Northwest Area Fishing Report: July 2016

July fishing here in Northern Michigan can be a very pleasant mixed bag. The water temperatures have been rising, and that means the fishing has become more predictable. As the thermocline is further established, the salmon and lake trout will use this temperature barrier to their advantage. Bay fish, like alewives, will be above the temperature break, and active fish will be feeding at or around the thermocline on most days.

The best bite will be early in the morning and late in the evening on long summer days. Spoons and meat rigs are great for targeting the salmon species, and cowbells with spin-n-glows will take active lake trout. Whitefish and cisco are still being caught in deeper water by anglers who are vertical jigging. Those wanting to target big trout are also finding success fishing vertical spoons like those from Jonah Jigs and Elk Rapids S-Jigs. For vertical jigging, start looking for active fish in about 80’ of water, close to break lines and steep drops where they like to hold.

July is a wonderful time to be on the water here in Northern Michigan! Be aware that summer traffic on the water is very busy. There will be a lot of boats, skiers, jet skis, and swimmers, so common sense and care should always be exercised. Stay safe, and tight lines.