Lake St. Clair
The walleye bite was heating up on Lake St. Clair and some anglers were getting limit catches. Most fish ranged between 15 and 16 inches. The hot spot was the point at Metro Beach Metropark. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass bite is slowly picking up with fish hitting jerkbaits and crankbaits along the mile roads. Few panfish were showing up. Those looking for them saw a couple of bluegill and crappie in the canals between the Harley Ensign and Selfridge launch.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Crappie action has been pretty good on local lakes in Oakland County, but the action has been hot one day and cold the next. East and West Graham lakes were giving up some fish. Brown trout fishing has been fair on Paint Creek with live bait producing the best results. Turkey season has been very good. Toms are still gobbling and hens are nesting in the afternoons. Morels are popping.
Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.
Anglers are catching good numbers of walleyes and white bass in the Detroit River. Jigs and minnows continue to work well for catching ’eyes, which are running between 15 and 20 inches. Lots of limits have been reported. Those hand-lining at night have caught a good number of fish, too.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.
Luna Pier Area
Walleye fishing has been good on Lake Erie. Anglers trolling purple crawler harnesses behind bottom bouncers in Brest Bay report good action in 20 feet of water. Anglers also have caught fish just north of the River Raisin in 24 feet of water when drifting a gold and purple harness. A few fish were also taken by those jigging near the Dumping Grounds in 15 feet of water with an orange and green jig tipped with a minnow. White bass, white perch and a couple of freshwater drum were also caught.
Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
Spring fishing has been good in Cass County. When the weather is decent, anglers report catching good numbers of panfish and bass on Paradise, Birch, Klinger, Long and Baldwin lakes. Turkey hunting has been pretty good. Hens are nesting and toms are gobbling in the mornings. Black morels are being found.
Halls Bait and Tackle, (269) 641-2304.
Anglers fishing on the Kalamazoo River below the Allegan Dam have reported good numbers of walleyes. There have been solid reports from anglers on the Grand River, as well. The smallmouth bite is getting better with the water temperature warming up. Fish have been caught in the bayous on the Grand River. Steelhead fishing is still productive on the Muskegon River near Newaygo, but has slowed down at Grand Haven and South Haven. Bluegills have been hitting in 1 to 3 feet of water on Ackley Lake, Wolf Lake and Fish Lake. Mushroom hunters are finding morels. Turkey hunting has been very good in Kalamazoo County. Toms are still gobbling early in the mornings, but are getting quiet after that.
D and R Sports, (269) 372-2277.
Grand Rapids Area
Water levels on the Grand River were up and fishing was slow. Anglers have caught a few walleye and occasionally someone will hook a steelhead. Panfish anglers continue to target the slow backwaters.
Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.
Anglers report good fishing on Gun and Pine lakes for bluegills, crappies largemouth bass and a few walleyes. Crappies were late on the spawn and anglers report catching a lot of males. Long Lake in Cloverdale has produced a good bluegill bite in 2 to 10 feet of water. Turkey hunting remains very good and a few big birds have been taken. One 22-poiud bird had a 10-inch beard and 15⁄8-inch spurs. Hens are nesting. Toms are gobbling. White and a few black morels are popping.
Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.
Saginaw Bay Area
Fishing is improving in Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Anglers are catching northern pike and small yellow perch at the Palmer Road Cut. Walleye are hitting bodybaits and crawler harnesses in 5 to 10 feet of water off Eagle Bay Marina. Crappies were caught in the marina. Boat anglers are catching walleyes on flicker shad in 4 to 8 feet of water off Gambil’s Marina near Pinconning. A few walleye were taken on crawlers out near the Spark Plug and from Quanicassee to Finn Road in 8 to 10 feet of water. The late turkey season has been good. Morels are popping.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Water 58 degrees on Pere Marquette and running high and dark. Browns on crawlers as well as bead-headed nymphs. Still a few steelhead around. Bluegills have started bedding on some lakes and are still staging on others. Good action has been reported by anglers on Idlewild, Big Bass and Levrentz lakes. Turkey hunting has been good. Some hens are nesting in the afternoons. Toms are coming in silent. Mushroom hunters are finding a lot of morels. A few blacks were still being found.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.
Grand Haven Area
Boat anglers on Lake Michigan report catching decent numbers of chinook salmon on orange spoons and white flies fished in 50 to 100 feet of water. Lake trout are hitting yellow Spin-N-Glos fished right on the bottom in 160 to 220 feet of water. Pier anglers have caught a few brown trout on minnows. Morels are popping.
Lakeview Marine & Tackle, (616) 842-2770.
