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Thursday, May 19, 2016
Weekly Michigan Fishing Report: May 19, 2016
Weekly Fishing Report
May 19, 2016
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Great Lakes Temperature Map
Weekly Fishing Tip
Surface water temperatures in the Northern Lower and the Upper Peninsula were still on the cold side but with much warmer weather in the forecast, anglers should start catching fish.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Even with the rain, wind and cold temperatures anglers were going home with a couple walleye. Most were fishing near Stony Point, Brest Bay, and La Plaisance Bay when trolling spoons, crawler harnesses, and crankbaits or drifting bottom bouncers. Purples, pinks, and fire-tiger are still good colors. Walleye were caught in 18 to 25 feet but a few were found in shallower water. A few walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses near the Banana Dike. Those targeting smallmouth bass in La Plaisance Bay had good catches in 10 to 15 feet while casting or jigging tube baits. Shore anglers fishing the lagoons of Sterling State Park caught channel cats on crawlers and some crappie when floating a jig and minnow.
Anglers were still picking up the occasional steelhead however the majority of fish were on their way out. Anglers will find lots of white bass and smallmouth bass in the river.
Anglers are still getting some walleye but the white bass are in thick and that makes it harder to get your line down. A fair to good number of perch were caught around the docks and marinas however many were throw backs.
The last blast of cold weather caused some of the bass on Cass and Union Lake to pull off the beds temporarily. With the warmer temperatures, bass are still being caught along the shallow flats in both lakes. Those doing best were casting hard jerk baits or crayfish imitations. Cass Lake had a few good panfish catches in the canals and shallow coves.
Lake St. Clair:
Cooler temperatures slowed the smallmouth bite in the south end of the lake but a few were caught in eight to 10 feet on chartreuse tube baits Those fishing the bays, canals and off the banks did fairly well for largemouth bass with black and green jig-n-pigs or jerk baits. A good number of pike were taken on chartreuse tube baits. Fair to good numbers of panfish could be seen along the shoreline on the left side as you leave the Clinton River cutoff launch. Anglers caught crappie, bluegill and sunfish on crawlers and minnows. On the north end, bass anglers were targeting the Metro Park and the Mile Roads. Smallmouth were caught just north of the Harley Ensign launch in five or six feet. Anglers caught pike. Those targeting walleye had limited success with a gold crawler harness in seven feet north of Harley Ensign. Panfish were caught on ice jigs with a worm in seven feet near the Selfridge launch.
The rock bass run is underway. The best reports have come from anglers using a 1/16 ounce jig with purple and white tube baits near structure.
St. Clair River:
Walleye fishing was good from Algonac to Port Huron. Those jigging caught fish during the day while those whipping caught fish at night.
A couple Atlantic salmon were caught from the outside wall.
Lake trout are being taken straight out and north of the harbor in 80 to 110 feet with spin-glo’s or clean spoons just off the bottom. Hot colors were frog or ghost dodgers with bright yellow, orange and green spin-glo’s or green, blue and perch colored spoons. A few salmon were found in all directions. Try 25 to 85 feet down in 45 to 90 feet with orange and black, blue and green alewives, or yellow tail spoons. A couple steelhead were taken up high in the water column.
Located a couple miles southeast of Grindstone City had smallmouth bass moving into the lower section. The catch-and-release bass anglers were doing very well.
Until recently, shore anglers outnumbered boat anglers. When the weather allowed, boat anglers were fishing off the State Park, Linwood and out near the Spark Plug. The odd walleye was caught between Sebewaing and Caseville and a couple fish were taken on a crawler harness in the Slot off Quanicassee. Shore anglers on the Quanicassee River caught a mix of channel cats, rock bass, freshwater drum and carp. Bow-fishing for carp is starting.
Those fishing the lower river took a fair number of walleye between the Liberty Bridge and the mouth. Shore anglers at Essexville caught some freshwater drum.
Die-hard walleye anglers are still taking a few, but the bigger news is the white bass run is in full swing. The best fishing is downstream from Freeland, with the area around the Center Road launch producing well. The river was a bit high after the rain so focus on where the water swirls and current breaks. Small crankbaits, small white jigs & twister tails, small spoons, spinners or minnows under a bobber all work.
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Southwest Lower Peninsula
Panfish action on the inland lakes was fair but should improve with much warmer weather by the end of the week. Some anglers reported bluegills and crappie moving in to the shallows.
Salmon fishing was slow. Pier anglers using crawlers on the bottom did catch a few catfish and freshwater drum. No perch to report.
Lake trout fishing continues to be very good. The most productive water was around 55 feet. A couple steelhead and salmon were caught but most were lake trout. Pier fishing for all species was slow. No perch to report.
Was still producing some suckers. Those seeking catfish were using crawlers or cut bait. For smallmouth bass, try fishing below the dams.
Boat anglers found coho 35 to 120 feet down in 170 to 220 feet. Orange spoons worked best up high in the water column. Those trolling near the piers caught the occasional Chinook. A few perch were caught in 40 to 60 feet.
Grand River at Grand Rapids:
Most were waiting for the warmer weather. Anglers should find smallmouth bass, suckers and catfish. Check the backwaters for panfish.
Grand River at Lansing:
Had good catch-and-release smallmouth bass fishing below the dams. Anglers were floating crawlers and shiners.
Boats trolling off the end of the piers were finding a few Chinook. Those heading out deep found coho 30 to 120 feet down in 160 to 230 feet when trolling orange spoons. Pier fishing was slow.
Boat anglers have caught some Chinook and coho salmon. Walleye are still being caught by those starting to fish at sunset. Try deep diving body baits or plastic swimbaits in perch or fire-tiger.
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Northeast Lower Peninsula
The fish cleaning station was still closed. Fishing on the big lake slowed with the cold weather and high winds. Conditions and catch rates should improve this week.
Is still producing some steelhead and suckers but the bite for both species has slowed. Walleye were caught on stick baits, crawlers and by those jigging. Several pike and smallmouth bass were caught throughout the river.
Fishing pressure was light due to high winds. Those that did manage to get out caught a couple smallmouth bass on tube jigs and crank baits.
A few lake trout were caught near Seagull Point, Forty Mile Point, Swan Bay or Adams Point. Try just off the bottom in 60 feet with five colors of lead with spoons and cowbells or dodgers with spin-glo’s near the bottom.
Has been producing some really nice Atlantic salmon especially for those heading south towards Stoneport. Be sure to run your lines off boards and away from the boat. Good baits were spoons and body baits in orange, green, orange and silver or orange and gold. Some lake trout were caught just off the bottom in 20 to 80 feet between the lighthouses. Dodgers or cowbells with spin-glo’s were the ticket.
Those able to get out did catch some walleye in the late evening and before sunrise. Most were trolling body baits, rapalas, reef runners or hot-n-tot’s in dark colors like black and purple. Pier and shore fishing were slow but those fishing in the late evening did have some luck.
Thunder Bay River:
Steelhead were still making their way up to the 9th Street Dam. Fly's, spoons, spinners and body baits worked best.
Pier fishing was slow with the cold water temperatures. Some anglers were able to catch a few lake trout in shallow waters. Those in search of walleye had limited success when casting body baits or drifting crawlers.
Au Sable River:
Steelhead were still moving up into the river in good numbers.
Boats trolling rapalas, bombers and body baits caught lake trout in 80 to 110 feet. A few perch were caught before the cold and snow last weekend. Anglers found fish in 40 to 60 feet when using minnows.
Anglers are getting a few walleye here and there when trolling leech rigs or Hot-n-tots in chartreuse or wonderbread. Crappie were still being caught in the canals just after sunset. Bigger fish were caught out in the lake but you have to find them. A few bluegills were caught in the flats on leaf worms. Bass fishing was good especially for smallmouth when using leeches or crawlers. Some pike were also caught.
Pier fishing was slow. A couple Atlantic salmon were caught on large gray shiners. A few walleye were caught off the pier at night, and also down behind the State Police Post. The few boats that went out were heading south toward Alabaster.
Shore anglers caught the occasional bass or walleye.
Boat anglers trolling in 15 to 35 feet off Whitestone Point, Point Lookout, and Pointe Au Gres caught walleye on crankbaits and crawler harnesses. Shore anglers at the mouth of the Pine River near Standish caught some freshwater drum and channel cats.
Au Gres River:
Shore anglers fishing the lower river caught a few pike when casting lures or channel cats when still-fishing with crawlers.
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Northwest Lower Peninsula
High winds kept boats off of the lake. When the wind allows, boat anglers should still find good numbers of lake trout.
Water levels were receding. A couple steelhead along with a decent size brown trout were caught on spawn bags and flies. The “Bobber Hole” was full of brown trout that were just stocked. Anglers reported chubs and even a rock bass in the river.
High winds made fishing difficult but anglers should still find some good lake trout fishing when they can get out. Pier anglers are picking up a few lake trout. Some walleye were caught after dark. Large groups of carp were in the channel.
Strong winds limited boat anglers but those that did make it out caught lake trout when trolling or jigging in the East Bay. When they could find them, Cisco were also caught. As the weather warms up, bass fishing should pick up.
Had good fishing for those trolling outside the harbor. They caught good numbers of lake trout on cowbells and bright colored spoons. Pier anglers caught lake trout and brown trout on spawn.
Fishing slowed with the cold weather. A few largemouth bass and some panfish were caught in the shallows.
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:
Walleye were caught by those trolling crawlers or casting rapalas. Some were starting to catch fish throughout the day while others were targeting them at night. The crappie and bluegill bite was starting to pick back up with the warmer weather.
