Thursday, April 5, 2018

4/5/2018, Weekly Michigan Fishing Report

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Spring fishing was starting to pick up until the wind, rain, snow and cold once again put a damper on fishing conditions. No boats have been out on the Great Lakes and very few were fishing the inland lakes and rivers. With the continued cold weather, anglers in the Upper Peninsula were still ice fishing.

Huron River Report From our friends at Bottom Line Bait & TackleSteelhead ranging from 4lbs to 7lbs are being caught at the dam in Huroc park and along the river south of Huroc Park.  Steelhead are being taken on spawn baggs below bobbers, Hot-N-Tots through holes, jigs tipped with wax worms and even a few are biting little cleos and inline spinners.  

Not only are steelhead biting throughout the river but the suckers are pushing into the Huron river in good numbers with anglers taken suckers on crawlers and sponge baits. 

Bottom Line Bait & Tackle
32660 W. Jefferson Ave
Rockwood, Mi. 48173
Phone: 734-379-9762

Lake Erie: Was producing limit catches of walleye but strong winds and gale warnings have kept boat anglers off the big water.
Lake Erie Report From our friends at Jeffs Bait & Tackle: This weeks cold and windy weather has Brest Bay a bit muddy.  However walleye are still being caught in 14ft. to 18ft. of water on darker colored stick baits being trolled between 1.2 to 1.8 mph.  Anglers are also having success jigging bucktails near at the mouth of the Raisin River, the dumping grounds and by Luna Pier. 
Perch are in close with anglers catching quite a few on minnows in Bowles Harbor and on the Raisin River.

If you're planning on fishing out of Sterling State Park or the Brest Bay area you can pick up fishing license, large and small minnows or just about any other fishing needs at 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

Detroit River: Both the perch and the walleye bite slowed. Shore anglers were getting a few small perch in the cuts and canals.

Detroit River Report from Rich at Andy's Tackle Box: Water temperatures are still standing around the 37 to 38 degree mark which has kept the bite fairly consistent prior to the last few windy days. The wind has not shut the walleye bite down though it has only slowed it, with some people getting quicker limits of fish than others. Anglers are catching walleye jigging however those jigging with baits tipped with minnows are having the most success. 
Shore anglers are doing well at parks between the post office and the Belle Isle Bridge with confirmed report of one large female being caught behind Joe Lewis Arena in the last couple of days.  
17485 Dix-Toledo Rd.
Melvindale, Mi. 48122
Phone: 313-388-3474
Mon. - Fri. 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sat. 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sun. Closed

Lake St. Clair: Had almost zero boat effort due to the weather. Shore anglers were finding some panfish in the marinas and canals.
  • 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: The ice floes look to be over. Walleye along with the occasional trout or salmon were caught in the lower river as well as the upper river near Port Huron.

Saginaw Bay: Only a few boats had been out from Linwood but those making it out did catch some walleye in 15 to 17 feet when trolling body baits. East of Bay City and up into the Thumb, perch fishing in the rivers and cuts was hit-or-miss. At the Thomas and Allen Cuts, the Sebewaing River and on up to Bay Port fishing was generally slow. Very few perch were caught in Mud Creek. At Caseville, some lake trout were caught in the marina basins but perch fishing was slow.
  • 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: Yellow perch fishing in the lower river and just off the river mouth was phenomenal with limit catches of 25 fish the norm. A lot of the fish were 12 to 14 inches. Minnows on a perch rig without beads seemed to work best. Perch anglers were shore fishing at the Cement Plant in Essexville and at Smith Park. Bad weather and windy conditions will slow fishing once again.

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 orgnized by county:

Pier anglers will want to watch for icy conditions especially after the gale force winds and high waves.
Holland: Fishing is just starting up in Holland with a mix of coho, browns and the occasional steelhead. Fish are being caught in 8-25 ft of water with the browns hanging out in the sandbars and the coho just outside. A mix of body baits and mini size Silver Streaks have been best. Thunder sticks, Thin Fins, J-9&11 raps and Bay Rats have been good. 

New Buffalo: When they can get out, anglers were taking coho when trolling along the beach.

St. Joseph: Coho, brown trout and the occasional steelhead were still being caught when the weather allowed but no boats have been out.

St. Joseph River: Had a few anglers out targeting steelhead but the bite was slow once again. We need rain and warmer temperatures.

South Haven: Before the storm, boat anglers were catching good numbers of coho when trolling small crank baits south of the piers. Pier fishing was slower with only a couple coho and the occasional brown trout caught on spawn.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were catching a few perch south of the piers in 60 to 75 feet when using minnows however with the strong winds, no boats were out. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand River at Grand Rapids report from our friends at Al & Bobs Sports:  Catch rates have slowed on steelhead with a few anglers still catching fish on spawn.  There are still quite a few anglers at sixth street dam in boats and wading but few reports of fish being caught.  With the cold front this week we're expecting more slow fishing. 
Anglers are catching steelhead from the Lake Michigan piers on spawn as well.  They've also been catching walleye from the piers and beaches as well with fish being caught on 3 inch swim jigs with white or pearl bodies with dark colored heads.
  • 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)
Muskegon: Pier anglers had caught a couple steelhead and brown trout on spawn.

