Michigan Opening Weekend Fishing Report

We had snow in Northern Michigan and the cold front shut the crappie and gill bite down today but warmer weather will get it back by the weekend

sanford lake crappie

sanford lake crappie

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Trout fishing should be decent this coming weekend, although it may be a little cold for insect hatches. Water levels should be good, slightly high but not raging. In the streams open to Lake Michigan, there should be a good number of steelhead available. The run this year has been very late due to cold temperatures. The walleye and pike opener should be very good in this area with fish on their post-spawn feeding binge.

Petoskey: Most of the ice in Little Traverse Bay blew out but there were a couple large ice flows still present. The marina is open, but the docks are not yet.

Bear River: Steelhead fishing improved somewhat. Females are starting to show up in the catch and many have eggs flowing. Anglers are fishing the dam, the mouth, off the inside of the breakwall, and off the end of the clock dock. Anglers did best with spawn bags, wax worms, and flies. Suckers were caught at the mouth and dam.

Kalkaska County: Manistee Lake is usually good for walleye.

Lake Charlevoix: The north end looked to be ice free. The docks at the boat launch were still not in.

Elk River: Fishing was slow. Anglers managed to pull a couple steelhead and brown trout while fishing spawn bags below the power dam.

Fife Lake: In Grand Traverse County is a good bet for walleye.

Traverse City: In the East Bay, those jigging had fair catches of cisco and lake trout and those trolling picked up lake trout along the breaks in 30 to 50 feet or deeper in 80 to 120 feet. In the West Bay, lake trout have been caught in 20 to 50 feet. Shore fishing was relatively slow near the mouth of the Boardman and the Maritime Academy with only a few lake trout and the occasional brown trout or steelhead taken on spawn or minnows.

Boardman River: Anglers are catching steelhead at the Union Street Dam. Most fish were caught on spawn bags. Fish are on the gravel behind the Post Office.

Frankfort: Windy conditions have made it difficult for both pier and boat anglers. Those trolling north or south along the shoreline caught steelhead, brown trout and lake trout in 9 to 12 feet. A few more bites were coming on spoons rather than body baits. Orange and green were the hot colors.

Benzie County: Try Upper and Lower Herring Lakes for walleye.

Lake County: Try Big Star Lake for walleye.

Onekama: Anglers are landing brown trout and lake trout off the north pier. Body baits worked best but fresh spawn was also taking brown trout.

Portage Lake: The docks are in at both launches. Anglers have been out but catch rates were slow due to cold water temperatures. No sign of perch yet.

Manistee: Boats trolling along the shoreline are catching a few brown trout and lake trout on black and silver, orange and gold or perch colored body baits. Pier anglers caught a few perch on wigglers and minnows. A few brown trout were taken by those casting spoons or still-fishing with spawn.

Manistee County: Try Manistee Lake, Bear Lake, Portage Lake and Tippy Dam Pond for walleye.

Ludington: Brown trout and lake trout have been caught while trolling the shoreline with orange spoons and body baits. Pier anglers and those surfcasting had slow results for steelhead and brown trout.

Hamlin Lake: Is usually a good bet for the walleye.

Pentwater: Pier anglers caught a few brown trout, steelhead and even a couple perch. Many are wrapping up the pier fishing and thinking about putting their boats in. The docks are not in at the launches yet but some are putting in smaller boats and catching a fair number of lake trout and brown trout in the shallows.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Ocqueoc River: Was slow. The water is still very cold. Those targeting steelhead are drifting spawn under a bobber through the deeper holes. Most are the darker hold-over and very few chrome fish.

Rogers City: A few boats have gone out but had little success. Atlantics and lake trout should be in shallow waters up to 40 feet deep. Try trolling spoons or body baits and use bright colors in the stained water. In clear waters, try green and silver or blue and silver. The fish should be up higher in the water column and around structure. The area from Calcite Harbor all the way south to Adams Point should be good for Atlantics and lake trout.

Presque Isle and Rockport: All the ice is gone. A dock is in at Presque Isle but not Rockport.

Alpena: Those trolling around the marina or casting from the breakwall have caught a mix of Atlantic, lake trout and walleye. Catch rates were decent. A few fish were taken behind the cement plant. Most are trolling. Walleye were caught near the mouth of the river when jigging or casting body baits at night.

Thunder Bay River: The occasional steelhead was caught up near the 9th Street Dam. Anglers are drifting spawn bags under a bobber or on the bottom. Artificial egg patterns have also caught fish. Some caught suckers or the incidental walleye. It looks like walleye will be in the river for the opener. Water temperatures were still on the cold side. Anglers are still waiting for a major push of steelhead to arrive.

Au Sable River: Anglers should find some steelhead and brown trout. Try spawn, wax worms and flies. With the cooler weather, try fishing the deeper holes.

Tawas: Boats trolling husky-jerks near the artificial reef and those jigging were getting some walleyes and quite a few lake trout. Pier fishing was spotty with only one Atlantic, and a couple walleye, pike and lake trout taken when casting or still-fishing. Minnows come and go inside the harbor.

Tawas River: Was producing mostly suckers and carp. A few walleye were taken off the mouth.

Au Gres: Boat anglers fishing around Whitestone Point and Point Lookout did well for walleye. Some are dipping smelt from boats at night with lights hung over the side to attract them. Pier anglers casting for walleye at end of breakwall at night were getting a few. A small number of smelt were taken by those with dip nets around the shoreline at Point Lookout and Point Au Gres.

Au Gres River: Most of the steelhead are apparently further upriver. Near the Singing Bridge, those surfcasting at night have caught some walleye. Sucker runs are winding down however there were still quite a few fish in the river.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Northern Luce and Alger County still have snow on the ground, between 1 and 2 feet. Some roads are passible, but a majority of the roads are not due to snowpack and ice cover. The only confirmed accessible roads at this point are County Road 500 towards Little Lake Harbor and County Road 414 to County Road 423 to the mouth of the Two Hearted River. A majority of the trout lakes will still be ice covered for the trout opener. The roads in Chippewa County should be open however the trout lakes near Lake Superior will most likely still have ice on them. The roads in Mackinac County should be open. Lakes to the south end of the Upper Peninsula should be open for the weekend. M-28 could be used as a divider for lakes open or not. Expect all streams and rivers to be high and muddy.

Copper Harbor: Fishing is very slow. The harbor was about half full of pack ice and strong winds keep moving it around. It was along the west end making it impossible to launch a boat. Eagle Harbor has no ice issues but steelhead fishing was slow.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers fishing the Falls River in L’Anse did manage to catch a few fish. Those fishing off the rock dock caught a few coho, steelhead and splake when using spawn, crawlers, spoons or spinners. Boat anglers trolling near the head of the bay caught a mix of coho, chinook, brown trout, steelhead and splake. In the South Portage Entry, those jigging off the lighthouse in 120 to 180 feet caught lake trout.

Menominee: Brown trout were caught in good numbers off the Lighthouse Pier and north of the Menominee River when using #7 rapalas in various colors in 6 to 10 feet. Fish as large as 28 inches and 12 pounds have been caught.

Menominee River: Brown trout were caught on rapalas and stick baits. Most anglers are now concentrating on walleye in the lower river when using jigs and minnows. Walleye and brown trout were caught at the Hattie Street Dam.

Little Bay De Noc: Anglers have just started boat fishing. The docks are in at Rapid River, the Ford River and the Gladstone Yacht Harbor. There could still be some floating ice in the bay so boat anglers will still need to use caution. Perch anglers caught small fish on crawlers in 10 to 25 feet. Steelhead anglers fishing the Bark River, Days River and the Whitefish River are starting to catch some fish.

Big Bay De Noc: Had no reports. Garden Bay is still iced over but should break up any day now. The only launch open is at Ogontz. The Sturgeon River is very high and only being fished north of US-2. Many anglers are waiting for Garden Bay and the great perch fishery.

Marquette: For the most part the area is ice free except for shoreline ice that has blown towards the mouth of the Chocolay River. Catch rates were very slow with only a few anglers taking 1 to 3 fish which were mainly coho and chinook. Most of the fish were caught by boat anglers fishing the “Bubblers” at the Upper Harbor, outside the Lower Harbor breakwall and between the Carp River and the Chocolay River. Jig fishing produced more than trolling. A few lake trout were caught in 80 to 100 feet east of Marquette, towards the White Rocks and north towards Granite Island. Boats are trolling spoons and crank baits 20 to 30 feet down in 50 to 60 feet. The area towards the Sand River and Shot Point is ice free except for the shoreline. Ice is still present along Shelter Bay, Au Train Bay and the Rock River remains ice locked however there are pressure cracks.

