Thursday, May 7, 2015

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report

Weekly Fishing Tip: Trout season has arrived!
Trout season officially opened a few weeks ago on Michigan’s inland waters and early season fishing can be quite good. Many anglers successfully swear by dead drifting worms this time of year due to the cold spring waters temperatures, but those heading out fishing should not overlook spinners or small shallow diving crank baits either.

Worms are deadly in the early season but lure fishing can also be very effective at bringing up a big fish from its deepwater lair under a log or under a cut bank.

To learn more about fishing for trout in Michigan, check out these links highlighting the specific species.

Brook Trout
Brook trout

Brown Trout
Brown trout

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

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 pick up as the weather improves.  Inland lakes are starting to produce more bluegill, crappie, perch, walleye, pike and bass.  Walleye and pike season on the Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary waters opened on May 2.
Lake Erie: Walleye anglers are trolling crawler harnesses in Brest Bay.  Boat anglers trolling or jigging in Ohio waters reported fair to good catches.  Perch anglers are targeting the Dumping Grounds and Brest Bay.  Bass anglers are fishing the shallows and the weed beds.

Lenawee County: Lake Hudson is producing a few perch and crappie.  A couple musky were caught and released.  Devils Lake was producing pike and bass along the drop-offs.  A few limit catches of crappie were reported.  Surface water temperatures were between 59 and 62 degrees.

Detroit River: While catch rates were variable, limit catches were reported.  Most are targeting walleye but activity has also increased for white bass.  Good catches still remain near Great Lakes Steel, the salt mines and the “Cow Pasture” on the Canadian side, near the Ambassador Bridge and up near Lake St. Clair.  Average size continues to fall below three pounds but a few were up around six pounds.  Anglers had some luck at most access sites.  Several white bass were caught between Trenton and Wyandotte.  Some caught the occasional smallmouth bass, musky, northern pike and suckers.  Water temperatures were near 50 degrees.

Lake St. Clair: Had some good bass fishing reports coming from the Mile Roads. Anglers caught good numbers of crappie and sunfish in the canals and marinas.  Rock bass are hitting in the Clinton River. Water temperatures in Anchor Bay ranged 52 to 55 degrees.

St. Clair River: Water temperatures were in the mid-40’s.  Walleye fishing is picking up in the Algonac area and should improve further north as water temperatures rise.  A couple steelhead and brown trout were caught.

Lexington: Those trolling caught a mix of steelhead and coho in waters between 8 and 50 feet deep.  Pier anglers caught fish when casting small Cleo’s with minnows.  

Port Sanilac: Those trolling for coho north of the port in 12 feet were getting the occasional walleye or lake trout.  Most are using planer boards and rapalas.

Harbor Beach:  Boat anglers caught steelhead and Atlantic salmon in various depths.  There were rumors of Chinook salmon caught as well but no word on size.  

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught off Linwood in16 to 18 feet, Gambils in 17 feet, the Spark Plug in 17 to 20 feet, Spoils Island in 17 feet and off Jones Road in six feet.  Some are still jigging while others are switching to crawler harnesses.  When the winds allowed, walleye fishing was very good off Quanicassee with limit catches reported in seven to nine feet in the morning or in 12 feet on the Coryeon Reef and 15 feet in the Slot. Sebewaing had no boat activity but shore anglers at both Caseville and Sebewaing caught the occasional walleye, catfish, freshwater drum or smallmouth bass.  At Port Austin, catch rates were slow for those trolling.  Pier anglers caught a few Atlantic and one coho when casting Cleo’s.  Smallmouth bass were caught and released.  At Grindstone City, a few lake trout were caught on cut bait in 50 feet.   

Tittabawassee River: Is still producing some walleye including a few limit catches even as the action slows.  Most of the fish caught were males.  Anglers did well upstream of the Center Road launch, the Railroad Bridge, Coty’s Landing and Imerman Park when using body baits or jigs and crawlers with light line.

Mott Lake: In Genesee County has boat anglers trolling for walleye but catch rates were slow.  For crappie, anglers are bobber fishing in the shallows.  Shore anglers are using minnows.

St. Joseph: 
Fish are still being caught in 20 to 40 feet but in fewer numbers.   Pier fishing has slowed with only a couple brown trout and coho caught by those fishing spawn on the bottom.   

St. Joseph River: 
Walleye fishing was slow.  Anglers are still getting the occasional steelhead and some suckers. 

South Haven: 
Boat anglers have done well for lake trout when using spin-glows in 60 feet.  Pier fishing has slowed.

Black River:  
Walleye fishing was slow. 

Grand Haven: 
Pier angling slowed for steelhead and brown trout.  Anglers are using spawn or casting spoons.  Perch fishing is getting better, but not every boat is getting limit catches.  They are fishing all three holes south of the pier and not one seems to be out fishing the other.  Use minnows, wigglers or spikes and look for all the boats.  Anglers caught Chinook, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead when trolling between the shoreline and 100 feet of water when using short coppers and lead core with jointed body baits and small lures in spring colors.  

Grand River at Grand Rapids: 
Steelhead continue to be caught but in fewer numbers.  Most are drifting spawn below the 6th Street Dam.  Catch rates for walleye and catfish were still slow but lots of suckers and more smallmouth bass have been caught.  

Pier and shore fishing slowed.  Spawn is still the bait of choice.  Those trolling caught salmon and trout along the shoreline and in between the north and south piers with short lead core and coppers with spoons in blue veggie, UV, orange or gold.  No perch to report.  

Muskegon River:  
Continues to produce some chrome colored steelhead.  Try spawn, artificial eggs or a piece of crawler. 

Pier anglers caught northern pike and walleye in the early morning hours.  The occasional brown trout was caught on minnows.  Water temperatures are still cold so anglers should still find fair catches in the shallows.

Ocqueoc River: 
Anglers reported empty beds as it seems the last rain must have brought some fish in, they spawned and left.  The few being caught are stragglers.  Try drifting spawn bags or flies and jigs in the holes.  

Rogers City: 
Water temperatures are still very cold.  Those out trolling are targeting lake trout south towards Calcite Harbor, Swan Bay and Adams Point.  Try shallow waters out to about 60 feet and fish just off the bottom when using cowbells with spin glows or dodgers.  Try spoons or body baits up high for Atlantic salmon.  

Boat anglers are trolling spoons and body baits for Atlantic salmon, lake trout and walleye near the mouth of the river, the cement plant and around the island.  Pier anglers casting at night have caught the occasional walleye, lake trout or Atlantic salmon. 

Thunder Bay River: 
Is still being overrun with suckers.  A few more steelhead entered the river but the numbers are way down and most likely due to little or no run off this spring.  Most are drifting artificial flies or egg patterns up at the 9th Street Dam.  

Lake trout are being caught near the harbor.  Those trolling for walleye with planer boards and body baits or spoons are picking up lake trout.  Walleye are in the area but seem to have lockjaw which might be because the surface water temperature is only 48 degrees.  

Pier fishing has started to bring in a mix of steelhead, lake trout, walleye and suckers.  Anglers are using body baits, spoons, jigs and worms.  Walleye are starting to come in, in good numbers and fish are being caught at all times of the day and night.  

Au Sable River: 
Look for steelhead to be up on the beds.  Over the last week fish have started to move up river and look very fresh.

Houghton Lake:  
Fishing continues to be slow most likely because of temperatures dropping at night.  A couple bluegill and crappie were caught but the fish appear to have lockjaw for now.    

Those trolling have caught Atlantic salmon, brown trout and walleye when using husky jerks and rapalas in 20 to 40 feet.  Pier anglers reported no minnows so no perch.  A few walleye and Atlantic salmon were caught in the evening. 

Tawas River:  
Was slow with only the occasional walleye, sucker or catch and release smallmouth bass reported. 

Au Gres: 
Had lots of boating activity.  Some caught walleye in 15 to 40 feet off Pinconning or Palmer Road when trolling husky jerks, bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. 

Au Gres River:
 Those fishing near the Singing Bridge were casting for the steelhead and walleye. 

Trout streams were low and clear which makes it easier to wade but the fish are not as eager to bite.  Inland lakes are producing crappie, bluegill, walleye, pike and bass.   

The boat launch area in the marina still had ice and the docks are not in.  Windy conditions blew the ice to the east end of the bay which opened up the breakwall and the clock dock.  Pier anglers continue to pick up a few fish.  They caught steelhead, brown trout or lake trout on spawn bags.   

Bear River: 
Steelhead fishing is still slow as water levels are low.  The few caught were taken on spawn bags. A couple brown trout were hooked up near the dam.  The river is full of suckers.  

Fishing was slow.  Boat anglers heading out for perch had no luck but a few lake trout were caught in shallow waters south of the port.  

Elk River: 
Still has some steelhead below the dam along with plenty of suckers and a few smallmouth bass.  Those using spawn bags had limited success for steelhead.  

Traverse City: 
In the East Bay, lake trout have been caught along the first drop-off in 15 to 35 feet or out deeper in 90 to 120 feet.  Those jigging caught cisco.  Some have started to target smallmouth bass in the shallows.  Try locating baitfish and areas of warmer water and you should do well.  In the West Bay, lake trout were caught by those trolling in waters as shallow as 10 feet and by those jigging out deeper in 185 feet.  Pier anglers caught the occasional fish on minnows or spawn bags.  