Surface temperature readings were 46 degrees. A small number of Chinook were caught in 60 to 100 feet. Good numbers of lake trout are still being recorded. Walleye are being caught at night. The north pier is closed due to construction on the lighthouse.
Bass anglers reported moderate catches of smallmouth but overall the bite was slow. Most were using crankbaits along the south end near Stronach. A fair number of decent size pike were caught.
Big Manistee River:
Catch rates for steelhead were low in all parts of the river. A few drop-backs were reported in the lower end. Brown trout and suckers were hitting on flies, minnows and beads up near Tippy Dam.
Surface water temperatures were about 47 degrees. Some brown trout were caught. Good numbers of lake trout were taken in 60 to 100 feet.
Had reports of lake trout being caught near the pier heads in 50 to 70 feet and brown trout in 15 to 30 feet.
Northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing are starting to heat up in the main lake as well as the channel. Those casting rapalas or using live and frozen bait have caught some nice fish.
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Those trolling for salmon had slower catch rates with only a few coho and the occasional Chinook, rainbow, brown or lake trout taken. They were trolling 15 to 45 feet down in 20 to 60 feet from the first bridge next to the Baraga State Park and around to the Falls River mouth with spoons and body baits in orange and green. Those jigging a Swedish pimple and egg on a single hook caught whitefish in 70 to 95 feet. The South Portage Entry saw a bit of a spike in catch rates for trout and salmon especially near the lighthouse and the breakwall.
With the musky opener, most anglers were targeting them but catch rates were slow. One fish was recorded near Stephenson Island.
Little Bay De Noc:
For walleye, the better catches came between the Third and the Center Reefs when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 18 to 30 feet but the best catches were for those jigging a crawler in and around 24 feet. Water temperatures were between 46 and the low 50’s. A good number of fish were reported between Garth Point and the “Narrows”. A good number of smallmouth bass were reported near the mouth of the Ford River. Several anglers had fair catches of perch off Gladstone Beach with crawlers in 25 feet. A few pike were caught.
Big Bay De Noc:
No word on walleye yet but perch anglers were getting some small fish in Garden Bay. Good smallmouth action in Garden Bay, South River, Ogontz and near the Fish Dam Rivers for those using plastics, spinners and crankbaits. Surface water temperatures were 38 degrees.
A few coho, splake and the occasional Chinook were caught on spoons in the Lower Harbor. Those trolling near the Chocolay and the Carp River had little success but those trolling crankbaits and jigging in the Upper Harbor near the “Bubblers” did manage to catch a few fish. There are commercial fishing nets in the harbor. Boat anglers are urged to use caution and watch for buoys marking the nets.
Those able to get out did catch a few Chinook and coho. Surface water temperatures remain in the low 40’s offshore and 42 to 45 degrees nearshore. No reports of any lake trout but a couple splake were taken by pier anglers.
A few boats had limited success when trolling for coho. Pier anglers targeting whitefish had mixed results. The better fishing was in the morning and mid-day but no limit catches were reported. The fish observed have been slightly larger than a few weeks ago and averaged 15 to 16 inches. Water temperatures were still in the low to mid 40’s. There was no shore activity at the Sucker River.
St. Mary’s River:
Above the Soo Locks off Sherman Park, a few lake whitefish were caught in the shipping channel near Buoy #8 while fishing for yellow perch. In Sault Ste. Marie, those trolling in the early morning caught a couple steelhead and Atlantic salmon on the Michigan side near the Power House with orange and black crank baits. On the discharge side of the Clover Land Power Plant, a few whitefish were taken in 10 feet when drifting wax worms just off the swirling water of the turbine discharge. Water temperatures were a cold 43 degrees and the water in Munuscong Bay had a brown stain. The clear water around Moon Island was at 41 degrees. At the mouth of the Munuscong River and off the State Park, a few rock bass were caught in 6 feet while trolling for walleye.
Cedarville and Hessel:
Perch are still in the Hessel marina. Splake fishing was good off the pier in Hessel, in Wilderness Bay, and the far west shore of Hessel Bay. Pike fishing is now open and should be good.
Cold windy weather kept boat anglers on shore and slowed activity in area rivers. Only a few suckers and pike caught. Those targeting walleye and steelhead reported slow catch rates.
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Fishing Tip: Save-the-Date for 2016 Summer Free Fishing Weekend
Don’t miss your chance to fish for FREE this June as part of the 2016 Summer Free Fishing Weekend. On
Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12
both residents and visitors can fish without a license. All other fishing rules and regulations still apply.
Events are being planned across the state for this summer’s Free Fishing Weekend to provide fun opportunities for those new to the sport to try their hand at landing a big one. If you’d like to see events in your area, visit
. Bookmark this page because the list of events is updated each week!
Don’t miss your chance to enjoy one of Michigan’s premier outdoor activities – fishing – for free this June!
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