Friday, April 17, 2015

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report

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

New fishing regulations went into effect on April 9.  Full details are now online in the 2015 Fishing Guide.  Changes include new hook restrictions, changes to the bass season, Great Lakes trout and salmon regulations for Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and inland trout and salmon regulations regarding brook trout.  To view these changes click here: 2015-2016 Michigan Fishing Regulations

Interested in information related to invasive species? Sign-up for invasive species emails from the State of Michigan’s Invasive Species Program, co-managed by the departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Quality, and Natural Resources. 
Lake Erie:  More boats are getting out.  Walleye catches have improved although individual success has varied. Please note: the daily possession limit for walleye in Michigan’s waters of Lake Erie will remain at six, effective through April 30, 2016.      

Detroit River:  Has seen a large increase in angler effort and catch rates for walleye.  Limit catches were much more common during the week with the bite slowing on the weekend. Virtually all boats are targeting walleye with most anglers reporting some measure of success.  During the week good catches including multiple limits were reported where the river starts all the way downstream into the Trenton Channel and the east side of Grosse Ile.  Multiple fish more than 10 pounds were caught but the average size was about four pounds.  Hot spots were Great Lakes Steel, Mud Island, Grassy Island, and near the Ambassador Bridge. Water temperatures range between 40 and 42 degrees.  Some caught musky, pike, carp and suckers. 

Washtenaw County:  Panfish activity was slow but some anglers did report a few decent catches.

Lake St. Clair:  Had little activity.  Crappie and sunfish were caught in the canals and marinas.  Shore fishing at the mouth of the Clinton River has been slow.

Clinton River:  Has steelhead and suckers.

St. Clair River:  There is still a lot of ice up on Lake Huron and a northwest wind will blow that ice back down into the river.  Anglers are encouraged to check with local bait shops to make sure the boat ramps are not iced in.  Some walleye were caught in the upper river.  A mix of trout and salmon were caught the length of the river however the better catches were between Port Huron and Marine City.  

Lexington:  Boat anglers have done well when trolling orange body baits off planer boards in five to 15 feet.  Most had anywhere from two to nine fish consisting of chinook, coho, lake trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon.

Port Sanilac:  A couple coho and steelhead were caught in the harbor by pier anglers and those trolling.   

Saginaw Bay:  Had some good perch action at the Palmer Road Cut.  Those trolling body baits caught walleye in 18 feet off Linwood and 10 to 12 feet off the Bay City State Park.  Walleye were also caught by those trolling or jigging near the mouth of the Kawkawlin River, Spoils Island and to the east off Finn Road.  Quanicassee to Caseville was slow for perch because of the muddy waters.  The odd lake trout was caught off the end of the pier at Caseville.


St. Joseph: 
Fishing continues to be good with pier anglers catching coho and brown trout when using spawn on the bottom.  The occasional whitefish was also caught.  Boat anglers are doing very well north and south of the piers.  They are taking a mixed bag of coho, brown trout, small chinook and steelhead.  Body baits and small spoons are the ticket.  

St. Joseph River:  
A lot of steelhead were seen moving through the fish ladder at Berrien Springs.  Flows are well below normal for this time of year.

South Haven:  
Pier fishing has slowed with only a few coho taken on spawn fished on the bottom.  Boat fishing also slowed but the fish caught were taken mostly south of the piers in waters between eight and 60 feet deep.  

Kalamazoo River:  
Anglers were doing well at the Allegan Dam.  Fish are being taken on spawn, yarn flies and trout beads.  Steelhead were caught near the Hamilton Dam on the Rabbit River.  

Grand Haven:  
Pier and shore anglers are both taking steelhead and brown trout.  Steelhead are hitting on fresh spawn and brown trout on orange body baits.  

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  
Anglers are still catching fair numbers of steelhead at 6th Street Dam but reported slower fishing with the recent rise of water.  Those using spawn did best.  Sucker catches increased over the last week.  Anglers reported an increase in the number of steelhead showing up at the Flat River Dam in Lowell.  Catch rates were fair for those using yarn and beads.  

Grand River at Lansing:  
Word has it steelhead did not make it up past the Webber Dam so those looking for them will want to head downstream.  Anglers are doing well for catfish when using crawlers or cut bait.  A few crappie were caught but the panfish bite was still slow.  

Jackson County:  
Fishing activity has picked up.  Panfish are becoming more active as the waters warm. 

Clinton County:  
Suckers have been caught in area streams.  Inland lakes were slow due to cold water temperatures.

Has blocks of ice along the shoreline once again thanks to the west wind.  Those venturing out have caught coho and brown trout on spoons and stick baits.  Orange was a good color.  Pier anglers also did well for steelhead with some limit catches taken by those fishing spawn on the bottom.  

