By Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: Walleye fishing in Lake Erie continued to produce many legal size fish. Just northeast of Fermi Power Plant was a good location where anglers were catching limits in shorter periods of time. The ideal depth to catch walleye was around 18 to 22 feet of water, east of the power plant near the Ohio border. Luna Pier fishing started to heat up with more fish caught in deeper water. The best lures to use were flicker shads, crawler harnesses and spoons. Popular lure colors were red, orange, brown and silver. Yellow perch started to be caught more, however it was still early for these fish to be schooling in large numbers. The best depth to catch perch was around 15 feet with emerald shiners.
Detroit River: There were few walleye anglers out, but some were successful. The fish were caught in 25 to 35 feet of water. Water near the steel mill in Ecorse was still a good place to start. Other anglers were successful near the Grosse Isle Bridge just south of Elizabeth Park and the Grosse Isle lighthouse. Anglers in this location had better luck drifting with crawlers instead of trolling. Larger spinner blades (#6) worked best this week for crawler harnesses. Gold, copper and purple were hot colors. Many anglers pointed out that the walleye were hitting very lightly and unless you checked your lines you may had not realized you had a fish.
Lake St. Clair: Anglers were catching walleye on crawler harnesses. Perch were caught at the mouth of the shipping channel.
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St. Clair River: The water was clear, and most anglers were catching fish before sunrise and after sunset.
Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught near sailboat buoys A, B, and F three miles west of the Spark Plug in 22 feet of water and two miles northeast of Spoils Island in 16 feet of water. Walleye were also caught two miles east of buoy #2 in 25 feet of water and at Bay City Sate Park in 14 feet of water. Crawler harnesses were working the best. Walleye were starting to spread out on the eastern side of Saginaw Bay with warming water temperatures. Anglers fishing off Quanicassee were finding some walleye in 10 feet of water and less. The slot from Sunset to Sebewaing was producing good numbers in 16 to 18 feet, and some anglers were fishing east of the shipping channel in 24 to 26 feet. Up towards Caseville, anglers were getting some walleye at the far north end of the slot, between Caseville and Sandpoint in 25 to 30 feet of water, and off Oak Point. Crawlers, body baits and spoons all produced this week.
Harbor Beach: A few walleye were caught in 20 to 30 feet of water while using crankbaits. Lake trout were caught while trolling with lead core, downriggers and spoons scattered from 60 to 100 feet of water.
Port Austin: Walleye were caught west of the harbor while trolling with crankbaits and crawler harnesses in 20 to 30 feet of water. A few rock bass and smallmouth bass were caught from the break wall and docks casting artificial lures and still fishing with minnows and nightcrawlers.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Grand River – Lansing: Anglers were reporting great smallmouth bass fishing. They were catching fish on flies and swimbaits.
St. Joseph: Anglers reported good perch fishing. There were good numbers of fish caught in 40 to 50 feet of water. Most of the fishing pressure was just south of the piers. Boat anglers targeting salmon had decent fishing. The best water was well beyond 100 feet. Rotators and flies were catching most of these fish, but spoons were working well also. The catch was a little bit of everything. Pier fishing was slow for steelhead. Anglers continued to make nice catches of channel catfish and lots of freshwater drum. Night crawlers were working best for these fish.
South Haven: Boat anglers targeting salmon were catching a few fish. Most catches were a mixed bag of lake trout, coho and a few Chinook and steelhead mixed in. The best water was well beyond 100 feet. Spoons were working best. Pier anglers had slow fishing for all species except for freshwater drum. The freshwater drum were caught using night crawlers. Perch fishing was on the slow side. There were some fish caught in 50 feet of water. Most of the fishing pressure was north of the piers.
Muskegon: Boats were finding salmon and trout fishing to be slow. The fish were scattered from 100 to 300 feet of water. Spoons worked best 40 to 90 feet down. Green, orange and blue were good colors. Freshwater drum were caught by pier anglers casting silver spoons.
