Saturday, June 1, 2013

Michigan Fishing Report

Sunset on Lake Erie seen through a fishing net.
Sunset on Lake Erie seen through a fishing net. 
Click on the links below to jump to the report section that interests you most:
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Upper Peninsula



Fishing continues to get better as the weather improves. Bluegill and bass are on the beds in some areas while other areas are still a bit behind because of the cooler temperatures. Pike and walleye are biting.      
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie:  Walleye fishing has been great for most with limit catches taken in 19 to 24 feet of water between the Raisin River buoys and Stony Point. Most were using crawlers but others did well with purple or chartreuse spoons. The bass opener was good with smallmouth caught near the rock piles off Sterling State Park.

Detroit River:  Walleye fishing remains very good.

Lake St. Clair:  Continues to have good walleye fishing off the Dumping Grounds, the Metro Beach and the 400 Club. Smallmouth bass fishing remains good along the Mile Roads and is picking up in Anchor Bay.

St. Clair River:  Walleye fishing has been good for those trolling crawler harnesses but success when jigging has picked up in recent days.  

Lexington:  Had very good fishing for chinook, lake trout, steelhead and even a couple coho. The bigger fish were caught in 80 to 100 feet of water.

Harbor Beach:  Is producing salmon straight out and north of the harbor in 40 to 85 feet of water. Try spoons off downriggers and dipseys, or 2, 5 or 10 colored lead lines. Orange, red, blue, grey, or green were the hot colors. Steelhead were caught for those trolling bright colored spoons with offshore boards closer to the surface. Lake trout were taken with dodgers and spin glows or spoons near the bottom. Brown trout were closer to shore. Try long lines with bright colored spoons or body baits. Bass were caught inside the harbor and close to shore by those casting or trolling spoons and body baits. Pier anglers caught walleye when casting rapalas in the early morning or at night. Water levels were good at the ramp and in the channel.

Saginaw Bay:  Had good walleye catches off the Pinconning Bar in 10 to 12 feet of water, three to four miles out from Linwood, one mile north of Callahan Road, and in six feet of water off Finn Road.  Most are using crawler harnesses. Between Quanicassee and Sebewaing, walleye fishing was good along the north end of the Slot. The fish here were bigger and some limit catches were reported by those using pink and green crawler harnesses. Walleye fishing off Bay Port was slow. Good smallmouth bass fishing in Wildfowl Bay. At Caseville, anglers were walleye fishing off the wall.

Saginaw River:  Is producing walleye between the Coast Guard Station and the mouth. Most are using Hot-n-Tots. Freshwater drum and catfish were caught at Essexville Park.

Tittabawassee River:  Water levels were high and muddy. No anglers were out.

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph:
  Boat anglers had decent fishing for chinook, coho and lake trout in 40 to 140 feet of water. Pier anglers continue to catch catfish and freshwater drum. Perch fishing was slow.

St. Joseph River:  Is producing channel catfish and freshwater drum for those using crawlers on the bottom.

Union Lake:  In Branch County was producing good numbers of bluegill and crappie.  Some say crappies are on the beds and the gills were closer.

Lake of the Woods:  In Calhoun County was producing some nice bluegills.  

Duck Lake:  In Calhoun County was good for crappie and bluegills.

South Haven:  Boat anglers reported some improvement but catch rates were still slow. Chinook and lake trout were caught in 90 to 140 feet of water. A few perch were starting to show up however they are very deep and the bite was slow. Pier fishing was slow except for freshwater drum hitting live bait on the bottom.

Holland:  Boat anglers are catching a few chinook and coho in 100 to 200 feet of water. White paddles with blue and white or green white flies were still taking fish right along with spoons in green, blue, yellow or gold. Pier fishing was slow.  

Grand Haven:  Boats are fishing in 110 to 200 feet but the better fishing was out further in 150 to 180 when targeting the top 85 feet. Some salmon were still caught out deeper. White paddles with blue and white or green and white flies were still the ticket but some also caught fish on regular or magnum spoons in blue, green, gold and yellow. Most of the fish caught were chinook and coho. Pier fishing was hit-or-miss. The Harbor Island parking lot for boat trailers has limited parking because of all the dirt from dredging.

