It’s here! Michigan’s annual “Summer Free Fishing Weekend” will be observed this Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12. On these two days, both residents and non-residents can fish without a license however all regulations still apply.
Lake Erie: Those fishing straight out from Fermi, Stony Point, Brest Bay, Bolles Harbor and further south to the Dumping Grounds reported an increase in limit catches. Trolling crawler harnesses with inline spinners produce the most fish but spoons and crank baits in fire-tiger, pink or purple also caught fish. Those bottom bouncing with rigs are catching fish but are also sorting through a lot of small ones because the bigger fish are suspended higher in the water column. Few were targeting yellow perch but some had decent luck with shiners on spreaders. Those fishing in La Plaisance Bay near Bolles Harbor have had good catches of large and smallmouth bass in five to 10 feet with tube baits and crank baits. Shore anglers at Sterling State Park have caught large and smallmouth bass off the Army Corp of Engineers Pier when using twister tail jigs. Catfish were caught in the marsh channels near the mouth of Sandy Creek. Shore anglers at Pointe Mouillee caught largemouth bass, white bass and catfish at the boating access site.
Detroit River: Walleye slowed but anglers were still getting some white bass. Perch were caught around the docks in Gibraltar and near the border waters in 10 to 11 feet. Shore fishing has been hot and heavy especially for bluegills.
Oakland County: With bass season underway, both Cass and Union Lake have seen steady pressure from tournament and non-tournament bass anglers. Those doing best are finesse fishing along the drop-offs and flats. On windy days, try fast moving baits, such as crankbaits or spinners. Those targeting panfish in Cass Lake were successful. A few walleye were caught in a variety of depths and locations in both lakes and the carp are starting to spawn and can be seen throughout the shallows.
Lake St. Clair: Smallmouth bass were caught from Metro all the way down to the Mile Roads in six to 10 feet using swimbaits, jerk baits, and tube baits. A few largemouth bass, pike and muskie were also caught. Walleye were found in the stretch between Metro and the Clinton River Cut-Off ramp and around the 400 Club in 10 feet when trolling pink and chartreuse crawler harnesses. Some reported limit catches in the shipping channel around the lighthouse. These anglers also caught good numbers of white bass. Perch are still being caught on minnows and worms in six to eight feet at Gino’s. Panfish were caught around the 400 Club in eight to 10 feet when floating a minnow. On the north end, muskie were caught on west side of Anchor Bay on muskie lures or a black and red fly in eight to 10 feet. Pike and bass were caught in the shallows. A few perch were caught when drifting minnows in the small bay just north of the Harley Ensign launch.
St. Clair River: Walleye fishing has been very good. Those whipping and casting after dark were taking limit catches around Marysville, Marine City, and Algonac. Those jigging and bottom bouncing with crawler harnesses during the day had good success. A few white bass have been showing up in the lower channels. Water temperature at Algonac was 60 degrees.
Lexington to Port Sanilac: Continues to produce lake trout, steelhead, coho and pink salmon. Tryfishing the bottom 10 in 50 to 100 feet.
Harbor Beach: Some nice lake trout were taken north of the harbor in 50 to 125 feet with dodgers and spin-glo’s or with clean spoons near the bottom. Salmon were on the slow side; try clean spoons 45 to 60 feet down. A couple steelhead were caught on spoons. Try bright yellow, green or chartreuse.
Port Austin to Grindstone City: Smallmouth bass fishing remains good from Port Austin to Eagle Bay and Grindstone City. Live leeches and various plastics worked best. A few walleye were taken in 25 feet off Grindstone City. Lake trout, steelhead, coho and pink salmon were scattered in 50 to 100 feet. Most were fishing the bottom 10 feet. Those looking for bigger fish were heading out to 135 feet.
Saginaw Bay: Walleye were coming from 20 feet off Linwood and Buoys G, A, and B and the pencil buoys. Walleye were caught around Spoils Island in the early morning before sunrise and off the Callahan Reef when heading out from the river mouth, Finn Road or Quanicassee. The hot spinners were purple, pink, chartreuse, anti-freeze, copper, brass and chrome. Those launching at Sunset Bay Marina and off Sebewaing found walleye. The bite was a bit slower at Bay Port but a few fish were still taken in eight to 10 feet in Wildfowl Bay.
Saginaw River: Shore anglers in the lower river were catching a few smallmouth bass, walleye, perch, freshwater drum and catfish off Smith Park when using minnows and crawlers. Those trolling caught some walleye in 12 to 14 feet near the Coast Guard Station.
Shiawassee River: Was producing rock bass and suckers throughout.
St. Joseph: Pier anglers caught a fair number of steelhead on shrimp. Fishing for boat anglers was slow as strong winds have made it difficult and few boats left the harbor.
St. Joseph River: Is producing bass and large catfish. Anglers targeting catfish continue to do well with crawlers, shrimp, bluegills or cut bait.
South Haven: Strong winds have kept fishing pressure low. The boats that were able to get out caught a few coho and lake trout in waters less than 100 feet deep. Pier anglers caught some steelhead when floating shrimp under a bobber.
Grand Haven: Trout and salmon have been caught 35 to 150 feet down in 150 to 250 feet when trolling green flies and orange spoons. Pier anglers are catching steelhead on shrimp. Freshwater drum were caught while casting spoons in the channel.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is producing a few walleye and some catfish. Try leeches for the walleye and cut bait or shrimp for catfish. Bass have been caught in the shallows and around structure. Check the backwaters for bluegill and crappie.
Grand River at Lansing: Is producing bass, pike and catfish. Bow fishermen were doing well for carp.
Jackson County: Anglers are taking largemouth bass and panfish.
Clinton County: Bluegill fishing was decent on Round Lake. Catch rates were fair on Park Lake and Muskrat Lake.
Muskegon: Boat anglers were finding trout and salmon 25 to 125 feet down in 200 to 300 feet. Orange and green spoons worked best.
Muskegon Lake: Bass anglers have done well in the shallows and along the drop-offs. Walleye fishingwas slow but a few perch were found out from the Bear Lake Channel. Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie.
Muskegon River: Fly fishing is the key right now especially for rainbow and brown trout. Drake and March Browns were hatching. Check out the backwaters for bluegill.
Whitehall: Chinook salmon and steelhead are being caught while trolling in 140 to 200 feet. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum and white perch on cut bait near the bottom.