On Wednesday April 1, 2009, all anglers 17 years of age and older will be required to have a new 2009 Michigan Fishing License. Copies of the new Fishing Guides are available at all license vendors. With many seasons closed right now, anglers are reminded that it is unlawful to take or attempt to take any fish outside the open season. The inland lakes are providing some good crappie and bluegill fishing while the rivers are good for steelhead.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie - Muddy water is to blame for slow catch rates.
Huron River - Steelhead are being caught above the coffer dam when using a jig and wax worm. Those fishing below the Flat Rock Dam are taking fish on flies. For crappie, take some minnows and check out the backwaters.
Detroit River - Word has it the walleye have moved up into the Trenton Channel. Those fishing near the Edison Plant have caught fish when using live shiners or plastic baits. No limits yet but some big fish have been caught.
Saginaw Bay - Shore anglers are getting a lot of small perch in the cut at the end of Palmer Road. Boat anglers out from the mouth of the Pine River are moving around to locate fish. The perch runs are just getting started so the action should only get better. Along the Inner Bay, boat anglers are launching at the Patterson Road ramp and trolling for walleye near Spoils Island, the mouth of the Kawkawlin River, out by the Spark Plug (Buoys 11 &12) and off Parish Road.
Kawkawlin River - Has perch fishing activity on the lower river at the bridge on State Park Drive. This area also has a pedestrian walkway that serves as a shore-fishing platform.
Saginaw River - Perch anglers are getting fish in most of the marina basins and in the Bay Aggregate cut.
Quanicassee River - A few perch are being caught from shore but anglers will need to sort out the small ones.
Sebewaing River - Has good perch fishing in the marina and the river but many were small. Anglers were averaging 20 to 25 perch. There are bigger fish to catch but the trick is to move around and find the fish.
Pigeon River - A few legal lake trout were caught in the river when using minnows. Those fishing off the pier at Caseville were taking some whitefish.
Pinnebog River - The sucker runs are just getting started.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joe - Pier anglers are taking the occasional coho, brown trout, and whitefish. The action was still on the slow side but should pick up in the next few weeks.
St. Joe River - Water levels are still high making it difficult for those wading but the boat anglers are doing well. Good steelhead action below the Berrien Springs Dam for those floating spawn, flies or using Wobble Glo’s.
Kalamazoo River - Steelhead are being caught up near the Allegan Dam.
Rabbit River - Is producing some steelhead.
Grand River at Grand Rapids - This week could very well be the peak of the steelhead run. Anglers are bouncing spawn sacks and yarn off the bottom or floating spawn, flies or jigs and wax worms under a bobber. Those on the Fulton Street Bridge are back bouncing with spawn. Riverside Park is good for bluegills and crappie when using minnows, leaf worms or wax worms.
Grand River at Lansing - The steelhead have made it to Lansing though not in big numbers. A few fish have been caught over at Moore’s Park and the North Lansing Dam. Not much on the resident fish other than a few gar taken over at the North Lansing Dam. Prairie Creek near Ionia has good steelhead action.
Rogue River - Steelhead are hitting on flies and spawn.
Reeds Lake - Rumor has it anglers are taking 10 to 12 inch perch on minnows. Bluegill and crappie were also caught.
Muskegon - Pier anglers are taking steelhead and brown trout.
Muskegon Lake - Strong winds have hampered fishing. When boats can get out, they were catching some perch over near the sand docks.
Muskegon River - Anglers are catching steelhead all the way up to Croton Dam. Try yarn, spawn, flies or Hot-n-Tots.
White River - Is producing some steelhead.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Sturgeon River - Steelhead fishing has begun. A few fish were caught by early season anglers.
Thunder Bay River - Is giving up some steelhead.
Fletcher’s Pond - Was producing crappie, bluegill and perch.
Higgins Lake - Rain this week will more than likely take the shoreline ice out and start the melting process for the rest of the lake. Ice fishing here is pretty much done. It could be a few weeks yet before there is enough open water for boats to head out.
Houghton Lake - The shoreline is starting to break-up and the rest of the lake is getting soft. Ice fishing here is done as well.
Au Sable River - Anglers were catching suckers in the Mio Pond.
Tawas - Still some ice fishing activity in the Bay but not for much longer. Perch were caught inside the harbor but many were small. Walleye were caught over the reef in 10 to 15 feet of water. Boats trolling off the mouth of the Tawas River and those casting rapalas near the mouth are getting some walleye.
Tawas River - Shore anglers are catching steelhead and suckers.
Au Gres - Boat and shore anglers fishing just off the mouth of the river are taking good numbers of walleye.
Au Gres River - Is still a bit high but anglers are catching steelhead. Most are fishing the East Branch near the Singing Bridge. The railing on the newly renovated walkway should be finished this week.
