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HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: May 3

Weekly fishing report: May 3

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

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Tawas: Anglers reported majority of the walleye catches came from Whitestone Point while trolling. Jigging for walleye off the pier started to pick up. Pier anglers reported that darker colors like army green and brighter colors worked well. Singing Bridge was spotty, but some walleye and brown trout were caught.

Oscoda/Au Sable: Report: Anglers reported seeing more and more walleye at the mouth of the river. White jigs were performing best for walleye. Some steelhead were spotted here and there. Atlantic salmon numbers were increasing a little bit at the mouth. Anglers reported lake trout off the pier becoming less frequent.

Presque Isle: Boat anglers braving the elements were catching lake trout and the occasional Atlantic from the lighthouse to Thompson Harbor in the 30 to 70 feet range. The cold water had the fish scattered through the water column so spreading the lines out was most productive. Best results came from spoons in watermelon, yellows, orange and gold. A few Atlantic salmon were caught from the pier while casting spoons in blue/silver, green silver and orange. A number of pike moved in as well with some very nice fish in the shallows.

Rockport: Anglers targeting the waters around Middle Island were catching lake trout and Atlantic salmon. Orange, golds, and green spoons were productive in 25 to 40 feet down over waters 50 to 80 feet deep. White paddles with chartreuse spin glows were catching good numbers of trout in the lower portions of the water column.

Alpena/Thunder Bay River: Anglers were getting a good mixed bag of walleye, pike, bass, and occasional brown trout from the pier. Early morning and late evening anglers were having the most success with a wide variety of crankbaits and plastic baits. Anglers on the Thunder Bay River had the best luck jigging for walleye with plastics, crawlers, and jig/minnow combinations. Best results came from 2nd Street Bridge to the 9th Street Bridge. A fresh run of steelhead found their way into the river and anglers were doing well on fresh spawn and beads at the 9th Street Dam. Boat anglers were doing well catching lake trout and Atlantic salmon in waters 50 to 70 feet. Spoons and flasher/spin glow combos were productive 30 to 40 feet down.

Cheboygan River: All gates were open, and the current was very strong. The suckers were in the river. Steelhead were present but fishing for them was slow. Drifting or bottom bouncing fresh spawn sacs or beads produced the best. Anglers were casting a variety of spoons and body baits. There appeared to be a few smallmouth bass in the river.

Rogers City: Boat anglers were catching some lake trout around 40 Mile Point. The best depths were 30 to 60 feet. Lines were fished near the bottom as well as all over the water column. Anglers were using dodgers and spin glows or spoons in orange, green or yellow. 

Ocqueoc River: Anglers were fishing the deep holes while drifting spawn under bobbers or beads for best success. Anglers fishing the mouth caught some Atlantic salmon. There were a few smallmouth bass in the river system.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Manistee River: Anglers reported low numbers of steelhead that were mostly spent and returning back to the lake. A few steelhead were caught while bouncing beads and some drift setups. Boat anglers had some success plugging downriver. An increase in suckers were reported through the entire river and were caught on various natural baits while sitting on the bottom. Some walleye, brown trout and pike were caught. Water temperatures held in the low 50’s for the past week while water levels lowered.

Manistee Lake: Windy conditions kept fishing pressure on Manistee Lake low. Anglers on the water were targeting perch, pike and bass. Anglers fishing for perch had success using minnows and wigglers while jigging or still fishing in roughly 20 feet of water. Trolling with body baits was the most successful method while fishing for pike. Anglers targeting bass had success using spinners, soft plastics, and crankbaits while fishing in shallow weeds. The occasional bluegill, black crappie and rock bass were also caught.

Manistee: Before the high winds and bad weather, perch were caught between the piers from boat and pier anglers. Many of the perch were small and it took some time to find the bigger ones. Wigglers worked the best. Anglers targeting walleye caught a few off the piers late at night. Anglers fishing in the channel caught some keepers while jigging but reported mixed bags and a few undersized walleye. Anglers trolling for salmon and trout found a few spring Chinook just outside the harbor and north in 20 to 30+ feet. A few brown trout were caught along the shoreline from the harbor to the north and lake trout were reported from 20 to 70 feet of water.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Perch anglers reported slow fishing.

Big Bay de Noc: Anglers fishing for yellow perch reported good fishing, with some anglers harvesting limits. Both mornings and evenings had bite windows. Use of minnows and worms on perch rigs were successful. Smallmouth bass anglers also reported good fishing.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers had a difficult time catching fish. Anglers who were able to get on the water in between the bad weather events were able to catch some coho salmon and brown trout while trolling in near shore waters in the bays. Most fishing success was found in the mornings while using artificial baits.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers in the Les Cheneaux area were searching for perch but having a hard time finding them. The perch have not made their way into the Hessel marina area yet. However, there have been a lot of angler’s pier fishing at the Hessel marina catching a few splake. It was hit and miss but they were catching a few. Boaters in the Hessel area were catching splake out within Hessel Bay and they were also catching and releasing smallmouth bass and pike in the area as well. The Detour area was slow with little to no effort yet.

Traverse Bays/ Portage Canal: Anglers had a difficult time getting on the water consistently in Big Traverse Bay and out from the South Portage canal entry. Most fishing pressure was applied during the morning hours while there were some anglers who stayed through longer trips. Anglers were mostly using stick baits and other artificial lures.

Munising Bay: Boat anglers reported good catches of coho with limits and scattered catches of splake, brown trout and rainbow trout. Most anglers were trolling within the bay with a few reporting some luck in Trout Bay and toward Chapel Falls. Shore anglers reported slow fishing.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers reported good catches of coho with some limits and scattered catches of rainbow and brown trout. Most anglers were trolling shallow water 10 to 15 feet east toward Sucker River and past Lonesome Point. Pier anglers reported fair to good catches of whitefish with the morning hours being the best with northwest winds.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Walleye were caught out from the rock wall and the Sterling State Park beach area, as well as out from the Toledo beach area near Luna Pier in fairly shallow water around 15 feet. Anglers were getting good results while jigging artificial jigs/blade baits. This was due to the recent murky water damping trolling catches for the time being, due to the wind.

Lake St. Clair: Rain over the weekend impacted fishing activity. Bass anglers marked plenty of fish, but the bite was low. Fishing picked up a little on Sunday, although the northern section of the lake was not very productive. The mile roads were the best locations to fish. The best colors to use were pink, green and white.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught while trolling in 20 feet of water out in front of Linwood while using crankbaits. On the east side of the bay past Spoils Island, anglers were catching walleye while trolling in 18 to 20 feet of water. Jigging around Spoils Island was producing some walleye. Anglers also reported catching walleye while jigging out in front of the coast guard station in the lower part of the Saginaw River. A few anglers were catching walleye out in the slot from Sebewaing to Bayport on both body baits and crawler harnesses. A few anglers were catching a few bass during the catch and release season around the shoreline and area marinas on artificial baits.

Saginaw River: Some walleye were caught while jigging with twister tails in the lower river in Bay City. Anglers reported one to three fish per boat.

Tittabawassee River: Overall the walleye bite was spotty with some anglers catching limits while others struggled. Some of the best locations were downstream of Gordonville Road boat launch past Mapleton, State Street Bridge, the vicinity of Center Road boat launch, and downstream of Center Road near Green Point Nature Center. Anglers did their best trolling while using small husky jerks or flicker shads with purple or fire tiger being the best colors.

Lexington/Port Sanilac/Harbor Beach: Coho and steelhead were caught in 18 to 25 feet of water while trolling with planer boards and body baits in front of the harbors and along the shoreline. Lake trout, steelhead an occasional Atlantic and Chinook salmon were caught a little deeper in 45 to 60 feet. Some anglers were using downriggers with spoons closer to the bottom for lake trout and planer boards and body baits for steelhead and salmon. Pier anglers reported low success in the harbors.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Muskegon: Boat anglers were catching Chinook salmon from the surface down to 45 feet in 30 to 70 feet of water. Spoons in orange, chartreuse and blue worked well.

Muskegon River: The steelhead numbers in the river were declining, especially below Croton Dam, but fish were still being caught. Resident brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth and suckers were caught by those targeting them. Walleye fishing on the opener was a bit slow upstream from Newaygo but some walleye were caught throughout the entire river. The best time for walleye was just after the sun came out in the morning; anglers who woke up early were rewarded with limits.

Grand Haven: Pier anglers were catching a few channel catfish and freshwater drum in the channel while using worms. Boats anglers were catching Chinook salmon in 25 to 65 feet of water. Anglers targeting yellow perch found the action to be slow. Glow and bright colored spoons worked well.

St. Joe: Fishing improved slightly from the week before. The lake conditions were extremely poor so only a few boats made it out. Boat anglers were catching a few Chinook and coho south of the piers in about 50 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow for all species. 

South Haven: Boat anglers reported slow fishing for coho and lake trout. There were a few fish caught in 70 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow for all species.

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.

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