Grand Haven: The salmon and trout action was slow for boat anglers. A few were caught 40 to 120 feet down in 100 to 250 feet of water. Spoons worked best. Pier anglers were finding the steelhead action to be slow. Good numbers of freshwater drum were caught while casting silver spoons.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Tawas: Some steelhead, coho, Chinook salmon, walleye and lake trout were caught outside and south of buoy 2 in 50 to 70 feet while trolling spoons and body baits. Walleye anglers caught some limits down near the Charity Islands in 14 to 25 feet while trolling crawlers and body baits. There were some walleye caught inside of Tawas Point near the weeds along buoys 2 & 4 while trolling crawlers. At Gateway Park on the Tawas River, there was some largemouth bass, freshwater drum, catfish and bluegill caught while casting spinners, plastics and still fishing crawlers. There was some largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and rock bass caught on the pier at the harbor while casting spinners, plastics, body baits and crawlers.
Houghton Lake: Anglers were catching panfish and pike on minnows and leeches.
Alpena: Anglers reported limits of lake trout. Anglers were headed out towards Thunder Bay Island, Nordmeer Wreck and out towards the first set of humps. Best depths were in 65 to 120 feet of water. Anglers were running a few lines near bottom and the rest scattered in the water column. The deep lines were using attractors with spin glo flies or spin glos. The lines higher were running mostly spoons – greens, chartreuse, blue and silver, green, orange and silver. Yellow mostly brighter colored spoons. The lines higher up were catching lake trout but also an occasional Atlantic, steelhead or Chinook. Walleye fishing was slow. The walleye were mostly caught at night. Try fishing Northshore, north point, Grass Island, Sulphur Island, Scarecrow Island for best results. Anglers were trolling crank baits, crawler harnesses and spoons. The best depths were in 15 to 30 feet of water.
Thunder Bay River: Anglers were catching smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, freshwater drum, bullheads and bowfin. Anglers were casting body baits, spoons and bass type lures. Anglers were also using live bait, night crawlers and leeches.
Au Gres: There was some catfish, bullheads, freshwater drum and small perch caught on the pier while still fishing crawlers. Walleye fishing was very good with some limits taken from out near and east of the Charity Islands while trolling crawlers and body baits in 14 to 25 feet and straight out of the river mouth working north and south between the points in 20 to 35 feet. There were also some good numbers of walleye caught out of the Pine River access site. Anglers reported fish out near the black hole, Saganing and Pinconning bars in 10 to 20 feet while trolling crawlers and body baits. There was some largemouth bass, pike, small perch, and freshwater drum caught off the dock at the Pine River access site while casting spinners, body baits and still fishing crawlers.
Presque Isle: Anglers reported a mix of Atlantic, Chinook, coho and steelhead. Run lines throughout the water column for best results. Fish were hitting mostly spoons in greens, blues, orange and silver, orange green and silver, orange, or glow stuff early and late. Lake trout limits were also being caught. Run flashers with spin glos or spin glo flies near the bottom for best results.
Rogers City: Lake trout limits were common. The fish were moving around a lot with the wind and water temperature changes. So once located keep circling back on them. The best depths were 40 to 70 feet of water and running lines throughout the water column and fishing flashers and spin glos near the bottom but not right on the bottom. Short segments of lead core and copper were getting lures away from the boat and not spooking the fish.
Cheboygan River: Freshwater drum have begun to run in the river. Anglers were catching them while targeting walleye and smallmouth bass. Lake trout limits were caught at both Poe Reef and Spectacle Reef. Though freshwater drum were caught on lures, drifting a night crawler or leech on a small jig or with light splitshot can be effective. Similar rigs will catch walleye as well.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Ludington: Fishing was hit or miss. A few Chinook and coho were caught at Big Sable Point and straight out in 110 to 220 feet of water when fishing 60 to 75 feet down. Green and blue spoons and flies worked. The piers remained slow.
Manistee: Catches were hit or miss but a few Chinook were caught along the shelf both north and south of town, and south towards Big Sable Point. Depths ranged from 130 to 250 feet of water while fishing 60 to 80 feet down. Green and blue spoons and flies worked. Pier fishing remained slow.
Frankfort: Anglers were reporting good numbers of Chinook off the bank in 110 to 150 feet of water and working the top 55 to 80 feet of water. Fish were hitting on medium and large spoons with blues and greens getting more hits. They were also hitting on flies and meat rigs. Alewives were still abundant in the area and the early morning bite seemed to be a bit better.
Onekama: Anglers heading straight out and trolling north reported Chinook, lake trout and steelhead in 100 to 130 feet of water.
