Baitman Fishing Report 4/21/2016

Here is another really nice perch! This one was caught by Cindy Wagner.

Captain Chuck's II Inc.'s photo.

The weather has warmed up and it looks like the fishing is warming up as well! These are some dandy perch brought in this past weekend. Congratulations to Ged Strzynski and Michelle Sarto.

Captain Chuck's II Inc.'s photo.

Fishing has finally started with good crappie and gills at Houghton Lake with minnows for crappie and worms for the gills.

Millers Corner at Lake City reports the crappie are in the canals and lagoon with minnow working best.

Dewey from Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee reports some nice perch being caught in the lake and fishing was great off the pier for perch.

Dan at Osborn’s Sport say a few guys are out on Portage Lake but fishing is hit and miss for the perch.

Big Glen has been great this week for perch but you have to do some hunting to find the school but nice perch being caught.

Jack’s at Kalkaska reports Manistee Lake has been good for huge yellow belly but guys are only catching 6 to 8 a day but 13+ inches. The Alantics are still on the bite on Torch with blues working best.

Pentwater Lake has been good for perch this week with wigs and minnows.

Green and Long Lake by Traverse city have been good for perch this week also.



13,000 Superior Strain Lake Trout were planted in Glen Lake on Monday.

Empire Outdoors's photo.
Empire Outdoors's photo.
Empire Outdoors's photo.
Empire Outdoors's photo.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Steelhead fishing should be good although with this weather they will be in spawning mode. A few brown trout were caught off the piers and by those trolling but water temperatures are still very cold.

Harbor Springs: Still had no dock and no anglers.

Petoskey: The dock is in at the boat launch but boat anglers were not having much luck. A couple lake trout were caught between 50 and 100 feet down. Shore anglers fishing off the breakwall and near the mouth of the river caught a couple steelhead on spawn bags and wax worms. Suckers were also caught at the mouth.

Bear River: Water levels dropped but were still a bit high. There was quite a few fish at the dam but not many were hooked legally or landed with the high water. Most were using spawn bags but some were starting to drift flies. Suckers showed up in large numbers at the dam.

Charlevoix: Pier anglers reported the channel as very slow right now and no fish being caught. The water was clear and cold.

Traverse City: Fishing in the East Bay was slow. Very few lake herring were caught off Elk Rapids and only the occasional steelhead was caught below the dam. Boat anglers in the West Bay caught lake herring off Bryant Park.

Boardman River: Continues to produce steelhead though catch rates have slowed.

Frankfort: Surf anglers are finding a few lake trout and brown trout.

Onekama: Catch rates were poor for those trolling or surfcasting.

Portage Lake: Fishing was poor as water temperatures are too cold.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Anglers are now targeting panfish but catch rates were slow. Bullheads were the only species that was really biting.

Manistee: Boating activity increased as surface water temperatures were about 44 degrees. A few brown trout and lake trout were caught by boat and pier anglers.

Manistee Lake: Bass anglers taking advantage of the “catch-and-immediate-release” season caught some nice smallmouth bass on crankbaits fished along the shorelines and drop-offs. Those targeting perch and panfish in deeper water near Penny Park caught fish when jigging leaf worms but most were small.

Big Manistee River: Steelhead are still being landed throughout the river with several fresh hens reported but the numbers have been low. Beads, flies, wax worms, spawn and plugs have caught fish. Those looking for suckers had a great time with lots of fish hitting on crawlers near Bear Creek and Rainbow Bend.

Ludington: Surface temperatures were 43 and 45 degrees. Small numbers of lake trout and brown trout were caught a few miles north of the piers.

Pentwater: Steelhead fishing on the piers and in the channel slowed. Boat anglers targeting brown trout and steelhead were trolling in 20 to 30 feet.

Pentwater Lake: Boat anglers are targeting perch and bluegill. Those fishing off Longbridge Road caught smallmouth bass casting lures or still-fishing with crawlers.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report


The east half of the Upper Peninsula still had some ice on the inland lakes north of M-28 and snowpack in the woods. Steelhead can be found in the Black River in Mackinac County, the Two Hearted River, the Sucker River and Au Train River in Alger County or the Chocolay River and the Carp River in Marquette County. Smelt were in the Elm River in Houghton County and there might have been a light run in the Falls River in Baraga County.

