The large and smallmouth bass opener on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River is June 15. High water levels continue to hamper fishing on the Great Lakes, inland lakes as well as the rivers and streams. While visibility may be a factor, those putting in the time have caught fish.


Chinook salmon and fly fishing are probably the two big topics right now. Chinook fishing has been good off most ports. Lake trout are still being caught as well. Stream trout fishing was good after the warmup, which started some fly hatches. The bass are on the beds, however the panfish have not started spawning yet.

Wilderness State Park: Some were still getting limits of smallmouth bass from Goose Bay with tube baits, crawlers, leeches, flies or a leech imitation. The fish range 12-19 inches. A few pike were caught on spinners.

Carp Lake River: Anglers were drifting worms or casting crank baits for smallmouth bass but had no luck.

Harbor Springs: Those going out for lake trout were fishing Harbor Point and north.

Boat anglers targeting smallmouth bass have started to catch fish. Most were casting along the shoreline as well as near the piers and docks.

Petoskey: Had no boat reports as angler pressure was low. On the Bear River, there were no anglers fishing up near the dam, however a good number were fishing the mouth where catch rates were very good on the right day for smallmouth bass, rock bass, big carp, suckers, bullhead, pike and freshwater drum. A couple of walleye and bluegill were even caught. Most were using a worm, but some did well on tube jigs or crank baits. Those fishing the breakwall had no luck.

Charlevoix: Anglers did well for lake trout with lots of big fish taken both north and south of the port. A few salmon were also caught. Catch rates for lake herring increased but anglers were putting in some time to catch them. Most were casting or jigging anything flashy in the harbor. A couple of lake trout were also caught. Smallmouth bass, carp and suckers were cruising the channel.

Traverse City: Those targeting lake herring in the East Bay did well in 50 to 90 feet off the marina in Elk Rapids, 55 to 80 feet around Deepwater Point, and along the West Bank near the M-37 launch. Bass anglers had hit-or-miss action in the shallows between the M-37 launch and the State Park as well as the launch near Acme. On the Elk River, fishing was slowly starting to pick up. A few nice bass were caught near the dam. Try crawlers, leeches or soft plastics. Along the West Bay, a couple of boats were out but no fish were reported. A few anglers were fly fishing for smallmouth bass and carp in the shallows.

Frankfort: Those trolling straight out with spoons and flies 30 to 60 feet down in 120 to 150 feet caught limits of chinook salmon in the early morning. Lake trout were hitting spin-glos near the bottom in Platte Bay.

Onekama: Good size chinook salmon were caught out in front of the “Barrel.” Anglers were trolling blue and green spoons in the top 50 of waters 100 to 140 feet deep.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers reported the fish moving to deeper water. Perch anglers reported light catches. Panfish were in the shallows.

Manistee: Surface temperatures were near 52 degrees. A good number of chinook were caught on spoons and flies in 90 to 200 feet. Steelhead and lake trout were also caught. Pier anglers using alewife in the harbor caught chinook and steelhead.

Hamlin Lake: The bluegill and sunfish action finally picked up as good numbers of fish were taken when drifting or still-fishing with a worm and bobber in front of Barnhart’s Restaurant. Bluegills are on the beds now and have not yet spawned. Bass anglers are still doing very well with good-size largemouth and the occasional smallmouth taken.

A couple of walleye were caught in the lower lake by those drifting or trolling. Crappie fishing slowed down but a few were caught by those targeting bluegills.

Ludington: Surface waters warmed to 55 degrees. A good number of chinook were still coming in 100 to 300 feet when anglers trolled spoons and flies. Steelhead and lake trout were also found at those depths; steelhead up high and lake trout near the bottom. Baitfish are in the harbor. however pier fishing was slow.