Muskegon River: Has some nice steelhead however cold water temperatures have slowed the bite. Try fishing the deeper holes until it warms back up.

Whitehall: Pier fishing was slow but anglers caught the occasional steelhead when using spawn bags near the bottom.

Deep snow and cold temperatures have slowed both fishing activity and the bite.
Black Lake: Had no reports this week as ice conditions are unknown and the river mouths have open water.

Tawas: Pier anglers caught a couple Atlantic salmon, walleye, steelhead and brown trout when casting hardware or still-fishing with minnows. Not many boats fished out of the river mouth but the few that did went down toward Alabaster and picked up some lake trout and walleye when trolling body baits in 15 to 25 feet.

Tawas River: Anglers caught a couple steelhead and some suckers.

Au Gres River: Steelhead caught in the lower river down near the Singing Bridge. Shore anglers were drifting spawn sacks in the river or floating spawn in the surf.

Rifle River: The sucker run was starting to come in at Omer. Hook and line anglers were doing well, but dip-netters had spotty success. If the suckers are in at Omer, they should also be moving into the other local rivers including the Shiawassee, Cass and Flint. Perch fishing in the lower Pine River near Standish was still slow but those using worms caught a few suckers.

Snow and cold water temperatures are delaying the primary steelhead run. We need warm weather and rain as water levels were low and clear. Cold and windy conditions have kept the boat and pier anglers off Lake Michigan. The inland lakes were open water for the most part but no one was fishing.
Frankfort: The water was open and ice free. When they can get out, boat anglers trolling body baits between the pier heads caught a few brown trout.

Betsie River: The steelhead bite slowed with the onset of snow and cold temperatures.

Onekama: The water is open and ice free but there was no fishing activity to report.

Portage Lake: The west end of the lake is ice free but the east end was about 50 percent covered with drifting ice. Both launches were accessible for launching boats.

Manistee: Surface temperature readings were about 36 degrees. The city launch has three docks in but the restrooms and fish cleaning station are still closed. Pier anglers caught a couple steelhead and brown trout on spawn. When they can get out, boat anglers caught coho, steelhead and brown trout in the basin and outside the piers in 9 to 12 feet when trolling spoons and rapalas.

Big Manistee River: Has fresh fish but the bite has slowed with the cold weather. Target the deeper holes until it warms back up.

Ludington: Surface water temperatures were 36 degrees. Docks were in at the city launch but the restrooms and fish cleaning station were still closed. The launch at Copeyon Park also had a dock in. Those trolling spoons and rapalas around the pier heads caught the occasional steelhead or brown trout.
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

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was still slow unless you are looking for smelt as the fishing off Sand Point was great in 30 to 100 feet. Jig something shiny if the smelt are not there right away as it will usually bring them in. This would be a good time to bring a youngster out as the fish are frequently right below the hole during the day. Put a flasher fish right above the school and every time you catch one they move higher in the water column which can be exciting for a young angler. Try a light action rod with a Hali lure on the bottom and one or two small teardrop jigs above it and all tipped with a wax worm. A spring bobber is very helpful as smelt have a light bite.

Little Bay De Noc: Anglers were still ice fishing however a foot or more of fresh snow has covered many of the dangerous areas. Extreme caution needs to be used. Perch fishing was fair at best with fish caught in the Kipling area. Anglers were using wigglers or minnows in 30 to 35 feet. It seems the fish had moved out from the usual areas and were scattered.

Marquette: The bubblers were ice free but there is still a lot of ice in and around the harbors and it could blow back in any day. Coho fishing was hit-or-miss with some days producing limit catches while other days were only a fish or two. Brown trout, splake and a couple Chinook were mixed in with the coho catches. Slow fishing on the Carp and Chocolay Rivers with only a couple steelhead or brown trout caught over the last couple weeks. Water levels are still very low.

Au Train River: Coho fishing was hit-or-miss. When the fishing is good anglers are getting limits in less than an hour but when it is slow they were only getting a couple. Those ice fishing the river need to use extreme caution as the ice is very unpredictable and a few people have fallen through.

Munising: Had heavy snow with an additional 4 to 7 on top of the 10 inches received on Saturday. Coho fishing was a bit slower but some parties did manage to take a limit catch for the day especially from Trout Bay and off Sand Point. Smelt were still being caught off Sand Point with most using teardrop jigs or a Hali jig with a wax worm. No word on steelhead action.

Two Hearted River: No access continues as the area gets hit with yet another snow storm. The only access will be by snowmobile as there are still no open roads in the area because of the deep snow pack.
Cedarville and Hessel: Fishing slowed this week. Anglers did catch some perch between 8 and 10 inches but many were throwbacks at only 5 inches. Anglers were using minnows, wigglers, spikes and spoons. A couple splake were caught on spoons at the pier. The area still had ice however strong currents are creating unstable ice conditions in some areas so extreme caution needs to be used.

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