2018-04-15 / Sports


Weather swings continue to delay spring fishing

LAPEER COUNTY — Spring fishing just cannot get started because of the constant weather swings taking us from warm right back to freezing temperatures. At this rate, we may end up going from winter to summer and miss spring fishing altogether. Even though many have put their gear away, some ice fishing continues in the Upper Peninsula.

Lake Erie: Surface water temperatures were
39 to 40 degrees, and walleye fishing
was hit-or-miss. The southern half of the
lake was producing more fish, including
some limits. Some were trolling in 14
to 16 feet around Luna Pier and Turtle
Island. In Brest Bay, fish were hitting
stick baits throughout the water column
in 15 to 17 feet. Most were fishing 25
to 30 feet back from the board with
Bandits, Reef Runners and Husky Jerks.
Good colors were purple, pink, gold and
black or black and white. Catch rates
were better in the stained water. A few
white bass, small-mouth bass and even
a couple steelhead were caught when
trolling. A few boats did well when jigging
around Turtle Island with a purple hair jig
tipped with a minnow.
Detroit River: Despite the cold water
temperatures and windy conditions,
anglers were taking a few walleye on jigs
tipped with minnows.
Lake St. Clair: Perch were caught along the
shoreline. Perch, walleye and Atlantic
salmon were caught just outside the
channels of the St. Clair River when
trolling spoons and bottom bouncers.
Perch were caught in the marinas and the
Clinton River Spillway.
St. Clair River: Walleye fishing slowed, but
those catching fish did so when jigging
minnows in Ontario waters.
Lexington and Port Sanilac: Had decent
trout and salmon fishing in the harbors.
Saginaw Bay: Perch fishing was very slow at
Eagle Bay Marina and off Palmer Road.
When boats could get out of Linwood
Beach Marina, they caught walleye when
trolling Husky Jerks in 21 feet. The key
was trolling along the edge of the stained
water. Walleye were also caught in the
Old Shipping Channel and near the Spoils
Island when trolling or vertical jigging.
Perch fishing slowed, but a few limit
catches were taken out near Buoy-22 in
the Shipping Channel. The size of the fish
caught has declined with most only 8 to
9 inches. Shore fishing for perch at Finn
Road, the Quanicassee River, the various
cuts near Fish Point and the Sebewaing
River was slow. Fishing was slow at Bay
Port, Mud Creek and Caseville. Warmer

weather is needed to get the fish going.
Saginaw River: The perch action slowed
quite a bit; however, some fish were
still caught in the lower river between
the Patterson Road ramp and the Karn-
Weadok Plant.

Dowagiac River: Steelhead were caught at
the Pucker Street Dam in Niles.
St. Joseph: Had limited fishing
opportunities due to the weather. Pier
anglers caught some coho on spawn.
St. Joseph River: Steelhead anglers have
caught fish up at the Berrien Springs
South Haven: Fishing was limited due to
poor weather conditions. When they could
get out, boat anglers caught coho in 30
feet and lake trout in 40 to 60 feet. Pier
fishing was slow for all species.
Kalamazoo River: A few limit catches of
steelhead were reported by boat anglers
fishing up near the Allegan Dam.
Grand Haven: Pier anglers caught brown
trout along with a couple steelhead
and Menominee whitefish. Most were
using skein or spawn bags. Boat anglers
reported slower perch fishing.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Those fishing
up near the 6th Street Dam have caught
steelhead. Look for some fresh fish
to move in with the rain and warmer
Grand River at Lansing: Had reports of
a steelhead here or there but nothing
consistent. Rain the next couple days
could bring some more fish up this far.
Muskegon: Pier anglers have caught
steelhead along with a few brown trout
on spawn. No boat report this week.
Muskegon Lake: Perch anglers were still
getting some nice fish out from the Sand
Docks and off the Bear Lake Channel in
40 to 50 feet.
Muskegon River: Steelhead fishing was
average but should pick up with the rain
and warmer temperatures.
Whitehall: Pier anglers caught the
occasional steelhead with spawn bags
fished near the bottom.
White Lake: Boat anglers caught mainly
small perch in 50 feet.
White River: Had fair to good steelhead

Cheboygan River: Anglers caught steelhead
at the dam with spawn, beads, spinners,
worms and minnows. Conditions were a
bit difficult because of high currents from
Ocqueoc River: Fishing pressure was
slow at times, but anglers have caught
steelhead averaging 15 inches. Try
spawn and spinners.
Rogers City: Had a good 13 inches of snow.

