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Spring Fishing Tips

May 29, 2014: Clean Boats, Clean Tournaments
Do you organize fishing tournaments? Do you know how important it is to clean the boats of tournament participants to reduce the risk of spreading invasive species?

Wisconsin Sea Grant has developed a 10-minute video that provides step-by-step instructions for setting up a boat-watching station that looks to prevent the spread of Eurasian milfoil, zebra/quagga mussels, and spiny water fleas. Check out their "Clean Boats, Clean Tournaments" video below:


May 22, 2014: Join the Grand American Fish Rodeo in Lansing
Looking for something fun to do in mid-Michigan this June? Visit Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing June 12, 13 and 14 for the inaugural Grand American Fish Rodeo!

This event is centered on Michigan's rich heritage of water and aquatic life and features a variety of activities. The Department of Natural Resources is involved in the Grand American Fish Rodeo as part of the Educational Tent which will offer numerous activities for those in attendance.

A few things you can see and do if you visit the tent:

  • Hands-on learning and craft activities for all ages
  • Casting a fishing rod
  • Tying knots and learning how flies are tied
  • Seeing a live sea lamprey and lake sturgeon
  • Seeing how a boat washing unit works
  • Viewing a fish stocking truck and air boat up close
  • Taking your picture with "Primo" from Preuss Pets
Check out the Fish Rodeo Educational Tent flyer to discover all the fun that will be offered! The educational tent will be open Friday, June 13 from 12 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.grandamericanfishrodeo.com.


May 15, 2014: Taking great catch-and-release photos
Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

1. Wet your hands before you handle the fish - that way you won't remove any of the protective mucus (aka slime) the fish has coating their body.
2. Remember a fish can not breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.
3. Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water – not on a hard surface.
4. While holding a fish do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills.
5. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.

This tip was adopted from the Take Me Fishing online blog.


May 8, 2014: Use a spinnerbait to target bass
As water temperatures rise, both largemouth and smallmouth bass will start to hang out in shallower water and stick close to areas with cover. Want to know a great tool to target them there? Try a spinnerbait.

Seek out cover; such as logs, boulders or weed patches and cast your spinnerbait in that direction. Often times you'll entice a bass ready to strike unsuspecting prey.

Want to learn more about one of Michigan's most popular fish species? Check out their page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


May 1, 2014: Trout season has arrived!
Trout season officially opened this past weekend 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 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

Brown Trout

Rainbow Trout


April 24, 2014: Want to find fish? Use sonar!
Avid anglers are constantly looking for tips and tricks to help them have more successful fishing trips. Many turn to sonar technology to achieve this goal.

Although a bit of an investment (units start at $100 and go up), sonar products offer a variety of benefits on the water. Most units can provide anglers with readings on temperature, vegetation and structure in the water, type of bottom below you, fish in the area, depth, current speed of the vessel, GPS navigation, and waypoints for future trips. Some even allow you the opportunity to purchase nautical charts.

Need help, besides using sonar, in planning your next fishing trip? Visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.


April 17, 2014: Catch-and-Release bass season quickly approaching
The eagerly awaited catch-and-immediate-release bass season is quickly approaching (April 26 on Lower Peninsula waters and May 15 on Upper Peninsula waters) and with it the opportunity to catch one of the country's top game fish.

Bass can be caught with a wide range of artificial lures, as well as live bait.

There are numerous locations across the state that provide prime smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing. Get ready to head out this April and May for some excellent bass fishing.

Additional information on angling for this species can be found on their Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.


April 10, 2014: Spring is a great time for targeting steelhead
The month of April is often a perfect time to fish for steelhead in Michigan's rivers. Did you know our state is thought to offer some of the best steelhead fishing in the country?

A variety of techniques can be used to fish for this aggressive species; including live bait, artificial lures and flies. Rivers all across Michigan provide access for steelhead fishing. Some better-known rivers include the Betsie, Grand, Little Manistee, Manistee, Manistique, Pere Marquette and St. Joseph rivers in the Lake Michigan watershed; the Au Sable River in the Lake Huron watershed; the Huron River in the Lake Erie watershed; and the Huron and Two Hearted rivers in the Lake Superior watershed.

