Friday, April 24, 2015

Michigan Fishing Report

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

This coming Saturday, April 25 marks the opening day of statewide trout season and the walleye, northern pike and muskellunge opener on the Lower Peninsula inland waters.  
The peak of the walleye spawn is about a week later than average so there should be a lot of males still in the rivers.  The opener this weekend should be good as long as we don’t get too much rain. 

Want a video snapshot of fishing in this area? Check out the Michigan Fishing Forecast 2015 for the Southeast Lower Peninsula

Detroit River: Continues to have high fishing pressure.  Walleye fishing has been very good with lots of large fish caught. Wind and rain will muddy and make fishing more difficult.  Good catches during the week were taken near Great Lakes Steel, Mud Island, Stoney Island, Trenton Channel, the Rouge River, Cobo Hall, Ambassador Bridge and in Canadian waters near Fighting Island.  Average size was three pounds with some fish up to eight or nine pounds.  At this point most of the bigger females caught have already spawned so most of the fish caught now are smaller males.  Some caught suckers and the occasional smallmouth bass. 

Lake St. Clair: Had a few reports of bass angling success.  Windy conditions have muddied up the lake and it may still be a muddy mess for the weekend.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing at Port Huron has slowed.  A few salmon and trout, along with some whitefish are being caught by shore anglers in Port Huron.  Walleye were caught in the Algonac area, but overall fishing was slow.  Water temperatures remain in the upper 30’s.

Lexington: Boat anglers are taking a fair mix of coho, chinook, Atlantic, steelhead and lake trout.  The fish were spooked easily in the clear water near shore.  Best depths were anywhere from 35 to 65 feet from south of Lexington or between Lexington and Port Sanilac.  Most are trolling downriggers with spoons.  Pier fishing was slow at both ports.

Saginaw Bay: At Pine River and Palmer Road, the perch run is apparently over.  The fish are spawned out and most of them are small.  Good walleye fishing off Linwood in 13 to 20 feet and around Spoils Island when jigging or trolling crank baits.  East of Bay City, boats launching at Finn Road are going back west and fishing around Spoils Island.  White bass and catfish were caught at the Hot Ponds.  Up the east side, walleye were caught in five feet off Quanicassee.  Some are going as far as the Spark Plug.  From Sunset Bay north to Caseville, not much for boat anglers; just cut anglers after perch though the run is over with only small fish in the cuts and rivers.  Some very big smallmouth bass were caught and released off the end of the pier at Caseville and by shore and pier anglers at Port Austin and Grindstone City.  Fish 4 to 6 pounds were caught and released by those casting jigs with assorted plastics.    

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULAWant a video snapshot of fishing in this area? Check out the Michigan Fishing Forecast 2015 for the Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: 
Boat anglers had good success mainly south of the port when using small crank baits.  Lake trout were caught on spoons fished deep.  Pier anglers caught fish when using spawn on the bottom.   

St. Joseph River:
 Recent rains decreased water clarity, but flows were still below average.  A fair number of steelhead can still be seen moving through the Berrien Springs fish ladder.  Suckers are also showing up. 

South Haven: 
Boat anglers are catching a few coho in waters up to 30 feet deep when trolling small spoons.  Pier fishing slowed.   

Kalamazoo River: 
Still has a good number of steelhead and suckers.  The walleye opener this weekend should be good.  

Grand Haven: 
Pier anglers are doing well for steelhead and brown trout when using spawn.  Boat anglers had success when trolling along the shoreline for steelhead, brown trout, coho and smaller chinook salmon.  They are using 2, 3, and 5 colors of lead core and short coppers.  Hot lures were body baits, jointed baits and small spoons in orange, red or gold.  As for perch, anglers caught some one day and were skunked the next.   

Grand River at Grand Rapids: 
Had a good number of steelhead.  Spawn was the bait of choice.  Suckers are showing up in good numbers too.

Grand River at Lansing: 
Is producing catfish for those using crawlers and cut bait.  Bass anglers are catching and releasing a few fish.  No word on steelhead this far up.

Pier anglers did well for steelhead and brown trout when floating spawn.  Boat anglers heading out caught a mix of steelhead, brown trout, small chinook and coho when using between 2 and 5 colors of leadcore and short coppers.  Try orange, red or gold body baits and small spoons.  

Muskegon River: 
Water temperatures were in the low to mid 40’s.  The water was somewhat muddy after all the rain.  Anglers are still taking a fair to good number of steelhead on spawn and body baits.  

Pier anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead. The bite is slow and water flowing through the channel is cloudy.  Those trolling in the shallows are catching brown trout and lake trout.

White Lake: 
Had reports of a few perch caught. 

Want a video snapshot of fishing in this area? Check out the Michigan Fishing Forecast 2015 for the Northeast Lower Peninsula

Ocqueoc River: 
Was slow.  The water is still very cold.  Those targeting steelhead are drifting spawn under a bobber through the deeper holes.  Most are the darker hold-over and very few chrome fish. 