Grand River at Lansing:  Fishing activity picked up with the warm weather. No limits to report but anglers are catching catfish, bass, crappie and sunfish. Walleye and carp were hitting near the dams.

Park Lake:  In Clinton County had good bass fishing.

Lake Ovid:  Had good catches of bluegill but the fish were small.

Morrison Lake:   Was producing some nice bluegills.

Muskegon River:  Had reports of good walleye fishing in Mecosta County.

Whitehall:  Had few anglers but those able to get out caught chinook south of Duck Lake. Try 45 to 160 feet down in 200 feet of water.  

White Lake:  Anglers had considerable action while fishing within the seven foot range along the shoreline. They caught perch, northern pike, and bass. Some caught all three species with jerk baits. Those fishing the channel have started to catch channel cats when casting crawlers or spoons and running them close to the bottom.  

NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Mullett Lake:
  Walleye fishing was slow.

Rogers City:  Lake trout are just starting to show up. Those fishing south towards Swan Bay and Adams Point caught salmon and trout. The fish appear to be scattered up and down the water column or 10 feet off the bottom. Try cowbells or dodgers with spin glo’s. The Atlantic salmon and steelhead are coming up high on bright colored spoons. There is still a large hatch of midges in the area and the fish are moving in to feed on them. Trout and salmon have been caught from the breakwall by those casting orange or gold spoons with a touch of silver.  

Ocqueoc River:  Has another fresh run of steelhead. Try drifting spawn under a bobber or small jigs and flies. They will be spawning soon.

Presque Isle:  Was producing some lake trout along with a few Chinook and Atlantic salmon in 30 to 80 feet of water. The lake trout were about 10 feet off the bottom. Try cowbells or dodgers with spin glo’s or green spoons. The fish caught had bellies full of goby and smelt.

Rockport:  Those getting out have caught some lake trout. Atlantic, Chinook and steelhead have also been caught but water temperatures were still in the low 40’s.

Grand Lake:  Walleye fishing was slow.  

Alpena:  Anglers have done well for lake trout and the occasional steelhead or salmon. Lake trout ranged four to 12 pounds. Walleye fishing in the bay has slowed.  

Thunder Bay River:  Those fishing up near the 9th Street Dam have caught a few walleye, pike and smallmouth bass.

Harrisville:  Boat anglers were coming in with steelhead, lake trout and walleye.  Lake trout and steelhead were still in 50 to 70 feet of water. Try spoons, flies and body baits. Walleye were caught in 12 to 40 feet early morning or late night.
Lake Margrethe:  Was producing walleye and panfish.

Oscoda:  Walleye are making their way in. Pier anglers have done well late in the evening and just before sun up.

Au Sable River:  Steelhead are still making their way up the river. Most of the fish caught are silver and fresh from the lake. Foote Dam is closed for construction. The Rea Road launch is accessible and the trail was open. Fish were still on the beds at Whirlpool, the Boy Scout Camp and near High Banks.

Houghton Lake:  Is producing the occasional walleye and some panfish.    

Tawas:  Was slow, cold and windy. Those trolling between Jerry’s Marina and Buoy #2 caught very few fish. Boat anglers in Tawas Bay caught smallmouth bass.

Tawas River:  Is producing smallmouth bass, catfish, freshwater drum and bowfin.

Au Gres:   Was producing limit catches of walleye with crawler harnesses in 30 feet of water between Point Au Gres and Pointe Lookout. A few boats were going northeast of Point Lookout and fishing along and beyond the gravelly shoal.

Au Gres River:  Is producing freshwater drum, catfish and bowfin.  

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Harbor Springs: 
 Boats anglers caught smallmouth bass around the docks.  

Petoskey:  Pier anglers did well for smallmouth bass. They were using crawlers, spoons or crank baits. A walleye was caught off the pier. Lake trout action was slow and most of the fish were sub-legal. Try south of the pier with blue and white spoons.

