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Gone fishin’

May 18, 2012
By The Associated Press , The Associated Press

Walleye, musky and pike season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters and the St. Marys River opened Tuesday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said in its weekly fishing report.


Marquette: Lake trout fishing was slow but fish were caught in less than 100 feet of water up near Shot Point. The "Sand Hole" was producing a few lake trout for those putting in their time. Salmon fishing was also slow. Water temperatures have warmed to the low 40's near the Chocolay River and the Carp River.

AuTrain: Water temperatures were in the low 40's around the bay however out near the shipping lanes the temperature was still in the upper 30's.

Munising: Catch rates were slow for chinook, coho and splake in the bay. Those targeting lake trout near Grand Portal Point caught fish ranging 2 to 6 pounds in 100 to 200 feet of water. Pier and shore fishing were very slow.

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing is spotty but anglers are picking up a mix of chinook, coho and lake trout when trolling between the Baraga Marina and Carla's Restaurant or the L'Anse Marina and the Township Park. Try spoons in a variety of colors 40 to 60 feet down in 50 to 70 feet of water. For the South Portage Entry, anglers had some nice catches of lake trout in 110 to 170 feet of water off Farmers Reef and Newtons Reef. Those trolling straight out from the Traverse Bay Marina caught a few lake trout in 150 to 170 feet of water while those jigging out from Big Louie's Point found a few fish in 240 to 260 feet of water.

Grand Marais: Pier anglers reported fair to good catch rates for whitefish and the occasional menominee. Some limit catches were reported. Trout and salmon are still hanging around the bay. Those fishing 4 to 5 miles north of the bay caught lake trout in 100 feet of water.

Ontonagon: Mostly lake trout were caught in waters 25 to 40 feet deep. The fish were holding in the middle of the water column and hitting on green spoons. Average was 4 to 6 pounds and the best time to fish was in the morning.

Lake Antoine: In Dickinson County is producing bluegill and crappie.

Menominee: Had a few boat anglers heading out from the Cedar River. Most were trolling spoons or stick baits north and south along the shoreline. Boats were also trolling around Stony Point but no fish were caught. Shore anglers in the Cedar River caught smallmouth bass, rock bass or suckers when casting plugs or stick baits.

Menominee River: Shore anglers and those wading between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street Dam caught walleye in the early morning or late evening when casting different colored rapalas. Those targeting trout were drifting yarn on the Michigan side near the dam.

DeTour: Those trolling between the DeTour Lighthouse and the red buoy on the south end of Drummond Island have caught chinook, lake trout and Atlantic salmon when trolling orange spoons 35 feet down in waters 80 feet deep. Musky, pike and walleye season opened on May 15th.

Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers are fishing off the pier and within the harbor. Atlantic salmon, splake and steelhead were caught in Hessel Bay and Wilderness Bay when casting or trolling minnows, smelt or stick baits.



Cheboygan River: Is producing steelhead for those casting spinners and stick baits or fly fishing. Good colors were green, tan, yellow, orange and pink. Large fish are still in the river and the best time to fish is early morning.

Rogers City: The fish were scattered after the east winds however conditions should improve this week. For lake trout, try Swan Bay or Calcite Harbor in waters up to 60 feet deep. Use cowbells or dodgers with spin-glows. Those trolling spoons or body baits caught the fish that were suspended. The marina was full of minnows. A large hatch of midges was reported in the area. Even though the surface of the water was covered with them, fish were not feeding on them.

Presque Isle: Lake trout fishing was a little better with fish moving into the shallows.

Try north of the harbor off Big Lighthouse Point and the pavilion in 30 feet of water with cowbells or dodgers with spin-glows. Atlantic salmon were caught down near Stoneport. Try small bright spoons like orange and silver, yellows or greens.

Rockport: The docks are back in at the launch site. Pier and shore anglers are catching Atlantic salmon on perch minnows or shiners.

