Friday, March 16, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018 Michigan DNR Weekly Fishing Report

Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest 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
Click in the map above to find your weekly fishing report by region.

Fishing slowed once again with the return of cold temperatures and snow. Walleye, pike and muskellunge season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters, St. Marys River and all the Lower Peninsula inland waters will close at midnight on March 15th. Walleye and pike season is open all year on the Lower Peninsula Greats Lakes, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Lake Erie: Boat anglers have caught walleye when trolling crank baits in Brest Bay. Shore anglers caught perch in the cuts and canals.
  • If you're planning on fishing any of the canals near Lake Erie Metro Park or Point Mouillee State Game Area you can get all of your bait & tackle needs met at  Bottom Line Bait & Tackle
  • If you're planning on fishing out of Sterling State Park or the Brest Bay area you can pick up tackle from the nice people at Jeff's Bait & Tackle.

Huron River: Anglers were still getting some steelhead up near the dam at Flat Rock when using fresh spawn or a jig tipped with a wax worm. Those fishing the deeper holes downstream were using crank baits.
  • 7.6 Miles North of Huroc Park there is a Dicks Sporting Goods
  • 7.6 Miles North of Huroc Park there is also a Meijer which carries fishing tackle and some live bait
  • 7.6 Miles North of Huroc Park there is also a Petsmart which carries crawlers, wax worms, mealworms and red wigglers
  • 5.3 Miles south east of Huroc Park the people at Bottom Line Bait & Tackle can help with any bait and tackle you need whether you're chasing bass, steelhead or walleye. 

Detroit River: Yellow perch have been caught in the cuts and canals. Walleye were not up in the river yet.
Wayne County Bait Shops: Click Here!

Lake St. Clair: Most of the canals and marinas still had some lingering ice. As for the boat launches, Harley Ensign was wide open with a few skid piers in. Selfridge was getting skim ice overnight but opens up midday but no piers were in yet. No boats could launch at the Clinton River Cutoff and Fairhaven was still iced in. Perch anglers were using minnows and spoons with a red bead 6 to 8 inches off the bottom.
  • For a more accurate report on Lake St. Clair I suggest reaching out to the people at Sportsmen's Direct  as their weekly LSC fishing report is usually far more in depth.  Phone: (586-741-6052)

Clinton River: A decent number of yellow perch were caught from the mouth to the bike path at 16-Mile Road. Further upstream, anglers were catching suckers.
Saginaw Bay: It's possible to get a boat out of Pinconning, but there was no fishing activity there. From Pinconning to the Saginaw River mouth, floating ice has prevented anglers from launching boats. At the mouth of the Saginaw River, boats could not go out any further than the range lights due to floating ice jams. It was not possible to get out to Spoils Island. Moving east, the Finn Road cut was iced over. Fishing in the lower Quanicassee River was very slow. All of the cuts up the east side of the Bay from the Thomas Cut northeast to Bird Creek at Port Austin re-froze and had skim ice which made shore fishing next to impossible. One highlight on the east side was the very good lake trout fishing off the pier at Caseville when using either live minnows or casting with cleo's and other spoons. Walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay remains open year round.
  • For a more accurate report on Saginaw Bay I suggest taking a look at the weekly Saginaw Bay Fishing Report given to you by

Saginaw River: The walleye hotspot was in the lower river from the mouth upstream through Bay City and as far as James Clements Airport with limit catches (8 fish per angler) common. Most were taken when vertical jigging from boats, either anchored or drifting, with heavy jig heads and stinger hooks baited with minnows. Moving upstream between Bay City and through Saginaw to the confluence, fishing slowed quite a bit which indicates the run is just now entering the lower river from Saginaw Bay. Anglers were getting walleye throughout this reach but they had to work harder for them. Anglers are reminded that the inland walleye season, which includes the Saginaw River will close at midnight on Thursday March 15th and will re-open on Saturday, April 28th.
Tittabawassee River: Both boat and shore anglers caught some walleye along the entire length of the river. Heavy jigs baited with minnows or plastic twister-tails fished right along the bottom were the ticket. The inland walleye season which includes the Tittabawassee River will close at midnight on Thursday March 15th and will re-open on Saturday, April 28th.
Shiawassee River: Was producing some walleye.
Flint River: Was also producing some walleye.
  • For a more accurate report on fishing the Flint River I suggest joining the Michigan Fish Slayers group on facebook.  There are always quite a few people giving updates on Flint River fishing. 
With the warming trend I'd suggest  reaching out to the local bait shops in southeast Michigan to verify what your best options are.  Below are links to bait shop listings organized by county:

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Coho salmon and brown trout fishing was picking up in the waters south of St. Joseph. Most of the action came when trolling along the beach but some anglers were going out to 200 feet when the weather allowed.
St. Joseph River: Although river levels are still higher than normal, steelhead action was good as the fish ladders are open and steelhead could be seen. Boat anglers were doing best but shore anglers caught a few.
Dowagiac River: Anglers caught a couple steelhead up near the Pucker Street Dam.
Kalamazoo River: Water levels were still a bit high but anglers have caught steelhead and walleye up near the Allegan Dam.
Kalamazoo County Bait Shops: Click Here!

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Although river levels are still higher than normal, steelhead action was good with a number of fish observed at 6th Street. Walleye were also being caught at a slower pace but they are definitely in the river. Steelhead are being caught in Prairie Creek in Ionia County.
  • For a more accurate report on the Grand River at Grand Rapids I suggest reaching out to the people at Al & Bob's SportsPhone: (616-281-0777)

Rogue River: Is also producing some steelhead.
Grand River at Lansing: All the fish ladders along the Grand are now open. A few anglers have caught walleye.
  • For a more accurate report on the Grand River at Lansing I suggest reaching out to the          people at Grand River Bait & TacklePhone: (517-482-4461) 

Muskegon: Pier anglers were getting the occasional steelhead.
Muskegon Lake: Anglers were getting a few walleye on blade baits near the river mouth but the season closes at midnight on March 15th. When they can get out, boat anglers caught yellow perch on the west half of the lake when using minnows and wigglers.
Muskegon River: Water levels continue to drop and the water clarity was still stained. Steelhead fishing was good but the cold and snow will slow the bite.
  • For a more accurate report on the Muskegon Lake & the Muskegon River I suggest reaching out to the people at Snug Harbor OutfittersPhone: (231-719-0759)

White River: Steelhead were caught but the cold spell slowed the bite.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Black Lake: Still had a few anglers but fishing pressure has slowed. Many of the access sites will no longer be accessible and anglers need to stay away from any open river mouths. Harvest numbers were low with only a few small perch taken on spikes and minnows. Those spearing reported undersize pike.
Sturgeon River: Some steelhead were starting to run.
Ocqueoc River: Had steelhead fishing.
Au Sable River: Was producing some steelhead.
  • For a more accurate report on Au Sable River I suggest taking a look at the weekly Old Au Sable Fishing Report given to you by

Higgins Lake: The best access site continues to be off the North State Park but caution needs to be used. Perch were hitting on minnows and wax worms in 20 to 40 feet but anglers are still doing a lot of sorting. Smelt were also in 20 to 40 feet and were hitting on wax worms or spikes. Rainbow trout can be found in shallow waters about a foot deep near Big Creek and the Conference Center. Most were caught on wigglers.
Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops: 
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle: (989) 821-9517 
Sports Barn: (989) 821-9511

Houghton Lake: Has open water in the North Bay, the East Bay and at various other points around the lake. Few anglers have been out. A couple were targeting bluegills and crappie in shallow waters along the south shore weed beds. Those anglers are walking out and fishing in shallow waters only. Walleye anglers were fishing in open water near the rivers.
Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:

Tawas: Boats launching into Tawas Bay and trolling south of the bay off the "Crib" which is about a mile straight out from Alabaster were getting lake trout in 10 to 20 feet.
Tawas River: Fishing was generally slow with just a couple walleye, pike and steelhead picked up.
Au Gres: A few boats were trolling not too far offshore between Point Lookout and Point Au Gres but angler success varied.
Au Gres River: Shore fishing on the lower river was slow. Fishing pressure at the Singing Bridge was light as anglers were not having much luck.
Pine River: Anglers were trying to shore fish on the lower river near Standish but catch rates for perch were poor as the fish are not in the river yet.
Rifle River: Steelhead were caught in the lower river.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
The return of winter has slowed things down. River steelhead fishing is decent in the lower stretches. Water levels were low and clear which makes fishing a little more difficult. Ice on the inland lakes is unpredictable. Caution needs to be used.
Bear River: In Emmet County had reports of some steelhead starting to run.
Traverse City: In the northern part of the West Bay, both Suttons Bay and Omena Bay are open water and the perch anglers were out.
Betsie River: Steelhead are being caught.
  • For a more accurate report on the Betsie River I suggest reaching out to the people at Frankfort Tackle BoxPhone(231-352-7673)
  • For a quick list of Benzie County Tackle Shops: Click Here!

Lake Leelanau: The north end of the North Lake was producing a few whitefish but no smelt. The south end of the South Lake produced a few walleye and lake herring.
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: While the cold nights were making ice, it is not recommended that anglers go out ice fishing.
Manistee: Coho salmon and brown trout fishing is picking up for those trolling along the beach. There is one dock in at the First Street launch. Pier anglers caught a couple steelhead and brown trout.
Big Manistee River: Steelhead fishing is decent in the lower river.
Ludington: A few hardy anglers trolling or pier fishing caught steelhead and brown trout. Those trolling were in 10 to 20 feet along the beach.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing picked up from the Twin Bridges at US-31 to Lake County but cold temperatures have once again slowed the bite.
Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:
Don's Sporting Goods: (231) 723-5028
Tangled Tackle Co.(231) 887-4242
Pappy's Bait & Tackle: (231) 848-4142
Andy's Tackle Box: (231) 477-5737

Pentwater River: Has steelhead for those braving the cold weather.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report
Michigamme River: A few anglers caught good size pike near the Way Dam.
Sawyer Lake: In Dickinson County had good pike fishing for those using tip-ups or rods with fathead minnows.
Menominee River: Anglers are starting to catch brown trout near the Hattie Street Dam.
Little Bay De Noc: The ice has held up for the most part although areas with moving water or surrounding rocky areas had begun to thaw. Anglers will need to use caution. Some walleye were caught at the head of the Bay when jigging rapalas or using tip-ups in 10 to 27 feet. Perch fishing was fair with most targeting the Kipling flats and north to Garth Point. The few fish taken were caught on wigglers or minnows in 16 to 30 feet. Whitefish moved north into the Bay and were caught between the Second and Third Reefs by several perch anglers.

Marquette: Limits or near limit catches of coho were taken on the bubblers. A mix of brown trout, splake, herring, and a couple kings were also taken but the ice moved back in and locked up access to the bubblers once again. Rivers in the Marquette area had very little fishing pressure.
Au Train: Anglers need to use extreme caution on the ice as the thickness is variable. Some coho, lake herring and Menominee were caught at the mouth of the Au Train River. Anglers are catching them both through the ice and while drifting spawn bags in the river.
Munising: Overall catch rates were lower for coho and smelt. Some managed a few good catches while others reported none. Best time for coho was in the morning with assorted jigging rapalas or Swedish pimples. Few were targeting whitefish as the bite was poor. The occasional splake was caught when jigging for coho. Those spearing reported slightly better action for lake herring when schools of fish were moving through.
Grand Marais: Still had ice within the harbor but low fishing pressure. Anglers were fishing for Menominee in shallower water. A few coho and steelhead were caught in the upper part of the marina.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing picked up around the Les Cheneaux Islands for those using minnows, wigglers, spikes and mousies. Most of the fish caught were around 8 inches but some did manage to find a few fish up to 14 inches. Smaller pike 22 to 25 inches were caught on minnows. Anglers saw some splake but only a few were caught. Anglers and recreational riders need to be extremely cautious near the island points and high current areas that have opened up or have poor ice.

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