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Michigan Fishing Reports

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WEEKLY FISHING REPORT 4/21/21

Cold and windy conditions have slowed fishing. Saturday, April 24 is the walleye and pike opener for the Lower Peninsula inland waters. The statewide trout opener on all Type 1 and Type 2 streams as well as all Type A and Type D trout lakes is also this Saturday, April 24. 

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

Buy your license

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Erie: Walleye anglers trolling bandits found fish in 10 to 14 feet between Luna Pier and Sterling State Park.    

Detroit River: Walleye fishing picked up on the lower river. 

Lake St. Clair: Those trolling for walleye did well as fish leave the river systems after spawning. Yellow perch were found in warmer water near shore. Smallmouth bass anglers did well off the Mile Roads. The fish were scattered so some were caught deep while others were caught in shallow water.

St. Clair River: Has seen a lot of fishing pressure but catch rates were limited as water temperatures remain cold. Walleye were caught along with the occasional steelhead and coho when jigging. 

Lexington: Anglers are trolling a few miles to the north or south and running planer boards with dipsy divers and body baits or downriggers with spoons in 20 to 45 feet. Most reported a catch of coho, lake trout, walleye and the occasional steelhead or Chinook salmon. Pier and shore fishing were slow with only a couple coho and steelhead taken from the pier. 

Port Sanilac: A few coho and lake trout were caught when trolling to the north in 10 to 25 feet and running plugs about halfway down. 

Saginaw Bay: Anglers were starting to catch walleye with a crawler harness in 20 feet off Linwood and three miles northeast of Spoils Island when trolling a husky jerk.  Yellow perch were also found northeast of Spoils Island in 20 feet. A couple boats fishing from Sebewaing to Wildfowl Bay caught walleye in shallow water when trolling crawlers and artificial baits. At Sebewaing, crappie were caught in the river with minnows and artificial baits. At Bay Port, large and smallmouth bass were caught and released when casting artificial baits in 2 to 10 feet around North Island and Heisterman Island. Crappie were caught in the canals around Sand Point.

Saginaw River: Yellow perch were caught near Smith Park in Essexville. The fish were 7-9 inches. 

Chippewa River: Sucker activity was consistent. 

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph: Boat anglers found coho in 40 feet. Pier fishing was slow for all species. No perch to report. 

South Haven: Boat anglers targeting lake trout did well in 50 to 65 feet. Catch rates for salmon were slow. Pier anglers caught coho and steelhead on spawn. No perch to report. 

Holland: A few perch were caught in the channel. Lake trout fishing was fair to good, but the salmon fishing was slow. 

Port Sheldon: A few perch were caught by boat anglers.    

Grand Haven: Pier anglers are catching round whitefish along with a few brown trout and coho. Skein and spawn bags were the bait of choice. Yellow perch action continues to be hit-or-miss for boat anglers. 

Grand River near Grand Rapids: A small surge of steelhead came in with the last rain, however the bite was slow. Smallmouth bass have been caught along the entire river.    

Maple River: Those targeting catfish reported good catch rates. 

Flat River: In Montcalm County had a good number of suckers. 

Muskegon: Boats trolling inside of 40 feet have caught lake trout with the occasional brown trout when using orange and green spoons. 

Muskegon River: Adult stone flies were present on sunny days. A decent number of steelhead are still in the river but catch rates were spotty. Bass were caught and released between Rogers Dam and Hardy Dam.   

White Lake: Bluegill and perch were caught along the south shore.  

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan: Strong winds have kept boat anglers off the water. 

Cheboygan River: Anglers targeting steelhead had little success. Try drifting beads or spawn under a bobber. Some were also casting spoons, body baits and spinners.    

Rogers City: When they can get out, anglers had little luck with only a couple lake trout caught. The water is still cold, so most are trolling south towards Swan Bay and fishing throughout the water column in 50 feet or less.  Try spoons, body baits and dodgers or cowbells with spin-glo’s.

Rockport: Lake trout were caught when trolling spin-glo’s, spoons and body baits in 10 to 40 feet around Middle Island, the Nordmeer Wreck, and North Point.  Pier fishing was slow with only the occasional Atlantic salmon caught. 

