|Weekly Fishing Report – April 14, 2021|
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Upper Peninsula Great Lakes Temperature Map
Weekly Fishing Tip
Daily Streamflow Conditions If you’re headed out fishing, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if you’re feeling well. Practice proper social distancing (at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household) and keep a face-covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.More boats are starting to head out on the inland lakes to find panfish. Those fishing the rivers report a fair to a good number of steelhead, brown trout, and suckers. The warm-up last week resulted in bass and panfish moving into the shallows especially in the northern bays or near tributary mouths. Looking to learn more about invasive species? Sign up for the “Not in MI Waters” webinar hosted on Tuesday, April 20 at 9 a.m. What happens when a new invasive plant is found in Michigan waters? That’s when a special team of biologists and technicians grab their waders, load their boats and get to work. Find out about the science of early detection and response (EDR), who is involved, and how Michigan’s aquatic invasive plant EDR initiative responds to emerging issues in waters across the state. Presenter Bill Keiper, an aquatic biologist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, will share his field experience working with partners to control European frog-bit, parrot feather, and other recently introduced aquatic invasive plants. A question and answer period will follow.All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.Buy your license ► Southeast Lower PeninsulaLake Erie: Walleye activity slowed this week and very few reported limit catches. The best action seemed to be the Luna Pier area and Brest Bay from Sterling to the River Raisin when using crawler harnesses and minnows or crankbaits. Hot colors were purple, black, and chrome. The fish were in approximately 16 feet of water and suspended. The water is cloudy. Detroit River: High angling pressure and the cold front has made for tough fishing. Michigan waters on the upper river have become extremely clear and anglers have struggled to consistently catch walleye. Mid-river fishing has been better. First light and just after dusk has produced the best results. Lake St. Clair: Anglers have caught walleye. Panfish including yellow perch were caught in the marinas, canals, and nearshore areas. Anglers are also catching and releasing smallmouth bass and muskie. St. Clair River: Shore and boat anglers caught some walleye but catch rates were not consistent. Anglers are also catching the occasional coho, steelhead, and lake whitefish. A small number of smelt were dipped in Port Huron. Harbor Beach: A few boats fishing along the break wall with body baits in 20 feet caught coho, lake trout, and a couple of small Atlantic salmon. Port Austin: Coho along with the occasional steelhead and lake trout were caught when casting Cleo’s or using a bobber with minnows. Boats trolling in 20 feet caught coho and lake trout running body baits with planer boards. Along Bird Creek, a few small perch and bullhead were caught on minnows.Saginaw Bay: Yellow perch were caught on perch rigs off the mouth of the river near Buoys 17-18. Fish were also caught off Finn Road, but most were throwbacks. Some perch were caught in shallow water off the mouth of the Quanicassee River in the early morning. Walleye fishing was slow in the bay. Fishing in the Quanicassee River was slow. Saginaw River: Yellow perch are being caught in Essexville near the Wirt Stone dock by shore anglers using perch rigs.Back to Top Southwest Lower PeninsulaSt. Joseph: Pier fishing was slow with very few fish caught. Boat anglers had slow fishing as the fish were scattered. Most were fishing in 40 feet or less. There were no perch reports. South Haven: Pier fishing was slow for all species. Only a couple coho was caught recently. Boat anglers targeting salmon had slow catch rates, but lake trout fishing was very good in 50 to 65 feet. No perch to report. Grand Haven: Round whitefish and a few brown trout have been caught from the pier when using skein. The perch action was hit-or-miss for boat anglers using perch flies tipped with minnows. Those trolling the shoreline caught the occasional brown trout.Grand River near Grand Rapids: Steelhead are still being caught near the 6th Street Dam, but the action is slowing down. Grand River near Lansing: The large and smallmouth bass bite has been sporadic. Fish were hitting dark-colored artificial baits. Just a couple steelhead was spotted below the Portland Dam. Muskegon: Pier anglers reported slow catch rates for steelhead and brown trout. Boat anglers are catching lake trout and a few brown trout while trolling the shoreline with orange spoons and body baits. White Lake: Bluegill and crappie were found along the south shoreline.White River: Is producing steelhead in the North BranchBack to Top Northeast Lower PeninsulaCheboygan River: Steelhead are present, but anglers had no luck getting them to bite. They are in spawning mode so try floating beads under a bobber or fresh spawn. Rogers City: Had very few anglers. A couple of lake trout were caught south towards Swan Bay in 18 to 40 feet. Rockport: A few lake trout were taken around Middle Island in waters up to 60 feet deep. Most are fishing higher in the water column. Alpena: Fishing in the bay has been slow with only a couple walleye, lake trout, Atlantic salmon and brown trout caught when trolling or casting spoons and body baits in front of the harbor and off North Point in 10 to 30 feet. A few northern pike and walleye were also caught off the river mouth with jigs and body baits.Thunder Bay River: Suckers have moved in and steelhead fishing has slowed. A couple of steelhead and brown trout were picked up by those floating and bouncing spawn bags, beads, and flies.Oscoda: Catch rates were slow with a couple of walleye, lake