Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report — March 31, 2017
Lake St. Clair
Fluctuating weather has turned the fishing upside down on Lake St. Clair. A few panfish have been caught in the cuts and canals along the American side of the lake by shore anglers. A fair number have been caught off shore on Harsens Island, too.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
The water temperature was running about 38 degrees in the Detroit River last week, a little cool for the start of the annual walleye run. When it reaches 42 degrees, a good push of fish should move up the river. Perch fishing has been very good around the islands, at the cross dike, at the metropark and in the canals at Gibraltar.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Grand Rapids Area
Steelhead fishing has been good in the Grand, Muskegon and White rivers. Flies, beads and spawn have all been producing good action. Fishing pressure has been light on Lake Michigan. A few cohos and kings have been caught down at New Buffalo near the Michigan/Indiana state line. The fish should begin moving north soon. Lots of 3- to 5-pounders have been caught.
Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.
Fishing has been slow and pressure light in the southwest corner of the Lower Peninsula. Steelhead have provided the best action. Anglers fishing on the St. Joseph River at the Berrien Springs Dam are catching chromers on spawn and spinners. A couple perch have been caught on Eagle Lake and anglers report catching light numbers of crappies on Eagle, Juno, Christiana and Diamond lakes. Turkey season begins April 17. Toms are strutting and gobbling.
The Trading Post, (269) 633-8803.
Saginaw Bay Area
All the ice is gone from Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Boat anglers are catching decent numbers of perch in 4 to 6 feet of water. The best bites have been around the river mouths. Shore anglers are catching perch in the cuts and canals. Light numbers of walleyes have been caught in 8 to 12 feet of water. Toms are gobbling and strutting.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Pere Marquette River. Fish are on the gravel in the flies-only section. Some fish are already spawned out, but there are a lot of fresh chrome fish, too. Fishing pressure has been light. Warm weather and rain was in the forecast and should push more fish up to the flies-only water. Egg patterns, nymphs, beads and spawn are producing a good bite. Inland lake fishing pressure has been very light.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974
Perch and a few lake trout have been caught in Lake Huron. The best bites have been at Mud Creek in 3 feet of water. There are a lot of perch in the area but anglers are having to sort through them to find the keepers. Fish are also being caught in the harbor. Toms are strutting and gobbling.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
Coho fishing has been pretty good in southern Lake Huron. Boat anglers aren’t getting out yet, but those fishing in Lexington Harbor are catching good numbers of fish. Decent numbers of smelt have been caught in the St. Clair River at Port Huron. When the water is clear the smelt stay out in the lake, but when hit’s a little stirred up and dirty they move into shore. There was still a lot of ice in Lake Huron so when there is an east wind the river fills with ice.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
There was some fishable ice on Burt and Mullett lakes but there was open water on Crooked Lake. With warm weather in the immediate forecast the ice wasn’t expected to last much longer.
Pat & Gary’s Party Store, (231) 238-6776.
Traverse City Area
Brown trout and Atlantic salmon have been hitting in the open water on Torch Lake. Minnows, spoons and bodybaits are producing a good bite. Steelhead fishing has been keeping anglers busy on the Boardman River. Spawn, wigglers and spinners has been attracting attention. There was no safe ice on inland lakes but those venturing out in the open water on Lake Michigan are picking up brown trout close to shore at Frankfort.
There was a little bit of ice left on Lake Mitchell and the ice on Lake Cadillac was shot. With warm weather in the forecast, the ice fishing season was expected to end in Wexford County. Steelhead fishing has been good in the Manistee River at Tippy Dam. Spawn, beads, wax worms and spinners were all producing good action.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Rogers City Area
There was some safe ice in Presque Isle County, but with warm weather moving in it wasn’t expected to last.
Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303
Higgins Lake Area
Anglers were still fishing through the ice, but three days of rain in the forecast was expected to bring the season to an end.
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.
Steelhead fishing has been very good in the Au Sable River. Cleos spawn and wax worms have attracted the most action. Lake trout and a few Atlantic Salmon have been caught in Lake Huron off the pier heads. Spoons and walleye minnows have produced the best results. The DNR asks anglers to turn in the heads of Atlantics and Wellman’s is accepting those heads to help the DNR manage the resource. A couple walleyes also have been caught off the pier heads.
Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.
With the warmer temperatures and rain, ice around the islands and along the shoreline in Munuscong Bay was deteriorating. The Coast Guard began ice-breaking operations, which means the locks will be opening. Anglers will need to be extra careful if venturing out because when the ships come through the wake will deteriorate the ice. Perch were still being caught but catch rates were slow. They should start to come into the bay in bigger numbers soon. Anglers were still-fishing, using tip-ups or jigging with minnows. Down on Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel, anglers were still getting out on the ice but you need to use caution and watch for pressure cracks and soft ice around the islands. Good number of perch were being caught but many were small. Anglers are jigging or still-fishing with wax worms, spikes and wigglers. Muskie Bay and to the east seemed to hold more fish.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Perch were hitting on Big and South Manistique Lakes and bluegills and crappies were starting to turn on, too. Ice has held up pretty well, but is starting to pull away from shore. With warmer temperatures in the forecast anglers are advised to use extreme caution.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
The ice has moved out of Lake Superior’s Marquette Harbor. The Chocolay boat launch was still iced in. Anglers have been catching brown trout and steelhead with spawn and worms in the Chocolay River. The Carp River hasn’t had much pressure due to ice conditions but anglers were still trying for steelhead. Boat anglers fishing the Upper Harbor near the bubblers caught a few coho when jigging cut bait.
Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.
Ice was still holding on in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. Perch have been caught near Kipling and in the middle of the Upper Bay in 25 to 40 feet of water. With warm weather in the forecast the end of the ice fishing season is drawing near.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.
The Menominee River was producing some nice brown trout last week and a few walleyes below the Hattie Street Dam and down to Stephenson Island. Large stickbaits worked best. The lower river still had some ice cover and the boat launches were still iced in. Very little water was being released from the Hattie Street Dam.
Waterfront Sport Shop, (906) (906) 424-4108.
The ice moved back into Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay where anglers were catching coho and splake in 20 to 25 feet of water on the east side. Whitefish and burbot were hitting on the west side of the bay in 90 feet of water. The ice is starting to fall apart so anglers are advised to use extreme caution. Steelhead fishing has been fair on the Huron and Falls rivers.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Perch action has been very good on Lake Gogebic and anglers are starting to catch some crappies, too. Anglers are working 22 to 30 feet of water with wigglers, spikes and small minnows. Ice conditions are holding up pretty well but anglers should watch the weather and use caution near any inlets as earlier thaws have deteriorated ice near shore in these areas. As always, late ice conditions can change quickly so always check locally in the areas you plan to fish.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
The ice was still in pretty good shape in Iron County but warmer temperatures were in the forecast. Perch fishing has been pretty good on most of the lakes in the area including Chicagon, Peavy and Fortune. Salmon, brown trout and lake trout fishing is heating up on Lake Superior.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.
The DNR contributed to this report.