Want more information on steelhead fishing in Michigan? Visit their section on the DNR's Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.


April 3, 2014: Let's catch some crappie!
Crappie are among the most difficult pan fish to pattern, because of their tendency to suspend in the water column, except in the spring. During this time, crappie move to shallow water -- sometimes in water only a couple feet deep -- to spawn, so there isn't a lot of water column to suspend in.

Crappies are suckers for both minnows and jigs. The easiest way to fish for them is to suspend the bait (either a minnow or a jig) under a bobber, halfway between the surface and the bottom, around any sort of cover -- weeds, brush, dock pilings...whatever.

Anglers who prefer a more active approach can cast with jigs and swim them back or fly fish with minnow-imitating streamers. Just think shallow in spring.

For more information on crappie fishing, visit their page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.


March 27, 2014: Buy your 2014 fishing license!
For many of you it may be time to buy your 2014 fishing license so you can enjoy the numerous angling opportunities available in Michigan each year. This year's license is valid until March 31, 2015.

Are you aware of the simple ways you can buy a Michigan fishing license?

1. Visit your local license retailer and make a purchase in person!
2. Use the E-License system on your computer, tablet or mobile phone to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit a href="http://www.mdnr-elicense.com/Welcome/Default.aspx">www.mdnr-elicense.com to get started!

For additional information on fishing licenses in Michigan, including license requirements, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.


March 20, 2014: Storing your ice fishing equipment for next season
It's about that time when you'll need to get ready to store your ice fishing equipment. The key is doing it properly so you'll be ready to hit the ice next winter! Here is a checklist of things to do:

1. If you have an auger, check it for any damage and then dry all the blades before storing it. You may want to consult your power auger's manual to know how to appropriately handle any leftover gas and how to protect the engine.
2. Remove the batteries from any of your electronics to prevent any potential damage from leaking batteries.
3. Make sure your portable shelter is completely clean and dry before storing. You may want to put some moth balls in it or hang it to keep pests at bay.
4. Take a full inventory of your rods, reels and tackle to see what you might need/want to purchase next year. Also remove all bait or line from your hooks and lures for storage and make sure everything is dry.

By the time everything is properly stored you'll be itching to get out on your favorite stream, river or lake for some spring fishing!


March 13, 2014: Targeting walleye at the end of ice season
Walleye are a popular target for many ice anglers, particularly as the season wears on. Pursuing these aggressive fish can be a great adventure, especially if you follow some of these tactics.

Focus on using jigs with spoons or minnows or tip-ups with live bait to see the most success. You might want to use a few tip-ups and then jig around that same area.

Think about the depth of water as well as the time of day. Walleye fishing through the ice usually begins and ends in shallow water areas with deep water more productive during the heart of the winter.

Learn more about walleye fishing during Michigan's winter by visiting their page on our Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.


March 6, 2014: Understanding fish posture to help with ice fishing success
Fish often maintain one of two postures; one where they are ready to strike (fins up and backs arched) or one where they are focused on traveling (fins tucked in). Understanding these postures can aid in your fishing success, particularly through the ice.

The first step when using fish posture to impact your ice fishing techniques is to have appropriate equipment, such as sonar. This tool allows you to visualize the posture and react effectively.

Secondly, pay attention to time periods of aggressive posture. Most likely you will see it exhibited around sunrise and sunset, plan your trips accordingly.

Michigan offers some of the best fishing throughout the year. Plan your next outing by visiting www.michigan.gov/fishing.

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


May 30, 2013: Fishing for muskellunge is a premier challenge
Known as "the fish of 10,000 casts," muskellunge are a tremendous game fish native to the lakes and streams of Michigan. They are a prized catch to many anglers, but present many challenges when trying to do so. But if you do your research and are patient, you too could possibly land a big one!

