Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Warm weather has fish running early. Perch and walleye are spawning now, which is about ten days earlier than normal. Anglers who normally wait until April to fish perch in the rivers will want to get out there now so you don’t miss the run.
Lake Erie: Is producing walleye for those jigging or trolling. It will likely still be a week or two before the fishing really heats up but those willing to accept fewer bites could have a chance at some large fish that are usually present in the early spring. Limit catches were reported in Ohio waters.
Huron River: Is producing carp and small bluegills. For steelhead try Flat Rock.
Detroit River: Boat anglers are catching walleye in most of the river including the Trenton Channel.
Clinton River: Is producing suckers.
Harbor Beach: Boat anglers are heading out but no reports came back in. The Edison Plant has been operating and discharging water down the channel, but it appears to have attracted a lot of carp. This is a good time for anglers to have some fun while fighting some really big fish.
Saginaw Bay: Boat angler were launching at the mouth of the Pine River and perch fishing out near the commercial nets off Palmer Road however be ready to sort out the small ones as it appears the warm weather may have temporarily driven the bigger fish out to deeper water. Boat anglers are catching a good number of walleye off the Pinconning Bar as well as between Linwood and Parish Road. Try crawler harnesses, crank baits, husky jerks, reef runners or shad-raps in 16 to 22 feet of water. Perch fishing at Bay Port and the Bayshore Marina was hit-or-miss, but both spots are worth looking into on any give day. Lots of shore fishing at Caseville where a few nice perch were caught. Pier anglers also caught a couple whitefish and a few walleye. At Port Austin, they are getting a few perch at the mouth of Bird Creek.
Saginaw River: Boat anglers are catching perch from the marina basins.
Quanicassee River: Has lots of shore anglers catching and sorting perch however they are getting enough bigger ones to keep them fishing.
Sebewaing River: Also has a lot of perch anglers.
Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Inland lake fishing for bluegills and crappie is starting to pick-up. Carp have already been spotted in shallow waters.
New Buffalo: Is producing some limit catches of coho and steelhead.
Dowagiac River: Has good steelhead fishing.
St. Joseph: Anglers were catching steelhead and catfish from the piers.
St. Joseph River: Steelhead fishing has been good especially near the Berrien Springs Dam. Sucker fishing was also good.
Silver Lake: In Branch County is starting to produce a fair number of bluegill.
Union Lake: In Branch County was giving up some 10 inch perch. Those fishing along the east end of the lake caught redears.
Kalamazoo River: Still has good steelhead fishing however the run will be winding down soon.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing steelhead and catfish.
Grand River at Lansing: The occasional steelhead has been caught over at Moore’s Park Dam and at the point where the Grand meets the Red Cedar. Anglers are using spawn, spinners or crank baits. Good colors to try are chartreuse and fire-tiger. Catfish are hitting on dead minnows, stink baits, crawlers and small bluegills.
Lake Interstate: Is producing some nice bluegills in deeper water. Try a wax worm under a slip bobber. The lake is south of Lansing towards Potterville.
Jackson: Boats are taking to the inland lakes for panfish.
Lake Ovid: A few boat anglers are getting out but catch rates were still slow in part due to the cold water temperatures.
Muskegon River: Has good steelhead fishing.
Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Alpena: Brown trout are being caught near shore. A lot of people are trying for walleye in Thunder Bay, but it takes a while for Lake Huron to warm up even with this fine weather.
Thunder Bay River: Is producing a fair number of steelhead.
Harrisville: Has a good number of steelhead in the harbor including fresh fish. The DNR began planting fish here as part of stocking method study. The fish have a coded-wire tag in their snouts that will tell the division what stocking method they represent. Be sure to contact us if you catch one of these fish.
Au Sable River: Has a good number of steelhead.
Tawas Bay: Pier anglers inside the harbor are sorting perch and generally getting enough keepers. Boat anglers fishing outside the breakwall caught a few lake trout, whitefish, walleye or the odd brown trout. Most are still-fishing with minnows or spawn. Walleye action off the mouth of the river was slow but those going further south and fishing off Whitestone Point caught lake trout, a couple salmon and the odd brown trout when trolling body baits in 20 feet of water.
Tawas River: Has steelhead in the lower river and suckers are starting to run.
Au Gres: Those trolling caught a few walleye in 20 feet of water off Point Lookout.
Au Gres River: Is producing perch however you will need to sort out the small ones.
Rifle River: The sucker runs are underway and a good number of them have been caught on sponges. Fish were up as far as the Melitta Road Bridge. Anglers will want to get out because the rapidly warming waters could make for a short spawning season.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Frankfort: Pier anglers casting spawn and spoons have caught brown trout. Boat anglers are also getting some fish when trolling body baits.
Betsie River: Has good steelhead action.
Lake Cadillac: Anglers are starting to target crappie however the ice just came off the lake so water temperatures are still cold.
Manistee: Pier anglers casting spawn and spoons have caught brown trout. Boat anglers are also getting some fish when trolling body baits.
Manistee River: Has lots of steelhead for the taking. Try tossing flies or jigs with wax worms. Anglers are reminded that the Little Manistee River is closed to fishing until April 1st.
Ludington: Boat and pier anglers have started to catch brown trout.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing is very good with lots of fish in the river.
Upper Peninsula Fishing Report
Keweenaw Bay: Those fishing off the rock dock next to the L’Anse Marina have caught a couple steelhead on spawn bags. Boat anglers are heading out and catching coho, brown trout and steelhead when trolling in 20 to 40 feet of water from the L’Anse Marina to the red rocks at the head of the Bay and between Sand Point and Old Mission. Those jigging caught lake trout.
Marquette: Both the Upper and Lower Harbors are ice free. The launch ramps are open but the docks were not in yet. The beach access off the bubblers has been closed by the city due to the warm weather. Anglers were mainly coho fishing off the bubblers. A few boats are trolling between the Carp River and the Chocolay River.
Menominee: Boats trolling near the mouth and along the shoreline are targeting walleye and trout when jigging a minnow or trolling rapalas. Catch rates for trout were slow but those targeting walleye have caught a fair to good number of fish.
Menominee River: The surface water temperature was 42 degrees. Anglers were trolling from the mouth up to the Hattie Street Dam for trout and walleye. Shore anglers were doing well for walleye on Stephenson Island and on both sides of the river near the dam. Early morning or late evening produced the better catches. Most anglers were jigging with zip lures or using jigs with minnows but a few nice fish were also caught by those casting rapalas.
Cedar River: Has opened up but the stretch between the mouth and first rapids was high. The high water levels along with the speed of the flow will make steelhead fishing difficult. Those trolling north and south along the shoreline of Green Bay have caught a few walleye and pike when trolling spoons.
Little Bay De Noc: Ice season is officially over, even though the Bay is still ice covered in most areas it is breaking up and is not safe. The North Shore launch has been opened but the docks were not in as of this report. The warm temperatures have shore anglers heading out to fish for steelhead in the rivers.
Au Train: Is ice free. The Brownstone launch is usable for boat access but the dock was not in. Anglers fishing offshore at the Rock River caught a couple steelhead on a single egg. Boat anglers were trolling for coho but no catches were reported.
Munising: Small craft may now launch at both Sand Point and the Anna River. The city launch was also ice free however the docks were not in. Ice is no longer a concern for boat anglers. Coho action was slow for those jigging or trolling. A few splake were caught and those jigging from small boats did catch some whitefish.
Grand Marais: The bay is ice free and the launch has been partially dredged. Small to mid-size craft should be able to launch now. The pier has some open fishing near the Lighthouse Museum but the rest of the pier is still covered with ice and snow which should melt rapidly with the warm temperatures.
Munuscong: The ice is going quick so anglers need to use extreme caution. A few perch were caught west of Dan’s Resort but anglers were staying in 2 feet of water.
Cedarville and Hessel: Have bad ice, conditions are no longer safe.
Carp River: Steelhead are starting to show up near the mouth.