Lake St. Clair
Fishing has been good on Lake St. Clair. The water is clearing up but was still cool last week for this time of year. Fish are just starting to push up into the shallows. The smallmouth action should pick up soon. There are lots of walleye in the lake and they are feeding near shore. Target the stained water near the river mouths. Morels are popping.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Fishing pressure has been light on lakes in northern Oakland County with cold, wet weather keeping some anglers grounded. Anglers report crappies starting to move up the drop-offs on Lakeville Lake and Stringy Lakes. With warm weather in the forecast that bite should improve as the fish move shallow. Trout anglers report a good bite for brown trout on Paint Creek. Crawlers, minnows and spinners have all been productive in the upper stretch of the creek. Turkey hunting remains good, but toms are henned up early. Mushroom hunters are finding good numbers of morels.
Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.
The good walleye fishing continues on the Detroit River. Anglers did well in the middle of the lower Trenton Channel and in the Gibraltar area. Most are using a jig-and-minnow combos but some were switching to a crawler harness. A few northern pike and some bullhead have been caught and a few more white bass are starting to move into the river.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.
Luna Pier Area
Several ramps including Bolles Harbor and Sterling were submerged last week as water levels on Lake Erie were high. The few anglers able to get out caught light numbers of walleyes in 17 to 18 feet of water in Brest Bay. Crawler harnesses and Bandits both produced. A couple white bass and freshwater drum were also caught.
Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
Boat anglers targeting salmon reported good catch rates in Lake Michigan in 100 feet of water and deeper. Magnum spoons, Spin-Doctors and flies, as well as meat rigs have all produced. Pier fishing was slow with only a couple trout and salmon taken on spoons. Turkey hunting remains pretty good and morels are popping.
Webber & Sons Marine and Tackle, (269) 673-6294.
Crappie fishing is picking up in the shallows on Round, Paw Paw, Little Paw Paw and Magician lakes. Bluegills are starting to get active, too, and bass anglers report a fair bite. Local rivers and streams are running high and muddy. Toms are gobbling, but many are henned up right off the roost. The afternoon hunts have been productive. Fair numbers of morels have been found.
Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522
Bluegills and crappies have moved into the shallows on Gilead, Madison Thompson and Cary lakes. A few walleyes have been caught, but overall action has just been fair. Turkey hunting has been good. Morel mushrooms are popping.
Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.
Fishing has improved on Gun Lake. Bluegills and crappies are moving into the shallows. Try wax worms and leaf worms for the ‘gills and minnows for the crappies. Walleyes are biting in 17 to 20 feet of water. Crawlers, Hot-’N-Tots and minnows have all produced good results. Catch-and-release bass fishing has also been good. Turkey hunting remains good. Toms are still gobbling. Mushroom hunters are finding morels.
Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.
Saginaw Bay Area
Strong winds from the north and northeast made it difficult for boat anglers to get out on Saginaw Bay last week. A few walleyes have been caught in 8 to 20 feet of water off Linwood, and near the Callahan Reef in 15 feet of water. Crankbaits and crawler harnesses are both catching fish. Turkey hunting remains very good, especially early in the mornings. Morels are popping.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Catfish and freshwater drum were caught in the Saginaw River last week near Smith Park in Essexville. On the Tittabawassee River, a few limit catches of walleye were taken downstream of Center Road around the Greenpoint Nature Center, and upstream near Coty’s Landing. Most anglers were trolling a chartreuse, orange, blue or silver Flicker Shad. White bass have been caught in the lower river when trolling artificial baits. Above Center Road in Freeland and closer to Midland, the fishing pressure has been light as anglers did not have much success. The entire river is now fishable and catch rates should improve as it warms up.
Riverview Bait Shop, (517) 755-0989.
Trout fishing has been decent on the Pere Marquette River. Live bait is working best, but spinners and flies also are catching fish. Hendricksons are hatching. Water temperature was 50 degrees last week and the water was running high. Panfish action is starting to increase on Idlewild and Big Star lakes but there have been no reports of fish on the beds yet. Mushrooms have been slow to start popping, but picking should improve with a little warm weather. Spring turkey hunting has been decent.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.
Water levels on the Grand River were still a bit high last week, but fishable. The smallmouth action picked up with the warmer weather. Pike are also coming alive and both were caught near the fish ladder in north Lansing. Live bait seemed to work best. The crappie bite was also good when anglers could find them. Toms are gobbling in the mornings and turkey hunting has been good. Fair numbers of morels have been found.
Grand River Bait & Tackle, (517) 482-4461.
