Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – April 27, 2018

SOUTHEASTERN LP 

Lake St. Clair

Wind and rain left a lot of muddy water in Lake St. Clair. Fishing pressure was very light, but some anglers reported catching decent numbers of bluegills, sunfish and perch in the canals.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Lake Orion

Inland lake fishing pressure has been very light in Oakland County  with high wind, cold temperatures and rain keeping anglers off the water. The DNR plants between 6,000 and 7,000 brown trout in Paint Creek each spring so trout season should be fun. Toms are strutting and gobbling. Spring turkey season should be good.

Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.

Trenton Area

Good numbers of walleyes are moving up the Detroit River and fishing has been pretty good. Wind and rain, however, muddied the water. Anglers were taking good numbers of fish off Belle Isle, in the Trenton Channel and off Wyandotte. Most were using a jig with a live or artificial minnow. Some perch were being caught in the canals.

Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.

Luna Pier Area

The water in the Western Basin of Lake Erie was muddy after the winter storm blew through the state and fishing pressure was light. Those trolling Bandits in Brest Bay or using a jig and minnow off the Metro Park were catching a few walleyes. Spring turkey hunting should be good.

Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Allegan Area

Steelhead fishing has been good on the Kalamazoo River below the Allegan Dam. Results have been mixed, but the good days have been very good. Wax worms, spawn, beads and flies are all catching fish. Inland lakes are still cold and panfish have yet to start moving into the shallows. Turkey numbers are in good shape. The spring season should be good. Toms were strutting and gobbling, but were still in their bachelor groups.

Webber & Sons Marine and Tackle, (269) 673-6294.

Grand Rapids Area

There was a good push of fresh steelhead up the Grand River resulting in a good number of fish at the Sixth Street Dam. River fishing has been pretty good. Tom are strutting and gobbling. Spring turkey season should be good.

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

Plainwell Area

Crappies and bluegills starting to move and anglers are starting to catch fish on Gun Lake. Fishing pressure has been very light. Turkey numbers are in great shape. Toms are strutting and gobbling.

Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

The storm left flooding along Lake Huron’s inner Saginaw Bay and shut down all fishing activity. Conditions should improve as the weather moderates. Word has it that post-spawn walleye are dropping down out of the rivers and some are being caught off the river mouths by boat anglers. Turkey numbers are very strong in Bay and Arenac counties and the spring season should be good.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Lansing Area

Bass anglers were taking advantage of the catch-and-immediate-release season and catching decent numbers of smallmouth bass on the Grand River at the North Lansing Dam. Toms and strutting and gobbling, but some are still in bachelor groups. Spring turkey season should be good.

Grand River Bait & Tackle, (517) 482-4461.

Grand Haven Area

Brown trout and menominee have been caught off the pier on Lake Michigan when the wind allows folks get out. Spawn has produced the best action. Turkey numbers are in good shape and the spring season should be a good one. Down at South Haven, coho were caught by those trolling small crankbaits on Lake Michigan in 25 feet of water. Anglers were targeting steelhead, browns and whitefish at Holland. 

Lakeview Marine & Tackle, (616) 842-2770.

Ludington Area

Steelhead fishing had been pretty good in the Pere Marquette River before the snowstorm hit. Since then fishing has been slow and pressure light.  There was one dock in at the city boat launch on Lake Michigan. With warmer weather in the forecast the piers should be open by now. Toms are strutting and activity should increase with warmer weather. The spring season should be good.

Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Fishing has slowed on Lake Huron as storms blew through the area and muddied the water. Fishing pressure has been light. A few anglers are catching good numbers of perch and crappies in Lake Huron at Sand Point. There was still about 5 inches of snow on the ground. Turkey numbers are up in the Thumb. Toms are strutting and gobbling.

Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.

Port Huron

Lake Huron and the St. Clair River were full of mud after the storm blew through the area. Fishing has slowed. Before the storms hit  anglers reported catching a mixed bag of a lot of walleyes, steelhead, brown trout and Atlantic salmon. Toms are strutting and gobbling. The spring turkey season should be a good one.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

NORTHWESTERN LP

Traverse City Area

Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Boardman and Betsie rivers. Wax worms, spawn, flies and beads have all been producing good results. Recent storms dumped about 15 additional inches of snow on the ground but warmer temperatures were  finally in the forecast so things are looking up. When they can get out, anglers report a good perch bite in 65 to 85 feet of open water in East and West Grand Traverse Bays. Toms are strutting and gobbling, but still in bachelor groups. The spring season should be good.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com. 

