Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gamefish Profile: The Channel Catfish







Most of us will never forget our first time catching a catfish. Whether it's the whiskers that stand out to us or the fact that they grunt at you when pulled from the water, these fish leave a lasting impression.  Their unforgettable nature is just one of the many reasons that catfish fishing is second in popularity only to bass fishing.

If its not their curious looks that makes them so rememberable then its the fact that catfish are fighters.  They may not give the aerial acrobatics of smallmouth bass but catfish fight to the finish when they are hooked.  Channel cats will try to take you into any cover they can get you into in order to break you off. Even upon getting them close to the bank often times they'll begin to do a death roll in a last ditch effort to get away.  The fighting nature is something you'll always remember especially if you hook into a large cat.


Table Fare: If there is no other reason people fish for channel cats its because they are great table fare.  They taste amazing especially when prepared the right way.  For the best results younger fish in the 12 to 18 inch range have the best taste.  However if you catch larger fish just cut off the darker meat to enhance the flavor.  For better tasting catfish make sure you get all of the skin off of the meat as the skin will make the filets or nuggets for mare fishy than you would like.

Range:  The channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are the most wide spread of the big three North American catfish species.  As a result of this channel cats are often the first catfish species people catch.  Channel cats range from as far south as northern Mexico to as far north as southern canada and the great lakes. They've been widely stocked in lakes in western states like California and live
naturally throughout east coast freshwater rivers and lakes.


Spawning:  Due to the fact that channel catfish are warm water species they spawn at much higher water temperatures than many other wide spread fish species.  As well due to their large home range which crosses multiple temperature zones channel cats have a large range of temperatures that will induce spawning for the species.  With that in mind, depending on where you are channel catfish spawn in water temperatures ranging from 70 to 84 degrees with 70 to 75 degrees being optimal.

Overall catfish are cavity nesters and channel cats are no exception to that.  Female channel cats will lay their egs in holes in woody debris, burrows under banks, tree roots, and spaces under rocks leaving the males to tend them.  Male channel cats will guard the nest, protecting the eggs from predators and fanning the eggs with their fins to keep them aerated and clear of debris. About 6 to 10 days from the initial spawn the eggs will hatch and the male will continue to guard them until the fry disburse on their own.

Growth Rate: Channel catfish have been known to live for more than 20 years however on average channel cats live about 10 years.  That's not to say that there are no 20 year old channel cats lurking somewhere in your backyard.

When it comes to channel catfish age and size are not relative to one another.  Growth rate for channel cats is actually more dependent on where catfish live opposed to age.  For example in the north, where you have longer winter months, it takes 7 to 9 years for a channel cat to reach 3 pounds.  However in the south, where you have shorter less brutal winter months, channel cats will reach three pounds in only 4 to 5 years.

Thats not to say that there are no exceptions to this rule.  For example catfish that live in hydropower plant reservoirs the rate of growth may be longer as these lakes are usually warmer than natural lakes thus giving catfish longer growing seasons.

While the average size of channel cats taken by anglers range from 1lb to 10lbs, 2lb to 4lb being most common, there are still some giants lurking out there.  For example the all-tackle world record channel cat is W.B. Whaley's 58 pound giant taken from South Carolina's Santee-Cooper Reservoir system on July 7, 1964. In fact because channel cats resemble blue cats so closely, scientist believe it is very possible that larger specimens have been caught but were not reported because they were assumed to be blue cats.

Natural Forage: The diet of channel catfish often changes as they age just like most game fish.  When they are young they feed primarily on aquatic insects like dragonfly larvae, water beetles and hellgrammites.  Along with aquatic insects young catfish will eat snails, yearling crayfish, small freshwater clams along with seeds, aquatic plants and algae.  As they age their forage gets larger while they'll still eat aquatic insects and crawfish they'll also eat frogs, bait fish, dead or dying fish as well as small rodents who take a wayward swim.  While their diets lean mostly to the carnivorous end of things adult channel catfish will also still eat seeds, aquatic plants and algae but fish will make up the lions share of their diets as they grow older. In fact I've seen catfish eating mulberries that have fallen into a local lake.

