NOTE TO ANGLERS: This report is intended to give anglers an idea of fishing conditions around the state. The updates come from a combination of creel clerks and other DNR staff around the state and reflect past fishing conditions over the last seven days. Due to the nature of the Great Lakes, fishing conditions on them can change daily if not hourly based on wind and rain events.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Weekly Fishing Report
Read below or call: 1-855-777-0908
Click in the map above to find your weekly fishing report by region.
The walleye, pike and muskellunge opener on the Lower Peninsula inland waters is this coming Saturday April 29th. The statewide trout opener on all Type 1 and Type 2 streams as well as all Type A and Type D designated inland trout lakes is also this coming Saturday. Most of the smaller trout streams should be fishable but may still be cold. Many of the large rivers are coming down and clearing up and should be in good shape unless we get a lot of rain. Rivers in the Upper Peninsula may still be high. The inland lakes should be in good shape though water levels may be a little high.
Lake Erie: Walleye were caught in Brest Bay and around Turtle Island.
Wamplers Lake: Bass anglers did best along the flats on the northwest end in 12 feet with spinners and soft plastics. Bluegills were caught on worms around the boat launch but many were small. Crappies were caught on the west end with slip bobbers and minnows. Surface water temperatures were between 57 and 60 degrees. On Sand Lake, largemouth bass were caught in the bay by the canal on the west end in 5 feet. Bluegills were caught around the drop-offs near the orange buoy in 6 to 12 feet when floating crawlers and wax worms.
Detroit River: Anglers caught walleye in the lower river. Most were jigging with up to a ¾ ounce jig and a wide variety of artificial tails. Fish averaged 15 to 20 inches.
Lake St. Clair: The bluegill and crappie bite was starting to improve. The Selfridge access site was producing some good size panfish. The walleye bite is improving as the water clears up. Anglers are jigging just off the bottom with a ¾ to 1 ounce jig and dark colored plastics. Bass anglers are starting to release fair catches of smallmouth along the Mile Roads. Ford Cove was a hot spot in 6 feet with tube baits, crank baits and blade baits.
St. Clair River: Walleye fishing picked up in the lower end as some limit catches were reported. Most are jigging minnows and soft plastics. A few walleye were taken off the wall at Port Huron.
Lexington to Port Sanilac: Those trolling from just south of Lexington to just north of Harbor Beach were taking a nice mix of coho, lake trout, the odd steelhead, Atlantics, walleye and chinook on body baits with planer boards and dipsey divers in 18 to 30 feet. Pier anglers casting Little Cleo's caught the odd steelhead, Atlantic or coho.
Harbor Beach: Boat anglers caught walleye and lake trout in 20 feet.
Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing remains slow, possibly due to cold water temperatures and the stained water. Boat anglers fishing 16 to 18 feet off Linwood managed to catch a couple fish but still had trouble finding clear water. Stained water was still an issue off Spoils Island but anglers were still doing better here when fishing close to the rocks. Vertical jigging was better than trolling. Most are using a "blue ice" jig tipped with a minnow and fishing within 3 feet of the rocks. The Finn Road launch ramp was plugged with phragmites (wetland grass) and only useable by airboat at the moment. Boat anglers were practicing catch and release bass fishing off Sebewaing and Caseville. Walleye catches were slim to none. Shore anglers at Bay Port caught bullhead, small perch and small bass. Boats have just started launching from Port Austin, and have taken a couple of lake trout and walleye.
Saginaw River:Catfish, freshwater drum and white bass were caught on minnows and shrimp at Smith Park in Essexville.
Chippewa River: Anglers picked up a few suckers at the access points.
Inland lakes in the region are producing some panfish. Catch and immediate release bass season should start to heat up soon. Catch rates will improve as the waters warm. Until then, target the shallow waters.
St. Joseph: Boat anglers caught good numbers of coho well beyond 150 feet with small spoons. Pier fishing was very slow for trout and salmon but good numbers of catfish were taken using crawlers on the bottom. Perch fishing was very slow.