Thunder Bay River: Is still producing the occasional steelhead up near the 9th Street Dam. Anglers are casting spinners or fly fishing with artificial spawn. A few brown trout, bullhead and smallmouth bass were also caught on spawn, rapalas, spinners or small spoons. One Atlantic salmon was caught on a fly near the dam. A few walleye were caught near the 9th Street Dam, Mill Island and off the pier. Boat anglers caught walleye in both the bay and the river when casting rapalas, crank baits, jigs and leeches.

Harrisville: Had a slow start on the big lake but steelhead, Atlantic salmon and walleye were caught off the harbor walls and by small boats fishing in 20 to 40 feet of water with stick baits, small spoons and crawler harnesses. Good colors were orange, blue and chartreuse.

Oscoda: Lake trout are being caught on spoons in 50 to 70 feet of water straight out from the mouth. The fish were suspended.

Au Sable River: Walleye are making their way into the river in good numbers and some reported limit catches. Crawler harnesses, jigs and stick baits worked best. Steelhead are still coming up the river, but numbers have slowed. Flies work best and the colors seem to change daily.

Higgins Lake: Boats trolling for lake trout are getting a few in 40 to 80 feet of water. Some decent size perch were caught near the South State Park.

Houghton Lake: Anglers are catching walleye on leeches, crank baits or live minnows under a bobber. Crappie can be found in 4 to 8 feet of water. Bluegills are just starting to prepare the beds so it won't be long.

Tawas: More boats were heading out this week than last week. Pier fishing slowed as the minnows have moved out. Look for walleye in 20 to 30 feet of water near Tawas Point.

Au Gres: Had lots of boats and good walleye fishing in 25 to 30 feet of water between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres. Crawler harnesses worked best but a few fish were also taken on crank baits.


Elk River: Continues to produce the occasional steelhead. Fresh spawn bags worked best when the fish were willing to bite. Anglers are catching plenty of suckers and some good size smallmouth bass. Try soft plastic baits.

Traverse City: Both bays are producing lake trout, whitefish and cisco in 20 to 80 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are moving into shallow water and hitting on jigs and plastic baits. Shore anglers at the mouth of the Boardman River and the Maritime Academy pier are catching lake trout, whitefish, cisco and smallmouth bass. A couple walleye and northern pike were also caught.

Boardman River: Steelhead are done but anglers are catching plenty of carp and suckers along with the occasional walleye, smallmouth bass, and perch.

Cook Lake: In Leelanau County is producing panfish.

Frankfort: Chinook were hitting 70 to 90 feet down in waters 175 to 200 feet deep straight west of the lighthouse. Try magnum spoons in a variety of colors including blue and violet. Brown trout fishing was slow.

Onekama: A few fish were taken 80 to 90 feet down in 200 feet of water.

Portage Lake: Bass anglers continue to catch a good number of fish. Some nice catches of walleye were taken at night. Perch fishing has also been good with fish ranging 10 to 12 inches however anglers still need to sort through all the small ones.

Manistee: Salmon can be found 70 to 140 feet down in waters 150 to 280 feet deep. Meat rigs and flasher/fly combos worked deep but green and blue spoons worked higher in the water column. Pier anglers caught brown trout on spoons.

Manistee River: With the Caddis and the Stone fly hatch in progress, those fly fishing have caught some brown trout.

Ludington: Dredging at the Loomis Street launch is done and the docks are back in. Boat anglers caught salmon and trout 80 to 160 feet down in waters 140 to 250 feet deep when using meat rigs or flasher/fly combos.

Pentwater: Boat anglers found salmon in 150 to 160 feet of water. Orange and black were good colors. Lots of baitfish moved into the channel so this would be a good time for pier anglers to cast body baits.


Lake Erie: Walleye anglers are catching lots of white bass instead of walleye as the lake is full of them. A few walleye were caught in 20 to 25 feet of water out from the Fermi Power Plant or in shallow waters 14 to 16 feet deep in Brest Bay. Anglers did best when trolling or drifting bottom bouncers with crawlers harnesses. Purple and gold or pink and white were good colors. Those looking for perch may want to try along the channel of the River Raisin between buoys C and E.

Detroit River: Walleye anglers are slowly being replaced by white bass anglers in the lower Trenton Channel. Although some walleye are still being taken during the day many anglers are trolling at night with some success. Limit catches of white bass were caught on minnows or when casting small light colored jigs.