Keweenaw Bay: The salmon bite has been up and down but those trolling caught a mix of coho, brown trout, lake trout and splake. Most were trolling from the head of the Bay north to just past Sand Point and along the east or west side of the Bay 15 to 55 feet down in 20 to 60 feet. Hot colors were orange, green and mixed colors. Those jigging near the Whirl-I-Gig caught lake trout in 250 feet. Pier anglers caught coho, steelhead and splake on spawn, crawlers or cut bait. At the South Portage Entry, those trolling picked up a couple coho and steelhead near the lighthouse. Those jigging for lake trout found fish in 130 to 180 feet at Farmers and Newton’s Reef. In Traverse Bay, those jigging for lake trout in waters up to 250 feet deep caught a few fish off Gay Point and Big Louie’s Point. Steelhead were caught in the Falls River.

Menominee River: Shore anglers were still catching some walleye and trout from the Hattie Street Dam to Stephenson Island using jigs, spoons, and stickbaits. Boat anglers reported low catch rates when trolling or jigging at the mouth.

Little Bay De Noc: All the launches are open and the docks are in. Fair to good perch catches reported just south of the Day’s River using wigglers, minnows or crawlers in 18 to 35 feet. A good number of females were still firm with eggs. Good catches were reported along the Kipling Flats and the “Narrows” in 14 to 35 feet. Shore anglers caught a fair number of perch along the walkway at the Rapid River launch. Crawlers and minnows worked best. Shore anglers casting for smallmouth bass reported a few catches along the mouth of the Ford River however it is still a bit early and water temperatures are still quite cold in the low to mid 40’s. Boat anglers will need to use caution in some of the shallow areas as there was still some ice floating in those areas.

Big Bay De Noc: The launches were open except for Fayette which should have the dock installed this week. Perch anglers had fair to good catches along the west bank of Garden Bay near the Fish House. Try minnows in 5 to 8 feet. Weekends here can be congested so many will launch in Nahma and cross the Bay instead. The females were firm with eggs. The better catches were in the morning. The next couple weeks should be some good fishing.

Marquette: Anglers fishing the Lower Harbor and trolling spoons around the breakwall and near the mouth of the Chocolay and Carp Rivers caught coho, steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Those fishing the Upper Harbor caught a few coho when jigging or casting spoons near the “bubblers”. Water levels were up in the Carp River which made fishing more difficult. Some were starting to use pink and orange spinners but most were using spawn bags.

Au Train: Had good fishing. Those trolling spoons and crankbaits caught some beautiful steelhead and brown trout. The coho fishing was also good for those trolling spoons in Shelter Bay and near the Rock River. A few small splake were also caught. Anglers were starting to catch some lake trout in the deeper waters of Shelter Bay and around Au Train Island. The Rock River was slow with only a few coho taken by those putting in a lot of time.

Munising: Anglers caught chinook, coho, steelhead, brown trout and splake. While some did well others had no luck. Most were trolling spoons or crankbaits in the upper 20 to 30 feet with high lines. Pier and shore anglers caught the occasional coho, splake or whitefish on crawlers, red worms or spawn.

Grand Marais: Those trolling caught a few coho and steelhead. Pier anglers caught the occasional coho and were using a single egg or red worm for whitefish. Shore anglers caught steelhead on spawn. Suckers were caught off the mouth of the Sucker River. Water temperatures warmed slightly to about 38 degrees near the mouth of the river. No reports of any smelt at this time.

Detour: Had little to no activity as the state marina was still holding a small amount of ice and the docks were not in at the boat launches.

Cedarville and Hessel: Overall, fishing is on the upswing but catch rates were still slow. Boat activity from Hessel picked up with most trolling Hessel Bay and Wilderness Bay but very few splake were caught. Pier anglers did manage to catch a couple nice splake in the 10 pound range however most reported poor results. A couple pike and smallmouth bass were caught in the mix but released due to the seasons being closed. Bass were caught on smelt or minnows under a slip bobber or bodybaits. The Cedarville launch area is finally clear of ice and the Lakeside Road launch is clear of snow. A few boats have gone out but had no luck.

St. Ignace: Anglers were launching boats at the city launch even though the docks were not in and the fish cleaning station was closed. The few boats out caught a couple lake trout when trolling in shallow waters. The Carp River still has steelhead but catch rates remain low due to high water levels. Most were using spawn or spinners.Suckers are starting to show up as well. The trees across the launch at the mouth of the Pine River have been cleared but the dock was not in. A few reports of smelt running in the eastern streams and rivers that typically get a run.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report


Mackinaw City: Had one dock in at the Straits State Harbor launch. There were no boat or shore anglers yet.

Cheboygan: The docks were not in yet and the fish cleaning station at the city marina was still closed. There was little to no fishing activity on the pier.

Cheboygan River: Boat anglers are targeting steelhead which appear to be in good numbers. Most are using spawn, jigs, spinners or spoons. A few Atlantic salmon were also caught. Those targeting steelhead caught walleye and pike but released them immediately as the season remains closed until April 30th.

Ocqueoc River: Has steelhead. Try drifting over the holes with spawn or beads.

Rogers City: Surface water temperatures were 36 to 38 degrees so there was little activity. Atlantic salmon and lake trout should be here soon. Try shallow waters with green, yellow and orange spoons or body baits. The Atlantics seem to like wall structure so try trolling around the harbor breakwall or the Calcite wall. A couple anglers were casting from the breakwall.

Rockport: Had reports of Atlantic salmon caught off the wall by those casting. Try orange, green and silver spoons or body baits.

Presque Isle: Is producing lake trout and Atlantic salmon. Lake trout were coming from the bottom in waters up to 100 feet deep with cowbells and chartreuse spin-glo’s or a silver dodger with a spin-glo. Most of the Atlantic salmon were caught towards Stoneport when fishing along the wall structure with spoons or body baits. Good colors were orange, green and yellow. The bays heading out of the harbor should have some warmer water and holding fish.

Alpena: Boats are heading out into the bay. Walleye, lake trout and Atlantic salmon reports are coming in from those trolling spoons, body baits and stickbaits or using planer boards and mini discs to get away from the boat noise.

Thunder Bay River: Steelhead are making their way up the river in decent numbers and with the current manageable, anglers were having good success landing them. Trout beads, fly’s, spawn, spoons and body baits are all producing.

Oscoda: Pier fishing was starting to pick up. With water temperatures still in the low 40’s, lake trout are in close and being caught off the pier head. Steelhead and walleye are also making their way in from the lake. Boats were marking good numbers of fish just outside the mouth. Most anglers targeting walleye are trolling small spoons, body and stickbaits.

Au Sable River: Anglers were having good success catching steelhead from the mouth to Foot Dam on spawn, spoons, spinners, fly’s and bodybaits.

Houghton Lake: Is producing some bluegills and a few crappie in the canals. Boats are starting to head out but no reports have come in.

Tawas: Some walleye were caught off the pier at night when casting or “walking the pier” with crankbaits. The odd walleye, steelhead or lake trout were caught during the day. Those wading caught a few walleye at night when casting by the State Police Post or at the mouth of the Tawas River. Boat anglers heading south to fish off Whitney Drain and Whitestone Point caught walleye when trolling crankbaits.

Tawas River: Was still producing a few suckers in the lower river.

Au Gres: Had a lot of boats heading out and most of them were going north along the shoreline and looking for clean water. Most did catch some walleye but limit catches were few. There was nothing to report at the Pine River or Palmer Road as the perch are done for this spring.




Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report


Lake Erie: Catch rates for walleye increased with the warmer weather and several anglers reported limit catches. Most were trolling stickbaits or jigging blade baits and bucktail jigs with minnows. The waters near Brest Bay, La Plaisance Bay, and Turtle Island have all been contributing walleye as well as the occasional yellow perch and white bass. Areas of water near the rivers, creek mouths, and shore continue to be turbid but are slowly clearing.

Detroit River: Walleye fishing has improved and should be good by the weekend. The better spots were the Trenton Channel below Elizabeth Park and the upper river above Belle Isle. Mid-river fishing around Wyandotte and the River Rouge should heat up by the weekend.

Oakland County Anglers targeting bass on Cass Lake and Union Lake were doing well using lipless crankbaits along the drop-offs in 5 to 15 feet. Large numbers of bass could be seen in the shallow flats and the canals. Some bluegills were caught in the canals and shallow coves when using small jigs tipped with wax worms or a piece of crawler.

Lake St. Clair: On the south end, waters adjacent to the 9 and 11 Mile launches were excellent for bass fishing in 7 to 10 feet with purple crank baits and dark tube baits. Panfish and perch anglers did best between the Clinton River Cutoff launch site and the Metro Beach launch in 7 to 10 feet with slip bobbers and live bait. Try minnows, crawlers and wax worms however minnows seemed to work best. On the north end, bass fishing was spotty between Harley Ensign and Selfridge so many were heading south to the Metro Beach area. Anglers did catch bluegill, crappie and rock bass when using minnows and wax worms in the marinas. Shore and pier anglers at Selfridge caught good numbers of pumpkinseed sunfish on crawlers.

