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.
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.