Walleye, pike and muskellunge season for the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, St. Mary's River and the inland lakes will open on May 15th. Bass anglers enjoying the early catch and release season in the Lower Peninsula are doing very well. The opener for the Upper Peninsula is May 15th.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph: Fishing overall was very slow. Pier anglers are catching a few catfish and freshwater drum on crawlers. No trout or salmon were caught. Boat anglers were struggling to find fish.
St. Joseph River: Water levels are slowly receding. The DNR launch in St. Joe still had some water over the docks. The St. Joe city launch is almost back to normal.
South Haven: Overall fishing was slow. There still seems to be a few fish in 45 to 60 feet of water but the bite was slow. Boat anglers did manage to catch a few lake trout when trolling.
Holland: Boat anglers are starting to catch chinook and coho when trolling in waters 40 to 150 feet deep however 80 to 120 feet was best. The fish are high in the water column. They are trolling spoons in green, yellow, blue and gold as well as green and blue flies with pearl flashers. Pier fishing was slow. No perch to report.
Grand Haven: Dredging is under way at the Island Harbor boat launch. The boat ramps were not in but the launch is open. No word on when the dredging will be done. Chinook and coho salmon are just starting to show up. Boats are trolling in waters 80 to 120 feet deep with spoons. The salmon are high in the water so small lead core is working best. For spoons, best colors were green, blue, yellow and gold. Flashers and flies worked well. Pier fishing is very slow. Some are throwing cast nets for alewife but none were taken.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing some walleye. Try Hot-n-Tots, body baits or a jig and crawler. Catfish are hitting on live or cut bait.
Muskegon River: Water levels were still high and stained but steelhead and walleye are still being caught. Try flies, spawn, wax worms, spoons or body baits.
Whitehall: Very few walleye have been caught from the pier. Anglers were casting body baits with not much luck. Those trolling did well for brown trout in the shallows about a mile or two north and south of the pier. A couple coho were also caught.
White Lake: Boat anglers are still taking good numbers of pike. They are using spinners in 4 to 15 feet of water.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Harbor Springs: The dock was not in at the public boat launch. According to the city, the harbor is being dredged so the dock may not be in until May 15th.
Petoskey: Pier anglers have caught steelhead on spawn. Some were fishing the "bobber hole" at the mouth of the river but no fish were caught. A few boats were starting to head out to Bay Harbor for lake trout but no fish were reported.
Bear River: Had good steelhead fishing but the number of fish caught has dropped. The run is winding down. Anglers can still try spawn bags and rubber eggs between the mouth and the dam. Early morning was best. Those looking for suckers should get out now as the river is full of them.
Charlevoix: Fishing was slow. A few were trying the channel for walleye but no fish were caught. Night fishing for walleye should pick up soon.
Lake Charlevoix: Had a lot of boats going out for walleye and perch. Rumor has it walleye were caught on the north end of the South Arm near Holy Island. For perch, they were fishing in front of the Belvedere Club and around Two Mile Point.
Traverse City: Lake trout fishing has been good in the bays. Depths were variable with some caught while jigging in 125 feet of water but others caught when trolling plugs in water as shallow as 8 feet. A couple cisco were also caught. Pier and surfcasting were hit-or-miss with the occasional steelhead taken on minnows or spawn bags. Smallmouth bass are being caught and released. Try tube baits in 10 to 35 feet of water.
Elk River: Has a decent number of steelhead. The bite was slow for most but some were able to catch a few fish using fresh spawn or a jig tipped with wax worms.
Boardman River: Steelhead fishing is winding down there is a good number of suckers in the river. A few pike and carp were caught.
Glen Arbor: The boat launch is now open.
Platte Bay: Fishing pressure has slowed. Those trolling spoons caught lake trout and brown trout.
Platte River: Continues to produce walleye and steelhead.
Frankfort: Pier anglers on the north wall were catching a couple steelhead and brown trout on spawn bags. The water is beginning to clear up and anglers can see alewife. Those trolling caught brown trout on UV spoons (not Magnums) and body baits. Black and silver or black and gold were still the hot colors. Lake trout were active in waters over 25 feet deep.
Onekama: Pier anglers targeting brown trout reported hit-or-miss. Catch rates were better when the water was choppy. Try casting spoons, body baits or spawn. Those trolling the shoreline did best north to the golf course and south to Bar Lake in 15 to 22 feet of water with silver and perch body baits.
Portage Lake: Catch rates for the bigger perch have slowed but several small ones have been caught. Try minnows and wigglers. Those trolling for walleye have caught fish ranging 5 to 7 pounds. The water is beginning to settle so bass anglers are having a great time with the early catch-and ?release season.
Manistee: Pier anglers have caught perch on wigglers. Brown trout action was slow for those trolling around the piers.
Manistee River: Anglers continue to take good numbers of steelhead and walleye. They are using spoons, crank baits and flies.
Lake Cadillac: Is producing some walleye. The better fishing starts in the evening and runs through dark. Most are casting floating Rapalas from shore. No word on bluegills yet but crappie are starting to hit on minnows.
Ludington: Brown trout action continues to be slow for boat and pier anglers. A few have been caught on black and silver body baits and orange spoons.
Pentwater Lake: Had very few anglers but a couple nice walleye were caught in the channel by those casting body baits. Those trolling Lake Michigan had no success.