As Michigan’s inland lakes warm up in mid to late summer, knowledge of a water body’s temperature stratification becomes helpful for fishing. Seasonal temperature influences in lakes form different zones, and as a result, different temperature ranges and oxygen levels are associated with these layers. Knowledge of these layers or zones can lead to increased angling success.
If fishing in shallow water bodies, look for shaded areas provided by large floating vegetation, overhanging vegetation, submerged logs, or other woody debris which provides water that is a little cooler and cover, where many fish species prefer to spend their time. Also don’t forget to try fishing at night during the summer “doldrums” when water temperatures reach seasonal highs. Many fish species become active at night with relief from the daytime sun and heat.
Inland lakes are producing some bluegill, crappie and bass, but you may have to fish deeper and target the weed beds when it is very hot. Walleye were caught during low-light periods. Salmon are slowly starting to head toward the rivers.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: The walleye bite picked up and limit catches were taken north of Stony Point and off Fermi in 21 to 26 feet. Most did well on bottom bouncers with harnesses however those using hard baits, inline weights, and other methods also did well. White bass, white perch, catfish and freshwater drum were also caught. A fair number of yellow perch were caught off Fermi, north of the E-Buoy and about three miles straight out from the Edison stacks in 24 feet. Good catfish action in the Hot Pond with crawlers. Some pike were caught when casting chatter baits around the islands near Pt. Mouillee.
Detroit River: Walleye fishing slowed considerably. A few were taken in the shipping channel. Smallmouth bass were caught in the rocky areas. Perch fishing was slow.
Lake St. Clair: The lake is relatively warm. Fishing slowed a bit however walleye were still being caught in the early morning or late evening with bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. A fair to good number of smallmouth bass have been caught.
St. Clair River: Had decent walleye fishing. Yellow perch were caught near the weed beds in the Middle Channel.
Lexington and Port Sanilac: Conditions were rough the beginning of the week. At Lexington, those trolling for trout and salmon did not have much luck. At Port Sanilac, those looking for yellow perch had no luck.
Harbor Beach: Lake trout are still scattered, but some were taken out in 200 feet or more on dodgers with spin-glo’s or spoons. Walleye were caught in 30 to 70 feet when trolling small spoons, body baits or a crawler harness with offshore boards. Bass are close to shore and hitting small spoons and body baits.
Grindstone City: A couple walleye were taken on a crawler harness and plastics.
Port Austin: Was also producing a few walleye.
Saginaw Bay: A nice catch of yellow perch was recorded down near the Saganing and Pinconning Bars in 17 feet with minnows. Perch were also caught near Sailboat Buoys A & F or the old shipping channel in 17 feet with worms. Walleye were found near Buoys 1 & 2 in 25 to 30 feet, the Spark Plug in 22 to 25 feet or the Callahan Reef in 14 feet when trolling crawlers. The action from Quanicassee to Fish Point was starting to drop off. Those off Quanicassee, Sunset Bay and Sebewaing were fishing the Slot, the Bar, the shipping channel and the middle of the bay in 30 feet plus but had a hard time locating active fish. Most boats were 0-6 walleye. Try a crawler harness or body baits.
Saginaw River: Shore anglers fishing the lower river near Essexville caught channel cats and freshwater drum at Smith Park when using worms.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph: Had good perch fishing in 45 to 50 feet, but a few good catches were also taken in 30 feet. Salmon anglers are catching lake trout in 80 to 100 feet. Pier fishing remains slow except for freshwater drum hitting on crawlers.