Weekly Fishing Report: May 31, 2023

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Weekly Fishing Report - May 31, 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

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Anglers out of Bolles Harbor and Sterling State Park were catching walleye in 22 to 24 feet of water out from the Raisin River on crawler harnesses. Spoons were also seeing some success in the same area. Big largemouth bass were caught in the channels leading into the lagoons at Sterling State Park on chopping motion lures.

Detroit River: Walleye were still around with some anglers still getting limits, though it was taking a little longer than it did earlier this spring. There were a lot more white bass in the river that anglers targeting walleye were hooking into. Shore anglers were catching a number of white bass in the middle and lower portions of the river. Bright colored jig heads with brown plastic worm bodies performed well.

Lake St. Clair: The smallmouth bass action picked up quite a bit this week and where we would have expected it to be in early May. The Metropark to Memorial Park section of the lake was extremely productive and fishing was good right in front or to either side of the Nine Mile launch. Smallmouth bass fishing was also good near the mouth of Lake Erie in shallow water. Perch colored lures and white swim baits performed well this week. Depths of 6 to 10 feet was the average for the smallmouth but some anglers reported catching fish in as little as 3 to 4 feet. The walleye action was slow, but some anglers did take some along the coast of Anchor Bay near Selfridge in 10 to 14 feet of water while trolling with crawler harnesses. The south and middle channel of the St. Clair River was the spot to be for walleye fishing. Anglers did well in this location using crawler harnesses.

Saginaw Bay: Fishing near buoys A – B were starting to produce a few walleye while trolling with crankbaits. Walleye were also caught 2 to 3 miles east of the Spark Plug in 18 to 20 feet of water while trolling with both crankbaits and crawlers. Some boat anglers were also going over to the Slot and picking up good numbers of walleye while trolling with crankbaits. Some shore anglers were catching walleye still fishing in the lower part of the Saginaw River at Smith Park in Essexville. Fishing out from Quanicassee around Callahan Reef was good in 10 to 13 feet of water for walleye. The south end of the slot and up to and past Sebewaing was very good for walleye in 13 to 15 feet. Walleye were also caught out from North Island in the slot and off the tip of Sand Point. Both body baits and crawler harnesses produced limit catches of walleye. Anglers targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass were doing well on a variety of artificial baits.

Bay City State Park: Walleye fishing was excellent with many anglers getting limit catches in short periods of time. The entire bay was good from Linwood all the way around to Bay Port. Depths of 12 to 17 feet of water appeared to be the water depth to target. Largemouth bass were also caught in the shallows with top water baits working great for many anglers. Bluegill were caught as well, but not the large numbers yet. For walleye, anglers reported that plastics were working well, Flicker Shad #7 trolled at 1.8-2.5 mph and same with other similar sized body baits. Many anglers were running crawlers as well but typically trolling much slower 1.3-1.8 mph.

Saginaw/Tittabawassee rivers: Most anglers were fishing catch and release and not targeting a particular species. From shore and in boats, anglers were catching freshwater drum while casting jigs and with live bait as well. Channel catfish were also caught regularly by anglers using live bait on both the Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers.

Port Sanilac: Lake trout, coho, a few steelhead and pink salmon were caught from boats while trolling in 40 to 50 feet while using planer boards, dipsy divers with lead core and bright colored spoons. Some boat anglers were fishing deep water, 100 to 130 feet, and were picking up lake trout running downriggers and spoons. Atlantic salmon were caught early in the morning and in the evening using bobber and minnows and casting small lures.

Lexington: A few rock bass, smallmouth bass and pike were caught from shore inside the harbor while casting small lures.

Harbor Beach: A few boat anglers were trolling for salmon and trout caught a few coho, lake trout and an occasional Chinook salmon. The fish were scattered in all different depths but mostly caught in 60 to 80 feet of water while trolling with downriggers and spoons and spin and glows. Some smallmouth bass were caught from the breakwall while casting small artificial lures.

Grindstone: Smallmouth bass were caught from the harbor shore while casting tubes and spinners. Anglers were also using nightcrawlers.

Port Austin: Smallmouth bass were caught while casting tubes and spinners from the breakwall and along the Bird Creek.

Eagle Bay: Anglers were wading and fishing from kayaks while casting artificial lures, tubes and spinners catching and releasing smallmouth bass.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

Muskegon: Boat anglers found the salmon action to be fair. Salmon were scattered from 50 to 250 feet of water with the best action being in the 50 to 120 feet range. Spoons were the most productive in blue and orange. The morning bite was the best.