Munising: Changing weather, strong wind and melting ice has limited angler activity. Ice conditions in the bay are still not safe! Around the shoreline there is open water however some thin ice still remains locked in the bay. Reports from around the bay indicate poor to fair catch results on a mixed bag of fish. Many in small boats are fishing in 20 to 30 feet near the mouth of the Anna River where the occasional steelhead, coho and splake were caught by those still-fishing or jigging spawn and worms. Whitefish reports were down. Try spawn or worms on the bottom. Trout Bay has not been fished and efforts at Bay Furnace were low as 4WD is still needed to get for access to the road. No word on smelt.

Grand Marais: The ice was blowing out of the bay including ice near the boat launch and the channel so anglers can start launching boats. The ice is gone near the Sucker River as well.

Mackinac County: Smelt action has been nonexistent at this point. Water temperatures on the Carp River were 36 degrees and Nunn’s Creek was 41 degrees. The cold nights and rain will lower those water temperatures. The Black River had some steelhead activity but the bite was slow. Water levels were high.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

The peak of the walleye spawn is about a week later than average so there should be a lot of males still in the rivers. The opener this weekend should be good as long as we don’t get too much rain.

Detroit River: Continues to have high fishing pressure. Walleye fishing has been very good with lots of large fish caught. Wind and rain will muddy and make fishing more difficult. Good catches during the week were taken near Great Lakes Steel, Mud Island, Stoney Island, Trenton Channel, the Rouge River, Cobo Hall, Ambassador Bridge and in Canadian waters near Fighting Island. Average size was 3 pounds with some fish up to 8 or 9 pounds. At this point most of the bigger females caught have already spawned so most of the fish caught now are smaller males. Some caught suckers and the occasional smallmouth bass.

Lake St. Clair: Had a few reports of bass angling success. Windy conditions have muddied up the lake and it may still be a muddy mess for the weekend.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing at Port Huron has slowed. A few salmon and trout, along with some whitefish are being caught by shore anglers in Port Huron. Walleye were caught in the Algonac area, but overall fishing was slow. Water temperatures remain in the upper 30’s.

Lexington: Boat anglers are taking a fair mix of coho, chinook, Atlantic, steelhead and lake trout. The fish were spooked easily in the clear water near shore. Best depths were anywhere from 35 to 65 feet from south of Lexington or between Lexington and Port Sanilac. Most are trolling downriggers with spoons. Pier fishing was slow at both ports.

Saginaw Bay: At Pine River and Palmer Road, the perch run is apparently over. The fish are spawned out and most of them are small. Good walleye fishing off Linwood in 13 to 20 feet and around Spoils Island when jigging or trolling crank baits. East of Bay City, boats launching at Finn Road are going back west and fishing around Spoils Island. White bass and catfish were caught at the Hot Ponds. Up the east side, walleye were caught in 5 feet off Quanicassee. Some are going as far as the Spark Plug. From Sunset Bay north to Caseville, not much for boat anglers; just cut anglers after perch though the run is over with only small fish in the cuts and rivers. Some very big smallmouth bass were caught and released off the end of the pier at Caseville and by shore and pier anglers at Port Austin and Grindstone City. Fish 4 to 6 pounds were caught and released by those casting jigs with assorted plastics.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Boat anglers had good success mainly south of the port when using small crank baits. Lake trout were caught on spoons fished deep. Pier anglers caught fish when using spawn on the bottom.

St. Joseph River: Recent rains decreased water clarity, but flows were still below average. A fair number of steelhead can still be seen moving through the Berrien Springs fish ladder. Suckers are also showing up.

South Haven: Boat anglers are catching a few coho in waters up to 30 feet deep when trolling small spoons. Pier fishing slowed.

Kalamazoo River: Still has a good number of steelhead and suckers. The walleye opener this weekend should be good.

Grand Haven: Pier anglers are doing well for steelhead and brown trout when using spawn. Boat anglers had success when trolling along the shoreline for steelhead, brown trout, coho and smaller chinook salmon. They are using 2, 3, and 5 colors of lead core and short coppers. Hot lures were body baits, jointed baits and small spoons in orange, red or gold. As for perch, anglers caught some one day and were skunked the next.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Had a good number of steelhead. Spawn was the bait of choice. Suckers are showing up in good numbers too.

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing catfish for those using crawlers and cut bait. Bass anglers are catching and releasing a few fish. No word on steelhead this far up.

Muskegon: Pier anglers did well for steelhead and brown trout when floating spawn. Boat anglers heading out caught a mix of steelhead, brown trout, small chinook and coho when using between 2 and 5 colors of leadcore and short coppers. Try orange, red or gold body baits and small spoons.

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were in the low to mid 40’s. The water was somewhat muddy after all the rain. Anglers are still taking a fair to good number of steelhead on spawn and body baits.

Whitehall: Pier anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead. The bite is slow and water flowing through the channel is cloudy. Those trolling in the shallows are catching brown trout and lake trout.

White Lake: Had reports of a few perch caught.

Crappie-palooza is on!!

Lymans On the Lake Reports

Houghton Lake Crappie-palooza is on!!
Our own Downtown Derek Brown just brought in a limit of Crappie he caught in the Houghton Lake canals this morning. He said he can be bribed if anyone wants his exact location.

Downtown Derek Brown just brought in a limit of Crappie

Downtown Derek Brown just brought in a limit of Crappie

Call Lymans (989) 422-3231

FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL

FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL
FROM PILGRIM VILLAGE FISHING SHOP
SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015

Spring Crappie

Spring Crappie

Many are taking advantage of the Spring weather. Crappie and perch are in the shallow water looking for an easy meal. They are hungry!

Its no longer a secret, the East side of Lake Cadillac especially the City Dock has been the hot spot. Often the dock gets crowded and some have found fishing the shoreline can be good. Anglers with boats are also doig well because of their mobility. Juust catch one in an area and you know there’s more. Although they biter most of the day, the late afternoon (the warmest part of the day) is best or when limits are possible.

Traditionally the Causeway Shore ne on the West side on Lake Cadillac has been an early spot. It’s been disappointing so far. One day they ctch slab size crappies and the next couple of days not a bite. Several keep trying. It may or may not happen this year.

On Lake Mitchell, fishermen have been concertrating on the shallows on the West side Coves. Emerging weeds and the warmer water are textbook areas. It’s perfect spwning grounds for all species, everything happens here from panfish to bass and pike.

Don’t overlook the Canal between the two lakes. Bullheads are active after dark.. Bring your lawn chair and box of crawlers and enjoy yourself. They’re not endangered so there’s no size or creel limits. Our lakes have all three species, the black, brown and yellow bellies. It only takes 14″ for a Master Angler and there are lots of them.

Everyone gets serious this coming weekend. Saturday the 25th, Pike, Walleye and Trout Seasons open. Good luck. See you on the water.

XXL Chrome Chasing

I could do it 10,000 more times and still believe that nothing beats hooking up on a fresh adult steelhead! Go chrome or go home! -Kyle

Go chrome or go home! -Kyle

Go chrome or go home! -Kyle

Spotty buck! The way this season is going we’re going to be fishing river steelhead until mid-June in northern Michigan! -Kyle

Steelhead with an awesome rod and reel combo by Kyle

Steelhead with an awesome rod and reel combo by Kyle

April 17 2015 Michigan Fishing Report

Coach’s Charters caught these Atlantic Salmon on Torch Lake this Week check out Coach’s Charter web site

Coach's Charter Atlantic salmon on Torch Lake

Coach’s Charter Atlantic salmon on Torch Lake

april-12-003-1024x576

Some perch have been biting off the pier in Manistee, also a few perch in Portage Lake.

Tippy Dam should be prime this weekend as the heavy rains were south on the White and Muskegon are over there banks

Houghton Lake the crappie and gills are starting to show up in the canals

Higgins Lake still has ice floating around

Lake Margrethe is getting some gills in the canals and a few perch out of the lake

Most Lakes the ice is out in the lower but the upper it is still winter.

FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL
FROM PILGRIM VILLAGE FISHING SHOP

Unlike last year, ice fishing is done. The sun shines, the birds chirp. It’s finally Spring. There’s a little slush ice along the East Side of Mitchell, blowing here and there with the wind.

Those eager to catch crappie have started on the traditional places on Lake Cadillac. A few have tried the Causeway without much luck.

Crappie and perch hae been caught from the City Dock on the East Side. Also the canal between the two lakes.

So far, few if any are trying Lake Mitchell. The lakes are still cold. Once they warm, it will improve.

Since the rain this weekend the steelhead bite has improved. There are more fresh fish and lots more fishermen. The word is out! Although the run is behind, everyday there seems to be more fish.

Many anglers tell stories about the large walleyes they’re catching. If your lucky enough to catch one, don’t forget the Season doesn’t open until April 25th.

Chartreuse colored spawn, the color of steelhead egs has been the bait of choice. However, waxworms, flies, wobble glos and beads are all important. Steelhead and Brown Trout all eat them.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Now is the time for steelhead fishing as last week’s rain pushed good numbers of fish up into the rivers. The warmer weather will ripen them fairly quick and they will be on the gravel soon. The Manistee and Pere Marquette should be good choices.

Harbor Springs: This side of the bay is starting to open up near shore. Ice in the harbor is starting to change color. There is no safe ice in the harbor.

Petoskey: Little Traverse Bay was still frozen over. The marina is starting to open up but ice remains.

Bear River: Water levels were a bit high. The mouth is open and there is now open water almost to the end of the breakwall. The rocks on the inside of the breakwall are fairly clear of snow and ice. Steelhead fishing is still a bit slow with only the occasional fish caught on spawn bags, wax worms and egg pattern flies. Most anglers are fishing at the mouth, off the D Pier or off the beach. A couple brown trout were caught and immediately released because the season is closed. Warmer temperatures this week should get the steelhead moving.

Charlevoix: The ice near shore blew out. The channel in Charlevoix is still open, along with most of Lake Michigan between North and South Points. Ice and snow were still packed in at the end of the piers but that should melt this week.

Lake Charlevoix: Still had some ice cover but no safe ice. The northwest end is fairly open with the exception of some thin ice out further. The docks at the Ferry Beach launch are not in yet.

Torch Lake: Still had ice cover.

Elk River: Fishing has been slow with only the occasional steelhead or brown trout caught below the dam. Try spawn or a jig and wax worm.

Traverse City: The East Bay is ice free. The docks are not in yet but boats have been out trolling. Lake trout were caught near the bottom in 80 to 100 feet. The West Bay has open water. Lake trout were caught when jigging in 120 to 150 feet.

Boardman River: Steelhead fishing has slowed. Try spawn bags or a jig and wax worm. Anglers are finding white suckers up at the Union Street Dam. Fresh planted trout were caught however they are sub-legal and cannot be harvested.

Frankfort: Pier anglers had good catches of steelhead and the occasional brown trout in the early morning when using fresh spawn. The North Pier was more active. Boat anglers trolling the shoreline and between the piers have picked up a few brown trout but the better numbers came to those trolling north to Platte Bay and looking for stained water. Small body baits worked best.

Onekama: Anglers fishing the north and south piers caught steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. The steelhead are hitting on fresh spawn but the brown trout and the lake trout were hitting Cleo’s, wobblers and body baits.

Portage Lake: The ice is completely gone. Anglers are making their way out looking for perch however they did not have much luck.

Manistee: Boats trolling the shoreline are finding steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. Bright colored spoons and body baits have been working. Pier anglers have caught steelhead and brown trout. Try casting orange spoons or floating spawn.

Manistee River: Steelhead are being caught below Tippy Dam including a fair number of fresh fish. The DNR will be conducting the annual steelhead egg take on the Little Manistee River starting this week and will be passing some fish upstream.

Ludington: Is producing brown trout and lake trout for those trolling along the shoreline with orange spoons and body baits. Pier anglers caught a couple brown trout on spawn.

Pere Marquette River: Is still producing some steelhead.

Pentwater: Pier anglers reported slower steelhead fishing and more brown trout action. Boat anglers caught brown trout when trolling close to shore. Steelhead action in the river has slowed quite a bit.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Inland lakes in Otsego and Montmorency County were still ice covered. Some of the smaller lakes have opened up and the rest should follow by the weekend.

Cheboygan: Anglers were fishing near the locks and the dam but had no luck.

Ocqueoc River: Finally got some rain and run-off and hopefully this will help draw some steelhead in. Catch rates have been very slow. Anglers were drifting or floating spawn in the deeper holes.

Rogers City: Ice is gone from the launch ramp and one dock is in. Atlantic salmon should be out there so try trolling the shoreline and breakwalls with bright colored spoons or body baits. Good colors are orange, yellow, chartreuse and silver. Those casting from the breakwall will want to try spoons or body baits in chartreuse and silver or orange, gold and silver.

Presque Isle and Rockport: Ice was still blocking the launch ramp however it should be completely gone this week.

Alpena: A few boat anglers found Atlantic salmon. They are trolling bright colored spoons and body baits in front of the marina and near the Cement Plant. Orange, yellow, green and silver were the colors of choice.

Thunder Bay River: Had lots of anglers but catch rates were slow. Most are targeting steelhead when drifting or floating spawn and artificial egg patterns or when fishing along the bottom.

Harrisville: The harbor is ice free and one dock is in so boats can now launch. Steelhead and walleye are starting to show up. Body baits and spawn are working well. Atlantic salmon should be around the harbor soon.

Oscoda: Pier and boat anglers are catching walleye, steelhead and Atlantic salmon. Trolling and casting body baits were the most productive but fish were also caught by those drifting spawn or still-fishing with minnows. Early morning and late evening were best.

Au Sable River: Was producing some fresh steelhead. Spawn and body baits were the ticket.

Higgins Lake: Still had some large chunks of ice floating around. Boat anglers will have to wait a bit longer.

Houghton Lake: Has open water but not much in the way of fishing as water temperatures were still too cold. The only action reported was a couple panfish caught in the canals.

Tawas: Fishing was slow with only a few walleye caught by boat anglers.

Tawas River: Anglers caught the occasional steelhead on spawn. Suckers were also caught.

Au Gres: Boat anglers caught walleye off the mouth of the river.

Au Gres River: Steelhead have been caught in the East Branch near the Singing Bridge.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Is ice free. Those fishing off the rock dock caught a mix of coho, splake and steelhead. Trout were caught at the head of the bay between L’Anse and Baraga. Unless ice blows back into the bay between now and this weekend, there should be several boats out trolling for salmon. A good number of steelhead were hooked in the Falls River.

Menominee River: Three gates were open at the Hattie Street Dam which made shore fishing difficult. Most boat anglers were concentrated around the Turn Basin. Those using a jig and minnow or a jig and plastics had good success. There are reports of brown trout being caught by those trolling stick baits at the mouth.

Little Bay De Noc: Was still ice covered but is breaking up fast and several days of warm weather should speed up the process. All the rivers are open and flowing fast. Steelhead anglers are out as the season gets started.

Big Bay De Noc:Still had ice for the most part however it is starting to break up and will continue to do so with the warm temperatures and strong winds. The rivers are open and fishable for those targeting steelhead.

Marquette: Received 6 to 10 inches of heavy wet snow and the run-off is increasing water levels on area streams and rivers. The Upper Harbor launch is open however flow ice can still be seen. Lake Superior has areas with open water so boat anglers can navigate to the Carp River and beyond but extreme caution needs to be used. Watch for submerged ice which is not visible but can make navigation treacherous. The Lower Harbor is ice free. Boats can launch however no docks are in yet. Catch rates were slow with only a couple coho taken near the “Bubblers”.

Munising: Ice conditions in the bay are no longer safe! Pressure cracks around the shoreline are completely open and there are pockets of open water with shifting ice. Catch rates were fair. Keeper size splake were caught on jigs, eggs and minnows. Anglers caught whitefish ranging 10 to 15 inches with a single egg or wax worm on the bottom. Some fish were suspended. The bite has been very light so try extremely light rods. The coho action was just starting to pick-up with a few more fish caught near the Anna River. The ice in Trout Bay had slush and the honeycomb effect. Anglers are urged to stay off the bay and wait for open water fishing.