Muskie anglers can choose from a variety of methods such as trolling, casting or still fishing with live bait. Tackle requirements for muskellunge are stouter than equipment generally used for walleyes and bass. Larger, bulkier lures and fish that exceed 30 pounds or more call for heavier lines and stronger rods. It should be noted that muskie fishing success usually requires more dedication and persistence than for other species.

Want to learn more about this valued game fish? Check out their section of the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.


May 23, 2013: DNR highlights family-friendly fishing in Michigan
The DNR recently launched a new section of its website that will help inexperienced anglers find great spots to go fishing in Michigan. The Family Friendly Fishing Waters section of the website connects interested individuals with local fishing opportunities.

The Family Friendly Fishing Waters website can be found at www.michigan.gov/fishing and features a map of Michigan. Visitors can simply click on the county they are interested in fishing and be provided with a list of one or more family-friendly locations to fish. Every county in the state has locations featured.

The DNR designated water bodies as family-friendly based on their ease of access, high likelihood of success in catching fish, identified amenities, and other details. To build this section of the website the DNR asked for the public's help in submitting locations from throughout the state that would be easy for new anglers to access and use.

Each water body's online profile includes its geographic location, driving directions, parking information, hours of operation, species of fish available, typical bait used, and much more.

Potential locations will continue to be accepted by the DNR. Stay tuned to future editions of the Weekly Fishing Report for a link for submitting water bodies at the bottom.


May 16, 2013: Using stick/body baits when fishing for trout
Trout season is well under way with many anglers using dry flies and spinners. But what if you're interested in waging battle with the largest trout in the river? Have you considered using stickbaits or body baits?

Many avid trout anglers swear by using these types of lures if you're looking to catch big stream trout. Stickbaits and body baits mimic the minnows and small fish many trout species love to eat.

Keep in mind you won't catch large quantities of trout when you're using this type of bait, but the ones you do find will be high quality and worth the effort. Consider fishing with lures you'd normally use when targeting bass and/or northern pike and stick with natural colors for the best chance of success.

To learn even more about fishing for trout in Michigan check out the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website..

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


May 9, 2013: Things to think about when fishing for trout
Many anglers search for the latest tips and tricks when fishing for trout and one of the best may also be the most simple: don't forget that trout can see!

Trout are known to have excellent vision so consider the following if you head out this spring:

  • Cast out far ahead of you to prevent the trout from seeing you.
  • When wading, do so carefully and avoid rapid movement which could spook the fish.
  • Don't wear any shiny objects; including watches or tools on your vest.
  • Stay away from wearing bright colors, stick to dark browns and greens.
  • Remember that trout usually face into the current so cast upstream.

To learn more about fishing for trout in Michigan check out our Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


May 2, 2013: Northern pike season now open
This past Saturday marked the opening of the inland walleye, northern pike and muskellunge seasons in the Lower Peninsula. Will you be getting out soon to try your hand at northern pike fishing?

Northern pike like to spend their time in the weedy shallows of both the Great Lakes and inland waters. In rivers they can be found around log jams or fallen timber. They are often taken with live bait (such as large minnows) or different kinds of artificial lures.

When fishing for northern pike, many anglers like to use a six to eight-inch wire or steel leader directly in front of hook or lure. Pike have large, deep mouths with extremely sharp teeth. They are known to engulf the entire bait or lure and sever the fishing line with their teeth when it is attached directly to the hook or lure. This leaves the angler watching as the fish swims away with their offering.

Want to learn even more about northern pike in Michigan? Read our detailed informational sheet about this toothy predator online!


April 25, 2013: "DNR Live: Fish" scheduled for Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m.
Anglers and others interested in fisheries management in Michigan are invited to join the Department of Natural Resources at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 for "DNR Live: Fish" a one-hour online forum designed to answer questions from the public about the state's fisheries, fishing seasons and regulations.

The one-hour video event will stream live on the DNR's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/miDNR. A Facebook account is not required to access the page and watch the livestream event.

The online forum will feature a panel of DNR experts who will answer a variety of questions about fisheries management and angling, including current and new regulations and fishing opportunities.