Rogers City: 
A few boats have gone out but had little success.  Atlantics and lake trout should be in shallow waters up to 40 feet deep.  Try trolling spoons or body baits and use bright colors in the stained water.  In clear waters, try green and silver or blue and silver.  The fish should be up higher in the water column and around structure.  The area from Calcite Harbor all the way south to Adams Point should be good for Atlantics and lake trout.   

Presque Isle and Rockport: 
All the ice is gone.  A dock is in at Presque Isle but not Rockport.  

Those trolling around the marina or casting from the breakwall have caught a mix of Atlantic, lake trout and walleye.  Catch rates were decent.  A few fish were taken behind the cement plant.  Most are trolling.  Walleye were caught near the mouth of the river when jigging or casting body baits at night.   

Thunder Bay River: 
The occasional steelhead was caught up near the 9th Street Dam.  Anglers are drifting spawn bags under a bobber or on the bottom.  Artificial egg patterns have also caught fish.  Some caught suckers or the incidental walleye.  It looks like walleye will be in the river for the opener.  Water temperatures were still on the cold side.  Anglers are still waiting for a major push of steelhead to arrive.  

Au Sable River: 
Anglers should find some steelhead and brown trout.  Try spawn, wax worms and flies.  With the cooler weather, try fishing the deeper holes.  

Boats trolling husky-jerks near the artificial reef and those jigging were getting some walleyes and quite a few lake trout.  Pier fishing was spotty with only one Atlantic, and a couple walleye, pike and lake trout taken when casting or still-fishing.  Minnows come and go inside the harbor.
Tawas River: 
Was producing mostly suckers and carp.  A few walleye were taken off the mouth. 

Au Gres: 
Boat anglers fishing around Whitestone Point and Point Lookout did well for walleye.  Some are dipping smelt from boats at night with lights hung over the side to attract them.  Pier anglers casting for walleye at end of breakwall at night were getting a few.  A small number of smelt were taken by those with dip nets around the shoreline at Point Lookout and Point Au Gres. 

Au Gres River: 
Most of the steelhead are apparently further upriver.  Near the Singing Bridge, those surfcasting at night have caught some walleye.  Sucker runs are winding down however there were still quite a few fish in the river.

Want a video snapshot of fishing in this area? Check out the Michigan Fishing Forecast 2015 for the Northwest Lower Peninsula
Trout fishing should be decent this coming weekend, although it may be a little cold for insect hatches.  Water levels should be good, slightly high but not raging.  In the streams open to Lake Michigan, there should be a good number of steelhead available.  The run this year has been very late due to cold temperatures.  The walleye and pike opener should be very good in this area with fish on their post-spawn feeding binge. 

Most of the ice in Little Traverse Bay blew out but there were a couple large ice flows still present.  The marina is open, but the docks are not yet.  

Bear River: 
Steelhead fishing improved somewhat.  Females are starting to show up in the catch and many have eggs flowing.  Anglers are fishing the dam, the mouth, off the inside of the breakwall, and off the end of the clock dock.  Anglers did best with spawn bags, wax worms, and flies.  Suckers were caught at the mouth and dam.  

Kalkaska County: 
Manistee Lake is usually good for walleye. 

Lake Charlevoix:
 The north end looked to be ice free.  The docks at the boat launch were still not in.  

Elk River: 
Fishing was slow.  Anglers managed to pull a couple steelhead and brown trout while fishing spawn bags below the power dam.

Fife Lake: I
n Grand Traverse County is a good bet for walleye. 

Traverse City:
 In the East Bay, those jigging had fair catches of cisco and lake trout and those trolling picked up lake trout along the breaks in 30 to 50 feet or deeper in 80 to 120 feet.  In the West Bay, lake trout have been caught in 20 to 50 feet.  Shore fishing was relatively slow near the mouth of the Boardman and the Maritime Academy with only a few lake trout and the occasional brown trout or steelhead taken on spawn or minnows.   

Boardman River: 
Anglers are catching steelhead at the Union Street Dam.  Most fish were caught on spawn bags.  Fish are on the gravel behind the Post Office.

Windy conditions have made it difficult for both pier and boat anglers.  Those trolling north or south along the shoreline caught steelhead, brown trout and lake trout in nine to 12 feet.  A few more bites were coming on spoons rather than body baits.  Orange and green were the hot colors.  

Benzie County: 
Try Upper and Lower Herring Lakes for walleye. 

Lake County:  
Try Big Star Lake for walleye.  

Anglers are landing brown trout and lake trout off the north pier.  Body baits worked best but fresh spawn was also taking brown trout.  

Portage Lake:  
The docks are in at both launches.  Anglers have been out but catch rates were slow due to cold water temperatures.  No sign of perch yet.

Boats trolling along the shoreline are catching a few brown trout and lake trout on black and silver, orange and gold or perch colored body baits.  Pier anglers caught a few perch on wigglers and minnows.  A few brown trout were taken by those casting spoons or still-fishing with spawn.  

Manistee County: 
Try Manistee Lake, Bear Lake, Portage Lake and Tippy Dam Pond for walleye.  

Brown trout and lake trout have been caught while trolling the shoreline with orange spoons and body baits.  Pier anglers and those surfcasting had slow results for steelhead and brown trout.  

Hamlin Lake: Is usually a good bet for the walleye.  

Pier anglers caught a few brown trout, steelhead and even a couple perch.  Many are wrapping up the pier fishing and thinking about putting their boats in.  The docks are not in at the launches yet but some are putting in smaller boats and catching a fair number of lake trout and brown trout in the shallows. 

Want a video snapshot of fishing in this area? Check out the Michigan Fishing Forecast 2015 for the Eastern Upper Peninsula and Southern Upper Peninsula
Northern Luce and Alger County still have snow on the ground, between one and two feet. Some roads are passible, but a majority of the roads are not due to snowpack and ice cover.  The only confirmed accessible roads at this point are County Road 500 towards Little Lake Harbor and County Road 414 to County Road 423 to the mouth of the Two Hearted River.  A majority of the trout lakes will still be ice covered for the trout opener.  The roads in Chippewa County should be open however the trout lakes near Lake Superior will most likely still have ice on them.  The roads in Mackinac County should be open.  Lakes to the south end of the Upper Peninsula should be open for the weekend.  M-28 could be used as a divider for lakes open or not.  Expect all streams and rivers to be high and muddy.  

Copper Harbor:  
Fishing is very slow.  The harbor was about half full of pack ice and strong winds keep moving it around.  It was along the west end making it impossible to launch a boat.  Eagle Harbor has no ice issues but steelhead fishing was slow.   

Keweenaw Bay: 
Anglers fishing the Falls River in L’Anse did manage to catch a few fish.  Those fishing off the rock dock caught a few coho, steelhead and splake when using spawn, crawlers, spoons or spinners.  Boat anglers trolling near the head of the bay caught a mix of coho, chinook, brown trout, steelhead and splake.  In the South Portage Entry, those jigging off the lighthouse in 120 to 180 feet caught lake trout.  

Brown trout were caught in good numbers off the Lighthouse Pier and north of the Menominee River when using #7 rapalas in various colors in six to 10 feet.  Fish as large as 28 inches and 12 pounds have been caught.  

Menominee River: 
Brown trout were caught on rapalas and stick baits.  Most anglers are now concentrating on walleye in the lower river when using jigs and minnows.  Walleye and brown trout were caught at the Hattie Street Dam.  

Little Bay De Noc:  
Anglers have just started boat fishing.  The docks are in at Rapid River, the Ford River and the Gladstone Yacht Harbor.  There could still be some floating ice in the bay so boat anglers will still need to use caution.  Perch anglers caught small fish on crawlers in 10 to 25 feet.  Steelhead anglers fishing the Bark River, Days River and the Whitefish River are starting to catch some fish.  

Big Bay De Noc:  
Had no reports.  Garden Bay is still iced over but should break up any day now.  The only launch open is at Ogontz.  The Sturgeon River is very high and only being fished north of US-2.  Many anglers are waiting for Garden Bay and the great perch fishery.

For the most part the area is ice free except for shoreline ice that has blown towards the mouth of the Chocolay River.  Catch rates were very slow with only a few anglers taking one to three fish which were mainly coho and Chinook.  Most of the fish were caught by boat anglers fishing the “Bubblers” at the Upper Harbor, outside the Lower Harbor breakwall and between the Carp River and the Chocolay River.  Jig fishing produced more than trolling.  A few lake trout were caught in 80 to 100 feet east of Marquette, towards the White Rocks and north towards Granite Island.  Boats are trolling spoons and crank baits 20 to 30 feet down in 50 to 60 feet.  The area towards the Sand River and Shot Point is ice free except for the shoreline.  Ice is still present along Shelter Bay, Au Train Bay and the Rock River remains ice locked however there are pressure cracks. 

Changing weather, strong wind and melting ice has limited angler activity.  Ice conditions in the bay are still not safe!  Around the shoreline there is open water however some thin ice still remains locked in the bay.  Reports from around the bay indicate poor to fair catch results on a mixed bag of fish.  Many in small boats are fishing in 20 to 30 feet near the mouth of the Anna River where the occasional steelhead, coho and splake were caught by those still-fishing or jigging spawn and worms.  Whitefish reports were down.  Try spawn or worms on the bottom.  Trout Bay has not been fished and efforts at Bay Furnace were low as 4WD is still needed to get for access to the road.  No word on smelt.  

Grand Marais: 
The ice was blowing out of the bay including ice near the boat launch and the channel so anglers can start launching boats.  The ice is gone near the Sucker River as well.

Mackinac County:  
Smelt action has been nonexistent at this point.  Water temperatures on the Carp River were 36 degrees and Nunn’s Creek was 41 degrees.  The cold nights and rain will lower those water temperatures.  The Black River had some steelhead activity but the bite was slow.  Water levels were high.