Archive for April, 2010

April 15th Walleye Report

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The good news, the crawler harness bite is on, and in an our before dark last night we pulled three nice quality fish.  Even better news, the harnesses that I sold to Jeff’s Bait and Tackle are going fast!  The bad news, I hooked the shop cat while setting up last night before heading out.  There is a happy ending though.

So my neighbor gives me a call yesterday afternoon, “Hey I got out of work early lets go fishing”.  Like twist my arm and make me or something.  So I head out to the shop, grab my tote of newly made crawler harnesses and start switching my rods over from cranking to dragging keel weights and meat behind them. 

I get like four rods rigged up and am working on the fifth one.  The cat is on chair behind me and poke with the rod butt.  She scrambles runs across the line and the Mustad’s took hold.  The cat is peeling line off my reel at this point taking off across the drive.

Some how the harness comes off the keel weight, but the cat is hunkered down in the trees somewhere.  I look all over, best I did was hearing the blade bang the beads as she took off when I got close.  Ok, the neighbor pulls up, I got to go and finish packing. 

We stop over at Jeff’s Bait n Tackle to pick up some crawlers.  Get the quick version of the hot fishing report, pay for worms and take off for Sterling.  The water was perfect, light chop, wind coming out of the SW.  Ran out to the outer bay, and get set up.

Set the 2 oz keels 8 ft, 12 ft and 14 foot behind the boards.  First fish comes on Purple Rain.  This is a new pattern from D & B Fishingthat I worked with them on this winter. You have to check out their Facebook page to see them.   It turned out to be a  solid 2 lb, 18 inch fish.

Next fish starts whacking the outside port board.  In no time its dragged my Church Walleye Board to the back of the boat!  Its pulling hard, and even giving some shakes as it started to turn.  It took about 8 min to get the 28 inch, 7 lb, 1 oz fish into the net.  This bad girl hit on another DB blade, antifreeze.

The last fish came at dark on a Purple Claw from Pro Choice.  Good thing too, the boards almost became impossible to see.  I have to run to Crafts 2000 in Monroe to see if they have any of those glow sticks I can tape to the board or flag! This one was 3 lbs, 15 oz.

Not a bad night, slash hour and 20 minutes worth of fishing.  Cleaned the fish up this morning, time for breakfast or lunch!

Michigan DNR Fishing Report: April 15th, 2010

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Spring fishing continues however catch rates will improve once the weather stabilizes. Steelhead fishing was good one day and slow the next. More panfish were caught on sunny days.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie - Boat anglers fishing in Michigan waters have caught walleye off the reefs when jigging minnows or trolling with crank baits. Those fishing the cuts and canals around Point Mouillee and Erie Metro Park have caught crappie and bluegill.

Sand Lake - In Lenawee County is still producing crappie in the shallows. The better catch rates came on sunny days.

Huron River - Has steelhead and check the backwaters for bluegill and crappie.

Detroit River - Walleye action continues to be good in the lower Trenton Channel. Anglers are jigging minnows or trolling rapalas. Stinger hooks are a must. A few northern pike were caught in the backwaters. Perch are spawning.

Clinton River - Is producing steelhead for those using spawn or flies.

Lexington - Boat anglers trolling in 10 to 35 feet of water were catching coho, steelhead, lake trout and the occasional chinook on crank baits. Coho were running 2 to 3 pounds and steelhead 2 to 5 pounds. The best fishing was within 10 miles south of the port. Pier anglers caught perch, coho and steelhead inside the harbor.

Port Sanilac - Those out trolling did best between the port and 5 miles north for trout and salmon. Crank baits worked best.

Saginaw Bay - Lots of post-spawn walleye have been caught off Linwood in 14 to 18 feet of water, around Spoils Island and in 7 feet of water from the mouth of the Kawkawlin River to the mouth of the Saginaw River. Anglers are trolling rapalas and crank baits or vertical jigging with crawlers or minnows. Those trolling off the mouth of the Quanicassee River were starting to catch walleye on crank baits or crawler harnesses. At Caseville, crappie are in the marina and pier anglers caught salmon, trout, whitefish and burbot.

Kawkawlin River - Channel catfish are hitting on minnows in the lower river.

Sebewaing River - Shore anglers were catching perch and other panfish.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joe - Catch rates were fair. Pier anglers caught coho and brown trout. Boat anglers did well when trolling in shallow waters 18 to 30 feet deep. Flathead catfish have also been caught off the pier.

