LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Saturday marks the opening day of bass season on the Great Lakes and all Michigan inland waters except for Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River, which don’t open until June 16.
The early catch and release season has been very successful, so the opener should be good as well, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in its weekly fishing report Wednesday.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Anglers are targeting walleye in 21 to 25 feet of water off Stony Point and straight out from Brest Bay near the Ohio line. Those doing the best are running inline weights with crawler harnesses but a few boats caught fish on spoons. Boats launching from Bolles Harbor are heading to the E Buoy and the Dumping Grounds. Lots of white bass and white perch were caught. Hot colors are purple, pink and perch.
Huron River: Is producing smallmouth bass and white bass. Try minnows, crank baits, spinners or crawlers. A few walleye were caught between Flat Rock and Jefferson Road. A lot of carp have been caught.
Detroit River: The better walleye fishing continues to be at night for those trolling. White bass are still being caught. For bluegill and crappie, try the cuts, canals and off the parks.
Lake St. Clair: Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good. White bass have started to show up.
St. Clair River: Had good walleye fishing after dark. White bass are showing up here as well and it looks like a banner year to catch them.
Lexington: Is producing trout and salmon. Pier anglers are still getting white bass. Boat anglers caught some nice perch south of the port in 12 to 20 feet of water. Minnows worked best.
Port Sanilac: Was producing a good mix of chinook, coho, pink salmon, lake trout and steelhead in waters 40 to 120 feet deep. The coho and steelhead were about halfway down while the others were deeper. Pier anglers are getting white bass.
Harbor Beach: Lake trout fishing was fair to good straight out and north of the harbor in 80 to 160 feet of water when using dodgers with spin-glows just off the bottom or downriggers with spoons in the bottom 50 feet. Orange and black were good colors. For salmon, use spoons off 5 and 8 color lead lines or spoons and body baits off dipsy divers and downriggers in the top 35 to 50 feet of water. Blue, green, black and orange were good colors. Steelhead fishing was good in the top 20 to 50 feet of waters 80 to 160 feet deep with bright colored spoons. Brown trout and walleye were slow. Try south of the harbor in 30 to 50 feet of water with Hot-n-Tots, small spoons or crawler harnesses.
Grindstone City: The boat ramp will be open for Memorial Day even though construction projects there are not done yet.
Port Austin: The boat ramp remains closed.
Saginaw Bay: Had good walleye fishing in a variety of areas including 10 to 18 feet of water off Linwood, 17 feet of water east of the Spark Plug, 6 to 8 feet of water just north of Patterson Road, the Callahan Reef, 12 to 14 feet of water in the Slot off Quanicassee, the tip of Fish Point and the north end of the Slot outside the islands. Most of the keepers averaged 15 to 18 inches. Those drifting or casting jigs in Wildfowl Bay caught walleye. At Caseville, anglers are heading south and fishing the top of the Slot inside Sand Point. Those bow fishing continue to pursue carp and gar in the cuts and canals.
Tittabawassee River: Had good catch and release bass fishing near the Center Street launch. A couple pike were caught and those trolling rapalas caught a couple walleye. Due to road construction, there is no activity upstream at the Gordonville Ramp as anglers cannot get there.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Those fishing the inland lakes and ponds should find some bluegill on the beds. Weather permitting, the bass opener on Saturday looks to be a good one.
St. Joseph: Boat anglers are catching trout and salmon. They start in 85 feet of water and work their way out to 140 but most were caught between 110 and 140 feet.
St. Joseph River: Has mostly walleye fishing at this time. There has been no word yet on Skamania.
Holland: Pier fishing remains slow. Boat anglers are still taking some nice fish in 120 to 160 feet of water when trolling spoons and flasher/fly combos.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Should be good for catfish and the bass opener. Check out the backwaters for bluegill and crappie.
Grand River at Lansing: Carp, catfish and smallmouth bass are being caught near the North Lansing Dam. Moore’s Park was producing some nice bluegills in the early morning. Grand Ledge has a good number of carp.
Lake Lansing: Is producing pike and bass. Crappie were caught by boat anglers but you have to know where to find them.
Jackson County: The inland lakes are heating up for the holiday weekend. Anglers should find fair to good action for bluegill and crappie. Bass fishing should be very good on opening day.
Morrison Lake: Is producing crappie and the bluegills should be on their beds soon.
Sessions Lake: Is producing bluegill and crappie on spec minnows.
Muskegon River: Was a bit stained but should clear up. Those fly fishing caught some nice healthy trout. Look for bass around the brush piles.
Whitehall: Had no pier anglers. Salmon and trout fishing were extremely slow.
A few boats found chinook 30 to 55 feet down in waters 80 feet deep. Green or glow-in-the-dark flies worked best.
