Weekly Fishing Report: May 9, 2019

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Weekly Fishing Report - May 8, 2019

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 state is experiencing high water levels and strong currents. This includes the inland lakes, rivers, streams and Great Lakes. Runoff from all the rain is staining the waters which impacts clarity and makes fishing difficult. Flood warnings and advisories have been issued in some areas.

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

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Anglers did very well for walleye in 17 to 22 feet in Brest Bay when trolling body baits or drifting a crawler harness. A good number of limit catches were taken. Anglers were also fishing between Sterling and Stony Point. A good number of white bass along with a few freshwater drum, pike and smallmouth bass were also caught. Good pike action was reported at Point Mouillee for those using spinners.

Detroit River: Anglers are still taking a good number of walleye including limit catches from the south end of Grosse Ile. Walleye were caught near the Trenton Power Plant however the white bass were starting to move in. Most are jigging a minnow, but some were starting to use a crawler harness down near the mouth. White bass were caught from Wyandotte on up. Perch fishing slowed so the bluegills are now moving into the canals and marinas.

Lake St. Clair: Water levels continue to rise after heavy rain and clarity has dropped significantly in the southern regions near the Mile Roads. Clarity was somewhat better in the north sections but still not all that great. There were signs of largemouth bass in shallows. Smallmouth were in the ditches outside the canals. The waters between Selfridge and Harley Ensign were best.

St. Clair River: A few walleye were caught in the North Channel however the lower river appears to be unfishable due to extremely high waters levels and flooding.

Lexington: Boat anglers trolling planer boards just south and north caught salmon, trout and a few walleye with spoons and body baits in 15 to 30 feet.

Port Sanilac: Those trolling caught salmon, trout and a few walleye north of the port with spoons and body baits in 15 to 30 feet.

Harbor Beach: Was producing trout, salmon and walleye depending on the wind.

Grindstone City: Pier anglers casting tube baits or a worm and bobber caught the occasional pike or sucker. Smallmouth bass were caught and released.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught off Gambil’s Marina in six to eight feet or off Linwood in eight to 20 feet when trolling flicker shads. Smallmouth bass were caught and released around Spoils Island. Tube jigs were the ticket. Up the east side, walleye catches improved as water temperatures warmed. Fish were caught off Quanicassee in 10 to 12 feet. Some were getting five to eight fish per boat along the south end of the Slot in 14 to 17 feet. Anglers need to move around and switch from body baits to a crawler harness. Two brown trout were caught in the Slot which is very rare. Boats are starting to troll for walleye off Port Austin in 15 to 20 feet.

Saginaw River: Catfish were caught at the mouth when using live bait.

Tittabawassee River: Was high and muddy. Parking lots at the various launches were partially flooded but anglers were able to use the Caldwell launch, the one behind Busch’s Tool Supply and the Center Road launch. Only white bass were caught.

Flint River: Is producing some walleye from the Holloway Dam to Columbiaville.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Salmon fishing was fair to good as the fish were scattered in 40 to 90 feet. Some big Chinook salmon have been caught. Most were trolling magnum spoons, spin doctors and flies. A few coho and lake trout were also caught. Pier fishing had slowed with only the occasional coho caught on spawn. No perch to report.

South Haven: Boat anglers targeting salmon reported slow catch rates as the fish were scattered. A few Chinook, coho and lake trout were found in 15 to 70 feet. Pier fishing was slow for all species. The dredging is finished, and all the equipment has been removed from the river.

Barry County: Had good crappie fishing on both Gun Lake and Payne Lake.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers continue to catch yellow perch on wigglers, spikes, and minnows. Those trolling the shoreline caught a few coho, brown trout and lake trout. Good colors were orange, green and yellow. Pier anglers caught lake and brown trout.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Continues to produce a couple steelhead. The Rogue River was also producing some fish.

Grand River at Lansing: Water levels are high and stained with a strong current. A couple bass were caught near the North Lansing Dam.

Lake Lansing: A few panfish and the odd pike were caught during the warm spell.

Jackson County: Crappie were being caught in good numbers on various lakes. A couple limit catches were also reported.

Muskegon: Brown trout action was slow for both pier and boat anglers.

Muskegon Lake: Walleye fishing has slowed as the fish were moving out. Those fishing the shallows caught panfish.

Muskegon River: Water levels are high, but anglers are still taking steelhead.

Montcalm County: Fish are showing up in the channels. Brown trout were caught in Tamarack Creek.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Anglers have caught walleye, suckers, pike and Atlantic salmon when drifting worms. Those drifting a crawler harness, jigging soft baits or casting crank baits caught walleye ranging 15 to 24 inches. Pike were hitting on crank baits. Atlantic salmon were caught when drifting worms or jigging soft plastics near the DNR Station and walk bridge. There were reports of catfish moving in, but none were caught.

Burt Lake: Anglers reported good catches of walleye.

Black Lake: Also had good walleye fishing.

Rogers City: Surface water temperatures were 36-38 degrees, so the water still needs to warm up. Atlantic salmon should show up soon so try casting bright colored spoons and body baits. Head south towards Swan Bay, Adams Point and Calcite Harbor and use anything that looks like smelt such as small spoons in waters less than 60 feet deep. Stay in the top 15 feet with planer boards 60 to 100 feet back.

Presque Isle: Had few anglers. Lake trout should be in the area. Look for Atlantic salmon around Stoneport when trolling near the wall. Fish waters up to 60 feet deep and keep the lines in the top 15 to 20 feet with spoons and body baits. Good colors are orange, green, blue, silver and chartreuse.

Alpena: A good number of lake trout were caught off Thunder Bay Island when trolling spoons, body baits, or spin-glo’s in 30 to 60 feet. A few walleye were caught when jigging minnows or soft plastics near the mouth of the river. Pier anglers casting body baits caught walleye in the evening. Suckers are in the Devils River.

Thunder Bay River: Still had one gate open at the dam so the water was high. Walleye were caught by those jigging minnows and soft plastics in the lower river. The occasional steelhead was taken when drifting flies and beads or when casting crank baits. Suckers were in thick at the dam.

Oscoda: Those trolling had decent catches of lake trout with spoons, body baits or spin-glo’s in 20 to 50 feet. The fish were scattered. Walleye were caught when trolling body baits near the mouth of the river. Pier anglers caught walleye early or late when casting body baits or still-fishing with minnows.

Au Sable River: Suckers were in thick and the steelhead bite slowed. Those willing to wade through all the suckers did catch a couple steelhead and the occasional Atlantic salmon when drifting or floating beads, flies, fresh spawn and wax worms. Those drifting crawlers, casting body baits or still-fishing with minnows near the mouth found a couple walleye. Water levels were high.

Houghton Lake: Fishing continues to be slow with the cold and windy weather. The crappie action in the canals is pretty much done. A couple walleye were caught by those trolling crank baits along the drop-offs in six to eight feet.

Tawas: Walleye and lake trout were caught when jigging or trolling around Tawas Point and the artificial reef in 15 to 25 feet. Walleye and a couple large Chinook salmon were also caught. Pier anglers caught brown trout and Atlantic salmon.

Tawas River: Had good walleye action at night. Most were using body baits. Bass were caught and released.

Au Gres: Some limit catches of walleye were taken between here and the Singing Bridge in 15 to 20 feet with husky jerks and body baits. Near the Charity Island, walleye catches were scattered.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Harbor Springs: Boat anglers were still waiting for the dock to be put in at the launch. One boat that did go out was looking for perch but had no luck.

Petoskey: Few boats have been out. Surface water temperatures in Little Traverse Bay were 35 degrees so the water needs to warm up. Not many anglers were fishing off the piers. The Bear River is still getting what looks like fresh steelhead pushing up to the dam. The numbers have dropped but fish were still being hooked at the dam. A good number of suckers are also in the river. Anglers are using spawn, beads and flies

Charlevoix: The dock at the township launch near Medusa Creek was not in and the fish cleaning station was not open yet. Fishing effort continues to be slow. One boat was looking for lake trout, but none were caught. A few were casting or trolling for walleye in the channel after dark.

Traverse City: Lake herring were caught in the East Bay when jigging out from the Elk Rapids Marina and south of Deepwater Point. A couple bass were caught along the south end, but water temperatures were still very cold. Catch rates in the Elk River continue to be slow but a couple steelhead were caught on spawn near the dam in the morning. A walleye or two were caught near the marina docks. In the West Bay, perch fishing in Northport slowed significantly; anglers could not find the fish. There are plenty of walleye in the harbor, but they did not want to bite. Lake herring were caught on the south east corner north of Bryant Park. On the Boardman River, steelhead fishing slowed but there were plenty of suckers up near the dam.

Lake Leelanau: Smallmouth bass and pike were caught in the narrows. A few walleye were also caught.

Frankfort: Catch rates were hit-or-miss as water temperatures are still in the low 40's.

Onekama: A few lake trout and the occasional steelhead were caught by those trolling the shoreline in 15 to 20 feet with body baits.

Portage Lake: Had very slow catch rates. Perch anglers using minnows managed to catch a few near the channel.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Had good reports of walleye and crappie being caught. Walleye were in the canal between the two lakes.

Manistee: Surface water temperatures were about 40 degrees. Lake trout fishing was heating up in deeper water as limit catches were reported. A few Chinook along brown trout were caught on spoons in 12 to 20 feet. Perch fishing slowed however both pier and boat anglers were getting a few on minnows or wigglers. Pier anglers caught a couple brown trout on spawn. Walleye were caught at night with body baits.

