Weekly Fishing Report: May 23, 2019

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Weekly Fishing Report - May 23, 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

This coming Saturday, May 25 is the large and smallmouth bass opener on the Great Lakes and inland waters. The season opener on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River is not until the third Saturday in June. Catch-and-release anglers have caught a fair number however the late spring has slowed the spawning activity.

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

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Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Hudson: In Lenawee County was producing bass and panfish.

Lake Erie: Less rain resulted in better ramp access and improved water clarity. Most limit catches of walleye were taken when drifting a crawler harness or trolling Bandits from Stony Point all the way down to Luna Pier in 17 to 22 feet. Limit catches were also taken off the Dumping Grounds and in the bay off the Edison Stacks. Bright colors worked best. White bass, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, muskie, perch and channel cats were also caught.

Detroit River: Good walleye fishing continues with limit catches reported. A good number of white bass were also caught. Try vertical jigging with a 1-ounce jig tipped with a Wyandotte worm and a stinger hook. The 4-inch brown plastic worm worked best, and the stinger hook was a must. NOTE TO ANGLERS: The DNR will be collecting muskie eggs through Thursday night this week and Tuesday through Thursday night next week and will be using electro-fishing gear. Due to safety concerns, the DNR requests that boats on the water avoid coming to close to the electrofishing boat. When the generator is running and the boat’s flood lights are on, they are collecting fish using electricity near the boat. It is important that the public stay clear of the electric field.

Lake St. Clair: Bass fishing has been tough, but anglers caught a few near Nine Mile Road in the early morning. Sizeable pike and muskie were caught in the same area when casting rattle traps. Muscamoot Bay was the hot spot for bass. The channels are a great place to target largemouth this time of year. The best walleye action was in front of the Metro Park in 16 feet when trolling a crawler harness or body baits. White bass and freshwater drum were also caught. Large carp and some channel cats were taken in the Clinton River Cut-Off.

St. Clair River: Continues to produce walleye especially at night.

Lexington and Port Sanilac: Lake trout along with the occasional Chinook, coho, steelhead and pink salmon were caught on planer boards and body baits or downriggers with spoons in 35 to 45 feet.

Harbor Beach: Lake trout were caught by those trolling spoons in 90 feet. Walleye, whitefish and salmon were caught when trolling body baits in 25 to 35 feet.

Grindstone City: A few walleye and whitefish were caught north of the harbor when trolling crank baits in 30 to 40 feet. Shore anglers caught and released smallmouth bass with artificial lures.

Port Austin: A couple walleye were caught west of the harbor when trolling crank baits in 15 to 25 feet. From the breakwall, walleye were caught when casting body baits and a couple coho and steelhead were caught when floating minnows under a bobber.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught off Gambil’s when trolling a crank bait or crawler harness in eight to 10 feet and off Linwood in 18 to 23 feet. A few fish were also found near the Spark Plug. Walleye fishing off Quanicassee was hit-or-miss. A few limit catches were reported but most boats only had 1-3 fish per angler. Fish were found in eight feet or less as well as in 14 to 17 feet along the south end of the Slot with a crawler harness or body bait. Don’t be afraid to move around and cover lots of water. Catfish and pike were also found by those trolling for walleye. Activity from Sebewaing to Caseville was very slow for walleye. The few boats that were out did not do well. Bass were caught by boat and shore anglers using artificial baits. Those bowfishing have done well along the shoreline when targeting carp.

Saginaw River: Those trolling a crawler harness down near the mouth caught a couple walleye. In Essexville, shore anglers caught catfish and freshwater drum on crawlers.

Tittabawassee River: Fishing for white bass was good in the lower river near the Center Road launch with catches of 10-30 fish per boat when casting or trolling various plugs. Chartreuse and fire-tiger were good colors. The occasional walleye was caught near Center Road and near Busch’s Tool Supply when trolling a fire-tiger plug. Near the Dow Dam, fishing was slow with only a few white bass or small pike taken.

Sanford Lake: In Midland County was producing some crappie.

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Southwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Bass were on the beds in some lakes. The panfish bite is slowly improving as the weather warms. Walleye, pike and suckers have been caught in area rivers.

St. Joseph: Boat anglers reported very good fishing with a good number of large Chinook salmon caught in 80 to 130 feet or deeper. A decent number of lake trout were also caught. Magnum spoons, spin doctors and flies seem to work best. Pier anglers caught a few coho and lake trout. No perch to report.

Branch County: Bluegill and crappie were caught from the inland lakes. Most were targeting the channels and shallow bays. Walleye, pike, and suckers have been caught in the rivers.

South Haven: Boat anglers caught lake trout along with the occasional Chinook salmon. The lake trout were in 50 to 80 feet and the Chinook were scattered in 80 to 100 feet or deeper. Pier anglers caught coho with spawn.

Grand Haven: Chinook and lake trout were caught in the top 120 feet of waters up to 180 feet deep with orange and green spoons or red and white meat rigs. The perch action was slow for boat anglers. Pier anglers caught the occasional coho or brown trout when casting orange spoons.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Few anglers were out because of the rain. Bass anglers should find smallmouth below the dam. Crappie anglers targeting the bayous were using minnows. For walleye, try minnows, leeches or crawlers above the dam.

Grand River at Lansing: Bass anglers were finding fish near the North Lansing Dam. A fair number of suckers were caught.

Jackson County: Had decent catches of bass and panfish on the inland lakes. The odd walleye was caught on Portage Lake.

Muskegon: Chinook salmon are starting to show up and were caught 40 to 120 feet down in 100 to 200 feet with orange, green and yellow spoons or white meat rigs. Pier anglers caught a couple freshwater drum when casting body baits.

Muskegon Lake: Crappie and bluegills were found as deep as 30 to 40 feet. A few bass were caught but not very many were targeting them. Walleye were caught near the Coast Guard Station when jigging or off the wall at night casting rapalas.

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were just above 50 degrees. Steelhead fishing slowed but some walleye were caught. Bluegills were just starting to bite.

White River: The steelhead action has slowed.

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Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan: A couple limit catches of lake trout were taken near Bois Blanc Island when trolling spoons off Lafayette Point.

Cheboygan River: Those casting crank baits, jigging soft plastics or drifting crawlers caught walleye. Most ranged 14 to 17 inches with a few over 20 inches. A couple smallmouth bass were caught when jigging soft plastics or drifting worms by the DNR Field Office and walkover bridge. Suckers were caught on worms up near the dam.

Burt Lake: Was producing a few walleye.

Rogers City: The marina and the fish cleaning station are open. A few lake trout were caught but the fish are scattered. Anglers are searching for them and once found they were eager to bite. Most were caught throughout the water column inside 60 feet with dodgers and cowbells with spin-glo’s, spoons and body baits. Focus on the warmest waters near shore and the river mouths. Anglers were running some lines up high in hopes of finding an Atlantic or Chinook salmon. As surface water temperatures warm to 45 degrees fishing should improve.

Presque Isle: The marina is open. Lake trout were found from close to shore all the way out to 100 feet. Run lines throughout the water column with a couple near the bottom. Try flashers, flies, squid or spin-glo’s. Up higher use spoons and body baits. East winds turned the lake over bringing very cold water up top.

Black River: In Montmorency County was producing some brook trout.

Alpena: Had good catches of lake trout along with the occasional Atlantic or Chinook salmon when trolling spoons, spin-glo’s and body baits between North Point, Thunder Bay Island and Rockport. The Atlantic and Chinook salmon were taken higher in the water column while the lake trout were on the bottom or suspended. The salmon are eating sticklebacks and young alewife while the lake trout are eating smelt, gobies and alewife. Walleye were caught when trolling body baits in 10 to 20 feet between the river mouth and Partridge Point. Shore anglers casting body baits from the harbor wall and rocks caught walleye in the evening.

Thunder Bay River: A couple steelhead, brown trout, white suckers, and the odd Atlantic salmon were caught at the 9th Street Dam when drifting flies and beads or casting crank baits. Smallmouth bass were hitting on body baits. A few walleye were caught in the evening when casting body baits near the mouth.

Oscoda: Lake trout were caught in 50 feet or less when trolling spoons, spin-glo’s and body baits between Three Mile Beach and Au Sable Point. Pier anglers still-fishing or drifting minnows caught young Atlantic salmon that were feeding on gobies. For walleye, early morning was best when casting jigs and body baits or when floating crawlers. Pier anglers using crawlers at night caught smallmouth bass, carp and freshwater drum.

Au Sable River: Still had a fair number of steelhead caught by those drifting beads and flies. The fish that have finished spawning can be found in the holes as their appetite picks up and they drop back to the big lake. The odd Atlantic salmon and brown trout were caught near the mouth when casting jigs. A few walleye were taken throughout the river when drifting crawlers and leeches. Smallmouth bass were caught and released when drifting crawlers or casting crank baits.

Higgins Lake: A few anglers were long lining for trout, but no reports came in. Some perch were caught on minnows in 15 to 25 feet near the south Sunken Island.

Houghton Lake: Crappie were found in the canals when you can find a school of fish. The better bite was mid afternoon until dark when the water was a little warmer. Out on the lake, a few crappie were caught about halfway down in nine to 10 feet. The better walleye fishing was at night for shore anglers using leeches or crank baits. For bass, try the canals and near the river mouths.

Tawas: Those trolling caught lake trout, brown trout and walleye with spoons and body baits near Tawas Point in 30 to 60 feet. Walleye were caught down near Alabaster and south when trolling body baits or crawler harness and when jigging minnows or twister tails in 20 to 25 feet. Pier anglers casting body baits or still-fishing with minnows caught Atlantic salmon and smallmouth bass.

Au Gres: A few walleye were caught out near the Steeples, past Big Charity Island, off Point Lookout and Point Au Gres in 20 to 35 feet or more. Fish were also taken in Eagle Bay Marina in eight to 12 feet. Most were using a crawler harness and color did not seem to matter.

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Area rivers were once again high and muddy after recent rains. Starting to hear about some good insect hatches, however everything is late because of the cold weather.

Carp Lake River: In Emmet County had no reports. Water levels were high, and the current was fast.

Harbor Springs: Had no anglers but the dock at the boat launch is finally in.

Petoskey: Had very few boat anglers. Those that did go out caught a couple lake trout. Large carp and smallmouth bass were taken off the breakwall. The Bear River was high after the rain. Steelhead were jumping at the dam but catch rates were not great. Anglers were using spawn, beads and flies. A couple smallmouth bass were caught and released at the mouth.

Walloon Lake: Was producing a few walleye. Bass were holding in deeper water.

Charlevoix: A couple lake trout were caught in 50 feet near North Point. Not many pier anglers. Some were still going out after dark and fishing the channel for walleye but no reports had come in.

Lake Charlevoix: Was producing some walleye.

Traverse City: Those targeting lake herring in the East Bay did well north of the M-37 launch and north of Willow Point. Smallmouth bass were caught at the south end near the state park. On the Elk River, a couple steelhead were taken on spawn up near the dam. Catch rates were hit-or-miss. Smallmouth were caught down near the mouth and breakwalls. In the West Bay, a light number of lake herring were caught north of Bryant Park and in Suttons Bay. No walleye or perch were caught from Northport. The Boardman River has plenty of suckers up at the dam. Steelhead and bass were slow.

Frankfort: Anglers caught several Chinook salmon and lake trout, but the weather has limited fishing.

Onekama: Lake trout were caught by those trolling body baits in 20 to 25 feet in the early morning.

Portage Lake: Perch anglers reported nice catches around the barge and the mouth when using minnows, wigglers and worms. Bass anglers reported cooler water temperatures, but a few fish were on the beds.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Had no signs of bass spawning yet as the water is still too cold. The walleye bite was good on both lakes. Walleye and large bullhead were caught in the canal between the two lakes.

Manistee: Surface temperature readings were about 42 degrees. Only a few Chinook salmon were caught but the lake trout fishing was still on fire. Both the salmon and lake trout were caught in 30 to 60 feet. Pier fishing was slow and windy conditions made it hard for anglers to get out. Those targeting walleye at night caught fish.

Hamlin Lake: Crappie were caught by those drifting minnows in front of Indian Pete’s Bayou and the scout camp. The bluegill and sunfish bite was slow but a few were caught near Tamarac Village and in front of the scout camp with crawlers or wax worms. The early season bass fishing was very good.

Ludington: Surface temperature readings were up near 45 degrees. Pier fishing was slow. Lake trout fishing was hot as those out trolling reported limit catches taken in 30 to 60 feet in just a few hours. A couple Chinook salmon were also caught.

