Friday, May 24, 2013

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report

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Southeast Lower Peninsula
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Upper Peninsula

This coming Saturday, May 25 is the opening day of bass season on the Great Lakes and all inland waters except Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River which do not open until the third Saturday in June. The early catch and release season has been excellent so the opener should be as well.     

Lake Erie:  Anglers are catching a fair number of walleye in 18 to 22 feet of water between Fermi and the Raisin River buoys 1 and 2. Though most are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses some did better with spoons or body baits. Walleye were caught when drifting crawler harnesses or jigging in 15 feet of water off the Metro Park. Boats launching out of Bolles Harbor are doing well on the north end of the Dumping Grounds in 18 feet of water. Hot colors for walleye were chartreuse, purple, green and white. Bass anglers continue to do well in the harbors and backwaters with crank baits or tube baits.  

Huron River:  Anglers are still getting the occasional steelhead when fishing between the dams. White bass are still being caught. Keeper size bluegills have been caught below the dam at Flat Rock. Try small minnows, leaf worms or wax worms. Those looking for crappie are fishing the backwaters.   

Detroit River:  Has lots of white bass in the lower Trenton Channel. Perch have been caught near the Cross Dike.  

Lake St. Clair:  Is still producing some walleye especially at night.  Shore anglers are catching a few perch on minnows. The catfish action continues to be good. Crawlers and cut bait worked best.  

Lexington:  Those trolling caught a mix of trout and salmon in 40 to 50 feet of water. Many say the fish are starting to move north along the Thumb which is why more fish are being caught up near Harbor Beach.  

Port Sanilac:  Trout and salmon were scattered in waters 40 to 70 feet deep so fish at all depths for chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout.  

Harbor Beach:  Salmon are being caught in 40 to 80 feet of water straight out and north of the harbor. Try spoons off downriggers and dipseys, or 2, 5, and 10 colored lines. Orange, red, blue, gray, or green were the hot colors. Steelhead were also caught but the fish were closer to the surface. Lake trout were in 60 to 100 feet. Try dodgers with spin glo’s or spoons just off the bottom. For brown trout, try long lines with bright colored spoons and body baits close to shore. Pier anglers caught walleye at night when casting crank baits.  

Port Austin:  Those trolling have caught coho and lake trout in 35 to 90 feet of water. A few walleye were caught off the North Wall. Shore anglers on Bird Creek caught some big bullhead on crawlers.  

Saginaw Bay:  Had good walleye fishing in 10 to 12 feet of water between Linwood and the mouth of the Saginaw River and in the old shipping channel. Anglers are trolling harnesses. Fish were caught out in the Slot from Quanicassee north to the Sunset Bay Marina. At Bay Port, catch and release bass fishing was more popular than walleye fishing with good numbers of smallmouth keeping anglers busy. Walleye fishing from Bay Port and Caseville was concentrated around the big buoy off Sand Point. Channel cat fishing in Wildfowl Bay is excellent right now. A couple flatheads were also caught.  

Saginaw River:  Had some of the best walleye fishing in the lower river between the Karn-Weadock Power Plant and the Coast Guard Station. Most are trolling fire-tiger hot-n-tots but some are vertical jigging. There’s a lot of bow-fishing activity for carp from Jones Road to the south end of the bay. Shore anglers at Smith Park in Essexville are taking catfish, freshwater drum and white bass. 

Tittabawassee River:  Walleye anglers are still doing very well on the lower river near the Center Road boat launch when trolling shad raps. Fire-tiger or silver and blue were good colors. Some were getting their limits. The white bass are in and catch rates were very good. The catch and release smallmouth fishing was excellent especially around the Dow Dam. The opener this Saturday looks to be very good.  


St. Joseph:  Fishing improved as boat anglers caught chinook, coho or lake trout in 40 to 90 feet of water. Pier anglers continue to catch channel cats and freshwater drum with crawlers on the bottom.  

South Haven:  Catch rates did improve slightly for boat anglers. They caught chinook and lake trout in 60 to 90 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow.  

Holland:  Boat anglers are catching a few salmon in waters up to 150 feet deep. The coho were deeper than the chinook. Most are trolling blue or green spoons or white paddles with blue and white or green and white flies.  

