Dan from Jack’s Sport Shop with a nice laker from Torch Lake.
Walleye, pike and muskellunge season for the Upper Peninsula inland waters, Great Lakes and the St. Mary’s River will open on Friday May 15th. Cooler temperatures may slow catch rates.
The cold nasty weather has put the great bite we had last week to a standstill the last few days.
Pappy’s at Wellston reports great fishing below Tippy Dam with fresh steelhead, some browns and a occasional walleye and no fisherman . Also some are seeing sturgeon below the dam also.
Elk River the steelhead fishing has been fair.
Crappie still biting in Houghton Lake, Wixom Lake and Sanford Lake.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Harbor Springs: The ice in Little Traverse Bay is finally gone. The dock was not in yet at the boat launch.
Petoskey: Anglers continue to pick up steelhead when using spawn bags in the early morning. Those surfcasting with spawn have also caught fish. Reports say the lake trout are as shallow as 10 to 15 feet in front of the marina and out deeper in 100 to 120 feet. Look for pike and smallmouth bass around the breakwall.
Bear River: Steelhead fishing picked up at the end of last week and continued to be good as rain does seem to bring more fish in. Water levels were fairly high. A good number of big fish have been caught on spawn bags, flies and rubber eggs. A few suckers are still in the river.
Charlevoix: Angler pressure is still low with only a few people trying the channel during daylight hours. A couple boats out for lake trout have picked up a few fish. More anglers are going out after dark and targeting walleye in the channel. Walleye fishing is still slow, but anglers have been picking up a few lake trout on crank baits and soft plastics after dark.
Elk River: Fishing has improved but is still relatively slow. Steelhead and the occasional Atlantic salmon or brown trout have been caught on spawn bags below the power dam.
Traverse City: Those fishing the East Bay caught cisco when jigging in 80 to 90 feet. Lake trout were also caught by those jigging out deeper in 150 feet or when trolling in shallow waters 10 to 40 feet along the first drop. Smallmouth bass have been caught near the mouth of the creeks where the water is warmer. In the West Bay, lake trout were caught by those trolling long lines in 8 to 35 feet but those jigging were much deeper. A couple small ciscos were caught by those jigging near the brush grounds in 40 to 60 feet.
Boardman River: A variety of species can be found below the Union Street Dam including steelhead, northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp, and suckers. Anglers are reminded that it is catch and immediate release on bass until May 23rd. Most anglers are targeting steelhead with spawn bags. Lake trout are being caught at the mouth. Mayflies have started to hatch along the river.
Frankfort: Boats trolling in between the piers caught some brown trout and a couple drop back steelhead. Small jointed body baits were the ticket and the hot color was black with gold or silver.
Onekama: Pier anglers caught brown trout when casting small spoons and body baits.
Portage Lake: Bass anglers have picked up a few large and smallmouth but water temperatures were still on the cool side. Perch anglers say the number and the size is down this year. A few were caught near the mouth of the canal.
Lake Cadillac: Is producing some bluegills, crappie and bullhead. Bass anglers are practicing catch and immediate release.
Lake Mitchell: Is also producing panfish and bass.
Manistee: Anglers are catching a few brown trout, lake trout, and chinook salmon when trolling orange spoons along the shoreline. Pier fishing is slow for perch and brown trout.
Manistee River: Steelhead are still being caught but in lower numbers. Anglers are getting brown trout and a couple walleye.
Ludington: Boat anglers reported hit-or-miss for chinook, brown trout and lake trout. Most are trolling orange spoons or body baits. Pier fishing is slow.
Pere Marquette River: Some fly hatches are just getting started. Anglers are still catching brown trout and the occasional steelhead.
Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Walleye fishermen had success shortly after the opener and reported good success for about a week but catch rates have slowed on most of the inland lakes. Suckers are still in the rivers but the numbers are dropping.