Alpena:  Boat anglers heading straight out and fishing in 30 to 40 feet are getting lake trout with spoons and body baits or dodgers with spin-glo’s. The fish seem to be up in shallower water and were caught both high and low in the water column.  

Thunder Bay River: Was full of suckers. Steelhead are still present, but anglers are sorting through the suckers to get them. Try beads or spawn under a bobber.     

Oscoda:  Anglers have caught a few lake trout, catfish, freshwater drum and smallmouth bass off the pier when using minnows or casting spoons and body baits.

Houghton Lake: Catch rates for panfish were hit-or-miss with fluctuating temperatures.   

Tawas: Pier anglers caught steelhead, brown trout and Atlantic salmon when still-fishing with minnows or casting spoons and body baits. Small perch were also caught.  Boat anglers reported slow catch rates for brown trout and lake trout when trolling spoons and body baits in 15 to 35 feet. 

Tawas River: Perch, smallmouth bass and bullhead were caught at Gateway Park when still-fishing with minnows or casting body baits. Perch anglers were sorting through a lot of small ones to get a few keepers. 

Au Gres: Walleye were caught in 15 to 25 feet off Whitestone Point, however no big numbers were reported. 

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Petoskey:  The docks are in at the public launch however boat effort remains light. A couple boats fished the Harbor Springs side of the Bay. Those fishing the mouth of the river did not catch much other than some planted brown trout. Those fishing off the beach and breakwall caught a couple pike on spawn and crankbaits. 

Bear River: Water levels were a bit above average. Steelhead are there however catch rates were hit-or-miss. Most anglers are using spawn bags, beads and flies. Suckers are still in the system.    

Harbor Springs: The docks were not in at the public launch. One boat looking for perch had no luck. Lake trout were found outside the bay in 40 to 50 feet.   

Frankfort: Lake trout were caught straight out and to the north when trolling body baits and spin-glo’s. Water temperatures are still on the cool side. 

Onekama: Lake trout were caught in the “Barrel” with spin-glo’s near the bottom.  

Lake Missaukee: Was producing some crappie before the cold spell. 

Manistee: Fishing was slow for those out trolling. A few lake trout and the odd brown trout were caught south of the harbor. Pier anglers targeting trout had no luck however a few suckers were caught on crawlers. 

Manistee River: Anglers are catching steelhead and suckers. 

Ludington: Lake trout were caught north and south of the harbor in 45 to 60 feet. A couple coho, brown trout and the rare Cisco were also caught. Brown trout were caught off Big Sable Point. Pier anglers had no luck on spawn or when casting spoons.   

Pere Marquette River: The steelhead action is slowing down.          

Pentwater: Coho were caught off the piers. 

Pentwater Lake: Was producing some perch.   

Upper Peninsula

Ontonagon: Strong winds have stopped boat anglers from heading out. When they did get out, a few anglers trolling did well while most only picked up a fish here and there.  Some steelhead were caught but there were no reports of fish in the rivers yet. Large schools of smelt were seen at the mouth of the Ontonagon River; however smaller streams have not seen any smelt.   

Little Bay De Noc: Boat anglers continue to catch yellow perch near Kipling. 

Manistique River: Has a good number of steelhead in the system. 

Indian Lake: Was producing some perch. 

Au Train: Boat anglers were getting some limit catches of coho along with the occasional Chinook. Water temperatures were about 34 degrees. 

Munising: Shore and pier anglers report slow fishing with only a few coho and splake caught. Boat anglers trolling within the bay caught a few coho. A few limit catches of mainly coho with the occasional steelhead or brown trout were reported in Trout Bay up near Chapel Beach. 

Grand Marais: Limits of whitefish along with a few coho averaging 12 inches have been caught. Most are using eggs for whitefish and spawn sacs for coho. 

Steelhead are in rivers and the majority may be done spawning. Smelt were found in Sable Creek. 

St. Marys River: Perch fishing was picking up on the upper river. 

Drummond Island: Perch fishing started to pick up in Scott’s Bay.