This coming Saturday, May 28 is the opening day of large and smallmouth bass season on the Great Lakes and all inland waters except Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River which do not open until the third Saturday in June (6/18). Those participating in catch-and-release have caught a good number of fish so the opener looks to be very good!
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Many lakes in the region have sunfish and bluegill moving up into the shallows as they prepare to spawn.
Lake Erie: Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss. Those drifting, trolling and bottom bouncing a crawler harness with copper and purple inline spinner caught fish straight out from Brest Bay and Fermi or off Stony Point in 20 to 25 feet. Those bowfishing in the lagoons at Sterling State Park caught several carp and goldfish along with a couple gar. Bolles Harbor had decent catches of crappie and other panfish on a jig and wax worm. Largemouth bass and pike were caught on spinners and crankbaits.
Huron River: Anglers continue to catch white perch and a few white bass.
Washtenaw County: South Lake in the Pinckney Recreation Area was producing bluegills and redear sunfish. Boat anglers on Ford Lake caught some decent walleye. Large and smallmouth bass were caught but most were less than 12 inches.
Detroit River: Walleye fishing remains very good in the upper river but the better success has been from the Ontario side of the river. White bass fishing was excellent in the lower river where limit catches were taken in the Trenton Channel. Anglers should find good white bass fishing throughout the entire river this weekend.
Oakland County: Both Cass Lake and Union Lake experienced a rather large mayfly hatch, so the panfish bite has slowed a bit. Anglers continue to do well for bass in the shallow sandy flats when using jerk baits or drop shot fishing. If looking for pike or walleye, try the weedy flats and drop-offs in the early morning or evening. The smallmouth spawn is pretty much done but anglers are reporting largemouth starting to bed now. Water temperatures are on the rise so the bluegills should be getting ready to spawn.
Lake St. Clair: Smallmouth bass are nesting and anglers were having a hard time getting a bite. DNRshocking crews tagged over 400 smallmouth bass near 11 Mile Road. Anglers are encouraged to report their catch of tagged smallmouth bass using the on-line tagged fish reporting system. Bass were found near the Metro Park and the Mile Roads and caught in four to six feet on a variety of lures including crankbaits, swimbaits, rattle traps, or green and pumpkin tube baits. Those targeting them also caught rock bass, white bass and a couple musky. Yellow perch were caught near Gino’s in five to 10 feet when floating minnows and worms or when jigging minnows. A few pike were also caught. On the north end, smallmouth bass were caught south of Selfridge in six to seven feet on blue crankbaits or chartreuse curly tail grubs. Walleye were also caught in the same area when fishing the shoreline with gold lures or crawler harnesses with gold flashers.
Clinton River: Has good rock bass action and shore fishing for carp was excellent near the mouth.
St. Clair River: Walleye fishing has been good in the Algonac area. Jigging and bottom bouncing has been productive during the day, while whipping and wireline trolling were good after dark. The water temperature was 49 to 51 degrees.
Lexington: Anglers caught a mix of lake trout, brown trout, steelhead and pink salmon which were scattered throughout waters 30 to 90 feet deep.
Port Sanilac: Was producing trout and salmon. A couple Atlantic salmon were caught off the outside wall when using large gray shiners under a bobber.
Harbor Beach: Some nice salmon were caught on spoons 25 to 60 feet down in 110 feet north of the harbor and South of Port Hope. Best colors were blue and green alewives, and yellow tail spoons. Try spoons on 2, 3, 5, and 10 color lines with offshore boards as well. Lake trout are still being caught straight out and to the north in 60 to 100 feet with dodgers and spin-glo’s or clean spoons down near the bottom. A couple steelhead were taken up high in the water column.
Saginaw Bay: Walleye were caught in seven feet off Pinconning, 14 to 17 feet around the G Buoy, 20 feet off Linwood and eight to 10 feet on the Callahan Reef. On the east side, the Slot was producing a good number of fish in 16 feet. Crawler harnesses were definitely out-fishing crankbaits. Channel cat fishing was good off Sebewaing in five feet. Carp are in the shallows all over the south end and the east side where those bowfishing have done extremely well.
Saginaw River: Some walleye were caught in the lower river. The white bass are done spawning but freshwater drum have moved in as they prepare to spawn.
Tittabawassee River: Fishing was pretty much concentrated within an easy run of the Center Road launch site in Saginaw Township. White bass were still being caught on jigs, crankbaits and live minnows. Upstream of Freeland, catch-and-release fishing for smallmouth bass was very good, and a few walleye were caught. The spring walleye fishery is pretty much over.
Panfish action on the inland lakes is picking up daily with the warm weather. Crappie and bluegills were on the beds in the shallow lakes and should be on all inland lakes in the area by the weekend. Bass were on the beds.
St. Joseph: Salmon fishing improved with anglers catching Chinook and coho on spoons in 100 feet. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum on crawlers. Perch fishing was very slow.
South Haven: Had good salmon fishing. Anglers were taking both Chinook and coho when trolling spoons in 100 to 130 feet. Pier fishing was very slow for all species and perch fishing was very slow.
Kalamazoo County: Indian Lake and Austin Lake were producing a fair to good number of panfish. Gull Lake was hit-or-miss.
Thornapple Lake: In Barry County was producing some perch.
Allegan County: Crappie fishing was good on the inland lakes including Miner and Baseline. Anglers on Eagle and Duck Lake caught bluegills on red worms.
Grand Haven: Salmon are being caught between the surface and 120 feet down in 140 to 240 feet. Anglers were using orange or green spoons with white flies. Pier anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead on alewife.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing a few walleye, some catfish and a good number of smallmouth bass. Crappie were caught in the bayous and backwaters.
Grand River at Lansing: Has good smallmouth bass fishing. Try minnows, leeches and crawlers or twister tail grubs and small spinners. Crappie were caught upstream of Moore’s Park. A few pike and walleye were still being caught below the dams. Those targeting panfish have caught some big rock bass.
Eaton County: Sunfish were caught on Narrow Lake, Pine Lake and Lake Alliance.
Muskegon: Boats are catching Chinook and coho in 160 to 260 feet. Try fishing the top 120 feet with orange, green or blue spoons.
Muskegon River: Walleye fishing is picking up and bass are biting well. Panfish are moving into the shallows.
Whitehall: Chinook and coho salmon were caught in 120 to 200 feet. Schools of shiners and alewives have been spotted near the piers and brown trout are feeding on them. Walleye are still being caught in the channel and from the piers after dark. Try deep-diving body baits, plastic swimbaits, or a jig and minnow.