Report from the Dock
Inland lakes in southern Michigan area starting to produce a decent panfish bite, but for the most part the water is still a little chilly. Anglers report that the panfish spawning is a little late this year due to the chilly nights and slowly warming water temperatures.
Walleye fishing remains very good on the Detroit River, although most of the big hens have dropped back down into Lake Erie. White bass and white perch have invaded the river, too, and are providing a lot of hot action. Walleye action also has been good on Lake Erie with the best action coming to those fishing in 17 to 30 feet of water.
On Lake St. Clair and in Saginaw Bay the walleye bite has been hit or miss.
On the west side of the state the best action has been on Lake Michigan where anglers are catching a mixed bag of kings, cohos, lakers, and browns. Some fish are still being caught near shore and others are hitting in as much as 100 feet of water
Upper Peninsula lakes are starting to warm up and anglers across the peninsula report fair to good action. A few more warm days and the action should really improve.
Lake St. Clair
Bass, walleyes, and northern pike have all produced good action on Lake St. Clair. Fishing pressure has been relatively light but is picking up.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Many anglers on the Detroit River were bottom bouncing with crawlers but anglers jigging with artificial jigs, minnows, or a combination of both were having fair success catching walleyes, too. Anglers bottom bouncing near the Ambassador Bridge had the best luck in 25 to 30 feet of water. Downriver anglers trolling in 17 to 20 feet of water reported the best bites. Blue ice was still the hot color for anglers using artificial jigs. White bass were in thick downriver and were being caught in as little as 8 feet of water.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.
Walleye fishing was slow on Lake Erie out from Sterling State Park. Walleyes have moved to deep water, over 20 feet. Anglers going out to the Michigan, Ohio, and Canada border intersection and following the Michigan-Ohio line south on the Michigan side were using bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses and reported decent success. White perch and white bass were out in droves.
Domka Outdoors, (734) 244-5240.
St. Joseph Area
Boat anglers targeting salmon had good fishing on Lake Michigan. Spoons have produced the best action. Catches were mostly coho and steelhead with a few kings and lake trout mixed in. The fish were very scattered and spread out. Boats were fishing from 40 feet of water to well beyond 120 feet of water. Pier anglers were catching a lot of channel catfish. Anglers were also catching light numbers of coho salmon. Nightcrawlers were catching the catfish while spawn was catching the coho. Perch fishing was very slow. Anglers fishing the St. Joe River were doing well for walleye. Drifting nightcrawlers seemed to work best. Up at South Haven, boat anglers targeting salmon had fair fishing. The fish were spread out from 30 feet of water to deeper depths. Most boats were trolling spoons. Lake trout were caught in 60 to 70 feet of water. Pier fishing remained slow with an occasional coho caught on spawn. Perch fishing was slow.
Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.
Bluegill fishing is improving on Middle, Leach and Carter lakes. The fish are starting to move into the shallows. Good numbers of crappies have been caught, too. Look for fish along the first drop-off. Wax worms and black gnats are catching a lot of fish. River fishing has slowed, but bowfishing for carp has been good on the Thornapple River when the water is clear enough to shoot. Turkey hunting has been good and there are still good numbers of birds around. Toms have been pretty quiet.
Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.
Saginaw Bay Area
Anglers fishing on the east side of the Saginaw Bay out from Quanicassee reported slow activity. Fair numbers of walleyes were caught in 8 to 10 feet of water and more fish were starting to be caught in 17 to 18 feet of water in the Slot, up towards Sunset, and off Fish Point. Bodybaits and crawler harnesses both caught fish. At the Spark Plug, trollers were catching walleyes in 26 feet of water, at Sailboat Buoy A in 20 feet, and out in front of the state park in 10 feet of water. Crawler harnesses have produced the most action. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been caught in the marinas on the lower part of the Saginaw River. Turkey hunting has been very good.
Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Boat anglers on Lake Michigan were doing well catching salmon 35 to 90 feet down in 120 to 200 feet of water. Green and blue spoons were working well along with white flies. A few salmon were caught on meat rigs. Turkey hunting is winding down.
Fish-on Charters and Bait, (616) 402-4307.
Anglers trolling for brown trout on Lake Michigan reported slow fishing. A few kings were starting to show up south of the port in 60 to 80 feet of water. A few lake trout, cohos, and steelhead also have been caught. Spoons have worked best. Better numbers of salmon were coming from Pentwater and around Little Sable Point. Pier fishing has been slow, but a few panfish were caught. Northern pike fishing has been excellent at the lower end of the Pere Marquette River and in Pere Marquette Lake. Anglers fishing from small boats, canoes, and kayaks, were picking up nice size northern pike while using spinners, spoons, and bodybaits. Those using flies were catching fish on large streamers. Turkey hunting has been decent.
Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.
Harbor Beach Area
Salmon and trout have been caught in Lake Huron in 35 to 45 feet of water and out deeper in 90 to 100 feet of water. Spoons with leadcore, downriggers, and some long lines all have produced good results. Turkey hunting remains pretty good in the Thumb, although toms are talking less and less.
Frank’s Place Bait & Tackle, (989) 864-5634.