Grand Marais:Ice conditions are no longer safe! Large mounds of ice as high as 10 feet remain near the mouth of the Sucker River. These mounds are dangerous because anglers could fall through the weak spots. Most are fishing in the river near the access road. Coho were hitting on small orange jigs with a wax worm. The pier still had ice around it as well as mounds of ice covering the access walkway out to the Point. Stay off the ice because there a major changes in conditions and locations every day now.

Detour: The DNR boat launch was still ice covered and the docks are not in. On the north end of Detour Village, there’s still ice around the marina and village area with no docks in. Over at Drummond Island, some perch were caught in Whitney Bay in 6 to 8 feet when using small light colored or chartreuse jigs with wax worms. A few perch were taken in Scott Bay and near Peck Island in 8 to 12 feet. Good catches on the south side of Harbor Island in 4 feet with minnows or wax worms.

Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing in Hessel Bay has been very slow with only a few fish caught along the east end. There was still some ice however it is melting quickly. The fishing in Muskellunge Bay has been marginal. The west end of Duck Bay had some good reports. Getting on the ice is becoming dangerous.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: More boats are getting out. Walleye catches have improved although individual success has varied.

Detroit River: Has seen a large increase in angler effort and catch rates for walleye. Limit catches were much more common during the week with the bite slowing on the weekend. Virtually all boats are targeting walleye with most anglers reporting some measure of success. During the week good catches including multiple limits were reported where the river starts all the way downstream into the Trenton Channel and the east side of Grosse Ile. Multiple fish over 10 pounds were caught but the average size was about 4 pounds. Hot spots were Great Lakes Steel, Mud Island, Grassy Island, and near the Ambassador Bridge. Water temperatures range between 40 and 42 degrees. Some caught musky, pike, carp and suckers.

Washtenaw County: Panfish activity was slow but some anglers did report a few decent catches.

Lake St. Clair: Had little activity. Crappie and sunfish were caught in the canals and marinas. Shore fishing at the mouth of the Clinton River has been slow.

Clinton River: Has steelhead and suckers.

St. Clair River: There is still a lot of ice up on Lake Huron and a northwest wind will blow that ice back down into the river. Anglers are encouraged to check with local bait shops to make sure the boat ramps are not iced in. Some walleye were caught in the upper river. A mix of trout and salmon were caught the length of the river however the better catches were between Port Huron and Marine City.

Lexington: Boat anglers have done well when trolling orange body baits off planer boards in 5 to 15 feet. Most had anywhere from 2 to 9 fish consisting of chinook, coho, lake trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon.

Port Sanilac: A couple coho and steelhead were caught in the harbor by pier anglers and those trolling.

Saginaw Bay: Had some good perch action at the Palmer Road Cut. Those trolling body baits caught walleye in 18 feet off Linwood and 10 to 12 feet off the Bay City State Park. Walleye were also caught by those trolling or jigging near the mouth of the Kawkawlin River, Spoils Island and to the east off Finn Road. Quanicassee to Caseville was slow for perch because of the muddy waters. The odd lake trout was caught off the end of the pier at Caseville.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Fishing continues to be good with pier anglers catching coho and brown trout when using spawn on the bottom. The occasional whitefish was also caught. Boat anglers are doing very well north and south of the piers. They are taking a mixed bag of coho, brown trout, small chinook and steelhead. Body baits and small spoons are the ticket.

St. Joseph River: A lot of steelhead were seen moving through the fish ladder at Berrien Springs. Flows are well below normal for this time of year.

South Haven: Pier fishing has slowed with only a few coho taken on spawn fished on the bottom. Boat fishing also slowed but the fish caught were taken mostly south of the piers in waters between 8 and 60 feet deep.

Kalamazoo River: Anglers were doing well at the Allegan Dam. Fish are being taken on spawn, yarn flies and trout beads. Steelhead were caught near the Hamilton Dam on the Rabbit River.

Grand Haven: Pier and shore anglers are both taking steelhead and brown trout. Steelhead are hitting on fresh spawn and brown trout on orange body baits.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers are still catching fair numbers of steelhead at 6th Street Dam but reported slower fishing with the recent rise of water. Those using spawn did best. Sucker catches increased over the last week. Anglers reported an increase in the number of steelhead showing up at the Flat River Dam in Lowell. Catch rates were fair for those using yarn and beads.

Grand River at Lansing: Word has it steelhead did not make it up past the Webber Dam so those looking for them will want to head downstream. Anglers are doing well for catfish when using crawlers or cut bait. A few crappie were caught but the panfish bite was still slow.

Jackson County: Fishing activity has picked up. Panfish are becoming more active as the waters warm.

Clinton County: Suckers have been caught in area streams. Inland lakes were slow due to cold water temperatures.

Muskegon: Has blocks of ice along the shoreline once again thanks to the west wind. Those venturing out have caught coho and brown trout on spoons and stick baits. Orange was a good color. Pier anglers also did well for steelhead with some limit catches taken by those fishing spawn on the bottom.

Muskegon River: Fresh steelhead were caught even though the river is stained. Anglers are using spawn, egg flies and body baits. Orange and chartreuse were good colors.

Whitehall: When the weather allows, a good number of pier anglers were targeting steelhead. The bite was slow however anglers were catching more brown trout. A good number of boat anglers caught brown trout when trolling close to shore. Try orange spoons or body baits.

New fishing regulations went into effect on April 9th

New Fishing Regulations for 2015-2016 Season

The Department of Natural Resources’ Natural Resources Commission finalized several regulations impacting the 2015-2016 fishing season at their meeting on Thursday, April 9. Fishing regulations are annually adjusted to ensure Michigan’s fisheries resources are managed properly and to provide the best benefits to anglers and the public.

Due to the Natural Resources Commission’s unforeseen loss of regulatory authority, several regulations were not determined in time for the start of the 2015-2016 angling year (April 1) and were subsequently not printed in the hard-copy version of the Michigan Fishing Guide. However, there are several areas of the guide that have an orange star to indicate there would possibly be changes forthcoming. The details are now online at Michigan.gov/fishingguide and include the following:
Statewide Crayfish Regulations (page 12 of printed guide):

 Allow for the limited possession for Rusty Crayfish for consumptive purposes only.
 Rusty crayfish may not be transported to other waterbodies or used for bait.

New Hook Restriction (page 10 of printed guide):
 An artificial lure is defined as a body bait, plug, spinner or spoon. An artificial lure is not a device primarily constructed of lead. From August 1 through November 15, inclusive, terminal fishing gear is restricted to single-pointed, un-weighted hooks, measuring 1⁄2-inch or less from point to shank or treble hooks, measuring 3⁄8-inch or less from point to shank only when attached to an artificial lure on the following waters:

o Benzie County: all waters of the Betsie River.

o Manistee County: all waters of Bear Creek, all waters of the Betsie River,
and the Manistee River from Tippy Dam downstream to Railroad Bridge
below M-55 (T21N, R16W, S6).

o Mason County: the Big Sable River (from mouth upstream to Hamlin
Lake Dam).

Bass Fishing Season Change (Note 2, page 17 of printed guide):

 Allow Catch-and-Immediate Release (CIR) fishing for bass all year, statewide (unless otherwise closed to fishing). Please refer to the printed fishing guide for waters closed to fishing (Sylvania Wilderness Area, designated trout waters closed to fishing, etc.).
Green Bay Walleye Regulations Change (Note 3, page 17 of printed guide):
 Expand the boundary line for the early walleye season (March 2 – Friday before the 1st Saturday in May) in the Michigan waters of Green Bay to lengthen the zone approximately six miles north of the Cedar River.

Let Spring exploded Fishing Report

Most Lake are still froze in Northern Michigan with some ice fishing yesterday on Lake Bellaire, Otsego Lake, and the further north you go the more lakes that people are still trying but please give it up.

In the Upper they are still ice fishing on most lakes with a great perch bite

There is a good sucker run in Bear Creek this week also some in the Manistee.

Tippy Dam should be at full bore this weekend as silver fish are showing up the last few days and with the rain it should be good.

No perch to report yet as the ice is going out but no runs yet along the Lake Michigan Coast.

Houghton Lake the canals are opened but ice has to be off the lake before the crappie and gills will appear.

