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Traverse City
The vast majority of bass in the inland lakes up north are in post-spawn or summer mode depending on how quickly their water temperature jumped...
The first or second breaks out from where they recently Spawned are holding fish now. Some of the same places they were in pre-spawn ,though their chase distance is considerably smaller at least for the first few days until they recover.
Top waters have been working and getting reaction bites with crank baits are provoking strikes from some of the lethargic bass
The big lake is still full fledged spawn
Please remember to release them
Capt Tony @ up north smallmouth charters


The pre-spawn small mouth bass fishing is beginning to get hot on many Traverse City area lakes. Leelanau, Crooked, Skegemog and the shallows of the Bay are all producing solid catches the next 2 to 3 weeks should be some of the best fishing of the year. Weightless wacky's or tubes on or around the beds will work great, if you get some wind and can't see the beds.... try long casting a Strike King swimming shiner. Strike King shimmy sticks in the color (sweet tater pie) is a deadly color for pre-spawn. For a great charter contact: Captain Tony DeFilippo at Up North Smallmouth Charters.


First Spring report is that there is a perch bite going on in East Bay. The area around Deepwater point was a good starting spot. I had a couple Bass fisherman report that they had scouted out some of the normal early season areas, and did mark a good number of fish. Next weeks very nice weather should start the season off with some real fishing traffic.


On Lake Leelanau, the walleye fishing has been solid in both lakes. It seems that the perch fishing has been better on the south lake, anglers were fishing in 20 to 30 feet. North lake has been producing some nice lake trout in 80 to 100 feet.

Green Lake anglers have been catching some nice sized perch in about 40-50 feet. I you are targeting pike, anglers have done very well out in front of the State Park. 

Long Lake has also been producing some solid catches of walleye and perch.





Just got another report from a group that really got into the nice perch. I'm not sure what's going to happen with this real cold snap. I'll talk to ya all in a week or so.



Ok, just when I thought the fishing on the Bay's could not get any better? it did! Look at this great catch of fish that my friend Capt Dave Rommell caught just a couple days ago. Dave tells me that these fish came from the 50' depth range on West Grand Traverse Bay! the ticket was a combination of wigglers and or minnows fished "tight to bottom" with a perch spreader. These great catches have been the norm this fall, and with some decent weather and temps this may be a great last horray for many folks. The bass are also crushing blade baits fished on the edges and deeper flats. Long casts with a slow lift fall cadence will get the big dogs going. I'll be boat fishing this week!





Well Jon Jansen and Captain Tony DeFilippo fished the breaks on east bay of Grand Traverse Bay. They used drop shots with Strike King "dream shots" The best color was white or a close variation "ghost shad". The best depth was 30 ft of water. The 2 battled the wind and slowly drifted the breaks until fish were marked on the graph. Then hit the anchor function on the bow mount to help us hold right on top of the big bass. Crushed the big smallies and continued with this process all day, moving down the breaks. 



10.25.2017 Traverse City

Most northern Michigan inland lakes should be turning on any moment with the cold rains and colder nights.
Concentrate on inside turns and corners on flats with nearby access to deep water, search with horizontal baits and keep your eyes On your electronics looking for bait fish.
When you locate fish slow down with soft plastics as they will start grouping up big time!

We are blessed with so many lakes in northern Michigan if they’re completely off or you can’t locate them in a particular lake pull out and jump to another one!!!
Have fun out there

Captain Tony DeFilippo
Up North Smallmouth Charters



Traverse City, Grand Traverse Bays


The Traverse city region is the place to be for extraordinary fall smallmouth fishing. inland lakes like skegmog and green will only get better after a few consecutive cold nights to get the water temperature down. Bait fish rules this time of year, use your electronics to locate balls of bait and expect to find smallmouth nearby. Top waters and jerk baits can be very effective to locate roaming smallmouth. Use these baits to catch as many as you can then slowdown with soft plastics to catch those that may not react to a moving bait. The same patterns can be repeated on Grand Traverse Bay A few weeks to a month later as it takes considerably longer to cool down…


If you’re looking for a great fall adventure contact: Capt Tony DeFilippo

See you on the water




Well if want to simply catch a bunch of fish and have an awesome day on the water, then jigging for lake trout has to be added to your list this summer. This unique opportunity is available from May until late fall out on the Bay. The structures that hold these fish are humps, reefs and ridges that are scattered all over the bay. The most productive areas seem to be 80'-110' on the tops. The lakers are not spooky at these depths and marking them on or close to the bottom is easy with good electronics. Once you find a concentration of marks, either slow drift or hold on top of them with your bow mount or main engine. A calmer day will really up your catch rate. The presentation is simple, either use a heavy jig 1-1.5 oz or a comparably weighted jigging spoon. If you are jig fishing, try tipping the jig with a white twister tail and a small strip of belly meat from a whitefish or sucker. Jig your bait slowly up and tight line it back down....when they hit, you will know it! A friend of mine and a buddy boated over 50 nice fish in 2 today's last week on Jonas jigs made right in T.C by Larry Jennings! Remember to torpedo release the larger fish and keep the smaller ones for eating, little ones taste better.



Traverse city area is the place to be !!!


post spawn and full blown summer patterns ..


Covering water high speed with spinner baits and c-flash cranks till you locate numbers then slowing down and picking them apart with soft plastics has worked well!!


See you on the water


Capt Tony DeFilippo






Most traverse city area lakes are post spawn and transitioning to summer patterns. Try working breaks adjacent to Spawning areas and travel routes they would use on the way back to deeper water. C flash crankbaits have been very effective. The fish should start to slide off into a bit deeper water as we get some warmer weather. Watch for soft tubes and drop shots to start producing.

Lakes Leelanau & Long continue to a have solid walleye bite. Crank baits slow trolled along the edges of weeds and rock has been the best. Jigging has also been reported to be doing well.

see you on the water Capt Tony D




The Traverse City area is teaming with spawn oriented lakes now..
These beauties were caught on pre-spawn breaks with drop shots on case plastics salty minnows..
This young man caught a 7 which of course was released. Whether you fish the big bay or the smaller lakes, smallmouth are on.





Most Grand Traverse County lakes are in various stages of  spawn..

Lake skegemog currently ruling with big bass on slowly worked soft plastics. Fish are in 10 ft. of water or less. 

Work the docks and any areas of gravel you may find.


Capt Tony


Up North Smallmouth Charters..





The evening bite for nice eating sized Walleye has been solid on Lake Leelanau. This happy little lady had some fun trolling with her dad just a few days ago. The bite has been trolling rapala 9 & 11s about 75' back. Try to keep your boat in 10-20' just off the break. If you enjoy casting try the shad colored KVD deep jerk bait. Cast towards or parallel to shore work different cadences until the fish tell you what they want. Walleye and bass will bite this bait.