Manistee River: Water levels are dropping so trout fishing should improve. Reports came in on some decent fly hatches during the last warm up. Anglers were still taking some steelhead up near Tippy Dam.

Ludington: All the docks are in and the fish cleaning station is now open. Lake trout fishing was on fire with fish taken by those trolling to the south in 20 to 40 feet with spoons and spin-glo’s. A small number of Chinook salmon were also caught. A few brown trout were caught when trolling in eight to 14 feet. A few Chinook were found in shallow waters. Try spoons and body baits.

Pentwater: Pier anglers caught walleye and steelhead.

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Upper Peninsula

Copper Harbor: A small number of legal size splake were caught. Fishing was slow as the water is still very cold.

Keweenaw Bay: Smelt are running sporadically so the action has been hit-or-miss. Trolling was really good or really bad as the large number of smelt in the shallows has made fishing a bit more difficult. Target the shallow waters with a medium size stick bait. The majority of catches were coho, brown trout and splake. In the South Entry, trolling for trout and salmon was good in six to 40 feet with stick baits. Steelhead are still showing up in area rivers and the sucker runs are starting. Fishing the river mouths should be good in the weeks to come with the trout and round whitefish looking for eggs flowing out of the rivers.

Marquette: Had very good fishing with a large number of Chinook, coho, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead caught when trolling spoons and stick baits in 20 to 40 feet. Limit catches were reported.

Chocolay River: Fishing pressure slowed as most anglers were targeting the big lake. The water is still high making the sections upstream hard to fish. Those trying did catch a couple brown trout. Those launching at the marina were heading downstream to fish the mouth.

Little Bay De Noc: Perch anglers reported fair to good catches along the north end. The best area was between the Day’s River and the Third Reef in 23 to 32 feet with crawler and wigglers. In the Ford and Day’s River, steelhead fishing was fair as there are a lot of suckers in the rivers right now. Water levels were still up and running a bit fast. Good smallmouth action for shore anglers casting plastics and crank baits near the mouth of the Ford River. Boat anglers were fishing the rocky areas near the mouth.

Manistique River: All the gates at the dam except one are closed. Steelhead anglers reported good to excellent catches from the ORV Bridge to the Dam. Most are using beads or spawn with equal results. Fish were also caught at the “Bass Hole” but the area is full of suckers.

Au Train: Had very good coho and brown trout action for those trolling stick baits in Shelter Bay. No smelt reports.

Munising: Water temperatures have not warmed since ice out and remain about 36 degrees. Boat anglers targeting coho caught anywhere from a few to limit catches. The odd steelhead, brown trout or splake were also caught. Most were fishing in the harbor, Trout Bay and towards Chapel Falls. A few boats trolling the Rock River area had slightly better catches. If targeting coho, troll in shallow waters. Pier and shore anglers were lucky to get a few splake. So far, no major smelt runs to report. Anglers have been checking daily and only a handful were taken.

Grand Marais: The north winds bring in good fishing resulting in good catches of coho when trolling outside the breakwall and towards Lonesome Point. Limits of whitefish were taken off the breakwall with a single egg. A couple steelhead were also caught.

Two Hearted River: Water levels were dropping, and the steelhead action was good for those using spawn.

Detour: All the boat docks have been put in at both launches in Detour Village, but no anglers had been out.

Drummond Island: Had good reports of yellow perch caught in Scott Bay in six feet with shiners or a small piece of crawler. Anglers were getting some eight to 10 inch fish but many were throw backs. The ice in Maxton Bay is gone and the dock is in at the DNR launch. Perch were caught from the Monahan Dock at the end of Tourist Road.

Cedarville and Hessel: A few anglers were targeting perch in Cedarville Bay however no fish were caught. At Hessel, those looking for splake should try the marina and fishing pier. Fish were taken on both artificial and natural spawn when drifting under the docks in the marina or with frozen smelt just off the bottom. Perch were caught off the finger docks in the Hessel Marina. Try minnows or small worms off docks 13 and 15.

Carp River: Was still a bit high and muddy. A couple steelhead were caught but no big numbers yet.

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Fishing Tip: Use a spinnerbait to target bass

As water temperatures rise, both largemouth and smallmouth bass will start to hang out in shallower water and stick close to areas with cover. Want to know a great tool to target them there? Try a spinnerbait.

Seek out cover; such as logs, boulders or weed patches and cast your spinnerbait in that direction. Often you’ll entice a bass ready to strike unsuspecting prey.

Want to learn more about one of Michigan’s most popular fish species? Check out their page on the DNR’s website.

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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