Weekly Fishing Report: March 13, 2024

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Weekly Fishing Report - March 13, 2024

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 new fishing license and regulation season kicks off April 1, so anglers need to be sure they have purchased a new license for the fishing season in order to enjoy Michigan’s great fishing opportunities. The 2024 fishing licenses are valid through March 31, 2025.

Fishing licenses can be purchased at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or by downloading the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app and purchasing your license on the app.

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

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Saginaw Bay: Windy weather kept boat anglers off the east side of the bay. Anglers who made it out were fishing in the area cuts, rivers, and marinas looking for yellow perch and panfish. Fishing for yellow perch from Sebewaing to Caseville was reported to be slow with mostly small perch caught. Some panfish were caught in marinas on wax worms, minnows and soft plastics.

Lower Saginaw Bay: A few keeper yellow perch were caught at Finn Road, Old State Road and Thomas Road. Anglers reported catching sub-legal walleye at the mouth of the Saginaw River on minnows. Some caught four-to-six-pound walleye out in front of the Bay City State Park when trolling in 14 feet of water while using Bandits.

Saginaw River: The river was reported to be running high, fast, and dirty which created almost unfishable water.

Tittabawassee River: Some walleye were caught around Imerman Park, and Caldwell Boat Launch, but fishing was tough. Boat and shore anglers caught a few walleye when concentrating on current breaks and eddies. Anglers were casting both jigs and plastic body baits with darker colors producing better results. The Tittabawassee River was running fast and dirty and with higher than normal water levels.

Lake St. Clair: Anglers reported success when fishing for smallmouth bass near 9 Mile out around the rock humps, as well as out in front of Ford’s Cove. Trolling anglers reported catching a mixed bag of fish. Northern pike, muskie, walleye and smallmouth bass were all reported to be caught.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

Muskegon: Both pier and shore anglers reported catching a few brown trout and steelhead on spawn. Shore anglers reported success when using orange spoons and body baits. When weather allowed, boat anglers who trolled the shoreline were able to find a mix of brown trout, lake trout and steelhead.

Grand Haven: Pier anglers reported catching a few brown trout on spawn.

South Haven: Poor weather kept boat anglers off the water. Very few pier anglers made it out, but those who did reported catching a few whitefish and steelhead when using spawn.

St. Joseph: Poor weather kept boat anglers off the water. Pier anglers who were able to make it out reported slow fishing. Whitefish, steelhead, and a few coho salmon were reported to be caught while using spawn. The lake water around the pier was reported to be very dirty and full of debris as a result of the storms.

St. Joseph River: Anglers reported catching a few steelhead in both Berrien Springs and Niles.

Kalamazoo River: Anglers reported catching good numbers of steelhead from the platform at the dam. Catches were lower further downstream. Reports show that spawn and beads seemed to work best.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Au Gres: Heavy rain along with strong winds caused perch fishing to slow down in the Standish area. Forecasted nice weather should help fishing pick back up again for anglers. Catches were reported to be decent when fishing for perch at the park along the river in Au Gres.

Oscoda: Fishing remained fair to good in local waters. Oscoda pier anglers did well on steelhead when fishing with fresh spawn. Fish cooperated on and off throughout the day. Anglers using blues or greys caught a few lake trout and walleye. Weather permitting, boat anglers reported success trolling the shallow waters. A hand full of brown trout, lake trout, and steelhead were caught when using spoons and body baits. Golds, greens, and oranges were productive colors.

Au Sable River: The recent rain brought good numbers of fresh steelhead into the river. Fresh spawn, beads, and wax worms worked well. Boat anglers using fresh spawn and plugs had success throughout the day. A few anglers who targeted walleye had the best results coming from jigs tipped with minnows and plastic swim baits. There were a few large northern pike caught by anglers using large spinnerbaits and swim baits. There were no reports of smelt.

With spring trying to come early this year trout are coming out of their winter stupor and getting hungry. Streamers have been productive in the flies only water and crank baits in the gear restricted water. Cloudy days were reported to provide anglers with the most successful trips.

Tawas: The state park dock continued to see some lake trout action when using larger baitfish and Cleos. Steelhead were reported to be caught at Singing Bridge, more so in the river rather than the surf. Fresh spawn seemed to yield the best results.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Lake Michigan: Unfavorable weather kept anglers off the piers and beaches. Rain, snow, and north winds continued to keep water temperatures cold. Anglers fishing inland reported moderate catches of yellow perch.