Bear River:  Was producing steelhead before the high water levels. Try spawn bags. Smallmouth bass and rock bass were caught on crawlers. Brown trout were hitting on small spoons.

Charlevoix:   A few boats were searching for lake trout but none were located.  Water temperatures were 39 degrees at 100 feet down. Anglers continue to do well in the channel when walleye fishing after dark. The bite usually starts around 9:30 p.m.  Fish on the Lake Michigan end of the channel when the current is going out and try near Round Lake when the current is moving in. Anglers are using ¾ to 1 ounce jigs with rubber minnows and rubber worms as well as deep diving crank baits. Smallmouth bass were hitting on crawlers and leeches in the channel.

Traverse City:  The East Bay had good smallmouth bass fishing in waters six to 25 feet deep. Cisco, lake trout and whitefish were caught on Swedish Pimples in 20 to 70 feet. A couple lake trout were taken in 10 to 50 feet. In the West Bay, lake trout were caught by those trolling plugs in 10 to 30 feet. Whitefish and lake trout were taken by those jigging in 130 feet. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass on minnows or crawlers.

Elk River:  A couple steelhead remain in the river but the bite was slow. Try drifting fresh spawn bags or a jig and wax worm. Smallmouth fishing should improve as the water warms up.

Boardman River:  Anglers are pulling in a mixed bag of fish. Smallmouth bass were caught on leeches or crawlers. Northern pike were hitting on live minnows. Anglers will find carp and plenty of suckers as well.  

Frankfort:  Brown trout are still hitting around the piers and limit catches were reported by those using alewife. Body baits in black and silver or black and gold were also working. Those fishing alewife off the north pier did well from the elbow to the end.  Cold water has kept the Chinook out in deeper water.      

Onekama:  Anglers heading south and fishing in 250 feet of water landed some nice Chinook salmon. The fish are scattered so try all depths. They are hitting mostly on flies with meat rigs. Lake trout, brown trout and steelhead were not as deep.

Portage Lake:  Panfish were very active with nice catches of bluegill, crappie and rock bass hitting on worms. Bass anglers were working the drop-offs. Few fish were actually on the beds. Northern pike were more active and hitting on spinner baits.

Manistee:  Salmon fishing was starting to pick up. Try 70 to 180 feet down in 200 to 300 feet of water. Meat rigs with green or blue flies worked best. Pier anglers caught a few brown trout on spoons or alewife.

Lake Missaukee:  Was producing some panfish.  Lake Cadillac:  Walleye fishing slowed but a few fish were still being caught during the day and at night when drifting crawler harnesses. Anglers did well on bluegills.   as the fish were starting to show up on the beds. The bass opener was very good with lots of large and smallmouth caught. Pike are hitting on live bait.Lake Mitchell:   Is producing a few walleye, some nice bluegills and the occasional small pike.

Ludington:  Boat anglers are picking up a few salmon 75 to 150 feet down in 150 to 250 feet of water. Meat rigs have worked well along with orange or blue spoons.

Pentwater:   Salmon fishing was best in the early morning and the fish were large for spring fishing. Anglers did best 45 to 70 feet down in 60 to 120 feet of water. Steelhead and coho were also caught. They are fishing across from the sand dunes at Silver Lake. Blue and green were the hot colors.  

UPPER PENINSULA
Walleye anglers had good success across Iron, Dickinson and Gogebic County. Many limit catches were checked.

Copper Harbor:   Splake fishing was spotty. Jigs with cut bait like sucker or smelt worked best but crawlers took a few fish. Those fishing near the mouth of Fanny Hoe Creek caught a few fish when drifting worms in the current. In Eagle Harbor, those trolling around the mouth and in shallow waters caught a few splake and brown trout.

Keweenaw Bay:   The water is still dirty from run-off but not as bad as it was. Catch rates picked up a little as those trolling caught Chinook, coho and lake trout. They were fishing 30 to 50 feet down in 40 to 60 feet of water from the head of the Bay north to Old Mission with spoons. Green was a good color. Those jigging off the water tower at Pequaming picked up lake trout in 200 to 230 feet of water with cut bait. In Traverse Bay, those trolling or jigging in 130 to 150 feet caught lake trout out from Big Louie’s Point and Gay Point.    Marquette:  Catch rates improved with Chinook averaging four to five pounds caught towards Shot Point, the drop-off along M-28 and outside the Lower Harbor breakwall. Try spoons or stick baits in orange and silver. Lake trout action was fair. The fish were suspended 50 to 60 feet down in 160 to 200 feet of water. The lake trout are eating a large quantity of sticklebacks. Water temperatures were at 40 degrees.  

Menominee:  A few walleye were caught in 12 to 15 feet in Wisconsin waters. A few bass were caught and pike were abundant in the shallow waters. Those trolling north and south of the Cedar River caught pike and bass.

Menominee River:  Had a good number of musky anglers. There was a report of one 58 inch fish caught and released. Anglers are drifting or casting large musky baits between the mouth and the dam. A good number of suckers have been caught up near the dam. Those shore fishing for trout reported slow catch rates.  

Cedar River:  Bass season opened with lots of fish caught. Many were small but some nice ones were caught on crawlers or crank baits under the M-35 Bridge.

Little Bay De Noc:  Water temperatures were in the low 50’s. The better walleye and perch fishing were along the “Narrows.” Fish were also caught from the Kipling Flats south to the Gladstone Beach. Perch were hitting on minnows or crawlers in 20 to 30 feet of water. Walleye anglers were trolling crawler harnesses or rapalas in 18 to 30 feet. Walleye were caught near the mouth of the Whitefish River.

Ford River:   Was busy with anglers during the bass opener. This is a good place for shore anglers to target smallmouth. Fair catches were taken by those casting tube baits or crank baits along the edge in four to eight feet of water. Boats usually drift and cast down near the mouth.

Escanaba River:  Walleye fishing slowed although some good catches were reported down near the mouth. Anglers were trolling or drifting crawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water.  

Big Bay De Noc:   Is known for its terrific smallmouth bass fishing and the opener last weekend was no exception. Good numbers of fish were reported throughout the bay. The better areas were the Nahma “Sand Pit”, the head of the bay up near Tylene’s, Ogontz, Puffy Bay and South River Bay. The fish were a little deeper in 10 to 16 feet of water. Many fish were in the five pound range. Some perch were caught in Garden Bay. Try crawlers in eight to 12 feet.  

Au Train:  Catch rates improved somewhat for those targeting chinook, coho and lake trout. For salmon, anglers were trolling or casting spoons and stick baits in less than 50 feet of water towards Shelter Bay and Au Train Point. Water temperatures were still cold. For lake trout, anglers are trolling between Au Train Island and Wood Island in 160 to 200 feet of water.

Munising:  Boat anglers have caught chinook ranging three to 10 pounds. A few splake were caught when trolling on the east side of the bay between the hospital and Sand Point. Try spoons, flashers, dodgers and flies. Pier anglers casting spawn and shore anglers still-fishing with spawn had limit catches of splake.

Grand Marais:  Pier anglers caught coho and whitefish. Try spawn near the end of the pier. Some nice fish were caught but many were running on the small side. Early morning was best. Boat anglers caught coho when trolling east and west of the bay in waters less than 20 feet deep. The fish were 16 to 18 inches and limit catches were reported.  

Manistique Lake:  Both lakes were slow but producing some bass, pike and walleye.

DeTour:  Anglers caught Atlantic salmon in 10 to 25 feet of water. Lake trout and chinook were out deeper in 45 to 65 feet. Green was the hot color.

Drummond Island:  Walleye were caught in four feet of water in Scott Bay. Pink and black were the hot colors.

Cedarville and Hessel:  Pike fishing is good all throughout the islands. Anglers are still-fishing or casting with chubs. Harvest numbers will only increase with warmer weather. Large and smallmouth bass fishing were very good.