Fall can be an ideal time to target panfish as cooler temperatures arrive and aquatic vegetation starts to decline. As a result, these species can be found in much shallower water than usual and will be perfect for targeting.
When choosing your bait for fall panfish don’t be afraid to go with something a little more substantial, such as small plugs and spinners. And of course, the standard hook and worm never hurts!
Be sure to target panfish in their favorite fall locations as well, including by deep weedbeds or near drop-off points.
Traverse City: Chinook and coho were caught in the East Bay. Try 40 to 80 feet down with spoons or plugs. Lake trout were taken by those trolling or jigging in 90 to 100 feet. Good smallmouth action in 20 to 40 feet. A few chinook were caught in the West Bay. Those casting glow spoons near the mouth of the river at night caught fish as well.
Boardman River: Had a decent push of salmon last week. Those drifting skein under a bobber caught a few but overall the bite was slow.
Elk River: Salmon were caught on spawn near the power dam. Hot colors were pink, orange and chartreuse.
Glen Arbor: The number of boat anglers continues to decline but those still heading out have caught a couple chinook off Sleeping Bear Point. The fish have found their way up into the Crystal River. Fish were seen at the tubes, along the gravel and near the log jams.
Platte River: This year’s coho run arrived early and the number of fish is impressive. DNR staff estimate between 10,000 and 15,000 fish at the weir, and it sounds like there are many more in the lower river.
Frankfort: Salmon are in the bay but the bite was slow for those trolling around the breakwalls.