Channel Catfish Baits: Probably what makes channel cats such highly sought after
game fish is the fact that you can catch the on a huge variety of baits. Baits ranging from night crawlers to home made stink baits draw in huge channel cats all over the country.  However for me I usually boil my channel catfish baits down to three baits that I use consistently.

1. Worms 
Possibly every child's first fishing experience includes the use of worms. Why wouldn't worms be a part of our childhood fishing memories?  You can find them anywhere there is dirt and a simple stick used as a shovel will help you fill a container with enough bait to fish all day.  Not only that but you can pretty much catch any kind of fish on a worm and channel catfish are no different.

When fishing for catfish with worms, size matters. Because worms produce a lot of by-catch you want to use as large a worm as possible when targeting catfish. If you don't have large night crawlers on hand you can simply thread multiple night crawlers on your hook in order to present a larger meal for catfish.

2. Chicken Livers
Next to worms chicken livers are probably the easiest bait to find. No, you can't dig them up in the backyard but what you can do is pick up a container of chicken livers in just about any grocery store in the country.  At a price under $3.00 they are affordable for fishermen and women with even the most modest of budgets.

3. Shrimp
Shrimp is the last of my three go to baits for channel catfish.  It came in last not because it lacks in catching ability behind any of the other four baits but because I'm allergic to shrimp.  As a result this requires me using gloves to rig shrimp up which is just bit of a pain to me.

These are my go to three channel catfish baits but if you want to see the top baits for channel cats click here!

Overall channel cats are willing biters that will test your equipment and give you the opportunity to truly hook into a monster on one lucky cast.

Thanks for reading and tight lines everyone.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

4/5/2018, Weekly Michigan Fishing Report



Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSoutheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report
Click in the map above to find your weekly fishing report by region.

Spring fishing was starting to pick up until the wind, rain, snow and cold once again put a damper on fishing conditions. No boats have been out on the Great Lakes and very few were fishing the inland lakes and rivers. With the continued cold weather, anglers in the Upper Peninsula were still ice fishing.

Huron River Report From our friends at Bottom Line Bait & TackleSteelhead ranging from 4lbs to 7lbs are being caught at the dam in Huroc park and along the river south of Huroc Park.  Steelhead are being taken on spawn baggs below bobbers, Hot-N-Tots through holes, jigs tipped with wax worms and even a few are biting little cleos and inline spinners.  

Not only are steelhead biting throughout the river but the suckers are pushing into the Huron river in good numbers with anglers taken suckers on crawlers and sponge baits. 


Bottom Line Bait & Tackle
32660 W. Jefferson Ave
Rockwood, Mi. 48173
Phone: 734-379-9762

Lake Erie: Was producing limit catches of walleye but strong winds and gale warnings have kept boat anglers off the big water.
Lake Erie Report From our friends at Jeffs Bait & Tackle: This weeks cold and windy weather has Brest Bay a bit muddy.  However walleye are still being caught in 14ft. to 18ft. of water on darker colored stick baits being trolled between 1.2 to 1.8 mph.  Anglers are also having success jigging bucktails near at the mouth of the Raisin River, the dumping grounds and by Luna Pier. 
Perch are in close with anglers catching quite a few on minnows in Bowles Harbor and on the Raisin River.

If you're planning on fishing out of Sterling State Park or the Brest Bay area you can pick up fishing license, large and small minnows or just about any other fishing needs at Jeff's Bait & Tackle. 
1756 N. Dixie Hwy
Monroe, Mi. 48162
(734) 289-4901
  • If you're planning on fishing any of the canals near Lake Erie Metro Park or Point Mouillee State Game Area you can get all of your bait & tackle needs met at  Bottom Line Bait & Tackle




Detroit River: Both the perch and the walleye bite slowed. Shore anglers were getting a few small perch in the cuts and canals.