Grand Haven: The salmon action started to slow down. Boat anglers found Chinook salmon from the pierheads out to 120 feet of water. Orange and blue spoons worked the best. Pier anglers caught a few steelhead and Chinook salmon on alewives. The first light bite was the best for boat anglers.

St. Joe: Boat anglers targeting salmon were catching decent numbers of Chinook salmon and a few steelhead and coho. The fish seemed to be very scattered from 50 feet out to well past 120 feet of water. Pier fishing for steelhead slowed down. There were a few fish still being caught on shrimp. Perch fishing was slow.

South Haven: Boat anglers continued to have good catches of salmon. The fish were scattered but 100 feet of water seemed to be close to the center of the fish. Most fish were caught on spoons. Pier fishing for steelhead slowed down.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Presque Isle: Thompson Harbor and North Bay had the most consistent catches of Atlantic salmon. Mini to medium sized spoons were taking the majority of fish. Trout were caught from North Albany Point all the way to North Bay. Those targeting 50 to 70 feet had the best luck with flashers and spin glows close to bottom. Anglers fishing 70 to 100 feet were finding lake trout all throughout the water column with spoons working best. White/orange, green/silver, blues, and watermelon colors in the middle of the column worked best. Bass anglers in North Bay had good luck with tube jigs and various plastics in 10 to 18 feet of water. A few large pike were also caught in the same waters.

Rockport: With cooler water temperatures, lake trout, Atlantic salmon and a few Chinook salmon were caught in depths 25 to 40 feet. Copper and lead core lines were taking more fish than downriggers. Mini sized trolling spoons were taking most Atlantic salmon with UV oranges, gold/greens, and green/silver colors being the best choice. Lake trout and Chinook were caught on the same colors only in larger sized spoons. The east side of Middle Island all the way to Stoneport were productive locations. A few Atlantic salmon and northern pike were caught off the Rockport dock using minnows and various casting spoons.

Alpena: With the water temperatures warming, Chinook salmon were scattered a little and moved to deeper waters. Trolling from 9 Mile to Thunder Bay Island was productive in waters 40 to 80 feet. Spoons in the top half of the water column were catching majority of the silver fish. Orange, orange/gold, watermelon, and greens were the most productive. Trout were caught in good numbers at all depths. White, green and yellow flashers with white and yellow spin glows near bottom and larger watermelon spoons in the middle of the water column were working best. Grass and Sulphur islands were giving up pike, bass and walleye. Pike and smallmouth bass were caught on spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Depths of 12 to 20 feet were good for walleye with crawler harnesses and medium diving crankbaits. Waters around Scarecrow Island were also giving up walleye while jigging plastics and minnows being the preferred baits.

Thunder Bay River: The walleye bite slowed down, but fish were still caught below the 9th Street Bridge and around Mill Island Park. Smallmouth bass were found from the river mouth all the way to the 9th Street Dam. Good numbers of pike were caught throughout the river on large swimbaits and medium diving crankbaits with chartreuse being the best color.

Cheboygan: Lake trout were plentiful this past week. Anglers were having good success fishing the reefs in 40 to 70 feet of water. They were using spoons or bright flashy attractors with spin glos. Spoons were also catching fish. Smallmouth bass fishing was very good in Duncan Bay.

Cheboygan River: Walleye fishing had picked up. Boat anglers were drifting live bait leeches and night crawlers throughout the river. Anglers reported good smallmouth bass fishing as well. Anglers were jigging with tubes, artificial or live bait and did well. They were also casting body baits. 

Rogers City: A mix of lake trout along with fair to good numbers of Atlantic salmon and the occasional Chinook salmon were caught. The best fishing was between the state park and past 40 Mile Point. Good depths were from 45 to 80 feet of water. Anglers were running lines all throughout the water column for best results. The Atlantic salmon were coming in the top 15 to 20 feet. Anglers were using smaller spoons and regular sized spoons. Good colors were oranges, orange/silver, and orange/green (UV on them also performed well). Lake trout were caught on spoons with lots of greens and some blues or white. Anglers were also using bright flashy attractors with spin glos.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Manistee River: Anglers were primarily targeting trout and smallmouth bass throughout the week. Most successful anglers were casting artificials, either small spinners or soft plastics. Lucky anglers managed to land a few nice brown trout throughout the upper sections of the river. Sucker anglers also had success using natural bait while sitting on the bottom, as well as drifting flies. Anglers reported the occasional dark steelhead.

Manistee Lake: Opening weekend of bass season produced very good results for those targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass. Bass anglers found success casting soft plastics in shallow weed beds, while also picking up northern pike. Anglers targeting pike had success both casting and trolling throughout the entirety of the lake. Anglers targeting panfish also produced good results while fishing a variety of natural bait for bluegill, rock bass and crappie. Anglers targeting crappie found alternative success using small jig setups with small soft plastics attached.

Manistee: Anglers trolling for Chinook salmon caught fish in and around the harbor and off the pier while using alewife or spoons. A good number of brown trout were also caught as well. Along the shelf, those trolling in 180 to 240 feet of water found Chinook 40 to 75 feet down; spoons and flasher/fly combos worked well. Most of the action had been straight out and south, but some anglers found fish further south toward Big Sable Point or just north of town. Good numbers of alewife remained around the piers. Orange and green spoons were working well.

Ludington: Anglers trolling caught decent numbers of Chinook and brown trout in and around the harbor during the morning hours. Chinook salmon were also caught at Big Sable Point, straight out from town and south off the projects. Depths varied from 100 to 250 feet of water when fishing 40 to 80 feet down with spoons or flasher/flies. Chinook salmon were also caught towards Pentwater and at Little Sable Point. Orange and green spoons were working well.

Ontonagon River: The walleye bite in the river had reportedly been slow for some, but not all. Determined anglers willing to put in long hours were rewarded with good numbers of fish. Anglers had success with a combination of jigging and trolling the river waters.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Good weather over the past week resulted in many successful trips. Anglers had no issues finding fish while trolling artificial lures in shallow waters. The variety of species caught, including lake trout, steelhead, coho salmon, Chinook salmon, and brown trout surely made for some good mixed bags for anglers. These catches occurred during all times of day.

Black River Harbor: Fishing efforts were low out of the harbor this past week despite the holiday weekend. Committed anglers willing to spend full days on the water were rewarded with good numbers of fish including lake trout, steelhead, coho salmon and brown trout. Their success resulted from trolling artificial lures in relatively shallow waters.

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Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass fishing was good. Anglers reported some spawning activity in the shallows. Walleye anglers reported fair to good fishing. Anglers trolling or casting crawlers were successful. Some anglers also found success while trolling crankbaits.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing. Anglers targeted emerging vegetation, shallow water flats and rocks. Walleye anglers experienced slow fishing. A few anglers contacted fish near Fishdam River.

Manistique: At Indian Lake State Park, the walleye bite was slow but anglers were catching a few on leeches.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Fishing pressure increased, and anglers were able to find some lake trout, whitefish and salmon during various times of the day. Some of the last week’s weather prevented longer fishing trips however some anglers were still able to wrestle up some lake trout before winds picked up. Fish were caught mostly using artificial lures and while trolling. Trolling depths varied throughout the week but during the mornings shallow waters worked best.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers were catching a few lake trout around Mackinaw Island and were also catching pike in the Hessel area. There were a lot of pike sightings, but few were caught. There were also perch anglers at the marina in Hessel catching a few perch, but the bite was pretty slow. In Detour, anglers were trolling for Atlantic salmon and were having a little bit of luck catching them suspended. Some Chinook salmon were caught as well as lake trout and a steelhead around the lighthouse area. Scott's Bay was the bumper boat area with anglers targeting and catching a few walleye.

Big Traverse Bay/South Portage Canal: Lake trout were the main catch on days when anglers were able to get on the water. A few days this past week anglers had tough access to the lake with high winds. Anglers who did catch fish found luck trolling artificial lures from 10 to 170 feet. Fish were found in many depths of water and during most of the day. Although fish were caught during the day, the majority of fish were caught in the morning hours.

Munising Bay: Boat anglers continued to report good catches of coho with mixed bag of an occasional splake and Chinook salmon. Some smaller year classes of coho were observed this past week but in general still nice quality coho. Water temperatures increased into the mid 40’s offshore. Lake trout anglers were doing well with nice eating sized fish averaging 2 to 3 pounds. Shore fishing remained slow.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers reported great catches of coho and lake trout. Fish were just off first break however with warmer temperatures will start to move into deeper water. Whitefish anglers reported slow to fair catches off the pier.

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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.