Rifle River - Hook and line anglers are out in good numbers to catch suckers as the run is just getting started.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Traverse City - The shoreline ice is breaking up and it will not be long before the rest of the ice is gone. Anglers should avoid going out on any remaining ice. Launch ramps are still iced in.
Boardman River - Steelhead anglers are doing well when floating spawn, wigglers or wax worms under a bobber.
Fisher Lake - Has open water and no fishing activity.
Glen Lake - The ice on Big Glen has open water along the shoreline and should not be considered safe. Little Glen was still producing some nice perch along the weeds in 12 to 14 feet of water and the occasional rainbow trout. The ice is quickly deteriorating so extreme caution needs to be used.
Betsie River - Catch rates are improving as more steelhead move into the river.
Lake Missaukee - Ice fishing is done.
Lake Cadillac - Ice fishing is basically done. Anglers are advised to say off any remaining ice.
Lake Mitchell - Ice fishing is done here as well. Boat anglers are waiting for the launch sites to open up.
Manistee - The pier anglers are out and boats are trolling the harbor.
Manistee River - Steelhead fever is catching on as decent numbers of fish continue to move into the river.
Ludington - Is not seeing much action from boat or pier anglers. The parking lot at the launch still has a good amount of snow piled up.
Bass Lake - Has fair to good splake action.
Imp Lake - West of Watersmeet is producing some splake and bluegills.
Lake Ellen - Near Channing is also producing splake but the fish were smaller.
Keweenaw Bay - Although anglers are still venturing out onto the ice, conditions are changing daily. The ice though thick in some places is honeycombed and getting softer every day and the shoreline is starting to open up. Extreme caution needs to be used. Lake trout action was spotty in waters 230 to 260 feet deep. Anglers continue to target Old Mission, Jentofts, and the Whirl-I-Gig. A few coho were taken out from the Fall’s River, Sand Point, Perch Corner and the Tire Shop north of Baraga when jigging 5 to 12 feet down in 10 to 40 feet of water. Try white with green Swedish Pimples along with a Do-Jigger and flute spoon. Those fishing a foot off the bottom have picked up some round whitefish, burbot and lake whitefish. Perch were caught in 15 to 40 feet of water out from the Baraga Marina.
Marquette - Pack ice has blown into the bay making access almost impossible. Pack ice is very dangerous and can close in around a boat in no time at all. Anglers need to use extreme caution. When conditions improve, anglers might want to head out in the Upper Harbor for chinook and coho. Both the big and little bubbler was producing some limit catches for those using jigs with cut bait or half a crawler.
Menominee - Ice fishing in the Bay is done as conditions are dangerous.
Menominee River - Anglers are using Boom Landing and the Stephenson Island boat launches to get on the river. Stephenson Island has a dock in however Boom Landing does not. The launches at the marina, the lighthouse and the Mystery ship have too much ice to launch at this time. The mouth is starting to open up, but it will still be a while before it can be fished. Boat anglers fishing the middle of the river near the islands have caught walleye and brown trout on minnows or different colored rapalas. Lots of perch were caught in the open waters when jigging minnows but many were small. Those fishing through the ice near the docks need to use extreme caution. Fish numbers increased near the Hattie Street Dam where some nice walleye and brown trout were seen. Walleye anglers are jigging minnows or casting lures. Good colors were blue and silver, orange or anything that looks like a perch.
Little Bay De Noc - Ice conditions are getting worse. Shoreline ice is breaking up, the pressure cracks have opened up and the shipping channels near Escanaba are now being used. A few perch are still being taken near Kipling when jigging minnows and wigglers out from the tanks in 8 to 25 feet of water. The bigger fish seem to be in the deeper waters. Good whitefish action off Sand Point when jigging spawn in 80 feet of water.
Munising - Ice conditions for Munising Bay and Trout Bay were stable for the most part but extreme caution needs to be used. The ice is thinner between the Grand Island ferry dock and Grand Island. Extreme caution needs to be used near the rivers. The Anna River is flowing rapidly and cutting through the ice and the Au Train River is getting soft near the mouth because it is melting from the bottom up. Ice near the mouth of the Rock River was holding but no one knows for how long. Au Train and Trout Bay had slow fishing with only a couple coho caught. A couple coho and whitefish were caught off the mouth of the Anna River. Sand Point continues to be the spot for splake, coho, burbot and smelt.
Munuscong Bay - Has been slow with only a few anglers targeting perch on the north end near Fowlers Bay. Try minnows in 3 to 5 feet of water.
Cedarville and Hessel - The ice is still holding however caution needs to be used especially with the warmer temperatures. Musky Bay in Cedarville has begun to pick up along with Duck Bay where anglers are catching lots of perch. Many are small but the action is fun.