Weekly Fishing Report: May 15, 2024

Share or view as webpage  |  Update preferences

Weekly Fishing Report - May 15, 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

Did you catch a Master Angler fish? The Master Angler program includes more than 45 species for which you can compete for honors. The Master Angler patch is awarded to all entries meeting the established minimum length for each species. Visit Michigan.gov/MasterAngler to apply.

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

Buy your license ►

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Saginaw Bay: Anglers who targeted walleye on the east side of Saginaw Bay had to deal with many windy days and spotty fishing. Around Quanicassee, anglers found walleye straight out in 10 to 12 feet of water, in the lower end of the slot from 12 to 15 feet of water and around Callahan Reef. Around the Sebewaing area, anglers found walleye out in the slot from Fish Point and up off the islands in 12 to 14 feet of water. Crawler harnesses and flicker minnows caught fish on a variety of colors. Anglers fishing the area cuts, rivers and marinas reported slow fishing. 

Lower Saginaw Bay: Boat anglers fishing for walleye found success when trolling in 10 feet of water at the Pinconning Bar using bandits and flicker shads. Boat anglers also reported trolling in 10 to 12 feet of water at the Callahan Reef using mostly flicker shads.

Saginaw River: Bass anglers did well and reported catching and releasing good numbers of largemouth bass in the lower Saginaw River in Bay City when casting various artificial baits.

Tittabawassee River: A few drum were caught in the lower Tittabawassee around Center Road when casting artificial baits. Upstream of Gordonville Road near Dow, a few white bass were caught casting artificial baits as well. Lately the Tittabawassee has been running fast and dirty.

Lake Erie: Walleye were reported to have been scattered, with catches coming back from 11 to 13 feet of water and 22 to 26 feet of water and with not too many from in between. Both artificial lures and crawler rigs seemed to work well.

Lexington: Pier and shore anglers had trouble finding success. Boat anglers who were able to make it out trolling reported catching lake trout, a few pink salmon and an occasional steelhead fishing in 60 feet of water using spoons with lead core.

Port Austin: Anglers caught some Atlantic salmon off the break wall when casting small spoons and using minnows with bobbers. Smallmouth bass were caught and released using a variety of artificial lures.

Harbor Beach: A few smallmouth bass were caught and released when casting artificial lures. Anglers also reported catching a few coho salmon from the break wall.

Port Sanilac: Atlantic salmon, northern pike and catch-and-release smallmouth bass were caught by anglers from both the north and south break walls while casting lures.

Lake St. Clair: Smallmouth bass anglers had the best luck between the Metropark and 9 Mile. Many also reported success near Memorial Park. Dropshots with swimbaits were reported to be quite effective. Anchor Bay near Selfridge was also good for bass, with most caught in 8 to 10 feet of water. Walleye anglers continued to bring in good numbers, but not the limit amounts that were seen last week. The best places were near the spillway and in front of the Metropark. Other anglers caught walleye in the mouth of the north channel. Most fish were caught in 13 to 15 feet of water by anglers trolling with crawlers. Northern pike and musky were caught near the mouth of the spillway as well. Sizable northern pike were also found in mostly every location anglers were catching bass. 

Back to top

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Muskegon: Boat anglers found Chinook salmon 30 to 90 feet down in 50 to 120 feet of water. Blue and green spoons seemed to work well, along with white flasher/fly combinations. Pier anglers targeting freshwater drum and smallmouth bass found the action to be slow.

Grand Haven: Boats anglers reported catching Chinook salmon 25 to 100 feet down in 50 to 150 feet of water. Orange, blue and green spoons worked well. Flasher/fly combinations caught a few salmon deeper in the water column. Pier anglers were catching a few freshwater drum while casting spoons. Anglers targeting salmon and brown trout using alewives found the action to be slow. Be sure to check your lines often. Anglers targeting waters less than 80 feet were finding high numbers of small Chinook salmon less than 18 inches.

South Haven: Very few boat anglers made it out on the big lake. Pier fishing was on the slow side for all species; however, there were a few steelhead caught. These fish were caught on shrimp.

St. Joseph: Boat anglers targeting salmon had good fishing and were mostly fishing with spoons. The fish seemed to be in around 70 to 85 feet of water. There were reports of good catches of coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead. Pier fishing was on the slow side, but drum and catfish were caught on live bait. The lower St. Joe River continued to have solid fishing for walleye. Anglers reported catching most fish while trolling.