Detroit River Report from Rich at Andy's Tackle Box: Water temperatures are still standing around the 37 to 38 degree mark which has kept the bite fairly consistent prior to the last few windy days. The wind has not shut the walleye bite down though it has only slowed it, with some people getting quicker limits of fish than others. Anglers are catching walleye jigging however those jigging with baits tipped with minnows are having the most success. 
Shore anglers are doing well at parks between the post office and the Belle Isle Bridge with confirmed report of one large female being caught behind Joe Lewis Arena in the last couple of days.  
17485 Dix-Toledo Rd.
Melvindale, Mi. 48122
Phone: 313-388-3474
Hours:
Mon. - Fri. 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sat. 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sun. Closed



Lake St. Clair: Had almost zero boat effort due to the weather. Shore anglers were finding some panfish in the marinas and canals.
  • For a more accurate report on Lake St. Clair I suggest reaching out to the people at Sportsmen's Direct  as their weekly LSC fishing report is usually far more in depth.  Phone: (586-741-6052)
St. Clair River: The ice floes look to be over. Walleye along with the occasional trout or salmon were caught in the lower river as well as the upper river near Port Huron.

Saginaw Bay: Only a few boats had been out from Linwood but those making it out did catch some walleye in 15 to 17 feet when trolling body baits. East of Bay City and up into the Thumb, perch fishing in the rivers and cuts was hit-or-miss. At the Thomas and Allen Cuts, the Sebewaing River and on up to Bay Port fishing was generally slow. Very few perch were caught in Mud Creek. At Caseville, some lake trout were caught in the marina basins but perch fishing was slow.
  • For a more accurate report on Saginaw Bay I suggest taking a look at the weekly Saginaw Bay Fishing Report given to you by Saginawbay.com

Saginaw River: Yellow perch fishing in the lower river and just off the river mouth was phenomenal with limit catches of 25 fish the norm. A lot of the fish were 12 to 14 inches. Minnows on a perch rig without beads seemed to work best. Perch anglers were shore fishing at the Cement Plant in Essexville and at Smith Park. Bad weather and windy conditions will slow fishing once again.

With the warming trend I'd suggest  reaching out to the local bait shops in southeast Michigan to verify what your best options are.  Below are links to bait shop listings orgnized by county:

Pier anglers will want to watch for icy conditions especially after the gale force winds and high waves.
Holland: Fishing is just starting up in Holland with a mix of coho, browns and the occasional steelhead. Fish are being caught in 8-25 ft of water with the browns hanging out in the sandbars and the coho just outside. A mix of body baits and mini size Silver Streaks have been best. Thunder sticks, Thin Fins, J-9&11 raps and Bay Rats have been good. 

New Buffalo: When they can get out, anglers were taking coho when trolling along the beach.

St. Joseph: Coho, brown trout and the occasional steelhead were still being caught when the weather allowed but no boats have been out.

St. Joseph River: Had a few anglers out targeting steelhead but the bite was slow once again. We need rain and warmer temperatures.

South Haven: Before the storm, boat anglers were catching good numbers of coho when trolling small crank baits south of the piers. Pier fishing was slower with only a couple coho and the occasional brown trout caught on spawn.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were catching a few perch south of the piers in 60 to 75 feet when using minnows however with the strong winds, no boats were out. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand River at Grand Rapids report from our friends at Al & Bobs Sports:  Catch rates have slowed on steelhead with a few anglers still catching fish on spawn.  There are still quite a few anglers at sixth street dam in boats and wading but few reports of fish being caught.  With the cold front this week we're expecting more slow fishing. 
Anglers are catching steelhead from the Lake Michigan piers on spawn as well.  They've also been catching walleye from the piers and beaches as well with fish being caught on 3 inch swim jigs with white or pearl bodies with dark colored heads.
  • For a more accurate report on the Grand River at Grand Rapids I suggest reaching out to the people at Al & Bob's SportsPhone: (616-281-0777)
Muskegon: Pier anglers had caught a couple steelhead and brown trout on spawn.

