Gone fishin’

UPPER PENINSULA

Marquette: Strong winds have blown ice into both the Upper Harbor and Lower Harbor launch ramps. Chances are by this weekend launching will not be possible without some very strong west winds to blow the ice out of the harbors. Shore anglers fishing for steelhead and coho have done poorly.

Keweenaw Bay: Float ice moved back into the bay making it impossible for anglers to launch or troll. Fishing off the rock docks and Sand Point in Baraga was also hindered. A few more rainbow trout were taken but the bite remains slow. Before the ice moved back in, those fishing off of the rock dock next to the L’Anse Marina and the mouth of Linden Creek had a few good days of catching splake but many were small. Those looking for smelt did find some in the Ravine River, Silver River off Skanee Road, Linden Creek and the Falls River, but catch rates were still hit-or-miss.

Munising: The ice has left the bay but remains a factor as wind conditions can pack both channels with floe ice and keep boats inside the bay. Fishing has started to pick up and catch rates were fair inside the bay where a mix of coho, splake and smaller chinook salmon were caught. Coho were averaging 15 inches and one pound. Shore anglers reported fair catch rates for splake but steelhead were hard to come by. Pier anglers caught splake, coho, whitefish, menominee and the occasional steelhead when casting spawn or worms.

Grand Marais: Had more anglers but catch rates varied with some taking limit catches while others only caught a few. Most are catching coho followed by steelhead, small chinook and brown trout. The pier is almost ice free. Anglers there caught a few menominee, whitefish and coho. Shore anglers fishing near the mouth of the Sucker River caught coho but not many steelhead.

Lake Antoine: Dickinson County is producing a good number of bluegills for those jigging or still-fishing with live bait in the shallows. Many are small but some nice fish were caught right along with a few perch and crappie. Both docks are in at the launch. Lake Antoine Road is down to one lane because of construction.

Little Bay De Noc: Had a good start to the walleye season despite poor weather conditions. Anglers caught a good number of large fish but many were released because no more than one walleye over 23 inches can be possessed. Fish were caught throughout the bay, however the northern part of the bay was the best. Most are trolling stick baits or crawlers in six to 24 feet between the Second and Third Reef. Shallow water was best in the early morning. Some did well off the mouth the Whitefish River in eight to 14 feet and off the mouth of the Ford River with crank baits or crawlers in eight to 16 feet. The waters are stained because of run-off so walleye should be around for a while. Perch fishing was fair along the “Narrows” with crawlers in 35 feet and off the mouth of the Escanaba River in 25 feet.

Day’s River: Is producing some steelhead up past the golf course.

Escanaba River: Is producing walleye for those trolling crank baits.

Ford River: Is producing steelhead up near Hyde. Shore anglers caught several large walleye when casting rapalas.

Big Bay De Noc: Had few anglers for the walleye opener. A few fish were caught at the head of the bay between the Fish Dam River and Valentine Creek when trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses in eight to 15 feet. The better fishing was in Ogontz Bay when trolling crank baits in six to eight feet. Limit catches were reported. Catch and release bass anglers reported good numbers of fish. The fish are staging despite the cold water temperatures. Perch fishing was fair to good in Garden Bay. Spawning is just about completed so anglers will find large numbers of small fish on the northwest bank by the Fishery. Try crawlers or minnows in six to eight feet.

Manistique Lake: Had good walleye fishing. Try the southern portion near Burnt Island with crawlers and leeches.

Two-Hearted River: Water levels are still high so anglers are limited. Steelhead are there and were caught.

Luce County: Trout lakes are open with access to all areas. Roads are muddy.

St. Marys River: A few anglers were trolling Raber Bay and the north end of Lime Island for walleye. Fishing has not been productive since opening day because water temperatures need to warm up. Raber Bay was 38 to 40 degrees. No reports of yellow perch in the Upper River near Sherman Park and no walleye in Brimley Bay.