Rogers City: Water temperatures reached 40 degrees near shore but were colder out deep. A few more lake trout were caught between Calcite Harbor and Adams Point in 40 to 60 feet however those trolling higher in the water column in waters as shallow as 20 feet also caught fish. Run lures within 10 feet of the bottom for lake trout and higher for Atlantic salmon and lake trout that are suspended. Use cowbells or dodgers with spin-glows. Hot colors were orange and silver, blue and silver, green or fire-tiger. Pier anglers casting small spoons or body baits caught a couple walleye. The midge hatch is not too bad right now but once they start look for Atlantic salmon.
Alpena: Anglers are heading out for lake trout, chinook, Atlantic salmon, steelhead and walleye. Most are trolling spoons and body baits close to the harbor, behind the cement plant or towards Thunder Bay Island and North Point for lake trout and Atlantic salmon. Use bright colors in the stained water and basic green, blue, silver and orange in clean water. The lake trout are both close to the bottom and suspended. Walleye haven’t moved into the area but anglers willing to take a long boat ride may be able to pick up a couple towards South Point and Scarecrow Island when trolling body baits. The breakwall in the channel or by the Yacht Club has been descent for walleye in the late evening. Try large body baits that look like smelt.
Thunder Bay River: Anglers are catching the occasional steelhead up at the dam when drifting spawn bags or artificial fly patterns that imitate fish eggs. Walleye fishing in the river is very slow right now. For those interested in the early catch and immediate release bass season, the smallmouth action has been great in the river and the marina. Try casting tube baits or body baits.
Harrisville: Dredging has begun in the harbor. Work will be concentrated on the south side of the harbor around the city docks and channel leading to them. The pumping hardware is well marked with floating drums and buoys marking the channel. Fishing in and around the harbor is picking up for walleye, lake trout, steelhead and a few Atlantic salmon. A good number of walleye seem to be in and around the harbor where anglers are trolling or casting small spoons and body baits. Lake trout were caught in 40 to 60 feet with spoons off downriggers, planer boards and lead core. Atlantic salmon were caught on small spoons in the harbor.
Oscoda: Pier fishing picked up with a good number of walleye entering the river. Try floating crawlers or casting body baits and twister tails. A couple lake trout were caught off the pier however they will be moving out to deeper water.
Au Sable River: Steelhead are still making their way up to Foote Dam. Anglers are still seeing fish on the beds. Try spawn, wax worms, spinners or small spoons.
Tawas: Those trolling caught walleye, lake trout, steelhead or brown trout out past Buoy #2. Most are using spoons or crank baits. A few boats were working the waters around Buoys 4 and 6 near the reef. Pier anglers caught a few walleye and the rare Atlantic salmon. Those casting artificial baits caught and released bass.
Tawas River: Did not have much to report.
Au Gres: Walleye fishing was slow. Those heading north and fishing deeper in 30 to 50 feet off Point Lookout were getting a few with crank baits and bottom bouncers but most were heading south and fishing Buoys 1 and 2 in the shipping channel or to the Saganing Bar off the Pine River and fishing in 8 to 10 feet.
Upper Peninsula Fishing Report
Keweenaw Bay: The bite did pick up over the last week and those trolling did ok between the Baraga Marina and the L’Anse Marina when trolling 15 to 40 feet down in 20 to 60 feet. They caught chinook, coho, steelhead and the occasional splake.
Lake Antoine: Was producing some decent size perch. Bass anglers were starting to target largemouth around the weed beds.
Menominee River: Was producing steelhead and a good number of crappie.
Little Bay De Noc: Fishing was slow except for the smallmouth bass anglers. Perch anglers had mixed results with most reporting few fish being caught. They are fishing the head of the bay from the Day’s River south to the Third Reef. The better catches were in 24 to 35 feet with minnows or crawlers. Bass fishing was good at both ends of the bay including 4 to 10 feet off Garth Point when casting crank baits or plastics and near the Ford River for boat and shore anglers casting crank baits, spinners or plastics in 3 to 12 feet. The catch and keep bass season opens on Saturday May 23rd. The walleye opener is May 15th and both look to be good. Good areas to fish are usually the mouth of the Whitefish River, the Center and Third Reefs, the “Narrows”, the mouth of the Escanaba River and between the Ford River and Breezy Point. Trout fishing on the Escanaba River has been slow up near Boney Falls.
