Weekly Fishing Report

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Thursday, May 21, 2015
Weekly Fishing Report

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This coming Saturday, May 23rd is the opening day of large and smallmouth bass season on the Great Lakes and all inland waters except Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River which do not open until the 3rd Saturday in June. Those participating in catch and release have caught a good number of fish so the opener should be good.


Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Fishing was slow with the chilly weather but walleye were still being caught around Stony Point and the River Raisin buoys when trolling crawler harnesses in 18 to 22 feet. The perch are few and far between but the white bass were everywhere and hard to keep off the lines. Water temperatures were up near 58 degrees.

Huron River: Is producing white bass and catfish.

Lenawee County: Devils Lake is producing bluegill in 2 to 6 feet along the shoreline. Anglers are using crickets and leaf worms. Crappie are starting to move to deeper water but anglers were still catching a decent number of fish. Bass could be found along the drop offs and the weed beds. Lake Hudson had a few musky anglers but success was limited. Bass and perch were active but few targeted them.

Detroit River: Walleye are still being caught south and east of Grosse Ile but they were hard to find because large numbers of white bass have taken over the river including the Trenton Channel. Anglers are jigging minnows and crawlers or hand-lining with pencil plugs in the evening. Perch fishing was slow and only small fish were caught in the canals.

Lake St. Clair: The Selfridge Boating Access Site is closed for construction and is expected to be completed by mid-June. Boaters are being redirected to the Harley Ensign Memorial Access Site which is located at the far eastern end of South River Road in Harrison Township. Bass fishing has been very good as water temperatures were at 58 degrees. The DNR trap net survey in Anchor Bay showed good numbers of legal size pike and large channel cats. Shore anglers at the mouth of the Clinton River were catching rock bass and freshwater drum.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing was still very good near Marine City and Algonac. Trolling, jigging or whipping were the most productive.

Lexington: Had excellent lake trout fishing for those using spin-glows and spoons in 40 to 80 feet. Salmon and steelhead were hitting on spoons and body baits about 20 feet down in waters up to 60 feet deep.

Port Sanilac: Also had good lake trout fishing.

Harbor Beach: Some limits of lake trout have been taken to the north or straight out of the harbor. Most are using dodgers with spin-glows or clean spoons 70 to 120 feet down. Hot colors were white, white with pink dots or bright yellow with green and orange spin-glows. A few salmon and steelhead were caught 30 to 55 feet down in 75 to 100 feet with blue, green, yellow or white spoons. Try minnows or crawlers in the harbor for perch. A few walleye were caught off the breakwall at night.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye fishing in the Slot from Sunset Bay up to Thomas Road was very good with many limit and near-limit catches reported. Walleye fishing was very good in Wildfowl Bay and around Sand Point. Most are using crawler harnesses with spinners in purple, pink, brass and chartreuse. There's a fair amount of catch and release bass fishing in Wildfowl Bay, around the islands and off Port Austin and Grindstone City however the bass opener will depend on the weather and how cold the water is especially around the Thumb. Everything is running about a week later than normal this year. Some walleye were caught off the breakwall at Port Austin at night. Chinook, steelhead and lake trout were caught in 40 to 60 feet in the area of Alaska Bay and Burnt Cabin Point located between Port Austin and Grindstone City.

Quanicassee River: Anglers are still getting a few walleye and some catfish out of the lower river.

Mott Lake: In Genesee County is producing a few crappie for those using wax worms. Those trolling caught the occasional walleye.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Streams are producing good numbers of brown trout. Anglers are casting spinners or small plugs. Bluegills are starting to bed on the smaller lakes but are still staging on the bigger ones. Try flies on the surface or leaf worms under a bobber. Inland bass fishing reports have been good for Coldwater Lake in Branch County, Klinger Lake in Barry County, Gun Lake in Barry County, Gull Lake and Austin Lake in Kalamazoo County, Lake Ovid in Clinton County and Lake Macatawa.

St. Joseph: Boat anglers are catching a few trout and salmon in 60 to 100 feet when trolling spoons or body baits. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum and catfish when using minnows or crawlers on the bottom.

St. Joseph River: Smallmouth bass and catfish action is picking up.

