Spring fishing is just getting started. Anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have the new 2010 Michigan Fishing License by April 1st. Steelhead fishing remains good on most of the major river systems. Bluegill and crappie are starting to come alive and the sucker runs are currently underway.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie - Boat anglers were catching some nice walleye off Stony Point when using large crank baits. Lake Erie Metro Park has two docks in.
Huron River - Anglers are still catching steelhead along the entire river. Suckers are hitting on crawlers.
Detroit River - Had good walleye action when using jigs with big minnows and stinger hooks. The hot spot was Humbug Island which is downstream of the power plant. Most are fishing in shallow waters 6 to 14 feet deep. Perch were still being caught near the bridge on South Gibraltar Road, the backwaters around Sugar Island and the canals and marinas on the south end of Grosse Ile.
Lake St. Clair - Most of the lake is ice-free, but there is flow ice coming down the St. Clair River from Lake Huron and so boat anglers need to be careful. The docks are in at the Harley Ensign Public Access at the mouth of the Clinton River. Not much fishing activity yet but anglers are able to launch boats and get out on the water. Shore anglers at Metro Beach were perch fishing in Black Creek.
Saginaw Bay - With the ice gone, boats are now trolling for walleye near the rivers. Fish were caught off the mouth of the Saginaw River on Husky Jerks and Shad Raps. Perch fishing is not really underway at Sebewaing yet, though the river is reported low and clear. Some perch were caught from the public access site at Bay Port. Pier anglers at Caseville caught a couple of whitefish however it is still a bit early for perch. At Port Austin, the harbor is ice free and shore anglers are fishing Bird Creek.
Pine River - Is producing perch however anglers will need to sort out the small ones.
Tittabawassee River - Suckers were caught with crawlers on the bottom.
Quanicassee River - Shore anglers are catching perch.
Pigeon River - Suckers were caught further upstream.
Pinnebog River - The sucker runs are just getting started.
Flint River - Is starting to produce suckers. Anglers are reminded that walleye, pike and bass season is closed.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
New Buffalo - Coho and steelhead action continues to get better.
St. Joe - Pier and boat anglers are targeting coho and steelhead.
St. Joe River - All the ladders on the river are open and there is good movement of steelhead. Suckers are also starting to run.
Kalamazoo River - Steelhead are being caught up near the Allegan Dam.
Rabbit River - Is also producing some steelhead.
Grand Haven - Steelhead and the occasional coho have been caught off the piers.
Grand River at Grand Rapids - It appears the steelhead run has peaked. Fish were still being caught below Pearl Street and the walk bridge. More fish were being caught at the lower dam. Try using wobble glows, spawn bags and yarn.
Grand River at Lansing - All the ladders are open. Steelhead have been caught at the dam at Moore’s Park. Anglers are fishing crawlers on the bottom. Carp and catfish have been caught between the North Lansing Dam and the Moore’s Park Dam. Crappie were starting to bite in the backwaters.
Rogue River - Steelhead were on the gravel below 10 Mile Road and the dam.
Reeds Lake - Crappie have been caught in the backwaters. Most are using chartreuse twister tails and a minnow.
Muskegon - Pier anglers are catching steelhead and brown trout when floating spawn bags or casting small to medium spoons.
Muskegon Lake - Perch have been caught on the west side of the lake in 30 to 50 feet of water when using minnows or wigglers on anything that glows in the dark. Be ready to sort out the small ones.
Muskegon River - Steelhead have been caught in the lower river by those floating a jig and wax worm under a bobber or trolling Hot-n-Tots. Suckers were caught on red worms or crawlers. A few perch have been caught closer to Houghton Lake at the Reedsburg Dam.
White River - Steelhead have been caught from Hesperia on down.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Alpena - Walleye, steelhead, and small brown trout were caught in Thunder Bay.
Thunder Bay River - Has fresh-run steelhead at the Ninth Street Dam. The boat ramp on the river is open. Walleye season on the river is closed.
Au Sable River - Is producing some steelhead.
Higgins Lake - Still has ice out past the drop off however ice along the shoreline is gone. Ice fishing is done as there is no safe ice. It could be a while yet before the docks are put in at the launch sites.
Houghton Lake - Also has some ice but no safe ice to report. About half the lake now has open water. The canals have open water and a few anglers have been trying to crappie however it is still too cold.
Tawas - Boats trolling rapalas have caught a few trout and walleye off the mouth of river. Pier fishing was slow with only a couple walleye, steelhead or perch taken.
Tawas River - The occasional steelhead and a few suckers have been caught.