Drummond Island: A few yellow perch are being caught off the Monahan Dock which is at the end of Tourist Road. Try minnows under a bobber in the early morning. A few anglers in smaller boats caught perch in Maxton Bay. Try shiners in four to six feet in the early morning off Sportsman Club Point.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pike fishing is fair for those trolling or casting in Hessel Bay, Cedarville Bay, Musky Bay or Moscoe Channel. Smallmouth bass ranging four to five pounds were caught in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay, Duck Bay and Mackinaw Bay. Splake were caught off the pier in Hessel when still-fishing with smelt.

Carp River: Steelhead were caught upstream near the McDonald Rapids. Suckers are still in the river.

NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Rogers City: Boat anglers are just starting to pick up a few lake trout when trolling along the bottom in 10 feet or 20 to 60 feet. Cowbells with spin glows or dodgers with spin glows are getting fish. Some trolling the shallows are high-lining with a little weight added to the line while others are trolling stick baits in bright colors. Some caught the occasional Atlantic salmon or chinook. The stained water is warming up but the lake water was low to mid 40’s.

Alpena: Is producing a mix of trout and salmon for those trolling. Walleye fishing was better in the evening while trout and salmon were caught morning and evening. Try near the mouth of the river, out from the marina or near Thunder Bay Island when fishing in shallow waters with stick baits and spoons, cowbells or dodgers with spin glows for lake trout. Use anything bright in the stained water. Pier anglers night fishing caught a few walleye when casting stick baits that resemble smelt. The fish cleaning station and the public restrooms are now open.

Thunder Bay River: Is producing the occasional steelhead or Atlantic salmon. Try drifting artificial beads and spawn or casting body baits. Atlantic salmon were feeding on steelhead eggs or mayfly larvae. The occasional walleye was caught by those drifting or jigging. Lots of smallmouth bass were caught and released. Those targeting walleye did catch a few pike.

Harrisville: Is producing steelhead, lake trout, chinook, walleye and Atlantic salmon. Early morning and mid to late evening was best for all species both inside and outside the harbor. Fish the rocks for walleye and the deeper channels for trout. Boat anglers targeting walleye did well around Sturgeon Point, the rock wall and the state park. Body baits, spoons, fly’s, crawlers and spawn are all working. Look for trout and salmon in 20 to 50 feet and walleye in eight to 20.

Oscoda: Pier anglers are catching a good mix of Atlantic and chinook salmon, steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. Walleye are coming in from the lake in good numbers. Crawlers and body baits were the ticket.

AuSable River: Water levels are up and fast but the fish are coming in good numbers. Steelhead are being caught between the dam and the piers. Those fishing up on the beds are doing well with spawn, fly’s and wax worms.

Houghton Lake: Is producing walleye and some crappie. Walleye can be found around the weed beds and the crappie have come out of the canals.

Lake St. Helen: Is producing crappie and pike. Not much in the way of bluegills yet but soon. Bass fishing was good in the deeper holes as cooler water temperatures were keeping the fish from spawning.

Tawas: Perch fishing is pretty much done for pier anglers however they are now catching Atlantic salmon when using large minnows outside the pier. A good number of walleye and a few pike were also taken. Boat anglers trolling between the mouth of the Tawas River and Alabaster are taking a fair number of fish. Chinook, brown trout, lake trout and walleye were taken in 36 to 50 feet out near Buoy No. 2. Shore anglers and those wading the mouth of the river caught walleye and bass.

AuGres: Had lots of boat activity. Anglers are taking walleye in 25 to 35 feet. Some limit catches were reported.

AuGres River: Was high and muddy. Few were fishing but those that were did manage to catch a couple catfish.

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

Trout fishing is still tough due to rivers that remain very high. Smaller streams are fishable now, so anglers should target headwater areas. Inland lake fishing is slowly improving, but cold fronts were setbacks.

Charlevoix: Boat anglers looking for lake trout off South Point caught no fish. Some are still waiting for walleye to show up in the channel. They are heading out at sunset or later and using soft plastics with jigs or body baits. Surface water temperatures were still in the mid 30’s.