The public is invited to post questions in advance on the DNR's Facebook page, send via Twitter to @MichiganDNR (using the hashtag #DNRlive), or email to dnr-facebook@michigan.gov. Questions will also be taken during the event itself.

For more information about how to participate in the "DNR Live: Fish" online forum, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.


April 18, 2013: Getting ready for Michigan's trout season opener
Michigan's general trout season opener will be here soon (Saturday, April 27)! Are you ready to hit the water for some great fishing this spring? Check out the list below for some potential places to visit.

Northern Lower Peninsula
Most everyone is familiar with the "Holy Waters" of the Au Sable, Manistee and Pigeon rivers, but the Sturgeon River also offers great fishing. For lakes, there are several in Montmorency County that are great to try.

Southwest Lower Peninsula
The St. Joseph River proves to be a great destination, along with the Dowagiac Creek and the Dowagiac River. Many tributaries to the Grand River also support populations of brown trout.

Upper Peninsula
Try the lakes in Iron, Marquette, Alger, Luce and Schoolcraft counties or the Fox River system near Seney.

Don't forget to brush up on all the rules and regulations related to inland trout and salmon fishing before you head out, available in the 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide.

This tip adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


April 11, 2013: Where to find smallmouth bass this spring
With the catch-and-immediate-release season for smallmouth bass for the Lower Peninsula arriving at the end of this month, many anglers are gearing up to target this species.

There are plenty of locations throughout the state that offer exceptional smallmouth bass fishing, but check out the list below if you're interested in finding trophy-sized fish.

1. Lake St. Clair: cover lots of ground if you visit this water body and cast to the edges of weed patches.
2. Lake Erie: the shallow areas of this lake are good places to start, after the water warms up head to deeper water.
3. Saginaw Bay: target around the Charity Islands which separate Lake Huron's deep water from Saginaw Bay's shallow depths.
4. Grand Traverse Bays: Look for structure such as drop-offs, sand points, rocks or weed beds at this spot.

Don't forget the catch-and-immediate-release seasons for largemouth and smallmouth bass on Lower Peninsula waters don't open until April 27! For more information, check out page 17 of the 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide.

This tip adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


April 4, 2013: Spring is a great time for targeting steelhead
The month of April is often a perfect time to fish for steelhead in Michigan's rivers. Did you know our state is thought to offer some of the best steelhead fishing in the country?

A variety of techniques can be used to fish for this aggressive species; including live bait, artificial lures and flies. Rivers all across Michigan provide access for steelhead fishing. Some better-known rivers include the Betsie, Grand, Little Manistee, Manistee, Manistique, Pere Marquette and St. Joseph rivers in the Lake Michigan watershed, the Au Sable River in the Lake Huron watershed, the Huron River in the Lake Erie watershed, and the Huron and Two Hearted rivers in the Lake Superior watershed.

Want more information on steelhead fishing in Michigan? Visit their section on the DNR's Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.


March 28, 2013: Buy your 2013 fishing license!
For many of you it may be time to buy your 2013 fishing license so you can enjoy the numerous angling opportunities available in Michigan each year. This year's license is valid until March 31, 2014.

Are you aware of the three simple ways you can buy a Michigan fishing license?

1. Visit your local license retailer and make a purchase in person!
2. Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit www.mdnr-elicense.com to get started!
3. Visit the Mobile Fish website on your smartphone (www.mi.gov/fish) to buy a 24-hour all-species fishing license. All you need is your driver's license number and a credit or debit card!

For additional information on fishing licenses in Michigan, including license requirements, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.


March 21, 2013: Storing your ice fishing equipment for next season
It's about that time when you'll need to get ready to store your ice fishing equipment. The key is to doing it properly so you'll be ready to hit the ice next winter! Here is a checklist of things to do:

1. If you have an auger, check it for any damage and then dry all the blades before storing it. You may want to consult your power auger's manual to know how to appropriately handle any leftover gas and how to protect the engine.
2. Remove the batteries from any of your electronics to prevent any potential damage from leaking batteries.
3. Make sure your portable shelter is completely clean and dry before storing. You may want to put some moth balls in it or hang it to keep pests at bay.
4. Take a full inventory of your rods, reels and tackle to see what you might need/want to purchase next year. Also remove all bait or line from your hooks and lures for storage and make sure everything is dry.