Lake St. Clair: Windy conditions have kept many boats off the lake.

Port Sanilac: Boats trolling for trout and salmon have done well in waters 30 to 120 feet deep with a mix of chinook, coho, steelhead, pink salmon or brown trout. Most of the fish were caught in 30 to 80 feet of water.

Harbor Beach: Salmon were caught in shallow waters 40 to 60 feet deep straight out, north or south of the harbor. Head out deeper as the sun comes up while trolling clean spoons off 2, 5 and 10 color lead lines or spoons and body baits off dipseys and downriggers in the top 25 to 50 feet. Lake trout were caught in 60 to 120 feet of water with dodgers and spin-glows near the bottom or downriggers 50 feet down. For steelhead, try 20 to 60 feet down in 50 to 120 feet of water with bright spoons. Good brown trout action in 30 to 50 feet of water with bright colored spoons 7 to 9 feet down and 100 feet back. Walleye fishing was slow as the fish were scattered. For perch, try inside the harbor or south near the cemetery when using minnows.

Port Austin: Pier anglers casting rapalas were taking walleye at night or coho and lake trout during the day.

Saginaw Bay: Had good catches of walleye in 18 feet of water off Linwood, the old Dumping Grounds off the mouth of the Saginaw River, the Callahan Reef, the Slot south of Fish Point and out on the Bar. It appears the fish are still hanging around the south end of the bay and can be found in shallow water on cloudy days or deeper water on clear days. Crawler harnesses are best but a few fish were also caught on crank baits. Walleye fishing around Sebewaing is still slow but the action is picking up in Wildfowl Bay off Bay Port and out near the sailboat buoys. Catch and release fishing for largemouth bass is very good around Bay Port. Crappie fishing has picked up in the marina basins. Large numbers of carp and gar are entering the shallows so those bow fishing will find good opportunities.

Saginaw River: Shore anglers are picking up catfish and white bass.

Tittabawassee River: Is still producing a few walleye around the Center Road boat ramp. Most of the action is for white bass and smallmouth bass. Catching white bass can be fast and furious action. Try a light spinning rod and small jigs, spinners, spoons or crank baits. Sometimes you can catch a fish on every cast and they put up a good fight. Anglers are reminded that the fish consumption advisories recommend against eating white bass from Saginaw Bay or its tributaries.

Sebewaing River: Has good bass fishing and crappie are hitting in the channel.


Good numbers of crappie have been caught on the inland lakes. Bluegills should be on the beds soon. Northern pike are being caught in the rivers. Lots of bass are being caught and released.

Saugatuck: Salmon fishing was slow. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum. Try crawlers on the bottom.

Holland: Pier fishing for salmon has slowed but boat anglers continue to catch a good number of fish in waters 120 feet or deeper. The fish were scattered. White perch action was slow.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers are targeting 130 to 230 feet of water for salmon.

Set downriggers 60 to 140 feet down or divers 200 to 275 feet back with green and blue magnum spoons or white spin/fly combos.

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing catfish along with a few pike and walleye. Those fishing over near Portland did well for catfish. Bass fishing has been good along the entire river.

Lake Lansing: Is producing bass and a few pike.

Michigan Center Lake: In Jackson County is producing largemouth bass and panfish.

Coldwater Lake: In Branch County is producing good numbers of large crappie.

Duck Lake: In Calhoun County is producing bass and pike. Some nice crappie were also caught.

Prairie Lake: Also in Calhoun County is producing crappie, bass and pike.

Morrison Lake: Bluegills were starting to show up on the beds.

Sessions Lake: Is producing bluegill and crappie on spec minnows.

Muskegon: Salmon fishing slowed but should pick back up. Anglers are using downriggers 60 to 140 feet down in 135 to 230 feet of water. Try green or blue magnum spoons or spin/fly combos. No perch to report.

Whitehall: Had good salmon fishing in 150 feet of water and the fish were right on the bottom. Pink and blue were hot colors. Alewife have moved into the channel. Pier anglers caught chinook, coho and brown trout on stick baits or Cleo's that glow.



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