Au Gres - Boats trolling rapalas near the mouth of the river have caught some walleye. Steelhead and brown trout were taken in the surf near the Singing Bridge. Most are floating spawn.
Au Gres River - Those fishing the East Branch have caught good numbers of steelhead in both the upper river and in the lower end of Whitney Drain.
Rifle River - The sucker runs are underway. Hook and line anglers are doing well from the mouth to Stoddard’s Landing, which is upstream from Omer.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey - The ice along the east end of Little Traverse Bay is pretty much gone. There is still some ice near the Bay View area. Docks at the boat launches were not in yet. Good steelhead fishing off the piers. Try light line with a quarter ounce egg sinker so the fish will not feel the weight when they take the bait. Put spawn bags about a foot off the bottom in the early morning or evening.
Bear River - The steelhead run is underway. Try between the mouth and the dam.
Traverse City - Lake trout and whitefish have been caught in 145 feet of water in both the East Bay and the West Bay however the action was hit-or-miss. Perch anglers are also heading out.
Boardman River - Only had a light number of steelhead being caught.
Long Lake - Still has some ice but no safe ice.
Crystal Lake - Ice fishing is done as ice conditions are no longer safe.
Betsie River - Fishing was red hot at the Homestead Dam. Those wading or fishing from shore were taking limits of steelhead and some brown trout when using small spawn bags or fly’s in egg patterns. Those fishing down to the M-31 Bridge were also taking good numbers of fish. Water levels were good and clearing up. The sucker runs have also started. Anglers will find good numbers of fish near Adams Road and County Road 608.
Manistee - Pier and boat anglers trolling along the shoreline have caught steelhead.
Manistee River - Fresh steelhead are moving into the river. Catch rates were good in the early morning or evening when floating spawn bags or flies. A few brown trout have also been caught.
Ludington - Pier and boat anglers are targeting steelhead and brown trout.
Pere Marquette River - Has a decent number of steelhead in the upper river but the lower river was slow.
Black River Harbor - Pier anglers are catching coho.
Silver City - Salmon and brown trout have been caught just off the mouth of the Big Iron River.
Lake Gogebic - Ice conditions are dangerous. Ice fishing is done.
Keweenaw Bay - Any remaining ice is dangerous and anglers need to stay off it. Catch rates were hit-or-miss with fluctuating temperatures and water levels.
Fall’s River - Coho and steelhead were caught on spawn bags and yarn.
Marquette - Anglers are fishing from boat, shore and piers. Boat access is possible at both the upper and lower harbors. Coho, splake, steelhead and even a few lake trout have been caught. The average size for coho and splake was 16 to 18 inches. Fish were caught near the Carp River when using jigs with twister tails, spoons, spawn or crawlers along the shoreline or the backwaters in the lower harbor.
Menominee River - Shore anglers are targeting trout and walleye near Boom and Stephenson Island, the Cat Walk and near the dam. The number of gates open on the dam seems to affect catch rates. When three gates were open, fishing was good. When the gates were closed, the water levels were lowered and catch rates slowed. Those fishing off the Cat Walk were using top water rapalas. The perch color with red hooks worked best. Shore anglers and those wading were casting rapalas or drifting yarn and spawn.
Green Bay - Continues to open up. Any remaining ice is not safe.
Little Bay De Noc - Has open water in the southern half of the bay with the exception of the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. Open water at the Rapid River launch and the Ford River launch however the docks were not in yet. Rivers in the area are open however water levels are below normal. If boating early, be sure to stay at a slow speed and watch for ice flows.
Au Train - Ice was still present near the Brownstone ramp so boat access was not possible. The ice should leave the bay soon. Fishing has picked up in Au Train Bay. Anglers are targeting coho and steelhead.
Au Train River - Anglers are fishing the mouth for steelhead and coho however catch rates were spotty. Try spawn for steelhead or spoons for coho.
Rock River - Catch rates for coho and steelhead were slow but fish were caught.
Munising - Still had some fishable ice between Sand Point and the Anna River however extreme caution needs to be use. Coho and splake were caught but no limits were seen. Smelt fishing was poor.
Munuscong Bay - Anglers are heading 200 yards west of Dan’s Resort and fishing in 2 ½ feet of water using minnows. Harvest rates were good with perch averaging 8 to 11 inches.
Cedarville and Hessel - Anglers in Cedarville are taking boats across Snows Channel to access the ice on the west end of Musky Bay. Some were fishing off Little Joe Island but catch rates were slow. The ice is deteriorating quickly so extreme caution needs to be used.