White Lake: Bass and panfish action were starting to pick up.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Cheboygan: Those trolling caught Atlantic salmon and lake trout on purple and pink spoons. Anglers fishing off the breakwall in Hammond Bay caught Atlantic salmon and northern pike. Try silver, fire-tiger or purple stick baits.
Cheboygan River: Is producing a few suckers.
Rogers City: Is producing some limit catches of lake trout. Try west of the harbor toward Forty Mile Point in waters up to 50 feet deep with cowbells or dodgers and spin-glows just off the bottom. The fish seem to be in the usual spots but not out deep so try Seagull Point or south toward Swan Bay and Adams Point.
Presque Isle: Atlantic salmon are still being caught toward Stoneport. Anglers are trolling high with bright colored spoons like orange, silver, green or yellow. Lake trout were caught off Big Lighthouse Point in waters 100 feet deep.
Rockport: Atlantic salmon have been caught off the old pier by shore anglers. They are using shiners and minnows. Some boats trolling outside the pier caught Atlantic salmon and lake trout on spoons or spin-glows.
Alpena: Is starting to show some walleye activity. Fish were caught by those using husky jerks, leeches and crawlers. Boats trolling crank baits also caught fish. Evenings were best.
Thunder Bay River: Is producing smallmouth bass from the 9th Street Dam down to the marina near the pier. Try crawlers, shiners, spinners, rapalas and husky jerks. A few northern pike and walleye were also caught. The occasional steelhead was caught on artificial spawn near the dam. Boats trolling crank baits in the evening caught walleye.
Harrisville: Those able to get out caught lake trout closer to shore in 40 to 60 feet of water. Straight out and south of the harbor seems to be where most of the fish were concentrated however they were suspended. Try spoons, wobble glows and flies in orange, black and silver or blue and silver. A few walleye were caught around the harbor when casting Hot-n-Tots and stick baits or trolling crawler harnesses.
Oscoda: Lake trout are being caught in 50 to 60 feet of water straight off the river when using spoons, wobble glow’s and stick baits.
Au Sable River: There are some steelhead up in the river but the run has slowed as the fish seem to be heading back out to the big lake. Walleye fishing slowed and smaller fish were caught but the catch rates will get better.
Higgins Lake: Boats are trolling about 10 feet off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet of water for lake trout. For whitefish, try jigging Swedish pimples, cast-masters or crocodiles. Some nice yellow perch were caught in 35 feet of water along the drop-off when using wigglers or minnows.
Houghton Lake: Fishing continues to improve as anglers catch crappie, walleye and bluegills. Bass fishing is a plus on this lake and the opener should be good. Weather will determine if the bluegills are on the beds by the weekend.
Tawas: Those trolling in 20 to 35 feet of water around Buoy (hash)2 have caught walleye. Chinook and lake trout were caught in 50 to 75 feet of water. Pier anglers caught rock bass and smallmouth bass or walleye in the evening. Boat anglers are also catching bass.
Au Gres: Walleye are still being caught between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres however a lot of boats are heading four to eight miles south of Pointe Au Gres and fishing in 25 to 35 feet of water. Fish were caught in 8 to 10 feet of water off the Rifle Bar. Catch and release bass fishing was very good for those using tube jigs between Point Lookout and the Charity Islands.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Harbor Springs: Anglers were targeting lake trout near Harbor Point when trolling green and white divers in 35 feet of water.
Bear River: Steelhead are still being caught on natural and artificial spawn but the number of fish is declining. Those fly fishing near the mouth caught fish and rock bass were taken off the old dock near the mouth.
Charlevoix: Pier and boat anglers were still targeting walleye in the channel after dark. Try casting both natural and artificial baits.
Elk River: Smallmouth bass are showing up in good numbers so the opener looks good. Live bait or soft plastics caught fish. Leftover steelhead can still be found.
Traverse City: Some limit catches of lake trout came from both bays. Anglers are trolling in 20 to 40 feet of water or jigging in 50 to 80 feet. A few whitefish and cisco were also caught.
Boardman River: Is producing smallmouth bass, suckers, and the occasional perch. Leeches or crawlers worked best.
Frankfort: Had good fishing with nice catches of chinook taken on magnum spoons such as the Angry Gnome, Jumping Jack Flash or anything blue. Try 60 to 100 feet down in waters 160 to 200 feet deep. Schools of alewife were reported in the area.
Onekama: Boat anglers heading straight out and fishing 70 to 90 feet down in 200 feet of water caught some very nice chinook salmon. Magnum lures worked best in the morning.
Portage Lake: Bass anglers are enjoying a very good start to the year with large and smallmouth hitting aggressively throughout the lake. Several fish averaged three and four pounds. Perch fishing slowed but several smaller fish were caught near the mouth in 12 to 14 feet of water. Bluegill action on the east end is heating up.
