Michigan Fishing Report April 28: Spotty Weather & Slow Bites

Due to recent shifts in temperature, fishing conditions across Northern Michigan have been hit-or-miss this week. Dive in to find out what to expect if you’re heading out this weekend.

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

Petoskey: Boats have not been out. A pier angler caught a nice lake trout when casting a crankbait.

Bear River: Those fishing from the dam to the mouth had moderate success for steelhead when using spawn bags, beads and flies. A couple smaller brown trout were also caught. Suckers are still in the river as well.

Harbor Springs: The boat docks are now in at the public launch. Those trolling along the shoreline for steelhead did not have much luck. A couple lake trout were caught around Harbor Point.

Traverse City: Surface water temperature was around 38 degrees on both bays. In the East Bay, the trout and whitefish action were slow with only a couple whitefish taken. Bass are in the shallows but not ready to bite. A couple steelhead were caught in the Elk River when drifting spawn. On the West Bay, perch were still being caught out of Northport. A few trout were caught near Power Island. Bass are in the shallows, but the bite was very slow. Steelhead action on the Boardman River was slow.

Frankfort: Wind and snow put a damper on big lake fishing this week. A few were looking for walleye but there were no catches to report.

Onekama: Walleye anglers have been working the channels in Portage Lake since the opener, but no reports have come in.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Both lakes produced some walleye on opening weekend.

Manistee:  Another week of spotty weather made it tough for anglers to get out. Fishing was hit-or-miss for those trolling. Lake trout were caught north and south of the harbor though north was better in 20 to 50 feet. A few brown trout and Chinook were also caught. Pier anglers targeting trout had little luck except for one steelhead caught on spawn.

Manistee River: Water levels were low and clear which makes trout fishing more difficult. Leftover steelhead are on the gravel or heading back out to the big lake.

Ludington: Those trolling had some luck catching lake trout both north and south of the harbor. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River: Fished well despite the lower water levels.

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon: Fishing here and Union Bay was hit-or-miss. Most anglers caught coho and brown trout though lake trout and steelhead were also reported. Lake trout were found in deeper water. Anglers reported very little smelt activity in the streams however boats were marking baitfish relatively shallow. Surface water temperatures were in the high 30’s to low 40’s.

Munising: Boat anglers are still catching a few chinook and coho per trip. Some also reported the occasional steelhead or brown trout. Splake fishing was slow.

Grand Marais: Windy conditions have limited access for boat anglers. Those getting out did manage to catch a couple steelhead and the occasional Chinook.  For pier fishing, the best bite was towards evening. Anglers are reporting limits of quality size whitefish and a few coho when using a single egg for whitefish and spawn sacs for coho. Some were targeting Menominee.