Walleye fishing is heating up in the St. Clair River and at the south end of Lake Huron. Jigs, whippers and handliners are all catching fish. A few silver fish are still hanging around but most have moved out to 80 to 140 feet of water. Turkey hunting has been very good.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
Water temperatures moved into the 50s on Lake Michigan and the alewives started moving into the harbor. With the increase in bait, anglers were reporting decent catches of lake trout, brown trout, king salmon and northern pike. Turkey hunters continue to report success as the season winds down. Toms are becoming tight lipped.
Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.
Bluegills and crappies have been active in the shallows on lakes Mitchell and Cadillac. Walleye and pike fishing has been pretty good on both lakes, too. Bass fishing has been decent, too. Turkey hunting has been decent, but the gobblers haven’t been very cooperative.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Houghton Lake Area
The crappie bite remains good in the shallows and canals on Houghton Lake. Fair numbers of walleyes were being caught in the evenings in the shallows along the shoreline. Pike fishing has been good, too. Turkey hunting has been good and toms are still showing interest in hens.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Rogers City Area
Anglers were catching lake trout in Lake Huron with a few limits. The best water depths were 30 to 60 feet of water. Anglers were using spoons off planer boards or downriggers with dodgers and cowbells with Spin-N-Glos. The fish are scattered, and anglers had to do some searching. The lake trout were found around structured areas like 40 Mile Point and Adams Point. Anglers are reminded of the reduced daily limit of two fish combined for lake trout and splake in MH-1. Turkey season is winding down, but toms are still talking a little bit.
Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303
Lake trout fishing improved in Lake Huron. The best fishing was around Thunder Bay Island in 30 to 70 feet of water where a couple limits of lakers were taken. Anglers were running a variety of lines some high, some low, and some in between. Spoons were on the higher lines while flashers and Spin-N-Glos were on the deeper lines. There were a few stray Atlantic salmon and steelhead caught as well. Anglers were fishing lines high off planer boards. Good spoon colors were green, orange, blue and silver, and brighter colors. A couple fresh steelhead were caught at the dam on the Thunder Bay River by anglers drifting beads under bobbers and bottom bouncing. The suckers were decreasing but a few remained. Anglers were catching smallmouth bass and bullheads when targeting steelhead and walleye. The walleye fishing was very slow. Anglers casting bodybaits late in the evening caught very light numbers of fish. Turkey hunting has been pretty good.
Clem’s Live Bait & Tackle, (989) 354-2070.
Walleye fishing has been very good on Munuscong Bay. Good numbers of pike, muskies, perch, and white bass also have been caught. Flicker Shad, crawler harnesses, and Salmo Hornets have all produced for walleyes. Down on Lake Huron at Cedarville and Hessel splake are keeping anglers busy with limit catches being reported. Crankbaits have attracted the most attention. Perch are hitting live baits fished off the docks at Cedarville and Hessel. Good numbers of northern pike also have been caught. Turkey hunting remains good.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Grand Marais Area
Pier anglers were consistently doing well with limit catches reported. Anglers were fishing with single eggs. Anglers reported good catches in the morning and there was a night bite with a few limits reported. Shore anglers reported slow fishing when the wind was out of the south. Boat anglers reported limits of cohos, but it was often hit or miss. Anglers were also targeting lake trout with some nice fish up to 12 pounds being caught.
Rainbow Lodge, (906) 658-3357.
Water is finally starting to warm up on Manistique Lakes. Crappies and bluegills have been keeping anglers busy. The walleyes and pike bites are just starting to heat up. The spring turkey season has been decent with lots of young birds being taken.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Fishing pressure has slowed on the Carp and Chocolay rivers. The steelhead seemed to have either returned to the lake or made their way further upstream. Boat anglers were successful catching coho, kings, brown trout, and lake trout in Lake Superior. Those trolling with orange spoons, stickbaits, or flickers have enjoyed the best success. Try fishing in the morning hours before 11 a.m. Chinook, coho, and brown trout were caught near the breakwall and offshore in between the Carp and Chocolay rivers in shallower water. Lake trout were caught near the upper harbor, mainly in deeper water. Toms are still gobbling and strutting, but they are starting to cool off.
Jonny’s Outdoors, (906) 235-2894.
Anglers targeting yellow perch in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc reported a noticeable slowdown in the bite, but most were able to catch fair numbers of fish. The most productive areas were near the Days River, off Kipling, and just north of the Gladstone Marina. Smallmouth bass fishing improved with the warmer weather. Anglers were targeting the river mouths and catching some dandy fish. Shore anglers on the Ford River also reported success. Turkey hunting is winding down and gobblers have been quiet.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Some anglers were catching pike in near shore waters on Keweenaw and Huron bays while casting spinners and spoons. A little farther out in the bay anglers report catching coho and king salmon. along with light numbers of rainbow and brown trout. While trolling for salmon, try staying in waters less than 50 fee deep and use bodybaits or spoons.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Walleye fishing has been fantastic on Lake Gogebic. The best reports have come from anglers fishing in 16 to 22 feet of water. Anglers are using mainly jig-and-minnow combos with some great reports from anglers using leeches as well. Most reports large numbers of undersized walleyes being caught, but anglers are very happy catching many keepers from 18 to 22 inches long. Smallmouth bass catch-and-release season has been very good with many reports of massive fish being caught.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
The DNR contributed to this report.