By The Associated Press
Surface temperatures are barely reaching 40 degrees in many areas, so fishing is late compared to last year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.
The department said anglers should look for warm water close to shore, in the bays or near the mouth of a river or stream. Walleye and pike season in the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters and the St. Marys River opens Sunday. Bass anglers are reminded that we are currently in the catch and release season.
Marquette: Coho fishing was not good but some steelhead and brown trout were recorded. The better lake trout action was near the Sand Hole and the White Rocks in 130 to 150 feet of water. Most fish were averaging 3 pounds. The bigger fish in the 10 to 15 pound range were caught near Stannard Rock. Shore anglers near Mattson Park and the coal docks caught a few splake when using a single egg. Surface water temperatures are 41 degrees near the Chocolay River.
Munising: Boat anglers had a hard time locating the true coho hot spots. Those trolling have picked up the occasional salmon, splake or steelhead in Munising Bay, Trout Bay and around Pictured Rocks. Some headed towards Shelter Bay and Shot Point. Try rapalas or thundersticks in chartreuse or fire-tiger. Boat anglers had difficulty launching the bigger boats due to low water levels at the city launch. Shore anglers still managed to catch splake. Lake trout were caught around Grand Island in 150 feet of water.
Keweenaw Bay: The bite was slow so anglers were putting in some time trying to catch one or two salmon. Those using body baits in bright green, orange, yellow and pink had better luck. A couple of coho and rainbow trout were caught off the rock dock in L'Anse. Water temperatures were still cold at 36 degrees.
Grand Marais: Some anglers have taken limit catches of whitefish in the early morning when using wax worms or a single egg. Menominee were hitting on leaf worms. Boat anglers have not done well as catch rates for steelhead and salmon were very slow.
Eagle Harbor: A few splake are being caught by those still-fishing from shore. Most anglers are using cut bait such as suckers or smelt.
Copper Harbor: Splake were stocked in the harbor and every year after this happens, fishing seems to slow right down for three to four weeks. Longnose suckers were starting to run and that should bring whitefish in to the mouth of the river. Try a small float with a single egg, wax worm or leaf worm.
Menominee: Had lots of boat anglers targeting walleye when trolling but catch rates were slow.
Menominee River: Most anglers are jigging minnows in the deep holes for walleye. Some boats did very well while others did not. Those wading or fishing from shore had a fast current which made fishing difficult. A couple of anglers were fly fishing or casting spoons for brown trout with not much luck. No steelhead were seen or reported.
Little Bay De Noc: Had fair perch fishing with crawlers 20 to 30 feet of water along the Narrows in the mid-morning. A few perch were also caught near the Days River and a lot of small perch were taken in 8 to 12 feet of water around Butler Island. Many are gearing up for the walleye opener and it should be good this year with water temperatures in the 50's. Check out Gladstone and the Narrows or the Second and Third Reefs.
Big Bay De Noc: Perch anglers were still using crawlers in 6 to 8 feet of water in Garden Bay. Most fish were small but a few jumbos were also caught. The walleye opener here should also be good. Try fishing the head of the bay near Tylene's and over to Valentine Creek or head south to Kates Bay. In Ogontz, the better spot for walleye has been over near the camp grounds in the northeast corner in 8 to 14 feet of water.
Au Train: Catch rates for coho were hit-or-miss at Red Rock and in Shelter Bay when trolling crank baits or rapalas in 10 to 15 feet of water. Good lake trout action near the shipping channels and near Wood's Island in 150 feet of water. Surface water temperatures were warming slowly to around 37 degrees.
Manistique River: Has plenty of white suckers and some steelhead. They are using yarn, flies and spinners to entice the steelhead, but catch rates were low.
DeTour: The docks are in. Pumpkinseed and bullhead are being caught on Drummond Island around the boat slips at Papins Resort and the Birch Tree Resort. Yellow perch were still being caught at the near the Monahan Pier and in Maxton Bay. Perch spawning is just about done.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch activity was slow except for all the small fish around the pier at the Hessel Marina. Several pike were caught however that season does not open until May 15th. Splake was good but a large fly hatch did slow catch rates.
Carp River: Is still fast and cloudy however white suckers are still moving in.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Rogers City: Anglers are very frustrated right now as they catch lake trout but many of them are not legal size. There are new regulations where anglers can keep 3 fish but they have to be 24 in or less or one of the 3 fish can be 32 inches or larger. Most fish were running 26 to 28 inches and were caught in shallow waters less than 50 feet deep. Try cowbells, dodgers and spin glows just off the bottom. Pier anglers should try casting small spoons or body baits that look like smelt. Other good colors are silver with orange, chartreuse or blue.