Manistee: A mix of steelhead, coho salmon and brown trout were caught by anglers off the piers while using spawn. High winds kept boat anglers off the lake.

Manistee River: Chinook salmon fishing was reported to be at its peak, with many fresh Chinook entering the river daily. Coho salmon and steelhead were also reported to be caught. Anglers found success when fishing with floats and skein eggs. Using long leaders with pencil weights, and dark flies were reported to work well when fishing for spawning salmon.

Pere Marquette River: Decent rain raised the water level of the river. Fish were reported to be in the system, but still far from peak numbers.

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Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Anglers trolled and jigged open areas. However, windy conditions and ice floes made fishing difficult. Anglers reported tough fishing, with few bites yielding quality fish. Northern pike anglers caught fish when trolling or casting artificial baits. Perch anglers planning to target the upper bay were still waiting for the remaining ice to melt.

Le Cheneaux Islands: The bays were reported to be just starting to open up in the Cedarville and Hessel area. Little to no fishing activity was reported while the ice was going out. There were a few anglers casting off the marina, however they did not have success.

Marquette: Anglers fishing on Lake Superior were reported to be fishing the lower harbor due to skim ice in the mornings. Anglers had good success when fishing for coho salmon on the breakwall and trolling alongside it. Those who have been fishing the Chocolay River were reported to have had success catching steelhead and brown trout. Anglers also caught decently sized steelhead when trolling in the middle of the harbor. The Carp River was reported to be producing nice steelhead as well. When fishing for steelhead, spawn and wax worms seemed to yield the best results in both rivers. Trolling blue and silver spoons and tiger striped patterned Rapalas did well for coho salmon in the harbor.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers fishing from boats had luck catching coho salmon, lake trout and lake whitefish. Angling trips where lake whitefish were the target were done mostly while jigging, with the occasional lake trout picked up during these trips as well. Trolling boats found mostly coho salmon with some lake trout and other fish caught at a variety of depths. Coho salmon were reported to mostly be near the top of the water column while lake trout were found throughout. Anglers fishing from shore had success catching coho near deep drop-offs. Splake and rainbow trout were caught near river mouths and in shallower water. Rainbow trout were mostly caught using natural baits, whereas splake were caught with artificial baits. The most successful trips were reported to have taken place in the morning.

Munising: Anglers reported catching mainly coho salmon jacks with most averaging around the 15-inch size class. However, there were some larger coho salmon caught which averaged around 17 to 18 inches and around two pounds or bigger in size.  Some incidental catches of splake were reported, with most being around 21 inches and three to four pounds with some up to six pounds in size.  Anglers trolled the bay mostly to Sand Point and into Trout Bay with a few boats going out towards Five Mile Point and up to Mosquito Falls. These boats trolled in 20 feet of water or shallower. Pier action was slow, and water levels were reported to be extremely low.

Grand Marais: Anglers reported catching limits of coho salmon along with a few lake trout up to 11 pounds and steelhead around eight pounds mixed in. The coho were assorted in size with some up to 19 inches. Anglers mainly trolled outside of the harbor entrance and east in about ten feet of water towards the Sucker River as well as towards the Blind Sucker River.  Anglers also had success casting with shallow running crankbaits.  Pier anglers were limited due to ice cap on the pier, however there were areas where a few anglers fished for whitefish in Menominee.  Action for whitefish was reported to be spotty. Anglers had the best results when fishing with red worms. A few coho salmon were reported off the pier.  Angler activity at the Sucker River was spotty, however a few fish were reported offshore. Water levels were reported to be extremely low.

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Fishing tip: Storing ice-fishing equipment for next season

Here is a checklist of things to do when storing your ice fishing equipment:

  • If you have an auger, check for any damage and dry all the blades before storing it. You may want to consult your power auger’s manual to know how to appropriately handle any leftover gas and how to protect the engine.
  • Remove batteries from any electronics to prevent any potential damage from leaking batteries.
  • Make sure your portable shelter is completely clean and dry before storing. You may want to put some moth balls in it or hang it to keep pests at bay.
  • Take a full inventory of your rods, reels and tackle to see what you might need/want next year. Also remove all bait or line from your hooks and lures for storage and make sure everything is dry.

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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.