St. Joe River - Steelhead are still coming up from the big lake however catch rates were a bit slow. Fish are there for anglers to catch. Try drifting spawn or flies.

South Haven - Boat and pier anglers were catching trout and salmon however the action here was a little slower than St. Joe.

Holland - Pier anglers have caught a few perch.

Grand Haven - Muddy water from the river slowed perch fishing in the 60 foot hole. Try minnows, spikes or mousies once the water has cleared up. Brown trout fishing off the pier was also slow. Boat anglers caught a few brown trout north and south of the pier when trolling close to shore.

Grand River at Grand Rapids - Still has good numbers of steelhead between Fulton Street and the Sixth Street Dam. Yarn and wobble glo’s worked best. Good colors were chrome and pink, red or black. Bluegills and crappie are hitting in the backwaters. At Riverside Park, anglers are using small tube baits 2 or 3 feet down for crappie and leaf worms for bluegills. Millennium Park was also good for bluegill and crappie. Carp and suckers have been caught.

Grand River at Lansing - Those fishing near the dam at Moore’s Park are catching smaller catfish and the occasional steelhead which are leftover from the run. Crappie were caught near the Waverly Road Bridge.

Maple River - Anglers are catching both flathead and channel catfish near the State Game Area on US-127. Try stink baits, crawlers or large minnows.

Duck Lake - Is still producing crappie on sunny days. Try jigs with minnows.

Vineyard Lake - Crappie fishing slows with each cold front.

Reeds Lake - Is still producing limit catches of crappie and bluegill. Anglers are fishing in waters up to 4 feet deep and catching mostly males.

Rogue River - Still has lots of steelhead for the taking.

Muskegon - Boat anglers trolling around the piers caught brown trout on jointed rapalas. Pier fishing was slow. No word on perch.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Ocqueoc River - Steelhead were caught by those drifting spawn or flies. Look for more fish to enter the river system.

Rogers City - All the docks are in at launch ramps however the cleaning station and the marina do not open until May. Look for small boats fishing along the shoreline for brown trout and salmon as the warm water flows toward the big lake. Those fishing from the breakwall or the docks are casting small spoons or body baits. Bright colors work good or anything that resembles smelt. Try running planer boards with body baits at last 100 feet off the board and follow the brown water close to shore. Most are fishing Seagull Point, Swan Bay or Calcite Harbor.

Rockport - Atlantic salmon have moved in close to the piers. Anglers are trolling in 30 feet of water with chartreuse and orange lures.

Thunder Bay River - Is full of suckers which makes it hard to target steelhead. Walleye were hitting as well however the season is still closed. Those trying to target trout were using spawn bags or bright yellow and black flies.

Harrisville - Atlantic salmon, lake trout and walleye have been caught straight out from the harbor in 12 to 40 feet of water. Spoons and body baits were the ticket, gold and orange were the hot colors.

Oscoda - Pier fishing has improved as anglers were catching Atlantic salmon, steelhead, walleye and the occasional lake trout. Spoons, spawn and body baits are working well. The walleye preferred crawlers but were also hitting body baits. Orange and gold, blue and silver or green were good colors.

Higgins Lake - Crappie have been caught in the canals and near the Cut River.

Houghton Lake - Is also producing crappie and bluegill in the cuts and canals.

Tawas - Pier anglers fishing inside the harbor were getting some perch however be ready to sort out the small ones. Early morning was best for bigger perch. Those fishing the lake side were getting a mix of coho, brown trout, steelhead, walleye and northern pike. Boats out trolling rapalas were picking up a few walleye off the mouth of the river.

Au Gres - Boats trolling off the mouth of the river are taking walleye on rapalas.

Au Gres River - Steelhead fishing has slowed. Those surf-casting with rapalas near the Singing Bridge have caught walleye at night. There were rumors of a few smelt however no big numbers and certainly not enough to warrant a trip at this time.

Rifle River - Sucker runs have most likely peaked, but there are still a lot of fish in the river.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Charlervoix - Some big perch were caught straight out from the river in 100 feet of water. The trick is finding a school of fish.

Traverse City - Boats are still going out for whitefish however anglers were catching more lake trout.

Boardman River - Steelhead fishing was hit-or-miss.

