Otsego, Higgins, Burt still have some ice floating but should be gone by tomorrow. Fishing has been ok some places, but the water has to warm out for the gills and crappie north of M-32 as the ice just went off.
Traverse City: Perch fishing was good around Deepwater Point in the East Bay. Lake trout and some lake herring were caught by those jigging around Deepwater Point and along the drop-off south of the M-37 launch. Lake trout were caught by those jigging straight out from Elk Rapids. In the Elk River, catch rates were hit-or-miss but steelhead were caught at the dam when using spawn in the morning. A couple nice fish were caught at the kid’s pond. In the West Bay, perch fishing was excellent at Northport in 40 to 80 feet on both live bait and artificial baits. Perch were also caught in Bowers Harbor and east of Power Island before the winds. Lee Point was hit-or-miss. Lake trout were caught in the morning when trolling at the south end of the bay. The Boardman River is producing steelhead in the early morning or evening with spawn or a jig and wax worm. A few nice brown trout were caught at the dam.
Long Lake has had some action but I have not got any feed back this week, guys are waiting for the ice to get out of Ironton on lake Charlevoix to look for perch.
Portage Lake: Water temperatures were still on the cool side even in the shallows so perch fishing was slow.
Fishing is finally picking up. The warm rain should really help to get things going. Anglers should find trout in the rivers however the trout opener to the north was slow because of colder air and water temperatures. Bluegills and crappie are being caught in the inland lakes. Walleye, bass and pike fishing continue to get better as it warms up.
Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing off Linwood was centered around the Black Hole and 1 to 2 miles northeast of Spoils Island when boats could get out there. Body baits off planer boards was the ticket, although some boats were vertical jigging near Spoils Island. On the east side of the bay from Quanicassee to Bay Port, walleye anglers were fishing all over the bay but no one had great success as most boats came in with only 2 or 3 fish. Spring perch fishing is pretty much over. Walleye anglers are also catching and releasing a few smallmouth bass. A few pike were caught in the Sebewaing River. Up at Caseville, pier anglers managed to catch some walleye, one coho and some smallmouth bass. Near Port Austin, those fishing the Pinnebog River caught suckers, pike, and smallmouth bass. A couple walleye were taken at the mouth of Bird Creek.
Saginaw River: Boat anglers vertical jigging in the lower river were taking some walleye. Shore anglers at Smith Park caught mainly white bass, freshwater drum, catfish and a couple pike. Smallmouth bass were caught and released in the marinas.
Tittabawassee River: Walleye fishing in the entire river from Dow Dam downstream to Green Point was excellent for the opener. Limit catches of 5 fish per angler was common. Even the shore anglers did well when they could get to a deep hole or run. Ninety-five percent of the walleyes taken were males as the large females have moved back out to the bay.
Houghton Lake: Good fishing continues in the canals for crappie and bluegills. A few walleye were also caught. Those out trolling on the opener caught a few walleye.
This coming Saturday, April 28th is the walleye, pike and muskellunge opener on the Lower Peninsula inland waters. The statewide trout opener on all Type 1 and Type 2 streams as well as all Type A and Type D Designated Trout Lakes is also this Saturday.
Steelhead fishing continues. The remaining fish should run and spawn fairly quickly so anglers may find more steelhead for the trout opener this weekend. Conditions for the opener depend on how much rain we get this week. As for the walleye opener, some lakes to target would be Hamlin Lake, Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, Lake Missaukee, Portage Lake, Bear Lake and both Upper and Lower Herring Lakes. Many lakes in this region are still ice covered but the ice is melting quickly so anglers should wait for open water fishing.
Harbor Springs: The ice is beginning to melt but there was not much in the way of open water yet.
Petoskey: Anglers are fishing for steelhead inside the breakwall when possible. The ice was melted about halfway down the breakwall making that area fishable. Anglers are using spawn bags. There was still ice and snow on the walkway and rocks so caution needs to be used. Anglers were also fishing off the D Pier at the mouth of the river and using spawn and worms or casting spinners.
Bear River: Had higher water levels as warmer temperatures melt the deep snow. There were quite a few steelhead up near the dam but anglers had a hard time landing them because of the high water levels. Most were using spawn bags and flies.
Lake Charlevoix: Still had ice and anglers were waiting to see if it will be gone by the opener this weekend. If the lake opens up, the walleye and pike will likely be spawning during the opener.
Boyne River: More steelhead were starting to come in.
Glen Arbor: Had very little fishing activity. The ramp and docks were still not in.
Traverse City: Perch fishing was good around Deepwater Point in the East Bay. Lake herring and a few lake trout were caught along the along the east side of the bay when jigging. The Elk River was slow with only a couple steelhead taken on spawn in the early morning or late afternoon. In the West Bay, perch fishing was good at times in Bowers Harbor and in deep water slightly south towards Power Island. Lee Point was hit-or-miss for perch but fish were caught off Northport, out from Clinch Park and south of Elmwood Marina. On the Boardman River, a couple steelhead were caught on spawn and wax worms. Suckers had also moved in.
Frankfort: Had a couple small ice formations on the piers. Anglers caught a few brown trout near the elbow on the North Pier. Those trolling north and south along the shoreline reported slow catch rates.
Betsie River: Was producing some decent size steelhead. Anglers were catching both dark fish and some fresh fish.
Arcadia: Boat and shore anglers got out but only a couple steelhead and brown trout were caught.
Onekama: The ice is completely gone from the piers.
Portage Lake: Is ice free. Anglers have been searching for perch but had no luck.
Manistee: Surface temperature readings were about 39 degrees. All docks are now in at the city launch, but the fish cleaning station was still closed. The south pier is still closed until further notice. Small numbers of brown trout and steelhead were caught off the north pier. Boat anglers picked up brown trout, lake trout, and the occasional steelhead when trolling rapalas in the basin and outside the piers in 9 to 14 feet.
Big Manistee River: Steelhead fishing continues and the fish will run and spawn quickly now that it has warmed up. Fish should also be found in the Little Manistee. For the walleye opener, try Tippy Dam Pond and Hodenpyl Dam Pond.
Hamlin Lake: A few panfish were starting to enter the canals.
Ludington: All the docks are in at the city launch but the fish cleaning station was still closed. Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout on spawn. Boat anglers picked up brown trout when trolling rapalas in 9 to 14 feet.
Pere Marquette River: Has a good number of steelhead as well. Trout anglers will want to check out some of the major tributaries including the Middle and the Little South Branch as well as the Baldwin River.
Pentwater: Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout off the end of the piers. A few walleye were also caught.
Pentwater Lake: Perch anglers reported good fishing in 40 to 50 feet with perch rigs tipped with wax worms, spikes, or minnows. A couple steelhead were caught on spawn from Longbridge Road.
Muskegon Lake: Would be a good bet for the walleye opener. Perch are still being caught in 30 to 50 feet along the west end. Panfish are still in deeper water but will move in as it warms up. The pike opener should be good for those trolling crank baits or using sucker minnows.
Muskegon River: Steelhead fishing continues and warm temperatures should hasten the remaining fish to run and spawn fairly quickly. Because of that, trout anglers fishing in waters accessible to steelhead on the opener this weekend will find more steelhead than usual. Other trout streams to try in the watershed would be the Hersey and the Middle Branch Rivers. As for the walleye opener, try Croton Pond and Hardy Pond.
Whitehall: Boats trolling body baits in 5 to 25 feet caught brown trout and lake trout.Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout on spawn both in the channel and outside the pier heads.
White Lake: Would be a good bet for the walleye opener.
Cheboygan: The bay was still ice covered.
Cheboygan River: Had good steelhead fishing at the lock and dam with spawn, wax worms, artificial baits and lures but did best with spawn. Anglers caught Atlantics on lures at the lock and dam and near the DNR Office. Spawn or a jig and wax worm also took a few fish. The Atlantics were about 20 inches and up to 6 pounds.
Pigeon River: Had a small number of steelhead.
Ocqueoc River: Steelhead were caught on spawn, artificial baits and spinners.
Rogers City: Was still iced in except for the outer breakwall. A couple anglers tried for anything that would hit but had no luck.
Alpena: Boat anglers venturing out were taking good catches of lake trout and a few Atlantics.
Thunder Bay River: Those drifting spawn or flies near the 9th Street Dam or further down the river in the deeper holes should be getting some steelhead. Catch rates will continue to improve with the warmer weather and water flow. The launch ramp near the Fisheries Research Station is open but the main public launch was still iced in.
Oscoda: Atlantic salmon, steelhead, and suckers were caught by anglers drifting or still-fishing spawn bags from the pier and mouth of the river. Pier anglers casting jigs or still-fishing with minnows found walleye in the 16 to 22 feet in the early morning or evening. The walleye bite was still slow.
Au Sable River: Anglers caught steelhead when drifting or floating spawn bags, beads, and wax worms or when casting plugs. Despite the warmer weather, melting snow has kept the lower river temperatures around 38 degrees. Most fish were still pre-spawn and found in the holes. Atlantic salmon and a couple young chinook and coho were caught by those drifting spawn or casting plugs in the lower river.
Harrisville: A few anglers were casting spoons and jigs for steelhead and walleye from the rocks and launch at the harbor but had no success. The skid piers were still not in.
Higgins Lake: Was still iced in and it could be another week or so before the lake opens up. The shoreline ice is receding.
Houghton Lake: Has no ice and most of the boat launches have the docks in. Shore anglers were catching crappie in the canals including some limit catches. Some bluegills were also caught. Few boats have been out.
Tawas: Pier fishing has been good with several Atlantics taken by those mainly casting spoons, but body baits and live minnows fished near the bottom have also taken fish. Walleye have been caught on body baits and jigs in the evening. Boat anglers have also taken walleye, lake trout, steelhead and Atlantics but the trick was to find clear water to troll in.
Tawas River: Was high and muddy but was giving up a few suckers.
Au Gres: Those trolling for walleye did best up between Whitestone Point and Point Lookout in 15 to 20 feet with body baits. Some limit catches were reported. Fish were also caught in 15 to 20 feet off Pointe Au Gres.
Au Gres River: Whitney Drain was high and muddy and fishing was difficult.
Saginaw Bay: The perch spawning period in the inner bay is about over, but walleye fishing is just getting started. Fish were hitting off Linwood in 20 to 22 feet on body baits. Those trolling were getting fish up and down the Shipping Channel and off the mouth of the Kawkawlin River. Vertical jigging with jigs tipped with minnows or plastic bodies produced fish around Spoils Island. The best bite was early morning until 10-10:30. At Quanicassee, perch fishing was spotty with only a few large fish taken in 6 feet off the mouth of the river. On the east side, walleye anglers were trolling body baits all over including the deep part of the Slot, over the Bar, on the Callahan Reef, and back west to the shipping channel. Water temperatures ranged between 37 and 42 degrees. The cuts and rivers from Quanicassee to Bay Port had quite a few anglers but the perch action was poor with only a few small fish taken at Mud Creek. Those targeting suckers did well in the lower Pinnebog River.
Saginaw River: The perch action appears to be done in the lower river. Catfish are being caught.
Tittabawassee River: As for the walleye opener, the river experienced two moderate flood events recently. Flooding just before the opener will usually encourage the post-spawn walleye to leave the river, so it’s hard to say how the opener will turn out. As long as the water levels continue to drop, the opener should be productive, but the spring fishery after opening day may not last as long as it has in previous years.
Keweenaw Bay: Still had ice however with the warm weather, the shoreline ice was getting very soft. Anglers will need to use caution getting on and leaving the ice. Coho, splake, and steelhead were caught out from the Falls River by those using small minnows or wax worms. Smelt were still being caught out from the Baraga Marina.