Muskegon River: Has some nice steelhead however cold water temperatures have slowed the bite. Try fishing the deeper holes until it warms back up.

Whitehall: Pier fishing was slow but anglers caught the occasional steelhead when using spawn bags near the bottom.


Deep snow and cold temperatures have slowed both fishing activity and the bite.
Black Lake: Had no reports this week as ice conditions are unknown and the river mouths have open water.

Tawas: Pier anglers caught a couple Atlantic salmon, walleye, steelhead and brown trout when casting hardware or still-fishing with minnows. Not many boats fished out of the river mouth but the few that did went down toward Alabaster and picked up some lake trout and walleye when trolling body baits in 15 to 25 feet.

Tawas River: Anglers caught a couple steelhead and some suckers.

Au Gres River: Steelhead caught in the lower river down near the Singing Bridge. Shore anglers were drifting spawn sacks in the river or floating spawn in the surf.

Rifle River: The sucker run was starting to come in at Omer. Hook and line anglers were doing well, but dip-netters had spotty success. If the suckers are in at Omer, they should also be moving into the other local rivers including the Shiawassee, Cass and Flint. Perch fishing in the lower Pine River near Standish was still slow but those using worms caught a few suckers.

Snow and cold water temperatures are delaying the primary steelhead run. We need warm weather and rain as water levels were low and clear. Cold and windy conditions have kept the boat and pier anglers off Lake Michigan. The inland lakes were open water for the most part but no one was fishing.
Frankfort: The water was open and ice free. When they can get out, boat anglers trolling body baits between the pier heads caught a few brown trout.

Betsie River: The steelhead bite slowed with the onset of snow and cold temperatures.

Onekama: The water is open and ice free but there was no fishing activity to report.

Portage Lake: The west end of the lake is ice free but the east end was about 50 percent covered with drifting ice. Both launches were accessible for launching boats.

Manistee: Surface temperature readings were about 36 degrees. The city launch has three docks in but the restrooms and fish cleaning station are still closed. Pier anglers caught a couple steelhead and brown trout on spawn. When they can get out, boat anglers caught coho, steelhead and brown trout in the basin and outside the piers in 9 to 12 feet when trolling spoons and rapalas.

Big Manistee River: Has fresh fish but the bite has slowed with the cold weather. Target the deeper holes until it warms back up.

Ludington: Surface water temperatures were 36 degrees. Docks were in at the city launch but the restrooms and fish cleaning station were still closed. The launch at Copeyon Park also had a dock in. Those trolling spoons and rapalas around the pier heads caught the occasional steelhead or brown trout.
Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:
Don's Sporting Goods: (231) 723-5028
Tangled Tackle Co.(231) 887-4242
Pappy's Bait & Tackle: (231) 848-4142
Andy's Tackle Box: (231) 477-5737





Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was still slow unless you are looking for smelt as the fishing off Sand Point was great in 30 to 100 feet. Jig something shiny if the smelt are not there right away as it will usually bring them in. This would be a good time to bring a youngster out as the fish are frequently right below the hole during the day. Put a flasher fish right above the school and every time you catch one they move higher in the water column which can be exciting for a young angler. Try a light action rod with a Hali lure on the bottom and one or two small teardrop jigs above it and all tipped with a wax worm. A spring bobber is very helpful as smelt have a light bite.

Little Bay De Noc: Anglers were still ice fishing however a foot or more of fresh snow has covered many of the dangerous areas. Extreme caution needs to be used. Perch fishing was fair at best with fish caught in the Kipling area. Anglers were using wigglers or minnows in 30 to 35 feet. It seems the fish had moved out from the usual areas and were scattered.


Marquette: The bubblers were ice free but there is still a lot of ice in and around the harbors and it could blow back in any day. Coho fishing was hit-or-miss with some days producing limit catches while other days were only a fish or two. Brown trout, splake and a couple Chinook were mixed in with the coho catches. Slow fishing on the Carp and Chocolay Rivers with only a couple steelhead or brown trout caught over the last couple weeks. Water levels are still very low.