South Haven: Boat anglers are finding a few trout and salmon when trolling in waters up to 90 feet deep. Those trolling along the shoreline between South Haven and Holland were still picking up some brown trout.

Kalamazoo River: Look for decent smallmouth bass action for the opener this weekend. Catfish are hitting on crawlers and cut bait.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers are fishing from the pier heads out to 130 feet however the better catches did come 20 to 30 feet down in 50 to 70 feet with small spoons. Gold, orange and mixed veggies were good colors on the bright days but darker colors worked better with overcast skies. Pier anglers were struggling to get alewife for bait. No word on perch.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Those targeting steelhead by drifting spawn and flies are catching mostly smallmouth bass and suckers. Smallmouth were hitting on grubs and swim baits. Catfish were caught off the wall when using live bait.

Grand River at Lansing:A couple walleye were caught at Moore's Park. A fair to good number of catfish have been caught on live bait. Bass were caught on crawlers and spinners.

Muskegon: The wire fence has been put up on the south pier which will shut down the pier for fishing. Dredging has started in the basin. Boat anglers have caught salmon and trout in waters 50 to 70 feet deep when trolling small spoons.

Muskegon River: Has a decent number of steelhead below Croton Dam. Boat and shore anglers caught fish when drifting spawn under a bobber.

Whitehall: Had a few anglers fishing the pier and the channel for panfish but it is still early. Boat anglers were few but those heading out did catch chinook in 65 feet.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Some good bass fishing lakes to try this weekend would be Fletcher Floodwaters and Grass Lake in Montmorency County for largemouth bass. For smallmouth bass try Grand Lake, Long Lake or Hubbard Lake.

Ocqueoc River: Had a good push of steelhead. Many are drop backs or post spawn. Try drifting with spawn bags or artificial egg patterns under a bobber in the holes or on gravel beds.

Rogers City: Boat anglers are picking up lake trout. Look for surface temperatures at 44 degrees for the best results right now. Fishing is not on fire but it is picking up especially south towards the Calcite breakwall, Swan Bay and Adams Point. Try 10 feet within the bottom in waters out to 60 feet deep. Try cowbells or dodgers with spin-glows. Those shallow water fishing are high-lining. Add a little weight to get close to the bottom. Pier anglers casting bombers and body baits at night have caught a couple walleye. Atlantic salmon were caught on small spoons and body baits in the early morning or evening.

East & West Twin Lakes: In Montmorency County were starting to pick up. West Twin is producing a lot of walleye ranging 15 to 18 inches but East Twin had the bigger walleye ranging 15 to 21 inches. Both lakes have been hit-or-miss. Natural bait was working better than artificial bait. West Twin is producing smallmouth bass.

Alpena: Most anglers are trolling close to the harbor, behind the cement plant or towards Thunder Bay Island and North Point for trout and salmon. Many are using spoons and body baits in green, blue, orange or silver. A few walleye were caught off the breakwall at night.

Thunder Bay River: Had a great push of fresh steelhead move into the river though it does seem to be a late run this year. Anglers are drifting spawn bags on the bottom or under a bobber at the 9th Street Dam. Artificial egg or fly patterns also caught fish. A good number of smallmouth bass have been caught so the opener should be good. Try body baits, spinners or tube baits. Few walleye were caught.

Harrisville: Dredging is ongoing and should continue through the end of the month. Fishing is really picking up with walleye in 10 to 15 feet and hitting on body baits, stick baits, crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers. Early morning and evening are best. Steelhead are still in the area and seem to be coming in and out of the harbor. Try small spoons or body baits. Lake trout are in 40 to 60 feet.

Oscoda: Pier fishing has been steady for walleye and steelhead moving in and out of the river. A good number of walleye are moving in. Anglers have done well when drifting crawlers and stick baits in the early morning and throughout the night.

Au Sable River: Steelhead are still coming up into the river and were on the beds. This has been a late run, but the fish are still coming in good numbers. Flies, wax worms, small spoons and spinners are working well.

Houghton Lake: Anglers are catching walleye along the weed line in 7 to 8 feet. Most are just dropping a leech over the side of the boat. The crappies are spawning and the bluegills are getting the beds ready. A fair number of bass have been caught so the opener this weekend should be good.