Little Bay De Noc: Ice anglers were still out but ice fishing season should end this week with the warmer temperatures. All the area rivers are open except for the Ford River which should open up within the next week. The piers at the north shore launch are open for use. The winter access gates are closed so anyone that still has an ice shanty inside will have to contact the DNR to have it removed.
Marquette: Has a lot of ice. The Upper and Lower Harbors as well as the bubblers are inaccessible at this time. The beach access for the bubblers has been closed off by the city. The rocks have been moved so there is no access to the beach. There won’t be any boat fishing access until the ice leaves the harbors. Both the Chocolay and the Carp Rivers had a handful of steelhead that moved in but the major run has not started yet. Those targeting steelhead were getting a few brown trout.
Munising: Had lots of anglers out ice fishing. They were jigging mainly for coho but only a few were caught. The Anna River has opened up by the mouth which has allowed anglers to fish from the pier. Splake and steelhead were caught on spawn.
Grand Marais: Had no report. Steelhead action was slow in the Sucker River. Access to the river mouth will be limited due to ice jams along the shoreline.
Two Hearted River: Steelhead are steadily moving into the river and the big push of fish has not really occurred yet. Many fish in the river are dark.
Newberry: For trout waters in the area, expect snowpack on all roads heading into area trout lakes and many streams. Despite the warmer temperatures, the heavy snowpack still exists and will likely make travel into any of the trout waters difficult and limited to foot traffic or snowmobile. Inland lakes will most likely be ice covered. Extreme caution should be used by those deciding to venture out as ice conditions have deteriorated and rain this week will only make conditions worse. Water levels in the streams were low but are beginning to rise with the snowmelt.
Detour: There was no fishing effort in the Detour Passage. No docks were in because of the ice and snow.
Drummond Island: Maxton Bay still had ice and a few good catches of 8 to 10 inch yellow perch were taken west of the mouth of the bay in 8 to 12 feet with a tear drop tipped with a wax worm or wiggler. All anglers are reminded to use extreme caution on any late spring ice as conditions can change daily.
Cedarville and Hessel: As of the first part of the week, there was no access to the Cedarville boat launch on Meridian Road. The dock is in at the public launch however it was still covered in snow and ice. There was no fishing effort throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. At Hessel, ice anglers were still taking splake at the Hessel Marina. Ice was still found about 70 yards out from the steel breakwall at the marina. Those jigging an orange and chrome 2 inch spoon tipped with a smelt head on the bottom did well. There was no yellow perch effort. Remember ice conditions are subject to change especially this time of year with the warm temperatures and changing wind directions.
Long lake by Traverse City
Harbor Springs: A few anglers were trying to ice fish for perch however with the rain and warmer temperatures it is not recommended that anglers go out. The ice past Harbor Point and near the marina and boat launch does not look safe.
Petoskey: Anglers were fishing for steelhead inside the breakwall but thin ice especially in the morning made it impossible to fish.
Bear River: Catch rates were a bit slow but some nice chrome fish were caught with spawn bags up near the dam and downstream between the bridges. A couple steelhead were also caught on wax worms or spawn bags at the mouth.
Glen Arbor: Had little to no fishing activity. The ramp and the dock were not in at the boat launch on Lake Michigan.
Traverse City: The weather has not been cooperating on either bay. Icy conditions at the boat launches and skim ice near shore were making it difficult for boat anglers. In the East Bay, a few lake herring were caught south of the M-37 launch. On the Elk River in Elk Rapids, a couple steelhead were caught below the dam in the early morning. In the West Bay, Bowers Harbor was still frozen at the boat launch. On the Boardman River, steelhead were caught below the dam with spawn or wax worms. There were quite a few planter rainbow trout near the dam so beads and soft plastics would be a good option if you are losing bait quickly.
Arcadia: Had little to no fishing activity. On Arcadia Lake, the dock is in at the ramp.
Manistee: Surface temperature readings were holding around 36 degrees. Not many anglers had been out. Pier anglers caught a couple brown trout on spawn bags. The south pier is closed because of a large hole.
Big Manistee River: Steelhead were caught up as far as Tippy Dam by those using beads and spawn bags. The rain should help bring more fish in.
Ludington: Surface temperature readings were up to 38 degrees. Few anglers were out but a couple did manage to catch some brown trout when trolling spoons and plugs.
Pere Marquette Lake: Was producing a few perch.
Pere Marquette River: Has a mix of winter run steelhead and a few fresh fish.
Pentwater: Gusty winds have limited pier fishing but anglers did catch steelhead and the occasional brown trout with spawn bags in the channel.
Pentwater Lake: Boat anglers caught yellow perch in 30 feet using perch rigs tipped with minnows or wax worms. Those fishing Longbridge Road caught the occasional steelhead on spawn bags near the bottom.
Muskegon: Pier anglers have caught steelhead along with a few brown trout on spawn. No boat report this week.
Muskegon Lake: Perch anglers were still getting some nice fish out from the Sand Docks and off the Bear Lake Channel in 40 to 50 feet.
Muskegon River: Steelhead fishing was average but should pick up with the rain and warmer temperatures.
Whitehall: Pier anglers caught the occasional steelhead with spawn bags fished near the bottom.
White Lake: Boat anglers caught mainly small perch in 50 feet.
White River: Had fair to good steelhead fishing.
Cheboygan River: Anglers caught steelhead at the dam with spawn, beads, spinners, worms and minnows. Conditions were a bit difficult because of high currents from overflow.
Ocqueoc River: Fishing pressure was slow at times but anglers have caught steelhead averaging 15 inches. Try spawn and spinners.
Rogers City: Had a good 13 inches of snow. Nothing is open yet and no docks were in because of ice.
Alpena: No boats were out but the launch next to the Alpena Fish Station is open and has a dock in. The city ramp was still iced up.
Thunder Bay River: Fishing was slow but anglers were getting a couple steelhead and Atlantic salmon when drifting flies or spawn bags with bobbers. The water is low, clear and very cold.
Oscoda: Pier anglers caught a couple walleye and the occasional Atlantic salmon, steelhead, or lake trout when still-fishing with minnows and spawn bags or when casting deep diving or sinking crank baits.
Au Sable River: Steelhead were caught by anglers drifting or floating wax worms, flies, and spawn bags through the holes. River temperatures were hovering around 39 degrees and the water is very clear, so winter tactics continue to produce best. Some fresh fish entered the river and a fair amount of black stone flies were emerging.
Black River: Despite on and off skim ice, anglers found a couple steelhead at the mouth of the river when floating spawn bags.
Harrisville: Had no angling activity. Skim ice continues to form overnight in the harbor, disappearing in the afternoon. The skid piers were not in the water yet.
Higgins Lake: Those fishing in the shallows near Big Creek and the Conference Center were still getting some rainbow trout.
Tawas: Pier fishing was slow with only one Atlantic and a couple lake trout or walleye caught.
Au Gres: Only a couple boats ventured out and they caught a fairly good number of post-spawn northern pike and a couple walleye out from the river mouth. They also took some walleye and lake trout between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres. Perch fishing was slow at the mouth of the Pine River.
Au Gres River: Down at Singing Bridge (Whitney Drain), steelhead anglers were doing well in both the lower river and in the surf. They were either drifting spawn or wax worms down the river or still-fishing with floating spawn sacks in the surf. A few anglers dragging small boats across the beach and launching to fish just off the river mouth were getting some steelhead, lake trout and coho close to shore.
Rifle River: Sucker fishing is on-going at Omer, but the run slowed with the colder weather. Warmer weather later this week might get something going.
Saginaw Bay: Perch fishing was very slow at Eagle Bay Marina and off Palmer Road. When boats could get out of Linwood Beach Marina, they caught walleye when trolling Husky Jerks in 21 feet. The key was trolling along the edge of the stained water. Walleye were also caught in the Old Shipping Channel and near the Spoils Island when trolling or vertical jigging. Perch fishing slowed but a few limit catches were taken out near Buoy-22 in the Shipping Channel. The size of the fish caught has declined with most only 8 to 9 inches. Shore fishing for perch at Finn Road, the Quanicassee River, the various cuts near Fish Point, and the Sebewaing River was slow. Fishing was slow at Bay Port, Mud Creek and Caseville. Warmer weather is needed to get the fish going.
Little Bay De Noc: Still had ice however the edges were getting soft in some spots. The area around Butler Island had opened up so use caution. Only a few anglers were targeting perch in 30 to 40 feet off Kipling. Catch rates were fair when using minnows or wigglers right on the bottom. Portage Point and south had open water. The Ford River was showing signs of breaking up but was still not fishable. The Day’s River had open water in a few areas. This week could open up some areas for shore anglers.
Big Bay De Noc: Was entirely ice covered but no anglers had been seen most likely due to the significant snow fall. Fairport is open water but the marina was blocked because of snow.
Indian Lake: Was producing bluegills and perch.
Marquette: The bubblers were ice free but fishing was slow with most anglers only getting 1-3 coho per trip. Only a handful of steelhead and brown trout were caught in both the Carp and Chocolay Rivers. Rain and runoff is needed to bring the water levels back up.
Munising: Still had ice fishing but fewer anglers were out because of bad weather. The weather is to remain cold at night with a low in the teens and only getting to the upper 30’s during the day. Those targeting coho only caught a few as the schools of fish had been moving in and out. Night anglers caught a couple burbot.
Grand Marais: The harbor was frozen solid however the ice outside the harbor was moving in and out depending on wind direction and some massive ice floes were present. Only a handful of local anglers had been ice fishing in the harbor. Most were targeting Menominee but a few coho were also caught. There was no activity along the Sucker River as ice floes along with a wall of ice about 15 feet high were reported on the pier. Heavy snowfall in the area has also been a problem.
Two Hearted River: Had difficult fishing conditions due to deep snow in the area.
Manistique Lake: Anglers were getting some panfish.
Cedarville and Hessel: Because of open water and thin ice, there has been no fishing effort in Cedarville Bay, Musky Bay, Government Bay, McKay Bay, or Prentiss Bay. The boat launches were snowed in and no docks were in yet. Hessel still had ice. Those targeting splake did well 25 to 150 yards southwest of the marina breakwall when bouncing a 2 inch orange and chrome spoon off the bottom. The yellow perch action was slow and most fish were 6 to 7 inches with the occasional larger fish mixed in. Anglers were on the north side of Marquette Island and just east of Cube Point in 12 to 15 feet with a very small orange tear-drop lure and minnow.
In a state so full of lakes and rivers as Michigan is, it’s no surprise that fishing is a very big deal. From salmon to trout to the good old Michigan bluegill, you’ll find plenty of places to fish and plenty of kinds of fish to pursue. But you won’t get far with the wrong gear—you’ll need the right equipment to go fishing in Michigan. From top-of-the-line rods and reels to live bait, here are the 10 best bait and tackle shops in the state. BY STEVE ANDERSON
Ostensibly the sequel to Captain Chuck’s, Captain Chuck’s II in Ludington won’t skimp on its offerings. It’s not only got rods and reels from some of the biggest names in fishing, but it’s also got a wide range of “Made in Michigan” hardware to consider, allowing you to support the same state that brought you the great fishing to begin with. Throw in referrals to fishing charter services, regular fishing reports, and updates on new tackle, and you’ll have a complete one-stop shop for where to find them and how to get them.
Benton Harbor’s Tackle Haven offers about all the gear an angler could need, from rods to reels to outerwear for taking on the wet environment and well beyond. But any store can offer hardware—Tackle Haven distinguishes itself with its extras. It not only offers information about area charter fishing operations, but offers regular fishing reports on area activity. Throw in a regular fishing tournament sponsored annually, and boat storage services—great for those winter months when all the fishing is ice-based—and you’ve got the total package.
