Northwest Area Fishing Report: June 2017

By: Capt. Chad Dilts
Sport Fish Michigan
(877) 442-4294


Summer is nearly upon us and June is finally here! We at Sport Fish Michigan could not be more excited to take advantage of the abundant fishing opportunities our area has to offer. Due to limited ice coverage and a more mild winter, lake temperatures and fish activity is at an all time high! If you are looking to get out on the water in Northern Michigan this June, here are a few helpful tips to hopefully increase your angling success.

The open Lake Michigan fishing forecast is setting up perfectly for this summer. With slightly warmer water for this time of year, baitfish seems to be frequenting ports and river mouths like Manistee, Frankfort, and Platte Bay. With the baitfish and warmer water, anglers in early June will have good luck targeting browns, lake trout and even salmon when the water temperature sets up at that magical 50-degree mark. With a good number of salmon showing up in May, we can only hope that June will bring even better numbers. Anglers trolling slide divers: lead core and longer fluorocarbon leads on downriggers; will have great success. Don’t be afraid to get tight to the pier heads and river mouths where the dirtier water and temperature breaks occur. This is a great place to find bait and active fish! Anglers looking to get out to Grand Traverse Bay should plan on bringing a big cooler and good net! This fishery continues to never disappoint in the month of June. Large schools of cisco and lake trout can be found in 50-100 feet of water close to steep breaks and rock-covered flats. With colder water in the bays, most of the active fish can be found scattered throughout the water column with the trout typically below the cisco. Anglers trolling lead core and running downriggers with smaller spoon presentations will have plenty of cisco and trout action. Maintaining a slower speed from 1.7-2.1 mph in colder water will typically yield better action for both species. Anglers wanting to use casting and jigging techniques will have great success fishing the same water. Blade baits can be very effective in this same depth range; they can be casted and retrieved along bottom as well as jigged vertically. Don’t be afraid to stray from the old stand by jigging tackle. With the walleye opener underway, anglers can look forward to getting out after some active fish in colder water. Anglers should target areas that have not had much of a chance to form high weed growth. This will allow anglers the chance to troll body baits, harnesses and even small spoons throughout shallow water flats and drop offs that are full of hungry fish. Trolling an hour before dark and into the night can be a great time to get into good action and limited boat traffic. This time of the year the name of game is “slow and silent.” Maintaining 6-15 feet of water in areas that have slight weed coverage and signs of baitfish will help generate a good catch. Anglers wanting to cast will have great success in this same depth zone using stick baits and swim baits accompanied by light fluorocarbon.

We wish you good luck and safe fishing; hope to see you on the water!