trout, or coho taken by those trolling spoons and body baits in 10 to 25 feet off the river mouth. Pier anglers caught a couple of lake trout, Atlantic salmon, steelhead, brown trout, and walleye when casting spoons and body baits or still-fishing spawn bags and minnows. The occasional channel cat was also caught on minnows.Au Sable River: Steelhead, suckers, and a couple of holdover Atlantic salmon were caught when floating and bouncing beads, spawn bags, flies, or jigs tipped with wax worms. Water temperatures were in the low 50’s.Higgins Lake: The docks are in at the launch sites. Those trolling near the west launch caught a few rainbow trout. Houghton Lake: Bluegill and crappie are being caught in the canals. Most are using wax worms and red worms. Some nice perch were caught at the Reedsburg Dam when using perch minnows. Tawas: Those trolling reported slow action with only a few brown trout and steelhead caught off Tawas Point when using spoons or body baits in 25 to 30 feet. Good catches of perch were taken off the pier when using minnows. A couple of Atlantic salmon were also taken when casting spoons and body baits or still-fishing with minnows.Tawas River: Had some good perch fishing off the dock and along the shore at Gateway Park. Anglers are getting lots of small fish along with some keepers. Au Gres: Walleye fishing was slow with a few caught out towards Pt. Lookout, Whitestone Pt. and at the mouth of the river when using body baits. Those casting body baits, spoons, and jigs caught smallmouth bass, pike, and lake trout at the break wall. Large and smallmouth bass were caught out near Pt. Lookout in 10 to 20 feet. Walleye were caught in the Catfish Hole in 17 to 23 feet. Au Gres River: Some perch were caught on minnows. There were some reports of good smelt dipping off Foster Road and the Singing Bridge access. Steelhead was spawning in the East Branch.Back to TopNorthwest Lower PeninsulaHarbor Springs: The public launch had no docks in yet. No anglers were seen. Petoskey: The docks are still not in at the boat launch. Boat effort is still light but a couple out trolling did catch a small pike near the break wall and one lake trout. Areas outside the river including the Bobber Hole and along the beaches were slow for steelhead. Pike was caught off the pier, but most were undersized. Bear River: Water levels were normal. A decent number of steelhead, suckers, and chubs were reported at the dam and downstream. The better bite was in the morning when using spawn bags, beads, and flies. More rain is needed to bring more fish up into the system. Traverse City: Those fishing in the West Bay, including Suttons Bay, have caught Cisco. A couple of limits of perch were caught at Northport. A fair number of steelhead are in the Boardman River. Frankfort: Those trolling north to Platte Bay caught a good number of lake trout. Those trolling around the pierheads were marking fish but catch rates were low. Onekama: Those trolling body baits and spoons along the shoreline caught lake trout in 18 to 35 feet. Manistee: Water temperatures were in the low 40’s along the coast and slightly warmer in the harbors. Fishing was slow for those trolling north and south with only a couple of lake trout, coho, and brown trout caught. Pier anglers using spawn and crawlers hooked a couple of coho and brown trout. Manistee River: Had a lot of fishing pressure as steelhead fishing was steady. Ludington: Those trolling had little luck with only a couple of brown trout caught near the harbor. Boats trolling north and south picked up some lake trout. Pier anglers had very little luck with spoons and spawn. Pere Marquette River: Is producing steelhead. Pentwater: Coho and brown trout were caught off the piers. Some perch were moving into Pentwater Lake.Pentwater River: Continues to produce some steelhead.Back to Top Upper PeninsulaRiver mouths had excellent fishing for coho and a couple of steelhead. Perch were starting to head to spawning grounds in Lake Michigan waters.Ontonagon: Fishing was a little slow over the past week as inclement weather slowed activity. Anglers that made it out found mixed bags of salmon and trout but no big numbers. There were no reports of smelt in area rivers. Little Bay De Noc: Perch anglers are out and getting fish near Kipling. Those fishing the Ford River and the Day’s River are targeting steelhead. Big Bay De Noc: Anglers were getting some perch in Garden Bay. Manistique River: Was producing some nice steelhead. Munising: Shore and pier anglers reported a few catches of coho and splake when using spawn bags. Fishing pressure continues to be high, especially on the weekends. Boat anglers did not do as well as coho catches were sporadic. The occasional splake, brown trout, or steelhead were caught. A few boats found coho when casting or trolling crankbaits in 10 feet or less. Grand Marais: Pier anglers have caught whitefish and a few coho. The whitefish bite is somewhat slow with most fish 10 to 13 inches. The best action came on noodle rods with a single egg. Boat anglers are trolling mainly within the harbor or to the east between Lonesome Point and the Blind Sucker River. Those targeting lake trout near the shipping channels reported good catches. Water temps are still extremely cold at 34 degrees plus or minus.Cedarville and Hessel: There were no reports for Cedarville this week. From Hessel, one angler trolling crankbaits in Wilderness Bay caught lake trout up to 10 pounds and a small splake. No pier anglers were seen. Carp River: A few anglers were looking for smelt running at the mouth. A steelhead and a brook trout were caught at the McDonald Rapids when drifting spawn or yarn.Back to Top Fishing Tip: Eyes in the field What’s this oily sheen in the water? If it shatters when you poke it with a stick, it’s likely due to natural bacterial processes. If it clings together, take a picture, note your location and report it to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS).