Weekly Fishing Report
Weekly Fishing Report
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Continued cold weather is putting the steelhead runs behind schedule. Conditions might start to improve by next week. Ice fishing on the inland lakes in the Lower Peninsula is pretty much done as conditions continue to deteriorate.
- Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
- Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
- Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
- Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
- Upper Peninsula Fishing Report
There is still some flow ice moving around in southern Lake Huron which is also affecting the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. Some of the public boat launches are now open however the docks are not in yet.
Lake Erie: Is opening up. Any remaining ice is not safe. Walleye fishing was slow on the Michigan side but a few fish have been caught in Ohio waters, especially the Maumee River.
Detroit River: Is open. The lower river is clear right now however there is flow ice in the upper river. Ice flows continue to be a problem more so around the launches than in the open water though anglers would be wise to be mindful of flow ice at all times. Boat anglers are jigging for walleye but catch rates are extremely low. A few perch were caught in the canals. A couple anglers caught perch in Canadian near the Cross Dike and in Michigan waters near Mud Island. Keepers were 8 to 12 inches but many were throwbacks. These same anglers caught sub-legal pike along with a couple ranging 26 to 30 inches. Water temperatures were 32 to 34 degrees and need to warm up to improve the bite. The launches at St. Jean, Ecorse and Elizabeth Park remain closed as of this report.
Lake St. Clair: Still has some flow ice moving around. Conditions change daily depending on wind direction and speed. Some of the public boat launching sites are now open but most do not have the docks in yet so boat anglers should be prepared to launch without them.
St. Clair River: Has flow ice coming down from Lake Huron.
Harbor Beach: The marina was still iced in and Lake Huron still has ice flows.
Saginaw Bay: With gusty winds, the ice has broken up in the bay and the ice along the inner bay is gone. A few boat anglers fishing near Spoils Island did well for walleye. White bass were caught in the Hot Pond. Perch anglers from Kawkawlin to Sebewaing might want to get their shore-fishing gear and start hitting the cuts and rivers this coming weekend. Perch fishing was good around Rose Island and Geiger Road but the ice is now gone. Some anglers were using air boats to get around. Outside the Thumb, pier and boat anglers will want to start gearing up for the early-season trout and salmon fishing.
Saginaw River: Boat anglers on the lower river near the train bridge at Essexville took some nice perch on minnows.
St. Joseph: Boats out trolling were picking up some coho at and near the mouth of the river.
St. Joseph River: The recent cold spell slowed steelhead movement through the Berrien Springs fish ladder but the run is expected to pick back up with on the onset of warmer weather this week. Stream flows are below average for this time of year.
Holland: Has open water but the piers are still ice covered. There is still some flow ice out in Lake Michigan.
Kalamazoo River: Steelhead action slowed at the Allegan Dam where anglers were still floating spawn or wax worms.
Grand Haven: Has open water. Anglers may still encounter some flow ice out in Lake Michigan. The piers still had some ice cover.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Overall, fishing was slow. The better steelhead fishing was below the 6th Street Dam and down to Johnston Park. Anglers are floating and drifting spawn and yarn. The occasional steelhead was caught at the Flat River Dam in Lowell. Catch rates should improve within the next week or two as temperatures start to climb and spring showers move into the region.
Grand River at Lansing: Is producing lots of catfish. No trophy fish but good table size. Anglers are using crawlers, cut bait and chicken liver. Carp and suckers are also starting to hit. No steelhead reports as the fish have not made it up this far.
Muskegon River: The tailwaters below Croton Pond were still quite cold because the impoundment still had ice cover so water temperatures below the dam are cold. Fishing was good one day but shut down the next. As soon as the ice is gone from the impoundments temperatures will start to rise and catch rates will really heat up.
Thunder Bay River: The tailwaters below the Ninth Street Dam are quite cold because the impoundment still has ice cover and this prevents warming of the water below the dam. It could be another week or two before steelhead fishing gets started.
Houghton Lake: Still has ice but the shoreline ice is starting to break up. The North Bay is starting to open up. Anglers need to use caution near the inlets, outlets and canals. A fair number of crappie were starting to bite. Fish were caught out from the Cut River. The weed beds along the south shore are producing some bluegills.
Au Sable River: The tailwaters below Foote Dam are still quite cold. Combine the cold water temperatures and low flows due to an extremely dry spring thus far and anglers will see there has not been much of a "signal" to stimulate upstream migration or spawning steelhead. There are fair numbers of steelhead below Foote Dam and as soon as the ice is gone from the impoundments temperatures will start to rise and catch rates will really heat up. The water was low and clear so fishing tactics will be different than those years with usual high water.
Tawas: Ice was hanging on in the northernmost part of Tawas Bay, from Jerry's Marina back north toward shore. A lot of perch were under the ice but most of them are quite small and not worth taking a swim for. A few walleye were caught in the evening near the artificial reef. Boat anglers starting to venture out caught a couple Atlantic salmon or lake trout.
Tawas River: There was not much activity at the mouth. Only a few suckers have been caught.
Au Gres: The ice is gone.