Nothing is open yet, and no docks were
in because of ice.
Alpena: No boats were out, but the launch
next to the Alpena Fish Station is open
and has a dock in. The city ramp was still
iced up.
Thunder Bay River: Fishing was slow, but
anglers were getting a couple steelhead
and Atlantic salmon when drifting flies or
spawn bags with bobbers. The water is
low, clear and very cold.
Oscoda: Pier anglers caught a couple
walleye and the occasional Atlantic
salmon, steelhead or lake trout when
still-fishing with minnows and spawn bags
or when casting deep diving or sinking
crank baits.
Au Sable River: Steelhead were caught by
anglers drifting or floating wax worms,
flies and spawn bags through the holes.
River temperatures were hovering around
39 degrees, and the water is very clear,
so winter tactics continue to produce
best. Some fresh fish entered the river,
and a fair amount of black stone flies
were emerging.
Black River: Despite on and off skim ice,
anglers found a couple steelhead at the
mouth of the river when floating spawn
Harrisvillle: Had no angling activity. Skim ice
continues to form overnight in the harbor,
disappearing in the afternoon. The skid
piers were not in the water yet.
Higgins Lake: Those fishing in the shallows
near Big Creek and the Conference
Center were still getting some rainbow
Tawas: Pier fishing was slow, with only one
Atlantic and a couple lake trout or walleye
Au Gres: Only a couple boats ventured out,
and they caught a fairly good number of
post-spawn northern pike and a couple
walleye out from the river mouth. They
also took some walleye and lake trout
between Point Lookout and Pointe Au
Gres. Perch fishing was slow at the
mouth of the Pine River.
Au Gres River: Down at Singing Bridge
(Whitney Drain), steelhead anglers were
doing well in both the lower river and
in the surf. They were either drifting
spawn or wax worms down the river or
still-fishing with floating spawn sacks in
the surf. A few anglers dragging small
boats across the beach and launching to
fish just off the river mouth were getting
some steelhead, lake trout and coho
close to shore.
Rifle River: Sucker fishing is ongoing at
Omer, but the run slowed with the colder
weather. Warmer weather later this week
might get something going.

Harbor Springs: A few anglers were trying

to ice fish for perch; however, with the
rain and warmer temperatures, it is
not recommended that anglers go out.
The ice past Harbor Point and near the
marina and boat launch does not look
Petoskey: Anglers were fishing for
steelhead inside the breakwall, but thin
ice, especially in the morning, made it
impossible to fish.
Bear River: Catch rates were a bit slow,
but some nice chrome fish were caught
with spawn bags up near the dam and
downstream between the bridges. A
couple steelhead were also caught on
wax worms or spawn bags at the mouth.
Glen Arbor: Had little to no fishing activity.
The ramp and the dock were not in at the
boat launch on Lake Michigan.
Traverse City: The weather has not been
cooperating on either bay. Icy conditions
at the boat launches and skim ice near
shore were making it difficult for boat
anglers. In the East Bay, a few lake
herring were caught south of the M-37
launch. On the Elk River in Elk Rapids, a
couple steelhead were caught below the
dam in the early morning. In the West
Bay, Bowers Harbor was still frozen at
the boat launch. On the Boardman River,
steelhead were caught below the dam
with spawn or wax worms. There were
quite a few planter rainbow trout near the
dam, so beads and soft plastics would
be a good option if you are losing bait
Arcadia: Had little to no fishing activity. On
Arcadia Lake, the dock is in at the ramp.
Manistee: Surface temperature readings
were holding around 36 degrees. Not
many anglers had been out. Pier anglers
caught a couple brown trout on spawn
bags. The south pier is closed because
of a large hole.
Big Manistee River: Steelhead were caught
up as far as Tippy Dam by those using
beads and spawn bags. The rain should
help bring more fish in.
Ludington: Surface temperature readings
were up to 38 degrees. Few anglers were
out, but a couple did manage to catch
some brown trout when trolling spoons
and plugs.
Pere Marquette Lake: Was producing a few
Pere Marquette River: Has a mix of winter
run steelhead and a few fresh fish.
Pentwater: Gusty winds have limited pier
fishing, but anglers did catch steelhead
and the occasional brown trout with
spawn bags in the channel.
Pentwater Lake: Boat anglers caught yellow
perch in 30 feet using perch rigs tipped
with minnows or wax worms. Those
fishing Longbridge Road caught the
occasional steelhead on spawn bags
near the bottom.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 The County Press, All Rights Reserved

Click here for the E-Edition
2018-04-15 digital edition

Unrestricted access available to web site subscribers

Subscribers to the County Press newspaper can now purchase the complete online and E-Edition of the paper for as little as $5 for three months. If you want a six month subscription to the online edition it is $10 and a full year can be purchased for $20.

Non-subscribers can sign up for the online version for $15 for three months, $30 for six months and $60 for an annual subscription.