St. Clair River: Water temperatures near Algonac were 38 to 40 degrees and the water was stained. A few walleye were caught in the Algonac area and upriver near Port Huron. Some salmon and trout were caught in Port Huron near the Black River.

Lexington: Had fair lake trout fishing with the occasional fish weighing in at 16 pounds or more. Most were fishing in 30 feet. Surface water temperatures were still 38 degrees or so but the harbors were starting to warm up and minnows were starting to move in.

Harbor Beach: A couple of boats were out and caught some lake trout. Shore anglers fishing at night near the mouth of the DTE discharge channel caught a couple steelhead.

Saginaw Bay: The best walleye action was in 23 to 24 feet off Linwood and near the Spark Plug (Buoys 11 & 12) or northeast of Spoils Island in 20 feet. If you’re the first one out there in the morning, you can catch fish casting right off the rocks around Spoils Island but the action slows fast when more boats show up and the fish move to deeper water. Walleye were caught off the Bay City State Park and the Kawkawlin River in 6 to 8 feet. Most are trolling purple crankbaits but a few fish were taken on pink and purple crawler harnesses. Walleye were caught off Quanicassee and some perch were taken straight off the mouth of the Quanicassee River in 6 to 8 feet. Walleye anglers were going out to the Slot and the Callahan Reef. Some fish were caught off Sebewaing and Bay Port. Surface water temperatures were low to mid 40’s. Shore fishing for spring perch is about done.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

The inland lakes are still cold so catch rates were slow. Bluegills were starting to bite and crappie should pick up in the next few weeks.

St. Joseph: Overall, fishing has been on the slow side. Boat anglers caught a few salmon when trolling spoons from 20 feet to well over 100 feet of water. Pier anglers caught a few coho and brown trout on spawn. Perch fishing was very slow.

St. Joseph River: Has a fair number of steelhead.

South Haven: Boat anglers targeting lake trout had good success. Most of the fish were caught in about 50 feet of water when using spin-glo’s. Salmon and perch fishing slowed. Pier anglers reported slow catch rates.

Grand Haven: Anglers trolling the shoreline for brown trout and pier anglers fishing for steelhead and brown trout reported slow catch rates. Boat anglers targeting yellow perch reported fair catches. The best baits were wigglers and minnows.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Still has some steelhead but the numbers are dropping.

Rogue River: Still has a fair number of steelhead.

Grand River at Lansing: A good number of smallmouth bass have been caught and released immediately near the North Lansing Dam. Pike were also caught however the season is closed. Those using crawlers caught some carp.

Muskegon: Boat anglers trolling for brown trout along the shoreline reported slow catch rates. Pier fishing was also slow.

Muskegon Lake: Boat anglers were getting white perch in 40 feet near the Sand Docks.

Muskegon River: Water levels are dropping but were still slightly stained. Steelhead are in the river but the numbers are dropping. Anglers are using spawn or fly fishing.

Whitehall: Steelhead fishing has slowed but pier anglers were catching some brown trout on spawn. Those targeting walleye from the pier heads had success after dark when casting rapalas and soft plastic swim baits.

Baitman fishing Report 4/14/16

LUDINGTON, MICH. – Missing Hamlin Grocery owner Vaughn Flewelling is safe and has been traveling out of state. Glad to hear your safe Vaughn and hope to see you soon




Houghton Lake: Finally the weather is getting nice and the crappie have started to bite so grab your pole and lets go fishing this weekend.

Lake Charlevoix: The docks are in at the public boat launch at Ferry Beach. This is the city launch that anglers use to access Lake Michigan. There is a perch bite also at Ironton with wigglers and perch.

Boardman River: Has continued to produce trout and steelhead.

Traverse City: When the wind allows, trout have been caught along the south end of the West Bay. Activity in the East Bay continues to be slow. Success was limited near Elk Rapids. Fishing should pick up with the warmer weather. Green Lake by Interlochen is producing nice perch by the south access site. Glen Lake when weather permitting has a perch bite also.

Manistee Lake by Manistee had a perch bite before the weather changed so we hope this weekend the bite is back on.

Big Manistee River: Those fishing the upper portion between High Bridge and Tippy Dam were still getting some fresh steelhead. The numbers were low but so was the water temperature at 41 degrees. A few more fish were caught on the Welton side of Tippy Dam on pink and chartreuse beads, wobble glows, spawn or gold and red plugs. Suckers were hitting crawlers near Bear Creek.

Saginaw Bay: Even with the bad weather, the die-hards heading out and fishing around Spoils Island got some walleye when jigging near the rocks. A few even managed to take limit catches. A few perch were caught in the Quanicassee River. Conditions and catch rates should only improve by the end of the week.

Saginaw River: The mouth of the river is hot with guys jigging blues and catching limits, but remember you cannot fish in the river as it is close.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Harbor Springs: Had no dock in at the boat launch.

Petoskey: The dock was still not in at the boat launch. Angling effort was mainly concentrated at the mouth of the river, and the breakwall. Anglers caught steelhead on spawn bags and wax worms at the mouth of the river. Spawn bags worked best out on the breakwall. Anglers are seeing more females. The water level of the Bear River has dropped some, but was still moderately high. Those fishing the dam and between the bridges downstream did catch a couple steelhead on spawn bags.

Manistee: Surface water temperatures were about 38 degrees. A few trout were caught between the pier heads.

Ludington: Surface temperature readings were about 38 degrees. Look for more boat and pier anglers with the warmer weather.

Pere Marquette River: Has steelhead. Most are using flies and spawn. Those targeting suckers caught fish on crawlers.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Ice could still be found on the lakes in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula. Recent snow could hamper boat launching.

Menominee River: The best action for walleye has been from the Hattie Street Dam to Stephenson Island, with zip lures, jigs, and stick baits. Some brown trout were also caught. The better fishing continues closer to the dam.

Marquette: Fishing was again slow with the cold and snowy conditions. On the few days anglers could get out, coho were caught near the “bubblers’ by those using artificial baits or when jigging cut bait. The last snow produced slush in the rivers which slowed fishing.

Au Train: Had no reports on fishing in the bays of Lake Superior because of windy conditions. The dock at the boat launch was not in yet. Some were fishing the mouth of the Au Train River and the Rock River however all they caught was a few small brown trout.

Munising: Strong north winds, snow squalls and cold temperatures limited fishing once again. A few anglers were fishing from shore and the pier at the Anna River but had little success with only a few splake, whitefish and steelhead caught. Most were caught on spawn but a few were casting spoons.

Grand Marais: Fishing was limited once again. The wall of ice at the end of the pier grew higher and thicker after the high winds and cold temperatures. A couple boats that were able to get out did manage to get a couple steelhead. Not many pier anglers but those out trying did catch a few whitefish and coho on a single egg. Surf anglers were not having much luck. The Two Hearted River has a good number of steelhead in it right now.

St. Marys River: The docks are in at the boat launch in Sault Ste. Marie. Raber Bay still had ice at the boat launch. The north end of Munuscong Bay and Conley’s Point has a new parking lot and boat launch but the docks were not in yet. There is open water but no fishing effort yet.

<strong<detour:< strong=””>The boat launch areas still had some ice holding on. No docks have been put in and there was no sign of any fishing activity.

Cedarville and Hessel: The Cedarville launch was still blocked in by ice but the Lakeside Road launch was ice free. At Hessel, the dock was not in at the launch. A couple pier anglers were targeting splake in the early morning but catch rates were poor. The few nice fish that have been caught were keeping anglers interested. Most are using smelt or minnows under a bobber.

St. Ignace: Had little to no fishing on Lake Huron. The launch ramps were covered in ice and snow and there were no docks in yet. The Pine River launch remains blocked by fallen trees and is snowed in. A couple steelhead were caught in the Carp River.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Mackinaw City: The ramps were not in due to the cold weather. No signs of any pier anglers and no one trying to launch a boat in the snow.

Cheboygan: Snow and ice covered all the ramps in town. The launch ramp near the marina remains inaccessible due to the docks blocking the ramp. No fishing activity on the pier. A couple steelhead were caught in the Cheboygan River but the bite slowed because of the cold water. Anglers were using spawn, worms, jigs or spinners.

Rogers City: The launch docks are in but there has been no fishing activity. There is nothing open at the marina.

Presque Isle: Had no docks in at the ramp and there were no signs of when the marina might open.

Thunder Bay River: Fishing has been good with fresh steelhead coming in from Lake Huron. Spawn, trout eggs, body baits and stick baits were all producing fish. The river is running high and fast so use caution when entering the water. This should just be the start so look for more fish making their way up into river.

Harrisville: Skid piers are in so boats can launch. Steelhead and a couple early walleye were reported in the harbor. Spoons, body baits and floating spawn seem to be working well. Look to this port to start producing good walleye numbers soon.

Oscoda: Steelhead, walleye and Atlantic salmon were caught off the pier.

Au Sable River: Water temperatures dropped but should rebound by the weekend. Anglers were having great success with steelhead and Atlantic salmon caught all the way up to the dam by those using spawn bags, single egg, fly’s, spinners, small spoons and body baits.

Higgins Lake: Had a couple boats trolling for lake trout.

Tawas: Pier fishing was really slow with only rumors of a couple walleye taken from the outside and nothing caught inside the harbor. A few anglers casting off the mouth of the river caught a couple walleye at night.

Tawas River: Was high and muddy.

Au Gres: Boats trolling off the mouth of Whitney Drain and the Singing Bridge reportedly caught a few walleye and the odd steelhead when they could get out. Those trolling crank baits in 10 to 20 feet off Whitestone Point did manage a limit of big walleye. No activity on the river itself.



Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Those targeting walleye had success when trolling in 15 to 20 feet with various stick baits in bright colors and UV colors such as pink, purple and white. Fish were caught south off Stony Point and north off Turtle Island. Jigging blade baits and minnows have also produced some walleye and the occasional white bass.

Detroit River: Still had some stain to the water but was clearing up more every day. Anglers reported good walleye fishing especially in the lower end.

Huron River: Was still producing some steelhead.

Oakland County With warmer weather on the way, those going out for bluegills or crappie will want to try the shallow coves and canals. Try an ice fishing jig tipped with a wax worm or minnow.

Lake St. Clair: The lake was still muddy but starting to clear up. Shore anglers were getting a few perch and crappie.

Lexington: A couple boat anglers caught one walleye.


Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

The rivers in this area are high and turbid because of the recent rains and snowmelt. Anglers should be on the lookout for floating logs and other hazards. Water temperatures dropped into the upper 30’s to low 40’s but will be increase rapidly with the warm, sunny weather.

St. Joseph: The channel was very muddy. Pier anglers did catch a few coho or brown trout with spawn on the bottom or floating a crawler. Few boats were out and those that did struggled to catch fish.

St. Joseph River: Was high and muddy.

South Haven: Had few anglers because of the muddy water and the slow bite.

Holland: The channel was muddy after all the rain.

Grand Haven: The nearshore water clarity was poor. Pier fishing is slow for steelhead and brown trout. Windy conditions have prevented boats from trolling the shoreline. All the docks are in at the Harbor Island boat launch.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Was clearing up. Steelhead were still being caught but fewer numbers.

Grand River at Lansing: Smallmouth bass anglers were catching and releasing fish near the North Lansing Dam. They were using minnows and spinners. Good colors in the stained water would be chartreuse and white.

Muskegon: A couple steelhead were caught by pier anglers using spawn.

Muskegon River: Was still a bit high and muddy but should clear up by the weekend. Anglers were still reporting a good number of steelhead especially up near Croton Dam. A few perch were caught up near the dams and in the bayous.



Josh has two jobs. Farming & Fishing.

Millers Corner's photo.
Millers Corner's photo.


Fishing is Slow

Tippy Dam Steelhead fishing
Tippy Dam Steelhead fishing

Fishing has been horrible this week with very few fishing as snow, wind and freezing rain have kept most souls home waiting for better days. It is a challenge to fish from a boat or shore. Elevated water levels on many rivers will make fishing difficult.

There was almost a foot of snow in Gaylord today with Otsego Lake still had ice. As I look out the window it is snowing hard in Northern Michigan.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Some inland lakes were still ice covered. There is too much to launch a boat but yet not enough to call it safe ice. It needs to warm up and stay that way so the lakes will open up.

Harbor Springs: The dock was not in at the boat launch. There were no pier anglers as the area received heavy snow once again.

Petoskey: The dock is not in at the boat launch. Ice is not a problem in Little Traverse Bay this year but skim ice was still forming in the marina especially at night. Angling effort was concentrated at the mouth of the river down to the beach, and on the breakwall. Anglers caught steelhead on spawn bags and wax worms. Early morning seems best. The Bear River is very high right now. There is not much effort at the dam or downstream because of the fast water.

Traverse City: Blowing snow and cold windy days have kept most boats off both the East and the West Bay. Those trout fishing had success on the pier off Sunset Park on the West Bay and below the dam in Elk Rapids on the East Bay.

Boardman River: Anglers targeting steelhead had success between the Union Street Dam and the mouth.

Frankfort: The ice is gone and the boat ramps are clear but the docks were not in yet. A couple steelhead were caught off the north pier when using spawn.

Onekama: Had no fishing activity. The pier and boat launch were ice free and the city has their dock in.

Portage Lake: Had no anglers. Both boat launches are clear of ice and the city has their dock in.

Manistee: Water temperatures were about 43 degrees. Anglers have picked up the occasional steelhead around the piers.

Manistee Lake: The perch numbers have dropped but anglers were still picking up fish near Penny Park.

Big Manistee River: Water levels were still on the high side and running 42 to 44 degrees. Steelhead are moving with a good number of fish up near Tippy Dam. Pink has been a hot color. The lower end of the river has been slow because of the high and muddy water. Those looking for suckers have done well when using crawlers near Bear Creek.

Ludington: The bay was ice free. The docks are in but few anglers were out.

Pentwater: Pier anglers are targeting steelhead and brown trout as the weather permits.

Pentwater Lake: Steelhead were being caught in the channel.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Steady snowfall, high winds and cold temperatures have produced a lot of frozen slush in the bay. Angler participation has been down for a few days. Before the return of winter, fishing was good for some and not so good for others. Those using mini planer boards with body baits like shad raps or plain rapalas did well 15 to 25 feet down in 20 to 70 feet near Sand Point. Orange was the hot color. Those fishing between the Baraga Marina and the L’Anse Marina have only picked up the occasional coho. No chinook have been seen or reported. Steelhead were caught in the Falls River but the action was hit-or-miss. Those fishing off the Rock Dock in L’Anse have picked up steelhead and coho while the Sand Point anglers have only picked up a couple coho.

Menominee River: The upper river from the Hattie Street Dam down to Stephenson Island was still producing a good number of walleye along with the occasional brown trout and steelhead. Suckers were up near the dam. Water levels were high and muddy.

Little Bay De Noc: Conditions improved however because of the cold nights, some ice was still hanging on near Kipling. The Ford River and the Gladstone launch are the only ones up and running. The Escanaba Yacht Harbor was still partially iced over. A boat could be launched at the Rapid River but the dock is not in and the asphalt has buckled. The gate has been opened at the North Shore launch but no docks were in. Steelhead anglers reported catches in the Whitefish, Tacoosh, Day’s and Ford Rivers. A few boats have gone after brown trout just south of the Ford River but no reports came in.

Big Bay De Noc: The only usable launch is at Ogontz. The area was ice free and the dock is never removed. It is still early but there could be some preseason bass opportunities. Garden Bay was still iced over.

Marquette: Had slow fishing. Some were still targeting coho near the “bubblers” when using both artificial lures and cut bait. Those trolling spoons had no luck. Some steelhead were caught in the Carp River and the Chocolay River but cold weather has slowed the bite.

Au Train: Had no reports and no anglers as the dock is not in at the launch. With the return of winter weather, it is unknown when it might be put in. The Rock River had a few anglers but no fish were caught.

Munising: The bay is ice free except for skim ice in the morning and some ice floes throughout the bay. The city public launch is open with one dock in. Prior to the cold front, anglers were mainly trolling but catch rates for coho were slow and no steelhead were reported. Those fishing off the Anna River dock and boat anglers near the mouth did catch some splake, menominee or whitefish.

Grand Marais: Before the cold snap, boat anglers did well trolling for coho in the harbor, along the breakwall and near the mouth of the Sucker River when the wind permits. A couple steelhead were caught. Some were pier fishing. There was no ice on the first section of the pier but there was still a large wall of ice near the lighthouse and on the rocks. Anglers were targeting coho and lake whitefish with a single egg or when casting spoons. There was very little activity at the Sucker River. The Two Hearted River was producing some steelhead. The river mouth is good for coho on good weather days or when there is a south wind.

Cedarville and Hessel: The Cedarville boat launch was still iced in. At Hessel, anglers were splake fishing outside the pier but catch rates were spotty. Most were using a combination of natural baits including smelt, spawn, minnows and crawlers under a bobber.