By the time everything is properly stored you'll be itching to get out on your favorite stream, river or lake for some spring fishing!


March 14, 2013: Fishing Michigan's piers & breakwalls
Michigan's numerous piers and breakwalls offer great fishing opportunities throughout the year. Anglers often participate in this activity to target a variety of species, with trout and salmon being two of the most popular.

If you decide to partake in this type of fishing you'll need a high-quality rod and reel. Technique-wise you'll want to vary the depth and speed of your retrieves and consider fan-casting as opposed to casting perpendicular to the pier/breakwall.

There are lots of bait options to consider, including spawn bags with steelhead, trout or salmon eggs; live alewives; or night crawlers. You'll also want a long-handled net close at hand to aid in landing your catch!

As always, take plenty of safety precautions when fishing piers and breakwalls.

This tip adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


March 7, 2013: Safety Tips for Spring Ice Fishing
It's almost officially spring and there still may be numerous opportunities in different locations throughout the state to get out on the ice. But just remember, there are a few important safety precautions to take if you plan to do so:

1. Towards the end of the season, ice becomes rotten and soft. Although ice may still be more than a foot thick, it might not be strong enough to hold someone safely.
2. Don't forget to still carry the appropriate safety items, such as ice picks and a throw rope. And remember to wear a personal flotation device when heading out.
3. Continue to use the buddy system and know you'll have someone with you to help if you fall through the ice.
4. Carry a fully charged cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag. Make sure it is easily accessible on your person in case of an emergency.
5. Pay attention to the weather. If it hasn't been consistently cold or if there has been a lot of wind you can't guarantee there will be solid ice to head out on.

For more information on ice fishing, check out the Ice Fishing: The Coolest Sport Around article available online.


May 31, 2012: Fishing in Michigan's State Parks & Recreation Areas
Some of the best places to fish in Michigan are right within our numerous state parks and recreation areas. If you've got a Recreation Passport you might only be a car ride away from a fun day of fishing. In fact, many state parks and recreation areas have formal fishing programs available for visitors this summer.

Fishing in the Parks
This weekly program, provided at more than 30 Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas, introduces you to fishing in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. With step-by-step direction, you'll learn fishing basics like knot-tying, setting up your pole, casting, selecting and using bait, and removing fish from the hook. After the 20- to 30-minute lesson, you'll be ready to hit the water and exercise your new skills. The instruction and fishing is free and equipment is provided.

This program is offered starting the weekend of June 9 and 10 through the middle of August. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/fishingintheparks.

Fishing 101
This program is part of the DNR's Recreation 101, or "Rec 101," efforts. Rec 101 is a series of intro-to format classes taught by DNR staff or expert volunteers from organizations, guide services, outfitters and more. These volunteers offer their time and knowledge at no charge to the DNR or to the participants. Numerous Fishing 101 classes are already scheduled for this summer with equipment often provided.

This program is offered all year. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/rec101.


May 24, 2012: Fishing for Muskellunge, A Premier Challenge
Known as "the fish of 10,000 casts," muskellunge are a tremendous game fish native to the lakes and streams of Michigan. They are a prized catch to many anglers, but present many challenges when trying to do so. But if you do your research and are patient – you too could possibly land a big one!

Musky anglers can choose from a variety of methods such as trolling, casting or still fishing with live bait. Tackle requirements for muskellunge are stouter than equipment generally used for walleyes and bass. Larger, bulkier lures and fish that exceed 30 pounds or more call for heavier lines and stronger rods. It should be noted that musky fishing success usually requires more dedication and persistence than for other species.

Want to learn more about this valued game fish? Check out the new article posted to the DNR's website that highlights this Michigan resource.