Tawas: Boat anglers were trolling the point and beyond but the walleye action was slow. Pier anglers caught the occasional Atlantic salmon, pike and catfish.

Tawas River: Was producing pike.

Au Gres: Stained water from the Au Gres River was limiting success so boat anglers were going south and fishing off the Pine River. They reported some limit catches of walleye early or late in the day in 6 to 10 feet or at the Catfish Hole in 18 feet. A few boats were heading way out to the Steeples which is north of Big Charity Island.

Au Gres River: Those surfcasting body baits near the Singing Bridge caught walleye in the evening. One Atlantic salmon was also caught.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Michigan anglers continue to catch a mixed bag of chinook, lake trout and brown trout when trolling both shallow and deep. Fish are being caught in the harbors and off the piers. The bass are starting to hit the beds, and crappie are in the midst of spawning but no sign of bluegill beds yet.

Petoskey: A couple small brown trout were caught off the breakwall. Try spawn in the early morning. Boat anglers were trolling close to the breakwall in front of the marina. Smallmouth bass were starting to move into the mouth of the river.

Bear River: Steelhead were jumping below the dam but not many were caught. Those fishing spawn downriver between the two bridges had much better luck. Most of the fish caught were ripe. Suckers were also caught.

Charlevoix: Lake trout were still shallow around the pier and were caught by those casting. Boat anglers caught brown trout and lake trout in shallow waters south of town. More anglers are going out after dark targeting walleye in the channel and catch rates were starting to pick up. Try crank baits or soft plastics near the bottom.

Lake Charlevoix: Had reports of good smallmouth bass fishing in the South Arm.

Elk River: Steelhead were caught on spawn bags below the power dam. Smallmouth bass are showing up so it should be busy for the opener.

Traverse City: Cisco and lake trout were caught in a variety of depths in the East Bay. Smallmouth bass anglers were targeting the mouth of the creeks. In the West Bay, lake trout fishing was good for those trolling in 10 to 40 feet.

Boardman River: Anglers in the upper stretch are catching sub-legal brook trout on spinners. A brown trout was caught on spawn below the Sabin Dam. Steelhead are on the gravel behind the post office and weir in Traverse City. A couple smallmouth bass were caught on spawn. The biting flies have started to hatch along the river.

Frankfort: Brown trout are still being caught by those trolling between the piers. Jointed body baits work best. A couple chinook were caught by those trolling in 25 to 40 feet along the shoreline in the early morning. Spoons were the ticket.

Portage Lake: Anglers are picking up large and smallmouth bass throughout the lake. Warmer temperatures had some fish moving onto the beds.

Lakes Cadillac & Mitchell: Cooler weather slowed the bite but anglers are still finding the occasional bluegill, crappie, bullhead or pike.

Manistee: Boats anglers reported spotty trout and salmon action. A few brown trout were caught by those trolling along the shoreline. Some are starting to head out further for salmon but catch rates were minimal. Pier fishing was slow.

Manistee River: Still has steelhead and brown trout for the taking. Check the deeper holes during the cold spells. Walleye and smallmouth bass have been caught.

Ludington: Anglers trolling along the shoreline reported slow catch rates for lake trout and brown trout. Pier fishing was slow.

Pentwater: Those fishing the channel caught pike when still-fishing with frozen smelt. Boat anglers caught a good number of chinook in waters up to 65 feet deep.

Pentwater Lake: Anglers fishing from long bridge caught good numbers of crappie on wax worms.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers trolling for salmon are picking up a mix of chinook, coho, splake and lake trout between Baraga and L'Anse and south to the head of the bay. Fish were still caught 15 to 40 feet down in 20 to 60 feet with gold, orange and green spoons. Best trolling speeds were between 1.9 and 2.3 mph.

Lake Gogebic: Walleye anglers were catching a lot of fish however most were undersize at 13 and 14 inches. Many reported catching 25 to 30 fish but only had 1 or 2 keepers. Those having the most success were drifting or jigging with minnows and leeches in 10 to 15 feet in Bergland Bay. Many have also caught northern pike and smallmouth bass. The perch anglers had moderate success with each catching about 10 fish.