Muskegon River: 
 Fresh steelhead were caught even though the river is stained.  Anglers are using spawn, egg flies and body baits.  Orange and chartreuse were good colors.  A few walleye were also caught.  

When the weather allows, a good number of pier anglers were targeting steelhead.  The bite was slow however anglers were catching more brown trout.  A good number of boat anglers caught brown trout when trolling close to shore.  Try orange spoons or body baits.

Inland lakes in Otsego and Montmorency County were still ice covered.  Some of the smaller lakes have opened up and the rest should follow by the weekend.   

Anglers were fishing near the locks and the dam but had no luck.  

Ocqueoc River:  
Finally got some rain and run-off and hopefully this will help draw some steelhead in.  Catch rates have been very slow.  Anglers were drifting or floating spawn in the deeper holes.  

Rogers City:  
Ice is gone from the launch ramp and one dock is in.  Atlantic salmon should be out there so try trolling the shoreline and breakwalls with bright colored spoons or body baits.  Good colors are orange, yellow, chartreuse and silver.  Those casting from the breakwall will want to try spoons or body baits in chartreuse and silver or orange, gold and silver.  

Presque Isle and Rockport:  
Ice was still blocking the launch ramp however it should be completely gone this week.

A few boat anglers found Atlantic salmon.   They are trolling bright colored spoons and body baits in front of the marina and near the Cement Plant.  Orange, yellow, green and silver were the colors of choice.  

Thunder Bay River:  
Had lots of anglers but catch rates were slow.  Most are targeting steelhead when drifting or floating spawn and artificial egg patterns or when fishing along the bottom.

The harbor is ice free and one dock is in so boats can now launch. Steelhead and walleye are starting to show up.  Body baits and spawn are working well.  Atlantic salmon should be around the harbor soon.  

Pier and boat anglers are catching walleye, steelhead and Atlantic salmon.  Trolling and casting body baits were the most productive but fish were also caught by those drifting spawn or still-fishing with minnows.  Early morning and late evening were best. 

Au Sable River:  
Was producing some fresh steelhead.  Spawn and body baits were the ticket. 

Higgins Lake:  
Still had some large chunks of ice floating around.  Boat anglers will have to wait a bit longer.   

Houghton Lake:  
Has open water but not much in the way of fishing as water temperatures were still too cold.  The only action reported was a couple panfish caught in the canals.  

Fishing was slow with only a few walleye caught by boat anglers. 

Tawas River:  
Anglers caught the occasional steelhead on spawn.  Suckers were also caught.    

Au Gres:  
Boat anglers caught walleye off the mouth of the river.   

Au Gres River:  
Steelhead have been caught in the East Branch near the Singing Bridge.

Now is the time for steelhead fishing as last week’s rain pushed good numbers of fish up into the rivers.  The warmer weather will ripen them fairly quick and they will be on the gravel soon.  The Manistee and Pere Marquette should be good choices.  

Harbor Springs:  
This side of the bay is starting to open up near shore.  Ice in the harbor is starting to change color.  There is no safe ice in the harbor.  

Little Traverse Bay was still frozen over.  The marina is starting to open up but ice remains.  

Bear River:  
Water levels were a bit high.  The mouth is open and there is now open water almost to the end of the breakwall.  The rocks on the inside of the breakwall are fairly clear of snow and ice.  Steelhead fishing is still a bit slow with only the occasional fish caught on spawn bags, wax worms and egg pattern flies.  Most anglers are fishing at the mouth, off the D Pier or off the beach.  A couple brown trout were caught and immediately released because the season is closed.  Warmer temperatures this week should get the steelhead moving.   

The ice near shore blew out.  The channel in Charlevoix is still open, along with most of Lake Michigan between North and South Points.  Ice and snow were still packed in at the end of the piers but that should melt this week.  

Lake Charlevoix:  
Still had some ice cover but no safe ice.  The northwest end is fairly open with the exception of some thin ice out further.  The docks at the Ferry Beach launch are not in yet.  

Torch Lake: 
Still had ice cover.   

Elk River:  
Fishing has been slow with only the occasional steelhead or brown trout caught below the dam.  Try spawn or a jig and wax worm.  

Traverse City: 
The East Bay is ice free.  The docks are not in yet but boats have been out trolling.  Lake trout were caught near the bottom in 80 to 100 feet.  The West Bay has open water.  Lake trout were caught when jigging in 120 to 150 feet.  

Boardman River:  
Steelhead fishing has slowed.  Try spawn bags or a jig and wax worm.  Anglers are finding white suckers up at the Union Street Dam.  Fresh planted trout were caught however they are sub-legal and cannot be harvested.  

