Manistee Michigan lake preview

Lake Preview for Manistee, MI (Lake Michigan).

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Manistee Michigan area fishing report


Pier fishing is on FIRE all over the great lakes.Here is the basics of how to catch them and have a unique adventure.We usually start catching them about a half hour after it becomes light out. My setup is as follows. We run 10 lb mainline down to a 2 way swivel than run a 4 foot leader of 6 lb fluorocarbon. We put a small split shot 8-10 inches from a size 8 blackbird hook. We've been using 2 ounce pyramid sinkers on the main line on a slider. Pink nickel size bags of fresh king spawn has been the ticket. We have landed 12 steelhead off the piers this year so far


Dave from D-Loop is starting to get into the summer fish, lots of Pike, Smallmouth Bass and Trout are being caught on the Manistee River

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Today 10 AMD-Loop Outfitters · Wellston, Michigan


Big Manistee River is still producing good numbers of steelhead. Bottom bouncing and bobbers with beads are getting you the fish, if you can handle the weather. Lots of chrome fish too! Have lots of river openings since the lake boats aren’t in the water yet. get out there and fish with


Manistee fishing report
Well there are lots of fresh fish that are in the river every day. The battle has been the cooler than normal temperatures. We are definitely getting fish, and the best is still to come. Get to the Manistee river for some great spring fishing. Floating 8mm beads seems to be the best. To go have fun like this, get a hold of D-Loop Outfitters at  (231) 848-4191 or at


Big Manistee is Fishing good. There are fish throughout the entire system. Fresh fish are continuing to cycle in. Bobbers have been the ticket for me. If you're looking for a great charter contact Nate Hogan with Steelhead hunter Fishing charters 231-690-5183


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The fishing on the Manistee river has been rock solid in spite of the cold. If you are looking to get out, I've included the contact info for the guy's at D-Loop in Wellston. Just look at the fish from yesterday! 231-848-4191


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Portage Lake: Ice fishing continues to be good with anglers taking perch, pike and lake herring. The majority perch were found in 25 to 30 feet especially on the east end of the lake. Walleye and pike have also been hitting tip ups ans minnows.



The entire Manistee river is open and fishable. Seems like fishing is hit and miss with not a lot of fresh fish entering the system. Beads/spawn under floats as well as plugs in spots are producing fish.Tangled Tackle has everything that you need for a great experience. 231-887-4242



The fishing is HOT right now. Great pike out of Manistee Lake 1 - 25 pounder! People are using golden shiners and suckers, also spearing. The perch are in selected spots on Portage lake. Ice is 6-8 inches. use caution this week after the rain. It will get cold again after this rain and most likely be cold til March. Tangled Tackle has everything that you need for a great experience. 231-887-4242



I just chatted with Bud from Tangled Tackle in Manistee. The word is out that there's good pike fishing happening on Manistee Lake. The fish are hitting minnows set out on tip ups. The bite fro perch on Portage lake is not yet in full swing due to the exceptionally cold weather. This weeks warming should get the bite rolling. If you're going out, it should be comfortable.

Tangled Tackle has everything that you need for a great experience. 231-887-4242


Well the very cold weather has us fishing for perch and walleye on Portage lake in Onekama.


The fishing all around Manistee county has remained strong!

The Manistee river has really picked up with the rains from last week. Strong runs of early steelhead are filling the river with these crazy fighting fish. A few salmon are still around but it is going to be several months of very good river fishing for steelheat on the Manistee.

Contact Lance at Steelhead Hunter charters for a great fall trip. 810-444-8114

Portage Lake in Onekama has been solid all fall for very nice large and smallmouth bass. These fish are scattered all around the 1st breaks and weedlines and are biting sinking jigs and worms fished wacky style. The perch bite has remained steady with anglers sorting through fish to get to a decent bag. Off Leaonard Rd. has been good in 11-14' with perch rigs and minnows.