Au Train River: Coho fishing was hit-or-miss. When the fishing is good anglers are getting limits in less than an hour but when it is slow they were only getting a couple. Those ice fishing the river need to use extreme caution as the ice is very unpredictable and a few people have fallen through.

Munising: Had heavy snow with an additional 4 to 7 on top of the 10 inches received on Saturday. Coho fishing was a bit slower but some parties did manage to take a limit catch for the day especially from Trout Bay and off Sand Point. Smelt were still being caught off Sand Point with most using teardrop jigs or a Hali jig with a wax worm. No word on steelhead action.

Two Hearted River: No access continues as the area gets hit with yet another snow storm. The only access will be by snowmobile as there are still no open roads in the area because of the deep snow pack.
Cedarville and Hessel: Fishing slowed this week. Anglers did catch some perch between 8 and 10 inches but many were throwbacks at only 5 inches. Anglers were using minnows, wigglers, spikes and spoons. A couple splake were caught on spoons at the pier. The area still had ice however strong currents are creating unstable ice conditions in some areas so extreme caution needs to be used.



Monday, April 2, 2018

4/2/2018 Detroit River Fishing Report

Thursday March 29, 2018 Michigan Fishing Report

Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSoutheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report
Click in the map above to find your weekly fishing report by region.

Anglers are reminded that on Sunday April 1st, all anglers 17 years of age and older will be required to have a new 2018 Michigan fishing license. Be sure to look at a copy of the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide for new regulations that go into effect on April 1st.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Huron River Report From our friends at Bottom Line Bait & Tackle: Steelhead ranging from 4lbs to 7lbs are being caught at the dam in Huroc park and along the river south of Huroc Park.  Steelhead are being taken on spawn baggs below bobbers, Hot-N-Tots through holes, jigs tipped with wax worms and even a few are biting little cleos and inline spinners.  

Not only are steelhead biting throughout the river but a few smallmouth are being taken in the deeper holes and during the warmer hours of the day, but the bite window is small.  As well the suckers are pushing into the Huron river in good numbers with anglers taken suckers on crawlers and sponge baits. 

Lake Erie: Was producing limit catches of walleye in Brest Bay, off Luna Pier and near the Banana Dike.
Report From our friends at Jeffs Bait & TackleMost are trolling the coast line of the fermi power plant in 15 to 20 fow about 1 to 1.5mph. Looking for the mudlines and trolling just inside the mudd. They are also just outside of the sterling state park in 15 to 20 feet of water. The colors in the muddy
waters are black and dark purple bandits. About 30 to 60 ft back. Bright colors in the cleaner water. White, orange and perch color bandits. Jigging hair jigs and blade baits are producing walleye as well, just stick to the mudlines for success until the waters clear up.

Jeff's Bait & Tackle
1756 N. Dixie Hwy
Monroe, Mi. 48162
(734) 289-4901

Lake Erie Report From our friends at Bottom Line Bait & TackleThe boat docs in Lake Erie MetroPark is producing good numbers of perch, crappie, and bluegill right now. With perch and crappie being taken on minnows and bluegill being taken on wax worms and crawlers. The same being true for the canals in Gibraltar as well, perch are being caught on minnows. Pretty much in any of the canals that flow off of Lake Erie are producing perch at the moment, just load up on small to medium sized minnows and go. 
  • If you're planning on fishing any of the canals near Lake Erie Metro Park or Point Mouillee State Game Area you can get all of your bait & tackle needs met at  Bottom Line Bait & Tackle
  • If you're planning on fishing out of Sterling State Park or the Brest Bay area you can pick up tackle from the nice people at Jeff's Bait & Tackle.

Detroit River: A few walleye were caught in the Trenton Channel and near Wyandotte. Jigs and minnows were the ticket. Anglers were picking up some decent catches of perch in the canals in Gibraltar, the Ford Yacht Club, on Grosse Ile and other protected waters in the lower river.

