Archived Weekly Fishing Tips

The tips below are archived from the Weekly Fishing Tip provided through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' website.


May 17, 2018: 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 more about fishing for trout, visit their informational page on the DNR website.


May 10, 2018: 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, visit their informational page on the DNR website.


May 3, 2018: Northern pike season now open

This past Saturday marked the opening of the inland walleye and northern pike 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? Check out their informational page online!


April 26, 2018: Getting ready for Michigan's trout season opener

Michigan's general trout season opener will be here this Saturday, April 28! 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 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide.


April 19, 2018: 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 Michigan.gov/fishing.


April 12, 2018: Where to find smallmouth bass this spring
Since anglers can practice catch-and-immediate-release fishing on bass on all year in Michigan, many are having fun targeting 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-keep season on all waters, including the Great Lakes, doesn't open until May 26 while the catch-and-keep season on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River doesn't open until June 16.

April 5, 2018: Spring is a great time to target 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 spring fishing in Michigan? Visit Michigan.gov/fishing!