Northern Michigan Fishing Report Mar. 24: Spring Brings Varied Conditions

This spring, varying fishing conditions are on our radar. Learn how everything from windy weather to river closings is impacting fishing in the Northwest Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula.

If you’re headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you’re feeling well. Practice proper social distancing (at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household) and keep a face-covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Conditions

Frankfort: Windy weather has hampered angling effort on the pier and shoreline areas.

Manistee: Anglers able to get out on the piers reported catching a few steelhead and brown trout.

Manistee River: Some steelhead were being caught by anglers using spawn. Anglers using body baits and flies have also reported catching fish. The Little Manistee River is closed to fishing until April 1.

Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing is starting to warm up as more anglers turn to stream fishing with some limited success.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Conditions

Keweenaw Bay: Ice anglers had slow catch rates the last couple of days when the ice was good to fish. Warm temperatures have hit the ice hard and recent high winds have blown a lot of the ice out. Shore anglers have managed to catch a couple Coho and the occasional brown trout and lake herring. Some boats have made their way onto the bay but floating ice chunks are still around. Rivers in the area have started to open up or are close to doing so. Few fish have been caught but anglers reported no fresh fish have moved into the rivers yet.

Cedarville: Anglers reported that there was about 12” of ice in Musky Bay. The access site to Musky Bay had a small section that was usable but conditions are changing fast. Fishing was good for yellow perch while anglers have been doing a lot of sorting. Anglers jigging minnows and waxworms reported some success harvesting 7-13” perch with many between 7-11” in Musky Bay and off Pleasant Point. Anglers fishing in the Cedarville Channel reported having success catching yellow perch.

Hessel:  The public beach access site was still usable but conditions are changing fast. Anglers reported that about 10-12” of ice was on the center and west side of Hessel Bay but around the islands and in high current areas the ice is starting to open up. Anglers were jigging minnows and wax worms with success catching smelt, lake trout, splake, and yellow perch. The perch harvested this week have been up to 12” with majority of the harvest sizes being between 7-10”. Anglers have also been catching 28-32” (8-11lbs) lake trout and 15-20” splake jigging minnows with spoons.

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