Welcome to Curtis, Michigan, an Upper Peninsula destination that’s home to Mick’s Bait Shop. Mick’s bills itself as “…your Upper Peninsula source for live bait, fishing tackle…” and plenty more. This includes a line of custom rods and custom tackle, including a set of patent-pending spinner baits under the Hooked on Tackle Co. brand name. It’s additionally part of the Manistique Lakes Area, which puts it within an easy hop of some of the Upper Peninsula’s best fishing spots, and will provide fishing reports to keep anglers apprised of the latest doings.
Frankfort Tackle Box, found not at all surprisingly in Frankfort, boasts a sound array of lures, rods and reels to keep anglers well-supplied. Frankfort Tackle Box goes the extra mile by bringing together a slate of links about the Michigan area, including resources (ever wonder how to avoid commercial fishing nets on the Great Lakes? They’ll tell you.), local accommodations, and even weather reports.
With a wide range of options for gear—including a slate of discounted clearance items—Lakeside will have pretty much everything you need on hand. It goes on from there to present a daily fishing report from its own Captain Dan, a measure which is always welcome for those not wanting to waste a day on the water. There’s even word about area tournaments and even area hotels for those who want to stick around the area more than a day.
Kalkaska is home to Jack’s Sport Shop, an operation that’s been running for over 50 years now. Named one of Michigan’s top three sporting goods stores in Northern Michigan by the Detroit Free Press, the store is home to not only a wide array of hardware but plenty of expertise on the area and its hunting and fishing operations. Jack’s is also home to a substantial array of ice tackle as well, meaning it’s ready for fishing whether the water is solid or liquid. Check out the regular fishing reports as well as the store’s blog for all the latest on fishing in the area.
While it’s got a sizable lineup of fishing products, Anderson’s Probait features something a little new and different: a complete message board system online. Not only can you shop for material at Anderson’s, but you can also discuss all the latest developments in fishing technology and plenty of other topics with fellow members of the fishing community!
Check out Nunica to find Fish On, a shop that distinguishes itself by offering actual fishing seminars. No, really—seminars about fishing topics, ranging from general knowledge issues to discussion of new techniques in the field. Last year’s seminar event even came with door prizes and a catered lunch for a $25 entry fee. Throw in several services on site—line spooling and repair for starters—as well as the latest in fishing technologies and you’re ready to go fishing.
Bear Lake’s Osborn Sports Shop won’t just offer the full range of live bait—a staple of most any tackle and bait shop—but it will also offer the means to get at the fish. Osborn Sports Shop offers kayaks for rent, just $15 gets one for the day. You’ll need a credit card and driver’s license, but you can still rent a kayak quite inexpensively. It also offers archery and trapping supplies as well as swimming and camping gear, so you’ll be covered no matter when or where you fish and may want other material on hand as well for the ancillary sports.
Over in Rockford, Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company is waiting for all the fly fishers out there. That’s especially important as Great Lakes specializes in fly fishing. Naturally, it’s got all the supplies and assorted gear one could ask for, and it also boasts both new and used equipment. It’s even got some vintage estate gear for those who think that they just don’t make ’em like that anymore. Throw in a complete line of educational products and lessons and you’ll have the fullest fishing experience right here.
Good perch fishing out of PM Lake and Pentwater Lake in boats with bigger fish coming out of PM. Perch shiners and wigglers are working best. Grand Traverse West Bay has been good for perch also.
Ice fishing is coming to a close up north They are still fishing little traverse bay between charlevoix and petoskey on the ice and catching fish photos are from fish today. People were out on Otsego Lake, Higgins lake the ice is 10 to 50 feet off shore on the west side so ice should go in a hurry.
Crappies are showing up at the first fill on Sanford Lake this week, wisdom lake has had some crappie showing up in the canals. Houghton lake still has ice floating around and the canals are still iced in.
Tippy Dam should be good as the water has been stabilized to 40 degrees the last few days so fish are showing up.
Anglers are reminded that on Sunday April 1st, all anglers 17 years of age and older will be required to have a new 2018 Michigan fishing license. Be sure to look at a copy of the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide for new regulations that go into effect on April 1st.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Steelhead fishing was slow on some of the local rivers as water levels were still low and cold. Anglers were still ice fishing on some lakes, but extreme caution needs to used, as ice conditions are questionable.
Lake Charlevoix: Still had ice. Perch fishing was just okay in the South Arm during the morning hours.
Betsie River: Angling activity continues to increase with steelhead being caught. Some brown trout were also caught and released as the season is closed.
Manistee: Pier and boat anglers have caught coho and brown trout. Steelhead were caught by pier anglers.
Big Manistee River: Fishing picked up over the last week as a good number of fresh fish were moving in. Up near Tippy Dam, anglers reported a decent bite that was best in the morning. Those on the north bank did well floating spawn while those on the south bank had luck with beads and flies.
Ludington: Pier and boat anglers have been picking up a few brown trout.
Pere Marquette Lake: Was producing a good number of yellow perch for boat anglers.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing is picking up with fresh fish moving in.
Pentwater River: Has steelhead.
Muskegon Lake: Perch fishing was good with boat anglers taking fish in front of the Sand Docks in 40 to 50 feet or in deeper water out from the Milwaukee Clipper.
Muskegon River: Boat and shore anglers are getting some steelhead but the action was still on the slow side with water temperatures in the mid 30’s. A couple anglers tried fishing at the Reedsburg Dam but no fish were caught.
White River: Steelhead fishing picked up with fresh fish moving in.
Steelhead fishing was slow on some of the local rivers. Anglers were still ice fishing on some lakes, but extreme caution needs to used, as ice conditions are questionable.
Cheboygan River: Those using spawn at the dam were taking steelhead.
Pigeon River: Anglers were starting to fish for steelhead but most caught brown trout that had to be released.
Black Lake: There is still ice on the lake however how much and what conditions are is unknown. There is open water near the mouth of the Black River.
Alpena: Thunder Bay has open water.
Thunder Bay River: Is open water and conditions are right for steelhead fishing. The marina is still frozen but the Fletcher Street ramp is open. Not a lot of runoff yet so the river is still pretty fishable. The dam will likely be opened with the first real warm weather we get and that could make fishing more difficult. Up until freeze up last fall, Atlantic salmon were being caught regularly in the old ‘turning basin’ in the river and it is likely they are still there. Try casting from the walkway along LaMarre Park in Alpena.
Higgins Lake: Still had some ice but getting on the lake has been a problem that continues to get worse with open water along the west shore, off Big Creek and near the natural springs on the north end. Fishing here is pretty much done for now.
Houghton Lake: Pretty much all the ice is gone now but no boats have been out. Anglers are now waiting for spring fishing to get started.
Tawas: On the pier at the state harbor, those fishing outside the pier caught some Atlantic salmon, lake trout and a couple brown trout or walleye when still-fishing with minnows or casting crank baits. The marina basin is full of minnows so perch fishing was hit-or-miss. Boats launching at the mouth of the Tawas River and fishing down near Alabaster were taking some nice lake trout when trolling or jigging. The sucker run in the Rifle River at Omer was stalled but the warm rain this week should help.
Tawas River: Those drifting crawlers and spawn sacks were getting some steelhead.
Au Gres River: Steelhead anglers fishing at the Singing Bridge did well when drifting spawn sacks in the lower river. Surf fishing was nearly impossible due to the strong east winds.
Saginaw Bay: Perch were still not in the cuts and river mouths yet. Boat fishing for walleye has been difficult because of windy conditions. There has been very little fishing activity from Pinconning to the mouth of the Saginaw River. A couple walleye were caught out near Spoils Island but nothing much over 15 inches. Moving east, a few nice perch were caught on a tiny tube jig in the open water at Finn Road. Not much to report on the Quanicassee River or at the Thomas Cut and Allen Cut except for a few small perch taken. Bluegills, crappie and small perch were caught in Sunset Bay Marina. The Sebewaing River and marina along with Mud Creek were slow as those trying for perch did not have much luck. The Caseville Marina was slow but pier anglers were taking a few lake trout on minnows or when casting hardware. Rain this week should help bring water levels and water temperatures up in the rivers and that should get the perch and sucker fishing going.
Saginaw River: Perch fishing in the lower river was pretty good with most boats in 30 feet along the shipping channel from the mouth upstream to the Bay Aggregate cut and also in front of Bay Harbor Marina. Crappie were caught in the tributaries.
Lake Gogebic: Perch fishing started to pick up on the north end.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing continues to be slow for lake trout, splake, and salmon. Smelt are still biting all day and night off Sand Point and out from the Baraga Marina. Splake and coho were seen off the Falls River but they did not want to bite.
Menominee County: Perch fishing was good on Hayward Lake. Lake Mary and Lake Ann have been slow; with little to no luck on bluegills. Shakey Lake was slow.
Little Bay De Noc: The cold nights have helped the ice some but the edges are getting rough in areas. The only anglers south of Gladstone were a few whitefish anglers off Sand Point that reported fair catches when jigging minnows or spawn along the drop-off. Angler participation has dropped and those out were primarily perch fishing off Kipling in 24 to 40 feet along the Second and Third Reefs with minnows or wigglers. Some were still getting the occasional jumbo perch. Those that still have ice shanties out are reminded that they need to be off the ice by midnight of March 31st.
Marquette: Coho fishing was slow at the bubblers with most anglers only getting one or two fish per trip. Those dragging boats across the ice need to use extreme caution. Water levels were still extremely low in both the Carp and Chocolay Rivers. Very few fish other than a couple brown trout have been caught.
Au Train: Coho fishing through the ice was hit-or-miss at the Au Train River mouth. On the good days, anglers were getting limit catches but on the slow days they were lucky to get a couple fish. A few coho and whitefish were caught through the ice at the mouth of the Rock River.
Munising: Still had ice and it should hang around for a few more weeks. Anglers continue to report good catches of smelt especially in the afternoon when the schools of fish were more active. Night anglers for burbot have done very well throughout however the best areas were off Trout Bay and Sand Point. Coho fishing was slightly better with one or two fish caught in the morning. Weekend fishing pressure was very high with nearly 100 anglers and the increased noise factor with sleds coming and going may have slowed the bite. In general, there is a lot of food in the bay with an abundance of smelt. The splake and whitefish action was poor with only a few fish caught.
Two Hearted River: Access to the river would be by snowmobile only as there are no open roads in that area right now. Anglers interested in steelhead fishing would need to access by snowmobile as heavy snowpack still exists in the area.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing slowed around the Les Cheneaux Islands. Many of those caught were undersize but some did manage to catch the occasional 8 to 14 inch fish with minnows, wigglers, spikes, and small lures. Some have caught splake up to 8 pounds with minnows. The ice was holding but some bays now have open water. Anglers still need to use caution especially near the points and areas with a strong current.
Dan’s Resort on Munuscong Bay We still have lots of ice and minnows! Some perch are biting, but not all of them 😜
Please come pick up your shack and sled by March 31st (the sooner the better to avoid the mud.)
Check out this map of great lakes ice coverage and you’ll see we are one of the few bays with cold water and lots of ice.
Fewer anglers were out because of the cold temperatures and strong winds. Shore anglers will likely encounter ice in the cuts and canals with temperatures dropping down below freezing at night. Warmer temperatures next week should help improve the bite. Anglers are reminded that walleye fishing on the Saginaw River closed on March 15th and will not re-open until Saturday April 28th.
Cheboygan River: Had a couple anglers fishing at the dam but the bite was poor and no fish were seen.
Mullett Lake: Still had some people on the ice but the pressure cracks are opening up. Extreme caution needs to be used.
Black Lake: Had no reports for the week. There is still ice but the thickness is unknown. Most access sites are usable but caution needs to be used. Anglers should also be cautious of open water around the lower Black River.
Higgins Lake: Between Point Detroit and Flag Point which is the area that becomes very narrow and divides the north and south basin; there are currents that chew the ice up quickly. Anglers should avoid the area. Watch the ice out from Big Creek because of the current. Lake trout anglers were still out. Smelt were caught on the north end or in front of Cottage Grove during the day. Some decent size perch were caught in 20 to 30 feet on the south end of the Sunken Island.
