Michigan's main river systems, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said in its weekly fishing report. Brown trout and the occasional walleye were also being caught. Pier and shore anglers can catch steelhead and whitefish. Those fishing the cuts, canals, and backwaters will find pike, bass, perch, crappie and bluegill.
Little Bay De Noc: Water temperatures have dropped to the low 40s. Lots of walleye were marked north of the Narrows and those fishing at night caught fish. During the day, anglers were fishing near the Kipling Flats and around the reefs but catch rates were spotty. Limit catches were reported by those trolling crank baits in 10 to 28 feet of water. Fair to good perch fishing was reported around Butler Island with minnows in 8 to 14 feet of water and along the Narrows in 18 to 30 feet of water. Several nice catches of northern pike were taken just off the mouth of the Day's River when trolling crank baits.
Big Bay De Noc: Had fair walleye fishing.
Alpena: Whitefish are flocking to the reefs of Thunder Bay, as opening day of the firearm deer season usually marks the peak of spawning season for whitefish. Action over the next two to three weeks will be excellent between dusk and dawn.
Thunder Bay River: Has good steelhead fishing below Ninth Street Dam. The occasional brown trout and whitefish have also been caught.
Harrisville: Some of the steelhead coming into the harbor are part of a new study to evaluate how well fish do if acclimated in streamside raceways before being released. The fish are missing their adipose fins and have coded-wire tags in their snouts. Anglers can lend crucial assistance to this project by turning in the heads of these fish at one of the locations on the Coded Wire Tag drop-off list on our web site. Most of the fish will be small 15 to 18 inches because the study just started. Returning the heads from even the small fish as long as they meet the 15-inch minimum size limit is important to the study.
Au Sable River: Has good numbers of steelhead in it and some of these fish are part of a new study to evaluate how well fish do if acclimated in streamside raceways before being released. The fish are missing their adipose fins and have coded-wire tags in their snouts. Please turn in the head of these fish even if they are small but still meet the minimum size limit. The division will get back with cooperating anglers to let them know the stocking history of the fish they turn in. A few brown trout have also been caught. The whitefish run in the lower river is in the early stages and will improve over the next two weeks.
Tawas: Has good numbers of whitefish and quite a few anglers fishing off the breakwall. The bite will be slow at first as the fish are thinking about spawning and not eating, but that will change soon as the spawning period progresses. Anglers have also caught a few small perch, brown trout, pike and the occasional walleye.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Boardman River: Has good steelhead action all the way up to Sabin Dam. A few brown trout were also caught.
Betsie River: Catch rates last week were on the slow side as sometimes higher water levels cause the fish to not want to bite. There are a few coho in the river still even though the salmon run is pretty much done.
Manistee River: Fresh steelhead did move into the river after the recent rain. The number of fish in the river did come up but fishing techniques tend to change with the higher water as fish are on the move and not wanting to bite. Try bigger and brighter spoons or flies during high water. Those fishing up near Tippy Dam did manage to catch a few leftover coho.
Pere Marquette River: Also had a good push of steelhead after the rain. Try bright colored flies and spoons, yarn or fresh spawn.
Lake Erie: High winds tend to slow the perch and walleye bite. Those fishing off Sterling State Park and in the Metro Park Marina caught bluegill and crappie. Perch were caught near the mouth of Swan Creek which is south of Pointe Mouillee. There were reports of a couple steelhead caught up near the mouth of the Detroit River.
Huron River: Has a good number of shad up near Flat Rock which makes steelhead fishing more difficult.
A fresh batch of fish did move into the river with all the rain. Try using a wax worm under a bobber above the dam or bouncing flies and flatfish below. Purple Hot-n-Tots also caught fish.
Look for bluegill and crappie in the backwaters.
Detroit River: A few walleye were caught near the Edison Plant and the Trenton Channel between the Free Bridge and the Toll Bridge. Try No. 11 floating rapalas when hand-lining or trolling. This is the time of year to catch big perch. Try 9 to 12 feet of water north or south of Sugar Island, around Celeron Island and off Belle Isle.
Lake St. Clair: A few anglers had limited success for walleye near the North and Middle Channels just before sunset. Crappie and bluegill were taken in Anchor Bay.
Lexington: Still has one dock in at the boat launch. Perch fishing was good but the bite has since slowed due to minnows and shad in the harbor. Pier anglers and boats anchored inside the harbor are catching steelhead and brown trout. Most are casting spoons such as small cleo's.
Port Sanilac: Still has one dock in at the boat launch. Perch fishing was spotty with all the baitfish in the harbor. Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout on small spoons or spinners in the early morning and late evening. No whitefish yet.
Harbor Beach: Still has one dock in at the boat launch. Look for walleye and brown trout behind the Edison Plant.
Saginaw Bay: Perch were caught in the cuts and canals along the west side of the bay including Eagles Landing at Linwood.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph: Pier anglers are catching whitefish on a single egg or wax worm.
St. Joseph River: Steelhead are being caught in fair numbers near St. Joseph.
Kalamazoo River: Is still producing some good steelhead action.
Grand Haven: Pier anglers fishing early morning or late evening have caught steelhead and whitefish.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Continues with good steelhead action up near the dam. Try floating or drifting flies, streamers, spawn or small spoons.
Grand River at Lansing: Steelhead are still being caught in Prairie Creek near Ionia and below the dam at Lyons. No word on steelhead in the Lansing area. Catfish were caught over at Moore's Park. No action at North Lansing due to repairs being done on the dam.
Muskegon River: The water is clearing back up after the rain. More steelhead moved into the river and some nice fish have been caught by those using flies, spawn or black and copper leeches below Croton Dam.