Higgins Lake is all done unless you use waders and that is not recommended

Kyle McClelland XXL Chrome Chasing

Kyle McClelland XXL Chrome Chasing

Let the wind rip and the rain pour! Soaking wet, but as long as the chromers are biting, it’s all good! Had a fun morning on the water, some very good air shows and acrobats! -Kyle McClelland XXL Chrome Chasing

Dan's Resort ‎munuscong bay‬ Reports There is still a lot of ice and a lot of perch out there. Trucks are going out early when the ramp is frozen, if you wait too late in the day, you might have trouble getting a truck out. ‪#‎fishon‬ ‪#‎percharebiting‬ ‪#‎munuscongbay‬

Dan’s Resort ‎munuscong bay‬ Reports There is still a lot of ice and a lot of perch out there. Trucks are going out early when the ramp is frozen, if you wait too late in the day, you might have trouble getting a truck out. ‪#‎fishon‬ ‪#‎percharebiting‬ ‪#‎munuscongbay‬

Dan’s Resort ‎munuscong bay‬ Reports There is still a lot of ice and a lot of perch out there. Trucks are going out early when the ramp is frozen, if you wait too late in the day, you might have trouble getting a truck out. ‪#‎fishon‬ ‪#‎percharebiting‬ ‪#‎munuscongbay‬

When the ice melts and the winds increase, lakes and ponds go through a period called “turnover” which is the process of water turning over from top to bottom. When this happens, residents are apt to see some dead fish which is usually the result of “winterkill” caused by a harsh winter with thick ice. This type of fish kill typically does not affect the overall health of fish populations or the quality of fishing. For more information on fish kills click here: www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_52259-119822–,00.html

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Ice fishing in this region of the state is done. There is still ice however it is not safe. Steelhead fishing in the rivers was slow because of cold temperatures and a lack of warm rain. A good number of steelhead remain in the big lake and are still being caught by those trolling and pier anglers. A few brown trout were also caught.

Charlevoix: Lake Michigan shows signs of thawing further out but is still frozen closer to shore.

Lake Charlevoix: Most of the lake is still ice covered and the boat launch is not accessible. There is open water on Round Lake and the part of Lake Charlevoix where it connects to Round Lake.

Traverse City: The ice is breaking up in the East Bay however the majority of the bay was still covered so boats will not be able to access open water. Fishing was slow in the Elk River as few fish were spotted. In the West Bay, the area in front of the Boardman River is open but the rest of the bay is pretty much ice covered. Those targeting steelhead from the pier at the Maritime Academy had limited success.

Boardman River: Fishing was slow but a couple steelhead and brown trout were caught by those drifting a jig and wax worm.

Frankfort: The ice has cleared from Betsie Bay and boat anglers are making their way out. They have caught steelhead, brown trout and walleye between the piers and along the shoreline. Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout off the north breakwall when using fresh spawn. Both piers are still iced over so anglers need to use extreme caution.

Onekama: Both piers had minimal ice build-up so caution needs to be used. Anglers caught steelhead and brown trout on fresh spawn. Ice flow in Portage Lake leaves boaters no access to Lake Michigan.

Portage Lake: Ice coverage was about 30 percent and windy conditions make ice movement very unpredictable.

Manistee: Pier anglers are catching steelhead and brown trout when using spawn. Boat anglers are catching a few brown trout on orange spoons and body baits. Two docks are in at the First Street launch.

Manistee River: Steelhead are being caught below Tippy Dam however the run is behind this year. Egg take operations at the weir on the Little Manistee won’t start until next Monday at the earliest which is quite late compared to years past.

Ludington: Pier anglers are catching the occasional steelhead or brown trout when using spawn. Boat anglers trolling along the shoreline and around the piers caught steelhead and brown trout. Try spoons or body baits in orange and chartreuse. There are two docks in at the Loomis Street launch.

Pentwater: Anglers are taking steelhead and brown trout from the piers when still-fishing with spawn. There was no visible ice on Lake Michigan but keep in mind there may still be some ice further out. Boats were starting to head out when conditions allow. On Pentwater Lake, the ice is gone.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan: Was producing steelhead for those casting lures, slip bobbers with a wax worm or artificial spawn bags.

Ocqueoc River: The ice has been gone for a couple weeks now but water temperatures were cold and angler activity was low. Try drifting artificial eggs and beads or floating spawn bags in the deeper holes until it warms up.

Rogers City: Everything is still iced up but anglers are hoping the ice will be completely gone by the weekend.

Presque Isle and Rockport: Were still iced in but could be open by weekend. Look for Atlantic salmon once everything opens up and boats are able to get out.

Alpena: The ice has finally left the river. The city boat launch is still iced up but the river launch is open and the dock is in. A few boats have been launching but no reports had come in.

Thunder Bay River: There has been very little run off from the winter and water levels were low. With the cold water temperatures, rain this week should help jump start the steelhead run. Those steelhead fishing were targeting the deeper holes with flies and beads or spawn.

Harrisville: The ice in the harbor is gone and there should be one dock in within the next week or so. Small boats have made their way out of the harbor but the water is cold and the bite was slow so only a limited number of steelhead or walleye were caught. Try spoons, body baits or spawn.

Oscoda: The mouth of the river is open to boat and pier anglers. There is one dock in with ample room to launch. Pier anglers caught steelhead, walleye and suckers.

Au Sable River: Those fishing up river had success when targeting steelhead. Fish the deeper holes and around the bends. Drifting spawn and body baits did best but anglers may also want to try small spoons or spinners.

Houghton Lake: Still has some ice however there is no safe ice and there is more open water every day. The canals are starting to open up. A few anglers were trying for crappie but water temperatures were still too cold.

Tawas: The ice is gone around the State Harbor. Pier anglers are casting outside the wall for whatever will hit and it was not much. A couple walleye and a pike were caught just off the mouth of the river.

Tawas River: Anglers caught steelhead and suckers in the lower river.

Au Gres: The bay is open but there was not much activity.

Au Gres River: Is open and there was a fair amount of activity on the East Branch with anglers catching steelhead near the Singing Bridge. Some were up to 4 pounds. Steelhead were reported along Turner Road.

Rifle River: Suckers are being caught by hook-and-line between Omer and the mouth. A couple steelhead were also caught.

Pine River: The boat launch is now open.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Menominee River: Walleye and trout are being caught between the Hattie Street Dam and Stephenson Island when using jigs tipped with minnows and twister tails or rapalas. The dam has been partially open for the past week. Landings at Stephenson Island and the Mystery Ship were open. Angler pressure at the dam was moderate to heavy.

Little Bay De Noc: Had a few perch anglers ice fishing near Kipling. Only a few keepers were taken as most of the fish were small. Anglers were walking out and using minnows or wigglers in 10 to 28 feet. Some of the rivers are starting to open up. Both the Rapid River and the Tacoosh River are open and flowing fast. The Whitefish River is open north of the 2nd bridge. The Day’s River is partially open between US-2 and the mouth and northwest of the Golf Course. The Escanaba River is open to the dam but still iced over at the mouth. The Ford River is open west of Hyde. The flows are fast but not like last year. No steelhead reports yet.

Big Bay De Noc: Had no reports as it was still covered in ice. The Ogontz River is open but still had some ice flow. The Fish Dam Rivers are partially iced over. Locals who fished here this winter reported perch catches were down from previous years but the whitefish action was very good.

Marquette: The Upper Harbor is now ice free. Anglers can launch boats however the wind may blow ice back into the area. Anglers will find open water between the “Bubblers” and Picnic Rocks however there are large sheets of ice still floating in the area. The Lower Harbor is still ice packed. It could be a good two weeks yet before the area is ice free. A few boats trolling out near the “Bubblers” had poor results. Only the occasional chinook or coho was caught on crank baits or jigs tipped with spawn, crawlers and cut bait.

Carp River: Those casting spoons for trout and salmon down near the mouth had poor results. Others were using jigs with crawlers or spawn but had no luck.

Au Train Lake: Had no angler activity. The ice was holding except for a few areas along the shoreline and where the Au Train River flows in and out of the lake.

Detour: There was no fishing activity in Detour and the Drummond Island area. None of the boat ramps are open and there are no docks in. There is still a lot of ice however it is no longer safe.

Cedarville and Hessel: Musky Bay had excellent perch fishing. Limit catches came from Duck Bay and Rice Point in 10 to 12 feet. Ice fishing here could still be around for a few weeks.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Nearly all the ice is gone (at least temporarily) from the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River but there is still a lot of ice left on the eastern shore of Lake Huron and the forecast for this week includes lots of east wind that will probably move that ice into the St. Clair River.

Lake Erie: No word on walleye fishing in Michigan waters however those trolling and jigging in Ohio waters are catching fish.

Detroit River: Was clear of ice flow and more anglers were out as catch rates increased. Almost all boats are targeting walleye and most anglers reported some measure of success. Several limit catches were reported but most boats were averaging 3 to 5 fish. The better catches came between Great Lakes Steel and Grassy Island though anglers also had some luck at most of the access sites. Those perch fishing in Canadian waters near the Cross Dike had good success. Keepers were 7 to 13 inches but many were throwbacks. Some caught the occasional pike, musky, carp or suckers. Water temperatures were running about 38 degrees. The launches are open. The St. Jean’s launch has 3 new ramps to improve access.

Lake St. Clair: The docks are in at the DNR launches but there’s not much fishing going on yet. Some good perch catches were reported near Geno’s.

St. Clair River: A few salmon and steelhead were caught by shore anglers at Port Huron and Marine City. Some good walleye jigging reports came from those fishing near the mouth of the Black River. It is possible that we could have flow ice moving through the system by the weekend. Anglers should call ahead or check webcams along the river to verify current conditions.

Lexington: Boat anglers out trolling caught a mix of coho, chinook, lake trout and even a walleye or two. Most are using body baits off planer boards. Pier anglers caught a couple trout and salmon when floating large minnows under a bobber. A nice perch was also caught in the harbor.

Port Sanilac: Has boats out trolling for trout and salmon. Fish have been caught on body baits. Pier anglers floating large minnows caught steelhead and coho.

Harbor Beach: Has open water. A few anglers were casting off the breakwall but not having much luck.

Saginaw Bay: Open water fishing is here. Anglers are looking for perch in the river mouths and cuts however it is still early. Sucker runs are underway and the fishing was good. Boat anglers caught walleye three miles off Linwood when trolling crank baits. Walleye were caught near Spoils Island and between the Saginaw River and the Kawkawlin River. Some were fishing east toward Finn Road but the Finn Road cut was still full of ice so boats are launching at the mouth of the Saginaw River. Those vertical jigging or using perch rigs with walleye minnows caught walleye just off the mouth of the Saginaw River. Over at the Hot Ponds, anglers caught white bass and carp. A couple fish were caught off Quanicassee. Perch fishing was still slow in the cuts near Unionville, Fish Point and near the Sebewaing River. Anglers are “cut-hopping” which is fishing one cut for a short time then driving to the next. Warm rain this week should get the bite going.

Saginaw River: Boat anglers fishing the lower river were getting some perch out of the Bay Aggregate Cut.

Quanicassee River: Shore anglers targeting perch reported slow fishing.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph:Pier anglers are catching a few coho and brown trout. Fishing is spotty, but should improve. Most are using spawn on the bottom. Boat anglers haven’t been able to get out because of ice. Most of it is gone now but there are still some large ice flows in the area so boaters should use caution.

St. Joseph River: Steelhead movement increased with the recent rain. Fish are being caught near the dam at Berrien Springs.

South Haven: Pier anglers have caught some decent numbers of trout and salmon when using spawn on the bottom. For boat anglers, the lake has opened up but some very large ice flows are still in the area so use caution.

Black River: Those fishing up river have been doing very well.

Kalamazoo River: Steelhead action was fair near the Allegan Dam. Anglers are using spawn, spoons or spinners.

Grand Haven: Pier and shore anglers are doing well for steelhead, brown trout and the occasional coho. Most are using spawn. Both the north and south piers still have ice on them and there is still some ice along the shoreline. Boats have been able to troll around the pier heads but it is limited. Use caution because if there is ice in the lake it will come into the area around the piers making it difficult for boat and pier anglers.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Steelhead fishing picked up near the 6th Street Dam and some fresh fish were caught. Try spawn, spoons, spinners or yarn.

Grand River at Lansing: Continues to produce catfish, carp and suckers. No steelhead yet however some fish might make it up this far by the weekend.

Muskegon: Has less ice on the pier and along the shoreline. Pier anglers are catching steelhead and brown trout on spawn. Boat anglers are trolling the basin and out into Lake Michigan.

Muskegon Lake: The boat launches around the lake are open.

Muskegon River: Steelhead are being caught and the fishing should only get better. There should be some fresh fish moving into the system by the weekend.

Whitehall: There was no visible sign of ice on Lake Michigan however anglers need to be careful as there may still be some ice further out in the big lake. Boat anglers were leaving the channel but no word on fishing conditions. Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout when floating spawn. Suckers were starting to hit. On White Lake, the ice is gone.

Happy Easter Fishing Report

Cold weather is putting the steelhead runs behind schedule. Conditions might start to improve by next week. Ice fishing on the inland lakes in the Lower Peninsula is pretty much done as conditions continue to deteriorate.

They were still ice fishing on Skegemog, and Higgins Lake with perch fishing being great. Ludington the browns are in but you have to dodge ice when trolling Craig at Captain Chucks II has had a blast catching browns and steelhead. Tippy Dam reports chrome is showing up this week

Dan McElreath caught this nice brown

Dan McElreath caught this nice brown

Dan McElreath caught this nice brown yesterday on the riverwalk in Manistee..24in brown

Joe Smith on Manistee lake

Joe Smith on Manistee lake


Joe Smith on Manistee lake, Manistee before the ice got bad It was Friday night on the catch

Big browns are definitely one of my favorite fish to catch!  -Thane

Big browns are definitely one of my favorite fish to catch!
-Thane

Wasn’t expecting this nice brown the other day! Big browns are definitely one of my favorite fish to catch!
-Thane

FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL
FROM PILGRIM VILLAGE FISHING SHOP

Put away your ice tackle! It’s been a good season but enough is enough. The shore lines are opening. Even if you could get out its rotten. Even the bravest of us have quit. Temperatures are predicted in the 50ty’s with rain for the rest of the week. There’s a few open spots showing beautiful blue water.

Getting cabin fever. The warm temperatures will improve the steelhead fishing. The combination of Spring temperatures and rain will start the spawning migration up river. Expect more fish daily as the numbers grow, these new bright fish will be hungry.

The new 2015 Fishing Licenses are avaible. No change. They are All Species. A resident All Species Annual is $26.00 and $11.00 for Seniors.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

The ice is slowly deteriorating and ice fishing is no longer recommended. While some ports may have open water the piers may not be ACCESSIBLE due to ice cover. Steelhead fishing remains slow. We need rain and warmer temperatures.

Traverse City: The West Bay had open water about three hundred yards out but the rest of the bay was still iced over.

Boardman River: Anglers were catching steelhead up near the Union Street Dam and near the weir. The mouth of the river is open.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Ice fishing is done. The lakes are still ice covered however it is not safe. There is open water around the edge as the lakes BEGIN TO OPEN up. It is time to get ready for open water fishing.

Manistee: Pier anglers are catching a few brown trout on spawn.

Manistee River: Water levels were BACK up below Tippy Dam. The bite was slow due to cold water temperatures. Try a slow presentation in the deeper holes. Look for the bite to increase with warmer weather and rain in the extended forecast.

Ludington: Boats trolling the harbor and along the shoreline have caught steelhead and brown trout on orange and chartreuse body baits. Pier anglers caught a couple brown trout on spawn. The piers are still ice covered so anglers need to be careful. There is one dock in at the Loomis Street launch.

Pere Marquette River: Water levels are running a bit low for this time of year. The steelhead bite slowed with the colder weather.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Thunder Bay River: The tailwaters below the Ninth Street Dam are quite cold because the impoundment still has ice cover and this prevents warming of the water below the dam. It could be another week or two before steelhead fishing GETS STARTED.

Houghton Lake: Still has ice but the shoreline ice is starting to break up. The North Bay is starting TO OPEN up. Anglers need to use caution near the inlets, outlets and canals. A fair number of crappie were starting to bite. Fish were caught out from the Cut River. The weed beds along the south shore are producing some bluegills.

Au Sable River: The tailwaters below Foote Dam are still quite cold. Combine the cold water temperatures and low flows due to an extremely dry spring thus far and anglers will see there has not been much of a “signal” to stimulate upstream migration or spawning steelhead. There are fair numbers of steelhead below Foote Dam and as soon as the ice is gone from the impoundments temperatures will start to rise and catch rates will really heat up. The water was low and clear so fishing tactics will be different than those years with usual high water.

Tawas: Ice was hanging on in the northernmost part of Tawas Bay, from Jerry’s Marina back north toward shore. A lot of perch were under the ice but most of them are quite small and not worth taking a swim for. A few walleye were caught in the evening near the artificial reef. Boat anglers starting to venture out caught a couple Atlantic salmon or lake trout.

Tawas River: There was not much ACTIVITY at the mouth. Only a few suckers have been caught.

Au Gres: The ice is gone.

Au Gres River: The ice is gone from the mouth and those surfcasting are out trying their luck when the weather cooperates.

Rifle River: With rain in the forecast, the sucker run should start to pick up by this weekend.

Pine River: Near Standish is open near the mouth but shore anglers were not doing much yet.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

All of the lakes in the Eastern U.P. remain ice covered. A good number of rivers are open now and anglers are anxiously awaiting the steelhead run. The Two Hearted and the Sucker River would be the first areas for anglers to seek out steelhead. Those rivers have begun to open at the mouth which is a good sign of spring.

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was slow however some reports were good. Splake fishing was good in 20 to 30 feet with spawn bags or minnows. A couple coho and the occasional chinook were also caught. Live smelt was the hot bait for chinook while coho were hitting on spawn, wax worms, smelt or minnows. Lake trout action was fair along the Center Reef. Remember, ice conditions can change quickly this time of year. The shoreline ice was not safe. There are a couple large pressure cracks that cross the entire bay between the Pump House and Pequaming.

Menominee River: Was producing some walleye along with brown trout and steelhead from the Hattie Street Dam down to Stephenson Island. The only landing open was at Stephenson Island. Ice was still blocking a good portion of the river between the Interstate Bridge and the mouth.

Little Bay De Noc: The southern Bay is open water from the Escanaba Lighthouse south. The rivers remain mostly frozen with patches of open water. The mouth of the Escanaba River to the 1st Dam is open. A few perch anglers had fair catches at Kipling. Most were fishing the East BANK with minnows or wigglers in 18 to 35 feet. If you travel on the ice be sure to use caution.

Marquette: Some were able to get boats out and those fishing the “bubblers” did catch a couple coho about 16 inches long. There were large schools of lake herring at the “bubblers” but many were fowl hooked. Anglers are using a combination of ¼ ounce jigs tipped with twister tails, crawlers and gulp bait. Good colors were fluorescent pink or white jig. There is still large ice flows at the “bubblers” so ice moves in and out depending on wind direction. The main part of the lake remains frozen however it IS NOT SAFE due to shifting ice. The only other angler ACTIVITY was at the mouth of the Carp River where fishing was slow. A few anglers picked up a couple steelhead. They also had a few hits on crawlers which they thought may have been some coho. Those using spoons had no hits.

Au Train: A few anglers ice fishing off the Brownstone launch caught one or two coho but catch rates were slow. The ice is still packed in tight along shore so anglers were ice fishing off the mouth of the Rock River where they caught a couple menominee and lake whitefish. Catch rates for coho and steelhead were poor. As a reminder, fishing is CLOSED on the Rock River from the spillway below M-28 to the footbridge from April 1st to June 30th. Those fishing off the mouth of the Au Train River had no luck. The Au Train River is about ¾ open with water levels increasing.

Munising: Had more anglers as catch rates increased. Ice conditions in the bay were holding but anglers still need to use caution this time of year. There was a layer of wet snow on top of the ice but walking conditions were still decent. Catch rates were fair in 15 to 70 feet between the Anna River and Sand Point. Splake were caught including more keepers for those using jigs with an egg or minnow. Catch rates for whitefish were up with most anglers keeping 3 to 10 fish. Try a single egg or wax worm on the bottom. If no fish are found, try further up in the water column as some of the fish were suspended. Anglers are still marking smelt but they would not bite. The coho action should only get better. A few were caught in open water at the mouth of the Anna River. Trout Bay still had fishable ice but catch rates were slow. Remember, ice conditions can change quickly this time of year.

Grand Marais: Lake Superior is producing some coho salmon and a couple steelhead through the ice.

St. Mary’s River: Still had ice at Munuscong but fishing was rated as poor.

Cedarville and Hessel: Ice fishing continues and those fishing Hessel Bay had a great time and a few harvested limit catches of perch when using wigglers in 6 to 12 feet. Musky Bay improved slightly for those fishing in 10 to 14 feet with wigglers or minnows.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

There is still some flow ice moving around in southern Lake Huron which is also affecting the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. Some of the public boat launches are now OPEN however the docks are not in yet.

Lake Erie: Is opening up. Any remaining ice is not safe. Walleye fishing was slow on the Michigan side but a few fish have been caught in Ohio waters, especially the Maumee River.

Detroit River: Is open. The lower river is clear right now however there is flow ice in the upper river. Ice flows continue to be a problem more so around the launches than in the open water though anglers would be wise to be mindful of flow ice at all times. Boat anglers are jigging for walleye but catch rates are extremely low. A few perch were caught in the canals. A couple anglers caught perch in Canadian waters and in Michigan waters near Mud Island. Keepers were 8 to 12 inches but many were throwbacks. These same anglers caught sub-legal pike along with a couple ranging 26 to 30 inches. Water temperatures were 32 to 34 degrees and need to warm up to improve the bite. The launches at St. Jean, Ecorse and Elizabeth Park remain CLOSED as of this report.

Lake St. Clair: Still has some flow ice moving around. Conditions change daily depending on wind DIRECTION and speed. Some of the public boat launching sites are now open but most do not have the docks in yet so boat anglers should be prepared to launch without them.

St. Clair River: Has flow ice coming down from Lake Huron.

Harbor Beach: The marina was still iced in and Lake Huron still has ice flows.

Saginaw Bay: With gusty winds, the ice has broken up in the bay and the ice along the inner bay is gone. A few boat anglers fishing near Spoils Island did well for walleye. White bass were caught in the Hot Pond. Perch anglers from Kawkawlin to Sebewaing might want to get their shore-fishing gear and START hitting the cuts and rivers this coming weekend. Perch fishing was good around Rose Island and Geiger Road but the ice is now gone. Some anglers were using air boats to get around. Outside the Thumb, pier and boat anglers will want to start gearing up for the early-season trout and salmon fishing.

Saginaw River: Boat anglers on the lower river near the train bridge at Essexville took some nice perch on minnows.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Boats out trolling were picking up some coho at and near the mouth of the river.

St. Joseph River: The recent cold spell SLOWED steelhead movement through the Berrien Springs fish ladder but the run is expected to pick BACK up with on the onset of warmer weather this week. Stream flows are below average for this time of year.

Holland: Has open water but the piers are still ice covered. There is still some flow ice out in Lake Michigan.

Kalamazoo River: Steelhead action slowed at the Allegan Dam where anglers were still floating spawn or wax worms.

Grand Haven: Has open water. Anglers may still encounter some flow ice out in Lake Michigan. The piers still had some ice cover.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Overall, fishing was slow. The better steelhead fishing was below the 6th Street Dam and down to Johnston Park. Anglers are floating and drifting spawn and yarn. The occasional steelhead was caught at the Flat River Dam in Lowell. Catch rates should improve within the next week or two as temperatures START to climb and spring showers move into the REGION.

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing lots of catfish. No trophy fish but good table size. Anglers are using crawlers, cut bait and chicken liver. Carp and suckers are also starting to hit. No steelhead reports as the fish have not made it up this far.

Muskegon River: The tailwaters below Croton Pond were still quite cold because the impoundment still had ice cover so water temperatures below the dam are cold. Fishing was good one day but shut down the next. As soon as the ice is gone from the impoundments temperatures will start to rise and catch rates will really heat up.

The Fat Lady is Singing Ice Fishing Report

Most places report ice fishing is done but there are a few places they are getting out but shoreline ice is bad.

Higgins Lake has been good for perch with Fred Fields form Coach’s Smallmouth Charters catching these perch Monday and Tuesday

Fred Fields form Coach's Smallmouth Charters catching these perch Monday and Tuesday on Higgins

Fred Fields form Coach’s Smallmouth Charters catching these perch Monday and Tuesday on Higgins

Fred Fields form Coach's Smallmouth Charters catching these perch Monday and Tuesday on Higgins

Fred Fields form Coach’s Smallmouth Charters catching these perch Monday and Tuesday on Higgins

Fred Fields form Coach's Smallmouth Charters catching these perch Monday and Tuesday on Higgins

Fred Fields form Coach’s Smallmouth Charters catching these perch Monday and Tuesday on Higgins

Bob Stockton and Bob the Bear Hunter with some perch from Higgins the 20th

Bob Stockton and Bob the Bear Hunter with some perch from Higgins the 20th

Bob Stockton and Bob the Bear Hunter with some perch from Higgins the 20th

Skegemog is still producing perch but the ice is fading fast.