Menominee River: Anglers are catching a few walleye at the Hattie Street Dam. Most are using a jig and minnow. Boat anglers fishing the entire river have caught and released some nice smallmouth bass when casting spoons and stick baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Had a good start to the walleye season. Most anglers were fishing the head of the Bay up to Garth Point and caught good numbers of fish although many were undersize. Anglers were trolling or drifting crawlers in 16 to 24 feet. Fair to good action was reported between the Center Reef and the Second Reef for those drifting or trolling crawler harnesses in 18 to 26 feet or trolling stick baits with lead core and planer boards in 30 to 35 feet. Catch rates were fair at the "Narrows" trolling crawler harnesses in 28 to 32 feet and when jigging lead heads with minnows in 30 to 34 feet. Walleye were caught at the mouth and in the channel of the Escanaba River in 15 to 22 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: Had a good start to walleye season with some of the better catches coming from Ogontz where anglers were trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 8 feet. Near the Fishdam Rivers, anglers reported fair to good catches in 10 to 14 feet when trolling and drifting crawlers. Smallmouth bass fishing was excellent near Ogontz, Fishdam Rivers, South River, Garden Bay and Kates Bay. Anglers are casting crank baits, spinners or plastics in 3 to 8 feet. The bass opener should be good.

Marquette: Those trolling have done better for chinook and coho including a few limit catches on the right day in 60 feet of water outside the Lower Harbor to the Chocolay River, towards the Sand River and Shot Point. Those looking for lake trout are primarily targeting Shot Point and east of the harbor with spoons, flies or cut bait. Shore anglers fishing the mouth of the Carp River caught a couple but anglers were few because of construction on the bridge.

Au Train Lake: The opening of walleye season had fair catch rates. Those targeting walleye and pike were mainly drifting crawlers or minnows. Some of the walleye were legal size but many of the pike were sub-legal. Surface water temperatures were in the low to mid 50's. No perch to report.

Munising: Had low to fair catch results on coho with a few chinook and one brown trout caught as well. They are fishing 20 to 60 feet near Sand Point and Trout Bay. Coho were caught by those still-fishing or trolling and a couple splake were caught near the Anna River. Those fishing off the dock of the Anna River were using fresh spawn. Smelt fishing has been minimal with no reports this week.

Grand Marais: Most anglers are trolling around West Bay or still-fishing off the pier. Steelhead effort and catch rates were low. Whitefish have shown up and catch rates were excellent. Most fish were caught on a single egg or wax worm. Those trolling in 15 to 40 feet in the West Bay and near the mouth of the Sucker River did well with small spoons and rapalas. Catch rates for coho were fair. Limit catches of whitefish were taken off the pier. The fish were mainly 11 to 15 inches but a few were over 20.

Two Hearted River: Steelhead fishing has been slow.

Tehquamenon River: Anglers may find some walleye below Newberry. Try minnows or crawlers.

Munuscong Bay: A few walleye and pike were caught when trolling quarter ounce crank baits about 6 feet behind the boat in 4 to 6 feet of water between Gull Island and Barbecue Point. Orange and gold were the hot colors.

Drummond Island: A few yellow perch were caught off the docks in Scotts Bay when using shiners. Walleye and pike were caught at the south end of Ashman Island when drifting and jigging in 5 to 7 feet and on the east side when using a small split shot 18 inches above a red hook tipped with a crawler. Pike were caught at the south end of Ashman Island and the north end of James Island when using chubs or shiners. Catch and release smallmouth bass fishing was good along the south end of James Island in 3 to 6 feet when using dark green and brown tube jigs.

Cedarville and Hessel: Good perch fishing off the Hessel pier for those using worms on clear days. Splake were active in Hessel Bay but they will be moving out once the water warms up. Northern pike fishing was very good in Hessel Bay, Snows Channel, Musky Bay and Cedarville Bay. Anglers are casting or trolling with planer boards and stick baits.

Carp River: Anglers are still targeting steelhead between the McDonald Rapids and the mouth. They are casting lures and using spawn bags or yarn.



Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State at www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish.



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