Michigan Weekly Regional Fishing Reports

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Thursday, May 8, 2008
Recreational Fishing Report

Great Lakes temperature map

The walleye, northern pike and muskellunge opener for the Upper Peninsula inland waters not otherwise closed to fishing, waters of the Great Lakes and the St. Mary’s River will open on May 15th. Anglers are reminded that the early bass season is catch and release only. All bass must be returned to the water immediately.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie – Catch rates remain fair with the cooler temperatures. Anglers had mild success for walleye near the Fermi Power Plant and Stony Point when slow trolling with bottom bouncers. The Dumping Grounds near Bolles Harbor were also producing a few fish. Those fishing the lake side of the Banana Dike caught walleye in 10 feet of water. Large numbers of white bass are hitting on live bait. The catch and release bass action has been good near the shoreline and in the channel off Bolles Harbor.

Huron River – There are still light numbers of steelhead below the dam. Walleye fishing has picked up and the smallmouth bass bite has been good. The river has a lot of carp and suckers.

Detroit River – Has good walleye action along the entire river when using jigs with minnows or crank baits in the early morning or late at night. Perch have been caught around Stony Island but watch out for the rocks. Most are using perch rigs with shiners. The white bass are just starting to come in.

Lake St. Clair – Some walleye were caught when jigging or handlining but the action is slow. Better weather will bring better fishing.

Lexington – Boats trolling in 15 to 25 feet of water have caught coho, lake trout steelhead and brown trout with a few chinook and walleye mixed in. Bombers and rapalas were the ticket. Pier anglers have caught small perch.

Harbor Beach – Salmon fishing is fair to good with some nice size fish caught straight out and south of the harbor in shallow waters. Good colors have been blue, gray and green. Be sure to get your lines way out behind the boat. Lake trout are hitting on small spoons off downriggers. Perch fishing was slow. Try out by the lighthouse or along the channel.

Port Austin – Walleye have been caught off the wall.

Saginaw Bay – Had good to excellent walleye fishing about two miles past Finn Road in shallow waters 4 feet deep. Try using crawler harnesses. Those fishing off Quanicassee reported excellent walleye fishing straight out from the port in 8 feet of water when using crawler harnesses. More and bigger fish were caught here. Pike and largemouth bass were caught off Sebewaing. Not many walleye were caught off Bay Port and Caseville.

Saginaw River – Good catches of walleye were taken off Anderson Marina when using crank baits about 45 feet back.

Pigeon River – Anglers have caught a few northern pike.

Pinnebog River – Anglers are still getting a few suckers.


Southwest Lower Peninsula

Grand Haven – Boat anglers are starting to catch a few chinook salmon when trolling in waters up to 150 feet deep. Lake trout were caught shallow while the chinook were caught out deep. Downriggers were set about 55 feet down with spoons such as the Dolphin. Carmel and blue were good colors. Pier fishing shut down due to the lack of baitfish around the piers. Perch were caught south of the port in 50 to 70 feet of water but many were small.

Grand River at Grand Rapids – Has good walleye fishing. Find the drop-offs or deeper holes and use small crank baits or crawler harnesses. Smallmouth bass are hitting white twister tails or artificial gobies just below the dam. Northern pike were caught on sucker minnows under a bobber. The bigger bluegills are starting to hit and crappie can still be found in the backwaters. The catfish action has been good. The flatheads have been caught in the deeper holes and off the bridges when using sucker minnows and the channel cats are hitting on crawlers or cut bait.

Reeds Lake – Crappie are still being caught however the fish are smaller.

Grand River at Lansing – Walleye and some smallmouth bass were caught over at Moore’s Park and the Smithville Dam, which is outside Eaton Rapids. A lot of the walleye were small. Look for bluegills and crappie in the backwaters.

Looking Glass River – Is a good place to fish for northern pike. Try fishing off Babcock’s Landing with large minnows. Anglers will also find bluegill, crappie, bass and carp in the river.

Muskegon – Trout and salmon fishing has been slow. Boats trolling in the channel and just outside the piers have caught walleye at night.

Muskegon Lake – Walleye have been caught when trolling crank baits after dark. Perch and bluegills were caught along the weedbeds in 6 to 10 feet of water. Northern pike fishing has been very good on the north end of the lake when trolling crank baits in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Muskegon River – Anglers are catching fair to good numbers of northern pike.


Northeast Lower Peninsula

Rogers City – Fishing has started to pick up as lake trout season is now open and there are fish to be caught. Boats are fishing in shallow waters 15 to 30 feet deep with cowbells 5 feet off the bottom. Cowbells with spin glows are good as well as a silver dodger with a spin glow. Boat and shore anglers are still catching brown trout and atlantic salmon. Boats are trolling with body baits while shore anglers are casting spoons and body baits from the wall. Use bright colors in stained waters.

Alpena – Word has it the walleye anglers are catching fish in the bay at night.

Thunder Bay River – The suckers have moved out for the most part and only a light number of steelhead are still in the river. Those fishing the Ninth Street Dam have caught a few when using rooster tail spinners. No walleye action to report.

East & West Twin Lakes – Located in Montmorency County have seen very few anglers. Some walleye were caught in West Twin Lake when jigging or drifting with minnows and leeches.

Harrisville – Walleye have been caught near shore.

Oscoda – Anglers are starting to catch walleye and lake trout when trolling around the pier and in shallow waters near shore. Pier anglers have also caught fish.

Tawas – Boat anglers have caught good numbers of walleye along with a few lake trout on the far side of the Charity Islands. Pier anglers caught some small perch but a few bigger ones were mixed in.

Au Gres – Has good walleye fishing but anglers will need to work for them. Try trolling in waters 5 to 30 feet deep in the area of the Singing Bridge and Point Lookout.

Au Gres River – A few pike have been caught in the East Branch off the Singing Bridge.

Rifle River – And its tributaries were producing decent catches of brown trout. Action for steelhead has slowed as the fish are returning to the big lake.

Higgins Lake – Windy conditions have kept many off the lake.

Houghton Lake – Boat anglers able to get out have caught some walleye when trolling with stick baits. A few pike were also taken. Crappie and bluegill fishing slowed with the cooler weather. A few smallmouth bass were caught and released in the Dead Stream Flooding.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey – A few boats have been out looking for lake trout in shallow waters.

Bear River – Recent rains pushed some steelhead into the river. Try spawn or flies.

Charlevoix – Perch anglers did catch some fish in 50 feet of water along the northwest side of the lake, but the fish seem to be scattered.

Elk Lake – The walleye anglers have not been out. Those looking for smallmouth bass were fishing the southern end of the lake near the Whitewater Township Park. Anglers were casting tubes and rapalas in 10 feet of water but no fish were caught.

Skegemog Lake – Anglers have been targeting walleye north of the Torch River, along the southern end of the lake and near the narrows. Most are trolling, casting or drifting in 10 to 25 feet of water with rapalas, leeches and jigs. Pike and muskie were caught near the public access site and the narrows in 7 to 15 feet of water. The majority of bass anglers can be found along the south end of the lake near the Desmond Marsh area in 4 to 10 feet of water. Try using tubes, spinners or jerk baits. Perch anglers have been drifting or still-fishing near the narrows and the mouth of the river. Try minnows and wigglers in waters up to 25 feet deep.

Traverse City – In the East Bay, those fishing off Dock Road in the early morning have caught some brown trout and steelhead. West winds in this location have improved the fishing. Whitefish have been caught off the white wall along the southern end of the bay. Jigging worked best. Lake trout fishing has been excellent with limit catches taken. Many fish were over 25 inches.

Long Lake – The walleye are hitting on crawler harnesses after dark.

Frankfort – Brown trout have been caught in the harbor and in Platte Bay when using spoons or rapalas. Good colors were orange, blue and white.

Portage Lake – Perch fishing slowed as it appears the bigger fish are done, but lots of small fish are still being caught. Bluegill and crappie are starting to hit, but the action was still spotty. Boat anglers trolling along the north shore have caught northern pike and walleye.

Manistee – High winds have made fishing on the big lake a challenge however a few browns were caught by boat and pier anglers. Some perch were also caught.

Manistee River – Rain and high water continues to hamper trout fishing. There might still be some steelhead up near Tippy Dam, but that could end at any time.

Manistee Lake – The walleye bite has started.

Hamlin Lake – Lots of pike have been caught when trolling body baits in the shallows, but most of the fish were small. Some big bluegills were caught on wax worms or leaf worms in the upper lake in 15 to 30 feet of water and crappie are in 10 feet of water. Anglers are catching and releasing a good number of largemouth bass in shallow waters 2 to 5 feet deep. Top water spinner baits have worked best. Good colors have been chartreuse and white. In the lower lake, bluegills are hitting in both the North and the Middle Bayou’s, but many were small.

Pere Marquette River – The occasional steelhead is still being caught and there are still some suckers in the river though not for much longer.

Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Bay – Steelhead and coho were caught when trolling. Pier anglers have also caught steelhead near L’Anse. In Traverse Bay, steelhead fishing was on the slow side with only a couple fish taken by boat and pier anglers.

Falls River – Though the steelhead bite has been up and down during the past week anglers have made some nice catches. Some are still getting a few smelt at night.

Marquette – Weather has played a factor in the low angler numbers and the slow bite. A few splake were caught trolling in the upper harbor area. Those trolling in the lower harbor managed to catch brown trout and some coho off the mouth of the river.

Carp River – Steelhead were caught down near the mouth.

Memominee River – Shore anglers have done best in the morning when casting artificial baits. Those netting suckers off the Hattie Street Bridge are doing well, but the fish are small. Boat anglers fishing from the Stephenson Island dock to the mouth of the river were taking good catches of walleye and brown trout.

Green Bay – Those launching from the Cedar River access site are going out into the Bay and getting fair numbers of brown trout and splake when trolling in 10 to 15 feet of water. Closer to Stoney Point which is south of the Cedar River, some brown trout and walleye were caught when trolling artificial lures in 7 to 15 feet of water.

Little Bay De Noc – Perch anglers are going out when the weather permits. The cooler evenings have lowered the water temperatures to about 42 degrees. Most are jigging minnows and worms in the deeper waters 28 to 35 feet deep around the Narrows but few fish have been caught. Those fishing Nelsons Bay were marking a lot of fish but not many were caught. The walleye opener on May 15th looks to be a good one.

Ford River – Steelhead are being caught even though the river is still high and fast.

Day’s River – Is also high, but steelhead are being caught.

Big Bay De Noc – Word has it all the boat launches are open except for the Garden Launch which should be ready to go by the walleye opener.

St. Mary’s River – Perch have been caught in the upper river near Sherman Park when using minnows. A few jumbo perch were caught just north of Sault Ste. Marie in 32 feet of water. Anglers can launch their boats at Ashmun Bay and fish around Buoys 9 and 10. A few whitefish were also been caught.

Drummond Island – Perch were caught near Monahan’s old dock and Yacht Haven.

Cedarville and Hessel – Fishing at Hessel has been good for splake when trolling along the shoreline in 8 to 12 feet of water and off the pier. Try rapalas, bombers or thundersticks.

Carp River – Anglers are catching steelhead at the mouth. Suckers were also caught.

Brevoort Lake – Anglers are also catching a few yellow perch.

St. Ignace – The buoys are not out yet at the boat launch