Au Gres River: The ice is gone from the mouth and those surfcasting are out trying their luck when the weather cooperates.
Rifle River: With rain in the forecast, the sucker run should start to pick up by this weekend.
Pine River: Near Standish is open near the mouth but shore anglers were not doing much yet.
The ice is slowly deteriorating and ice fishing is no longer recommended. While some ports may have open water the piers may not be accessible due to ice cover. Steelhead fishing remains slow. We need rain and warmer temperatures.
Traverse City: The West Bay had open water about three hundred yards out but the rest of the bay was still iced over.
Boardman River: Anglers were catching steelhead up near the Union Street Dam and near the weir. The mouth of the river is open.
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Ice fishing is done. The lakes are still ice covered however it is not safe. There is open water around the edge as the lakes begin to open up. It is time to get ready for open water fishing.
Manistee: Pier anglers are catching a few brown trout on spawn.
Manistee River: Water levels were back up below Tippy Dam. The bite was slow due to cold water temperatures. Try a slow presentation in the deeper holes. Look for the bite to increase with warmer weather and rain in the extended forecast.
Ludington: Boats trolling the harbor and along the shoreline have caught steelhead and brown trout on orange and chartreuse body baits. Pier anglers caught a couple brown trout on spawn. The piers are still ice covered so anglers need to be careful. There is one dock in at the Loomis Street launch.
Pere Marquette River: Water levels are running a bit low for this time of year. The steelhead bite slowed with the colder weather.
All of the lakes in the Eastern U.P. remain ice covered. A good number of rivers are open now and anglers are anxiously awaiting the steelhead run. The Two Hearted and the Sucker River would be the first areas for anglers to seek out steelhead. Those rivers have begun to open at the mouth which is a good sign of spring.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was slow however some reports were good. Splake fishing was good in 20 to 30 feet with spawn bags or minnows. A couple coho and the occasional chinook were also caught. Live smelt was the hot bait for chinook while coho were hitting on spawn, wax worms, smelt or minnows. Lake trout action was fair along the Center Reef. Remember, ice conditions can change quickly this time of year. The shoreline ice was not safe. There are a couple large pressure cracks that cross the entire bay between the Pump House and Pequaming.
Menominee River: Was producing some walleye along with brown trout and steelhead from the Hattie Street Dam down to Stephenson Island. The only landing open was at Stephenson Island. Ice was still blocking a good portion of the river between the Interstate Bridge and the mouth.
Little Bay De Noc: The southern Bay is open water from the Escanaba Lighthouse south. The rivers remain mostly frozen with patches of open water. The mouth of the Escanaba River to the 1st Dam is open. A few perch anglers had fair catches at Kipling. Most were fishing the East Bank with minnows or wigglers in 18 to 35 feet. If you travel on the ice be sure to use caution.
Marquette: Some were able to get boats out and those fishing the "bubblers" did catch a couple coho about 16 inches long. There were large schools of lake herring at the "bubblers" but many were fowl hooked. Anglers are using a combination of ¼ ounce jigs tipped with twister tails, crawlers and gulp bait. Good colors were fluorescent pink or white jig. There is still large ice flows at the "bubblers" so ice moves in and out depending on wind direction. The main part of the lake remains frozen however it IS NOT SAFE due to shifting ice. The only other angler activity was at the mouth of the Carp River where fishing was slow. A few anglers picked up a couple steelhead. They also had a few hits on crawlers which they thought may have been some coho. Those using spoons had no hits.
Au Train: A few anglers ice fishing off the Brownstone launch caught one or two coho but catch rates were slow. The ice is still packed in tight along shore so anglers were ice fishing off the mouth of the Rock River where they caught a couple menominee and lake whitefish. Catch rates for coho and steelhead were poor. As a reminder, fishing is closed on the Rock River from the spillway below M-28 to the footbridge from April 1st to June 30th. Those fishing off the mouth of the Au Train River had no luck. The Au Train River is about ¾ open with water levels increasing.
Munising: Had more anglers as catch rates increased. Ice conditions in the bay were holding but anglers still need to use caution this time of year. There was a layer of wet snow on top of the ice but walking conditions were still decent. Catch rates were fair in 15 to 70 feet between the Anna River and Sand Point. Splake were caught including more keepers for those using jigs with an egg or minnow. Catch rates for whitefish were up with most anglers keeping 3 to 10 fish. Try a single egg or wax worm on the bottom. If no fish are found, try further up in the water column as some of the fish were suspended. Anglers are still marking smelt but they would not bite. The coho action should only get better. A few were caught in open water at the mouth of the Anna River. Trout Bay still had fishable ice but catch rates were slow. Remember, ice conditions can change quickly this time of year.
Grand Marais: Lake Superior is producing some coho salmon and a couple steelhead through the ice.
St. Mary's River: Still had ice at Munuscong but fishing was rated as poor.
Cedarville and Hessel: Ice fishing continues and those fishing Hessel Bay had a great time and a few harvested limit catches of perch when using wigglers in 6 to 12 feet. Musky Bay improved slightly for those fishing in 10 to 14 feet with wigglers or minnows.
Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State at www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish.