This week’s Michigan fishing report is out from the DNR with the latest news about walleye fishing, perch fishing, bass fishing and fishing reports from across the state on inland lake fishing and river fishing.
This coming Saturday, April 24th marks the opening day of trout season on the Type 1 and Type 2 streams as well as the walleye, northern pike and muskellunge opener on the Lower Peninsula inland waters. The "Catch & Immediate Release" bass season for the Lower Peninsula will also open this coming Saturday. Dry conditions around the state may very well impact some trout streams as water temperatures will be warm and levels will be lower compared to most openers. Anglers will want to try streams that are more resistant to low water levels. Here’s this week’s Michigan Recreational Fishing Report for Northwest Lower Michigan, Northeast Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula from the Michigan DNR. For more information call 517-373-0908.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Traverse City – Anglers trolling or jigging along the east shoreline of the West Bay have picked up lake trout and whitefish. The bite was slow but should increase as the water warms.
Elk River – The action was slow with only light numbers of fish caught.
Boardman River – The peak of the steelhead run has passed, but anglers can still find a decent number of fish between the mouth and Union Dam. Try wax worms and wigglers on a small jig. Suckers are running in good numbers.
Frankfort – Boat anglers trolling the shoreline in 8 to 15 feet of water did catch brown trout on body baits. Those trolling inside the breakwalls did better using rapalas.
Portage Lake – Perch fishing is starting to slow as anglers were catching small 4 to 6 inch fish in 20 feet of water just inside the channel.
Manistee – Brown trout fishing was good for those trolling. Most are long-lining in the shallows with body baits. Chinook salmon have also been caught. Pier fishing was slow for perch and brown trout.
Manistee River – Steelhead fishing is winding down, although there are still some fish up at Tippy Dam.
Ludington – Brown trout were caught by those long-lining in shallow waters.
Pentwater – Steelhead fishing off the piers has slowed.
Pentwater Lake – A few perch were caught in front of the Yacht Club.
Black River Harbor – Fishing is still good however the fish are now scattered. Good numbers of coho are showing up however the key is to find them. Trolling in 14 to 20 feet of water with stick baits was productive. Purple and pink were good colors.
Ontonagon – Still has good fishing with nice catches of trout and salmon. This time of year is great because those with smaller boats can go out and fish in shallow waters. Most are trolling body baits in 12 to 16 feet of water.
Keweenaw Bay – Those able to get out did well when trolling for salmon 35 to 65 feet down in waters 40 to 135 feet deep from Baraga south to the head of the bay and north to Old Mission. Slow trolling around two miles per hour worked best for coho and chinook. Try spoons, body baits or dodgers and flies in green, gold, orange or blue. A few coho were also caught off the dock near the L’Anse Marina.
Fall’s River – A few smelt have been taken but no big numbers to report.
Marquette – Coho fishing was fair however catch rates for steelhead have increased near the Carp River when using copper spinners with a single egg. Coho were caught by those trolling between the lower harbor breakwall, the Carp River and the mouth of the Chocolay River. Lake trout were caught in 40 to 100 feet of water.
Little Bay De Noc – All the docks are in at the launch ramps. A few perch were caught along the west side of the "Narrows" by those using minnows or worms in 6 to 18 feet of water. Fish were also caught in Nelsons Bay when still-fishing with worms in 4 to 11 feet of water.
Days River – Steelhead anglers were out however not many fish were caught.
Big Bay De Noc – Had excellent perch fishing in Garden Bay when still-fishing worms or minnows in 8 feet of water. No smelt to report.
Sturgeon River – Anglers have hit the river for steelhead however no reports yet.
Au Train – Had good coho fishing for those trolling or casting from Shelter Bay to the mouth of the Au Train River. Try jigs tipped with crawlers, spoons or crank baits in 15 to 30 feet of water.
Rock River – Is producing some steelhead.
Munising – Is producing fair catches of coho. Pier and dock anglers had poor fishing across the board. Catch rates for pier and dock anglers were not good.
Grand Marais – Boat and pier anglers are catching some steelhead and coho. Steelhead fishing appears to be on the downside as the fish work their way upstream to spawn. Pier anglers caught the occasional whitefish and menominee.
St. Mary’s River – Steelhead and pink salmon have been caught off the Portage Street Bridge. Try chrome flatfish or spawn bags when the Edison Power Plant has shut the turbines down.
De Tour – Anglers are still watching Albany Creek for steelhead, but seems the run is over. Anglers fishing Drummond Island are catching a limited number of perch off Monahan’s dock and in Scott Bay when using minnows.
Cedarville and Hessel – A few splake and perch were caught off the pier at Hessel.
Carp River – Steelhead fishing slowed as more anglers were catching suckers. There are no smelt in the river.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Rogers City – Anglers are starting to fish from the docks in the marina. They are casting for brown trout steelhead and Atlantic salmon. Boats have started trolling around the breakwall with planer boards. Catch rates were slow but should pick up.
Alpena – Eggs from lake trout and whitefish hatch this time of year. Staff from the Fisheries Division has placed 30 fry emergence traps on the reefs near the Lafarge Cement Plant to study success of the hatch. Anglers are advised to scout out the reefs before night fishing in this area so they do not get caught in the float lines that mark each net. Pier anglers are reporting successful walleye fishing on the lake side when casting clown rapalas with a red head.
Thunder Bay River – The walleye opener looks good with fair to good numbers of fish showing up in the river. Water temperatures should be warm enough to produce some good fishing. The sucker run is almost over however there are still a lot of fish in the river and they have pushed steelhead off the beds which in turn slowed catch rates. A few fish were taken on black leeches with a chartreuse head or black wooly bugs with a red head.
Otsego Lake – Fishing remains slow though the panfish activity is picking up.
Harrisville – Fishing has picked up with lake trout caught straight out and north of the harbor in 40 to 60 feet of water. Steelhead and Atlantic salmon are being caught in and around of the harbor in 25 to 50 feet of water. Spoons or body baits in orange and silver or blue and silver were the most productive.
Oscoda – Anglers fishing off the pier were catching lake trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon and walleye. Try spoons or body baits in orange or chartreuse.
Tawas – Pier anglers are getting the occasional pike, walleye, coho, Atlantic salmon and a few perch. Those targeting perch will want to fish early in the morning and expect to do lots of sorting. Salmon and walleye were caught on rapalas.
Tawas River – Still has some steelhead.
Au Gres – Boats trolling near the mouth of the river and out to about 25 feet of water were catching post-spawn walleye when using crank baits or crawler harnesses.
Au Gres River – Steelhead are still being caught on spawn. Those surf casting at night near the Singing Bridge caught walleye on rapalas.