Spring fishing has stalled with the colder temperatures but should bounce back. Those fishing the inland lakes will want to fish shallow on the sunny days as opposed to deeper water on the cold and cloudy days. Boat anglers are fishing the Great Lakes when the winds allow. Reports should pick up as soon as the weather stabilizes.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Attention walleye anglers – The Total Allowable Catch for walleye has been set for the 2012 season. The daily possession limit for walleye in the Michigan waters of Lake Erie is currently six (6) fish. Beginning May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013 the limit will remain six (6) fish, thus no changes to the creel limit this year. The lake had good walleye fishing when anglers can get out. Catch rates were good around Turtle Island and along the Ohio border when jigging or fishing blade baits.
Detroit River: Had mixed reports as some are getting limit catches while others were struggling to find fish. Overall, it does sound like walleye fishing was decent and should only get better over the coming week.
Lake St. Clair: Reports of good catches of yellow perch are coming from the area of L’anse Cruse Bay. Lots of 8 inches and up gills are coming out of the canals and marinas in the same area as well.Some catfish where caught at some of the parks that line the shoreline. The Spillway should be producing catfish and panfish but no reports have come in of anyone fishing the area.
St. Clair River: No reports have come in however there should be some trout and salmon fishing opportunities.
Harbor Beach: Has a dock in at the boat launch.
Port Austin: The boat launch is open and the docks are in.
Saginaw Bay: Water temperatures range from the mid 30’s to the mid 40’s which is still to cold for perch to start spawning. Windy conditions have hampered boat anglers but those able to get out have caught some walleye.
Saginaw River: Was producing a few small perch near the mouth.
Flint River: Catfish were hitting on crawlers or stink baits.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph: Chinook, coho and steelhead were caught by those trolling spoons and body baits. Pier anglers caught fish on spinners or small spoons.
St. Joseph River: Still has some steelhead for the taking even though many have spawned.
Kalamazoo River: Was still producing some steelhead below the Allegan Dam. Suckers and a few catfish were also caught.
Holland: Windy conditions have kept anglers off the big lake.
Grand Haven: Boat and pier anglers were catching trout and salmon when the weather permits. Chinook and lake trout were out in deeper waters while the coho and brown trout were caught closer to shore. Pier fishing was not possible in the rough waters.
Grand River at Lansing: The last rain did bring some fresh steelhead in and fish were caught near the dam at Moore’s Park. Catfish were also caught.
Lake Ovid: Anglers were getting some decent size bluegills before the cold front.
Muskegon River: Is still producing some steelhead, those that are spent as well as a few fresh fish. Eggs and flies produced the better catches. A few brown trout were also caught.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Rogers City: The docks are in at the launch ramp but the bathrooms and cleaning station were still closed. Boat anglers caught a few brown trout and Atlantic salmon when trolling spoons. Good colors were orange or chartreuse with silver, perch and fire-tiger. Body baits that resemble smelt or shiners also caught fish. The salmon were full of smelt and bugs. Try casting in Swan Bay or trolling along the Calcite breakwall as this is where the Atlantic salmon can usually be found.
Thunder Bay River: Steelhead spawning is done for the most part but a few fresh fish were still being caught. Perch fishing was good even though most of the fish were on the small side. No word on smelt.
Au Sable River: The peak of steelhead spawning is over but a few fresh fish were still moving into the river. No word on smelt in this area of Lake Huron.
Houghton Lake: Was producing a few bluegill and crappie however the bite slowed with the cold weather.
Tawas Bay: Boat anglers out trolling for walleye have caught a few fish.
Tawas River: Low water levels have slowed catch rates.
Au Gres: Was producing a few walleye and brown trout near the motel and off the mouth of the river. A few whitefish along with a small number of smelt were taken off Point Lookout. A couple walleye were caught off Point Au Gres.
Au Gres River: The steelhead and sucker fishing has really slowed as water levels were low and clear.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Those seeking panfish on the inland lakes reported slow catch rates due to the cold water temperatures. Anglers will do best fishing the small shallow lakes as they warm faster.
Leland: Had good steelhead fishing in the river.
Frankfort: Boat anglers are still catching brown trout when they can get out. Pier anglers caught fish on spawn.
Betsie River: Is still producing steelhead. A few fresh fish have been caught right along with those that are done spawning.
Lake Cadillac: Those seeking crappie were starting to fish the west side near the State Park. Try jigs with small minnows or wax worms. Some reported bass on the beds however anglers are reminded that bass season is closed. The catch-and-immediate release season does not open until April 28.
Lake Mitchell: Was starting to produce crappie and bluegill until the cold front moved in. Try fishing shallow waters in the coves on a sunny day.
Manistee: Continues to produce a fair number of brown trout for those using spoons or body baits around the harbor. When boats can get out, chinook salmon were caught about halfway down in waters up to 200 feet deep.
Manistee River: Steelhead fishing is on the downslide.
Ludington: Boat and pier anglers are catching the occasional brown trout.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead spawning is pretty much done but anglers may still find a few leftover fish to catch. A few suckers were caught but water levels are low and clear so the fish spook easily.
Copper Harbor: Has had good splake fishing this spring.
Marquette: North winds and cold water temperatures have resulted in poor catch rates. The trout and salmon were scattered. Water temperatures were in the low 30’s. Both the Dead River and the Carp River have low water levels.
Menominee: Brown trout were caught about a mile out when trolling rapalas or stick baits. Those heading out from the Cedar River caught brown trout, steelhead and splake when trolling north and south along the beach. Brown trout were caught off Stony Point when trolling spoons or stick baits. Walleye fishing was slow.
Menominee River: Boat anglers are starting to troll for walleye between the mouth and the Hattie Street Dam. They are using rapalas, stick baits and crawler harnesses. Catch rates for walleye were slow but a lot of suckers were caught. Shore anglers caught brown trout when drifting yarn or casting spinner baits.
Au Train: Windy conditions resulted in poor catch rates for those shore fishing near the Rock River. Boat anglers caught coho near the river and in Shelter Bay.
Munising: Fishing has been slow with the exception of some calm mornings when boats could get out and caught a few coho. Catch rates were poor to fair in Trout Bay, Murray Bay, off Grand Island and near the Miners River. Most are trolling rapalas and spoons. Some have started to target lake trout in 100 feet of water where catch rates were fair with fish ranging two to five pounds. Shore anglers casting or still-fishing with spawn caught a couple splake or coho. Pier anglers caught splake using eggs or soft body baits.
Grand Marais: Pier anglers had fair success for coho, steelhead, menominee and whitefish. Some limit catches of coho were taken on spawn bags or a single egg. Boat anglers were limited by the high winds but those trolling rapalas in front of the Sucker River did catch the occasional steelhead.