Big Bay De Noc: The perch catches in Garden Bay have tapered off. The perch do stay in the area and those willing to spend the time to find them will be rewarded. Those smallmouth bass fishing in Ogontz Bay caught good numbers of fish. Up near the Fish Dam River should also be good for smallmouth.
Marquette: Salmon anglers reported mixed results with a few taking one or two coho and chinook. Best areas have been outside the Lower Harbor and trolling to the Carp River in about 60 feet. Slightly better catch rates were reported towards the Sand River and Shot Point where anglers caught chinook and lake trout in 60 to 80 feet and in the Upper Harbor north of the white rocks, towards Little Presque Isle and east of Marquette in 150 feet. Shore fishing was slow with a few fish caught on crawlers near the mouth of the Carp River. Shore fishing has been somewhat restricted due to road construction on the Carp River Bridge.
Munising: The ice is finally gone! Catch rates for coho were fair for those trolling in 20 to 60 feet in Trout Bay and near Sand Point. Those using fresh spawn off the Anna River dock caught a variety of fish. Catch rates were poor for splake and whitefish. A few smelt have shown up in area rivers but catch rates were very low.
Grand Marais: No longer has ice. Anglers are trolling around West Bay or still-fishing off the pier. Catch rates for steelhead were low but whitefish have shown up and catch rates were excellent for those using a single egg or worm. Others are trolling in 15 to 40 feet near the mouth of the Sucker River with small spoons and rapalas. Limits of coho and whitefish were taken off the pier. The whitefish range 11 to 20 inches and the coho were 15 to 19 inches.
Two Hearted River: Steelhead fishing has been slow.
Detour: All the docks and buoys are in the water now. A couple Atlantic salmon and one lake trout were caught using sliders with blue and silver fly type baits in 45 feet.
Drummond Island: The spring run for yellow perch is just about done however anglers are still catching the occasional 7 to 9 inch fish in 3 to 5 feet off Sportsmen’s Club Point when using spreaders with a piece of worm or minnows. A couple pike measuring 28 to 30 inches were caught in Maxton Bay however pike season does not open until Friday May 15th. As water temperatures warm up bullhead and pumpkinseed will begin moving into the shallows to spawn.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing remains good in the Hessel Marina off the pier and the finger docks. Splake fishing remains excellent when trolling stick baits and spoons or casting off the pier.
Carp River: Anglers are targeting steelhead at the mouth and upstream to the bridge and the McDonald Rapids. They are using spawn bags, green and pink yarn, or casting with lures.
Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Lake Erie: Is producing some walleye and white bass.
Lenawee County: A majority of anglers on Lake Hudson are targeting crappie and musky however success was limited. Perch and a few catfish were caught along the peninsula and campground. Live bait is the ticket. On Devils Lake, those targeting panfish have done well with minnows and wax worms along the weed beds in 4 to 10 feet. Anglers did well trolling and casting for pike and bass.
Detroit River: Walleye anglers reported that the morning bite was slowing down around 10 AM. Most of the better catches this past week came from waters in the northern half on the Canadian side. Catch rates were variable though some reported limit catches. Those fishing the waters in the southern half had more difficulty getting their bait to the bottom because of all the white bass. Most are still walleye fishing near the casino, the salt mines and “Cow Pasture” on the Canadian side, the Ambassador Bridge and up near Lake St. Clair. Some catches were reported on the Michigan side around Grosse Ile, Belle Isle and near Great Lakes Steel. Average size was 2 or 3 pounds. Good white bass fishing from the River Rouge down through the Trenton Channel. Smallmouth bass, musky, pike, suckers and freshwater drum were also caught. Water temperatures were 55 degrees.
Lake St. Clair: Clear water has dominated the lake, especially in the Anchor Bay area. Bass fishing has been good off the Mile Roads and the west side of Anchor Bay. DNR trap nets near the Salt River have been catching good numbers of legal-sized northern pike. A few walleye have been caught between Huron Point and the 400 Club. Water temperatures in Anchor Bay have been in the low to mid 50’s.