St. Ignace: The docks are not in at the launch so there has been little to no fishing activity. There are some steelhead being caught in the rivers, but the cold weather slowed the bite. No smelt to report, water temperatures are too cold. In St. Martin Bay, the new launch at the mouth of the Pine River is blocked by several large trees.

Black River: In Mackinac County was producing some steelhead. Catch rates were slow but anglers were taking a few on spawn.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Mackinaw City: The docks are not in and fishing activity on Lake Huron was between light and nonexistent.

Cheboygan: The docks are blocking the launch near the marina but the dock is in at the city launch on the river. Fishing pressure on Lake Huron is light but those fishing the Cheboygan River caught steelhead on spawn and butter worms.

Ocqueoc River: Had a good number of steelhead but the bite slowed with the colder weather.

Rogers City: The docks are in but no facilities are open yet. The weather remains cold and snowy. When temperatures warm up casting from the wall is possible. Look for steelhead, lake trout or Atlantic salmon. Bright colored spoons will probably be more affective as the water is still turbid.

Presque Isle: Had no docks in at the ramp and none of the facilities were open yet.

Alpena: The ice was off the Alpena Boat Harbor and the docks are in at the ramp on the river which means good access to the bay for boat anglers. With lake trout season open and walleyes returning to Thunder Bay after spawning, fishing should pick up quickly when water temperatures warm up. Another option for accessing Thunder Bay is the small-boat ramp at the Devil River in Ossineke. The ramp gives access to the southern end of Thunder Bay and its excellent walleye fishery.

Thunder Bay River: Still had some steelhead hitting on spawn.

Au Sable River: Water levels were high and muddy. The better fishing was up near the dam where the water was a little cleaner.

Tawas: Only one lake trout and one walleye were caught off the pier by those still-fishing with grey shiners. Boat anglers reported the water as stirred up and very dirty. Only one walleye was caught.

Tawas River: A few suckers were taken however the average was one sucker per hour of fishing.

Au Gres: Boat anglers are catching walleye off Point Lookout. Most of the fish were large, spawned out females so it sounds like the post-spawn phase is starting.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Detroit River: Walleye fishing has been hit-or-miss. Those jigging in the lower and mid-sections caught fish depending on wind direction and run-off.

Oakland County Cass and Union Lake have seen minimal fishing effort because of the cold weather. Those casting blade baits, and lipless crank baits in deeper water were catching some bass. Catch rates for crappie and other panfish were slow.

Lake St. Clair: Once again, there is not much to report. Skim ice was forming in the canals and the docks were iced over with the cold nights. The lake continues to be muddy from all the wind and run-off.

Clinton River: Had some reports of a couple steelhead being caught.

Lexington: Had a few boats going out and they caught a couple coho in 17 to 20 feet. The water along the outside of the Thumb was very muddy. One boat went out to 80 feet looking for cleaner water but did not find any.

Saginaw Bay: All the rain, snow and ice shut fishing down area-wide. The bay has been very turbid. All of the area rivers are terribly high, if not actually over flood stage, and very muddy. There was little to no activity at Eagle Bay Marina, near the Pine River and Palmer Road. Reports have come in that post-spawn walleye are starting to be caught off the river mouths, but finding clean water will be a problem. A few perch were caught from the cut at Finn Road but shut right down after the rain. Mud Creek was spotty for perch. Sebewaing and Caseville had almost no fishing activity.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

St. Joseph: Fishing pressure is very low due to the very poor weather.

St. Joseph River: Is high and muddy after all the rain.

South Haven: Had very low fishing pressure. There seems to be a few brown trout around. Spawn or skein fished on the bottom should work.

Holland: Pier anglers were out targeting steelhead and brown trout.

Grand Haven: Pier and boat anglers reported slow action for steelhead and brown trout. Nearshore water clarity is poor due to recent rains.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Was producing a good number of steelhead however high water levels will make fishing more difficult.

Grand River at Lansing: Few anglers have been out because of the cold weather. Those making an attempt did manage to catch the occasional steelhead. A couple suckers were caught on crawlers, leaf worms or red worms.

Rogue River: Was still producing a good number of steelhead in the lower river.

Muskegon: Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout on spawn.

Muskegon River: Water levels are high and muddy. Steelhead were there but the bite slowed with the cold spell.

Whitehall: Pier anglers caught some steelhead and the occasional brown trout.