Thursday, March 31, 2016

Weekly Michigan DNR Fishing Report: March 31, 2016

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Weekly Fishing Report

March 31, 2016
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fishing mapSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSoutheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report
Anglers are reminded that on Friday, April 1, all anglers 17 years of age and older will be required to have a 2016 fishing license.  Be sure to pick up a copy of the 2016-2017 Fishing Guide (remember it's a two-year guide - so don't throw it away!) when you purchase your license.  River fishing has been good but the inland lakes especially to the north are still too cold.  

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie:  Those out trolling are still taking some walleye from Brest Bay.  

Huron River:  Still had some decent steelhead fishing for those using spawn up near the Flat Rock Dam.  

Detroit River:  Boat anglers fishing near the Trenton Power Plant were catching a fair to good number of walleye when using jigs with minnows.  Most of the fish caught were smaller, good eating size.  Perch fishing slowed and smaller fish were moving in.  Those willing to put in the time and do lots of sorting might get a few keepers.  

Oakland County:  Surface water temperatures were about 46 degrees in most areas on Cass Lake and Union Lake.  Anglers were targeting panfish in the shallow bays and canals.  The crappie bite was slow but will improve as water temperatures warm.  Bass anglers had limited success with the catch and immediate release season when using husky jerks in two to four feet along the breakwalls and shorelines.  

Lake St. Clair:  All the DNR boat access sites are open for launching. Heavy rain and high winds have kept the lake turbid.  Good perch and sunfish reports continue to come from the canals and marinas.   

St. Clair River:  The recent heavy rainfall and high winds have resulted in muddy conditions. The North Channel and the Marine City access sites will have the docks in and be open for launching on Friday, April 1. 

Saginaw Bay:  All area rivers were high, fast and muddy.  Steelhead, sucker and perch fishing in the rivers and cuts at least in the lower ends was pretty much unproductive if not impossible.  Shore anglers at Eagle Bay Marina were taking a large number of small perch.  Fish over seven inches were almost non-existent.  On the east side of the bay, success was pretty limited. A few small perch were caught in the Sebewaing River.  At Mud Creek, the catch rate for keeper perch was one fish per angler hour.  Walleye fishing out in the bay was pretty slow as the water was muddy.   

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River:  Water temperatures were up into the low 50’s which should have produced some good steelhead fishing especially up near the Berrien Springs Dam.   

Kalamazoo River:  Water levels were about normal and steelhead fishing was good.  Suckers were also being caught.   

Grand Haven:  Boat and shore anglers continue to target steelhead and brown trout.   

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Water temperatures were up near the low 50’s.  Steelhead were still being caught.  Those targeting suckers have done well using worms below 6th Street.  

Rogue River:  Continues to produce some nice steelhead in the lower river.  

Grand River at Lansing:    A couple steelhead were caught at the point where the Grand meets the Red Cedar.  Anglers were using spawn, a jig and wax worm or spinners.  Steelhead were also caught near the Portland Dam, the Webber Dam and in Prairie Creek near Ionia.   

Muskegon Lake:  Is producing a fair to good number of white perch.  

Muskegon River:  Water clarity was low and will continue to be with all the run-off and more rain on the way the bite will be slow.  

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Ocqueoc River:  Had a good number of steelhead.

Thunder Bay River:  Had a fair number of steelhead.  

Au Sable River:  Water levels were high and muddy which usually slows the bite however some fish were still being caught up near the dam.  

Higgins Lake:  It appears the lake has finally opened up.  Water temperatures are still pretty cold so no boats were out yet. 


Houghton Lake:  Is really in-between seasons and the last snow storm did not help.  Even those fishing the canals were not getting anything.  It could be another couple weeks before water temperatures start to warm up.  

Tawas River:  A few suckers were still being caught in the lower river.  

Au Gres:  Trolling for walleye was really slow, probably held back by very cold and muddy water.  A couple of lake trout and walleye were taken by shore anglers casting at the end of the breakwall. 

Au Gres River:  Steelhead fishing was very slow at the Singing Bridge.  The water was high, fast and muddy.  

Rifle River:  Dip-netting for suckers was still in full swing.  

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Torch Lake: Is open and being used by those seeking out salmon and trout.   

Traverse City:  A few boats have been out in both the East Bay and the West Bay.   Those jigging have caught cisco and lake trout.  

Boardman River:  Was producing some steelhead.    

Betsie River:  Steelhead fishing picked up with the warm weather.  

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:  Have had very little to report.  Water temperatures are still very cold.    

Manistee:  Trollers and pier anglers have been catching some steelhead and brown trout when the weather permits.      

Big Manistee River:  Steelhead fishing continues.    

Ludington:  When they can get out, boat anglers caught steelhead and brown trout.  Pier anglers were also taking some fish.  

Pere Marquette River:  Has steelhead.  Cooler weather and rain will once again slow the bite.

Upper Peninsula

The inland lakes still had some ice cover which was not safe.  Some of the backroads were inaccessible due to heavy snow.  Smelt action is still three to four weeks away at least.      

Keweenaw Bay:  Salmon were caught in the southern bay off the Falls River and Sand Point Beach.  Steelhead action was still on the light side in the Falls River and the Silver River.  

Menominee River:  Walleye are being caught from the Hattie Street Bridge to Stephenson Island by shore anglers using zip lures, stick baits, jigs and plastics.  The best action was early morning or evening.  Walleye and brown trout were caught by those trolling and jigging especially in the Turn Basin.  The 6th Street launch was still iced in but all the other launches were open.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Had a couple ice anglers at Kipling and the Escanaba Yacht Harbor, the only two places with ice however conditions were extremely dangerous! The only boat launch that could be used at this time was the Rapid River launch although the dock isn’t in yet and there was a 12 inch heave where the asphalt meets the pad. The Ford River and the Gladstone launches could be open by the end of this week.  Those fishing the Day’s River, Tacoosh and the Whitefish River caught steelhead.  The Ford River is open for shore anglers with the possibility of catching a trout or smallmouth bass.  

Marquette:  Both harbors have full access with the docks in.  Cooler temperatures and rain have slowed fishing.  Jigging with cut bait at the bubblers is still providing anglers with coho during the mid-morning and early afternoon. Those trolling artificial baits have caught fish.  Pier anglers using artificial and cut bait in the Lower Harbor caught splake and whitefish.  Those fishing the Carp River were still catching steelhead up to nine pounds even though the water levels were high and muddy.  

Au Train:  The dock at the boat launch was still not in and depending on wind direction, loading and unloading a boat may be difficult for those fishing alone.  Catch rates slowed but anglers were still getting some coho, brown trout and steelhead when trolling artificial baits near the Rock River.  A few brown trout were caught on worms near the Rock River.  

Munising:  About 90% of the bay was ice free except for 100 to 200 feet of shoreline ice.  Boat use is limited however if southerly winds prevail, the public launch may be open by the weekend.  A few boats were able to launch from the Anna River and Sand Point.  Catch rates for splake, coho and whitefish were hit-or-miss.  Early morning was best for salmon.  Most were using spawn, Swedish pimples and jigs tipped with cut bait.   

Grand Marais:  Boat anglers caught two or three fish per trip, mainly coho and steelhead just outside the breakwall and inside the harbor.  Pier fishing was possible on the first section only as ice was still present on the rocks and the end of the pier.  

Fishing Tip: Fishing the Detroit River

The Weekly Fishing Report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from DNR Fisheries seasonal and field staff, and DNR Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species.
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