The walleye opener was very good for much of the Lower Peninsula. Steelhead are still active in most of the rivers and streams. Cooler temperatures are keeping panfish out in deeper waters.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Trout fishing in the northern part of the unit was slower due to high water. With the cold weather, fly hatches are behind this year and spawning will most likely be delayed.
St. Joseph: Is producing coho especially for boat anglers. Catch rates were slower for pier anglers.
St. Joseph River: Steelhead fishing appears to be winding down but there are still a few fresh fish moving through the ladder at Berrien Springs. Flows have dropped but water levels have not declined to the point where navigation is impeded.
South Haven: Boat anglers are catching coho and some brown trout when trolling along the shoreline. Pier anglers have taken a few fish when casting spoons, spinners or plugs.
Kalamazoo River: Catch rates were fair for those using spinners, plugs and worms. Anglers are still catching steelhead up near the Allegan Dam. Suckers are also being caught.
Grand Haven: Boat anglers are catching brown trout when trolling the shoreline. Pier anglers are also taking fish when casting spoons. Orange has been the hot color for both.
Grand River in Grand Rapids: Anglers have caught steelhead, walleye and suckers. Steelhead are hitting on spawn, spinners, and small spoons. For walleye, try a jig and crawler or body baits.
Muskegon: Pier fishing for brown trout has been slow but the fish caught were taken on spawn. Boat anglers continue to do well when trolling spoons or body baits along the shoreline. Orange and chartreuse were good colors.
Muskegon River: Continues to produce steelhead and brown trout.
Whitehall: The steelhead run is over here so anglers are targeting steelhead in the rivers now. Those trolling the channel with body baits are now catching brown trout. Pier anglers are also getting a few brown trout, walleye and pike.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Torch Lake: Was producing a fair number of Atlantic salmon.
Traverse City: A few boats were out trolling or jigging for trout but catch rates were slow. Those surfcasting spawn had limited success for steelhead. Catch rates were slow for those jigging in the West Bay. Those fishing spawn bags near the mouth of the Boardman River did catch some steelhead.
Elk River: A couple steelhead were caught on spawn bags or jigs and wax worms.
Boardman River: Steelhead fishing picked up but catch rates were still relatively low. Most are using fresh spawn or floating jigs and wax worms under a bobber. Pike, smallmouth bass, walleye and suckers are starting to show up.
Platte River: Is producing some fresh steelhead especially El Dorado and the mouth. Darker fish were caught near Goose Road and Haze Road. Fish were on and off the gravel. Try orange spawn bags. Walleye were caught up near the M-22 Bridge. Try artificial baits.
Crystal Lake: Most of the ice is gone and Beulah Beach has open water.
Frankfort: Boat anglers trolling in the harbor and along the shoreline have caught a good number of brown trout on chartreuse spoons and body baits. Black and gold or black and silver were also taking fish. Pier anglers have caught steelhead and the occasional chinook when floating spawn.
Portage Lake: The walleye and pike opener was poor due to cold temperatures and the lake was still 40 percent covered with drifting ice. Those that tried had no luck.
Onekama: Some were venturing out on the south breakwall and trying for brown trout. The water was very cold and clear so anglers could see brown trout swimming around the edge of the rocks. Those casting body baits did somewhat better than those using spawn.
Manistee: Lake Michigan has continued to be very good for brown trout close to shore. Boats are trolling spoons. Pier anglers have done well when using spawn.
Manistee River: Has good steelhead fishing up near Tippy Dam. Fishing should be good right into May.
Little Manistee River: Has good steelhead fishing which should continue.
Ludington: Has good brown trout fishing near shore. Boat and pier anglers have caught them. A few chinook salmon have started to show up.
Pere Marquette River: Still has fresh steelhead moving up into the river. Catch rates should be good for the next few weeks. Some caught brown trout.
Pentwater: Boat and pier anglers are now catching brown trout. Boats are trolling in the channel and along the Lake Michigan shoreline with body baits. Pier anglers are picking up brown trout, walleye and a few pike.
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources