Lilacs are blooming fishing report


They say when the Lilacs bloom the walleye and bluegills start biting, so the lilacs are in full bloom in northern Michigan.

Fishing reports have been good around northern Michigan with lots of bass, crappie, gills and walleye.

Panfish Anglers are cashing in. The majority of crappies have not spawned yet. Those caught are often in the 10-12″ range. Beautiful, healthy fish. Take your pick, both Cadillac and Mitchell have numbers.

No sign of spawning bluegills either. With the current weather it won’t be long before beds show up along the shoreline. All the gills and sunfish have been males. Expect mixed catches of 6 to 8 inch bluegills. The sunfish have been a little larger.

The easy limits of gills off their beds has not started yet. Those with any numbers are working for them. The best is coming.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lilacs in bloom a sure sign the walleye will start biting

The trout streams are finally receding and clearing up. Inland lake fishing has improved with the warmer temperatures. Crappies are actively spawning, although bluegills and bass had not yet started. Bass fishing is very good right now as they are pre-spawn and actively feeding.

Harbor Springs: The dredging was close enough to be doing that the boat launch was opened. Anglers were focusing on lake trout around the Point and smallmouth bass along the shoreline. Try tube baits for smallmouth.

Petoskey: Had reports of few lake trout taken in 50 to 60 feet. Pier anglers were trying but had no luck. Look for smallmouth bass near the rocks and off the breakwalls soon.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers caught lake trout in 40 to 50 feet around North Point. Most are using spoons and cowbells. Those targeting walleye in the channel at night caught a few fish on jigs with soft plastics or crank baits. Those using crawlers in the Pine River Channel had no luck.

Lake Charlevoix: Boat anglers have caught yellow perch however the schools of fish are small and scattered.

Bear River: Is finally receding. Steelhead can still be found at the dam. A pre-spawn female was caught so spawning continues. Anglers did best with spawn bags.

Torch Lake: Was producing a small number of Atlantic salmon.

Traverse City: In the East Bay, lake trout were caught anywhere from 30 to 115 feet. Good catches of cisco were taken by those jigging in 60 to 90 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing was hit-or-miss but should continue to improve as the waters warm. In the West Bay, lake trout were caught in various depths but the bite was slow. Try waters 30 and 120 feet deep.

Elk River: Steelhead were caught on spawn or jigs below the power dam. There are also plenty of suckers in the river and smallmouth bass fishing should start to pick up.

Boardman River: Steelhead remain in the river, but the run is winding down. There are plenty of suckers, a few carp and smallmouth bass in the river.

Platte Bay: Brown trout fishing has slowed because of the cold lake water turning over. A few lake trout were taken on brown spoons in 60 feet.

Platte River: Fishing has slowed with only small trout caught between the hatchery and the Goose Road Campground. Most of the steelhead are gone. Suckers are spawning between the mouth and the Lower Weir. Loon Lake is producing smallmouth bass and carp are on a spawning frenzy.

Frankfort: Brown trout are still hitting inside and outside the piers. Try #7 and #9 rapalas jointed or not. Black and silver were the hot colors. Chinook were caught on spoons outside the breakwalls.

Onekama: Is producing a good number of chinook salmon. Heading south was the key to filling the coolers. Find the warmer water.

Portage Lake: Had very good bass fishing. Largemouth bass were starting to move toward the beds. Smallmouth bass were caught inside and outside the channel. Perch and walleye were hard to find.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Cold water temperatures have delayed spawning this year. A fair to good number of large and smallmouth bass were caught. Anglers have caught bluegill, crappie, rock bass and pike.

Manistee: Boat anglers are taking chinook, lake trout and the occasional steelhead 40 to 100 feet down in 80 to 100 feet of water. Most are using orange and green spoons along with purple and green meat rigs. Pier fishing was slow.

Ludington: Is also producing salmon and trout. Boat anglers are fishing 30 to 100 feet down in 100 to 180 feet with orange or green spoons and purple, red or green meat rigs. Fish spoons up higher and meat rigs down lower in the water column. Pier fishing was slow.

Pentwater: Is producing a good number of chinook and steelhead. Some were trolling along the shoreline in 25 to 40 feet while others were heading out and fishing 30 to 50 feet down in 140 feet. Bright colored lures were the ticket. A few lake trout were also caught.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Surface water temperatures were still in the low to mid 40’s. Fish the stained water which is warmer. Those targeting lake trout caught fish up near Forty Mile Point, the State Park and Adams Point when using cowbells or dodgers with spin glows 5 to 10 feet off the bottom in waters up to 60 feet deep. Try casting off the breakwalls or trolling around them for Atlantic salmon. Some caught the occasional chinook on green, orange or blue spoons. The midge hatch is ongoing and should attract fish.

Alpena: Some are fishing near the mouth of the river and the harbor for walleye, lake trout, Atlantic or the occasional brown trout while others were fishing around Thunder Bay Island. Try spoons or body baits at all depths as the fish are scattered. Cowbells or dodgers with spin glows are taking lake trout. The midge hatch is in full swing. This should bring some Atlantic salmon closer to the breakwall. Try orange or silver with chartreuse krocodiles.

Thunder Bay River: Is producing plenty of smallmouth bass and a few walleye. There is also a fair number of steelhead up near the 9th Street Dam. Atlantics are showing up and feeding on steelhead eggs or mayfly larvae. Try drifting spawn under a bobber or artificial baits.

Harrisville: Had good fishing for steelhead, lake trout, walleye and the occasional salmon. Lake trout are moving towards 80 to 100 feet of water. Fish the lower two thirds of the water column. Steelhead are in the upper third of 60 to 80 feet. Spoons, body baits, fly’s on lead core, dipsey’s, planner boards and downriggers are all working. Walleye are in and around the harbor. Shore anglers can fish off the breakwall and the beach. Boats are fishing straight out, north or south of the harbor in 12 to 20 feet with crawler harnesses or body baits.

Oscoda: Boats are finally heading out and catching a good number of steelhead, salmon, lake trout and walleye. Lake trout are in 90 to 120 feet and hitting on spoons. Salmon and steelhead were in 60 to 80 feet and hitting on spoons and body baits. Good colors were orange or combinations of black and blue.

Au Sable River: Steelhead are still making their way up to the beds. Anglers have done well with spawn, wax worms and fly’s. Walleye are being caught off the pier and by those drifting at the mouth. Try crawlers and leeches.

Houghton Lake: Anglers have caught walleye and crappie but are still waiting for the bluegill bite to get started. Water temperatures are still on the cold side.

Tawas: Daytime fishing off the pier was kind of slow. A few carp and bass were caught inside the harbor and a couple salmon were caught on large shiners on the outside. Night fishing off the pier was more productive for walleye by those casting body baits or still-fishing with large shiners. Walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses between the tip of Tawas Point and Buoy #2.

Tawas River: Shore anglers caught mostly smallmouth bass.

Au Gres: A good number of limit catches were reported in 20 to 35 feet between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres. A few boats heading further south did very well off the Saganing Bar.

Au Gres River: Shore anglers fishing at night caught channel cats.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Still had ice however there was enough open water for anglers to try trolling. There is still a lot of ice so those heading out need to use caution because the ice can blow back in and block the bay. A mix of chinook, coho, rainbow, brown trout and splake were taken in 30 to 60 feet when using spoons or body baits in a variety of colors. Those fishing off the rock dock near the L’Anse Marina or the mouth of Linden Creek caught splake on spinners, cleo’s and crawlers. Many were throw backs but some keepers were recorded. Those putting in at the Traverse Bay Marina were targeting lake trout off Big Louie’s Point and Gay Point but the bite was slow. Try spoons in 130 to 180 feet.

Lake Antoine: A good number of bluegills were caught in the shallows. Wax worms and crawlers worked best. Perch, crappie and rock bass were also taken. Boat anglers casting crank baits caught some nice large and smallmouth bass. Many fish were seen in the shallows. Pike were also caught on crank baits. Lake Antoine Road is still under construction.

Marquette: Ice continues to hamper boat anglers at both the Upper and Lower Harbors. The ice extends out for miles and can blow in or out depending on the wind. A couple boats were able to get out but catch rates were poor for those trolling spoons. A couple small coho or splake were caught by shore anglers near the Carp River.

Little Bay De Noc: Had good to excellent smallmouth bass fishing near the mouth of the Ford River and the surrounding shoreline. Anglers did well when casting spinners, crank baits or crawlers in 3 to 6 feet. For walleye, anglers reported few catches at the head of the bay but good catches in the southern section from Breezy Point south to No-See-Um Creek. Fish were caught by those trolling or drifting crawlers harnesses in 8 to 10 feet off Breezy Point but the better action was between the mouth of the Ford River and No-See-Um Creek in 10 feet. Evenings and night fishing were best. The north bay had good numbers of fish but fewer catches. Perch fishing was fair to good off Gladstone Beach when using crawlers in 14 to 30 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: The bass opener was fantastic with a lot of fish caught. Smallmouth were staging and quite aggressive in 4 to 8 feet. Anglers used live bait, spinners or crank baits. Although many participate in “catch and release” high numbers of limit catches were also reported. The head of the bay near the Fish Dam River, Ogontz, Martin Bay, Puffy Bay, South River Bay, Porcupine Point and the sand pit near Nahma all had similar results. Only a few anglers have taken advantage of the good walleye catches up near the river in Ogontz Bay. Most are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 4 to 8 feet. The fish will be moving out sooner than later. Perch fishing in Garden Bay is pretty much done.

Au Train: A few anglers were shore fishing near the Rock River but no fish were caught. Ice continues to flow in and out of the bay. A couple boats were able to troll around the ice flows for coho but no fish were caught.

Munising: Anglers need to pay close attention to wind direction because it can cause the ice to return and block the channels. Pier anglers caught a mix of coho, splake, menominee, whitefish or steelhead when casting spawn or worms. Several limit catches of splake were reported. More boats were starting to fish inside the bay for trout and salmon. Chinook were 3 to 5 pounds but a couple fish were as high as 10 pounds. Shore anglers had fair to poor catch rates for splake.

Grand Marais: Pier anglers dealt with ice flows continually moving in and out over the past week causing a major disruption. When the pier was fishable, anglers caught a mix of coho, menominee and whitefish. Steelhead numbers were low. Boat anglers did well taking a mix of steelhead, chinook and brown trout. Shore anglers were focusing near the mouth of the Sucker River.

St. Mary’s River: Anglers were targeting walleye in Brimley Bay but the bite was slow because of cold water coming down from Lake Superior. Once the water warms, walleye fishing should be good. Yellow perch fishing was excellent in the upper river. Anglers were launching from Sherman Park. Try 25 to 30 feet in the shipping channel near the red buoy. Lake George is producing walleye 19 to 23 inches when trolling crank baits in 4 to 6 feet. Lake Nicolet is producing some large pike 32 to 36 inches in the early morning or evening. Most are trolling crank baits.

Detour: Anglers are catching Atlantic, chinook, steelhead and lake trout around the lighthouse.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pike fishing is slow throughout the islands. There are a few pockets, but overall, the harvest is low. Smallmouth bass fishing was great during catch and release, but was slow recently. Splake are still near the Hessel Pier and the marina had a good number of perch averaging 7 to 9 inches. Water temperatures are still cool, 47 to 52 degrees.

Carp River: Anglers are targeting steelhead and suckers at the Carp River Bridge and McDonald Rapids. The water is still fast and muddy but anglers are harvesting fish using spawn or spinners with orange, green or red yarn.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Walleye fishing was still sporadic, but starting to heat up. Stony Pointe is producing in 18 to 24 feet and near the mouth of the River Raisin in 16 to 20 feet. Fish were caught near the E-Buoy, the C-Buoy and the stacks. Try purple and chartreuse crawler harnesses especially early and late. During the day, try suspending jerk baits or reef runners. Black and silver were good colors. Bass anglers are still taking largemouth or the occasional smallmouth near the launch at Bolles Harbor.

Detroit River: Walleye fishing remains very good in the river, but walleye anglers are also getting white bass and smallmouth bass. White bass fishing should be excellent by this weekend.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Was producing a good number of bluegill, sunfish and bass. Bluegill and bass were on the beds. Those fishing the sandy flats have done well. Anglers are still taking some crappie along the weed beds in shallow water. Pike were caught along the drop-offs. The gates at the Portage Lake state launch will only be open between the hours of 8am until 10pm.

Lake St. Clair: Has very good smallmouth bass fishing in Anchor Bay and along the shoreline off the Mile Roads. Some white bass are starting to show up. Walleye fishing was spotty.

St. Clair River: Has good walleye fishing. A variety of methods have been producing fish with jigging and bottom bouncing producing during the day, and whipping producing after dark.

Lexington: Boat anglers are taking trout and salmon. Pier anglers caught walleye at night when casting body baits or still-fishing with large minnows. Kids fishing inside the harbor have caught some big rock bass on crawlers.

Port Sanilac: Is producing a mix of lake trout, Atlantic salmon, steelhead, chinook, coho and pink salmon. The fish are scattered but most were fishing in 60 to 70 feet with spoons. Many fish were caught about halfway down. Pier anglers caught coho, steelhead and Atlantic salmon. Walleye were caught at night when casting body baits or still-fishing with large minnows.

Harbor Beach: Is producing some steelhead and salmon in 25 to 80 feet. Try spoons off downriggers and 2 or 3 colored lines with offshore boards. Hot colors were orange and black, purple and black, gold or bright colors. For lake trout, head straight out or south and fish in 60 to 90 feet. Try dodgers or cowbells with spin glows and spoons just off the bottom. A few walleye were caught off the wall early or late when casting small spoons or body baits.

Grindstone City: Is producing a good mix of trout and salmon. Those trolling are taking a mix of trout and salmon out near the wreck of the Philadelphia. Near Lighthouse Park, those trolling for walleye in 12 feet did well.

Port Austin: Did not have much activity as harbor renovations are on-going.

Saginaw Bay: Anglers trolling for walleye are switching from body baits to crawler harnesses. That’s a good sign that the early spring pattern is ending and the summer pattern is setting up. Good walleye catches reported from a variety of locations. Limit catches were also reported. Some general hot spots were 21 feet at the Black Hole, 20 feet off Linwood, 16 feet off Pinconning and 21 feet just east of the Dumping Ground. Fish were also caught in 4 to 8 feet east of Spoils Island and along the Callahan Reef, 4 to 16 feet in the Slot between Fish Point and Quanicassee or the Slot between Heisterman Island and the tip of Sand Point. Good colors for crawler harness spinners were purple, green or anti-freeze and gold.

Saginaw River: Walleye were still being caught in the lower river between the mouth and the Independence Bridge. Anglers are trolling, vertical jigging or casting jigs.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Bass and bluegills are finally showing up in the shallows for most lakes. For bluegills, anglers are doing best in 2 to 8 feet when using beetle spins, flies, wax worms, and red worms. The large and deeper lakes are still running behind.

St. Joseph: Salmon fishing was very good in 80 to 100 feet with spoons. The catch is mostly chinook with an occasional lake trout. Perch and pier fishing were slow.

South Haven: Boat anglers are catching a good number of trout and salmon. Chinook were caught in 60 to 100 feet and lake trout in 60 feet. Spoons worked best. Perch fishing was slow.

Holland: Was producing good catches of chinook and steelhead in 70 feet.

Port Sheldon: Had good catches of chinook and steelhead in 145 to 165 feet.

Grand Haven: Salmon anglers are fishing 25 to 50 feet down in 120 to 160 feet of water. They are using mini or regular spoons with 3 to 12 colors of leadcore. Hot colors were orange and bright green. Perch fishing has slowed since stained water moved into the perch holes. Pier fishing was slow unless anglers can catch alewife.

Grand River in Grand Rapids: Continues to produce the occasional steelhead. Walleye and smallmouth bass were caught by those casting crank baits or drifting crawlers. Good action for both channel cats and flatheads. Try live suckers, cut bait, crawlers or leeches. Bluegill and crappie have been caught on minnows, leaf worms and wax worms.

Grand River at Lansing: Smallmouth bass fishing has picked up. Try minnows, crawlers, crank baits or curly tail jigs. This is a good time to target channel catfish as they don’t mind the cold and dirty water. Check out the backwaters for panfish.

Looking Glass River: Is producing some pike. Water levels were still high.

Muskegon: Salmon anglers are targeting 100 to 130 feet of water and fishing anywhere from top water to 50 feet down. Try bright orange or green spoons. Some were using a spinnie/fly combo 120 feet back. No pier or perch reports.

Muskegon River: Fly hatches are just getting started. Those fly fishing have caught some nice brown trout. Water levels were still a bit high and fast.

Whitehall: Boat anglers found chinook, steelhead and lake trout along the shoreline in 25 to 50 feet. Use bright colored lures. Orange was a hot color.

White Lake: Was producing bluegill and sunfish near the end of the channel. Anglers were still-fishing or casting artificial crayfish.

The Fish Are Biting Fishing Report



This coming Saturday, May 24th is the opening day of bass season on the Great Lakes and all inland waters except Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River which do not open until the 3rd Saturday in June. The early catch and release season has been excellent so the opener should be good.

The smallmouth have been biting on suckers with lots of alb plus

There are good fishing reports from everywhere as the bite is really been good this week and the bass are on the beds.

Salmon are biting down in Ludington and Pentwater with some 20 pounders being caught.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Trout fishing is still tough due to rivers that remain very high. Smaller streams are fishable now, so anglers should target headwater areas. Inland lake fishing is slowly improving, but cold fronts were setbacks.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers looking for lake trout off South Point caught no fish. Some are still waiting for walleye to show up in the channel. They are heading out at sunset or later and using soft plastics with jigs or body baits. Surface water temperatures were still in the mid 30’s.

Petoskey: Had a few boats heading out for lake trout but none were caught. Those fishing up near Bay Harbor were marking fish 100 to 120 feet down but they would not bite. Anglers targeting steelhead off the breakwall did not have much luck however a couple walleye and smallmouth bass were taken. Try crawlers, spinners or jigs with soft plastics.

Bear River: Most shore fishing was at the dam or the mouth. Most are using spawn bags or fly’s. Recent rain should bring some fresh fish into the river. Fish were caught at the dam or downstream between the bridges.

Traverse City: The East Bay was producing cisco, lake trout and whitefish for those jigging in 40 to 120 feet. Those trolling caught lake and brown trout. Smallmouth bass fishing should pick up as waters warms. In the West Bay, anglers caught lake trout when trolling in 30 to 50 feet or jigging in 140 feet. Some caught the occasional steelhead, brown trout or chinook when trolling.

Elk River: Steelhead fishing has been steady below the power dam. The majority of fish were caught on spawn bags or jigs.

Boardman River: Is still producing the occasional steelhead. Northern pike, smallmouth bass and suckers can also be found.

Platte Bay: Has good brown trout fishing depending on water temperature. Anglers are trolling black and chrome rapalas just off the mouth of the river. Dredging last year has kept the mouth open and navigable. Lake trout were taken in 20 to 60 feet.

Platte River: Was high with water over the banks. Steelhead fishing was good between the mouth and El Dorado. White suckers and walleye were also caught.

Frankfort: Brown trout are hitting inside the harbor and along the shoreline. Try body baits in the morning. Lake trout and pike were also caught.

Onekama: Those trolling the shoreline are taking brown trout, lake trout and walleye when trolling spoons 8 to 14 feet down in 15 to 22 feet of water. Trolling speeds were between 1.8 and 2.2 mph.

Portage Lake: Perch fishing slowed with the cooler temperatures but should pick back up for the weekend. Large and smallmouth bass are hitting on anything.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Northern pike and crappie have started to bite. A few walleye and largemouth bass were caught.

Manistee: Chinook salmon have started to show up. Pockets of stained water and areas with slight temperature difference are holding fish. Boat anglers trolling between the shoreline and 40 feet caught chinook, brown trout, lake trout and steelhead. Blue and orange spoons worked best. Pier anglers caught a few perch.

Manistee River: Continues to warm up with temperatures in the low to mid 50’s. The steelhead run is winding down however some nice fish are still being caught near Tippy Dam. Brown trout fishing continues to improve. Anglers are casting rapalas. No word on walleye.

Ludington: The fish cleaning station at the Loomis Street Launch is now open. Chinook, lake trout and brown trout have been caught by those trolling between the shoreline and water 50 feet deep with orange, yellow or green spoons. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River: Has steelhead but the run is winding down. Anglers are catching some nice brown trout. Fly hatches are starting and the fish are becoming more active.

Pentwater: Had a few boats catching brown trout and lake trout close to shore. Pier anglers caught walleye late at night.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: Boat anglers are just starting to pick up a few lake trout when trolling along the bottom in 10 feet or 20 to 60 feet. Cowbells with spin glows or dodgers with spin glows are getting fish. Some trolling the shallows are high-lining with a little weight added to the line while others are trolling stick baits in bright colors. Some caught the occasional Atlantic salmon or chinook. The stained water is warming up but the lake water was low to mid 40’s.

Alpena: Is producing a mix of trout and salmon for those trolling. Walleye fishing was better in the evening while trout and salmon were caught morning and evening. Try near the mouth of the river, out from the marina or near Thunder Bay Island when fishing in shallow waters with stick baits and spoons, cowbells or dodgers with spin glows for lake trout. Use anything bright in the stained water. Pier anglers night fishing caught a few walleye when casting stick baits that resemble smelt. The fish cleaning station and the public restrooms are now open.

Thunder Bay River: Is producing the occasional steelhead or Atlantic salmon. Try drifting artificial beads and spawn or casting body baits. Atlantic salmon were feeding on steelhead eggs or mayfly larvae. The occasional walleye was caught by those drifting or jigging. Lots of smallmouth bass were caught and released. Those targeting walleye did catch a few pike.

Harrisville: Is producing steelhead, lake trout, chinook, walleye and Atlantic salmon. Early morning and mid to late evening was best for all species both inside and outside the harbor. Fish the rocks for walleye and the deeper channels for trout. Boat anglers targeting walleye did well around Sturgeon Point, the rock wall and the State Park. Body baits, spoons, fly’s, crawlers and spawn are all working. Look for trout and salmon in 20 to 50 feet and walleye in 8 to 20.

Oscoda: Pier anglers are catching a good mix of Atlantic and chinook salmon, steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. Walleye are coming in from the lake in good numbers. Crawlers and body baits were the ticket.

Au Sable River: Water levels are up and fast but the fish are coming in good numbers. Steelhead are being caught between the dam and the piers. Those fishing up on the beds are doing well with spawn, fly’s and wax worms.

Houghton Lake: Is producing walleye and some crappie. Walleye can be found around the weed beds and the crappie have come out of the canals.

Lake St. Helen: Is producing crappie and pike. Not much in the way of bluegills yet but soon. Bass fishing was good in the deeper holes as cooler water temperatures were keeping the fish from spawning.

Tawas: Perch fishing is pretty much done for pier anglers however they are now catching Atlantic salmon when using large minnows outside the pier. A good number of walleye and a few pike were also taken. Boat anglers trolling between the mouth of the Tawas River and Alabaster are taking a fair number of fish. Chinook, brown trout, lake trout and walleye were taken in 36 to 50 feet out near Buoy #2. Shore anglers and those wading the mouth of the river caught walleye and bass.

Au Gres: Had lots of boat activity. Anglers are taking walleye in 25 to 35 feet. Some limit catches were reported.

Au Gres River: Was high and muddy. Few were fishing but those that were did manage to catch a couple catfish.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Float ice moved back into the bay making it impossible for anglers to launch or troll. Fishing off the rock docks and Sand Point in Baraga was also hindered. A few more rainbow trout were taken but the bite remains slow. Before the ice moved back in, those fishing off of the rock dock next to the L’Anse Marina and the mouth of Linden Creek had a couple good days of catching splake but many were small. Those looking for smelt did find some in the Ravine River, Silver River on Skanee Road, Linden Creek and the Falls River but catch rates were still hit-or-miss.

Lake Antoine: In Dickenson County is producing a good number of bluegills for those jigging or still-fishing with live bait in the shallows. Many are small but some nice fish were caught right along with a few perch and crappie. Both docks are in at the launch. Lake Antoine Road is down to one lane because of construction.

Marquette: Strong winds have blown ice into both the upper and lower launch ramps. ice in the harbor at Marquette Chances are by this weekend launching will not be possible without some very strong west winds to blow the ice out of the harbors. Shore anglers fishing for steelhead and coho have done poorly.

Little Bay De Noc: Had a good start to the walleye season despite poor weather conditions. Anglers caught a good number of large fish but many were released because no more than one walleye over 23 inches may be possessed. Fish were caught throughout however the northern bay was the best. Most are trolling stick baits or crawlers in 6 to 24 feet between the Second and Third Reef. Shallow water was best in the early morning. Some did well off the mouth the Whitefish River in 8 to 14 feet and off the mouth of the Ford River with crank baits or crawlers in 8 to 16 feet. The waters are stained because of run-off so walleye should be around for a while. Perch fishing was fair along the “Narrows” with crawlers in 35 feet and off the mouth of the Escanaba River in 25 feet.

Day’s River: Is also producing some steelhead up past the Gulf Course.

Escanaba River: Is producing walleye for those trolling crank baits.

Ford River: Is producing steelhead up near Hyde. Shore anglers caught several large walleye when casting rapalas.

Big Bay De Noc: Had few anglers for the walleye opener. A few fish were caught at the head of the bay between the Fish Dam Rivers and Valentine Creek when trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses in 8 to 15 feet. The better fishing was in Ogontz Bay when trolling crank baits in 6 to 8 feet. Limit catches were reported. Catch and release bass anglers reported good number of fish. The fish are staging despite the cold water temperatures. Perch fishing was fair to good in Garden Bay. Spawning is just about completed so anglers will find large numbers of small fish on the northwest bank by the Fishery. Try crawlers or minnows in 6 to 8 feet.

Manistique Lake: Had good walleye fishing. Try the southern portion near Burnt Island with crawlers and leeches.

Munising: The ice has left the bay but remains a factor as wind conditions can pack both channels with flow ice and keep boats inside the bay. Fishing has started to pick up and catch rates were fair inside the bay where a mix of coho, splake and smaller chinook salmon were caught. Coho were averaging 15 inches and 1 pound. Shore anglers reported fair catch rates for splake but steelhead were hard to come by. Pier anglers caught splake, coho, whitefish, menominee and the occasional steelhead when casting spawn or worms.

Grand Marais: Had more anglers but catch rates varied with some taking limit catches while others only caught a few. Most are catching coho followed by steelhead, small chinook and brown trout. The pier is almost ice free. Anglers there caught a few menominee, whitefish and coho. Shore anglers fishing near the mouth of the Sucker River caught coho but not many steelhead.

Two Hearted River: Water levels are still high so anglers are limited. Steelhead are there and were caught.

Luce County: Trout lakes are open with access to all areas. Roads are muddy.

St. Mary’s River: A few anglers were trolling Raber Bay and the north end of Lime Island for walleye. Fishing has not been productive since opening day because water temperatures need to warm up. Raber Bay was 38 to 40 degrees. No reports of yellow perch in the Upper River near Sherman Park and no walleye in Brimley Bay.

Drummond Island: A few yellow perch are being caught off the Monahan Dock which is at the end of Tourist Road. Try minnows under a bobber in the early morning. A few anglers in smaller boats caught perch in Maxton Bay. Try shiners in 4 to 6 feet in the early morning off Sportsman Club Point.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pike fishing is fair for those trolling or casting in Hessel Bay, Cedarville Bay, Musky Bay or Moscoe Channel. Smallmouth bass ranging 4 to 5 pounds were caught in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay, Duck Bay and Mackinaw Bay. Splake were caught off the pier in Hessel when still-fishing with smelt.

Carp River: Steelhead were caught upstream near the McDonald Rapids. Suckers are still in the river.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Inconsistent weather has caused walleye to scatter and move into deeper water. Most of the fish caught were taken in 18 to 22 feet near Brest Bay and Stony Point. At Bolles Harbor, catch rates were good for large and smallmouth bass. Walleye were caught near the launch and in 20 feet near the stacks. Try bottom bouncing with crawler harnesses or using jerk baits. Good colors were chartreuse, neon green or purple. Some are using planer boards. Catfish and bass were caught in the Hot Ponds. Anglers are drifting or trolling as slow as possible and staying close to the bottom to avoid white bass and perch.

Detroit River: Still has good walleye fishing but the average size has dropped as most of the bigger fish have moved out of the river. White bass numbers are going up and the fishing should really take off with warmer temperatures. Target the lower and middle river this coming weekend. Smallmouth bass fishing remains very good in the middle and upper sections.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Near Pinckney had slow crappie fishing but those fishing the canals and along the shoreline did well for bluegill. Good bass action along the flats and in the coves. Try soft jerk baits or casting jigs near structure. Water levels were up after the rain so many of the fish were taken in areas with a current.

Lake St. Clair: Cooler water temperatures are keeping the smallmouth bass in deeper water in Anchor Bay. Good smallmouth bass fishing was reported along the Mile Roads and along the shoreline off Grosse Pointe. Good largemouth action in the canals and marinas.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss. The better catches were reported near Algonac and Marine City. The occasional trout and salmon were still being caught by shore anglers at Port Huron.

Clinton River: Has excellent rock bass fishing.

Lexington: Boat anglers reported a mix of chinook, coho, lake trout and steelhead. Though fish were caught, the action was hit-or-miss. Pier anglers caught small perch, rock bass, bullhead and a couple bluegills.

Port Sanilac: Pier anglers floating large minnows under a bobber caught coho, lake trout, steelhead and even an Atlantic salmon. Those trolling caught a mix of trout and salmon however success was hit-or-miss.

Harbor Beach: Has fair to good lake trout fishing in 60 to 80 feet straight out, north or south of the harbor. Try dodgers or cowbells with spin glows just off the bottom or spoons 50 to 70 feet down. Salmon and steelhead were taken in 40 to 80 feet with spoons and downriggers or offshore boards with 2 or 3 colored lines. Try orange and black, purple or bright colors. A couple walleye were taken by those casting body baits off the wall. There is plenty of water at the ramps, docks and the channel.

Grindstone City: Had excellent smallmouth bass fishing in the harbor. Most anglers were casting tube jigs.

Saginaw Bay: Had a lot of walleye activity on the west side. Boat anglers were trolling in 15 feet off Pinconning or 13 to 18 feet off Linwood. Crawler harnesses and body baits in purple, blue or wonderbread worked best. A handful of walleye were caught northwest of Spoils Island. Catch rates off Finn Road were slow but walleye were taken north of Quanicassee, even some limit catches. The hot spot was 10 to 14 feet of water in the Slot. Hot colors were purple, green and chartreuse.

Tittabawassee River: The water has been fast and muddy so fishing was just about impossible.

Saginaw River: A few walleye were still being caught in the lower river at Smith Park. Shore anglers are casting jigs.

Quanicassee River: Boat anglers fishing upstream did catch a few walleye.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Grand Haven: Chinook salmon fishing is heating up. Anglers were fishing 30 to 70 feet with most fish caught in 40 to 55 feet. Most are working the mud line and the clean water just outside it. Try 3 colors of lead off downriggers set about 43 feet down with mini or regular spoons. Colors of orange, gold, mixed veggie or UV baits are working well. Perch fishing has slowed and pier anglers are struggling.

Grand River in Grand Rapids: The steelhead action is pretty much done but walleye should be hitting. Try suckers, crawlers or cut bait for catfish. For pike, anglers are using large sucker minnows, spinners or body baits. Check out the parks and the backwaters for panfish.

Grand River at Lansing: Water levels are high but fishable. Those fishing the bottom will want to use extra weight. Anglers have done well for pike and bass. Bluegill and rock bass have also been caught.

Looking Glass River: Has high water levels.

Maple River: Has high water levels.

Muskegon: Is a little slower than Grand Haven but fish have been caught in 40 to 50 feet or targeting top water down to 25 feet with spoons. Pier fishing is very slow. Anglers casting and jigging for walleye had little success.

Muskegon River: Is running a little high but anglers are still taking a good number of steelhead and the occasional brown trout. Anglers are floating spawn and fly’s or swinging streamers near the holes.

Whitehall: Pier anglers were catching brown trout on spawn until a south wind slowed the bite and washed some weeds in. Even with the south wind, anglers were catching some walleye on body baits, wigglers or artificial wigglers. Most fish were taken in the channel but pier anglers also caught fish.

Soni on Glen Lake






Wayne (Soni) Aylsworth Empire Outdoors decided to go into Glen Lake.
He caught; 24″Bass, 20″Bass, and 3 Pike 30″+.

All fish were caught on Buc’s Bait Pike Suckers.
We remembered the net this time.



SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014

The lakes and streams are still high. Nothing has been normal this Spring. Lots of rain and even snow last week. The forecast for Memorial Day Weekend is warm and dry. Lately a day hasn’t been complete without rain.

Expect the water level on Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell to be high. Few are able to put their docks out. Those who put them out early find them under water. No trouble launching boats. The fish seem happy with the deep water.

Panfishing hasn’t changed since last week, good one day and poor the next. Neither the crappies or bluegills have started spawning yet.

The egg sacs in the crappie we’ve seen at our cleaning station are small and tight. The few bluegills we’ve seen have all been males. No signs of any beds yet. A few warm days before the holiday could make a difference. The best is yet to come.

Bass Season opens Satruday, May 24th. Now everyone is catching both large and small mouths. It’s Catch and Release Season.

They’re eating pike and walleye lures and every kind of live bait. Tournament Anglers have been practicing and many brag of catching bass in the 18 to 20 inch range. The numbers are there in both lakes.

We’re still catching waleyes but a little more skill or luck is necessary. The pattern hasn’t changed. Those fishing at dark do the best. Live bait under a slip bobber or casting crank baits has been out fishing the boats trolling. The trollers definitely catch bass and pike but may be going to fast for the walleyes.

Pike fishing has been good no matter what the weather conditiond. There’s no special bait. Minnows, crank baits, spoons and especially spinner baits are all effective. Expect a number of hammer handles but big ones are there.

A possible Master Angler – a number of bowfins have been caught lately. They can easily exceed the 27″ catch and release minimum and can usually beat the 7 pound keep entries.

MUSHROOM HUNERS – We’re past Mother’s Day and still find fresh black morels. The clusters of grays and whites are just starting. Its an unusual season when we find all 3 kinds an outing. This is going to be a long season.

I see Snow Flakes today Fishing Report 5/15/15


Nolan Gunia 55 inch sturgeon 60 pounds caught and released out of Manistee Lake and he has caught and released two more this week.


Coach’s Angle Charters with a nice mess of perch from Lake Skegemog as a great perch bite their this week

Today is the opener in the UP and what terrible weather we are having. Walleye, pike and muskellunge season for the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, St. Mary’s River and the inland lakes will open on May 15th. The catch and immediate release bass season for all Upper Peninsula waters including the Great Lakes will also open on May 15th.

Crappie are biting Houghton Lake, Wixom Lake, Secord Lake Cadillac .

Green Lake by Traverse City has been fair for perch this week.

Steelhead are in elk river, tippy dam is still good for walleye and steelhead.

Below the Sanford Dam fishing has been awesome for walleye and crappie, best it has been in many years.

Houghton Lake has been really good for crappie when the sun shines and gets above 50, today has been slow so far.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Charlevoix: Still no boats were seen on Lake Michigan. Those fishing the channel at night for walleye caught few fish. Water temperature in the channel was 36 degrees. Some are trying to find perch in Lake Charlevoix but no one had any luck.

Petoskey: Boat anglers are just starting to head out for steelhead and brown trout but no fish were caught. Anglers may want to target lake trout.

Bear River: Continues to flow high and fast. Look for steelhead and suckers at the dam. Fish were hitting on orange and pink spawn bags or fly’s and yarn. The females still had eggs.

Harbor Springs: The boat launch is currently being dredged.

Traverse City: Only a few boats were out on the East Bay. Smallmouth bass were caught in 30 feet but catch rates were slow. Lake trout were caught at various depths. Shore anglers caught a few fish when surfcasting with spawn. On the West Bay, cisco, steelhead and lake trout were caught near the mouth of the Boardman. Boats were trolling shallow water for lake trout.

Elk River: Has a decent number of steelhead. Try spawn or jigs with wax worms.

Boardman River: The spring steelhead run has likely peaked. A few fish were caught on spawn or wigglers near the dam. Pike, walleye, suckers, and smallmouth can also be found.

Platte Bay: Fishing is red hot! Those trolling dark colored spoons about a mile out have caught some big lake trout. Brown trout were caught by those trolling rapalas near the mouth of the river. Black and chrome were hot colors.

Platte River: Anglers have found lots of large steelhead just up from the mouth. Fish are on the gravel. White suckers are also here and sitting on the gravel or in the holes up near El Dorado. Walleye were seen below the M-22 Bridge. The area inside the National Park is a favorite spot for women and small children because of the slow flow, the clear water and few obstructions. Near Honor, a good number of suckers are holding downstream of the bridge tubes. The upper stretch near Haze Road still has some dark males waiting for fresh hens to show up.

Frankfort: Trolling slow in between the break walls is producing brown trout, walleye and the occasional chinook. Water temperatures are still cool so browns were hitting on body baits. Black and silver or black and gold were hot colors. Jointed rapalas worked better in the morning.

Onekama: Those trolling the shoreline in the morning caught brown trout and walleye on spoons. Try 10 to 12 feet down in 15 to 20 feet of water.

Portage Lake: Bass are hitting on spinners, plugs, wax worms or grubs.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Are good for catch and immediate release bass fishing. Walleye anglers are targeting shallow waters at night. Good pike action for those using suckers, crank baits or spinners. Bluegills were still very slow.

Manistee: Brown trout action has slowed compared to the last few weeks. Those trolling are still catching a few on spoons or body baits. Orange and chartreuse were good colors. Pier anglers caught a couple fish when casting or floating spawn.

Manistee River: Steelhead fishing remains good although the run should begin to wind down soon.

Ludington: Those trolling along the shoreline caught brown trout on orange spoons or black and silver body baits. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River: Is still producing some steelhead.

Pentwater: Boat anglers caught brown trout and lake trout when trolling. Hot colors were orange, yellow or chartreuse. Pier fishing was very slow. The water is muddy after all the rain.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rogers City: The few boats starting to head out have caught a couple trout or salmon. The water is still pretty cold. Most are heading south towards Swan Bay, Adams Point and Calcite Harbor but staying inside 30 feet of water. Look for the mud line because that is where the warmer water is. For Atlantic salmon and brown trout, use planer boards with spoons and body baits. For lake trout, try dodgers and spin glows near the bottom out deep or high-lining in shallow waters.

Alpena: Fishing in the bay has picked up with anglers taking a mixed bag of walleye, chinook, lake trout or the occasional Atlantic salmon. Most are trolling spoons or body baits in less than 30 feet in the early morning or evening. Use bright colors as the water is stained. Hot spots were near the mouth of the Thunder Bay River or in front of the marina. The fish cleaning station is open but the restrooms were not.

Thunder Bay River: Fishing has slowed but anglers may still find a stray walleye or steelhead. Anglers at the dam are catching lots of suckers and the occasional steelhead. It seems the run is just about done.

Harrisville: Fishing is good inside and outside the harbor for walleye and steelhead. Morning and evening were best but don’t rule out mid-day. Spoons and body baits were best but fly’s and spawn are worth trying.

Oscoda: Pier anglers are catching good numbers of walleye and the occasional Atlantic salmon. Crawlers or body baits worked best.

Au Sable River: Steelhead are on the beds and most of the fish seem to be fresh. High Banks, the Boy Scout Camp and below the dam are holding the most fish. Try spawn, fly’s or wax worms.

Tawas: Pier anglers are taking Atlantic, chinook, brown trout and pike outside the wall during the day while night anglers are taking walleye and channel catfish. Minnows and body baits work best. Boat anglers caught good numbers of walleye in 15 to 24 feet between Tawas Point and Alabaster. Chinook salmon were caught in 30 feet. Walleye have been caught off the mouth of the Tawas River when casting body baits at night.

Au Gres: Had excellent walleye fishing between Point Lookout and Point Au Gres. Limit catches were taken in 15 to 25 feet.

Au Gres River: Night anglers are catching channel cats. A few walleye were caught at night near the mouth of Whitney Drain.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Most of the lakes are open now. Access to most is pretty good but some still have snow on the ground. Water levels are high at this time. Conditions for the walleye opener look to be cold water temperatures and high water levels.
Keweenaw Bay: The ice has drifted north leaving most of the bay open. Boats able to get out and start trolling caught a few salmon. Those fishing off of the Rock Dock next to the L’Anse Marina and at the mouth of Linden Creek had a couple good days catching splake but many were small. Chinook, coho and rainbow were also caught. A couple rainbow trout were caught in the Falls River but the water is still cold. Smelt were found in the Ravine River, Silver River, Linden Creek and the Falls River however the action was hit-or-miss.

Lake Antoine: In Dickenson County has just opened up. The docks were not in at the boat launches. Lake Antoine Road is under construction.

Marquette: Was almost ice free however easterly winds blew ice back into the area. The Lower Harbor still has ice and beyond the breakwalls is a large amount of ice. Shore anglers fishing the mouth of the Carp River caught a couple small coho or steelhead. There are a number of research projects where lake trout have been tagged in Lake Superior. Anglers are reminded that the return of tag information provides valuable feedback for future fisheries management in the area.

Little Bay De Noc: Water levels are high compared to last year. All the boat launches are open and ready for use. Catch rates for perch were slow. The best area was off the east bank at Kipling in 20 to 30 feet. Perch were taken northwest of Butler Island when using minnows or crawlers in 12 to 20 feet however many were small. The walleye opener should be good. DNR staff collecting eggs reported good numbers of fish. A good place to fish will be between the mouth of the Whitefish River and Gladstone. The southern bay should also produce good catches along the “Black Bottom”, the Lighthouse, and from Breezy Point to the Ford River. Water temperatures were between 40 and 48 degrees.

Ford River: Steelhead were caught up past the Gulf Course.

Big Bay De Noc: The launches are open and ready for boat anglers. Perch anglers reported good catches in Garden Bay. The area where the fish congregate is quite small so angler patience is the key to success. Many are using minnows in 6 to 8 feet off Hermes Fishery. The walleye outlook compares to last year’s opener. Best area to fish should be the head of the bay, up the Fish Dam River and south to Porcupine Point and the “Boot”. Walleye anglers will want to try near the Ogontz River and over by the old campground northwest of the launch in 12 to 14 feet.

Manistique River: Is running high and fast.

Au Train: The Brownstone launch was ice free however easterly winds pushed ice back into the area and the launch site is now solid ice. Ice remains beyond Au Train Island. Catch rates were poor at the mouth of the Rock River.

Munising: Ice in the bay is finally gone! The docks are in at the city launch. The launch at Sand Point has been dredged of sand however it is only suitable for small craft. Pier anglers had fair to good results for a mix of splake, coho, whitefish and the odd steelhead. Several limit catches of splake were reported. Try casting spawn or worms. Water levels are running high in the Anna River.

Grand Marais: The ice is gone and the boat launch can now be used. A majority of ice at the end of the pier has melted. Pier anglers are catching coho, whitefish and a couple steelhead. Shore anglers fishing at the mouth of the Sucker River have caught a fair to good number of coho. Boat anglers heading out caught primarily coho.

Two Hearted River: Water levels were extremely high and the current was fast. Very few steelhead have been caught.

Tahquamenon River: Was producing smelt at the mouth.

St. Mary’s River: The ice is gone at the boat launches and some docks are in. Water temperatures are still cold at 38 to 42 degrees. Those fishing the discharge side of the Electric Power Plant have caught steelhead. Try spawn bags tied above a one or two ounce sinker drifted in the discharge.

Detour: The launch off M-134 across from DNR Field Office and the launch in De Tour Village are open but no docks are in yet.

Cedarville and Hessel: Boats can launch in Hessel Bay, but the dock is not in yet. There is no perch activity; however splake are hitting off the pier.

Carp River: Anglers are targeting steelhead with spawn or spinners. The river is running very fast and is very dirty. The smelt run appears to be done.

St. Ignace: The ice is finally gone however the docks are not in yet.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Walleye were scattered and moving into deeper water. Surface temperatures were in the high 50’s and low 60’s. Catch rates near Turtle Island were beginning to slow. Walleye were caught in Brest Bay and off Stoney Point. Try crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers in 20 feet or deeper. Purple beads were also good. Bass and catfish were hitting near Bolles Harbor and the Hot Ponds. A few walleye were caught but it is still a bit early for large numbers of fish.

Detroit River: Continues to be excellent for walleye and white bass are beginning to show up too, especially in the lower river. Walleye anglers are catching and releasing quite a few smallmouth bass. Shore anglers are taking white bass in Wyandotte and Ecorse.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Near Pinckney are producing bluegill and crappie. Fish the canals and shallow flats with minnows and jigs. Bass were on the beds and those targeting them have done well along the weed beds in shallow water and around structure. A few pike were taken along the drop-offs on Zukey and Portage.

Lake St. Clair: smallmouth bass in trap net on Lake St ClairWater temperatures in Anchor Bay were between 51 and 57 degrees. Catch rates for smallmouth bass in the DNR trap nets have gone way up as the bass have started moving into shallow waters to spawn (see image). Those fishing south along the Mile Roads caught bass in the warmer water.

St. Clair River: Is producing some walleye near Algonac, Marine City and Port Huron. Jigging artificial minnows has been productive. Some are starting to use bottom bouncers and crawlers.

Lexington: Trollers are taking a mixed bag of trout and salmon. Shore fishing was limited to small perch and bullhead. A couple big pike were also caught.

Port Sanilac: Those trolling caught chinook, coho, lake trout and brown trout in 8 to 40 feet. Spoons and body baits worked best.

Harbor Beach: Fish are scattered because of changes in wind direction. For lake trout, boat anglers will want to head north, south or straight out with dodgers or cowbells with spin glows, peanuts, and spoons just off the bottom or spoons 65 to 70 feet down. For salmon, brown trout and steelhead try spoons off downriggers, 2 or 3 colored lines and offshore boards. Use bright colors when working the mud lines. A few walleye were taken by those casting small body baits from the wall either early or late. Water levels are good.

Grindstone City: Had good catch and release bass fishing.

Saginaw Bay: Has good numbers of walleye being taken in 6 to 16 feet off Linwood and Pinconning by those trolling harnesses. Very good walleye action was cited off Jones Road in 4 to 6 feet or Quanicassee in 6 to 7 feet. Further up the Slot, walleye were hitting crawler harnesses with spinners in 10 to 15 feet off Sunset Bay Marina. Good colors were white, purple, green, chartreuse or brass. A good number of channel catfish have been caught. Shore anglers at Quanicassee and Sebewaing caught freshwater drum or catfish. At Caseville, shore fishing was slow with a few rock bass and the odd walleye. Catch and release bass fishing has been very good.

Tittabawassee River: Walleye fishing is slowing with the average catch per trip between one and three fish. Anglers are casting or trolling blue and silver body baits around Mapleton. Look for white bass in the lower river near Center Road.

Saginaw River: Walleye are hitting on jigs with crawlers or minnows between Essexville and the mouth. This is a place to try if the winds are too strong to get out on the bay.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Kalamazoo River: Is producing steelhead and smallmouth bass at the Allegan Dam. Suckers and catfish are also being caught.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers have their choice between salmon or perch. For salmon, most are trolling in waters out to 60 feet deep however 35 to 45 feet seems to produce the most fish when using 3, 5 and 7 color lead core. Set downriggers 20 to 35 feet with orange and gold spoons. Perch anglers are still taking fish in the 60 foot hole just south of the south pier. Try minnows, spikes or wigglers. Pier fishing was slow for those casting spoons.

Grand River in Grand Rapids: Steelhead are still being caught at the Sixth Street Dam. Walleye were caught on crawlers and body baits. A fair to good number of flathead and channel catfish have been caught on live suckers, cut bait or chicken liver. A few pike were caught on large sucker minnows, spinners or body baits.

Rogue River: Is producing some steelhead at the Rockford Dam.

Grand River at Lansing: Still has some steelhead. Those fishing live bait have caught catfish and pike. A few walleye were caught at Moore’s Park.

Maple River: Continues to produce catfish and suckers.

Muskegon: Boat anglers are trolling for walleye and brown trout in 30 to 70 feet around the piers but the fish were scattered. Try fishing the stained water where temperatures are a bit warmer. Orange and gold spoons or spoons with a gold blade were the ticket. Pier anglers are casting or jigging for walleye but catch rates were slow. The fish cleaning station at the State Park is closed because of a water main break. There is no reopen date at this time.

Muskegon Lake: The Cottage Grove launch has one ramp that is open for those looking to launch a boat.

Muskegon River: Has elevated water levels but anglers will still find a fair to good number of steelhead.

Whitehall: Boat anglers trolling for brown trout had little success. A few small brown trout were caught off the pier. Those fishing the channel did manage to catch some walleye when casting plugs. Muddy water has slowed catch rates.

Happy Mother’s Day


SUNDAY, MAY 11, 2014

Everyone wants to catch Walleye. Its early for a pattern but Rapalas seem to be the hot bait. Choose either Floaters, Husky Jerks or Scatter Rap Minnows. The better areas to cast or troll has been outside the canal connecting the two lakes. Either side, Cadillac or Mitchell has been good. They come shallow along the shorelines after dark and may be caught in as little as of 3 feet. You usually don’t have to measure them. They’ve been running 16 to 24 inches. This isn’t Saginaw Bay. Two or three a night is good.

Large and Small mouth Bass have been easy to catch. Their season doesn’t open until May 24th. Release them carefully. Tounament Anglers hace been sharpening their skills. Catching them by accident or intent is fun and the numbers have been high.

Bluegills and Sunfish are starting to bite. No numbers. One here or there. It will pick up as the Lake Temperatures warm. No evidence of beds or spawning yet.

Crappie catches have been good one day and poor the next. Its Fishing! Eight to 10 foot depths on Lake Cadillac outside Mitchell State Park is the place to start. Those with electronics find schools above patches where weeds are starting.

After dark in the muddy areas and the canal bullheads become active. There’s no size limit and most measure a foot or more. Master Angler size 1.8 are not unusual. Enjoy their fight on light tackle.

There hasn’t been a shortage of action for pike anglers. It doesn’t matter – crank baits, spinnerbaits or live suckers all work. Expect some undersized but many have been over 30 inches.

The 55th Mesick Mushrrom Festival is history. No snow or sleet like last year. Although Spring is behind they are finding black morels and the numbers are worth the effort. Its all been blacks. No sign of grays or whites that we’re told are growing down state. Its going to be a long season.

Mushrooms are popping Fishing Report 5/9/14


Zane Kanouse

I just wanted to show you this beautiful Brown Trout I caught last Sunday! 24 inches and weighed almost 5 pounds! I figured it would be a great picture for your report on this years trout season! I caught it in the Leroy Luther Tustin area. I’ve been fishing this hole for almost 10 years and I am now 20 years old and finally got a monster out of it. It was a little over 7 minute debacle of a fight on 6 pound test but I ended up putting her on the bank! I’m from Luther.


Soni Aylsworth of Empire Outdoors with picture of the 36″ Pike he caught using a Buc’s Pike Sucker. This Pike was hand netted by one of Sonni’s friends. Pretty funny how a tackle shop owner can forget his net.


Kyle McClelland of Chrome Chasers with a nice brown trout

Fishing has been slow as waiting for the water to warm up. Crappie fishing has been good in the canals in Sage Lake, Houghton Lake and Lake St. Helen.

Another week of roller coaster temperatures and windy conditions has hampered fishing. Inland lake fishing is slow due to the cooler water temperatures.

Perch fishing is slow as the water has been so cloudy and cold the perch have not been biting. Portage Lake is reporting a few perch have been caught today with the warmer weather

The atlantic salmon are still biting on torch lake by clam river and torch river Lake Margrethe they are finally catching perch this week along with a few walleye.

HIggins Lake has been slow still as water is too cold.

Mushrooms are really popping today as guys are finding quite a few finally

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Charlevoix: Had no boats out. The docks are in at the Ferry Beach launch, but no boats on Lake Charlevoix yet. A few anglers were fishing the Medusa Cement Plant slip, but nothing was caught. Others were fishing the channel during the day but no fish were caught. Look for walleye in the channel at night.

Petoskey: The docks are in at the launch site however there were still some large pieces of ice floating around in Little Traverse Bay. The end of the pier was still covered with deep snow and ice.

Bear River: Is running high and fast. A couple steelhead were caught near the dam but no big numbers yet.

Harbor Springs: The boat launch is currently being dredged.

Traverse City: The East Bay was producing some lake trout and cisco for those jigging. In the West Bay, lake trout and cisco were caught by those jigging in 60 to 150 feet of water. Lake trout and steelhead were taken on spawn or lures near the mouth of the Boardman.

Elk River: Catch rates were slow with only a couple steelhead caught on spawn bags or a jig and wax worms.

Boardman River: Steelhead fishing was slow with a few fish caught on spawn or wax worms. Anglers will also find walleye, suckers, northern pike, and smallmouth bass.

Platte Bay: Those trolling are seeing some of the best brown trout action they have seen in years. Most are using black and chrome rapalas.

Platte River: Rain increased water levels and water temperatures. Steelhead fishing is very good and fresh fish are on the gravel. Most are using orange fly eggs. In Honor, the water was high but clear. Those fishing at South Street caught suckers on worms. Anglers have seen some nice brown trout and steelhead. Water levels were high and temperatures were at 44 degrees at the M-22 Bridge. Anglers are catching walleye on plastic baits. Look for fish between the outlet of Platte Lake and Loon Lake. A good number of suckers can be found in the holes down near the mouth. They will take an egg sucking leech or anything you put in front of them.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Are producing some walleye, pike and bullhead. Bluegill and crappie are slow.

Manistee: Brown trout fishing has been excellent for boat and pier anglers. Some early chinook salmon are also starting to show up. Boat anglers are trolling small spoons or body baits and pier anglers are using spawn.

Manistee River: Steelhead fishing continues to be strong at Tippy Dam. The cold spring has really prolonged the run. Brown trout and a few walleye have also been caught. Try spoons, crank baits, flies or spawn.

Ludington: Has good brown trout fishing near shore. Boat anglers are trolling body baits in natural color patterns. Pier fishing was slower.

Pere Marquette River: Still has very good steelhead fishing.

Pentwater: Pier anglers were still catching some brown trout and the occasional steelhead on spawn. A few walleye were taken from the piers and the channels. Pier anglers also caught a good number of sizable large and smallmouth bass. Those casting caught pike. Catfish are starting to bite.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Ocquoec River: Is starting to see some steelhead. Fish were caught by those drifting a spawn bag in the deeper holes.

Rogers City: When anglers can get out they have caught Atlantic, brown trout and lake trout when using stick baits. Bright colors were best like orange, fire-tiger or orange and yellow. Swan Bay and Calcite Harbor should be good as lake trout start to show up any day now. Target the shallows with high-lines and cowbells or out a little deeper with spin glows and cowbells.

Rockport: A limit of lake trout were caught around Middle Island.

Alpena: The docks are in and the fish cleaning station is open however the restrooms were still closed. A few anglers fishing just outside the river mouth picked up the occasional walleye day or night.

Thunder Bay River: Walleye fishing was very good day or night for those drifting and jigging. Most were averaging 3 to 4 fish per boat but some had limit catches. Fishing up near the dam was difficult because of high water levels and dealing with suckers constantly hitting their lines.

Harrisville: The water is up, the docks are in and the fish are in. Atlantic salmon, lake trout, steelhead and walleye are in and around the harbor. Fish are being caught day and night on spawn, body baits, small spoons or spinners in 20 to 40 feet.

Oscoda: The pier has been productive early morning or late evening. Walleye are coming in limited numbers. They are good size and healthy. Crawlers, jig’s and body baits have worked best.

Au Sable River: Steelhead are now moving into the river in good numbers. A lot of anglers are hooking up but some are having a hard time landing them. From the mouth to the dam, the river is high and the current is fast. New snags have moved into some of the areas holding fish.

Houghton Lake: Cold gusty winds have kept anglers off the lake. Those fishing the canals have caught a few crappie or the occasional bluegill.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Superior still had ice from Keweenaw Bay to Whitefish Point with most of the Canadian side and towards Duluth with open water. Winds have been primarily from the north and pushing the ice.

Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates are still extremely slow. Anglers fishing off the rock dock next to the L’Anse Marina did manage to catch a couple chinook, coho or rainbow trout. There are rumors of a handful of smelt taken in the Silver River and the Ravine River.

Marquette: Ice is still present in the Lower Harbor. Some areas are starting to show some black ice near shore and by the fishing pier at Mattson Park. Shore anglers at Mattson Park have caught lake trout in the pockets of open water near the breakwall when jigging or casting spoons. Water levels were high and catch rates were poor at the mouth of the Carp River.

Little Bay De Noc: Rapid River, Gladstone and the Ford River launches all have docks in. The rest should be in this week with the exception of Aronson Island as the Harbor is still iced over. Rain fell most of the week adding to the rivers already overflowing situation. Perch anglers launching out of Rapid River reported fair catches out from the Day’s River using minnows or crawlers in 13 to 24 feet. Those fishing near Strawberry Island reported a few catches when using crawlers in 6 to 14 feet. Anglers were marking perch about 30 feet down in the “Narrows” however few fish were caught.

Big Bay De Noc: The docks are in at Garden, Fish Dam and Ogontz. The rest should be in this week. Garden Bay is open and perch anglers have done well near Hermes Fish House. They are using minnows in 6 to 8 feet. Though lots of small ones have been caught several limit catches were also reported. Perch anglers heading out to deeper water near the mouth of the Bay in the early morning reported fair to good catches with minnows in 20 to 30 feet.

Au Train: Ice along the shore of the rivers is slowly starting to melt. Anglers fishing the mouth of the rivers for coho and steelhead had little success except for a couple coho taken on spoons. Those trying spawn or a single egg for whitefish had no luck.

Munising: The bay had few anglers and slow catch rates. Ice remains throughout the bay but was not fishable. The only fishing activity has been around the mouth of the Anna River and Bay Furnace Creek. Small boats floating out and jigging along the ice did catch a few whitefish, splake or small steelhead.

Grand Marais: Was still pretty much iced in. Pier anglers were fishing the north pier however north winds will push ice into the area. Catch rates were slow. A few fishing the mouth of the Sucker River did catch a couple trout and salmon. Streams in the area are running high and stained.

Two Hearted River: Access roads are open. Steelhead are in the river however the high dark water makes fishing difficult.

St. Mary’s River: A few coho and rainbow trout were caught off the canal bridge at the power plant. Anglers are using 2 to 4 ounce sinkers with a 24 inch leader above the sinker and frozen spawn. Some are drifting red and chrome flatfish near the railroad ties on the west bank. The city docks are in however boat anglers need to watch for large chunks of ice floating on the upper river between the City Park and the Sugar Island Ferry Boat. Both docks are in at Raber Bay but there was still some ice just out from the docks.

Detour: Anglers were catching steelhead just west of the Albany Creek.

Cedarville and Hessel: The ice is out of Musky Bay but the west end of Hessel Bay was still frozen. Pier anglers are watching for trout and salmon. Perch have been caught in the west end of Musky Bay and along the north shore in 10 to 14 feet.

Carp River: Anglers reported some smelt. Water levels are still a bit high, but receding.

Black River: In Mackinac County has steelhead and some smelt. High water levels are making it difficult to fish.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Water temperatures were in the low 50’s but strong winds have resulted in poor water clarity. Walleye are being caught in the early morning or at dusk near Turtle Island in 10 to 12 feet or Brest Bay and Stony Pointe in 8 to 10 feet. Try using hair jigs in John Deer green or black and white patterns as well as trolling minnows or jerk baits. Good numbers of catfish and bass have been caught from the Hot Ponds. Some big largemouth bass were caught off Bolles Harbor.

Huron River: Is producing white bass and some walleye. Many are fishing up near Flat Rock. The steelhead action has slowed.

Detroit River: Is producing walleye for those hand-lining or jigging in the lower river and the Trenton Channel. Most are using Wyandotte worms with a big minnow. Hot colors were orange, chartreuse or antifreeze. No word on perch.

Portage Lake: Near Pinckney had few anglers. The opener of the catch and release bass season was slow. Bluegills and crappie were caught on small jigs with minnows in the canals of Portage and Zukey Lake.

Lake St. Clair: The catch and release bass fishing has been good even with the cold water and windy conditions. Rock bass are starting to bite near the mouth of the Clinton River. DNR survey nets in Anchor Bay are showing good numbers of large channel catfish and pike.

St. Clair River: Anglers are catching a good number of walleye. Some also caught the occasional coho and steelhead.

Lexington: Anglers have taken good catches of lake trout, chinook, coho, brown trout and the occasional rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon and walleye in 15 to 30 feet on bombers and spoons. Bullhead were caught off the docks.

Port Sanilac: Is producing good numbers of trout and salmon in 15 to 30 feet. Those fishing off the north wall caught Atlantic, coho and brown trout.

Harbor Beach: Anglers are catching trout, salmon and a few walleye when trolling green and orange bombers in 20 to 50 feet. Pier fishing was slow.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye have been caught by those trolling crank baits in 16 feet off Linwood and by those trolling or jigging around the rocks at Spoils Island. A few walleye were taken on crawler harnesses between Quanicassee and Fish Point. Very few walleye were caught between Sebewaing and Caseville. A couple channel catfish were caught in the marina.

Tittabawassee River: Fish were still caught upstream of Gordonville Road near the railroad bridge and downstream of Freeland when trolling rapalas. Fire-tiger and clown colors were good. Shore anglers near Freeland did well with jigs, twisters and crawlers. Walleye were caught near M-46 and downstream toward Green Point as well as near the Tittabawassee, Shiawassee and Saginaw confluence. A few white bass are starting to show up.

Saginaw River: Walleye were caught by those trolling or drifting from the Coast Guard Station to the mouth. No perch to report.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: The weather has made fishing a challenge. Pier fishing was slow however boat anglers had better luck. Anglers have caught a mixed bag of chinook, coho and brown trout on small spoons in 40 to 60 feet.

South Haven: Both boat and piers anglers reported tough fishing conditions. A few salmon were caught in 20 feet and lake trout in 60 feet.

Grand Haven: A few chinook salmon and some brown trout have showed up. Fish were caught off downriggers set 24 feet down in 30 to 45 feet. Some are using planer boards to fish the top water. Pier anglers are casting spoons for brown trout but some are also using alewife. Perch fishing was good along the holes south of the southern pier in 60 feet. Minnows, spikes and wigglers are all working. Night fishing for walleye was very slow off the piers.

Reeds Lake: Is producing some crappie, bluegill and perch.

Grand River in Grand Rapids: Is still producing some steelhead and the occasional walleye. A good number of smallmouth bass have been caught and released. Catfish action is picking up. Flatheads are hitting on live suckers or a crawler and leech combo. Channel cats are hitting on cut bait, crawlers or chicken liver. Crappie fishing was good.

Grand River closer to Lansing: Has a good number of steelhead at Moore’s Park. They are slow to bite so try spawn and flies under a bobber. Channel catfish are also hitting on live bait, crawlers and spawn. Those near the Brenke fish ladder are catching lots of pike on shiners. A few walleye along with occasional steelhead were also caught.

Maple River: Is producing catfish and suckers.

Muskegon: Boat anglers are trolling the basin and around the piers for chinook, brown trout and walleye. Pier fishing was slow. The Cottage Grove boat launch was still closed.

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were in the upper 40’s. The river is still producing steelhead including some fresh fish.

Whitehall: Pier anglers are still catching brown trout when still-fishing with spawn. Some have caught fresh steelhead. Catch rates for walleye were slow but a few were caught from the piers and the channel when casting lures.

Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association Fisherman’s Garage Sale

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ** You fishing/sports people!!

Fisherman’s Garage Sale is coming up in May. This is a great event for fisherman of all ages and abilities to snag some good deals on gear. Spread the word! Also, if you would like to purchase a table to sell some items and/or have our crew do it for you, we’d be happy to have ya!


(Sponsored by Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association)

Saturday, May 10th (7:30 a.m. til 4:30 p.m.)

Interlochen Eagles #3503
20724 Honor Hwy.

Open to the Public

Sellers Rent Table for $20. Space is limited on a first come first serve OR come to buy.

We will try to sell your items for 20% commission.

Contact Dave Meyers 231-620-2189

Empire Outdoors Opens in Empire on Beautiful M-22

Wayne (Soni) Aylsworth
Empire Outdoors
11690 S. Lacore St.
Empire, MI 49630
Empire Outdoors Web Site

We are open 8am-5pm during the week in the off months. Once the summer season kicks off, we will close around 9pm. Here at Empire Outdoors you will find fishing gear that is around 90% American Made. Extensive researcher has taken place to provide some of the best local tackle manufactures products. Local meaning from the Traverse City area.


The live bait will be supplied by Buc’s and kept alive by the new Aqualogic bait tank.

Charter Fishing on Lake Michigan is provided. If you have never been fishing on Lake Michigan, it is a must. This is always great to get away from the daily chores, see the Dunes from a new prospective, and of course catch some great fighting fish. For the spring, summer, and fall Empire Outdoors will rent bikes. With the beautiful Heritage Trail coming into Empire, a bike ride is a must.


Empire Outdoors is proud to carry Marmot and Storm Tech outdoor gear. Both manufactures have some of the best all weather gear on the market.


Empire Outdoors will also carry STRIKER, a floatable snow pant and jacket for the ice fisherman. A few kids sizes will also be available. With being located in the middle of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, one of a kind T-shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, and Sweat Shirts, can be purchased.


One of our suppliers for shirts is a Grand Haven Native, MARUSHKA. This company prints outstanding art that is relevant to the West Side of Michigan.


For the warm day’s of summer, we offer an assortment of inflatables, towels, umbrellas and toys for the beach. Last but not least, is the protection for your eyes. Empire Outdoors carries Maui Jim sunglasses that just won an award for the only sunglasses to be 100% UV precedent. Please come in and see us at Empire Outdoors.


30.14lb Brown Trout from Ludington


What a way to start the week. On Monday, May 5, 2014, A Fish of a lifetime….30.14 pound (officially), 38.5 inch Brown Trout was just landed on board Silver Addiction! Caught on a mad flash thunderstick took about 45 minutes to land. Captain Craig Coleman, out on the big lake, put Larry Ingle on this Big Brown. The best part of it is that Larry is the father of First Mate Bradon. A great father and son moment and proof positive of the GREAT Brown fishery in Ludington!


Captain Mark Williams has been fishing the Great Lakes since the age of six. He is a second generation charter captain, and worked on his father’s charter boat from 1979 to 1992. His experience on the Great Lakes ranks with the best in the business. He is constantly working to perfect his abilities and develop new techniques in the pursuit of Great Lakes’ salmon and trout. Capt. Mark has fished each of the Great Lakes and his passion for fishing and the outdoors is unmatched.

Capt. Mark is also the current President of the Detroit Area Steelheaders. He was the DAS Skipper of the year in 2008 and 2009, and has been a Top Ten Skipper since 2001.

“Growing up on the Great Lakes as the son of a Charter Captain, and fishing with numerous charter clients over the years, has taught me the importance of staying up with latest technology and networking with fellow Captains. This allows me to give my clients the best opportunity for success!” — Captain Mark

IMG_1525Captain Craig Coleman – Relief Captain

Silver Addiction Charters is proud to welcome Captain Craig Coleman aboard as Relief Captain. Captain Craig has been fishing the great lakes for over 20 years, and grew up in Ludington. He is a past Amateur winner of the Ludington Offshore Classic, and numerous other tournaments. His family owns and operates Captain Chucks, the only Fishing and Archery store in Ludington, so he is always on the pulse of the Lake.

Captain Craig came on board last season as first mate, and was a tremendous asset. His added experience and a mild manner on the boat makes for an enjoyable and productive trip for all. However, do not let his calmness fool you. It is only a trick to “put a real hurt on Mr. King Salmon,” Captain Craig says. I really enjoyed fishing with him last year and seeing as we clicked so well as a team, I decided to ask him to join our team! Captain Craig accepted, and will be running Silver when I am unavailable, otherwise, he will be on board as my first mate. This is bad news for Mr. King Salmon, as Silver Addiction will be hunting him non stop.

So welcome aboard Captain Craig, may Mother Nature smile on all your trips and may God have mercy on Mr. King Salmon! Captain Mark

Captain Mark Williams
HarborView Marina – Slip A-29
400 S. Rath
Ludington, MI 49431

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Mailing Address
Captain Mark Williams
3820 Breen Rd
Emmett, MI 48022

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Telephone 586-747-6477