Rockport: Boats are still coming in empty handed as it appears water temperatures are still too cold for Atlantic salmon.
Alpena: Anglers caught walleye around Grass Island when trolling crank baits 15 feet down in 18 feet of water. A few walleye were caught near the mouth and by those trolling near the Yacht Club. Big northern pike were caught in the shallows.
Thunder Bay River: Those trolling rapalas, rattletraps, and deep divers caught some limits of walleye. Others were jigging natural bait or rubber worms. One large northern pike was also caught. No steelhead, but suckers were caught near the dam.
Harrisville: Walleye fishing is picking up in the harbor and outside in 15 to 35 feet of water. Walleye can also be found around the lighthouse. Try body baits, crawler harnesses or small spoons. For lake trout, try anything that looks like smelt.
Higgins Lake: Those trolling or long-lining along the drop-off have caught some brown trout. Lake trout are hitting on cowbells, rapalas or bombers. Perch could be found near the Sunken Island.
Houghton Lake: Is producing walleye near the mouth of the Muskegon River. Bluegill and crappie can be found in the canals.
Oscoda: Boat and pier anglers were catching walleye. Try body baits or floating crawlers and leeches under a bobber.
Au Sable River: The mouth and the river itself have turned on this past week. A good number of steelhead are up in the river on the beds. Spawn, wax worms, and flies are producing the most catches; finding the right combo is the trick.
Tawas: Pier anglers are catching a few chinook, brown trout and walleye along with lots of small perch. The harbor is full of emerald shiners. Some walleye were caught near Point Lookout and Whitestone Point. Those trolling caught coho and some big lake trout out near Buoy 2.
Tawas River: Is producing some walleye.
Au Gres: Walleye have been caught off the mouth of the river.
Au Gres River: Is producing some walleye, pike and perch. Walleye were caught by those surfcasting at night near the Singing Bridge.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Petoskey: Steelhead have been caught off the pier and the city docks in the early morning. Boat anglers have venturing out into Little Traverse Bay for lake trout had no success. Water temperatures were in the low 40's.
Bear River: Continues to produce steelhead, though the peak of the run has passed. Fish have been caught between the dam and the mouth when using spawn bags, yarn or flies.
Traverse City: In the East Bay, boats fishing out from Acme have caught good numbers of Cisco. Lake trout and whitefish could be found south of the Center Road launch in 140 feet of water. Near Elk Rapids, the pond behind the power dam was full of steelhead and walleye were seen in the harbor. In the West Bay, good numbers of lake trout and Cisco were caught near Bryant Park. Those trolling for lake trout did well along the south shoreline. A few walleye and some lake trout were caught after dark off the Maritime Pier.
Boardman River: Those willing to put in the time have caught steelhead behind the Post Office. A few perch were caught up at the Union Street Dam and walleye can be found throughout the river.
Frankfort: A few brown trout were still being caught by those trolling body baits in between the piers and the sum line just outside them.
Onekama: A mix of brown trout, lake trout and steelhead were taken by those trolling south of the lighthouse in 30 to 60 feet of water. Try spoons or body baits.
Portage Lake: Perch are still biting but many are small. Good walleye fishing at night. Several 5 to 7 pound fish were caught when trolling the shoreline. Water temperatures are beginning to climb so crappie, bluegills, pumpkinseed and rock bass are moving into the shallows.
Lake Cadillac: Is producing crappie, pike and walleye.
Lake Mitchell: Is producing crappie, pike and walleye.
Manistee: Fishing was fair on the big lake but windy days have certainly hampered the ability of boats able to get out. Chinook and brown trout have been caught. Pier anglers are catching a few brown trout when casting spoons or still-fishing with spawn. Perch fishing is slow. The First Street fish cleaning station is now open.
Manistee River: Trout fishing will improve, now that water levels are closer to normal. Those fishing near Tippy Dam are still taking some steelhead.
Ludington: Fishing has been hit-or-miss for pier and boat anglers. Chinook, brown trout and lake trout were caught when trolling the shoreline. Pier anglers caught brown trout on spawn or spoons. The Loomis Street launch now has one dock in and the fish cleaning station is open.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing was slow. Most anglers are fishing for resident brown trout in the fly's only section.