Pier fishing has been slow on Lake Michigan with only a few brown trout being caught. Offshore, fishing started to heat up with a good number of chinook salmon and lake trout as well as some brown trout caught in 50 to 70 feet of water. Spoons were the ticket. Down at Pentwater, anglers trolling in 50 to 80 feet of water reported catching chinook and coho salmon 20 to 40 feet down on spoons and bodybaits. Lake trout are hitting Spin-N-Glows fished on bottom in 60 to 80 feet of water. Perch fishing has slowed on Pentwater Lake. Anglers have started to catch bluegills and sunfish along the drop-offs in 8 to 12 feet of water on red worms and wax worms. Those casting bodybaits reported good catches of smallmouth bass and northern pike in 8 to 15 feet of water. A good number of smallmouth bass were caught from Longbridge Road on jigs tipped with soft plastics. Turkey hunting has been pretty good. Hens are nesting in the afternoons. Morels are popping.
Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.
Bass, pike and walleyes are hitting in Lake Huron off the breakwall. There has been a good walleye bite north of Heisterman Island in 4 to 10 feet of water. Crawler harness are working the best, but bodybaits are taking a few ’eyes, too. Perch fishing slowed and the spring runs are diminishing. There are lots of carp in the shallows. Bowfishers report good action. Morels are popping. Turkey hunting remains good. Toms are still gobbling, especially in the mornings.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
Harbor Beach Area
Lake trout have been caught in Lake Huron straight out and north of the harbor in 40 to 80 feet of water with dodgers and Spin-N-Glos. Salmon are hitting spoons off downriggers and offshore boards fished in 40 to 50 feet of water. Try two- and four colors of lead line. Walleyes are being caught on spoons trolled close to shore behind two colors of lead lines and offshore boards. Turkey hunting remains good in the Thumb. Morels are popping.
Frank’s Place Bait & Tackle, (989) 864-5634.
Walleye fishing remains fantastic at Port Huron. Good action has been reported in Lake Huron and in the St. Clair River. Anglers are jigging, and trolling and casting crawler harnesses. Those whipping pencil plugs in the river at night also report good action. Anglers are also catching good numbers of coho salmon, a few chinook salmon and lots of lake trout. Turkey hunting remains pretty good. Morels are popping in the Thumb.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
Lake trout have been caught in front of the piers on Lake Michigan. The fish were hitting Spin-N-Glos and spoons in the bottom half of waters 50 feet deep. The first chinook salmon of the year were caught on spoons in the same area. The fish ranged between 13 and 18 pounds. A few brown trout have been caught. Anglers fishing on Arcadia Lake report catching fair numbers of bass and panfish. The spring turkey season has been pretty good. Morels are popping.
Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.
The surface temperature last week on Lake Michigan was about 47 degrees. The south pier remains closed. Those trolling have caught lake trout in 40 to 60 feet of water. A couple of brown trout have been caught by those trolling around the pier heads. Perch fishing slowed and the majority of fish being caught were throwbacks. Walleye fishing action has slowed, too, so many anglers were just fishing for them at night. On the Manistee River, steelhead fishing is winding down as most fish have spawned and are headed back to the big lake. Tippy Dam Pond was giving up some good catches of walleyes and smallmouth bass.
Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.
Trout fishing has finally picked up. Streams have calmed down, but there have not been many hatches yet. Live bait and spinners have produced the best action, so far. Bluegills are hitting on Big Guernsey Lake. Walleye fishing has been good on Lake Bellaire and Intermediate Lake. Bass fishing also has been very good on most of the local lakes including Skegemog. The spring turkey season has been pretty good. Toms are gobbling, but are reluctant to come to the call.
Jack’s Sport Shop, (231) 258-8892.
Fishing on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell has been good. Both lakes were providing some nice catches of walleyes. Anglers are using jigs and Twister Tail, Rapalas and even live bait such as small minnows and leeches. Crappies are moving into the shallows and are getting ready to spawn. Turkey hunting has been pretty good in the area.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Houghton Lake Area
Anglers were catching lots of crappie on Houghton Lake. The fish were being caught 3 feet off the bottom in 8 feet of water along the drop-offs, the weedbeds and around the Middle Grounds. Pink or purple jig tipped with a minnow have produced the best bites. Lots of pike have been caught but most are small. Walleyes are hitting crankbaits in a bluegill or perch pattern, and jig tipped with a leech. Bass are active and being caught in the canals on spinners, poppers and crawlers. The late turkey season has been decent. Morels mushrooms are being found.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Higgins Lake Area
Lake trout anglers continue to get fish while jigging in 80 to 100 feet of water on Higgins Lake. Those long-lining along the drop-offs are also catching fish. Perch anglers are getting some fish in about 40 feet of water, but were working hard to find the schools. Turkey hunting has been decent. Hens are nesting. Toms are gobbling early in the mornings
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.
Rogers City Area
The water is still very cold in northern Lake Huron. A few anglers ventured out and caught some lake trout. The fish are scattered so anglers had to look for them. Try running cowbells, spoons or dodgers with Spin-N-Glos. Run a couple of lines up high with bright colored spoons for Atlantic salmon. Anglers casting from the breakwall report a slow bite. Fishing pressure has been light on the Ocqueoc River, but those using beads have caught a few steelhead up near the weir. Turkey hunting has slowed a little. Morels are being found.
Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303
Fishing picked up on Lake Huron with anglers taking mostly lake trout, along with a couple of chinook and Atlantic salmon and the odd walleye. The best action has come to those fishing out near Thunder Bay Island in 40 to 60 feet of water. Lake trout were caught near the bottom while the salmon and walleyes were up high. Spoons and bodybaits worked best. Hot colors were green, blue and silver. In the Thunder Bay River, the water level is dropping and the suckers have moved out for the most part. Some steelhead were caught at the 9th Street Dam by anglers drifting flies with beads, or spawn. Good colors were orange, pink and chartreuse. Boat anglers drifting and jigging between the drawbridge and the mouth have caught a couple of walleyes but the action has slowed. Many were night fishing.
Clem’s Live Bait & Tackle, (989) 354-2070.
Boat anglers on Lake Huron trolling inside 25 feet of water near the Au Sable River mouth are catching walleye on bodybaits, especially in the evening. Pier anglers casting bodybaits, still-fishing with minnows and crawlers, or floating a crawler harness up and down the pier are catching decent numbers of walleyes. Fire-tiger, clown and chartreuse were good colors. Atlantic salmon and lake trout were caught when casting spoons and jerkbaits or still-fishing with minnows. Good colors were chrome and blue or chrome and orange. Water temperatures in the lower Au Sable River river were in the upper 50s. Atlantic salmon were caught when casting spoons and trolling plugs through the holes in Oscoda. The steelhead bite slowed but there was still a good number of fish in the system. Turkey hunting has been good and morels are popping.
Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.
Fishing has been slow in Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel. The public boat docks are in off Meridian Road. All the ice is gone in Cedarville Bay, throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands and off Hessel. There was no fishing activity in Cedarville Bay and no yellow perch reports. At Hessel, yellow perch are showing up in the marina. Catch rates were good between 3 p.m. and dark around the finger docks inside the steel breakwall. Splake remain in the area and those jigging a hammered copper 2-inch spoon tipped with a smelt head were catching fish. Those trolling shallow-running Reef Runners and crankbaits off the docks east of the Hessel Marina caught splake. The hot color was yellow with a red back.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Pike fishing has been very good in Maxton and Scotts bays. Spoons, spinners and live bait have all produced good action. Perch fishing has been slow, but the ice just left. The surface water temperature around the island was running between 38 and 40 degrees last week and walleye fishing has been slow. Morels are popping, but the recent burst of dry weather has kept them from getting very big.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
Walleye fishing is starting to heat up on Manistique Lakes. Walleyes, perch, bass and lots of northern pike are hitting on Big Manistique and anglers are catching walleyes, bass, pike and bluegills on South Manistique. Turkey hunting has slowed and hunting pressure has been light. Morels are starting to pop.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Lake Superior’s Marquette Harbor still had some floating ice in both the upper and the lower harbors so there had been no fishing. In the Chocolay and Carp rivers, very few steelhead were caught and those caught were spawned out or had loose eggs. A couple of splake were caught at the mouth of both rivers. Over at Munising, the Munising Bay is open but there continues to be some lake ice that drifts back into the channel so use caution. Fishing pressure has been high in this area. Those targeting coho were getting 3 to 5 fish per trip when trolling stickbaits and crankbaits with high lines. Steelhead and splake have also been caught. Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.
Surface water temperatures were about 48 degrees last week in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. Perch fishing has been fair to good in the northern parts of the bay with minnows, wigglers and crawlers fished in 32 feet of water. Shore anglers are catching smallmouth bass along the Ford River when casting spinners, plastics or crankbaits. The water is higher than last year with a fairly strong current. The walleye opener was good this year with fish throughout the Bay. The mouth of the Whitefish, Escanaba and Ford rivers should all be good during the early season.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.
Smelt dipping has been good in the Falls and Linden rivers. The bays are open and anglers are catching lake trout, salmon and a few steelhead and splake. The action should improve as the water warms up a little.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
The fishing opener on Lake Gogebic was fantastic. A week before the opener there was still ice on the lake. On opening day it was 70 degrees and sunny with light winds. Walleye action was great. Most anglers doing well were working 12 to 18 feet of water with jig-and-minnow combos, fuzzy grubs, and Twister Tails. These depths were producing lots of fish in the 16- to 19-inch range while shallower depths was producing a few more throw backs with more of the smaller males. There also were reports of a lot of small northern pike and some very nice smallmouth bass being caught.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
The fishing opener was pretty good. A few northern pike and a few walleyes have been caught on some of the bigger lakes in the area including Chicagon and Fortune. A few muskies have been caught but they were all on the small side. Turkey hunting has been decent. No word yet on morels.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.
The DNR contributed to this report.