Hart Ford
Hart Ford
HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: April 20, 2023

Weekly fishing report: April 20, 2023

Michigan DNR Hunt Fish, an official app of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, gives you a mobile path to buy and store hunting, fishing, ORV and snowmobile licenses and permits, report harvests, access guides and digests, and get the latest outdoor recreation updates. Download it today!

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Presque Isle: The dock is in at the harbor. Anglers were targeting trout in North Bay with success in 30 to100 feet of water scattered all throughout the water column. Best results were coming on spoons in green, yellow and orange.

Rockport: Anglers were having success targeting lake trout around Middle Island in 30 to 50 feet of water. Anglers targeting Atlantic salmon and brown trout had no success as of yet. Deep diving crankbaits and spoons have been productive in a wide variety of colors. Anglers had no luck yet fishing from the pier.

Alpena: Boat anglers were having success trolling for walleye from the mouth of Thunder River all the way to Sulfur Island on crankbaits. Anglers vertical jigging the river mouth had success on jig/minnow and plastic baits. Those targeting trout had success trolling North Point in 40 to 60 feet of water. Pier anglers caught a few walleye, pike and bass. A couple large brown trout were also caught in early morning hours. Crankbaits and live bait were both producing.

Thunder Bay River: Steelhead were caught while drifting beads and spawn. A large number of suckers were now in the river and were caught on crawlers. A number of walleye were caught and anglers are reminded that they must be released until April 29.

Cheboygan: All of the dam chutes were still open. Anglers were casting with a variety of body baits and spoons targeting steelhead with a low success rate. Anglers using fresh spawn either drifting the bottom or under a bobber were having the best results. The worst weather days were producing the better catches. 

Ocqueoc River: Anglers were fishing the deeper holes from the mouth of the river up to the weir with limited success. Anglers were drifting beads or fresh spawn bags under bobbers for best results. A few steelhead were caught.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Houghton Lake: Anglers reported crappie catches while using minnows.  

Manistee: Anglers trolling for brown trout caught a few fish along the coastline both north and south of the harbor in the mornings. Anglers looking for lake trout found the best action in 75 to 100 feet of water although some were caught in shallower waters. Anglers on the pier found the action to be slower this week but a few trout were caught on spawn and casting spoons. Lake Michigan perch were caught inside the harbor both on the pier and in boats. Walleye fishing remained slow; however, a few were caught while trolling and casting in the harbor during the evenings. The south pier remained closed. Catches of smelt were reported from the beaches and the north pier at night.

Manistee Lake: There was a respectable number and sizes of perch reported in some areas around the lake. A few crappie and bluegill were also reported on worms, minnows and wigglers. Warmer temperatures had the bass anglers picking up a few fish.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Any remaining ice has melted and anglers reported that the inflowing rivers were high.

Big Bay de Noc: No ice remains. Perch anglers reported good results while using minnows and worms.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers in Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay found decent luck fishing for coho salmon and lake trout. Some anglers found a few whitefish while jigging in Keweenaw Bay. Anglers found most of the fish they caught during the morning hours, but a few fish were caught during the evenings as well. Most fish were found either at the absolute bottom or the top of the water column. Fish caught near the surface were either caught trolling or casting and fish caught deeper were caught while jigging.

Traverse Bays/ Portage Canal: The launches were open which gave anglers more access to the lake. Anglers who were successful mostly trolled south of the mouth of the canal with only a few fish caught while jigging and casting in other locations. Most fish were caught during the morning hours while trolling with spoons and other artificial baits.

Au Train: Fishing activity increased in the Au Train area. Boat anglers reported catching coho salmon and some reports of brown trout while fishing around Au Train Island and in shallower waters near the Rock River. Shore anglers fishing the Rock River reported some rainbow trout being caught while floating spawn within the river. There were some reports of coho salmon caught from the mouth of the Rock River.

Marquette: Fishing activity increased over the last week. Coho salmon were the most reported fish caught from boat anglers. Anglers had success trolling spoons in shallow water and reported coho salmon and a few brown trout. There were a couple reports of anglers catching rainbow trout in the Carp River while floating spawn.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake St. Clair:  Water clarity on the lake has been improving each day. The stained water was warming up quickly and fishing for multiple species has been improving.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass were caught by anglers fishing by boat and shore.  The warmer backwaters and areas where creeks and rivers enter the lake have been better. Walleye anglers were doing well in the main lake and southern end near the Detroit River while trolling. With the cool water, anglers had a few bonus catches of coho and steelhead. 

Detroit River: The annual walleye run was in full swing and will only improve as the water warms. The preferred fishing method this time of year is vertical jigging. Quality reports have come in from all sections of the river.   

Saginaw Bay: On the east side of Saginaw Bay, fishing for yellow perch was very slow with only a handful of small perch caught. Most anglers were no longer targeting perch.  Those that were targeting walleye reported poor catches out from Quanicassee and up into the slot towards Fish Point. The water remained dirty from Quanicassee towards the mouth of the Saginaw River. A few walleye were caught in deeper water from 18 to 22 feet using mostly plastic baits. In lower Saginaw Bay, some walleye were caught at the mouth of the Saginaw River while jigging. At the mouth of the Kawkawlin River, shore anglers were catching walleye while casting crankbaits. Some boat anglers were trolling towards Finn Road in 10 to 12 feet of water while using crankbaits.

Saginaw River: Walleye fishing continued to be very slow on the Saginaw River with just a few walleye caught while jigging downstream of Center Street Bridge in Saginaw. Elsewhere on the river, anglers fishing smallmouth bass did well around Crow Island casting various artificial baits.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Muskegon: Dirty water along the shoreline slowed the fishing action. Brown trout and coho salmon action was slow for pier anglers. A few were caught on spawn. Boat anglers trolling the shoreline found the action to be slow for brown trout and coho salmon.

Muskegon River: Despite the downstream water level and clarity improving, the majority of steelhead anglers continued to fish above the Thornapple Launch. The river was quite busy with both guides and anglers. A good number of steelhead were caught. There was a good mix of ripe and spent fish in the river, with many still chrome. Resident trout, especially the brown trout, were caught downstream of spawning steelhead. Majority of anglers were fishing beads under a float.

Grand Haven: Dirty water from the Grand River has slowed the action for brown trout and coho salmon. A few brown trout were caught off the pier using spawn or minnows. Boats trolling the shoreline have found the action to be slow. Anglers targeting yellow perch have found the action to be slow.

This report is intended to give you an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from Fisheries staff and conservation officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species.

Leave a Comment


UpNorthVoice.com is Northern Michigan's source for community news.

We cover seven counties including Crawford, Roscommon, Oscoda, Ogemaw, Iosco, Arenac and Montmorency counties in print and / or online.

We are also a full-service commercial design and printing house. Our specialty is custom commercial printing, as well as the creation of clothing, cups and other marketing products.

To submit information for publication, or for questions regarding promotion of your business through web or print, as well as promotional items such as hats or cups, please email info@UpNorthVoice.com, or call 989-275-1170.

- Advertisement -
Northern Fun Wheels electric bike sales
- Advertisement -
COOR ISD Free College Credits
- Advertisement -
Fick and Sons
- Advertisement -
Firehouse Restaurant