Report from the Dock
Fishing and hunting remain viable options despite restrictions imposed on all Michigan citizens due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those recreating outdoors MUST remember to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet.
The DNR has closed the entire Tippy Dam Recreation Area in Manistee County because too many individuals were ignoring the social-distancing mandate.
Ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly on lakes across the Upper Peninsula and fishing pressure has been very light. Reports are starting to trickle in of smelt runs on the Falls, Carp, Pine, and other rivers. Munuscong Bay has been the perch hot spot.
Steelhead fishing remains pretty good on many rivers in the northern Lower Peninsula including the Boardman, Pere Marquette, Grand, St. Joseph and others. Ice is fading fast on inland lakes
Walleye anglers continue to do very well when fishing on Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Saginaw Bay.
Lake St. Clair
Fishing pressure has been light on Lake St. Clair. A few anglers are catching decent numbers of yellow perch at Selfridge and off Angler’s Pointe Marina. The morning and late afternoon bites have been the best. Perch also have been caught at Metro Beach and Harsen’s Island, but anglers have to move around to stay on them. Light numbers of bluegills, sunfish, and crappies also have been caught at Harsen’s.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Walleye fishing is heating up in the Detroit River. Good reports have been coming in from anglers fishing from the bottom end of the river up through Wyandotte. The jig bite is improving. Good numbers of pike are hitting, too, but perch fishing has been spotty.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.
The walleye bite remains pretty good on Lake Erie. Anglers report catching good numbers of fish when trolling in Brest Bay. A few walleyes have been jigged up at Turtle Island. The perch bite is heating up, too.
Domka Outdoors, (734) 244-5240.
St. Joseph Area
Coho, steelhead, and a few kings have been caught along the beach in Lake Michigan in 20 to 30 feet of water. Pier anglers are catching good numbers of fish, too. Steelhead fishing has been good in the St. Joe River.
Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.
Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Kalamazoo, Grand, and Rogue rivers. Inland lakes have been slow to heat up and fishing has been slow, too. Gobblers are strutting and starting to break out of their bachelor groups.
Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.
Saginaw Bay Area
Fishing has been very good in Saginaw Bay from Linwood to Bay City. Fish are dumping out of the rivers so the river mouth bite has been good. Those trolling in 12 to 22 feet of water are all catching good numbers of walleyes up to 10 pounds. Toms are strutting and gobbling.
Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Fresh fish have moved into the Pere Marquette River and steelhead fishing has been very good. Anglers report catching fish on wax worms, beads, spawn and flies. Inland lake fishing has been very quiet.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.
Fishing pressure has been light, but good numbers of bluegills have been caught on the Martiny Chain of Lakes and Chippewa Lake. Turkeys are strutting and gobbling and breaking out of their bachelor groups.
Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
No report. Closed due to COVID-19.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
East Jordan Area
Closed except on Fridays and Saturdays. No report.
Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.
Traverse City Area
Perch fishing has been good in Lake Michigan, and fishing pressure has been high. Those fishing in 70 to 100 feet of water report good success, but anglers MUST practice social distancing at the ramps. Steelhead fishing has been good on the Betsie and Boardman rivers. Wax worms, spawn, beads and spinners have all produced fish. Toms are strutting.
WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.
Closed due to COVID-19.
Pappy’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 848-4142.
Houghton Lake Area
Fishing has been fair in the canals around Houghton Lake, but crappies aren’t schooling yet. There was a little ice left along the north shore of the lake. Turkey numbers look strong and toms are strutting and gobbling.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Hubbard Lake Area
Half of Hubbard Lake is open and boat anglers are waiting for the lake to completely open up. Fishing has come to a screeching halt. Anglers are looking to the walleye and pike opener on April 25. Turkeys are starting to move and toms are strutting.
South Shore Party Store, (989) 736-6418.
Perch fishing has been very good on Munuscong Bay, where there was still a foot of ice. Shore ice is breaking up and access is dwindling. There was a ton of perch in the bay and anglers are looking forward to a good spring and summer fishery. There was still two feet of snow in the woods. Smelt are starting to run in the Carp and Pine rivers.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
Bait shops are closed. Shore ice is melting and fishing pressure has been very light. A couple anglers have been getting out and reported catching light numbers of perch.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Iron Mountain Area
Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.
Fishing has pretty much stalled on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay, where ice has been blowing in and out. River fishing has been fair. A few steelhead have been caught in the Falls River and light numbers of smelt have been caught. There was up to two feet of snow in the woods.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
There was still ice on Lake Gogebic, but it was honeycombed and not recommended for travel. Anglers are waiting for the May 15 walleye opener. Between the spring thaw and the COVID-19 pandemic fishing pressure has been extremely light.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
Ice is holding up , but shorelines are starting to break up. A few anglers are heading out on some of the local lakes including Chicagon and Fortune and picking up fair numbers of panfish. There was still a foot of snow in the woods.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.