Seven year old Peter Maddox caught his first steelhead while
fishing the Manistee with his Dad. Both will cherish the memories
of his 28″, 7 pounder.
This will not be a great opener as many rivers are over there banks and muddy water streaming though. Also many lakes north of M-55 still have ice and docks in the access sites are still on shore. Please check as most lakes are still froze in Northern Michigan hopefully the ice might be gone by saturday
Steelhead fishing has been great with the high water as many have been limiting out this week.
Anglers and others interested in fisheries management in Michigan are invited to join the Department of Natural Resources at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 for “DNR Live: Fish” ? a one-hour online forum designed to answer questions from the public about the state’s fisheries, fishing seasons and regulations. The one-hour video event will stream live on the DNR’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/miDNR. A Facebook account is not required to access the page and watch the live stream event. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.
This coming Saturday, April 27th marks the opening day of trout season on the Type 1 and Type 2 streams as well as the walleye, northern pike and muskellunge opener on the Lower Peninsula inland waters. The “Catch and Immediate Release” bass season for all the Lower Peninsula waters including the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River will also open this coming Saturday. The openers may be a little slower because of ice in the upper regions or flooding in the central and lower regions. For the trout opener, try the small feeder streams at the top of the watersheds as they are more likely to be fishable than the bigger rivers.
FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL
The Manistee River may be high, fast and cold but the fish are enjoying it. Conditions are not be normal. As a bonus, the accidental catches of walleye will be legal after the 27th.
re you ready? The trout, walleye and pike seasons open for the Lower Peninsula, April 27th. We’re just waiting for open water fishing.
Lake Cadillac should be open as the remaining ice melts from the rain and warmer temperatures. It always opens first.
Fishing Lake Mitchell may be a problem. It’s still ice covered! The shorelines open more every day and the ice turns darker. It will open soon. If fishing Lake Mitchell is in your plans for the opener, call us at 231-775-5412 for current conditions. At this time we are unable to put any of our docks or rental boats out.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Traverse City: Catch rates for cisco were very good in the southwest portion of the West Bay. Try jigging spoons in 40 to 80 feet of water. A few lake trout were caught as well. Pier fishing was slow with a few lake trout taken on spawn bags.
Elk River: Steelhead fishing was steady. Try spawn bags or drifting a dark colored jig tipped with wax worms.
Boardman River: Steelhead fishing was slow even though water levels have come down a little. A few fish were caught on spawn bags and jigs tipped with wax worms.
Big Glen Lake: Is ice free but no anglers were out.
Platte Bay: Fishing has picked up as steelhead are now moving into the river. Those surfcasting with spawn have caught a few fish.
Frankfort: Catch rates slowed however a few brown trout and steelhead were caught by those using spawn off both piers. Those trolling for brown trout reported some strikes but landed only a few.
Betsie River: Those fishing up at the Homestead Dam are catching steelhead.
Onekama: The dock has been put in at the park downtown. Water levels were good at the launch site and in the channel leading to Lake Michigan.
Portage Lake: The dock is in and anglers are testing the waters for perch. A good number of fish were hitting on wigglers however the fish were small.
Manistee: Pier fishing was slow for steelhead and brown trout. Boat anglers caught a few browns when trolling around the piers. Try orange or chartreuse body baits.
Manistee River: Steelhead are being caught even though the river is high and muddy. Those fishing at Tippy Dam have caught fish.
Lake Cadillac: Has pretty much opened up.
Lake Mitchell: Still had ice.
Ludington: Had slow brown trout fishing off the piers but those trolling orange spoons or body baits did manage to catch a few.
Pentwater: Anglers have caught steelhead and brown trout from the channel. The strong current has prevented pier fishing. Some boat anglers caught brown trout when trolling spoons along the second sand bar. Chinook salmon were found out from the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in 60 feet of water.
Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Rogers City: The docks are in at the boat launches but everything else will be closed until early May. Water temperatures were still in the upper 30’s. Anglers should be casting off the breakwall anytime now that the ice and snow is gone. Try bright colored spoons like orange, chartreuse, yellow, silver or gold. Atlantic salmon and brown trout should start showing up soon.
Ocqueoc River: Recent rain brought the water levels up a good four to five inches. Anglers did well between the lamprey weir and the mouth when drifting spawn bags under a bobber or using small artificial jigs. Water clarity was a bit stained but not bad. The next couple weeks should be good for steelhead fishing.
