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