May 17, 2012: Summer Free Fishing Weekend Offers Lots of Opportunities
The 2012 Summer Free Fishing Weekend is quickly approaching, will you be heading out to fish for free Saturday, June 9 and/or Sunday, June 10?

During this weekend, all fishing license fees are waived for two days! We're hoping people will take advantage of this FREE opportunity in order to expose potential anglers to the sport of fishing – or to simply allow those who may not have already purchased a fishing license to have a great weekend! Residents and out-of-state visitors are allowed to enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes' waters for all species of fish during their respective open seasons. Please note all regulations will still apply during this time.

There are numerous opportunities to participate – whether you head out to fish as a family at your favorite hot spot, join a scheduled event at locations across Michigan or host an event yourself.

To discover the ways you can get involved, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.


May 10, 2012: Taking Great Catch-and-Release Photos
Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

1. Wet your hands before you handle the fish – that way you won't remove any of the protective mucus (aka slime) the fish has coating their body.
2. Remember a fish can not breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.
3. Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water – not on a hard surface.
4. While holding a fish do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills.
5. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.

This tip was adopted from the Take Me Fishing online blog.


May 3, 2012: Trout Season Has Arrived!
Trout season officially opened this past weekend 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: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-213981--,00.html

Brown Trout: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-213984--,00.html

Rainbow Trout: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-214111--,00.html


April 26, 2012: Northern Pike Season Opens Saturday, Tips and Tricks to Try
This Saturday marks the opening of the inland walleye, pike and muskellunge seasons in the Lower Peninsula – are you ready to try your hand at northern pike fishing?

Northern pike like to spend their time in the weedy shallows of both the Great Lakes and inland waters. In rivers they can be found around log jams or fallen timber. They are often taken with live bait (such as large minnows) or different kinds of artificial lures.

When fishing for northern pike, many anglers like to use a six to eight-inch wire or steel leader directly in front of hook or lure. Pike have large, deep mouths with extremely sharp teeth. They are known to engulf the entire bait or lure and sever the fishing line with their teeth when it is attached directly to the hook or lure. This leaves the angler watching as the fish swims away with their offering.

Some well-known northern pike waters include Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River and drowned river mouths along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Want to learn even more about northern pike in Michigan? Read this detailed informational sheet about this toothy predator: Northern Pike Information Page.


April 19, 2012: Catch-and-Release Bass Season Quickly Approaching
The eagerly awaited catch-and-immediate-release bass season is quickly approaching (April 28 on Lower Peninsula waters and May 15 on Upper Peninsula waters) and with it the opportunity to catch one of the country's top game fish.

Bass can be caught with a wide range of artificial lures, as well as live bait.

There are numerous locations across the state the provide prime smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing - but did you know that In-Fisherman put Lake St. Clair on their Top 10 Smallmouth Bass Fishing Spots in the World? Read their article to see why!

Get ready to head out this April and May for some excellent bass fishing. Additional information on angling for this species can be found online: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-213979--,00.html.

April 12, 2012: Let's Catch Some Crappie!
Crappie are among the most difficult pan fish to pattern, because of their tendency to suspend in the water column, except in the spring. During this time, crappie move to shallow water -- sometimes in water only a couple feet deep -- to spawn, so there isn't a lot of water column to suspend in.

Crappies are suckers for both minnows and jigs. The easiest way to fish for them is to suspend the bait (either a minnow or a jig) under a bobber, halfway between the surface and the bottom, around any sort of cover - weeds, brush, dock pilings; whatever.

Anglers who prefer a more active approach can cast with jigs and swim them back or fly fish with minnow-imitating streamers. Just think shallow in spring.

For more information on crappie fishing in Michigan, visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-214027--,00.html.
April 5, 2012: It's Time to Fish for Smelt
With the weird spring weather we've been having, anglers may want to take advantage of the numerous smelt fishing opportunities available throughout the state.