Miller’s CORNER REPORTING A GREAT GILL BITE AND THE ICE IS STILL GOOD CALL MILLERS @ 231-839-0440

Last Ice Bluegill

Last Ice Bluegill

On Wednesday April 1st, all anglers 17 years of age and older will be required to have a 2015 fishing license. Be sure to pick up a copy of the 2015 Fishing Guide when you purchase your license. Ice fishing is pretty much limited to the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. The piers along Lake Michigan are ice covered and dangerous.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Steelhead fishing remains slow due to cold temperatures. A nice warm rain would really get the fish moving. There is no pier fishing or trolling on Lake Michigan yet because of abundant ice in the area.

Traverse City: Both bays still had ice however it is no longer safe. Anglers should just stay off and wait for open water fishing. The shoreline ice is gone in both bays. Those looking to fish just off shore will need to bring waders.

Boardman River: Has open water. Anglers have caught the occasional steelhead when floating spawn or wax worms.

Betsie River: Is producing the occasional steelhead.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: The ice is holding and anglers were still heading out. Most are catching crappie right under the ice in the early morning and evening. Try minnows, wax worms and spikes.

Lake Missaukee: Ice anglers were still taking a mixed bag of panfish.

Manistee River: Anglers are catching steelhead but it needs to warm up. Once the ice is gone from Tippy Dam Pond and we get some warm rain, the fish will be more active. A good number of brown trout were caught but most were too small.

Pere Marquette River: More anglers are heading out as the steelhead and brown trout bite continue to improve.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Some of the inland lakes are still producing panfish however those heading out need to use extreme caution. First ice and last ice are the most dangerous.

Higgins Lake: Ice fishing season is pretty much done. Much more of the shoreline ice has opened up and there are several pressure cracks starting near the shoreline and heading out into the lake. Rain, wind and warmer temperatures this week will only make conditions worse. Anglers are advised to wait for open water fishing.

Houghton Lake: Still had ice for those not ready to hang up the ice fishing gear. Anglers would be wise to use caution and be careful along the shoreline especially near the Cut River, Denton Creek or any other inlets or outlets. A fair number of bluegills and crappie were caught off Songer’s Point which is just north of the boat launch on the east side.

Tawas: A lot of ice has blown out of the bay but there was still some near Jerry’s Marina and that is where ice anglers were concentrated. Yellow perch were caught but many were small and anglers were putting in considerable time. A few walleye were caught.

Tawas River: The ice at the mouth was gone. Anglers were wading and casting but no reports came in.

Au Gres: Some anglers were still going north of the breakwall and catching a few walleye but there is no telling how long that ice will last.

Au Gres River: Down at the Singing Bridge, steelhead were caught in the lower river and in the surf though fishing was difficult with the piles of shore ice.

Rifle River: Sucker fishing is just barely starting to get underway.

Pine River: Is starting to open up and may soon be a good bet for open water perch and sucker fishing.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers are still ice fishing however proceed with caution! There is no snow on the ice so bring cleats for your boots and anchors for your shack. The cool evenings tend to firm up the ice so mornings are better. When the sun has been out for a while, ice conditions can change a lot in a few hours. Melting snow is the reason for more water in the bay. Be careful in front of the creeks and rivers as well as areas where water is running down a hillside. The ice in front of Carla’s looks to be very poor. Lake trout fishing was spotty but a few catches were reported from the Center Reef. The occasional splake was caught in 15 to 40 feet. Coho fishing was fair in front of the Falls River however ice conditions there can change quickly.

Marquette: The ice in the Upper Harbor and the Lower Harbor is no longer safe and the “bubblers” are ice free. Ice flow can move in quickly depending on wind direction. The only fishing activity was at the mouth of the Carp River where anglers were targeting steelhead and coho but catch rates were slow. They are using crawlers and spawn or drifting flies and small spoons. Catch rates will remain slow until air temperatures warm up causing runoff from snow and ice melt.

Au Train: Few anglers were out as most are waiting for open water fishing. The Rock River beneath the spillway is open with some flow just beyond the foot bridge however fishing season here will close on April 1st and reopen on June 30th. The Au Train River was open between the mouth and the M-28 Bridge. The Brownstone public launch has been plowed. Those targeting coho had poor results.

Munising: Still has good ice in the bay with a light layer of snow cover. Walking conditions are still slick so bring cleats and use caution. Some of the pressure cracks around the shoreline tightened back up. Catch rates were just fair. A couple splake ranging 16 to 21 inches were caught. Whitefish activity was up so more fish were caught. Some are using a single egg or wax worm on the bottom while others said the fish were suspended. The bite is very light so anglers are using extremely light rods. Anglers are still marking schools of smelt but none were caught and many are waiting for the coho bite to get started. Spearing was still slow. Catch rates in Trout Bay are still slow. Those fishing near Wood Island did manage to catch some lake trout.

St. Mary’s River: Still had good ice at Munuscong. Those perch fishing in Fowlers Bay had some good days when using minnows in 4 to 6 feet.

Cedarville and Hessel:Musky Bay in Cedarville and Hessel Bay are very sporadic for yellow perch. Try minnows or wigglers in 10 to 12 feet.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: A few perch were caught by ice anglers around the Banana Dike but the majority of ice on the lake is no longer safe.

Huron River: Anglers are catching steelhead. Some of the better fishing can usually be found near Labo Park.

Detroit River: Is open however boat anglers will need to watch as quite a bit of flow ice is still coming down and will be for a while. A couple nice walleye were taken near the warm water discharge at the power plant in the Trenton Channel.

Lake St. Clair: Has a lot of shelf ice and flow ice in the connecting waters. Status on the boat launches and shore fishing areas can vary day to day depending on the wind. As a result, fishing activity has been light.

St. Clair River: Had some good trout and salmon reports when ice conditions allowed shore anglers to fish.

Saginaw Bay: Ice conditions continue to deteriorate so a good number of anglers are putting away their ice fishing gear and starting to get their boats ready. The die-hards were still going out and crossing active pressure cracks however extreme caution needs to be used! Watch for areas of open water. Shoreline ice is getting bad all around the bay. At Palmer Road, anglers crossing two major pressure cracks and fishing in 18 feet caught walleye. Closer to shore, fishing was spotty but a few were taken. Some perch were caught off White’s Beach. Walleye were caught from the Bay City State Park south to the trailer park near the mouth in 5 feet. The bite was best from dawn until about 9:00 and in the evening after 7:00. Those wading and casting off the mouth of the Hot Ponds had no luck. A few crappie were caught in Sunset Bay Marina. North of Sebewaing at Rose Island and Geiger Road, perch fishing was spotty but a couple limit catches were reported. Most were 6 to 8 inches with the occasional 12 inch fish.

Bad River: At St. Charles is producing some suckers.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Inland lakes in the southern part near the Indiana border are ice free. Lakes towards Kalamazoo, Jackson, Lansing, and Grand Rapids still had some ice however no safe ice. The rivers have steelhead and more fish will continue to move in. The piers are still ice covered. Some boats were starting to troll between the piers, but there is still ice out in Lake Michigan.

St. Joseph: For those trolling, coho were biting at the mouth of the river.

St. Joseph River: Has a decent run of steelhead as a lot of fish had been moving through the Berrien Springs fish ladder over the last week. The live streaming Fish Cam at the ladder is back in operation and can be viewed at: www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_52259_19092—,00.html

Holland: Has open water but the piers are still ice covered.

Kalamazoo River: Steelhead are hitting below the Allegan Dam. Anglers were floating spawn and wax worms.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: The fish ladders are open and steelhead are being caught below the 6th Street Dam. Try spawn, wax worms or plugs.

Grand River at Lansing: Few anglers have been out. No reports of any steelhead this far up.

Muskegon: Has open water in the harbor.

Muskegon River: Steelhead have been caught however water temperatures were still a bit cold. A stonefly hatch was just getting started.