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West Michigan fishing report

Anonymous • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:29 PM

Heavy rain has put a damper on fishing and more rain this week will lead to renewed flooding. Shore anglers will still need to use caution as banks and shorelines are saturated and unstable. Boats will need to watch for floating debris.


St. Joseph: Boat fishing has been hampered by high wind and waves. Pier fishing was slow with a light number of coho, brown trout and whitefish caught by those using spawn on the bottom.

St. Joseph River: Had a lot steelhead moving through the Berrien Springs fish ladder.

South Haven: The few boats able to get out did not catch many fish. Pier anglers caught the occasional brown trout or whitefish on spawn.

Duck Lake: In Calhoun County was producing bluegill.

Gordon Lake: Is also producing a small number of bluegill and other panfish.

Holland: Boat anglers trolling along the shoreline have caught mostly brown trout and the occasional steelhead with spoons and body baits. Orange and gold were good colors. Pier anglers were using spawn.

Port Sheldon: Water levels at the boat launch were still low. While the mouth of Pigeon Lake is being dredged, water in the harbor is very muddy all the way out to 40 feet deep or more. Those trolling along the shoreline caught steelhead and brown trout on spoons or body baits in 30 to 40 feet of water.

Grand Haven: Pier anglers caught steelhead, brown trout and whitefish on spawn.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are high and the flow is extremely fast which makes it almost impossible to fish right now. Those shore fishing at Millennium Park have caught bluegill and crappie.

Muskrat Lake: Was producing some crappie for those fishing minnows and butter worms in the shallows.

Reeds Lake: Boat anglers caught crappie and bluegill in the channel.

Muskegon River: Has a good number of steelhead however water levels are high and stained. Most fish were caught up near Croton Dam.

Whitehall: Was producing good numbers of steelhead for those still-fishing with spawn. Brown trout were caught on orange and silver Cleo's. Anglers have also caught some of the first walleye this spring when casting body baits.


It looks like ice fishing is pretty much done as rain and warmer temperatures pick away at any remaining ice. Rivers and streams are at or near flood stage.

Traverse City: Few boats have been out on either bay. Catch rates for cisco were good in 60 feet of water. Some also caught the occasional lake trout. Pier fishing was slow. Shore anglers caught steelhead on spawn bags.

Elk River: Steelhead fishing has been hit-or-miss. Some did well when drifting jigs tipped with wax worms while others caught fish on spawn bags.

Boardman River: Steelhead fishing has been relatively slow but a few fish were caught on a jig and wax worm or spawn bags.

Frankfort: Boat anglers trolling both inside and outside the breakwalls have caught a few brown trout on spoons or black and silver body baits.

Betsie River: Had reports of several steelhead passing over the Homestead Dam and steady movement upstream.

Portage Lake: Is ice free. The boat launches are accessible however the docks are not in so launching a bigger boat might be a problem.

Manistee: All the docks are in at the First Street launch and the new fish cleaning station is under construction. Boats trolling along the shoreline caught brown trout on body baits. Orange and yellow were good colors. Pier anglers caught steelhead and brown trout on spawn. Fishing was better when there was a good chop on the lake.

Manistee River: Steelhead were caught up near Tippy Dam. High water levels make fishing a little more difficult.

Lake Cadillac: Is opening up as rain and warmer temperatures take their toll on the remaining ice.

Lake Mitchell: Was still ice covered but the shorelines were starting to open up. Anglers are now waiting for open water fishing.

Ludington: Has one dock in at the Loomis Street launch. Pier anglers using spawn are catching light numbers of steelhead and brown trout. Those out trolling found brown trout along the shoreline and around the piers. Try orange, blue or yellow body baits.

Pentwater: Pier and channel anglers have caught steelhead on spawn. A few boats trolling the shoreline managed to catch some brown trout.

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