Pier anglers had good catches of steelhead and the occasional brown trout in the early morning when using fresh spawn.  The North Pier was more active.  Boat anglers trolling the shoreline and between the piers have picked up a few brown trout but the better numbers came to those trolling north to Platte Bay and looking for stained water.  Small body baits worked best.

Anglers fishing the north and south piers caught steelhead, brown trout and lake trout.  The steelhead are hitting on fresh spawn but the brown trout and the lake trout were hitting Cleo’s, wobblers and body baits.  

Portage Lake:  
The ice is completely gone.  Anglers are making their way out looking for perch however they did not have much luck. 

Boats trolling the shoreline are finding steelhead, brown trout and lake trout.  Bright colored spoons and body baits have been working.  Pier anglers have caught steelhead and brown trout.  Try casting orange spoons or floating spawn.   

Manistee River:  
Steelhead are being caught below Tippy Dam including a fair number of fresh fish.  The DNR will be conducting the annual steelhead egg take on the Little Manistee River starting this week and will be passing some fish upstream.  

Is producing brown trout and lake trout for those trolling along the shoreline with orange spoons and body baits.  Pier anglers caught a couple brown trout on spawn. 

Pere Marquette River:  
Is still producing some steelhead.    

Pier anglers reported slower steelhead fishing and more brown trout action.  Boat anglers caught brown trout when trolling close to shore.  Steelhead action in the river has slowed quite a bit.

Keweenaw Bay:  
The bay is ice free.  Those fishing off the rock dock caught a mix of coho, splake and steelhead.  Trout were caught at the head of the bay between L’Anse and Baraga.  Unless ice blows back into the bay between now and this weekend, there should be several boats out trolling for salmon.  A good number of steelhead were hooked in the Falls River. 

Menominee River:  
Three gates were open at the Hattie Street Dam which made shore fishing difficult.  Most boat anglers were concentrated around the Turn Basin.  Those using a jig and minnow or a jig and plastics had good success. There are reports of brown trout being caught by those trolling stick baits at the mouth.   

Little Bay De Noc:  
Was still ice covered but is breaking up fast and several days of warm weather should speed up the process.  All the rivers are open and flowing fast.   Steelhead anglers are out as the season gets started.  

Big Bay De Noc:  
Still had ice for the most part however it is starting to break up and will continue to do so with the warm temperatures and strong winds.  The rivers are open and fishable for those targeting steelhead.   

Received six to 10 inches of heavy wet snow and the run-off is increasing water levels on area streams and rivers.  The Upper Harbor launch is open however flow ice can still be seen.  Lake Superior has areas with open water so boat anglers can navigate to the Carp River and beyond but extreme caution needs to be used.  Watch for submerged ice which is not visible but can make navigation treacherous.  The Lower Harbor is ice free.  Boats can launch however no docks are in yet.  Catch rates were slow with only a couple coho taken near the “Bubblers”. 

 Ice conditions in the bay are no longer safe!  Pressure cracks around the shoreline are completely open and there are pockets of open water with shifting ice.
Catch rates were fair.  Keeper size splake were caught on jigs, eggs and minnows.  Anglers caught whitefish ranging 10 to 15 inches with a single egg or wax worm on the bottom.  Some fish were suspended.  The bite has been very light so try extremely light rods.  The coho action was just starting to pick-up with a few more fish caught near the Anna River.  The ice is Trout Bay had slush and the honeycomb effect.  Anglers are urged to stay off the bay and wait for open water fishing.   

Grand Marais:  
Ice conditions are no longer safe!  Large mounds of ice as high as 10 feet remain near the mouth of the Sucker River.  These mounds are dangerous because anglers could fall through the weak spots.  Most are fishing in the river near the access road.  Coho were hitting on small orange jigs with a wax worm.  The pier still had ice around it as well as mounds of ice covering the access walkway out to the Point.  Stay off the ice because there a major changes in conditions and locations every day now. 

The DNR boat launch was still ice covered and the docks are not in.  On the north end of Detour Village, there’s still ice around the marina and village area with no docks in.  Over at Drummond Island, some perch were caught in Whitney Bay in six to eight feet when using small light colored or chartreuse jigs with wax worms.  A few perch were taken in Scott Bay and near Peck Island in eight to 12 feet.  Good catches on the south side of Harbor Island in four feet with minnows or wax worms.  

Cedarville and Hessel:  
Perch fishing in Hessel Bay has been very slow with only a few fish caught along the east end.  There was still some ice however it is melting quickly.  The fishing in Muskellunge Bay has been marginal.  The west end of Duck Bay had some good reports.  Getting on the ice is becoming dangerous.