Detroit River Report from Rich at Andy's Tackle Box: With the east wind that has been blowing the bite has slowed quite a bit as the east wind has muddied the river a bit. A few walleye are still being caught however with water temps around 35 and 36 degrees fish are being caught caught in 15 to 20 feet of water.  Anglers are catching fish using deep diving minnow baits like Reef Runners and Smithwicks that dive between 10ft and 20ft.
17485 Dix-Toledo Rd.
Melvindale, Mi. 48122
Phone: 313-388-3474
Hours:
Mon. - Fri. 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sat. 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sun. Closed

Detroit River Report from our friends at Bottom Line Bait & TackleThe lower end of the Trenton Channel is picking up for walleye. Anglers are catching walleye mostly by jigging either by jig and minnow or jig and soft plastic.  Jigs tipped with fin-s fish and wyandotte worms are performing the best right now.  In fact a 9 lb walleye was brought in through the humbug marsh launch earlier this week with reports of much larger fish being caught.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle
32660 W. Jefferson Ave
Rockwood, Mi. 48173
Phone: 734-379-9762

Lake St. Clair: Wind and rain kept boat anglers off the lake early this week but a few decent reports of panfish and perch have come from shore anglers. Those fishing the canals were using minnows or a tear drop with a wax worms under a bobber for panfish. More suckers were starting to be caught further up the Clinton River.
  • For a more accurate report on Lake St. Clair I suggest reaching out to the people at Sportsmen's Direct  as their weekly LSC fishing report is usually far more in depth.  Phone: (586-741-6052)

St. Clair River: Before the ice came down, some anglers were able to find walleye as well as the occasional steelhead and salmon. The remaining ice from southern Lake Huron broke free on Monday and is now making its way down stream. This is making it difficult for anglers to access the river. Ice conditions can change dramatically throughout the day depending on wind direction.

Saginaw Bay: Perch were still not in the cuts and river mouths yet. Boat fishing for walleye has been difficult because of windy conditions. There has been very little fishing activity from Pinconning to the mouth of the Saginaw River. A couple walleye were caught out near Spoils Island but nothing much over 15 inches. Moving east, a few nice perch were caught on a tiny tube jig in the open water at Finn Road. Not much to report on the Quanicassee River or at the Thomas Cut and Allen Cut except for a few small perch taken. Bluegills, crappie and small perch were caught in Sunset Bay Marina. The Sebewaing River and marina along with Mud Creek were slow as those trying for perch did not have much luck. The Caseville Marina was slow but pier anglers were taking a few lake trout on minnows or when casting hardware. Rain this week should help bring water levels and water temperatures up in the rivers and that should get the perch and sucker fishing going.
  • For a more accurate report on Saginaw Bay I suggest taking a look at the weekly Saginaw Bay Fishing Report given to you by Saginawbay.com

Saginaw River: Perch fishing in the lower river was pretty good with most boats in 30 feet along the shipping channel from the mouth upstream to the Bay Aggregate cut and also in front of Bay Harbor Marina. Crappie were caught in the tributaries.
Saginaw River Report From our friends at Live Bait, Bait & Tackle Shop: People are getting plenty of perch on the river with anglers catching fish on live minnows. As well anglers are catching crappie in the tributaries with decent quantities coming out of Indian Town on jigs and minnows. 

With the warming trend I'd suggest  reaching out to the local bait shops in southeast Michigan to verify what your best options are.  Below are links to bait shop listings organized by county:


Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
New Buffalo: Coho fishing was good for those trolling along the beach.

Dowagiac River: Anglers are catching steelhead at the Pucker Street Dam.

St. Joseph: Coho, brown trout and the occasional steelhead were caught by pier anglers and by those trolling along the beach.

St. Joseph River: Has a good number of steelhead and fish are moving onto the gravel for spawning. Spawn bags, skein and plugs have all worked especially up near the Berrien Springs Dam. Some limit catches were reported.