Grand Haven:  Pier anglers are using cast nets for alewife so they can use them bait. Catch rates were hit-or-miss for chinook and coho. Boat anglers are fishing 80 to 110 feet down in 130 to 150 feet of water using white paddles with blue and white or green and white flies. Blue or green magnum spoons also worked. The coho were out deeper and hitting on bright orange and red spoons in the top 35 feet. No perch to report.      

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Has been good for walleye. Steelhead action is almost done but the occasional fish is still being caught. A good number of flathead and channel cats are being caught on live suckers, cut bait or crawlers. Riverside Park and Millennium Park were good for bluegill and crappie. Try minnows, wax worms or leaf worms. Pike are hitting on spinners, body baits or large sucker minnows.    

Grand River at Lansing:  Walleye, carp, catfish and rock bass were hitting on crawlers and curly tail grubs at the North Lansing Dam. At Moore’s Park, walleye and catfish were hitting on minnows and crawlers. Walleye, pike, smallmouth bass and catfish have been caught by the Smithville Dam near Eaton Rapids. Golden shiners were the ticket.  

Lake Ovid:  Is producing bluegills but they are very small. Bass and crappie were caught on spec minnows.  

Looking Glass River:  Is producing some pike and bowfin. Anglers should also find some bluegill and bass.   

Sessions Lake:  Anglers caught crappie on wax worms and spec minnows. Catfish were hitting on golden shiners.     

Morrison Lake:   Was producing some nice bluegills.

Muskegon River:  Has high water levels once again. Some reported a Caddis hatch. Those looking for trout have taken some browns along with the occasional steelhead.  

Whitehall:  Salmon appear to be scattered. Boat anglers picked up coho in 20 feet of water when trolling green and yellow spoons. Others caught chinook and coho about 50 feet down in 150 feet of water. Pier anglers caught a few chinook and brown trout.  Pink and silver were the hot colors.  

White Lake:  Boat anglers have done well for pike when casting spinner baits. Good bluegill action for those using live bait.


Rogers City:  Anglers able to get out had little success. The water is still too cold with surface temperatures barely reaching 44 degrees. As it continues to warm up, try up towards Forty Mile Point or south towards Swan Bay and Calcite Harbor in 10 to 100 feet of water. Try high-lining in the shallow waters or 10 feet off the bottom out deeper with cowbells, spin glo’s and dodgers. Try bright colored spoons and body baits up high for the occasional Atlantic salmon or brown trout. There is a very heavy hatch of midges around the marina right now.

Presque Isle:  Boats did manage to catch a few lake trout in waters 70 to 100 feet deep. They are using dodgers with spin glo’s just off the bottom. Anglers saw Atlantic salmon swimming around the marina.  

Rockport:  Had few anglers. A couple lake trout were caught towards False Presque Isle. Atlantic salmon activity seems to be slower this year.    

Thunder Bay River:  Is producing a few walleye for those using crawlers, leeches or crank baits. Anglers are catching and releasing some nice smallmouth bass.  

Harrisville:  Those heading out in boats caught lake trout, steelhead and walleye. It is still early in the season so the fish are in closer to shore. Spoons have been the most effective but you can also try body baits, flies and J-plugs. Walleye have been caught by boat and pier anglers using crawler harnesses, body baits or small spoons.  

Oscoda:  Walleye catches have slowed but fish are still being caught. Late evening was best off the pier when drifting crawlers and body baits.  

Au Sable River:  Steelhead can still be found and they are in good shape. It seems fresh fish are coming in day by day. The water is a little high and dark from run-off but the reports were still good. Flies seem to work best in the warmer weather but crawlers, wax worms and spawn were also producing well.  

Houghton Lake:  Bluegill and crappie have moved from the channels and are now being caught on the weed beds in six to eight feet of water. The walleye bite was slow but the bass opener this weekend should be good.      

Lake St. Helen:  Fishing was slow however bluegills are being caught on crawlers and wax worms in three to five feet of water. Anglers are not seeing any beds yet so spawning is a little behind this year.  

Tawas:  Pier anglers caught walleye in the evening when casting body baits and jigs. A few pike were taken and smallmouth bass were caught and released. Those trolling did well for walleye in 20 to 30 feet of water out near Tawas Point. Some were vertical jigging over the artificial reef and doing well.  

Tawas River:  Shore anglers caught walleye and smallmouth bass. Those wading at the mouth caught walleye at night.  

Au Gres:   Had a lot of walleye activity between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres. Limit catches were taken with crawler harnesses in 15 to 30 feet of water.   

Au Gres River:  Is producing some walleye. Those surfcasting at night caught walleye down near the Singing Bridge.   


Harbor Springs:  Boat anglers are slowly heading out around the point for lake trout. Try just off the bottom in 85 feet of water.  

Petoskey:  Pier anglers were catching a mixed bag of steelhead, brown trout, pike and carp. Boats are trying for lake trout near Bay Harbor. They are trolling spoons and spin glo’s in 50 to 100 feet of water.  

Bear River:  Still has some steelhead around the dam as well as upstream. Most of the fish are spawned out. Some are using spawn bags while others are fly fishing with an artificial egg fly. Fish early morning.    

Charlevoix:  Walleye have started running through the channel but the bite does not start until after dark. Fish have been caught down by the bridge near the Beaver Island Ferry Dock, and at the end of the pier near the lighthouse. Anglers are using a three-quarters to one ounce jig with a scented rubber minnow or deep diving crank baits. A couple pike were caught in the channel and smallmouth bass are starting to show up.   

Traverse City:  Anglers in the East Bay are targeting lake trout, cisco, whitefish, or smallmouth bass. Lake trout are scattered. Cisco and the occasional whitefish were caught in 40 to 60 feet of water on Swedish pimples or other jigging spoons. Smallmouth bass were caught in 10 to 35 feet of water. In the West Bay, lake trout were caught by those trolling or jigging. A few whitefish were also caught when jigging. Pier fishing for salmon was slow but the smallmouth action was good.  

Elk River:  Anglers will still find some steelhead even though the peak of the run is over. Smallmouth bass are showing up in decent numbers and should offer good fishing for the opener this Saturday. Try leeches, crawlers, plastic baits, or jigs.  

Boardman River:  Steelhead fishing is all but over. Anglers are now targeting smallmouth bass, northern pike, and carp. There are plenty of suckers in the river. Smallmouth bass fishing should be decent for the opener.  

Frankfort:  With the cooler waters, brown trout have been caught between the piers and along the shoreline. Anglers are out very early in the morning with black and gold or black and silver body baits and UV spoons. The first chinook salmon of the year were reported. Alewives are starting to move in towards the piers.  

Onekama:  Is producing brown trout in 18 to 22 feet of water. Body baits are best.  

Portage Lake:  Bass anglers are still having a great time catching largemouth on the beds or smallmouth along the drop-offs. Bluegills are moving into the weeds and becoming more active in the afternoon. Some nice perch are still being caught in the early morning however bring lots of bait because you will have to sort the small ones.  

Manistee:  Boat anglers are starting to catch salmon 100 to 200 feet down in waters 200 to 300 feet deep. Meat rigs worked best. Those trolling along the shoreline for brown trout only caught a few fish. Try black and silver or black and gold body baits.       

Manistee River:  Those casting or slow trolling spoons, crank baits or flies are still taking walleye and the occasional steelhead.  

Lake Cadillac:  The bass opener this weekend should be good as anglers have been catching and releasing good numbers of fish. Walleye are still being caught but the bite did slow. Anglers are using crawlers, leeches, and rapalas. Many are still waiting for the bluegills. No beds have been seen so it looks like they could be spawning well into June.  

Lake Mitchell:  Night anglers are still taking some walleye even though the bite has slowed. Crappie and bluegill can be found in the shallows but both are moving between deep and shallow water. Water temperatures are still a bit cold.    

Ludington:  The fish cleaning station is now open at the Loomis Street Launch. Boat anglers were catching salmon 80 to 200 feet down in 200 to 300 feet of water. Try blue or green meat rigs. Not much in the way of brown trout action.    

Pentwater:   Fishing is slowly picking up. Boat anglers caught a few salmon about 60 feet down in 140 feet of water. Those fishing the channel caught some nice pike.  