South Haven: Construction continues all around the area. The boat launch is open. Accessing the north pier is very difficult due to the construction. Boat anglers caught coho on small spoons in 120 to 150 feet and deeper. Perch and pier fishing were slow.
Kalamazoo River: Look for steelhead up near the Allegan Dam. Walleye anglers should find a few fish here as well with the opener on Saturday.
Grand Haven: Coho were caught 25 to 150 feet down in 170 to 260 feet with orange and green spoons or body baits. Catch rates were hit-or-miss for boat anglers targeting perch. Try minnows, wigglers or waxworms. Pier fishing for brown trout was slow with only a couple taken on live minnows.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels were slowly coming down and clarity was starting to improve. With the opener this weekend, look for walleye off the wall, near the bridges and up near the dam.
Grand River near Lansing: Water levels were still a bit high. Those fishing in Grand Ledge caught some perch and sunfish.
Maple River: Water levels were still high. Those using dip nets have taken some suckers. Those bow fishing have taken carp and suckers. Crappie and bullhead were caught near the Elsie Dam.
Lake Ovid: Was producing a few small panfish.
Muskegon: Those trolling the shoreline and pier anglers reported slow catch rates.
Muskegon River: Steelhead fishing is still going and should continue for a bit longer.
Whitehall: Very few boats have been out trolling. Scattered reports had brown trout in 5 to 15 feet and lake trout in 30 to 50 feet. Pier anglers caught walleye and brown trout in the evening when casting deep-diving rapalas.
White Lake: Shore anglers caught bluegill and sunfish in 3 to 10 feet when floating red worms and wax worms. Boat anglers caught perch in 10 to 25 feet on perch rigs with wax worms. Those still-fishing in the channel with crawlers or spawn caught redhorse and white suckers.
Mackinaw City: The docks at the marinas were not accessible for boaters.
Cheboygan: Shore anglers fishing the Lock and Dam with crank baits, jigs, spawn and worms have caught steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lake trout and suckers.
Rogers City: Anglers were targeting either lake trout or Atlantic salmon. Both species can be found inside 50 feet of water. For lake trout, try near the bottom with cowbells or a silver dodger with spin-glo's. For Atlantics, try 30 feet near Calcite, the breakwall or Swan Bay. Look for the color line in the water and use bright colored spoons or body baits in orange, green, chartreuse or silver. The water is still very cold at 36 to 38 degrees so start up near the shoreline. Those casting from the breakwall had no luck.
Rockport: Boat anglers were targeting lake trout and Atlantic salmon in 30 to 60 feet around Middle Island. Fish from top to bottom. Lake trout were hitting on spoons or big flashers with flies and spin-glo's. Try white and green. Good spoon colors were blue, green, silver, orange and chartreuse. Shore anglers from the wall had no luck.
Alpena: Those fishing near the Thunder Bay River caught walleye when vertical jigging twister tail jigs. Smallmouth bass and pike were picked up by those casting crank baits or jigging. Shore and pier anglers casting body baits caught walleye and brown trout. Atlantic salmon and brown trout were caught in and around 10 feet off Whitefish Point when casting crank baits.
Thunder Bay River: Those fishing at the 9th Street Dam caught good numbers of white and longnose suckers when drifting worms, eggs, and beads. A couple steelhead were caught drifting or floating beads.
Oscoda: Pier anglers caught lake trout, Atlantic salmon, and walleye when casting spoons and crank baits. Walleye were also caught by those jigging from the pier. Boats trolling spoons and body baits off the mouth of the river and Au Sable Point caught walleye, lake trout, Atlantic salmon and the odd chinook in 10 to 20 feet.
Au Sable River: Those fishing below the US-23 Bridge caught smallmouth bass when jigging twister tails and casting crank baits. Steelhead and white suckers were caught by those drifting spawn, beads and egg flies between the Whirlpool Access site and Foote Dam.
Higgins Lake: Water temperatures were still cold and few anglers have been out. A couple boats trolling the drop-off in 15 to 30 feet managed to catch a couple rainbows. The docks are in at the launch ramps at both the North and the South State Parks.
Houghton Lake: Had good bluegill and crappie fishing in the canals. The bite was starting to pick up out in the lake as water temperatures were up near 50 degrees. Try a pink or purple jig with a minnow for crappie or a wax worm, leaf worm or crawler for bluegills. Fish were caught 12 to 18 inches below the bobber.
Tawas: Boats trolling for walleye were heading south off Alabaster, off the mouth of Whitney Drain, and down as far as Whitestone Point. They have caught walleye and a few lake trout on body baits in 10 to 20 feet. Pier anglers caught carp, a few walleye, pike, a couple of Atlantics and brown trout as well as smallmouth bass.
Au Gres: Had lots of fishing activity. Most boats were fishing around Whitestone Point, Point Lookout, and Pointe Au Gres but most only landed the average of 1 or 2 walleye. Those trolling right off the mouth of the Au Gres River caught a few walleyes and at least one steelhead.
Au Gres River: At the Singing Bridge, those surfcasting off the mouth of Whitney Drain were getting a few walleye when casting body baits at night. Fishing in Whitney Drain itself is kind of slow due to the high muddy water.
Harbor Springs: The dock at the public boat launch was still not in.
Petoskey: The docks at the boat launch are in. Very few boats have been out but one that was running planer boards in the sheltered area near the marina picked up a small brown trout. The weather buoy is not in yet. A few smaller brown trout and a couple steelhead were caught out from the mouth of the Bear River in less than 20 feet. Some caught suckers off the D Pier.
Bear River: Water levels were dropping. With rain in the forecast, look for more steelhead up at the dam. The run typically lasts well into May. Try drifting spawn bags and flies. Brown trout season in the river does not open until April 29th.
Traverse City: In the East Bay, few boats had been out. With rain and warmer temperatures in the forecast, look for steelhead in the Elk River. A few fish were caught below the dam and at the kids pond when using spawn and wax worms. On the West Bay, those trolling or jigging for lake trout did well near the mouth of the Boardman River and north towards Power Island in deep water. Lake herring were caught north of Bryant Park when jigging.
Boardman River: Fishing slowed but should pick back up. Anglers found a good number of suckers at the dam.
Leland: Dredging at harbor mouth is almost complete so the area is passable now especially for larger vessels however the dock at the launch was still not in. Steelhead are still being caught in the harbor and the river when using spawn or wax worms.
Platte Bay: A few smaller boats were able to get out from the Platte River launch. Those trolling or jigging caught some lake trout. Steelhead are still being caught in the lower Platte River.
Frankfort: Those trolling around the piers have caught a couple brown trout but catch rates were hit-or-miss. Most were using black and silver body baits.
Onekama: Those trolling to the north caught brown trout in 10 to 15 feet with black and gold body baits. Some whitefish were also caught.
Portage Lake: Perch anglers are trying minnows and wigglers but most of the fish caught were small. Bass anglers have seen largemouth in the shallows but water temperatures were still cold.
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Water levels were a bit high but were coming back down. Crappie, bluegill and bass anglers may find some fish but the water is still cold and the bite will be slow.
Lake Missaukee: Anglers were starting to catch crappie and bluegills in the shallows.
Manistee: Surface water temperatures were up near 50 degrees. The fish cleaning station and the restrooms were still closed. Perch fishing off the pier was slow but a couple steelhead and brown trout were caught. Lake trout are also showing up. Those trolling have caught a couple chinook, coho, and brown trout.
Manistee River: Steelhead fishing is still going and should continue for a bit longer. Float fishing has been good with streamers.
Ludington: Surface water was 50 degrees. The fish cleaning station and the restrooms were still closed. Those trolling between Ludington and just north of Big Sable Point will need to be very careful and watch for floating debris after a large boat ran aground and completely broke apart. Lake trout are starting to heat up off the projects. Brown trout, coho and a few chinook have been caught. Pier fishing was slow.
Pere Marquette River: Should have good trout fishing for the opener.
Pentwater: Those trolling need to be careful and watch for floating debris from a large boat that ran aground just north of Ludington. Those trolling caught brown trout in 5 to 15 feet and lake trout in 25 to 60 feet. Some caught the occasional chinook. Pier anglers caught brown trout while still-fishing with spawn near the bottom.
Pentwater Lake: Shore and boat anglers caught perch in 10 to 25 feet on perch rigs with white spikes or cut bait.
Western Upper Peninsula streams and rivers will have high water levels for the Saturday trout opener. The Type-A inland trout lakes will open on Saturday and should provide good fishing opportunities. Look for light smelt runs in the western rivers that access Lake Superior, with the best netting opportunities in the small rivers surrounding Keweenaw Bay. Steelhead are in most of the streams that access Lake Superior. In the Eastern Upper Peninsula, anglers can expect higher than average water levels in many streams due to heavy rainfall the last couple of weeks. Cooler temperatures by the weekend will slow the bite.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was on the slow side with only a few coho and splake caught in the head of the bay. With the smelt running, trolling in front of the river mouths should put fish in the box. In Traverse Bay, a few lake trout were taken by those trolling spoons about 10 feet off the bottom in 120 feet.
Marquette: The second dock has been installed at the launch in the Upper Harbor. Coho are still being caught in both the Upper and Lower Harbors but the action has slowed. Anglers were trolling jointed body baits and small spoons in perch colors on short leadcore or downriggers. A few brown trout were also caught. Those jigging were using a pink jig with a white twisty tail grub tipped with cut meat and a few did very well even taking limit catches of lake trout.
Menominee River: Fishing has been difficult due to the high volume of water being released at the Hattie Street Dam.
Little Bay De Noc: Perch anglers reported good catches near Gladstone Beach, the Third Reef and the up near the Day's River with wigglers in 30 to 35 feet. A few were taken in the shallows with worms. Anglers have stopped fishing up near the dam on the Escanaba River because of bridge repair work on US-2. A few fish were caught in the Day's River north of US-2. Catch and release bass fishing was good in the Ford River with plastics, spinners or crank baits from shore. The rivers were running high and fast.
Manistique River: The gates at the dam have been closed so the lamprey traps can be installed. The high water part of the dam is still flowing fast. Steelhead anglers were still taking good catches from the bridge south to the high water rapids when fly fishing with beads or when casting spawn. Many reported seeing good numbers of steelhead so there is still some good fishing to be had.
Au Train: The Brownstone launch is still closed. The gate for the Au Train River beach is now open.
Munising: Boat anglers putting in long hours had mixed results for coho, brown trout and splake with some catching a few fish while others caught none. Those targeting lake trout caught a few. Shore and pier anglers had slow catch rates. A few smelt were taken in the area.
Grand Marais: Some boat anglers were taking up to 5 coho per trip while others caught none. Pier anglers however reported good catches of Lake Whitefish. Pier anglers caught a few coho and smaller steelhead on a single egg or spawn sac. Water levels on the rivers were high and fast.
Two Hearted River: Steelhead are here and in the Sucker River. Coho have been caught just off the mouth of both rivers. Smelt runs here are starting to dwindle.
Detour: Those trolling for Atlantic salmon marked a lot of fish 60 to 80 feet down in 110 feet between the lighthouse and the green buoy. Most were using spoons but anglers may want to try small chrome crank baits which resemble smelt. Over on Drummond Island, perch were caught just off Hunting Club Point in Maxton Bay in 4 to 8 feet with minnows and wigglers. A few perch were caught off the Monahan Dock.
Cedarville and Hessel: Schools of yellow perch seem to have moved from the south end of Cedarville Bay back to the north. Catch rates were fair straight east from the Cedarville launch with a medium size shiner or small worms. Those targeting splake off the Hessel Pier had good catch rates with frozen smelt or shiners 8 to 12 inches off the bottom or when casting small slender chrome crank baits that look like smelt. Anglers might find some perch around St. Ledger Island or Echo Island which are one mile east of the boat launch at Hessel.
St. Ignace: Had no boat reports. A couple steelhead along with a few suckers were caught on spawn and worms in the Carp River. There are no reports for Pine River.
Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State at: Michigan.gov/eatsafefish.