Kalamazoo River: Also has a good number of steelhead.
Kalamazoo County Bait Shops: Click Here!

South Haven: Boat anglers were taking limit catches of coho. Pier anglers caught coho and steelhead.

Grand Haven: Boat anglers were still getting a few perch south of the piers. Steelhead were caught by pier anglers.

Grand River at Grand Rapids Report from our friends at Al & Bobs Bait Shop: Lots steelhead being caught downtown at the 6th st. Dam. Some walleye are still being caught but the season is closed, catch and release only! Some suckers have started to move into the river as well. Steelhead have been hitting on multiple color beads or spawn bags. Bottom bouncing or float fishing have both been effective methods.
  • For a more accurate report on the Grand River at Grand Rapids I suggest reaching out to the people at Al & Bob's SportsPhone: (616-281-0777)
Grand River at Lansing Report From our friends at Grand River Bait & Tackle:  A few steelhead are being caught here and there however nothing really to write home about.  Smallmouth on the other hand are being caught  on twister tails and small carnkbaits.  The smallmouth bait usually takes place during the warmer hours of the day and only for a short window. 

Muskegon: Pier anglers targeting steelhead are getting some fish.

Muskegon Lake: Perch fishing was good with boat anglers taking fish in front of the Sand Docks in 40 to 50 feet or in deeper water out from the Milwaukee Clipper.

Muskegon River: Boat and shore anglers are getting some steelhead but the action was still on the slow side with water temperatures in the mid 30's. A couple anglers tried fishing at the Reedsburg Dam but no fish were caught.
  • For a more accurate report on the Muskegon Lake & the Muskegon River I suggest reaching out to the people at Snug Harbor Outfitters. Phone: (231-719-0759)

White River: Steelhead fishing picked up with fresh fish moving in.

Steelhead fishing was slow on some of the local rivers. Anglers were still ice fishing on some lakes, but extreme caution needs to used, as ice conditions are questionable.
Cheboygan River: Those using spawn at the dam were taking steelhead.

Pigeon River: Anglers were starting to fish for steelhead but most caught brown trout that had to be released.

Black Lake: There is still ice on the lake however how much and what conditions are is unknown. There is open water near the mouth of the Black River.

Alpena: Thunder Bay has open water.

Thunder Bay River: Is open water and conditions are right for steelhead fishing. The marina is still frozen but the Fletcher Street ramp is open. Not a lot of runoff yet so the river is still pretty fishable. The dam will likely be opened with the first real warm weather we get and that could make fishing more difficult. Up until freeze up last fall, Atlantic salmon were being caught regularly in the old 'turning basin' in the river and it is likely they are still there. Try casting from the walkway along LaMarre Park in Alpena.

Higgins Lake: Still had some ice but getting on the lake has been a problem that continues to get worse with open water along the west shore, off Big Creek and near the natural springs on the north end. Fishing here is pretty much done for now.

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops: 
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle: (989) 821-9517 
Sports Barn: (989) 821-9511

Houghton Lake: Pretty much all the ice is gone now but no boats have been out. Anglers are now waiting for spring fishing to get started.

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:

Rifle River: The suckers are coming in very good at this point with decent numbers being taken on crawlers and sponge baits. 

Tawas: On the pier at the state harbor, those fishing outside the pier caught some Atlantic salmon, lake trout and a couple brown trout or walleye when still-fishing with minnows or casting crank baits. The marina basin is full of minnows so perch fishing was hit-or-miss. Boats launching at the mouth of the Tawas River and fishing down near Alabaster were taking some nice lake trout when trolling or jigging. The sucker run in the Rifle River at Omer was stalled but the warm rain this week should help.

Tawas River: Those drifting crawlers and spawn sacks were getting some steelhead.