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Upper Peninsula

Overall: Fishing on the trout lakes was slow because of the cool temperatures. Water levels were high and muddy once again after recent storms.

Lake Gogebic: Was producing a few walleye.

Copper Harbor: Has produced a couple legal size splake along with several small ones for those using spoons or natural baits. In Eagle Harbor, a couple Menominee whitefish were caught but getting them to bite was tough at both harbors. Boat anglers were limited due to bad weather.

Keweenaw Bay: Had very little fishing pressure. Rain and wind kept anglers off the water. Area rivers still have some steelhead.

Marquette: Boat anglers found a few trout and salmon to the east near Shot Point as well as in front of the Carp and Chocolay Rivers.

Chocolay River: Had no reports. The water was extremely high and the upstream sections will be unfishable for a few days.

Big Bay De Noc: Was producing some walleye.

Manistique Lakes: Walleye fishing was slow. The panfish action was also slow.

Indian Lake: Was producing some walleye.

Munising: Boat anglers had good success for lake trout and coho with a few Chinook, brown trout and steelhead mixed in.

Grand Marais: A few boat anglers took limit catches but most just did fair when trolling near the breakwalls and towards Lonesome Point. Lake trout anglers trolling Five Mile Reef and off Au Sable Point had limit catches in a few hours. Construction of the new fish cleaning station will be on-going for most of the summer. Pier anglers caught lake whitefish including limit catches in 2-3 hours. Mornings were best with a single egg. A few coho were caught on spawn or when casting spoons.

St. Marys River: Had decent fishing with a few coho and steelhead caught near the power plant. In the lower river, walleye were caught in Munuscong Bay.

Detour: The DNR Marina in Detour Village is open. Water temperatures were still cold except for a few bays that were up to 45 degrees. Target the protected bays as warmer water will bring bait fish into the area and that will attract the bigger fish. A couple lake trout and Atlantic salmon were caught when trolling a chartreuse and white spin-glo or a small blue and chrome stick bait 10 to 12 feet down in 60 to 80 feet.

Drummond Island: The yellow perch run has slowed but a few were still caught in Maxton Bay. Walleye were caught in the west end of Maxton Bay and southeast of Grape Island when trolling an orange or chartreuse and black body bait in eight to 12 feet. Those long-lining in the early morning caught a couple walleye on the northeast end of Scott Bay and near the mouth of McCormick Creek in four to six feet. On the south end, a few pike were taken in Pike Bay when still-fishing with frozen smelt or when drifting chubs in four to six feet. Pike were caught when trolling or casting a chrome lure with a red eye.

Cedarville and Hessel: The pike action was fair from Cedarville with anglers trolling a chrome and blue stick bait in Musky Bay or at the mouth of Duck Bay. Until the waters warm up to 45-50 degrees, try a slower presentation. No perch were caught in Cedarville Bay. Pier anglers at Hessel reported good catches of splake outside the breakwall in eight feet with frozen smelt or chubs 18 inches off the bottom. A couple walleye, Atlantic salmon and some nice pike were also caught. Yellow perch were found around the finger docks in eight feet.

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Fishing Tip: Fishing for the holiday weekend

Hoping to get outdoors to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend? Why not go fishing? Whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced angler – there’s plenty of fun to be had on the water this weekend! Here’s what you can do:

1. Decide where you want to fish.
Want to fish the Great Lakes? Check out our Roadmaps to Fishing the Great Lakes to see what might be porting at ports located on lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior.

Want to fish inland lakes? Our management units have lists of great places to visit and what you might catch there. Or heading out as a family? Check out our Family Friendly Fishing Waters web application to find the perfect spot.

2. Decide what you want to fish for.
Have a particular species you want to target? Check out our species pages found at Michigan.gov/Fishing. Knowing specific techniques to use when targeting certain species can be very helpful.

3. Know the rules and regulations.
Make sure you download the electronic version of the 2019 Michigan Fishing Guide or pick up a hard copy wherever fishing licenses are sold. Having a copy means you’ll have information regarding seasons, size limits, possession limits and other items.

4. Buy your license.
Save time and buy it online! Anyone age 17 or older must have a valid Michigan fishing license when heading out. Don’t forget to pick yours up!

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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