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Hart Ford
HomeOutdoorsWeekly fishing report: May 11, 2022

Weekly fishing report: May 11, 2022

Photo credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Tawas: Anglers were catching walleye, Atlantic salmon and brown trout on the pier while casting body baits, spoons and minnows. Boat anglers were catching walleye, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and lake trout while trolling body baits and jigging in 15 to 30 feet out near Tawas Point, the mouth of the river and down near Alabaster. At Gateway Park on the Tawas River, there were some smallmouth bass, walleye and pike caught while casting body baits and jigs.

Alpena: Good places to fish were around Thunder Bay Island. Anglers were running lures near the bottom for lake trout and lines high in the water column for silver. The best depths were in 25 to 60 feet of water. Anglers were using spoons and body baits for best results. 

Thunder Bay River: Anglers were finding a lot of suckers in the river. Steelhead were few and far between but anglers using spawn or beads drifting the bottom or below a bobber were catching a couple. Walleye catches were slow.

Au Gres: There were some good numbers of walleye caught in several locations: near Point Lookout, Whitestone Point, out in front of the river mouth, Point Au Gres, and down near the Rifle River and Pine River. Most of the fish were caught on body baits and some anglers were starting to use crawlers.

Houghton Lake: Anglers were catching bluegill on red worms in the canals. Walleye were caught in the evening on crawlers.

Rogers City: Anglers were targeting lake trout in 25 to 60 feet of water. Water temps were cold, so the fishing was slow. Anglers were using spoons and body baits on planer boards. Anglers were using lures close to the bottom for lake trout. 

Oscoda/Lake Huron: Pier anglers were catching mostly Atlantic salmon and walleye with a few lake trout. Most anglers were having luck with minnows. Some anglers were casting spoons, jig heads with either paddle or twister tails, and body baits of various colors and patterns most commonly orange/gold spoons and fire tiger body baits.

Oscoda/Au sable River: Anglers were having success with steelhead and suckers. Anglers were mostly drifting spawn bags, beads and flies.

Harrisville/Lake Huron: Anglers were using spoons, body baits and jigs with little success.

Black River: Floating various color spawn bags was the main method for targeting steelhead. A few anglers tried spoons and body baits.

Tomahawk Flooding, Fletcher Floodwaters: Anglers should look for panfish in the shallow organic bottom reaches of waters where water temperatures will be warmer than the open water reaches. Smaller presentations such as flies and bait with minimal weight attached may entice panfish to feed.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Portage Lake: Evening anglers were lining the stub piers trying to pick up walleye with some activity in the later hours. Perch fishing was slow except for a few small ones and bass anglers were reporting no activity yet.

Onekama: Anglers targeting lake trout in the barrel were picking up good numbers and sizes running wire lines and cow bells. 

Manistee: A few brown trout and a couple Chinook salmon were caught while fishing in the harbor and along the shoreline. Lake trout tended to be in deeper waters. A couple brown trout were caught off the piers while using spawn. A few perch were caught off the north pier and in boats, but it was slow at times. Walleye and pike were also reported from the piers.

Ludington: Anglers trolling reported slow brown trout fishing. The piers were slow although a walleye or two were caught in the evenings.

Cheboygan River: Steelhead and walleye were caught at the Cheboygan Dam, but anglers pursuing these species were finding limited success. Suckers and pike were especially plentiful at the dam. Anglers should use a bright jig for walleye with a natural or plastic minnow. Suckers were caught easily with a simple worm and a weight on the bottom of the river.

Frankfort: Brown trout were reported daily from local anglers. Anglers were trolling inside the pier heads with body baits. Anglers were finding gobbies in the stomachs, so they were running deep with darker lures. The cleaning station was open to the public and all the docks were in.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Yellow perch anglers reported fair to good success. Anglers were mostly targeting deep water areas in the upper bay using worms and minnows.

St. Ignace: A few lake trout were caught in Lake Huron. Anglers should try trolling artificial baits adjacent to river mouths as the trout were reportedly feeding heavily on smelt.

Manistique: Steelhead fishing improved. Anglers were catching steelhead when drifting beads primarily, but some were caught on spawn. Suckers were in the river in good numbers.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers were finding luck trolling around Sand Point and near the head of Keweenaw Bay when searching for salmon. Anglers were able to catch steelhead and coho in good numbers in and around river mouths as well. Walleye numbers appeared to be in good shape with reports of quite a few catch-and-release walleye coming from Huron Bay. Some anglers were finding success casting lures for salmon and steelhead in nearshore waters north of the Sand Point Lighthouse. Anglers should try natural baits in near shore waters and artificial bait in deeper waters while trolling.

Traverse Bays/ South Portage Canal Entry: Better weather conditions have led to an increase in fishing pressure. Anglers were catching coho, Chinook salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout and lake trout. Most successful anglers were trolling while they brought in fish and of those many were using artificial baits. Most fishing pressure was taking place in waters shallower than 50 feet. Some anglers found success specifically jigging for lake trout in deeper waters. Try using silver, blue, or white lures in shallow water for chances at Chinook salmon and steelhead.