Manistee Area

Surface temperature readings were near 38 degrees on Lake Michigan. Brown trout and lake trout were being caught by those trolling in the basin and around the pier heads before the snowstorm hit. The south pier remains closed due to a large hole near the 45 degree turn. As a safety precaution, anglers should stay off the pier. The restrooms and the fish cleaning station remain closed. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Manistee River. Turkey activity should increase with warmer temperatures on the horizon. Spring hunting should be good in spots.

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.

Cadillac Area

About a foot of snow fell in the area. It was melting, though, and everything was pretty sloppy.  Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell were open, but no one was fishing yet. Most die-hard anglers are fishing for steelhead on the Betsie, Manistee and Au Sable rivers. Turkey numbers appear to be in pretty good shape. Toms are strutting and gobbling and chasing hens.

Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.

NORTHEASTERN LP

Rogers City Area

Everything was still iced in at Rogers City, so no one was fishing on Lake Huron yet. Over on the Ocqueoc River a few steelhead were being caught before a snowstorm hit northern Michigan with a foot or more of snow.

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Alpena Area

A couple of steelhead and Atlantic salmon were being caught in the Thunder Bay River before the snowstorm hit. Since then, fishing has been slow. The spring steelhead run has not even begun yet. We need warmer weather and an increase in water levels to get the fish moving.

Clem’s Live Bait & Tackle, (989) 354-2070.

Oscoda Area

Snow, cold air, and ice on the ponds have kept temperatures about 38 degrees on the Au Sable River. Flow has increased but the water stayed fairly clear towards Foote Dam Pond. A couple of steelhead have been caught in the deeper holes as well as up near Foot Dam by anglers drifting spawn bags, flies and wax worms. These and other natural looking baits continue to produce in the cold water. 

Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Cedarville Bay on Lake Huron was open and free of most ice.  Strong northeast winds helped push more ice out of the bay which will allow anglers to explore more open water throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. At Hessel, ice conditions have deteriorated as there is now a lot of slush and blue ice. 

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Heavy snow hit the area and made travel difficult. Fishing pressure has been very light. Anglers are waiting for open water.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Storms dumped about 18 inches of snow on the area. A few anglers are still getting out on the ice and catching bluegills on South Manistique and perch on Big Manistique. The ice is starting to pull away from shore so anglers need to use extreme caution. 

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Marquette Area

The bubblers in Lake Superior’s Marquette Harbor were locked in tight with ice and snow. Before the snowstorm hit, anglers were getting between one and three cohos per trip. Those targeting steelhead in the Carp and Chocolay rivers report catching a few brown trout. Over at Munising, a few anglers were still ice fishing and catching smelt up to 10 inches long. A few splake were caught on Swedish pimples tipped with minnows or on tip-ups. Catch rates for cohos were not good, however those putting in a lot of time did manage a few limit catches.

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Lake Michigan’s Little Bay De Noc was still mostly ice covered. A few anglers were out but it is not recommended because of unsafe ice conditions. There was open water south of Aronson Island. The Ford River had not opened up yet but the Days River was open and the Escanaba River is open and shore anglers were able to fish the piers at the north shore launch. Success was light.

Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.

BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.

Iron Mountain Area

Badwater Lake still had up to 24 inches of ice. A few anglers are still getting out and catching light numbers of bluegills and perch. No one was fishing on the Menominee River, which was running very high. Storms dumped about 18 inches of snow on the area.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

The ice north of the lighthouse on the west side of Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay has broken up along the shoreline. Damage to ice in the bay could be extensive and heavy snowfall will cover dangerous areas. Extreme caution is needed by anyone heading out to fish. 

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Winter was holding on at Lake Gogebic, but anglers are ready for spring. There was 20 to 24 inches of ice on the lake. The recent snowstorm reduced traffic to snowmobiles only with more than two feet of snow in the ice. Mild daytime temperatures were forecast to be 40 to 50 degrees so expect slush and wet snow conditions. 

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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