Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – March 30, 2018
Lake St. Clair
Fishing has been limited on Lake St. Clair due to cold temperatures and northeast winds. Most of the canals and marinas still have some lingering ice. Good reports came in from shore anglers and a few boat anglers catching panfish and perch in the canals. As for boat launches, Harley Ensign was open with four docks in. Selfridge was open but no docks were in and anglers were still not able to launch at the Clinton River Cutoff. Fairhaven was still iced in.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Walleye action is starting to pick up on the Detroit River. Some anglers reported catching two to four walleyes per trip on jigs and minnows fished in the Trenton Channel. Boat anglers will still need to watch for ice coming down the river.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.
Luna Pier Area
Walleye fishing remains very good on Lake Erie. Boat anglers continue to take some limit catches when trolling Husky jerkbaits in 15 to 20 feet of water in Brest Bay. Some big fish have been caught.
Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
Anglers are catching fair numbers of steelhead and walleye in the Kalamazoo River up near the Allegan Dam. A fair number of suckers have also been caught. Down on the St. Joseph River, water levels have dropped and the steelhead fishing should get better as the weather improves and water temperatures begin to warm.
D and R Sports, (269) 372-2277.
Grand Rapids Area
Water levels are back to normal on the Grand River and anglers are still catching steelhead. Wax worms, spawn, spinners and flies are all catching fish. Some perch have been caught in Felix Bayou near Spring Lake. Water levels are low on the Rogue River. Steelhead anglers report catching fish one day and none the next.
Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.
Like most lakes across southern Lower Michigan there was open water on Gun Lake, but skim ice was forming overnight along the shoreline. A few anglers were getting out and reported a good perch bite. Crappies are starting to move into the shallow, warmer water when the sun is high in the sky. Bluegills are moving up into the channels.
Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.
Saginaw Bay Area
Perch fishing has been slow to get started in the cuts and rivers around Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. The water in the bay is still cold with lots of floating ice. Perch have been caught inside the basin at Eagle Bay Marina at the end of Sagatoo Road, but anglers should bring a spud. Floating ice continues to hamper those trolling. Boat anglers were getting perch and walleye around Spoils Island and around the range light just lake-ward of the river mouth. A few 6- to 8-inch perch have been caught in the channel at Finn Road.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Fishing has been slow on the Grand River. Light numbers of steelhead have been caught, but the fish are scattered and catch rates were not consistent. A couple of fish were spotted at the North Lansing Dam.
Grand River Bait & Tackle, (517) 482-4461.
Grand Haven Area
Pier anglers on Lake Michigan reported catching light numbers of steelhead. Boat anglers were catching perch south of the piers in 50 to 55 feet of water.
Lakeview Marine & Tackle, (616) 842-2770.
Lake trout fishing has been good in Lake Huron off the breakwall in Caseville. The harbor still has ice, but some anglers are fishing through the ice off docks and catching good numbers of perch. The area around Mud Creek is open and anglers are catching good numbers of perch there, too. A few bluegills and crappies are starting to show up in the local canals.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
Walleye fishing has been outstanding in the St. Clair River. There was still some ice coming down the river and anglers must be cautious. Anglers who are vertical jigging with minnows at the mouth of the Black River have enjoyed the best success. Anglers are reminded that the Black River is closed for walleyes so be sure to stay in the St. Clair River.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
East Jordan Area
There was 18 inches of ice on Lake Charlevoix, but there was warm weather in the forecast. Be sure to call ahead for ice conditions and aware of creek mouths. Anglers report a good perch bite in the South Arm of Charlevoix in 12 to 30 feet of water. Bluegills and crappies are hitting on the Bellaire Chain of Lakes and perch have been caught in Lake Michigan in the bay at Harbor Springs. .
Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.
Traverse City Area
Ice was still running up to a foot thick on some of the lakes in the area. Perch have been caught on Long Lake. Minnows and wigglers have produced the best results. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Boardman and Betsie rivers. Wax worms, spawn, bead and flies have attracted attention. Good numbers of perch have been caught in East and West Grand Traverse Bays, but anglers are having to sort through them to find the keepers.
WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.
When they can get out, boat anglers are finding some coho and brown trout when trolling in shallow waters along the beach on Lake Michigan. Pier anglers were picking up a couple of steelhead and brown trout, as well. Anglers are catching a few steelhead in the Big Manistee River. Those fishing the lower river reported decent catches.
Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.
Houghton Lake Area
No one was out fishing on Houghton Lake. There is open water in many areas now with more opening up. Any remaining ice will most likely not be safe. Local anglers are preparing their gear for the upcoming open-water season.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Higgins Lake Area
Higgins Lake still had ice, but anglers are warned to use extreme caution and call ahead for updates on conditions. Between Point Detroit and Flag Point, which is the area that becomes very narrow and divides the north and south basins, there are currents that chew the ice up quickly. Anglers should avoid the area. Avoid the ice out from Big Creek because of the current. Lake trout anglers were still out. Smelt were caught on the north end or in front of Cottage Grove during the day. Some decent perch were caught in 20 to 30 feet of water on the south end of the Sunken Island.
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.
Black Lake had no reports from anglers. There is still ice, but the thickness is unknown. Most access sites are usable but caution needs to be used. Anglers should also be cautious of open water around the lower Black River. Mullett Lake still had some people on the ice but the pressure cracks are opening up. Extreme caution needs to be used. Overall fishing pressure has been light and action slow.
Parrott’s Outpost, (989) 733-2472.
Those fishing in Lake Huron around the Les Cheneaux Islands reported decent perch and good splake fishing. Splake up to 8 pounds have been caught on minnows fished in 18 feet of water. Perch fishing has been fair, but most of the fish were undersized. The area still had ice however always use extreme caution.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Perch fishing remains pretty good in Scotts Bay. The best action has been in 12 to 18 feet of water. There was still at least 30 inches of ice on the bays with temperatures dipping down into the single digits overnight. Light numbers of cisco have been caught in the same locations as the perch.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
Perch and bluegills are keeping anglers busy on Manistique Lakes, where there was still a minimum of 15 inches of ice. Anglers are reminded to use caution anytime you venture out on the ice, especially at this time of year when conditions can change quickly. Perch fishing has been best on Big Manistique and the bluegill bite has been best on South Manistique. There was still about a foot of snow on the ground. Rabbit and coyote hunting pressure has been light.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Ice was still present at the Upper Harbor bubblers. Those fishing the open water did well for coho but were dragging boats across the ice to get to the open water. This is very dangerous and is not recommended. Steelhead fishing on the Carp and Chocolay rivers has been very slow. The water is low and clear.
Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.
Ice was holding up fairly well on Lake Michigan’s Little Bay De Noc, but that could change in a hurry. A few anglers were still taking vehicles out, however it is not recommended especially now that the shoreline ice is breaking up fast. With walleye season closed, anglers are targeting perch or whitefish. The best perch catches were near Kipling between the Second and Third reefs in 24 to 30 feet of water. Anglers jigging wigglers or minnows right on the bottom reported the best action.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.
There was still up to two feet of ice on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay, but fishing there has been slow. Angers are marking a lot of smelt in the bay so the predator fish are gorging themselves. Good numbers of lake trout have been hitting off the Whirly Gig in 200 to 250 feet of water. Anglers report a good burbot bite, too. River fishing has been slow to get started.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Ice was holding up fairly well on Lake Gogebic last week and travel conditions were good. Temperatures change in a hurry at this time of year so always use caution when heading out on the ice and call ahead for updated conditions. Anglers report a fair perch bite on wigglers fished in 23 to 29 feet of water over the mud. Some very nice jumbos have been caught.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
There was still a couple feet of ice on lakes in Iron County and anglers report good perch and bluegill action. Good numbers of whitefish have been caught on Ottawa and Chicagon. There was still over a foot of snow in the woods. Local residents are hoping for spring breakup to arrive soon.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.
The DNR contributed to this report.