Rockport: The docks were not in and gate for the old pier parking lot was locked.
Thunder Bay River: Steelhead are being caught below the 9th Street Dam even with the stronger current. Most are using beads, spawn or flies. The docks are in at the marina boat launch.
Harrisville: Fishing has improved around the harbor as good numbers of steelhead have been caught on spoons, spawn or body baits. Walleye are moving in and out of the harbor. Catch rates were best with body baits in the early morning or evening.
Au Sable River: Is high and fast. The strong current actually turned the dock at the Rea Road launch site. Even with the high water levels, shore anglers reported good fishing. Upstream, they are using spawn, flies and wax worms. Down at the mouth, try spawn, spoons or body baits off the end of the pier. There were reports of a couple walleye taken off the end of the pier late at night.
Tawas: Is producing a few walleye for those trolling crank baits off the mouth of the Tawas River and back in the bay off Jerry’s Marina. Nothing going on inside the harbor, it is just too muddy.
Au Gres: A lot of boats have been going out on the bay and looking for clean water. A good number of walleye have been caught in 15 to 20 feet of water around Point Lookout and White Stone Point when trolling body baits or jigging with jig heads tipped with minnows or smelt. Some limit catches were reported.
Upper Peninsula Fishing Report
Trout streams were flowing high and fast. Access will be difficult on most lakes and streams as snow pack is quite deep in places. The trout opener will be slow but look for good fishing in the weeks following as the ice melts and the trout move into the shallows to feed.
Keweenaw Bay: The Ice has broken up almost straight out from Carla’s Restaurant and the ice is gone from Keweenaw Bay Park. Shoreline ice in many places has started to erode. Some fishing out from the L’Anse Marina have gone in up to their knee’s after stepping into old holes that were eroding from underneath. Anglers have caught a few chinook, coho, rainbow trout or lake herring off the L’Anse Marina and up near Perch Corner. The smelt bite between Baraga and Bucks Marina slowed.
Falls River: Has rainbow trout but the bite was slow.
Marquette: Pack ice is still present along the shorelines between the Carp River and the Chocolay River. There are large areas of floating ice along M-28 about a half mile off shore. The Upper Harbor is ice free and ready for launching. The Lower Harbor could be ice free by the end of the week. The breakwalls were still dangerous due to ice cover. Catch rates for coho were not good however a couple steelhead were caught by those using spawn, crawlers, spinners or small plastic worms.
Chocolay River: Has steelhead although the big push has not yet occurred. Many are fishing here because most of the snow is gone.
Menominee: The bay is ice free however the marina was still iced in.
Menominee River: Walleye were caught upstream of Boom Island when jigging minnows. The shoreline between Stephenson Island and the dam was busy with shore anglers and those wading while casting rapalas. The Cat Walk and fishing platforms at the Hattie Street Dam were also busy with walleye anglers. Try casting different colored rapalas, jigging with zip lures or jig heads with and without minnows. Those looking for brown trout had no luck.
Cedar River: Is ice free. One boat trolling off the mouth had some difficulty with floating ice. They were targeting brown trout but had no strikes. Stoney Point was still iced in.
Little Bay De Noc: Even though much of the bay was still iced over conditions are deteriorating on a daily basis. All the rivers are open and flowing high and fast. Steelhead anglers have started but water temperatures were still cold. The Ford River launch is open but the dock is not in and the current is quite strong.
Big Bay De Noc: Is in the same condition as Little Bay. All the rivers are open but running high and fast. Perch anglers are hoping the ice will be gone as we move closer to spring fishing. At Fairport, the launches are ice free and open.
Au Train: The bay is still iced but movement of the ice is causing pressure cracks. Two feet of snow remains in the parking lot at the Brownstone launch. Some were fishing near the mouth of the river but no fish were caught.
Munising: Had very low fishing pressure as ice conditions have changed dramatically over the last week. Ice is present but no longer safe in the west channel. Sand Point had ice but there is open water along the length of the shoreline. While many areas still had packed snow and ice anglers need to be cautious of potentially large pressure cracks hidden under the snowfall. The best access to the ice is near the mouth of the Anna River but use caution around any open water. Catch rates for coho and splake were poor. A couple whitefish were caught in shallow waters near the Anna River. Access to Trout Bay has been cut-off due to shoreline conditions.