Keweenaw Bay:  Is producing a mix of coho, chinook and the occasional brown trout but anglers are putting in a lot of time to catch a few fish. The water is still dirty.  Anglers reported debris getting being caught in their lines. Those fishing off the rock dock near the L’Anse Marina are picking up the occasional coho or rainbow trout on spawn, spoons or crawlers.  

Falls River:  The smelt run is over however anglers are picking up some rainbow trout.  Try spoons, spawn or crawlers.  

Silver River:  The smelt are done but anglers caught rainbow trout.    

Huron River:  Is producing rainbow trout.  

Marquette:  Catch rates for coho were very slow with most reporting no fish. Lake trout action was good for those trolling just off the bottom in 200 to 230 feet of water near the Sand Hole. Try assorted spoons with sucker bait. Large schools of sticklebacks were associated with the lake trout. Most fish were three to four pounds but some went as high as 15 pounds. A few chinook salmon were caught by those trolling near Shot Point.  

Menominee:  Had a few reports of brown trout being caught by those in 30 feet of water. Most are going very slow, about two mph. Boat anglers are trolling near the mouth of the Menominee River. Catch rates were fair to good however the better action was in the evening. Those trolling north and south of the Cedar River caught walleye in the evening when using rapalas in assorted colors.  

Menominee River:  Water levels dropped and fishing was much easier. Some walleye were caught by those casting rapalas off the Cat Walk and near the dam.  Suckers and the occasional catfish were also caught.  

Cedar River:  Is producing some walleye, smallmouth bass and carp for those trolling, casting crank baits or drifting crawlers.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Had a pretty good start for the walleye season although water temperatures were a bit cold. The fish did not seem too aggressive and a small percentage had not yet spawned.  The average size was up compared to previous years. Good numbers of fish were reported around the head of the bay. The better catches were taken in 20 to 23 feet of water using crawler harnesses during the day or trolling and casting crank baits at night. The “Narrows” were a hot spot for walleye but most anglers were targeting perch. Try 30 to 33 feet of water with crawlers or minnows. Fair to good perch fishing was reported near the green buoy off the Days River in 20 to 24 feet.  

Escanaba River:  Was producing some walleye. While some limit catches were taken others struggled to catch fish.   

Big Bay De Noc:   A few walleye were caught just north of Kate’s Bay by those trolling crawler harnesses in 23 feet of water. Catch rates for perch were down but some were still caught as they move out of Garden Bay. Try crawlers in eight to 12 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were active between Ansell’s Point and the head of the bay as well as near Ogontz.   

Au Train:  Catch rates for coho slowed dramatically. Anglers trolled several hours but caught few fish. Lake trout action was better for those trolling spoons and sucker baits in 150 to 200 feet of water. The fish averaged three to four pounds.  

Munising:  Pier anglers reported slow catch rates with only the occasional steelhead or splake taken on spawn. When boats can get out, they caught a mix of chinook, coho and splake. The chinook ranged three to 10 pounds. Lake trout up to 25 pounds were caught by those trolling the Big Reef but not everyone out there caught fish.   

Grand Marais:  The upper parking lot is still blocked with construction debris. Few boats have been out but the number of pier anglers has increased. They are catching mostly whitefish and coho. The whitefish were 10 to 15 inches and the coho were averaging 16 inches. Try spawn, crawlers or casting small spoons and rapalas in the morning. The few boats that did go out managed to pick up a few coho and steelhead. Remember to use caution because of shallow water and rocks by the new breakwall.  

Drummond Island:  Walleye are slow as water temperatures were about 52 degrees. Anglers had excellent northern pike action at the mouth of Maxton Bay when trolling or casting double bladed spinner baits just off the DNR launch. Lots of bullhead are being caught in four to six feet of water in Maxton Bay. Try worms or minnows on the bottom.  

Cedarville and Hessel:  Anglers are targeting northern pike while trolling Hessel Bay and casting off the pier. Harvest rates were fair as the water is still a bit too cold. Anglers did better in Musky Bay and Cedarville Bay where the water was warmer but the best action was in the Moscoe Channel. Splake can still be found around Hessel. Lots of large and smallmouth bass were being caught and released.  

Carp River:  The number of fish is down in the Carp River as the water is running fast and muddy. Some suckers were harvested; a sure sign that steelhead are on their way out.

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