Large and smallmouth bass season on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River will open this coming Saturday, June 18. The catch-and-immediate-release season has been good so anglers should do well on the opener.
Lake Erie: Anglers fishing for walleye started the week with strong catches but inclement weather and strong winds have slowed fishing effort. Those having the most success were trolling and drifting crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers in 22 to 28 feet straight out from Estral Beach, Stony Point and Brest Bay. Shore anglers fishing Whitewood Creek at the Luna Pier city launch caught catfish, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass on crawlers. Anglers fishing the lagoons at Sterling State Park caught pike, large and smallmouth bass on jigs with a twister tail, and freshwater drum, panfish, and catfish on crawlers. Shore anglers at the Pointe Mouillee access site caught a few yellow perch and lots of rock bass on crawlers. Largemouth bass were hitting on spinners and soft plastics.
Detroit River: Walleye fishing has slowed especially in Michigan waters. A few fish were still being caught in Canadian waters. The white bass are starting to thin out.
Oakland County: Fishing in general has been good on Cass and Union Lake. Bass anglers are casting crank baits or soft plastics along the drop-offs in six to 10 feet. The top-water bite has been good in the shallows in the early morning or evening. Panfish were caught along the shallow weed beds and in the coves. A few walleye were caught when trolling or casting a crawler harness or spoon.
Lake St. Clair: Fishing slowed along the south end where anglers were right on top of the fish but they would not bite. Smallmouth bass were hitting on chartreuse colored lures. Largemouth fishing near the banks also slowed. Bass anglers were starting to find success in eight to 15 feet between Metro and 9 Mile Road with crank baits, jerk baits, spinners, or the green pumpkin tube bait. Walleye were caught in 10 to 12 feet near Gino’s when trolling or drifting chartreuse or a pink and purple crawler harness. Yellow perch and panfish were still being caught between Metro Beach and the Clinton River Cutoff. Muskie were found near the 400 Club in five to eight feet when casting dark colored spinners or spoons but many were undersize. Shore anglers at 9 Mile Road caught some perch on minnows and worms. On the north end, large and smallmouth bass were caught in three to six feet near Selfridge. A good number of rock bass have also been caught. Walleye were caught in 11 feet near Selfridge when drifting a white curly tail grub. A couple muskie were taken near Selfridge and Brandenburg Park in eight to 11 feet but many were too small. Pike were caught in the north end of Anchor Bay and west of the launch at Fair Haven. Perch and panfish were caught by those drifting worms north of Selfridge. Carp are spawning in the shallows and those bow fishing did well near the launch at Fair Haven.
St. Clair River: A large number of walleye are still being caught but anglers are sorting through a lot small ones. Marysville, St. Clair, and Marine City were producing good walleye catches for those whipping after dark. Those fishing during the day were using jigs or crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers in Marine City, Algonac, and near Harsens Island. A few white bass were caught.
Lexington to Port Sanilac: Those trolling are still taking a good number of lake trout. Some are getting the occasional steelhead, Chinook, coho or Atlantic salmon in 50 feet. Try spoons off planer boards and downriggers. Those working 80 to 100 feet were catching mostly lake trout. Boats fishing south toward Lakeport did well for lake trout and other species. Anglers report their fish being full of smelt so there must still be some smelt hanging around the south end of the lake.
Harbor Beach: Lake trout were taken in 70 to 125 feet straight north or the harbor. Use dodgers with spin-glo’s or clean spoons near the bottom. Try gold and orange, black and white or green and white spoons. A couple steelhead were taken near the color lines. Salmon were slow but try clean spoons 40 to 50 feet down. Pike and bass were caught inside the harbor and near shore when casting or trolling small spoons and body baits.
Port Austin to Grindstone City: At Port Austin, those wading were still getting some smallmouth bass at Eagle Bay and the Willow River but bass fishing is tapering off. At Grindstone City, those trolling took lake trout on spin-glo’s in 60 feet and walleye on crawler harnesses in 25 to 30 feet.
Saginaw Bay: Had good walleye fishing on the right day. Fish were caught in 20 feet off Linwood, 22 feet east of the Spark Plug, and in 26 feet out near Buoy #1. From the Saginaw River mouth, some boats were fishing out on the Bar. Harnesses were best but some were also trolling spoons and crank baits. On the east side, the Slot continues to be the best spot for walleye in 16 to 18 feet. The Callahan Reef is also producing fish. At Bay Port, walleye were caught outside the islands in the Slot and in seven to 10 feet in Wildfowl Bay. Crawler harnesses and slow trolling speeds were the ticket. Spinner colors were purple, pink, chartreuse, anti-freeze, brass and copper. Those trolling also caught lots of freshwater drum.
Saginaw River: Shore anglers in the lower river at Smith Park in Essexville were taking catfish, freshwater drum, rock bass and smallmouth bass with crawlers on the bottom.
St. Joseph: Pier fishing for steelhead slowed but a couple were caught when floating shrimp or alewife. Catfish and freshwater drum were caught on crawlers along the bottom. Boat anglers reported slower catch rates as the fish were scattered between 40 and 100 feet. Perch fishing was very slow.
St. Joseph River: Anglers caught a few walleye and smallmouth bass when drifting crawlers.
South Haven: Pier anglers were catching a decent number of steelhead on shrimp and alewife under a bobber. Boat anglers targeting salmon said the fish were scattered so few were caught.
Grand Haven: Boats trolling near the piersheads caught steelhead on orange spoons or body baits. Those heading offshore found trout and salmon in 150 to 210 feet. Orange spoons and white flies worked well. Pier anglers are catching steelhead on shrimp and a few perch on minnows.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing bass and catfish.
Grand River at Lansing: Is producing smallmouth bass and rocks bass. Some of the better fishing has been below the dams. The pike and walleye bite slowed.
Muskegon: The action was slow for boat anglers. Some did report a mix of trout and salmon taken 45 to 120 feet down in 120 to 180 feet with orange or green spoons. Green or white flies worked well for those fishing deeper in the water column.
Muskegon River: Those fly fishing have done well for both rainbow and brown trout. Water levels were up a bit after the rain.
Whitehall: Anglers have caught a couple steelhead and Chinook salmon in 180 to 225 feet. Those fishing between the pierheads caught freshwater drum and pike.