Saturday, March 24, 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018, Michigan DNR 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.

Fewer anglers were out because of the cold temperatures and strong winds. Shore anglers will likely encounter ice in the cuts and canals with temperatures dropping down below freezing at night. Warmer temperatures next week should help improve the bite. Anglers are reminded that walleye fishing on the Saginaw River closed on March 15th and will not re-open until Saturday April 28th.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Lake Erie: Boat anglers continue to take walleye including some limit catches in 15 to 20 feet in Brest Bay. Most were using husky jerks.

Report From our friends at Jeffs Bait & TackleMost are trolling the coast line of the fermi power plant in 15 to 19 fow about 1 to 1.5mph. Looking for the mudlines and trolling just inside the mudd. They are also just outside of the sterling state park in 15 to 20 feet of water. The colors in the muddy waters are black and dark purple bandits. About 30 to 60 ft back. Bright colors in the cleaner water. White, orange and perch color bandits. A few reports of hair jigging around the river raisin and north of fermi. Black and purple 5/8 to 3/4 oz hairjigs

Jeff's Bait & Tackle
1756 N. Dixie Hwy
Monroe, Mi. 48162
(734) 289-4901
  • 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.
Detroit River: Some anglers were getting 2 to 4 walleye on jigs and minnows in the Trenton Channel. Boat anglers will still need to watch for occasional ice coming down the river.
Lake St. Clair: Fishing activity has been very limited due to cold temperatures and northeast winds. Most of the canals and marinas still have some lingering ice. Good reports came in from shore and a few boat anglers catching panfish and perch in the canals. As for boat launches, Harley Ensign is open with four docks in. Selfridge is open but no docks were in and anglers were still not able to launch at the Clinton River Cutoff. Fairhaven was still iced in.
  • 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)
St. Clair River: Also had limited fishing activity because of the cold and windy conditions. The launch in the North Channel had no docks in yet. At Marine City, the large tree was removed and crews were working on removing the root system. No docks were in yet as they cannot be put in until the buoys are in due to navigation hazards when exiting the launch. The buoys cannot go in until the large ice slabs clear the river.

Saginaw Bay: Perch fishing is still not underway in the cuts and rivers around the bay as it is still early and the water in the bay is still cold with lots of floating ice. Perch were caught inside the basin at Eagle Bay Marina at the end of Sagatoo Road but anglers should bring a spud. Floating ice continues to hamper those trolling. Boat anglers were getting perch and walleye around Spoils Island and around the range light just lake-ward of the river mouth. A few 6 to 8 inch perch were caught in the channel at Finn Road but most of the rivers and cuts may be iced over in the early mornings. The Thomas Cut and Allen Cut had a lot of fishing pressure but most of the fish caught were small. Fishing in the Sebewaing River and marina was slow with just a few perch and the odd crappie caught. The perch at Mud Creek were small. At Caseville, perch fishing was slow in the marinas and those casting hardware or still-fishing with minnows caught a few lake trout or the odd brown trout, steelhead, whitefish or burbot. No reports yet on the sucker runs but they should start soon.
  • 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: Anglers are reminded that the river is considered inland water and walleye season along the entire river closed on March 15th and does not re-open until Saturday, April 28th. Boat anglers fishing for perch in the lower river did well with 8 to 10 inch fish taken on perch rigs and minnows. Shore anglers near the cement plant in Essexville caught a few. Be sure to check the Exceptions to General Regulations by County in the Fishing Guide for seasonal gear restrictions for the river and its tributaries.

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
St. Joseph River: Water levels have dropped and the steelhead fishing should only get better as the weather improves and water temperatures begin to warm. Boat and shore anglers are getting some fish.

Kalamazoo River: Anglers caught steelhead and walleye up near the Allegan Dam. A fair number of suckers have also been caught.
Kalamazoo County Bait Shops: Click Here!

Grand Haven: Pier anglers were getting the occasional steelhead. Boat anglers caught some perch south of the piers in 50 to 55 feet.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are back to normal and anglers are still getting some steelhead. Some perch were caught in Felix Bayou near Spring Lake.
  • 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: Water levels are low. Steelhead anglers caught fish one day and none the next.

Grand River at Lansing: Did not have much to report. The odd steelhead was caught but the fish are scattered and catch rates were not consistent. A couple fish were spotted at the North Lansing Dam.
Report From our friends at Grand River Bait & Tackle: Not much going on in the Lansing area fishing-wise. A few Steelhead have been seen and caught in town, and there have been some caught in Prairie Creek (Ionia), but they're not in thick. The daily temperature roller-coaster has kept everything else off the feed. Theoretically, Carp, Crappie, and bass should be coming into the shallows right now, but we haven't had many reports and my own fishing has been really non-productive.

Muskegon: Pier anglers caught some steelhead and brown trout but the action was not fast and furious by any means.
Muskegon Lake: Perch have been caught along the west side in 42 to 45 feet just south of the channel. Anglers were using minnows or wigglers. Not many but a few anglers managed to take limit catches.
Muskegon River: Steelhead numbers are slowly picking up but will remain on the slow side until it warms up. Some perch were caught above the Davis Bridge.

  • For a more accurate report on the Muskegon Lake & the Muskegon River I suggest reaching out to the people at Snug Harbor Outfitters. Phone: (231-719-0759)

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Cheboygan River: Had a couple anglers fishing at the dam but the bite was poor and no fish were seen.

Mullett Lake: Still had some people on the ice but the pressure cracks are opening up. Extreme caution needs to be used.

Black Lake: Had no reports for the week. There is still ice but the thickness is unknown. Most access sites are usable but caution needs to be used. Anglers should also be cautious of open water around the lower Black River.

Higgins Lake: Between Point Detroit and Flag Point which is the area that becomes very narrow and divides the north and south basin; there are currents that chew the ice up quickly. Anglers should avoid the area. Watch the ice out from Big Creek because of the current. Lake trout anglers were still out. Smelt were caught on the north end or in front of Cottage Grove during the day. Some decent size perch were caught in 20 to 30 feet on the south end of the Sunken Island.

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops: 
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle: (989) 821-9517 

Sports Barn: (989) 821-9511

Houghton Lake: No one was out fishing. There is open water in many areas now with more opening up. Any remaining ice will most likely not be safe. It is time to get ready for open water fishing.

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:

Au Sable River: Is running low and clear. Those using streamers in the lower river should find a small number of steelhead in the late morning or afternoons when it warms up.
Report From our friends at the Au Sable River Store: There are few steelhead moving into to the lower Au Sable river despite the windy conditions hurting things. Fishing has been spotty with steelhead being caught in the deeper holes and at Foote Dam.  For steelhead we recommend fishing with spawn or waxworms
680 River Rd.
Oscoda Twp. Mi 48750
(989) 739-5332

Tawas: Pier anglers did catch some Atlantic salmon and lake trout with large minnows or when casting various lures. Boats trolling and vertical jigging down near Alabaster were getting both lake trout and walleye in 10 to 20 feet.

Tawas River: Shore anglers fishing downstream of US-23 did catch a couple steelhead and a few suckers.

Au Gres: Walleye were staging just off the river mouth and those trolling were doing well including some that were taking limit catches.

Au Gres River: Those fishing down at the Singing Bridge (Whitney Drain) caught some steelhead and one Atlantic salmon in the lower river and in the surf.

Pine River: Perch fishing in the lower river was slow and the fish were small.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Fishing conditions were not ideal. The rivers are low, clear and cold which is making it tough for anglers to target steelhead. While the inland lakes still had some ice, the thickness is variable and
those planning to head out will need to use extreme caution.

Lake Charlevoix: The ice was holding. Perch anglers were doing okay along the South Arm in the morning hours.

Boardman River: Was producing some steelhead for those using spawn, a jig and wax worm or small spinners.

Manistee: When they can get out, boat anglers are finding some coho and brown trout when trolling in shallow waters along the beach. Pier anglers were picking up a couple steelhead and brown trout as well.

Big Manistee River: Anglers are trying and catching a few trout but fishing conditions have not been angler friendly. Those fishing the lower river reported decent fishing. Catch rates should improve in the next few weeks.

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: Water temperatures in the 30's have slowed fishing. A warm up next week should help to get the bite going again. Anglers were using spawn, wax worms, and beads.

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

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing has been slow. Those targeting lake trout had limited success. A few coho were caught in 10 to 15 feet. A couple nice brown trout were caught in 50 to 60 feet. Smelt fishing was very good both day and night on the Baraga side of the bay.
Little Bay De Noc: Ice remained in most areas but that will change fast in the coming weeks. A few were still taking vehicles out however it is not recommended especially now that the shoreline ice will break-up fast. With walleye season closed, anglers are targeting perch or whitefish. The best perch catches were near Kipling between the Second and Third Reefs in 24 to 30 feet when jigging wigglers or minnows right on the bottom. For whitefish, the best area was off Sand Point when using minnows or spawn in and around 80 feet.

Marquette: Ice was still present at the Upper Harbor bubblers. Those fishing the open water did well for coho but were dragging boats across the ice to get to the open water. This is very dangerous and is not recommended. Fishing on the Carp and Chocolay Rivers was very slow as the water levels are low and clear and the steelhead have not shown up yet. Only a couple brown trout were caught.
Au Train: Fishing pressure was very light as few have been out. Those fishing the Au Train River caught a couple coho but no steelhead.
Munising: The bay still had ice. Coho salmon catches have increased the last few days with a few limits reported. Smelt are still schooling in large numbers with catches varying up to two gallons. Trout Bay had some shove ice but was still fishable. Splake and whitefish action was very slow. Night anglers targeting burbot did well with most fish averaging 22 to 24 inches.
Cedarville and Hessel: Those fishing around the Les Cheneaux Islands reported good pike and splake fishing with splake up to eight pounds taken on minnows in 18 feet and pike 24 to 36 inches taken in 10 to 15 feet. Perch fishing was a bit harder as most fish were only 5 inches. Anglers were using minnows, spikes, and wigglers. The area still had ice however always be cautious.

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