Cooler weather coupled with rain and even snow in some areas of the state continue to slow catch rates. The walleye, pike, and trout openers last weekend got off to a slow start as well. Catch rates will improve once the weather stabilizes.


Petoskey: Boats have not been out. A pier angler caught a nice lake trout when casting a crankbait.

Bear River: Those fishing from the dam to the mouth had moderate success for steelhead when using spawn bags, beads, and flies. A couple smaller brown trout were also caught. Suckers are still in the river as well.

Harbor Springs: The boat docks are now in at the public launch. Those trolling along the shoreline for steelhead did not have much luck. A couple lake trout were caught around Harbor Point.

Traverse City: Surface water temperature was around 38 degrees on both bays. In the East Bay, the trout and whitefish action were slow with only a couple whitefish taken. Bass are in the shallows but not ready to bite. A couple steelhead were caught in the Elk River when drifting spawn. On the West Bay, perch were still being caught out of Northport. A few trout were caught near Power Island. Bass are in the shallows, but the bite was very slow. Steelhead action on the Boardman River was slow.

Frankfort: Wind and snow put a damper on big lake fishing this week. A few were looking for walleye but there were no catches to report.

Onekama: Walleye anglers have been working the channels in Portage Lake since the opener, but no reports have come in.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Both lakes produced some walleye on opening weekend.

Manistee: Another week of spotty weather made it tough for anglers to get out. Fishing was hit-or-miss for those trolling. Lake trout were caught north and south of the harbor though north was better in 20 to 50 feet. A few brown trout and chinook were also caught. Pier anglers targeting trout had little luck except for one steelhead caught on spawn.

Manistee River: Water levels were low and clear which makes trout fishing more difficult. Leftover steelhead are on the gravel or heading back out to the big lake.

Ludington: Those trolling had some luck catching lake trout both north and south of the harbor. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River: Fished well despite the lower water levels.


Rogers City: When the weather permits, a few lake trout were caught south towards Swan Bay or straight out and west towards Forty Mile Point when running lines throughout the water column in 40 to 60 feet. Dodgers or cowbells with spin-glo’s and spoons have all taken fish. Surface water temperatures were 38 degrees. The fish will become more active as the water warms.

Alpena: Boat anglers caught lake trout throughout the water column in 35 to 60 feet straight out and near Thunder Bay Island. Those fishing the shoreline had limited success for walleye. Water temperatures were 51 degrees. The bite should improve when the temperatures hit 55 degrees.

Thunder Bay River: The 9th Street Dam is still full of suckers. Anglers trying for steelhead are having limited success. The steelhead action should improve once the suckers clear out. Those trying for steelhead are drifting spawn and beads under a bobber or casting spoons, spinners, and body baits.

Oscoda: A couple Atlantic salmon and steelhead were caught at the end of the pier when casting spoons and body baits or still-fishing with minnows.

Au Sable River: The walleye opener was slow with only a few fish caught when drifting crawlers. There were reports of some steelhead caught upstream to Foote Dam when drifting spawn or casting lures.

Houghton Lake: Catch rates were still on the slow side as water temperatures remain on the cool side. No big crappie to report yet. A few walleye were caught late at night.

Tawas: The action was slow for boats anglers with only a couple lake trout caught out near Tawas Point when using spoons in 25 to 35 feet. Pier anglers caught a couple Atlantic salmon, brown trout, pike, and walleye when casting body baits or using a jig and minnow.

Tawas River: Catch rates for walleye were slow down to Gateway Park. Some small perch were caught with minnows.

UPPER PENINSULAOntonagon: Fishing here and Union Bay was hit-or-miss. Most anglers caught coho and brown trout though lake trout and steelhead were also reported. Lake trout were found in deeper water. Anglers reported very little smelt activity in the streams however boats were marking baitfish relatively shallow. Surface water temperatures were in the high 30’s to low 40’s.

Munising: Boat anglers are still catching a few chinook and coho per trip. Some also reported the occasional steelhead or brown trout. Splake fishing was slow.

Grand Marais: Windy conditions have limited access for boat anglers. Those getting out did mange to catch a couple steelhead and the occasional chinook. For pier fishing, the best bite was towards evening. Anglers are reporting limits of quality size whitefish and a few coho when using a single egg for whitefish and spawn sacs for coho. Some were targeting Menominee.

SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULALake Erie: Walleye action slowed but some boats are still limiting out. The Luna Pier area continues to produce the most fish. Success rates varied for those in Brest Bay.

The fish were taken primarily in 12 to 18 feet. Crankbaits worked best though some fish were taken on a crawler harness. Chartreuse, green, perch patterns or dark colors worked best. On the bright days, silver crankbaits worked very well.

Lake St. Clair: Had good smallmouth bass action as the fish move to shallower water. Walleye and yellow perch are still being caught.

St. Clair River: Walleye anglers are doing ok, but not great. Water temperatures are slowly improving. Rain will certainly help get things going.

Harbor Beach: Boats trolling planer boards with body baits and dipsy divers or downriggers with spoons in 15 to 50 feet caught coho, lake trout, walleye and the occasional Atlantic salmon and whitefish.

Port Austin: Boat anglers were trolling body baits. Those long lining with spoons caught walleye, lake trout and coho.

Saginaw Bay: Windy conditions have made fishing a challenge. Walleye action off Quanicassee was slow with only a couple fish caught towards Sunset Marina in 13 to 17 feet. Fish were taken on both artificial baits and a crawler harness. Sebewaing to Caseville had no reports because of windy conditions.

Saginaw River: Yellow perch were caught at the mouth of the Bay Aggregate Cut.

The walleye opener was very slow as boat anglers caught lots of sub-legal fish and no keepers.

Tittabawassee River: Catch rates for walleye were down. Anglers reported water levels that were down at least 2 feet from years past. Those fishing from the Caldwell launch downstream struggled with the low water, logs, and other obstructions. Some smaller males were caught from the south end of Freeland to M-46 when using a jig and twister tail tipped with live minnows or crawlers. Purple and white were good colors. A few fish were also taken by those trolling green and white flicker shads.

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St. Joseph: Boat anglers targeting salmon were catching a mixed bag of coho, lake trout and a few chinook. The fish are quite scattered and found in 25 to 150 feet.

No reports on perch. Pier fishing was slow.

South Haven: Boat anglers targeting lake trout did well in 45 to 60 feet. Salmon fishing was slow with only a few coho and a couple small chinook caught in 45 feet. Pier fishing was slow and there were no reports on perch.

Grand Haven: Those trolling along the shoreline and pier anglers reported slow brown trout action. Yellow perch action continues to be hit-or-miss for boat anglers. Perch flies tipped with minnows or spikes have worked well.

Grand River near Lansing: Water levels are low. Smallmouth bass have been caught near the dams however the bite has not been consistent. A nice pike was caught in Sycamore Creek.

Maple River: Those targeting catfish reported good catch rates.

Muskegon: Anglers trolling along the shoreline and out to 45 feet did find a few lake trout and brown trout when using bright colored spoons and body baits.

Muskegon River: Water levels are low and clear which makes sight fishing for pike and walleye easier. Casting large body baits for pike and medium size baits for walleye worked best.

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