Surface water temperatures on Lake Michigan last week were near 40 degrees. Lake trout fishing was on fire, with fish hitting in 30 to 60 feet of water. Many were coming in with limit catches in a matter of hours. The best fishing was south of the port. A small number of chinook salmon have also been caught. Pier fishing was slow. Turkey hunting has been decent and light numbers of morels have been found.
Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.
Walleye fishing has been good in Lake Huron off the breakwall at Caseville. The best bite has been at night. Good catch-and-release bass action has been reported by anglers fishing the breakwall and decent numbers of northern pike also have been caught. Over at Port Austin, anglers are catching good numbers of walleyes at night, and a good ‘eye bite also has been reported by anglers fishing with crawlers and plastics in 10 to 14 feet of water off North Island. Good numbers of salmon have been caught at Port Austin for the first time in years. Toms are still strutting and gobbling and hunting remains good. Morels are popping.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
Harbor Beach Area
Anglers were catching light numbers of trout, salmon and walleye in 20 to 60 feet of water on Lake Huron. A few smallmouth bass have been caught and released by pier anglers. Mushroom hunters report good success and turkey hunting has been good.
Frank’s Place Bait & Tackle, (989) 864-5634.
Walleye fishing is at its peak. Limit catches are coming quickly from all areas of the St. Clair River. Water levels are high, but currently not affecting angling activity. Up at Lexington, catch rates were low with a few lake trout and salmon being caught. The fish were scattered in 18 to 50 feet of water. Most anglers were using bodybaits, but some were using downriggers with spoons. Pier fishing has been slow. Turkey hunting remains good. Toms are still gobbling and strutting. Morels are popping.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
Traverse City Area
Perch are hitting in Lake Michigan at Northport. The best bite has been in 60 to 100 feet of water and a lot of 12- to 14-inchers have been caught. Bass have started to move into the shallows on Lake Skegemog and are hitting jerkbaits in 5 to 8 feet of water. Crappies and bluegills have not started to turn on yet. Brown trout are hitting flies, crawlers and spinners. Hendricksons are starting to hatch. Turkey hunting remains good. Toms are still strutting. Hens are nesting in the afternoons. A few morels have been found.
WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.
Good numbers of lake trout have been hitting spoons and bodybaits in the harbor and along the shoreline in Lake Michigan. Brown trout and chinook salmon were also reported now that water temperatures were in the low 40s and climbing. Toms are strutting and a few morels are popping.
Tackle Box, (231) 352-7673.
Surface water temperatures on Lake Michigan were holding near 40 degrees last week. Lake trout fishing has been very good in 30 to 60 feet of water. A small number of chinook salmon have been caught. Pier fishing was slow, however, night anglers caught a decent number of walleyes at night. Steelhead are still being caught in the Manistee River, mainly on the gravel. Most are bottom bouncing with spawn or using beads and nymphs. Brown trout also have been caught. Up on Portage Lake, water levels were a little high last week, but anglers caught a respectable number of perch near the channel. The bigger fish were hitting minnows. Those targeting walleyes reported some activity, but not many were caught. Morels are popping.
Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.
The bite is improving on lakes Mitchell and Cadillac. Crappies are hitting minnows and wax worms on both lakes and are starting to move into the shallows. Pike fishing has been fair, but walleye fishing has improved. Turkey hunting remains good. Black and white morels are being found.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Houghton Lake Area
Catch rates are improving slowly on Houghton Lake. Walleyes have been caught but no limit catches were reported. Boat anglers trolling or drifting near the drop-offs have caught fish but the shore anglers fishing at night seem to catch more. Crankbaits and leeches seem to work best. Boat anglers targeting bluegills and crappies seem to do better because they can chase the schools. Morels are popping.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Rogers City Area
Anglers were finally able to get out on Lake Huron for a couple days but found cold water temperatures between 36 and 41 degrees. A few lake trout were caught but action should improve when the surface water temperatures reaches 45 degrees. For Atlantic salmon, try casting orange, orange and gold, green and white, or silver spoons and bodybaits off the breakwall. Those trolling should head south to Swan Bay, Adams Point or Calcite Harbor with bodybaits that look like smelt. Stay in the top 15 feet in up to 60 feet of water. Lake trout were caught on spoons and a dodger or cowbell with a Spin-N-Glo. Toms are still strutting and morels are popping.
Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303
Walleyes were caught by those trolling in the harbor and in front of the river mouth last week on bodybaits fished in 10 to 20 feet of water. Lake trout were taken in the bay as well as near Thunder Bay Island when trolling spoons, bodybaits or Spin-N-Glos in 20 to 50 feet. Pier anglers casting bodybaits in the evening caught a couple walleyes and pike. Those casting jigs and bodybaits in the harbor caught smallmouth bass. In the Thunder Bay River, Most of the suckers have dropped off the gravel but the steelhead fishing was still slow. A couple steelhead and smallmouth bass were caught up near the dam by anglers casting crankbaits or drifting flies and beads. Those trolling or casting bodybaits as well as those jigging minnows or soft plastics caught walleye near the mouth. Water levels were high. Toms are strutting and morels are popping.
Clem’s Live Bait & Tackle, (989) 354-2070.
Those trolling spoons, bodybaits and Spin-N-Glos in Lake Huron have caught lake trout in 20 to 45 feet of water. The odd chinook or Atlantic salmon also have been caught. Pier anglers caught walleye and a few lake trout in the morning or evening when casting bodybaits. Turkey hunting remains good.
Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.
Walleye fishing was hot on the opener on Munuscong Bay. Anglers report catching limit catches on smaller crankbaits and crawler harnesses fished throughout the bay. Perch fishing has been quiet on Lake Huron at Cedarville, but reports of a decent splake bite have come from anglers fishing at Hessel. Turkey hunting has been pretty good.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Northern pike are hitting spoons and spinners fished in Scotts and Maxton bays. There are still a few perch hanging around, too. Walleye anglers caught a few limits on the opener when drifting nightcrawlers in the shallows in Scotts Bay. Good numbers of fish have come from 4 feet of water. Bass fishing has also been good for catch-and-release anglers. Smallies up to 21 inches have been caught. A few anglers are still spearing suckers in Potagannissing Bay.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
The fishing opener started off very good with lots of reports of perch, walleyes and pike being caught on Big Manistique and South Manistique lakes.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Boat anglers are still doing well in Lake Superior between the Lower Harbor and the mouth of the Chocolay River. Most averaged three to five fish with a mixed bag of chinook, coho, brown trout and splake being caught in 15 to 40 feet of water. The best bite was early morning. Water levels in the upstream sections of the Chocolay River were quite high last week. Most anglers are launching boats from the small marina near Harvey and heading out to the mouth of the river and trolling.
Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.
Perch anglers reported fair catches of walleyes in Little Bay de Noc. A good bite was reported in the Narrows in 30 to 38 feet of water and around the Third Reef in 32 feet of water on crawlers or wigglers. Good smallmouth bass catches were reported off the mouth of the Ford River on plastics fished around the rocks and along the shoreline. The mouth of the Whitefish River should have some of the better trolling options for crawlers in about 18 feet of water. Bass anglers reported good numbers of walleyes around the mouth of the Ford River so this area should remain good. Very few walleye were caught over the winter because of the unfishable ice conditions so the early-season bite should be good.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.
Iron Mountain Area
Walleyes were biting on Lake Antoine and in the Menominee River on the opener last week. The best action has been in 8 to 12 feet of water with jigs and minnows as well as floating Rapalas. Crappie fishing is just starting to heat up and should improve with a little warm weather. As of last week crappies were starting to stage, but were not in the shallows just yet. Trout fishing has been fair, but the water has been so high and fast the bite, along with bug hatches, have been slow to heat up. Pike and muskie fishing has been very good on most lakes in the area as well as the Menominee River.
Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.
Smelt are running sporadically in Keweenaw Bay and those there at the right time are getting some fish. Trolling was hit-or-miss because of the large number of smelt in shallow waters. Those using medium stickbaits did catch a few coho, brown trout and splake. Those targeting lake trout had limited success. The key was to hit the feeding window and stay on top of them when you find them. Trolling near the South Entry in 6 to 40 feet of water has produced a few coho and trout on stickbaits. A couple chinook also were caught. Huron Bay is producing coho and trout when trolling stickbaits in shallow water. Steelhead and suckers are in most of the rivers.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Fishing has been fair on Lake Gogebic. Cold, wet weather has taken a toll. Those jigging minnows or leeches were catching fish in 16 to 20 feet of water, but the fish are scattered. The evening bite has been good, especially for shore anglers. Northern pike are hitting all over the lake.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
Walleye fishing has been decent on Chicagon and Fortune lakes and the Michigamme Reservoir. Live bait has been producing the best results. Panfish are just now starting to move into the shallows. Turkey hunting has been very good. Toms are still strutting and gobbling. A few morels have been found.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.
– DNR contributed to this report.