Sucker River: Has steelhead moving in. Deep snow will make it difficult for shore anglers navigating along the river.
Two Hearted River: Steelhead were starting to move in. Water temperatures are still cold so anglers are still waiting for that big push of fish. Access is very difficult right now unless you fish near the High Bridge. The snow was still two to three feet deep in places along the watershed.
Albany Creek: The access is still snowed in but those hiking down to the lake have caught some steelhead. They are wading near rocks and casting spawn or spinners.
Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers continue to target perch in Hessel Bay but the better fishing was in Musky Bay. Try minnows, wigglers and wax worms.
Carp River: A few anglers have caught steelhead on spawn. Look for the beginning of the smelt run now that the mouth of the river is ice free.
Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Lake Erie: Attention walleye anglers: The daily limit for walleye in Michigan waters from May 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014 will remain six (6) fish. Though water clarity and catch rates were poor, anglers were marking good numbers of fish in 12 to 16 feet of water from Brest Bay to Turtle Island. The majority of boats are jigging hair jigs or blade baits. The fish cleaning station is now open at Sterling State Park.
Detroit River: Word has it walleye fishing has been very good when it is not too windy. Catch rates should continue as it dries up and the water clears up.
Lake St. Clair: Was not hit as hard with rain and flooding but the water is still dirty. Not much activity to report right now but anglers should be out this coming Saturday as the catch and immediate release bass season opens.
Lexington: Anglers were catching a nice mix of coho, chinook and steelhead straight out and north of the harbor in 15 to 30 feet of water. Find the clean water and you will catch fish.
Port Sanilac: Coho were caught on body baits in 22 feet of water north of the harbor.
Harbor Beach: Is producing the occasional coho or brown trout for those casting Cleo’s off the breakwall. Not much in the way of boat activity yet.
Grindstone City: The water is too shallow, no fishing activity.
Saginaw Bay: Those trolling husky jerks off Linwood caught a fair to good number of walleye in 16 to 18 feet of water. The trick is to find clean water. Walleye were caught east of Spoils Island. The east side of the bay from Quanicassee to Port Austin had nothing to report. The post spawn walleyes have just undergone a two week stretch of high water and strong currents. Under these conditions, the fish can be urged to move back down toward Saginaw Bay.
Saginaw River: While water levels have crested in most of the central Michigan rivers, flooding remains widespread and the prognosis for the upcoming walleye opener is guarded at best. There is no telling what shape the launch ramps will be in, but expect a lot of mud and woody debris. Those living close to inland lakes with walleye might want to try fishing those lakes as an alternative to the rivers.
Tittabawassee River: Had high water levels and a strong current. The river could be back within its banks by the weekend if it does not rain.
Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
St. Joseph: Boat anglers will need to find clean water when trout fishing. Pier fishing was slow with all the muddy water.
St. Joseph River: Water levels were extremely high and turbid and there is a large amount of debris in the river. Boat anglers will need to use caution. The docks at the DNR launch in Benton Harbor and the city launch in St. Joe were underwater.
South Haven: Fishing was very slow this week. Few boats were out.
Black River: Had high water levels. Boat anglers need to use caution because of floating debris in the river.
Holland: Boat anglers reported stained water all the way out to waters 40 to 50 feet deep and as far south as Saugatuck. Boats trolling beyond the stained water have caught a few salmon and trout 30 to 40 feet down. Try orange and gold spoons or body baits. No perch to report. Pier anglers did not have much luck.
Grand Haven: Dirty water and debris from the rivers and lakes has made fishing difficult for boat and pier anglers. Those using spawn have caught the occasional steelhead, brown trout or whitefish. No perch to report. The docks were not in at the launch on Harbor Island.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Flood warnings all the way up to Ionia continue. Until the water levels come down, anglers may want to target the small feeder streams for the trout opener.
Grand River at Lansing: No reports this week. Anglers are gearing up for the walleye and trout opener.
Maple River: Was still at flood stage. Shore anglers need to use caution.
Muskegon River: Water levels were still high and muddy. Those trout fishing will want to use large flies in bright colors.
Whitehall: Pier anglers using spawn have caught more brown trout than steelhead. Boat anglers were fishing for walleye just beyond the pier.