Au Sable Report From our friends at the Au Sable River StoreThere are few steelhead moving into to the lower Au Sable river despite the windy conditions hurting things. Fishing has been spotty with steelhead being caught in the deeper holes and at Foote Dam.  For steelhead we recommend fishing with spawn or waxworms

680 River Rd.
Oscoda Twp. Mi 48750
(989) 739-5332

Au Gres River: Steelhead anglers fishing at the Singing Bridge did well when drifting spawn sacks in the lower river. Surf fishing was nearly impossible due to the strong east winds.

Steelhead fishing was slow on some of the local rivers as water levels were still low and cold. Anglers were still ice fishing on some lakes, but extreme caution needs to used, as ice conditions are questionable.
Lake Charlevoix: Still had ice. Perch fishing was just okay in the South Arm during the morning hours.

Betsie River: Angling activity continues to increase with steelhead being caught. Some brown trout were also caught and released as the season is closed.

Manistee: Pier and boat anglers have caught coho and brown trout. Steelhead were caught by pier anglers.

Big Manistee River: Fishing picked up over the last week as a good number of fresh fish were moving in Up near Tippy Dan, anglers reported a decent bite that was best in the morning. Those on the north bank did well floating spawn while those on the south bank had luck with beads and flies.

Ludington: Pier and boat anglers have been picking up a few brown trout.

Pere Marquette Lake: Was producing a good number of yellow perch for boat anglers.

Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing is picking up with fresh fish moving in.

Pentwater River: Has steelhead.
Don's Sporting Goods: (231) 723-5028
Tangled Tackle Co.(231) 887-4242
Pappy's Bait & Tackle: (231) 848-4142
Andy's Tackle Box: (231) 477-5737


Lake Gogebic: Perch fishing started to pick up on the north end.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing continues to be slow for lake trout, splake, and salmon. Smelt are still biting all day and night off Sand Point and out from the Baraga Marina. Splake and coho were seen off the Falls River but they did not want to bite.

Menominee County: Perch fishing was good on Hayward Lake. Lake Mary and Lake Ann have been slow; with little to no luck on bluegills. Shakey Lake was slow.
Little Bay De Noc: The cold nights have helped the ice some but the edges are getting rough in areas. The only anglers south of Gladstone were a few whitefish anglers off Sand Point that reported fair catches when jigging minnows or spawn along the drop-off. Angler participation has dropped and those out were primarily perch fishing off Kipling in 24 to 40 feet along the Second and Third Reefs with minnows or wigglers. Some were still getting the occasional jumbo perch. Those that still have ice shanties out are reminded that they need to be off the ice by midnight of March 31st.

Marquette: Coho fishing was slow at the bubblers with most anglers only getting one or two fish per trip. Those dragging boats across the ice need to use extreme caution. Water levels were still extremely low in both the Carp and Chocolay Rivers. Very few fish other than a couple brown trout have been caught.

Au Train: Coho fishing through the ice was hit-or-miss at the Au Train River mouth. On the good days, anglers were getting limit catches but on the slow days they were lucky to get a couple fish. A few coho and whitefish were caught through the ice at the mouth of the Rock River.

Munising: Still had ice and it should hang around for a few more weeks. Anglers continue to report good catches of smelt especially in the afternoon when the schools of fish were more active. Night anglers for burbot have done very well throughout however the best areas were off Trout Bay and Sand Point. Coho fishing was slightly better with one or two fish caught in the morning. Weekend fishing pressure was very high with nearly 100 anglers and the increased noise factor with sleds coming and going may have slowed the bite. In general, there is a lot of food in the bay with an abundance of smelt. The splake and whitefish action was poor with only a few fish caught.

Two Hearted River: Access to the river would be by snowmobile only as there are no open roads in that area right now. Anglers interested in steelhead fishing would need to access by snowmobile as heavy snowpack still exists in the area.

Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing slowed around the Les Cheneaux Islands. Many of those caught were undersize but some did manage to catch the occasional 8 to 14 inch fish with minnows, wigglers, spikes, and small lures. Some have caught splake up to 8 pounds with minnows. The ice was holding but some bays now have open water. Anglers still need to use caution especially near the points and areas with a strong current.






LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...