 ft of water just adjacent to drop-offs will most commonly hold feeding fish. Slow trolling and retrieving can be key in this situation. Quiet and stealthy is the name of the game! We at Sport Fish Michigan look forward to seeing you on water, good luck!

We at Sport Fish Michigan look forward to seeing you on water, good luck!