Well the fishing in Manistee county is really going to be heating up.

Portage Lake in Onekama has begun to kick out some really nice Bass. My son and I just returned from a Bass fishing excursion yesterday and we got into some 4-5 pound fish. Here was our presentation: We pitched 1/8 oz weedless weighted jigs tipped with a Strike King "Shimmy Stick" or "Zero" plastic worms. Green Pumpkin with red fleck was good and the Brown & Purple split color Zero was the best. We also caught fish on the Pearl & Blue split color Zero. When fishing these baits we were just crawling along the deeper sides of the weed edges in about 11-13' We would long cast and let them sink all the way to the bottom and then slow twitch them back. The bass could not resist this subtle presentation. I also saw at least 10 boats anchored off of Leonard St and they were catching perch.

There's good numbers of fish already in the river as well as Manistee Lake. The warm whether slowed the fish flow but the next cold spell should really have them committed to the rivers.



08-28-2017 Manistee

Lake Michigan / Manistee port. Kings are showing up in good numbers the last couple weekend. Recent warm water temps have slowed the bite a bit. Fish caught in 80-300 fow. Good spoon, meat, and plug bite. Green colored spoons did best 

Captain Eric long
Long line charters 





Surface temperatures have dropped to 64 degrees. King fishing has been solid all season. A mixed bag of Kings, Coho, Lakers and steelhead were caught 15 to 80 feet down in 65 to 150 feet.  A good number of Kings were over 20 pounds. Mixed presentations using Flies, spoons and meat rigs have been the ticket. Pier fishing has been slow.  




7/15/17 Manistee  / Ludington


Good fish are starting to show up in 80-150 fow.  Caught Kings, Coho, Steelhead, And trout all in the same spread.  Spoons, plugs, and meat rigs all produced fish.  Copper and lead core on planner boards did better than riggers and divers.   


Captain Eric long
Long line charters



Portage Lake in Onekama has been a very good destination this early season. Bass and walleye fishing has been solid and the perch and panfishing has been good as well. A summer trip here is a "Can't miss" 

Lake trout fishing in "The Barrel" has been good so far this season. The main batch of kings is starting to show up but the mornings have been the best for those. Trout fishing is keeping everybody happy just reeling in very solid fish.


Knot Hunting Sport Fishing Charters

11591 Tannerville Rd.
Kaleva MI, 49645
Phone: (231) 510-6073

Off Call II Charters

7791 Adamson Lake Rd
Kaleva MI, 49645
Phone: (231) 510-1424



Portage Lake in Onekama has had very good fishing for a couple weeks now. Walleye trolling along the shorelines especially over new weed growth has been great. Small mouth and Largemouth have been in the shallows and under the docks for the last week. Perch fishing has been spotty but there are some getting nice gills on the east end nesr new weeds.



Portage Lake has a walleye bite going on right now in the evenings into dark. Casting jerk baits off the channel pier and also trolling crank-baits on shallow water shorelines are producing good catches. There is also a good after dark bite going on at the Manistee pier and channel.

Lake Michigan is still producing good mixed bag catches of Lake Trout and Kings. Most fish are in the 50-100' range, but the big numbers should move in in the next few weeks. 




In spite of the wild weather there is some good shallow water fishing going on in and around the Manistee area. Last week weekend Ted and Eric (Pictured) finished 2nd with a couple of really nice Salmon, 17# & 13# respectively. One fell victim to a pink alewife spoon and the other to a jointed perch Rapala. They were trolling in the 8-16' range when they caught these nice ones. Great Job guys! Food for thought, you won't catch anything unless you go fishing!


The Lake Michigan trolling bite has officially started! Captain Lance and Nate from steelhead hunters are out and doing very well early. The shallow bite very tight to the shorelines is in full swing. Hard baits and spoons run just off bottom "on the sand" has been awesome. The first trip out they caught 10 nice fish including a bonus King!

