Weekly Fishing Report: April 26, 2023

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Weekly Fishing Report - April 26, 2023

fishing map Southwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report

The Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app gives you a mobile path to buy and store hunting, fishing, ORV and snowmobile licenses and permits, report harvests, access guides and digests, and get the latest outdoor recreation updates. The app is a one-stop shop for:

  • Buy hunting and fishing licenses and trail permits.
  • Report deer or fish harvests.
  • Look up regulations and download guides and digests.
  • Find your license history, including point and chance balances.
  • Check out maps with multiple layers, showing features such as shooting ranges and boat launches.
  • Get timely notifications from the DNR.

Enjoy the outdoors, get your licenses, read digests and more all on the go. Find it now in the App Store and Google Play store for Apple and Android devices.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Yellow perch were caught by jigging minnows in shallow water out from the coal power plant in around 15 feet of water. Walleye were caught on crank baits trolled out from the Sterling State Park beach area in 19 feet of water. Walleye were caught in 20 feet of water out from the nuclear power plant with the same method. Perch colors on the crank baits seemed to perform well. Steelhead were caught on silver and blue crank baits being trolled out from the nuclear power plant on occasion during a sunny day.

Lake St. Clair: Smallmouth bass anglers were having successful trips using crank baits, soft plastics and swim baits. Most anglers did well closer to shore in 10 to 15 feet of water from Nine Mile ramp all the way to the Clinton River Spillway. Walleye anglers were doing well while trolling crank baits and jigging artificial minnows in the Delphine Channel and near Peche Island.

Saginaw Bay: A few walleye anglers fished from Quanicassee towards Fish Point in the slot with a few walleye caught on both body baits and crawler harnesses. From Sebewaing to Caseville there was very limited fishing activity other than a few anglers trying for panfish in the area cuts and marinas. Some walleye were caught at Spoils Island while jigging and trolling around the island. A few yellow perch were also caught by the Sparkplug in 25 feet of water.

Saginaw River: Boat anglers vertically jigging caught walleye directly across from the DNR launch near the far bank in 18 to 20 feet of water. Minnows and plastics produced fish; numbers were not great, but the average was about 3 to 6 fish per boat. Elsewhere in Bay City, shore anglers were catching a few walleye while castings jigs and twister tails at Veteran’s Park. Upstream of Bay City, fishing was slow with mostly freshwater drum, channel catfish and white bass being caught. The white bass have shown up recently and while it seems early for them to be running the tributaries to spawn, they are starting.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

Muskegon: Pier anglers found the action to be very slow for brown trout and coho salmon. Boats trolling in 30 to 60 feet of water caught a few Chinook salmon. Chartreuse and green spoons worked well for boat anglers.

Muskegon River: The majority of steelhead anglers continued to focus efforts above the Thornapple launch despite the improvements in water clarity downstream. While it seemed angler numbers were beginning to taper down from their peak, anglers continued to see adequate numbers of steelhead being caught. There was a mix of ripe and spent fish in the river, with the majority leaning towards being spent. Drifting beads under a float was the method of choice for most anglers but using flies in the same configuration also yielded success.

St. Joe: Fishing overall was on the slow side. Boat anglers targeting coho were catching a few fish. The fish were spread out from 10 to 60 feet of water. Boats were also catching a few lake trout and an occasional Chinook salmon. Anglers where targeting fish from 60 to well over 100 feet of water. Small crank baits and spoons were working best. Pier anglers were catching a few coho using spawn fished on the bottom.

South Haven: Anglers reported fishing was slow. Pier fishing was slow for coho. Boat anglers targeting salmon also had slow fishing. There were a few lake trout caught around 60 feet of water. The conditions were poor and boat pressure was very low.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Presque Isle: A handful of steelhead and a couple Atlantic salmon were caught off the pier while using spoons. Best results occurred early and late in the day with blue/silver, green/silver, and orange spoons.

Rockport: A few boats ventured out weather permitting. Lake trout with the occasional Atlantic salmon were caught from straight out south to Middle Island. Waters 30 to 60 feet deep were productive. Best results were with spoons and crankbaits on lead core for Atlantic salmon and deeper sets of flasher/spin glows for trout.

Alpena/Thunder Bay River: Steelhead were caught at the 9th Street dam while drifting beads and spawn. Suckers were caught on crawlers throughout the river as well as bass, pike and the occasional walleye. Anglers are reminded that pike and walleye need to be released until the season opens. A number of brown trout, pike, bass and walleye were caught off the pier early and late in the day. Crankbaits in a variety of colors were most productive. Offshore anglers were targeting trout and Atlantic salmon near Thunder Bay Island while running spoons and crankbaits off lead core and copper lines. A handful of brown trout were caught with gold, orange, and chartreuse being the most productive colors.

Cheboygan River: Steelhead fishing was slow. They appeared to be in a spawning mode which slowed down the bite. Anglers were casting spoons and body baits.  Anglers were also drifting fresh spawn bags, bottom bouncing or under a bobber.  Beads were also being used. Suckers were also starting to come in. Anglers were encountering a lot of walleye in the river system. Reminder: Walleye must be immediately released as the season is currently not open.

Ocqueoc River: A few steelhead and suckers were coming in. Steelhead were caught in the deeper holes while drifting fresh spawn bags or beads under bobbers.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Manistee River: Steelhead upriver were still in the system; however, the suckers started their major push throughout the entire river. Anglers near the dam were primarily catching steelhead and brown trout fishing with yellow and orange beads, as well as black and brown flies. A combination of bottom bouncing and drifting bobbers were the most effective. Anglers targeting suckers caught primarily redhorse suckers with some common white and longnose suckers mixed in using crawlers on the bottom. Some walleye, smallmouth bass, and pike were reported. Surface water temperatures were steady between 47 to 52 degrees throughout most of the river.

Manistee Lake: Inconsistent weather temperatures and winds kept anglers off Manistee Lake. Anglers going out were primarily targeting perch while fishing with wigglers and minnows in 20 to 25 feet of water. Rock bass, bluegill, and black crappie were reported. Some anglers were also targeting bass throughout the southern end of the lake using various swim baits and plastics. Largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported in good numbers with the occasional pike. Water levels fluctuations throughout the week have caused some boat launches to be underwater.

Ludington: Brown trout and coho were caught off the piers while using spawn and smelt. Anglers targeting spring Chinook started to catch a few south of the projects toward Pentwater, both near the shoreline and out deeper. Lake trout were also caught when fishing in 60 to 80 feet of water. Brown trout fishing slowed down, but a few were still caught while trolling the coastline. Smelt was a great bait in Lake Michigan for pier and shore fishing.

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Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Anglers reported slow perch fishing, but anticipate improvement soon.

Big Bay de Noc: Perch anglers reported good perch fishing. Anglers reported good average sized perch in the 8-to-10-inch range while using minnows and worms.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers in Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay reported some catches of lake trout, coho and brown trout. Fish were caught mostly while trolling in shallower waters. Fish were caught using many different types of artificial baits and lures. Fish were more often caught in the mornings while weather was favorable.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers were fighting the cold and wet weather to get out and fish for splake off the pier in Hessel. There was a good amount of splake caught along with a few Atlantic salmon as well. There were a few anglers out looking for perch. Smelt were a popular bait for fishing off the pier in Hessel.

Traverse Bays/ Portage Canal: Anglers were fishing near and away from shore mostly for lake trout. Some anglers had luck fishing in deeper water and trolling while others found fish in shallow water while also trolling. There were anglers who had good catches of lake trout while jigging in deeper waters off the South Portage Canal entry and out from Big Traverse Bay. There were reports of lake trout biting on both natural and artificial lures. Most anglers were off the water by noon on successful fishing days and when weather permitted.

Au Train: Fishing activity remained high out of the Brownstone Boat Launch. Anglers reported catching coho salmon and brown trout while trolling with spoons near the Rock River and Au Train Island. As for the Rock River, there were a few reports of anglers catching rainbow trout while floating spawn in the river and casting spawn from the river mouth.

Marquette: There was a lot of fishing activity in the lower harbor. Coho salmon took up most of the catch, but there were also some Chinook salmon and brown trout reported. Most anglers were using bright color spoons while trolling in shallower water near the mouth of the Carp River. There was not a lot of fishing activity in the Carp River over the last week, but some anglers reported catching coho from the mouth of the river while still fishing using spawn.

Munising Bay: Boat anglers reported good catches of coho this past week while trolling within the bay to Trout Bay.

Grand Marais: Pier anglers reported low catches of whitefish. Boat anglers reported limits of coho while trolling within the harbor and east toward the Blind Sucker River.

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Fishing Tip:

Did you know simple mistakes can make or break your fishing adventures? Check out these basic things to avoid if you want to have better success on the water:

  • Make sure your reel is filled with line – don’t wait until it gets to half-empty and risk losing a great catch due to an inadequate amount of line.
  • Check your knots – monitor their strength and durability after each fish. If the strength gets compromised, cut the line down a few feet and start again.
  • Set the hook – don’t forget to do this each time you even think you’ve got a bite. Why waste a great catch just because you forgot to set the hook?

Want more tips for fishing in Michigan? Visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.

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This report is intended to give you an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from Fisheries staff and 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.