Petoskey: Had a few boats heading out for lake trout but none were caught. Those fishing up near Bay Harbor were marking fish 100 to 120 feet down but they would not bite. Anglers targeting steelhead off the breakwall did not have much luck however a couple walleye and smallmouth bass were taken. Try crawlers, spinners or jigs with soft plastics.

Bear River: Most shore fishing was at the dam or the mouth. Most are using spawn bags or fly’s. Recent rain should bring some fresh fish into the river. Fish were caught at the dam or downstream between the bridges.

Traverse City: The East Bay was producing cisco, lake trout and whitefish for those jigging in 40 to 120 feet. Those trolling caught lake and brown trout. Smallmouth bass fishing should pick up as waters warms. In the West Bay, anglers caught lake trout when trolling in 30 to 50 feet or jigging in 140 feet. Some caught the occasional steelhead, brown trout or Chinook when trolling.

Elk River: Steelhead fishing has been steady below the power dam. The majority of fish were caught on spawn bags or jigs.

Boardman River: Is still producing the occasional steelhead. Northern pike, smallmouth bass and suckers can also be found.

Platte Bay: Has good brown trout fishing depending on water temperature. Anglers are trolling black and chrome rapalas just off the mouth of the river. Dredging last year has kept the mouth open and navigable. Lake trout were taken in 20 to 60 feet.

Platte River: Was high with water over the banks. Steelhead fishing was good between the mouth and El Dorado. White suckers and walleye were also caught.

Frankfort: Brown trout are hitting inside the harbor and along the shoreline. Try body baits in the morning. Lake trout and pike were also caught.

Onekama: Those trolling the shoreline are taking brown trout, lake trout and walleye when trolling spoons eight to 14 feet down in 15 to 22 feet of water. Trolling speeds were between 1.8 and 2.2 mph.

Portage Lake: Perch fishing slowed with the cooler temperatures but should pick back up for the weekend. Large and smallmouth bass are hitting on anything.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Northern pike and crappie have started to bite. A few walleye and largemouth bass were caught.

Manistee: Chinook salmon have started to show up. Pockets of stained water and areas with slight temperature difference are holding fish. Boat anglers trolling between the shoreline and 40 feet caught chinook, brown trout, lake trout and steelhead. Blue and orange spoons worked best. Pier anglers caught a few perch.

Manistee River: Continues to warm up with temperatures in the low to mid 50’s. The steelhead run is winding down however some nice fish are still being caught near Tippy Dam. Brown trout fishing continues to improve. Anglers are casting rapalas. No word on walleye.

Ludington: The fish cleaning station at the Loomis Street Launch is now open. Chinook, lake trout and brown trout have been caught by those trolling between the shoreline and water 50 feet deep with orange, yellow or green spoons. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River: Has steelhead but the run is winding down. Anglers are catching some nice brown trout. Fly hatches are starting and the fish are becoming more active.

Pentwater: Had a few boats catching brown trout and lake trout close to shore. Pier anglers caught walleye late at night.

SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Lake Erie: Inconsistent weather has caused walleye to scatter and move into deeper water. Most of the fish caught were taken in 18 to 22 feet near Brest Bay and Stony Point. At Bolles Harbor, catch rates were good for large and smallmouth bass. Walleye were caught near the launch and in 20 feet near the stacks. Try bottom bouncing with crawler harnesses or using jerk baits. Good colors were chartreuse, neon green or purple. Some are using planer boards. Catfish and bass were caught in the Hot Ponds. Anglers are drifting or trolling as slow as possible and staying close to the bottom to avoid white bass and perch.

Detroit River: Still has good walleye fishing but the average size has dropped as most of the bigger fish have moved out of the river. White bass numbers are going up and the fishing should really take off with warmer temperatures. Target the lower and middle river this coming weekend. Smallmouth bass fishing remains very good in the middle and upper sections.

Portage Chain-of-Lakes: Near Pinckney had slow crappie fishing but those fishing the canals and along the shoreline did well for bluegill. Good bass action along the flats and in the coves. Try soft jerk baits or casting jigs near structure. Water levels were up after the rain so many of the fish were taken in areas with a current.

Lake St. Clair: Cooler water temperatures are keeping the smallmouth bass in deeper water in Anchor Bay. Good smallmouth bass fishing was reported along the Mile Roads and along the shoreline off Grosse Pointe. Good largemouth action in the canals and marinas.

St. Clair River: Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss. The better catches were reported near Algonac and Marine City. The occasional trout and salmon were still being caught by shore anglers at Port Huron.

Clinton River: Has excellent rock bass fishing.

Lexington: Boat anglers reported a mix of Chinook, coho, lake trout and steelhead. Though fish were caught, the action was hit-or-miss. Pier anglers caught small perch, rock bass, bullhead and a couple bluegills.

Port Sanilac: Pier anglers floating large minnows under a bobber caught coho, lake trout, steelhead and even an Atlantic salmon. Those trolling caught a mix of trout and salmon however success was hit-or-miss.

Harbor Beach: Has fair to good lake trout fishing in 60 to 80 feet straight out, north or south of the harbor. Try dodgers or cowbells with spin glows just off the bottom or spoons 50 to 70 feet down. Salmon and steelhead were taken in 40 to 80 feet with spoons and downriggers or offshore boards with 2 or 3 colored lines. Try orange and black, purple or bright colors. A couple walleye were taken by those casting body baits off the wall. There is plenty of water at the ramps, docks and the channel.

Grindstone City: Had excellent smallmouth bass fishing in the harbor. Most anglers were casting tube jigs.

Saginaw Bay: Had a lot of walleye activity on the west side. Boat anglers were trolling in 15 feet off Pinconning or 13 to 18 feet off Linwood. Crawler harnesses and body baits in purple, blue or wonderbread worked best. A handful of walleye were caught northwest of Spoils Island. Catch rates off Finn Road were slow but walleye were taken north of Quanicassee, even some limit catches. The hot spot was 10 to 14 feet of water in the Slot. Hot colors were purple, green and chartreuse.

Tittabawassee River: The water has been fast and muddy so fishing was just about impossible.

Saginaw River: A few walleye were still being caught in the lower river at Smith Park. Shore anglers are casting jigs.

Quanicassee River: Boat anglers fishing upstream did catch a few walleye.

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

Grand Haven: Chinook salmon fishing is heating up. Anglers were fishing 30 to 70 feet with most fish caught in 40 to 55 feet. Most are working the mud line and the clean water just outside it. Try 3 colors of lead off downriggers set about 43 feet down with mini or regular spoons. Colors of orange, gold, mixed veggie or UV baits are working well. Perch fishing has slowed and pier anglers are struggling.

Grand River in Grand Rapids: The steelhead action is pretty much done but walleye should be hitting. Try suckers, crawlers or cut bait for catfish. For pike, anglers are using large sucker minnows, spinners or body baits. Check out the parks and the backwaters for panfish.

Grand River at Lansing: Water levels are high but fishable. Those fishing the bottom will want to use extra weight. Anglers have done well for pike and bass. Bluegill and rock bass have also been caught.

Looking Glass River: Has high water levels.

Maple River: Has high water levels.

Muskegon: Is a little slower than Grand Haven but fish have been caught in 40 to 50 feet or targeting top water down to 25 feet with spoons. Pier fishing is very slow. Anglers casting and jigging for walleye had little success.

Muskegon River: Is running a little high but anglers are still taking a good number of steelhead and the occasional brown trout. Anglers are floating spawn and fly’s or swinging streamers near the holes.

Whitehall: Pier anglers were catching brown trout on spawn until a south wind slowed the bite and washed some weeds in. Even with the south wind, anglers were catching some walleye on body baits, wigglers or artificial wigglers. Most fish were taken in the channel but pier anglers also caught fish.