Coho are off shore and biting when you find them and even the random early king salmon are here already but not in good numbers. 

Call Lance or Nate if you need a charter 810-444-8114 or



The fishing on the Manistee river is still going. Winds and weather has been tough at times but there are still nice fish to be caught. Pier fishing is also producing fish that are exiting after the spawn. Take a look at this nice one boated about the Steelhead Hunter charters. Great Job Nate!



For those with common sense it is a river fishing deal going forward. The lakes that have any ice are simply not safe and should not be trusted. I know it's tempting but the open water bite will be hear in no time. Clean the boat, the early boat season will be here in no time.

River fishing is going to be hot for the next 6 weeks! fish the Manistee. Here's what the guys are doing: during "high water" they are using 1/2 to 5/8 oz weights, catching most of the fish on trout beads or egg pattern flies with a few of the fish being caught on stone patterns. The best bite is the first 1 hour after sunrise! We caught 1/2 the fish in that hour and then the other half during the day.


Use extreme caution on any lakes from today on! The ice is deteriorating rapidly with the extremely warm temps. The fishing on the Manistee river for steelhead has been fabulous. This is going to be the "BITE" for the next 6 weeks!



Portage Lake in Onekama continues to offer up some very good perch catches. There have been many confirmed reports of huge perch being iced. I have one photo of a bucket of 12" fish! the best fishing seems to be on the east end of the lake with good activity on the south shore from Camp Tosebo east to Leonard road. Also on the north shore west of the boat ramp in town. Spoons tipped with minnow heads and tip ups with blues are doing best. A few walleye are also present. Pike fishing has been good around the east end weeds using tip ups. Manistee Lake is also giving up perch in 8-10' of water.

Steelheed fishing on the Manistee river has been outstanding. Good numbers and size, beads and floats has been great and back trolling plugs is always a good standby.

Nate at Steelhead Hunter guide sservice will put you on the fish



The lakes around Manistee are producing nice catches of fish. I have good reports from Portage lake with a nice mix of perch, gills and pike coming in. The bass are also hitting but quickly release them. Bear Lake is also having a good first ice bite.

The Manistee river system has been "lights out" for a month or more. This weeks rain may slow it a little but it will be even better once the water flushes out. The early season fishing has been the best running plugs or floating spawn.



If your a little skiddish about the ice then check out the steelhead fishing on the Manistee river. Captain Lance Keene says it is ON FIRE! lots of fish are being caught on his charters. The bite seems to be either backtrolling plugs or float fishing. Either way this is the start of at least 2 months of crazy good river fishing. If you have never done this then it has to be added to your bucket list!

Get more information from Lance at



The warm Christmas weekend with rain has put a hold on the plans of ice anglers. Don't risk your life right now as we do not know of any safe ice.



River fishing is about the only game in town until we get reports of safe ice. These should not be far away for smaller lakes, however the bigger lakes can take awhile and the heavy snow can slow ice formation. Be careful and stay close to shore at first until you are confident in 4" plus everywhere for foot fishing.



The rivers are firing on all cylinders in the Manistee area. The Manistee and the Pere Marquette are producing solid numbers of Steelhead. The best presentations seem to be spawn under floats or slow worked cranks. This bite should go all winter now and if you have never been out on a river excursion then you owe it to yourself. This can be some of the most peaceful yet exciting fishing that you will ever do.



The big lake fishing has slowed to a crawl. The good news is there is still reasonably good Perch fishing going on in Manistee Lake as well as Portage Lake. 14-16' with minnows seems to be the ticket on Portage. The Bass are also biting as they get fat for the upcoming winter. Green Pumpkin Tubes worked slowly down the steeper drop offs has worked well. Blue gills are also staging off the deeper points, use your electronics to find where they are holding and light line with a #8 hook and split shot rig tipped with wax worms will always trigger the bite.

Click here for Manistee area Fishing report.