Munising Bay: Boat anglers were mainly fishing for coho and the occasional lake trout. There were good catches of coho and some splake. Anglers were mainly trolling stick baits with best luck in morning. Few pier anglers were out with most reporting slow catches or several hours of effort to catch a limit. The rainbow trout appeared down spawning at this time. Some incidental catches of brown trout were observed.

Grand Marais: Whitefish pier anglers reported slow to fair catches with best catches reported in the morning. The best action was on single eggs. A few coho were reported off the pier. Boat anglers reported catches of coho with some rainbow trout but in general has slowed slightly in the past week.

Marquette: Anglers on the Carp River had some success catching steelhead and coho from the river mouth. In the Chocolay River, anglers reported catching steelhead and brown trout. Boating activity was up, and anglers reported catching Chinook and coho salmon offshore near the mouth of the Carp River. Near the break-wall, anglers reported catching lake trout, brown trout and coho. Drifting spawn or beads in the Carp River and Chocolay River had the most success. Anglers casting from the mouth of the of the Carp River were using spawn and crawlers which had the most success. Try trolling offshore near the mouth of the Carp River, or near the break-wall using spoons or flickers.

Au Train: Anglers were successful catching steelhead in the Rock River, and coho salmon from the mouth of the Rock River. Boat anglers reported catching coho and Chinook salmon east of the Brownstone boat launch near the Au Train River. Anglers fishing to the west of the Brownstone boat launch reported catching brown trout and coho salmon in shallower water. In deeper water (150+ feet), anglers reported catching lake trout. Anglers drifting spawn and beads had the most success, while anglers fishing from the mouth had success using spawn and crawlers. For better chance at catching coho, Chinook and brown trout, anglers should try trolling while using spoons or orange flickers. For lake trout, try jigging cut-baits or smelt in deep water for best success.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers were catching a few splake off the pier and within Hessel Bay. There were many of last years stocked splake being caught averaging around the 18-inch mark. Anglers were catching a few pike within Hessel Bay while out trolling for splake. There were a few largemouth bass spotted within the marina area as well. Anglers were starting to catch a few nice perch off the pier as well, however the strong cold east winds that we have had constantly over the last week has kept the perch catches to a minimum. In Detour, a few boats went out for perch and lake trout, however it continued to be very slow. Anglers were having some luck using bright colored spoons for splake.

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Anglers had success trolling artificial jerk baits 45 feet back in shallower water, around 15 feet, at about 1.5mph while fishing out from the rock wall leaving Bartnik boat launch. Fishing out from Stoney Point in 17 feet of water was a good spot for anglers. Anglers near Luna Pier were catching fish in 14 feet of water. Anglers were having success with the fire tiger color (blue, green, black, and yellow). Any bright colors that standout in the dark water seemed to be doing well when there was an overcast.

Detroit River: Walleye fishing slowed down quite a bit with more anglers successful on the upper portion of the river. Water just south of Ballenger Park launch was productive and water near the Belle Isle Bridge and Ambassador Bridge. The best results came from water in the 13 to 20 feet range. Minnows were working best. Anglers were starting to see good numbers of white bass with some catching limits.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught on the lower part of the Saginaw River. Some walleye were caught at the stone docks in Essexville. Bluegill were caught at the end of Finn Road. Anglers were catching walleye out from the Quanicassee area in water less than 14 feet deep. A few walleye were caught in the slot on both body baits and crawlers. From Sebewaing to Bay Port, largemouth bass were caught and immediately released, and some smallmouth bass were caught around the Caseville area. 

Harbor Beach: A mix of salmon and trout were caught in front of the harbor and to the northeast while trolling with downriggers, lead core and spoons in 30 to 45 feet of water.

Lexington: Lake trout and a few salmon were caught in 45 to 55 feet of water while trolling east of the harbor and to the north. Anglers were using lead core and spoons.

Port Sanilac: Anglers were catching a good mix of lake trout, Chinook salmon, coho, steelhead and an occasional Atlantic salmon and walleye while trolling in 30 to 40 feet of water while using downriggers, dipsy divers with spoons. A couple Atlantic salmon and coho were taken from the break wall with minnows and while casting small lures.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Boat anglers continued to have pretty good salmon fishing. Coho and some Chinook salmon were caught from 20 feet of water out well past 150 feet of water.  Most of the fish caught were on spoons and small crankbaits. Pier fishing was slow for coho. Pier anglers and anglers fishing the St. Joe River were catching good numbers of channel catfish using nightcrawlers. Anglers fishing the St. Joe River from boats were catching walleye while drifting crawler harnesses. 

Holland: Anglers were having success with coho fishing in 30 feet of water while using orange colored body baits. Some Chinook salmon were caught in 45 feet of water while using spoons. Lake trout could be found near the bottom in 30 to 50 feet of water.

South Haven: There were some salmon around, but they seemed to be very spread out. The lake trout fishing was tough. There were some coho around 30 feet of water, but the fishing was slow. Pier anglers were catching a few coho while using spawn.

Muskegon: Chinook and coho salmon were starting to show up in 40 to 80 feet of water. Spoons were working best in either green, blue and orange.

Grand Haven: Salmon were caught 25 to 60 feet down in 45 to 120 feet of water. Boats were finding the yellow perch action to be slow. Pier fishing was slow for salmon. Salmon were caught on orange, blue and green spoons. The larger Chinook salmon were caught on either white or green flies.

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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