Lake Michigan (boat)
The salmon fishing remains good, with mainly coho and a few kings, steelhead, and lake trout mixed in. The best bite has varied day by day, but good catches have been made out of every port. Most people have slid out a bit deeper and are targeting fish from 15 to 40 feet down in 40-100 feet of water. Salmon have been taken on flasher/fly combos, spoons on dipsy divers, lead/copper, and stackers/sliders on downriggers. Skamania are being caught staging near Burns Harbor and Michigan City, using bright colored body baits like orange J-11s, red/squiggle Thin Fish, and various spoons.
Lake Michigan (shore)
Skamania steelhead continue to be caught at Burns Harbor and Michigan City. Shrimp on bobbers and live alewife were the best baits, with the “surf and turf” nightcrawler/shrimp combo doing well. A few have been caught casting orange spoons and cranks. Carp and drum fishing is starting to pick up a bit. Catfish in Burns Ditch on cutbait, worms, and stinkbait as well. Smallmouth bass are in marinas and depending on the area some are spawning
Lake Michigan Tributaries (Trail Creek, Little Calumet River, Salt Creek)
A few skamania have been caught in the creeks. There are not large numbers around, but fishing pressure is moderate so anglers that move around to find active fish have a good chance of hooking up. Spinners and cranks can be good options for covering water, otherwise shrimp, crawlers, and spawn under a float are time tested techniques.
St. Joseph River (below Twin Branch Dam)
A few skamania are around but not in large numbers. Smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, rock bass, and sunfish are main bites right now. Use jigs/minnows, jerkbaits, and crankbaits worked slowly in slack water areas and current lines. Worms, stinkbait, and cutbait are all good choices for catfish, which will be aggressively biting prior to their spawn.
All inland lakes
Bass are spawning or wrapping up spawn depending on water temps. Many lakes are seeing bluegill starting to spawn or in mid-spawn. It’s time to focus on late-spring and early summer patterns – 10 feet or less for bass/bluegill is almost always a good bet.