The spring smelt season has arrived and anglers can take smelt with hook/line, hand nets, dip nets and spearing gear. There is a two-gallon daily possession limit on smelt. Smelt netting regulations can be found on page 12, Table 5 of the Fishing Guide and bow and spearing gear may be used for smelt as indicated on page 9, Table 3 of the Fishing Guide.

Want tips on some specific locations you may want to target during this activity? We've just posted an updated document that highlights counties, water bodies, abundance and fishing opportunity for both dipping and hook-and-line smelt fishing. Check it out online!

March 29, 2012: Fishing the Detroit River
Many anglers have their go-to spots for springtime fishing, but how many of you have checked out the Detroit River?

According to many fishing forums and publications, in late March and early April the lower Detroit River is a great location to catch walleyes in decent quantities. As April moves on fish move further upriver, but the opportunities are still bountiful.

As many are aware, several of Michigan's Great Lakes waters have become world famous for walleye. The Lake Erie-Detroit River-Lake St. Clair-St. Clair River system is outstanding, drawing anglers from across the country in spring and early summer - will you be joining them?

For more information for fishing for walleye or any other species, visit our Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.

March 22, 2012: Buy Your 2012 Fishing License
For many of you it may be time to buy your 2012 fishing license so you can enjoy the numerous angling opportunities available in Michigan each year. This year's license is valid until March 31, 2013.

Are you aware of the three simple ways you can buy a Michigan fishing license?

1. Visit your local license retailer and make a purchase in person!
2. Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit www.mdnr-elicense.com to get started!

For additional information on fishing licenses in Michigan - including license requirements - visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

March 15, 2012: Storing Ice Fishing Equipment
The opportunities to ice fish are quickly coming to an end - so now may be the time to think about properly storing your ice fishing equipment. Here is a checklist of things to do:
1. If you have an auger, check it for any damage and then dry all of the blades before storing it. You may want to consult your power auger's manual to know how to appropriately handle any leftover gas and how to protect the engine.
2. Remove the batteries from any of your electronics to prevent any potential damage from leaking batteries.
3. Make sure your portable shelter is completely clean and dry before storing. You may want to put some moth balls in it or hang it to keep certain pests at bay.
4. Take a full inventory of your rods, reels and tackle to see what you might need to purchase next year. Also remove all bait or line from your hooks and lures for storage and make sure everything is dry.

March 8, 2012: Safety Tips for Spring Ice Fishing
It's almost officially spring and although this season has been fairly inconsistent for great ice fishing, there still may be numerous opportunities in different locations throughout the state to get out on the water. But just remember, there are a few important safety precautions to take if you plan to do so:

Towards the end of the season, ice becomes rotten and soft. Although ice may still be more than a foot thick, it might not be strong enough to hold someone safely.
Don't forget to still carry the appropriate safety items, such as ice picks and a throw rope. And remember to wear a personal flotation device when heading out.
Continue to use the buddy system and know you'll have someone with you to help if you fall through the ice.
Carry a fully charged cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag. Make sure it is easily accessible on your person in case of an emergency.
Pay attention to the weather. If it hasn't been consistently cold or if there has been a lot of wind you can't guarantee there will be solid ice to head out on.

For more information on ice fishing, check out our Ice Fishing - The Coolest Sport Around article.

March 1, 2012: Jig Fishing with your Steelhead Rod
Have you thought about jig fishing with your steelhead rod? Want to learn how some key methods for doing so? Just follow some of these simple tips:
Consider using a fixed bobber and attach the line by utilizing one or two small pieces of surgical tubing.
The amount of weight you use will be key to your success - you want enough weight that the jig goes down quickly into the strike zone, but not so much weight that it drags the bobber down.
Make sure your jig is floating with the current in a very natural manner. If it's not, fish are less likely to bite.
Setting your jig at the proper depth is also critical to your success - try to stay within one to two feet from the bottom; but make sure you don't go too close to the bottom to avoid a snag.
You may also want to consider utilizing a bit of bait with your jig, such as a small spawn bag, a waxworm or a wiggler. Doing so can increase your chances for a bite.

Many more tips for jig fishing with your steelhead rod can be found through Steelhead University.