02 April, 2009 – Michigan Weekly Fishing Report
Ice fishing in the Lower Peninsula is done. Any remaining ice is dangerous and should be avoided. The ice in certain areas of the Upper Peninsula is also getting soft so extreme caution needs to be used. Strong winds and colder temperatures have kept many anglers at home so not much to report this week.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Huron River – Water levels are up some however the river is fishable. Anglers are catching some nice steelhead. Those fishing above the coffer dam are using jigs with wax worms and those below are using flies and spawn. Crappie are hitting on minnows in the backwaters.
Detroit River – The water is muddy and making walleye fishing a bit more difficult. Those fishing the warm water discharge off Great Lakes Steel near Wyandotte have caught walleye when jigging minnows or rubber tails. Perch were caught in Belanger Park and the marinas.
Saginaw Bay – Boat anglers fishing around the commercial nets off Pine River Road and Palmer Road were doing quite well when they can get out. The cut at the end of Palmer Road is producing lots of perch but many are small. Perch were caught in the cut along Thomas Road and off the dock at Linwood. At Bay Port, pier anglers were taking whitefish and burbot.
Saginaw River – Perch anglers are getting a few at the Essexville launch site and in the marina basins along the lower river.
Quanicassee River – Perch action slowed with the cooler temperatures but should rebound with a warm up.
Pigeon River – Perch fishing in the river and associated marina basins has been slow, but should pick up. A couple lake trout were caught on minnows.
Pinnebog River – Sucker fishing continues to improve.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joe River – Has fair to good steelhead action below the Berrien Springs Dam. Most fish were caught on spawn.
Kalamazoo River – Good steelhead action continues up near the Allegan Dam when using spawn, a jig and wax worm, small spoons or Hot-n-Tots.
Grand River at Grand Rapids – The cold spell is keeping more fish in the river so catch rates are still good. Up near the Sixth Street Dam, anglers are using Wobble Glo’s with or without spawn bags. Good colors were lime and glow, orange and red, or pink and glow. Fish were also caught on Hot-n-Tots, spoons, jig and wax worm or spawn under a bobber. Shore anglers are casting plugs or spawn off the Fulton Street Bridge. Boats are casting plugs or long lining. Limits of crappie have been caught on minnows and wax worms at Riverside Park. Big bluegills were also caught on minnows, wax worms or leaf worms.
Grand River at Lansing – Steelhead have been caught over at the Moore’s Park Dam, but not in big numbers. Most fish were caught on crawlers. Ionia’s Prairie Creek continues to produce steelhead. Carp are hitting on crawlers and corn along Riverfront Park between the two dams. A few suckers were also caught.
Red Cedar River – Is producing a few suckers.
Rogue River – Steelhead are being caught near the Childsdale Dam when using a jig and wax worm or spawn.
Reeds Lake – Crappie can be found in the channels while perch were caught in 6 to 25 feet of water.
Muskegon – Steelhead and brown trout have been caught off the pier.
Muskegon River – Steelhead action continues to be good. Boat anglers are drifting flies and spawn or back trolling with plugs.
White River – Boat anglers report good action as more steelhead move into the river.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Higgins Lake – Anglers are advised to stay off the remaining ice! It is not solid by any means. Once more we are in between seasons and no one is fishing.
Houghton Lake – The ice here is bad! Anglers will have to wait for open water to start fishing again. The canals are starting to open up so it won’t be long before the crappie start to bite.
Au Sable River – Is in good shape and the Black Stone fly hatch is in progress. Some large steelhead are being caught but not in big numbers. Anglers have caught fish on large streamers. Water levels on the South Branch were high.
Tawas – Anglers fishing Tawas Bay have caught good numbers of perch but many were small. Most fish are running 5 to 7 inches but a few were 8 to 10 inches. Those casting rapalas on the lake side were getting a mixed bag of walleye, steelhead and brown trout. Boats trolling the lake with planer boards and rapalas caught walleye in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Tawas River – Shore anglers are taking steelhead, brown trout, and suckers.
Au Gres – Boat anglers trolling off the mouth of the river have caught walleye with planer boards and rapalas. Limit catches were reported.
Au Gres River – Some nice perch are being caught in the lower river. Sucker anglers are also doing well. Those fishing near the Singing Bridge have caught steelhead in the river and in the surf. The renovated access site is now open.
Rifle River – The sucker runs are underway. Dip-netting at Omer opened on April 1st.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey – The ice in the harbor is gone near the mouth of the Bear River and about halfway out to the lighthouse on the pier. For steelhead, try floating spawn bags at first light and at dusk.
Traverse City – Still had some ice but it is not safe ice. Anglers are advised to wait for the open water to begin fishing again. Look for good perch and whitefish action once the Bays open up.
Boardman River – Steelhead action slowed with the last winter blast but should pick back up. Try floating spawn, wigglers or wax worms under a bobber.
Frankfort – Pier anglers are catching steelhead and some brown trout.
Betsie River – Catch rates improve as more steelhead move into the river.
Manistee – Pier anglers are catching steelhead along with a few brown trout. Boats are trolling in the shallows for brown trout.
Manistee River – The steelhead run is in full swing. Look for some of the best fishing this season over the next two weeks. On the Little Manistee, DNR staff could start taking eggs next week.
Ludington – Pier anglers have started to catch steelhead and brown trout. Parking at the boat launch will be difficult due to the piles of snow.
Keweenaw Bay – The shorelines are changing every day and it advised if you do venture out on the ice to spud your way out and check the ice as you go. The bite has been slow but numerous fish have been seen out from the Fall’s River. The same results off the Tire Shop and Sand Point. A few whitefish were taken north of Baraga along with an occasional salmon, herring, round whitefish and burbot. A few salmon, herring and lake trout were caught out from L’Anse. There is open water from Pequaming to Carla’s Café, and there are no anglers at Old Mission, the Whirl-I-Gig or Jentoft’s Dock.
Marquette – Boat anglers are able to use the launches in the Upper Harbor however catch rates have been spotty. A few chinook salmon were caught when trolling around the bubbler with flies and a dodger. Coho were taken on jigs with cut bait but the fish were only 14 to 16 inches.
Menominee – The bay was still ice covered, but not fishable. Ice conditions are not safe, avoid the area.
Menominee River – All of the boat launches on the river are open except at the mouth which still has ice. The open launches also have docks. The flush toilets are not open but the city has placed portables for anglers to use. The fish cleaning stations at Mystery Ship and Boom Landing are not open yet. There is still some ice in places however boats are trolling from Boom Island to the mouth. Walleye action was slow and most fish were caught in the deeper holes when using a jig and minnow. The hot spot has been from shore on the Wisconsin side right next to the Hattie Street Dam. There is not much room, but anglers keep coming and leaving with their one walleye and the occasional brown trout. Those fishing the Cat Walk for walleye or wading for brown trout caught fewer fish.
Little Bay De Noc – Ice conditions have limited anglers to the Kipling area only and the ice there was deteriorating rapidly. The actual temperatures have been cold however the ice is unstable. The next warm spell will be the end of ice fishing. Some perch were caught in 6 to 17 feet of water. Use extreme caution and check the ice with a spud before you go out.
Munuscong Bay – Perch action here is done until the spring thaw.
Cedarville and Hessel – The ice was still holding and most anglers are fishing Musky Bay. Good numbers of perch have been caught at the west end in 6 to 8 feet of water and the east end off Rice Point when using wigglers and wax worms. Little Joe Island had fair perch fishing.