Back to top

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Oscoda/Au Sable River: Walleye fishing seemed to pick up, with more fish being caught off the pier than the previous weeks. Anglers had success floating crawlers under slip bobbers and casting deep-diving body baits along with curly tail grubs on jig heads. Atlantic salmon were still caught occasionally by pier anglers and in the lower river using minnows or casting spoons; ½-ounce to ¾-ounce spoons in gold/silver or blue/silver reportedly worked best. Downstream of the Foote Dam, steelhead were still around on gravel, with a few being caught here and there. Anglers had the most success bottom bouncing beads, spawn bags or flies with light leaders, 6- to 8-pound test.

Cheboygan: Many anglers reported having success catching smallmouth bass all along the river using many different kinds of bait. A couple of walleye were caught trolling the river with natural bait. Darker steelhead were seen in the river but were not biting. Atlantic salmon and northern pike were caught near the dam. On the lake, anglers had luck drifting spoons when fishing for lake trout in 30 to 60 feet of water. They may begin to retreat to deeper water as the weather continues to warm up. Anglers reported that good colors to use for spoons included chartreuse, blues, silvers and pinks.

Harrisville: Boat anglers did well fishing for lake trout in 25 to 50 feet of water. Green Spin-n-Glos, along with orange and silver spoons, produced limits of lake trout using mostly three to five colors of lead core. A few Atlantic salmon were around, with some being caught on spoons by boat anglers. Anglers fishing the marina did not have much luck casting for Atlantic salmon and walleye.

Thunder Bay River: In the Thunder Bay River, the steelhead run was reported to be done. Those steelhead still in the river were found hanging around the 9th Street Dam and were caught on drifting beads and casting small spinners. A decent number of walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass were reported to be in the river. While spinner baits and plastic swim baits worked well for pike and bass, the majority of walleye were caught in low light conditions on shallow-diving crank baits from the 9th Street Bridge down to the 2nd Avenue Bridge. A few bullhead and catfish were caught while fishing crawlers and minnows on bottom throughout the river. A few Atlantic salmon were caught while casting spinners and small spoons.

Alpena: Boat anglers in Thunder Bay had hit-or-miss results when trolling for walleye. Fish were found scattered in 10 to 20 feet of water from the pierhead as far as Sulphur Island. While crank baits worked well, a few fish were caught when jigging plastics and blade baits. Northern pike and a few brown trout were caught in the same waters. Those targeting lake trout and Atlantic salmon had very good results near North Point and Thunder Bay Island. Spoons in orange, golds, chartreuse and watermelon worked well in 30 to 50 feet of water. 

Rockport: Anglers fishing in 25 to 40 feet of water found good catches of lake trout throughout the day. The waters near Middle Island held good numbers of fish from the surface to bottom in 50 to 60 feet of water. Short lead cores and downriggers run near bottom produced good numbers. A few Atlantic salmon were caught, with orange, green and gold colors being most productive. The area around false Presque Isle saw good numbers of lake trout with Atlantic and coho salmon mixed in. Fish were scattered with the cold water temperatures, and lines set all through the water column were productive.

Tawas: Shore anglers reported catching a few throwback perch at Gateway Park.

Au Gres: Anglers reported catching a few walleye; however, limits were not being caught. Freshwater drum, white bass and a few northern pike were also caught by anglers. Boat anglers heading out from the Pine River reported catching a mixed bag including walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, white bass, rock bass and northern pike.

Back to top

Northwest Lower Peninsula

East Grand Traverse Bay: There were yet to be signs of many bass in the area; however, anglers were searching. Cisco and lake trout still seemed to be the hot catch at the moment.

West Grand Traverse Bay: Anglers reported catching mature cisco and lake trout, but still were not having the greatest luck for bass. Many anglers eager for an early salmon bite were heading north in hopes to run into them as they push north. Water temperatures were reported to be warming up and making the bay shape up nicely.

Frankfort: Anglers fishing for Chinook salmon reported the fishing to be good. Trolling in 150 to 180 feet of water 50 to 80 feet down with spoons seven to 10 in color saw the best results. Mostly green or blue magnum spoons, but reports show that meat and flies were also getting some action. Large areas of bait fish were reported throughout the area as well.

Charlevoix: Anglers targeting lake trout found success jigging in 75 to 100 feet of water anywhere from Big Rock Point down to Medusa. Those fishing the piers found fishing with spoons late into the night produced lake trout and walleye. The occasional cisco was also caught.

Petoskey: Steelhead fishing in the Bear River was held to a minimum. A few steelhead were landed, primarily on beads and flies. Those fishing near the mouth of the Bear River reported the occasional smallmouth bass, northern pike, rock bass and drum.

Manistee: Chinook salmon were caught along the shelf straight out and south of town in 140 to 240 feet of water while fishing 40 to 90 feet down. Green, UV and orange spoons seemed to work well, with the morning bite being the best. Many small Chinook salmon were reported, with a few lake trout in the mix as well. The piers were slow, but bait fish were around. 

Onekama: Anglers casting from the piers caught smallmouth bass and, in the evening hours, walleye. Walleye numbers were lower than they had been, but they were still reported to be there.

Ludington: Chinook salmon were caught northwest of town and at Big Sable Point in 100 to 180 feet of water while fishing 40 to 90 feet down. Although slower, a few Chinook salmon were also caught off the projects to the south in 100 feet of water. Green, UV and bloody nose pattern worked well, along with some flasher/fly combinations. Many small Chinook salmon have been reported, and in the mix came a couple suspended lake trout. A nice steelhead was also reported to be caught on the pier while using spawn. 

Back to top

Upper Peninsula

St. Ignace: A couple anglers brought in lake trout while trolling and jigging with spoons off Mackinac Island. Good colors to use were chartreuse, blues, silvers and pinks. Anglers fishing for steelhead at the Carp River found no success.

Ontonagon River: Activity on the river was extremely low. Fishing efforts are expected to see a great increase over the next few weeks. Reports suggest that few fish were being caught.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: These ports saw a significant increase in anglers over the past week. Reports show that some coho salmon and brown trout were caught in low numbers in addition to increasing numbers of lake trout. Anglers had the best luck when trolling shallow waters. The fish cleaning station at the Ontonagon marina is now open for the season.

Black River Harbor: Fishing out of the harbor was reported to be decent. Anglers reported catching coho salmon, brown trout, lake trout and Chinook salmon in small numbers. Reports show fish were caught by those trolling shallow waters. Anglers described the bite as sporadic.

Lex Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers were catching a few splake and Atlantic salmon off the pier at the Hessel marina, but the bite was reported to have slowed. The perch were slowly making their way into the marina, but there were yet to be any caught. Anglers caught small northern pike and bass on the Hill Island Bridge with plastics and live minnows. In Detour, the Atlantic salmon and lake trout fishing was steady in the flats area. There were also reports of anglers catching a mixed bag of coho and Chinook salmon, as well as a steelhead and a splake caught while targeting Atlantic salmon. 

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Fishing was reported to be steady. Anglers had luck fishing both from shore and from boats. Shore anglers were able to catch splake and rainbow trout. Boat anglers were successful during trolling and jigging trips, with jigging trips producing more fish in the form of lake trout and the trolling trips producing more salmon. Salmon were also found in some of the bays; however, the anglers had to work hard to find them. Jigging trips were successful with both cut bait and plain hooks, while trolling was entirely done with plain hooks and artificial baits. Try getting on the water early and trolling near shore for those morning trout and salmon!

Traverse Bay/South Portage Entry Canal: Anglers had successful fishing trips while both trolling and jigging, with the focus being on salmon. These fishing events produced many more lake trout than salmon; however, a few coho and Chinook salmon were caught. Salmon were caught mostly during the morning in nearshore waters of varying depths. Lake trout were found primarily in 100 feet of water, biting on both natural and artificial baits, and were full of smelt at the surface. Follow bait in the water column and fish just off where you find them for the best lake trout fishing! 

Back to top

Fishing tip

Many anglers search for the latest tips and tricks when fishing for trout, and one of the best may also be the simplest: Don’t forget that trout can see! Trout are known to have excellent vision, so consider the following if you head out this spring:

  • Cast out far ahead of you to prevent the trout from seeing you.
  • When wading, do so carefully and avoid rapid movement, which could spook the fish.
  • Don’t wear any shiny objects, including watches or tools on your vest.
  • Stay away from wearing bright colors – stick to dark browns and greens.
  • Remember that trout usually face into the current, so cast upstream.

Learn more about fishing for trout on the DNR’s fish species informational webpages.

Back to top

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.