Lake Cadillac: Is producing bluegill and crappie. The bluegills are making their beds so check out the shallows. Try leaf worms, wax worms or minnows. Pike can also be found in the shallows. Try sucker minnows or spinner baits. Walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses, crank baits or stick baits.
Lake Mitchell: Is producing bluegill for boat and shore anglers. Look for bluegill, crappie and pike in Big Cove in 3 to 7 feet of water. For the bass opener, try a slip bobber with minnows, crawlers and leeches or casting small crank baits, jigs or spinners. Look for pike in the shallows in the early morning or late evening.
Manistee: Boat anglers caught salmon 50 to 140 feet down in 140 to 280 feet of water. Orange and green spoons worked higher in the water column while flies and meat rigs worked deeper. Pier anglers caught a couple brown trout when casting spoons.
Manistee River: Trout fishing below Tippy Dam has been good with the Caddis and Stone Fly hatch in progress. Carp and suckers are spawning.
Ludington: Salmon are being caught 45 to 120 feet down in waters 120 to 240 feet deep with green and blue spoons and flies.
Pere Marquette River: Is producing some nice brown trout for those fly fishing.
Pentwater: Had no pier anglers but the channel is still full of baitfish so try body baits. Salmon fishing was good 50 feet down in 150 feet of water when using flies. Brown trout and small coho were found in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Pentwater Lake: Was producing a few northern pike.
Black River Harbor: When boats can get out, they caught lake trout and coho halfway down in waters 40 to 60 feet deep. River and breakwall fishing were slow.
Ontonagon: Had good fishing with the majority of anglers catching lake trout halfway down in waters 25 to 40 feet deep. Green spoons worked best. Walleye fishing in the river has been good for those trolling stick baits and crawler harnesses.
Keweenaw Bay: The bite has picked up with chinook, coho and lake trout caught when trolling from the Baraga Marina north to Carla’s Restaurant on US-41 or from the L’Anse Marina to the Township Park. Anglers are trolling 40 to 60 feet down in 50 to 70 feet of water with spoons. Trolling speeds were between 1.9 and 2.5 mph. Those jigging for lake trout did well in 200 to 250 feet of water from Pequaming and the south end of Big Reef.
Marquette: Lake trout fishing improved for those trolling in 60 feet of water near the Lower Harbor breakwall. They were using a combination of lead core and dipsy divers with assorted spoons and flies. A few fish were caught in waters up to 150 feet deep near the “Sand Hole”. The fish had sticklebacks in their belly. Chinook and coho fishing were slow. Surface water temperatures near the Chocolay River and the Carp River were in the upper 40’s.
Menominee: Boat anglers increased with many targeting musky. A few fish were caught near Boom Landing but many came back with a pike or empty handed. Those trolling for walleye did fair to good near the mouth of the river. Smallmouth bass, freshwater drum and rock bass were caught. Boat anglers off the Cedar River caught smallmouth bass. Some nice walleye were caught on rapalas south of the launch at Stony Point in 8 to 12 feet of water.
Menominee River: Anglers were fishing from shore or wading from Stephenson Island up to the Hattie Street Dam but efforts decreased as the turbines at the dam were not open which caused low water levels.
Au Train: Surface water temperatures were in the mid to upper 40’s. A few anglers were out for lake trout but fishing was slow with three to five fish taken in six hours of fishing in waters 200 feet and deeper. No reports on chinook or coho.
Munising: Anglers were working hard to find fish. A couple chinook salmon weighing over 12 pounds were caught in the bay and west channel. A few lake trout were caught near Grand Portal Point in waters between 100 and 200 feet deep. Pier anglers were still-fishing with spawn bags for splake but catch rates were poor.
Grand Marais: Had fair to good whitefish action for pier anglers with some limit catches reported. The average size has increased but smaller fish were hitting before sunrise and after sunset. Success for whitefish depends on the wind conditions and some anglers were leaving empty-handed. The occasional coho and steelhead were still being caught around the bay. Those targeting lake trout five to six miles north of the bay caught fish in waters 100 to 300 feet deep.
St. Mary’s River: A few walleye were caught near Dan’s Resort in Munuscong Bay when trolling crawlers or small crank baits in 4 to 6 feet of water.
DeTour: Is producing good numbers of Atlantic salmon, lake trout and even a few chinook salmon when trolling between the lighthouse and the Red Can on the south side of Drummond Island. Use chartreuse and chrome spoons 35 to 45 feet down in 80 feet of water.
Cedarville and Hessel: Were hot for northern pike. Anglers are casting or trolling stick baits in Cedarville Bay, Moscoe Channel, Musky Bay and Hessel Bay. A few perch were also caught. Wilderness Bay is producing Atlantic salmon and splake.
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