Portage Lake: The May fly hatch slowed down and panfish anglers reported bluegill hitting on the east end of the lake. Bass anglers were reporting some up close activity.
Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers had some success when trolling with crawler harnesses or crank baits. Anglers going out of the Ford River or fishing Breezy Point reported positive results. Anglers were catching walleye at the head of the bay, although a degree of sorting through sub-legal fish was necessary. Some anglers were catching perch on crawlers. Those targeting bass were having success throughout the bay, fishing reeds or submerged structure, casting jerk baits and soft plastics.
Manistique: Anglers salmon fishing reported a fair amount of bait fish, but fishing was slow. Anglers were unable to locate warm water and all of bait sightings have been limited to the upper part of the water column.
Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers in Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay were fishing for lake trout and salmon. Anglers were mostly trolling and had success in around 150 feet and up near 30 feet as well. Most fish were caught while using flies and spoons. Fish were biting on green, blue, and silver spoons.
Traverse Bays/ South Portage Canal Entry: Anglers reported success jigging and trolling for trout and salmon. Most anglers had success with lake trout whether it be trolling or jigging. Anglers jigging were in deeper water, mostly around 170 feet. Those who were jigging were using cut bait for lake trout. Anglers while trolling were anywhere from 30 feet down to 150 feet and they were trolling with spoons and flies. Most fish were caught during the early morning or the late evening. Some anglers casting from shore had luck catching pike and rock bass.
Munising: Angler pressure was low and most of the boat traffic was recreational pleasure boaters. A few boat anglers were fishing early morning for Chinook and coho with only scattered catches reported of a few Chinook. Fishing out near Wood Island in about 120 feet was successful for lake trout.
Grand Marais: Fishing pressure was low with only a handful of boats out with most reporting limits of lake trout. Anglers reported good catches of nice eating size lake trout caught anywhere from 150 to 200 feet.
Marquette: There was a slight uptick in fishing pressure over the last week. Anglers reported catching mostly lake trout, but there were some reports of Chinook and coho salmon being caught. Anglers fishing offshore near the Chocolay River had success catching salmon from high lines using tri-color spoons of varying vibrant colors. Lake trout were caught lower in the water column in around 40 to 50 feet of water using bright orange spoons. Anglers had some success catching lake trout near white rocks in around 150 feet of water.
Au Train: Fishing pressure remained low in the Au Train area over the last week. Lake trout were the main fish encountered. Anglers fishing to the east of the Brownstone Boat Launch caught lake trout in around 40 to 50 feet of water while using bright color spoons and flickers. Try trolling at slower speeds of around 1.5 to 2 miles per hour. Anglers fishing to the west of the Brownstone had success catching lake trout. Try jigging or trolling in 140+ feet of water for best success. Cut/natural baits while jigging or orange and blue spoons while trolling seemed to be a common theme for anglers catching fish.
Upper St. Mary’s: Anglers were targeting and catching whitefish upriver of the Soo Locks. High numbers of small sized whitefish were caught while jigging or using a simple bobber setup with wax worms. Anglers were jigging between 3 to 5 feet above the bottom of the river in 15 to 25 feet of water. Anglers were also catching an increased number of round whitefish (menominee) over the past week. In Waishkey Bay area, anglers were targeting and catching walleye in slow numbers. Crawler harnesses while trolling produced results.
Lake George: Anglers reported catching low numbers of walleye, pike and perch.
Lake Nicolet: There was the occasional steelhead bite at the rapids, but only a few harvested. There were pike and perch caught, with an occasional walleye.
Whitefish Bay: Fishing around 65 feet in 100 to 120 feet of water while trolling produced some bites of coho salmon, but the bite was not very consistent. Smaller sized spoons with bright colors and flies produced limited results. Near the Tahquamenon River mouth, anglers reported catches of pike and walleye. Anglers on shore were using a variety of natural bait including crawlers, cut bait and minnows.
Carp and Pine rivers: Good numbers of walleye were caught at both rivers by anglers fishing from the shore. Early morning and late afternoon were the most productive times. Anglers were using leeches under a bobber to fish these rivers.
Fishing Tip: Fly Fishing
Use a non-slip loop knot to tie on streamers while fly fishing. It lets the fly move in a greater range of motion and can sometimes trigger more strikes from fish.
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.