Boardman River: 
Steelhead fishing has been very slow due to dry weather and a low number of fish.  There are plenty of suckers in the river as well as the occasional walleye or smallmouth bass.

Those trolling the harbor and the outside walls caught brown trout on spoons and small body baits.  Black, gold and orange were good colors.  Steelhead are still in the area and chrome fish have been caught.  

Anglers casting spoons off the north pier caught brown trout and the occasional lake trout.  Walleye were reported around the rocks.

Portage Lake: 
The perch are biting though anglers are sorting through the small ones to find keepers.  The fish are hitting on minnows and wigglers in the early morning.  The perch bite will only last four or five days so anglers need to get out there.  Walleye anglers trolling crawler harnesses have also caught a few perch.  

Lake Cadillac: 
Anglers are starting to catch panfish and the occasional walleye.    Catch and release bass fishing should be good soon.  

Lake Mitchell: 
Those fishing in Big Cove were catching crappie.  

Boats trolling the shoreline with orange body baits and spoons are catching brown trout and lake trout.  Pier anglers caught a few perch on wigglers.  Those casting spoons or floating minnows caught the occasional brown trout.  

Brown trout and lake trout have been caught by boat anglers trolling the shoreline.  Orange spoons and body baits were the ticket.  Pier fishing was slow.  

Lake trout along with the occasional brown trout have been caught in 30 to 40 feet.  Anglers ventured a good distance north and south of the piers.  Green flies and blue or watermelon spoons worked best.

Keweenaw Bay: 
The bite has been slow but those trolling at the South Portage Entry caught some nice lake trout on spoons in a variety of colors in 120 to 150 feet.  Those jigging caught lake trout in 130 to 150 feet between Farmers Reef and the Mud Banks.  In Traverse Bay, lake trout were caught by those trolling in 120 to 160 feet and those jigging in 140 to 180 feet near Big Louie’s Point.  Steelhead were caught in the Falls River in L’Anse. 

Menominee River: 
Walleye are being caught in the Turn Basin by those using jig heads and live bait.  Those trolling at the mouth and beyond are getting some walleye and brown trout.

Ford River: 
Was producing a good number of bass for those taking advantage of the catch and release season.  

Catch rates picked up slightly with a few more coho caught by boat and shore anglers.  Most are targeting salmon and steelhead and some caught one or two lake trout.  Boat anglers trolling in 40 to 60 feet outside the Lower Harbor and up to the Carp River caught salmon and the occasional steelhead or brown trout.  Shore anglers at the mouth of the Carp River had little success when using crawlers or spawn.  Surface temperatures are still in the 30’s but were upper 30’s to 40 degrees near the mouth of the Carp River and the Chocolay River.   

Au Train Lake: 
The dock at the public launch was not in yet.  

Depending on wind direction, ice still remains and is being pushed around in some areas.  Boat anglers were targeting coho in 15 to 30 feet near the mouth of the Anna River when the ice was absent.  Most were using worms.  Those still-fishing or jigging from small boats caught coho on spawn and worms.  Only a few splake and whitefish were caught and steelhead fishing was minimal.  Smelt were in some of the rivers but catch rates were low.  Rain by the weekend could help.    

Grand Marais: 
Still has some ice moving around in the bay and is very unpredictable.  Anglers need to pay close attention to wind direction.  The pier is not safe due to mounds of ice still covering it so anglers are fishing off the wall near the parking lots.  Mounds of ice about five feet high remain near the mouth of the Sucker River.  Catch rates exploded over the last week for boat anglers trolling in 15 to 40 feet near the mouth of the Sucker River.  Small spoons and rapalas were the ticket.  Limit catches were reported with fish ranging 15 to 23 inches.  Coho were caught in the Sucker River.   

The ice is off the St. Mary’s River at Detour Village.  All the access sites are open and clear of ice however the docks may not be in yet.  As the smelt run begins Atlantic salmon should be available so target the rocky points and feeder creeks.  A chrome colored crank bait with a blue back should work well for Atlantic salmon.  

Drummond Island: 
The yellow perch run has started in Maxton Bay.  Anglers were catching fish seven to nine and a half inches with the occasional 11 or 12 inch fish.  They were drifting minnows with red beaded spreaders in six to eight feet off the Sportsman’s Club.  

Cedarville and Hessel: 
Splake season is open and anglers were doing well off the marina pier at Hessel when using minnows or smelt.  Harvest from boats is a bit slower than the pier, with anglers fishing Hessel Bay and Wilderness Bay.  A few perch were caught inside the marina.  

Carp River:  
Anglers have left as the smelt run has wrapped up.