Pentwater: Catch rates were hit-or-miss. Boats trolling south did find some brown trout along the surf.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Through April 30, 2012, the limit in Michigan waters will be six walleye. Fishing remains slow however conditions are improving. Walleye still seem scattered but a few fish were taken on crank baits when trolling in Brest Bay. White bass and freshwater drum have also been caught.
Huron River: Water levels were coming down so fishing was easier. White bass are in the river along with a few walleye and suckers. The limit for white bass on the inland waters is now 10 fish.
Detroit River: Walleye are being caught along the entire river. Some are handlining with rapalas and pencil plugs after dark, while others are jigging minnows or plastic worms. Good northern pike action when using crank baits, spoons or a large minnow under a bobber in the shallow bays. A few anglers managed to catch a few perch measuring 12 to 14 inches. Shore anglers are getting bullhead, catfish, carp, and suckers. White bass are also in the river.
Lake St. Clair: Shore anglers are catching rock bass. Several are also catching smallmouth bass during the catch and immediate release season.
Lexington: Those trolling have caught some nice chinook salmon along with a mixed bag of coho, brown trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon. Try spoons in 15 to 40 feet of water. Pier fishing produced a couple bullhead and smallmouth bass.
Port Sanilac: Boat anglers caught an assortment of trout and salmon.
Harbor Beach: Salmon fishing has slowed with the clearer water. Try south of the harbor in 30 feet of water in the morning and work your way out as the sun comes up. Try spoons off downriggers set from 12 feet down to the bottom. Spoons with offshore boards running the tadpoles with long lines are working well. Best colors are blues, greens, silver, and fire tiger. Also try some body baits on the boards as well. Lake trout are moving out to deeper water so start in 40 feet and work your way out with spoons or dodgers and spin glows between 30 feet down and the bottom. For steelhead, try long lines or lead lines with bright colored spoons such as orange, yellow, green or blue. Brown trout will be in close to shore, so use long lines to get back away from the boat with body baits or spoons in blue, green, purple or silver. For perch, try minnows near the lighthouse or south by the cemetery.
Saginaw Bay: Boats trolling, casting or drifting in the vicinity of the Saganing and Pinconning Bars were getting walleye along with largemouth bass which need to be released immediately. The water in this area was clearer. Muddy water from all the rain extends out as far as the Spark Plug which is buoys 11 and 12. Walleye were caught near Spoils Island, Callahan Reef and halfway between Bay City and Quanicassee in 10 to 12 feet of water. Those using crawler harnesses have also caught catfish and freshwater drum. Boat anglers need to use caution in the navigation channels as sand bars have formed over the winter and because of spring storms. Off Quanicassee, walleye anglers are fishing the Slot. Boat anglers are using Bayshore Marina near Bay Port to access the northern end of the Slot. Lots of bass were caught and released around North Island and Beadle Bay. Shore anglers in the marina basins are catching a mixed bag of crappie, bluegill, sunfish and rock bass. Pier anglers at Caseville caught walleye at night. At Port Austin, boat anglers were taking a few walleye and lake trout.
Tittabawassee River: Water levels have come down quite a bit. Those landing at the Gordonville Road and Center Road ramps were coming in with walleye. Concentrate on the deep holes while trolling bright colored baits.
Shiawassee River: Had reports of white bass showing up near St. Charles.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Grand Haven: Pier anglers trying for walleye and trout were not having much luck. Boat anglers have started to catch chinook around the piers as well as north and south of the port in 40 to 50 feet of water when trolling spoons. Hot colors were orange, gold and yellow. Perch anglers were struggling as it seems the east winds along with dirty water seem to have the fish scattered.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is still producing some steelhead. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass are catching some nice fish during the catch and immediate release season. Channel cats and pike have been caught. Riverside Park has crappie in the channels, bluegills in shallow, and perch in 3 to 15 feet of water.
Grand River at Lansing: Moore's Park and Tecumseh River Drive are producing some catfish. Check out the shallow backwaters for bluegill and pike.
Lake Ovid: Is producing crappie along the south end of the lake near the bridge.
Muskegon: Pier anglers jigging for walleye on the short pier next to the Coast Guard Station were not catching very many fish. Boat anglers have managed to catch chinook both north and south of the port as well as around the piers in 40 to 50 feet of water. Try yellow, orange and gold spoons. As for perch, anglers are trying but have not been able to find them.