Frankfort - Brown trout were still being caught by both pier and boat anglers.

Betsie River - Fishing slowed however steelhead were still being caught both above and below the Homestead Dam. Most fish were caught on the gravel in the middle of the day when using artificial flies. Suckers are pretty much everywhere from the Dam to Betsie Lake. They were in the deeper holes and hitting on worms or flies.

Lake Cadillac - Boat and shore anglers are looking for perch and crappie in the shallows along the southwest and the far east sections of the lake.

Lake Mitchell - Boat and shore anglers looking for crappie are fishing in the coves.

Manistee - Boat anglers are catching brown trout and the occasional salmon when trolling along the shoreline. Try body baits in natural colors or small spoons. Pier fishing was slow for perch and brown trout.

Ludington - Boat anglers have caught brown trout when trolling around the harbor and along the shoreline.

Upper Peninsula

Black River - Coho fishing is good right now for those trolling in shallow waters less than 14 feet deep. Most of the fish caught were coho however chinook and brown trout were also in the mix. Those fishing off the breakwalls did not catch as many fish however some nice coho were caught when floating worms under a bobber.

Ontonagon - Fishing has been very good with chinook, coho, brown trout and lake trout caught in shallow waters when trolling planer boards with stick baits or rapalas.

Keweenaw Bay - Those trolling for coho and lake trout did well in 30 to 60 feet of water off Baraga, L’Anse, the head of the bay and north towards Old Mission. Coho were caught off the dock near the marina in L’Anse. Anglers jigging for lake trout caught fish in 150 feet of water near Gay Point and 220 feet of water near Five Mile Reef, which is straight out from the Traverse Marina.

Marquette - Catch rates for coho were fair with water temperatures between the mid 30′s and 40 degrees. Most were fishing near the bubblers or the upper harbor in 20 to 30 feet of water with crawlers. More lake trout were caught in waters 40 to 100 feet deep. Whitefish action was slow. Pier anglers in the lower harbor caught coho.

Carp River - Is producing light numbers of coho and steelhead for those using crawlers, spawn or spoons.

Little Bay De Noc - Good catches of small perch were reported near the beach at Gladstone. Try using worms or minnows in waters 6 to 20 feet deep.

Escanaba River - A few brown trout were caught up near the first dam when casting lures or spawn. No smelt reports this week.

Big Bay De Noc - Had good perch fishing with limit catches reported off the northwest bank when still-fishing with worms, minnows or wigglers in 8 feet of water. Many were 8 and 9 inch fish. Look for the bite to pick back up after it warms up.

Little Fishdam River - Smelt anglers took a few fish but no big numbers to report.

Au Train - Anglers are catching coho when trolling or casting jigs tipped with crawlers, spoons or crank baits. Stay shallow in 15 to 30 feet of water between the red rock area and the Rock River or near the mouth of the Au Train River. Splake and steelhead were caught near the Rock River.

Munising - Those trolling the bay, around Grand Island and near the Miners River reported good catches of coho along with a few splake or steelhead. Pier and dock fishing was slow. The Sand Point launch is experiencing low water levels.

Grand Marais - Boat anglers reported fair catches of coho and steelhead. Pier fishing was fair for trout and salmon however a few whitefish were also caught.

St. Mary’s River - Steelhead and pink salmon are still being caught off the Portage Street Bridge when using spawn bags or flatfish.

De Tour - The docks were not in at the city launch. Those steelhead fishing at Albany Creek have caught some nice steelhead in the 6 pound range when floating spawn bags.

Carp River - Anglers casting spawn have caught steelhead at the Mackinaw Trail Bridge and the McDonalds Rapids. No smelt in the river yet.

Walleye Crawler Harnesses: Transition Time

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

It’s that time of the year where you have two options;  put the crankbaits away and get out the crawler harnesses or stop catching fish!  Ok so its not that drastic, you still will have some viable crank options and for the jiggers using hair and blade baits,  its also Weapons Time.

The water has warmed up enough to put the cranks away.  Which in this case is a good thing, I had a doozy of an order ready to go in case the water got any colder!  As it is, picked up 1,900 hooks yesterday, and I will be snelling again for the next few days.  53 to 54 degrees is when you should start drowning some worms to see if the walleyes are ready to change up baits.

If you still love to run cranks all year long, its ok too.  Just switch over from a low action bait like a husky jerk, and start pulling something with a little more wobble.  Tots, Warts and RR all give you more action at slightly higher speeds.  Not ready for the 2mph action yet, but start about 1 mile an hour and boost it up as needed.

If you are a drifter or caster, the action can be nice right now too.  Break out the Weapons rigs and start casting, dragging and drifting.  A combination of harness and bottom bouncer can be deadly as well.  Depending on the waves and wind, anything from 3/4 oz to 1.5 oz will do the trick on the BB’s.

Maumee River Walleye Report: April 14, 2010

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Level:   The river is near normal at 580′ elevation.  Anglers can wade over to Bluegrass Island. The water is starting to clear a little but still pretty muddy.

Fishing Effort: moderate




Anglers are catching limits of walleye.  Most of them are male walleye with some female walleye.  The rest of this week and this weekend should be very good.  We are starting to see a few white bass in the river.


Most of the walleye are being caught on floating jig heads tied about 18-24 inches above a weight.  The amount of weight depends on the amount of flow. At low flow, try 3/8 oz weight and at high flow try 3/4 oz weight.

Tip the jig with a brightly colored plastic tail–chartreuse, pink, green, or yellow.  Fluorescent colors seem to work the best.

BEST LOCATIONS The best fishing yesterday was upstream of Fort Meigs.  Anglers were catching walleye at Buttonwood, Towpath, Blue Grass Island, and Jerome Road. 



Outlook for the rest of this week and this weekend is excellent.  If you want to catch a walleye in the Maumee River, now is the time to go fishing! 

Maumee River Walleye Report: April 12, 2010

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Level:   The river is very high at 585′ elevation.  Anglers cannot wade over to Bluegrass Island at this time. The water is still very muddy.

Fishing Effort: Low



Very few walleye are being caught due to the high water levels.


Most of the walleye are being caught on floating jig heads tied about 18-24 inches above a weight.  The amount of weight depends on the amount of flow. At low flow, try 3/8 oz weight and at high flow try 3/4 oz weight.

Tip the jig with a brightly colored plastic tail–chartreuse, pink, green, or yellow.  Fluorescent colors seem to work the best.

BEST LOCATIONS As the water levels drop anglers should concentrate in the Orleans Park and Ft. Meigs areas. Also try the Flats.



Outlook for this weekend is below average.  Anglers should start to see some improvment late in the weekend, as the water levels drop, and early next week.  Typically this is the peak of the walleye run on the Maumee River.


Decisions, get more cranks or gear up for the spinner bite?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

After losing another Glass Fire Perch HJ on Saturday, that makes two in two weekends.  With only one left, I know how many I want to get after catching everything under the sun on that lure this spring.  Its just should I make the investment right now.

My hooks should finally be showing up today, and the way the weather is turning, it looks to be a meat rig bite here shortly.  With half my crawler harnesses tied up, am definitely feeling the crunch on getting the rest rigged up and ready to go.  Should be a great year on the water dragging spinner rigs, and they can really produce well once the water warms up during the transition bite.

April 10th Walleye Report on Erie

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Had another fun day on Erie, with another wide range of fish coming to the boat.  Boated some nice walleye, lost some nice eyes on the way in.  Had some crazy large silver bass hit the shallow husky jerks on the high lines. Then one shocker that I will save till the end.

Here are the small and the large of the trip. One two and half pound eye and a 27 incher that came in at 6 lbs and 7 oz.

The big one puked up a 7 inch perch out of its’ gut in the box.

All the walleye came on Glass Fire Perch Husky Jerks and Pink Squirrel 800 Reef Runners.  26 to 37 back on the boards, trolling .7 to 1.1 mph.  Actually did this drifting with a full spread coming from between Turtle and the lighthouse back towards the dumping grounds in the mud.

Our closest run near shore lead to some 2 lb silver bass hitting both shallow Glass Perch and Clown/silver husky jerks on the high lines, 145 foot back.  Thought we had a couple of nice eaters coming in, but fooled again.

The last fish for the day was the shocker I mentioned earlier. While bringing in the gear to wrap up the day, my middle board started to tug on the way back.  Nothing large, but some crazy head shakes going on.  Pulled the board, kept reeling, then saw the double uni knot where I tied 18 foot of Vanish to my Power Pro main line.   I saw the pointed nose, and thought it might be a chain pickerel, then I saw the markings.  It was a hammer handle to be sure, but she was a Great Lakes Muskie all the way.

Tournament Culling System: finished pic added

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The other night when I put my culling system together, from the previous post, it was too damp out in the shop to paint the bobbers.  Last night while BBQ chicken, I finished the job.  Just using paint that I had already around the house I was able to pain them five different colors.  I would have done six, but five is all I had, so I left the last one red/white.

Michigan DNR Fishing Report: April 8, 2010

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Strong storms this week have raised water levels in the rivers and that should help those seeking steelhead and suckers. Colder weather by the end of the week will most likely slow the bite for panfish however it should rebound with the next warm up. As we move into spring fishing, anglers are reminded that bass season is closed.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie - Those fishing off Luna Pier and Bolles Harbor have caught some limits of walleye. The Edison fishing pier is open. Anglers are catching channel catfish, white bass and the occasional out of season bass. The “catch and immediate release” bass season does not open until the last Saturday in April. Bluegill and crappie were caught in the cuts and canals around Point Mouillee and Lake Erie Metro Park.

Sand Lake - In Lenawee County is producing crappie in shallow waters. Try jigs tipped with small minnows.

Huron River - Catch rates for steelhead were spotty. Some are participating in the catch and release trout season in the Proud Lake Recreation Area.

Detroit River - Has good walleye action in the Trenton Channel with jigs, big minnows and stinger hooks in 6 to 16 feet of water. Purple, pink and chartreuse were good colors. Some of the walleye caught have already spawned. Perch are also spawning and smaller fish were caught in the canals on the south end of Grosse Ile.

Lake St. Clair - Anglers are targeting bluegill, rock bass and crappie at the Selfridge access site. Good catches of large panfish were coming from the marinas.

Lexington - Had a good deal of fishing activity with boat anglers trolling in 10 to 20 feet of water with planer boards and long lines. They caught mostly coho, a few chinook and steelhead along with the occasional brown trout and whitefish. Pier anglers caught perch, pike, salmon, trout and bullhead. Crappie were starting to show up in the marina.

Port Sanilac - Boats are trolling for trout and salmon and pier anglers are fishing both inside and outside the harbor. Look for crappie in the marina.

Saginaw Bay - The perch bite off Pine River and Palmer Road was slow. Those trolling rapalas off Linwood caught walleye in 18 feet of water. Near Spoils Island, boat anglers vertical jigging with minnows or crawlers caught walleye. At Caseville, pier anglers fishing Lake Huron were taking a few salmon and trout.

Saginaw River - Shore anglers caught a few perch along with channel catfish when using live bait in the lower river.

Tittabawassee River - Sucker runs continue and should hold up for another week.

Flint River - Is still producing some suckers however walleye season is closed.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joe - Pier and boat anglers were still catching steelhead and brown trout.

St. Joe River - Steelhead fishing was slow but should improve with much needed rain this week. A few fish were caught on the gravel when using spawn or flies. Good sucker fishing at the Berrien Springs Dam. Bluegills were also caught.

Grand Haven - Boat anglers are trolling for brown trout along the shoreline. Perch fishing was good in 60 feet of water. Spikes, mousies and minnows were the bait of choice. Those pier fishing were using spawn for brown trout and steelhead however most of the fish caught were small brown trout.

Grand River at Grand Rapids - Steelhead are being caught between Fulton Street and the Sixth Street Dam. Anglers are using spawn bags, small Cleo’s, or white jigs with wax worms. Try chrome wobble glo’s with red, pink or chartreuse. Suckers were caught at the dam. Bluegill and crappie off the points and in the backwaters.

Grand River at Lansing - Moore’s Park is producing steelhead and catfish. Carp and catfish have been caught at the North Lansing Dam and Riverfront Park.

Duck Lake - In Calhoun County was good for crappie when using jigs with minnows.

Vineyard Lake - In Jackson County was good for crappie when fishing the shallows.

Morrison Lake - Had fair to good crappie fishing.

Reeds Lake - Had good bluegill fishing on sunny days with limit catches reported. Leaf worms and wax worms in the shallows were the ticket. Crappie fishing was spotty. Big perch were caught in 15 to 40 feet of water on perch rigs with minnows.

Rogue River - Those floating spawn at the dam have caught steelhead. In the lower river, fly anglers did well with streamers or black stone flies.

Muskegon - Boats are trolling along the shoreline for brown trout. Pier anglers were using spawn for steelhead and brown trout but few fish were caught.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River - Anglers are catching steelhead.

Ocqueoc River - Is producing some steelhead in the lower river.

Rogers City - Small brown trout were spotted however the fish would not bite. For those casting, try spoons or body baits in colors that resemble smelt. Boat anglers are running planer boards with body baits. Try blue and silver, fire-tiger, green and silver or anything that looks like smelt and run the lines way back behind the boat.

Alpena - Boat anglers were brown trout fishing behind the cement plant. Most were using small fluorescent spinners or still-fishing with minnows. Anglers are reminded that the “catch & immediate release” bass season does not open until the last Saturday in April. Those fishing Squaw Bay caught some big northern pike.

Thunder Bay River - Boat anglers caught brown trout behind the Armory and near the mouth when using black and silver rapalas. Shore anglers caught steelhead and suckers up at the dam. Steelhead anglers were drifting spawn bags or fluorescent and black flies.

Au Sable River - Anglers should find good numbers of steelhead after much needed rain this week. Try spawn, flies, spinners or small spoons.

Higgins Lake - The ice is gone. Boats are trolling for lake trout and rainbow along the drop-off. Yellow perch should start coming up along the drop-off in the evening.

Houghton Lake - Those fishing the canals were taking some nice catches of bluegill, perch and crappie. Most were using minnows or leaf worms. The cold spell will most likely stall the bite however it should return with warmer temperatures.

Tawas - Anglers are doing a lot of sorting but still finding some decent perch inside the harbor. Pier anglers fishing the outside of the breakwall are getting a few walleye and the occasional brown trout. Boats trolling rapalas caught walleye.

Au Gres - Those trolling rapalas have caught some walleye.

Au Gres River -Steelhead were hitting on spawn in the river and in the surf near the Singing Bridge access site.

Rifle River - Sucker runs continue and should hold up for another week. Steelhead were caught further upstream.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs - No docks were in as of this report.

Petoskey - The docks are in at the launch sites. Boats are fishing in 20 to 30 feet of water for steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. Anglers are reminded that the minimum size limit for lake trout is 24 inches. Pier anglers were catching steelhead in the early morning when floating spawn off the bottom.

Bear River - The better steelhead fishing was up near the dam.

Traverse City - The East Bay had good catches of whitefish in 120 feet of water. Lake trout were found in both bays however no big numbers over the last week.

Boardman River - Light numbers of steelhead have been caught however if water levels go up by the end of the week, the bite should improve.

Glen Lake - Was producing a few perch.

Frankfort - Brown trout have been caught from the north pier and when trolling in the shallows. Most fish were three or four pounds and hitting on anything chartreuse.

Betsie River - Catch rates for steelhead improved with some fish on the gravel. Red worms and crawlers were good for sucker fishing.

Onekama - The pier has not been producing as well as some would like however a few brown trout were caught off the south pier.

Portage Lake - Was producing some limits of perch. Anglers will need to sort out the small ones however some nice 8 to 10 inch perch have also been caught. They were hitting mostly on minnows but it might be a good idea to take along some wigglers as well. Boats could be found in 20 feet of water on the north end near the channel.

Lake Cadillac - Fair to good numbers of crappie were caught during the warm spell however cooler weather by the end of the week will most likely slow the bite. Boat and shore anglers were fishing with minnows.

Manistee - All the docks are in at the city launch. Boat anglers have caught brown trout when trolling near the piers and along the shoreline. Pier anglers caught a few perch and brown trout.

Manistee River - Good numbers of steelhead have been caught up at Tippy Dam. Some are floating spawn, flies or wax worms while others are casting spinners. Fair to good sucker fishing.

Ludington - All the docks are in at the city launch. Boats are catching steelhead and brown trout when trolling along the shoreline. Try body baits in natural patterns. Pier anglers caught brown trout when using fresh spawn.

Pere Marquette River - Should still have good numbers of steelhead.

Upper Peninsula

Black River - Anglers fishing off both piers were catching coho.

Ontonagon - Anglers are taking a mix of salmon, brown trout and lake trout in shallow waters 6 to 15 feet deep.

