Archived Manistee Fishing Reports--Three Years Ago

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2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014

Manistee County in West Michigan has an abundance of places where anglers can catch a variety of fish. Numerous charter captains make Manistee their home port, and will happily take you out on Lake Michigan to fish for salmon and trout.

The Manistee River runs 190 miles through the northern Lower Peninsula, entering Lake Michigan along the city of Manistee in West Michigan. The Manistee River is considered to be one of the best steelhead, salmon, and trout rivers in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

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Hamlin Lake - Pentwater - Manistee - Ludington - Pere Marquette River




The Fishing is Great in Manistee!


Manistee Fishing Report for August 11, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on August 11th, 2016
Dredging operations have started in the channel and could take up to a couple weeks depending on weather conditions. A good number of chinook were still being caught in 70 to 100 feet of water. Coho, lake trout and steelhead were also caught.

Manistee Lake: A few anglers were trolling for chinook salmon but there were no reports of any fish hooked. Both the large and smallmouth action was a bit slower. Fishing the cooler waters from the mouth of the Big Manistee River produced fish but anglers had to work for them. Try the weed beds near the mouth or fish deeper along the drop-offs.

Big Manistee River: The summer steelhead bite at Tippy Dam has come to a halt. There have been no reports of anglers taking fish. A few smallmouth bass were caught downriver.

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Manistee Fishing Report for August 4, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on August 4th, 2016
Chinook salmon fishing picked up. Some big healthy fish were caughtoff the "Shelf" in 100 to 150 feet. Lake trout numbers slowed. Light numbers of steelhead and coho were caught. Pier anglers have caught walleye at night. Dredging operations in the area will be starting soon.

Manistee Lake: Large and smallmouth bass were less active than usual. Those fishing early morning or evening did best. Most were using a slow presentation with soft plastics.

Big Manistee River: Walleye activity in the lower section near the M-55 Bridge has started to increase. Those using crawlers near the bottom caught fish. Steelhead fishing up near Tippy Dam was slow so try above the Coffer Dam. A couple chinook were seen heading up into the river but none were caught. Some large crappie were caught in Hodenpyl Pond.

Little Manistee River: Salmon were noted as far up as the 6-Mile Bridge.

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Manistee Fishing Report for July 21, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on July 21st, 2016
Surface water temperatures were up near 64 degrees. Chinook, steelhead and lake trout were caught out in 100 to 150 feet. A small number of steelhead were caught off the piers.

Manistee Lake: The bluegill bite was slower than usual. Those that caught fish were hitting the weeds along the southeast end. Some have caught walleye.

Big Manistee River: Anglers hitting the Tippy Dam area were hard pressed for Skamania with only a couple fish taken on spawn. A fair number of smallmouth bass were caught below the dam between the Sawdust Hole and Blacksmith Bayou when fly fishing or casting lures.

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Manistee Fishing Report for July 14, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on July 14th, 2016
Surface water temperatures were about 62 degrees. Good numbers of lake trout are being caught in 60 to 100 feet. Chinook were caught in 100 to 150 feet. The occasional steelhead was still being caught off the piers.

Big Manistee River: Brown trout activity continues to improve especially for those casting flies and worms above Sawdust Bend. Those looking for steelhead near Tippy Dam were not having much luck. Fish caught were generally above the Cofferdam and hitting on live bait.

Manistee Lake: The large and smallmouth bite has been hit-or-miss. Try jigs and soft plastics in the weeds near Stronach or crank baits along the the drop-offs west of Penny Park. Pike continue to be active and were caught on everything from crank baits to inline spinners. Bluegills and rock bass were caught directly north of the Stronach Boat Launch.

Manistee Fishing Report for July 7, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on July 7th, 2016
Construction on the north pier is complete and the pier is now open to the public. Steelhead and a small number of brown trout have been caught by pier anglers. Boat anglers continue to catch lake trout in 80 to 100 feet and chinook or steelhead up high in 80 to 90 feet.

Big Manistee River: Skamania fishing improved in the upper waters near and at Tippy Dam. Most of the fish were caught above the Cofferdam when casting steelhead spawn or worms into the water discharge in the early morning between 4:00 - 9:00am.

Manistee Lake: Those targeting large and smallmouth bass have done well. The smallmouth were hitting crayfish pattern crank baits and the largemouth were going after soft plastics along the weed beds in 8 to 10 feet. Pike were active especially for those using inline spinners or minnows along the drop-offs in 7 to 15 feet. Walleye numbers are up slightly but anglers are still putting in a lot of time to get them.

Manistee Fishing Report for June 23, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on June 23rd, 2016
Lake trout fishing is really good north of the harbor in 80 to 100 feet. Most of the chinook salmon that were caught were small. Steelhead are starting to show up and most were caught as deep as 500 feet. A couple brown trout and steelhead were caught off the pier.

Manistee Lake: The recent increase in water temperatures had the fish moving deeper than usual. Some bigger pike were caught on spinners in 7 to 15 feet. Anglers are getting decent catches of rock bass but those targeting bluegills found the action to be hit-or-miss. The mayfly hatch was in full bloom.

Big Manistee River: Skamania, the summer run steelhead have been moving into the area near Tippy Dam. Anglers are picking up large fish 10 pounds or more in the early morning between 5-8am with worms, spawn, or fresh shrimp. Sub-legal brown trout and rock bass continue to attract anglers of all ages to the area between Tippy Dam and the Sawdust Hole.

Manistee Fishing Report for June 16, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on June 16th, 2016
The north pier is still closed due to construction. Lake trout and a small number of chinook salmon were caught in 100 to 300 feet and steelhead were caught in 200 to 400 feet. A few walleye were still being caught in the channel at night.

Manistee Lake: Bass anglers casting along the shoreline have caught good numbers of large and smallmouth bass when on crank baits and plastic worms. Small pike were in abundance and found when trolling near the old submerged docks.

Big Manistee River: Anglers at Tippy Dam caught some fresh steelhead on flies, crawlers and shrimp. Smallmouth bass, rock bass and pike were becoming more active.

Manistee Fishing Report for June 9, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on June 9th, 2016
The north pier still closed. Baitfish are still in the harbor and anglers were picking up a small number of steelhead, brown trout and chinook in the early morning. Walleye are still being caught at night. Those trolling caught lake trout, steelhead and chinook in 100 to 300 feet.

Manistee Lake: Northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass have been caught.

Big Manistee River: A few summer run steelhead have been caught on crawlers in the early morning at Tippy Dam. A couple legal size brown trout were caught but most were undersize. Those fly fishing have been very active with good catches of trout between High Bridge and Tippy Dam. A few suckers were still being caught.

Manistee Fishing Report for June 2, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on June 2nd, 2016
Surface water temperatures were about 55 degrees. The north pier remains closed due to construction on the lighthouse. Those trolling caught chinook, steelhead and lake trout in 100 to 300 feet. A few trout and salmon were caught off the south pier. Bait fish are still present in the harbor. Good numbers of walleye were still being caught at night.

Manistee Lake: Those heading out for large and smallmouth bass continue to report good numbers of fish. Most were caught in shallow waters on soft plastic worms or crankbaits.

Big Manistee River: The spring steelhead run has come to an end. A couple legal size brown trout were caught but overall most of the fish were only 8 to 14 inches. Those targeting redhorse and white suckers had excellent catch rates up near Tippy Dam. Try fishing near the accessible fishing platform or wading down from there.

Manistee Fishing Report for May 26, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on May 26th, 2016
The north pier was still closed because of construction on the lighthouse. Good numbers of lake trout were still coming in and there was an increase in chinook salmon. Most fish were caught in 60 to 100 feet. A small number of brown trout were caught off the piers and good numbers of walleye have been caught at night. Baitfish are showing up in the harbor.

Manistee Lake: Large and smallmouth bass were reported in good numbers and both were hitting on rapalas and top-water lures. A few anglers were targeting walleye but none were reported. Northern pike numbers were good. Head towards the Arthur Street Launch and try casting crankbaits. A couple yellow perch were caught but most did not have much luck.

Big Manistee River: The spring steelhead run is coming close to the end with only a few late fish hitting a jig and wax worm on the Wellston side at Tippy Dam. The small brown trout recently stocked were hitting on anything anglers threw at them and the low water levels made sight fishing fun. Good numbers of white and redhorse suckers were between Tippy Dam and High Bridge and hitting on flies.

Manistee Fishing Report for May12, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on May 12th, 2016
Surface water temperatures were about 47 degrees. Small numbers of brown trout and chinook salmon are being caught outside the pier. Walleye are being caught in the channel and between the piers.

Big Manistee River: Anglers caught some walleye with the largest reported at 30 inches. Fish were still being caught even after rain muddied the river.

Manistee Fishing Report for April 7, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on April 7th, 2016
Water temperatures were about 43 degrees. Anglers have picked up the occasional steelhead around the piers.

Manistee Lake: The perch numbers have dropped but anglers were still picking up fish near Penny Park.

Big Manistee River: Water levels were still on the high side and running 42 to 44 degrees. Steelhead are moving with a good number of fish up near Tippy Dam. Pink has been a hot color. The lower end of the river has been slow because of the high and muddy water. Those looking for suckers have done well when using crawlers near Bear Creek.

Manistee Fishing Report for Mar 24, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on March 24th, 2016
When conditions allow, pier anglers should still find some steelhead and brown trout. Try floating spawn under a bobber or casting spoons.

Manistee Lake: Boat anglers are picking up a few perch near Penny Park. The fish were hitting minnows and wax worms. Those trolling have caught steelhead and a couple coho on body baits or Hot-n-Tots.

Big Manistee River: Anglers up near Tippy Dam were reporting fresh steelhead but catch rates were hit-or-miss. The better catches were coming between High Bridge and Tippy Dam. White and redhorse suckers were hitting on crawlers in the Bear Creek area.

Manistee Fishing Report for Mar 10, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on March 10th, 2016
Brown trout trolling could get started by the weekend. No reports yet but boat anglers should start seeking them out if the weather holds up.

Manistee Lake: The Arthur Street boat launch is open with ice covering 50 percent of the lake on the east side. Ice was still present but considered unsafe for fishing.

Big Manistee River: Anglers fishing near Tippy Dam reported slow catch rates for steelhead and brown trout. Those caught were hitting on spawn, flies, wax worms and minnows. With the recent snowmelt and rain, water levels are up and more rain is expected. Fresh steelhead were reported in the lower end of Bear Creek. They were hitting on spawn or Hot-n-Tots.

Manistee Fishing Report for Feb. 18, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on February 18th, 2016
Manistee River: Warmer temperatures and runoff will make for some good steelhead fishing.

Manistee Fishing Report for Feb. 11, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on February 11th, 2016
Magnets River: Has steelhead fishing. With colder temperatures in the forecast, check out the deeper holes.

Manistee Fishing Report for Jan. 28, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on January 28th, 2016
Manistee River: Continues to provide some good steelhead fishing. Fish have been caught throughout the river. Anglers are getting bright colored fish as well as plenty of fresh ones. Those fishing below Tippy Dam have done well with spawn or jigs and wax worms.

Manistee Fishing Report for Jan. 21, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on January 21st, 2016
Manistee River: Those able to brave the cold are taking a fair to good number of steelhead. There was an ice jam along M-37 at Sherman.

Manistee Fishing Report for Jan. 7, 2016

Posted for Manistee County by Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) of Michigan on January 7th, 2016
Steelhead fishing has been good on all sections, from the mouth up to Tippy Dam. The rain in December brought good numbers of fish into the river. Anglers are still catching some fresh fish throughout the river system. Try spawn, beads or a jig and wax worm.

Little Manistee River: Closed to fishing on January 1st and will not re-open until April 1st.



Manistee Fishing Reports:


2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014

All Area Fishing Reports:

Hamlin Lake - Pentwater - Manistee - Ludington - Pere Marquette River






Last Updated: 01-22-2019 02:16 PM ID: 1692