St. Clair River: Walleye fishing has been good near Marine City and Algonac. Schools of walleye are moving through the area and best fishing locations can change quickly. Jigging and whipping have been producing good catches. Water temperatures have been in the mid-40’s and extremely clear.
Lexington: Has steelhead in the harbor. Boat anglers working 40 to 100 feet have caught steelhead and chinook salmon on spoons in the top 20 feet. Lake trout are at the bottom and hitting on dodgers and spin-glows.
Port Sanilac: Steelhead have moved into the harbor.
Harbor Beach: Salmon and steelhead were caught in 70 to 100 feet north of the harbor when using spoons off downriggers and also on 2,3, 5, and 10 color lines with offshore boards. Hot colors were orange and black, white and black, blue and silver or green. Lake trout were north or straight out in 70 to 120 feet. Try dodgers with spin-glows or clean spoons. Steelhead are in the harbor.
Saginaw Bay: Weather has been the limiting factor. Walleye anglers are fishing crawler harnesses off Linwood in 18 to 22 feet, Gambil’s in 12 to 14 feet and around Spoils Island in 17 feet. Walleye fishing was fair between Quanicassee and Caseville. Fish were caught on crawler harnesses and body baits at Bay Port and Wildfowl Bay. Those fishing the Slot did well in 14 to 18 feet with crawler harnesses and crank baits. Good colors were purple, brass or pink. Channel catfish and white bass have also been caught. At Sebewaing, catfish were hitting on crawlers in the channel. At Port Austin, a few walleye were caught by pier anglers at night. The minnows were in and so were the steelhead and coho.
Tittabawassee River: The walleye run is winding down. A few are still being caught by those trolling near the Center Launch Train Bridge and Imerman Park. They are starting to catch white bass near the Train Bridge and Green Point Nature Center when casting or trolling artificial lures near shore. Gold was a good color. Those fishing down from the Dow Dam caught white bass or smallmouth bass.
Saginaw River: Walleye fishing slowed as the river was muddy.
Mott Lake: In Genesee County had high angler pressure for crappie but catch rates have slowed. They are using crawlers and minnows. A couple sub-legal walleye were caught on artificial baits. Catch and release fishing for large and smallmouth bass has been good.
Flint River: Activity has been slow on the river and its tributaries. Walleye fishing is down as most of the fish caught were undersize.
Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
St. Joseph: Fishing has slowed. Pier anglers are catching a few freshwater drum and catfish when using crawlers on the bottom. Boat anglers are catching a few trout and salmon but the fish are scattered in 40 to 180 feet.
St. Joseph River: Is producing crappie and the occasional walleye.
South Haven: Pier fishing was slow for all species. Boat anglers are still catching lake trout in waters 60 feet and deeper.
Grand Haven: Fishing has slowed. The water is cold and fishing pressure has been slow because of the weather. Pier anglers are casting spawn for steelhead and brown trout. Some are throwing cast nets for alewife to use as bait however few were caught. Boat anglers were trolling in 25 to 75 feet of water with short coppers and lead core with small spoons in orange or gold. Perch fishing has slowed as the fish are beginning to spawn. Try the 60 foot holes with spikes, wigglers and minnows.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: The steelhead run has slowed however the fish run off and on during the spring depending on water temperatures. Smallmouth bass and suckers are dominating the daily catch. More catfish are being caught as well. No reports of any walleye caught at the 6th Street Dam.
Lake Lansing: Is producing some crappie.
Jackson County: Many anglers are catch and release bass fishing. Panfish activity picks up with the warmer weather and some anglers were getting near limit catches.
Clinton County: Lake Ovid is producing some crappie. A few catfish are being caught in the Maple River.
Muskegon: Very few anglers have been fishing the piers. Boat anglers reported slow catch rates as the water is too cold. Most are trolling between the piers with small spoons. No perch to report.
Muskegon River: The steelhead run is starting to come to a close but the brown trout fishing has picked up. Small walleye have been caught right along with a fair to good number of