Keweenaw Bay - The ice is gone and fishing was good with anglers catching rainbow and coho off Sand Point, off the rock docks and the bridge at the head of the bay. Those trolling did well for salmon when using spoons or Hot-n-Tots in 30 to 60 feet of water between L’Anse and Sand Point.

Fall’s River - Anglers were struggling as water levels were low and clear.

Huron River - Had good numbers of steelhead.

Marquette - Catch rates for coho did slow with warm weather pushing water temperatures up to the 40 degree mark, especially in the harbor. Splake and whitefish were caught off the lower harbor breakwall and along the coal docks. Those trolling near the Carp River caught coho in 25 to 30 feet of water.

Carp River - Has produced a few catches of steelhead and coho for those using spawn bags, crawlers or spoons.

Menominee River - Had good numbers of walleye however cooler weather will again slow catch rates.

Little Bay De Noc - It should not be long before all the docks are in at the launch sites. Boats have started heading out in all directions however few reports have come in. Rain in the forecast should help those looking for steelhead in the rivers.

Au Train - Fishing was slow. Coho and steelhead were caught on spawn bags near the Rock River.

Munising - Boat launches are in use at Sand Point, the Anna River and the Municipal launch. Water levels were slightly lower than normal however coho, steelhead and splake were caught.

Grand Marais - Had fair catches of coho and steelhead for both pier anglers and those trolling around the mouth of the river. The boat launch is open and in full use.

St. Mary’s River - Limits of perch were caught in the upper river above the Locks in 35 feet of water. Most were using minnows. Boat anglers were launching from Sherman Park which is in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan. Steelhead and pink salmon were caught off the Portage Street Bridge when drifting chrome colored lures. Some nice perch were caught in the bays of Lake Nicolet.

De Tour - Shore anglers have caught some nice six pound steelhead by floating spawn bags near Albany Creek. The docks were not in at the city launch.

Cedarville and Hessel - The ice is finally gone but no boats had been out.

Carp River - Anglers are steelhead fishing at the Mackinaw Trail Bridge and the McDonalds Rapids. They are casting spawn with good results. No smelt to report.

Fishing Cull System…..

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

…..make your own for 9 bucks or less.

You can go out and spend anywhere from fourteen dollars to $40.00 on a fishing cull system for your boat, or you can do it yourself in 10 minutes for less than 9 bucks.  Maybe less if you have the material laying around the house already.

Here is what you need, one of those inexpensive metal chain stringers. You know the kind, the ones that really do not work all that well, but everyone has had them at one time or another.

These are fairly easy to op off without cutting the chain in case you want to save it for some reason.  They will cost you $2.45 at Jann’s Netcraft and I am sure you can find them at your local Walmart, bait shop or Meijer type store.

Next you will need 6 small to medium sized bobbers. 

This believe it or not is where most of your cost will be, they can actually run a dollar a piece.  I had the these red and white ones all ready, but if you want to, go and get them in bulk in a package and it will probably cut that cost by about 20%.

You can stop right there if you have some old mono and a Sharpie pen laying around the house. If you have the mono, tie a short 6 inch leader from the clip to bobber. Take that permanent marker and write the numbers 1 through 6 on top of your six bobbers.

If you are asking right now, why six different ones, here is your answer.  Most tournies take the total weight of your best five fish for weigh-in,  while some tournies take  your sixth best fish (or kicker) for a tie breaker when fishing with a partner.  Thus the number is arrived at, 6 different cull tags.

All to this point has taken less than 10 minutes, and you can stop right there if you wish. You have your finished product and you can go fish a local or pro tournament with a reliable culling system, just grab a piece of paper and a pen to keep track of what weight is on what number.

If you were observant, you will see that I did not use mono, nor did I use my Sharpie.  I actually had some wire for making pike and muskie leaders left over up in the shop, and the crimp sleeves too.  I have several cans of spray paint and instead of number, I am going to color coat each bobber, just for the ease of recognition.

If you asked yourself earlier, why did I make them only 6 inch leads for the mono, its because the first time I did it, I made them 12 inches long.  Having felt a sense of accomplishment I took them into the house to show off. On the way between shop and house they became pretty well entangled.  The shorter leads between clip and bobber do not entangle as much and are easier to pull apart.  If I had bigger bobbers laying around, this would also help solve that issue.  Something for  you to consider if you wish to try this little project yourself. 

Good luck!

You can use the link below to view what the bobbers look like when color coded.