Houghton Lake: No one was out fishing. There is open water in many areas now with more opening up. Any remaining ice will most likely not be safe. It is time to get ready for open water fishing.
Au Sable River: Is running low and clear. Those using streamers in the lower river should find a small number of steelhead in the late morning or afternoons when it warms up.
Tawas: Pier anglers did catch some Atlantic salmon and lake trout with large minnows or when casting various lures. Boats trolling and vertical jigging down near Alabaster were getting both lake trout and walleye in 10 to 20 feet.
Tawas River: Shore anglers fishing downstream of US-23 did catch a couple steelhead and a few suckers.
Au Gres: Walleye were staging just off the river mouth and those trolling were doing well including some that were taking limit catches.
Au Gres River: Those fishing down at the Singing Bridge (Whitney Drain) caught some steelhead and one Atlantic salmon in the lower river and in the surf.
Pine River: Perch fishing in the lower river was slow and the fish were small.
Fishing conditions were not ideal. The rivers are low, clear and cold which is making it tough for anglers to target steelhead. While the inland lakes still had some ice, the thickness is variable and those planning to head out will need to use extreme caution.
Lake Charlevoix: The ice was holding. Perch anglers were doing okay along the South Arm in the morning hours.
Boardman River: Was producing some steelhead for those using spawn, a jig and wax worm or small spinners.
Manistee: When they can get out, boat anglers are finding some coho and brown trout when trolling in shallow waters along the beach. Pier anglers were picking up a couple steelhead and brown trout as well.
Big Manistee River: Anglers are trying and catching a few trout but fishing conditions have not been angler friendly. Those fishing the lower river reported decent fishing. Catch rates should improve in the next few weeks.
Ludington: A few hardy anglers trolling or pier fishing caught steelhead and brown trout. Those trolling were in 10 to 20 feet along the beach.
Pere Marquette River: Water temperatures in the 30’s have slowed fishing. A warm up next week should help to get the bite going again. Anglers were using spawn, wax worms, and beads.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing has been slow. Those targeting lake trout had limited success. A few coho were caught in 10 to 15 feet. A couple nice brown trout were caught in 50 to 60 feet. Smelt fishing was very good both day and night on the Baraga side of the bay.
Little Bay De Noc: Ice remained in most areas but that will change fast in the coming weeks. A few were still taking vehicles out however it is not recommended especially now that the shoreline ice will break-up fast. With walleye season closed, anglers are targeting perch or whitefish. The best perch catches were near Kipling between the Second and Third Reefs in 24 to 30 feet when jigging wigglers or minnows right on the bottom. For whitefish, the best area was off Sand Point when using minnows or spawn in and around 80 feet.
Marquette: Ice was still present at the Upper Harbor bubblers. Those fishing the open water did well for coho but were dragging boats across the ice to get to the open water. This is very dangerous and is not recommended. Fishing on the Carp and Chocolay Rivers was very slow as the water levels are low and clear and the steelhead have not shown up yet. Only a couple brown trout were caught.
Au Train: Fishing pressure was very light as few have been out. Those fishing the Au Train River caught a couple coho but no steelhead.
Munising: The bay still had ice. Coho salmon catches have increased the last few days with a few limits reported. Smelt are still schooling in large numbers with catches varying up to two gallons. Trout Bay had some shove ice but was still fishable. Splake and whitefish action was very slow. Night anglers targeting burbot did well with most fish averaging 22 to 24 inches.
Cedarville and Hessel: Those fishing around the Les Cheneaux Islands reported good pike and splake fishing with splake up to eight pounds taken on minnows in 18 feet and pike 24 to 36 inches taken in 10 to 15 feet. Perch fishing was a bit harder as most fish were only 5 inches. Anglers were using minnows, spikes, and wigglers. The area still had ice however always be cautious.
Fishing slowed once again with the return of cold temperatures and snow. Walleye, pike and muskellunge season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters, St. Marys River and all the Lower Peninsula inland waters will close at midnight on March 15th. Walleye and pike season is open all year on the Lower Peninsula Greats Lakes, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River.
Today is the last day of Pike and Walleye on the inland lakes. We have ice still in Northern Michigan but safe ice seems to be north of M-72. Otsego Lake has 12 to 18 inches of ice and the perch bite has been good. Skegemog has good ice and perch are biting , and they seem to be a bigger school. Burt lake they are still doing good on perch and there were trucks still driving out tuesday. The UPPER has safe ice and they are still driving trucks out. Long Lake by Traverse City has good ice very few going out and the last few days the bite has been tough.
Steelhead fishing has been tough with the cold weather, but reports there are fish up the rivers and they are getting fresh fish.
Jen Hunsberger caught this nice pike out of Higgins Lake, 40″ 18#!!!!
Higgins Lake: The best access site continues to be off the North State Park but caution need to be used. Perch were hitting on minnows and wax worms in 20 to 40 feet but anglers are still doing a lot of sorting. Smelt were also in 20 to 40 feet and were hitting on wax worms or spikes. Rainbow trout can be found in shallow waters about a foot deep near Big Creek and the Conference Center. Most were caught on wigglers. Sam O Set launch is still being used also for access with lighter machines and walkouts…..Definitely getting towards the end of the season, so lets be safe. There are lots of big jumbo perch in Higgins but you will not find they in the same old spots where you are catching small perch over and over. The jumbos school together and move together and love 70 feet and deeper water.Occasionally I have seen them in shallower water but rarely. If you are catching perch on Lake Trout tip ups then you are getting close !
Lyman’s Weekly Big Pike Contest Winners. Folks are still able to get out on the ice on foot. Drake Hannah (16) from Ludington won the 16 and under division with his 30 1/2″, 7lb northern he caught on a tip-up. Mark Look from HL won the 17 and over division with a 28″ 4 1/2lb pike he also caught on a tip-up. NIce job, guys….we have your prizes at the shop.
Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Black Lake: Still had a few anglers but fishing pressure has slowed. Many of the access sites will no longer be accessible and anglers need to stay away from any open river mouths. Harvest numbers were low with only a few small perch taken on spikes and minnows. Those spearing reported undersize pike.
Sturgeon River: Some steelhead were starting to run.
Ocqueoc River: Had steelhead fishing.
Au Sable River: Was producing some steelhead.
Higgins Lake: The best access site continues to be off the North State Park but caution needs to be used. Perch were hitting on minnows and wax worms in 20 to 40 feet but anglers are still doing a lot of sorting. Smelt were also in 20 to 40 feet and were hitting on wax worms or spikes. Rainbow trout can be found in shallow waters about a foot deep near Big Creek and the Conference Center. Most were caught on wigglers.
Houghton Lake: Has open water in the North Bay, the East Bay and at various other points around the lake. Few anglers have been out. A couple were targeting bluegills and crappie in shallow waters along the south shore weed beds. Those anglers are walking out and fishing in shallow waters only. Walleye anglers were fishing in open water near the rivers.
Tawas: Boats launching into Tawas Bay and trolling south of the bay off the “Crib” which is about a mile straight out from Alabaster were getting lake trout in 10 to 20 feet.
Tawas River: Fishing was generally slow with just a couple walleye, pike and steelhead picked up.
Au Gres: A few boats were trolling not too far offshore between Point Lookout and Point Au Gres but angler success varied.
Au Gres River: Shore fishing on the lower river was slow. Fishing pressure at the Singing Bridge was light as anglers were not having much luck.
Pine River: Anglers were trying to shore fish on the lower river near Standish but catch rates for perch were poor as the fish are not in the river yet.
Rifle River: Steelhead were caught in the lower river.
Saginaw River: The walleye hotspot was in the lower river from the mouth upstream through Bay City and as far as James Clements Airport with limit catches (8 fish per angler) common. Most were taken when vertical jigging from boats, either anchored or drifting, with heavy jig heads and stinger hooks baited with minnows. Moving upstream between Bay City and through Saginaw to the confluence, fishing slowed quite a bit which indicates the run is just now entering the lower river from Saginaw Bay. Anglers were getting walleye throughout this reach but they had to work harder for them. Anglers are reminded that the inland walleye season, which includes the Saginaw River will close at midnight on Thursday March 15th and will re-open on Saturday, April 28th.
Tittabawassee River: Both boat and shore anglers caught some walleye along the entire length of the river. Heavy jigs baited with minnows or plastic twister-tails fished right along the bottom were the ticket. The inland walleye season which includes the Tittabawassee River will close at midnight on Thursday March 15th and will re-open on Saturday, April 28th.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
The return of winter has slowed things down. River steelhead fishing is decent in the lower stretches. Water levels were low and clear which makes fishing a little more difficult. Ice on the inland lakes is unpredictable. Caution needs to be used.
Bear River: In Emmet County had reports of some steelhead starting to run.
Traverse City: In the northern part of the West Bay, both Suttons Bay and Omena Bay are open water and the perch anglers were out.
Betsie River: Steelhead are being caught.
Lake Leelanau: The north end of the North Lake was producing a few whitefish but no smelt. The south end of the South Lake has unsafe ice
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: While the cold nights were making ice, it is not recommended that anglers go out ice fishing.
Manistee: Coho salmon and brown trout fishing is picking up for those trolling along the beach. There is one dock in at the First Street launch. Pier anglers caught a couple steelhead and brown trout.
Big Manistee River: Steelhead fishing is decent in the lower river.
Ludington: A few hardy anglers trolling or pier fishing caught steelhead and brown trout. Those trolling were in 10 to 20 feet along the beach.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing picked up from the Twin Bridges at US-31 to Lake County but cold temperatures have once again slowed the bite.
Pentwater River: Has steelhead for those braving the cold weather.
Michigamme River: A few anglers caught good size pike near the Way Dam.
Sawyer Lake: In Dickinson County had good pike fishing for those using tip-ups or rods with fathead minnows.
Menominee River: Anglers are starting to catch brown trout near the Hattie Street Dam.
Little Bay De Noc: The ice has held up for the most part although areas with moving water or surrounding rocky areas had begun to thaw. Anglers will need to use caution. Some walleye were caught at the head of the Bay when jigging rapalas or using tip-ups in 10 to 27 feet. Perch fishing was fair with most targeting the Kipling flats and north to Garth Point. The few fish taken were caught on wigglers or minnows in 16 to 30 feet. Whitefish moved north into the Bay and were caught between the Second and Third Reefs by several perch anglers.
Marquette: Limits or near limit catches of coho were taken on the bubblers. A mix of brown trout, splake, herring, and a couple kings were also taken but the ice moved back in and locked up access to the bubblers once again. Rivers in the Marquette area had very little fishing pressure.
Au Train: Anglers need to use extreme caution on the ice as the thickness is variable. Some coho, lake herring and Menominee were caught at the mouth of the Au Train River. Anglers are catching them both through the ice and while drifting spawn bags in the river.
Munising: Overall catch rates were lower for coho and smelt. Some managed a few good catches while others reported none. Best time for coho was in the morning with assorted jigging rapalas or Swedish pimples. Few were targeting whitefish as the bite was poor. The occasional splake was caught when jigging for coho. Those spearing reported slightly better action for lake herring when schools of fish were moving through.
Grand Marais: Still had ice within the harbor but low fishing pressure. Anglers were fishing for Menominee in shallower water. A few coho and steelhead were caught in the upper part of the marina.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing picked up around the Les Cheneaux Islands for those using minnows, wigglers, spikes and mousies. Most of the fish caught were around 8 inches but some did manage to find a few fish up to 14 inches. Smaller pike 22 to 25 inches were caught on minnows. Anglers saw some splake but only a few were caught. Anglers and recreational riders need to be extremely cautious near the island points and high current areas that have opened up or have poor ice.