Michigan DNR fishing report for April 26, 2018

This coming Saturday, April 28 is the statewide trout opener on all Type 1 and Type 2 streams as well as all Type A and Type D Designated Trout Lakes.

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: Was producing steelhead at the Berrien Springs Dam. Bluegills were caught just beyond the Union Lake Dam.

Kalamazoo River: Anglers were getting steelhead including some limit catches.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has a decent number of steelhead. Fish have been caught on a variety including spawn, jig and wax worm, spinners, wigglers, wobble glo’s and spin-glo’s. Crappie are starting to bite. Walleye anglers should find some fish up near the 6th Street Dam and near the bridges.

Muskegon River: Steelhead fishing continues and warm temperatures should hasten the remaining fish to run and spawn fairly quickly. Because of that, trout anglers fishing in waters accessible to steelhead on the opener this weekend will find more steelhead than usual. Other trout streams to try in the watershed would be the Hersey and the Middle Branch Rivers. As for the walleye opener, try Croton Pond and Hardy Pond.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Had good steelhead fishing at the lock and dam with spawn, wax worms, artificial baits and lures but did best with spawn. Anglers caught Atlantics on lures at the lock and dam and near the DNR Office. Spawn or a jig and wax worm also took a few fish. The Atlantics were about 20 inches and up to six pounds.

Pigeon River: Had a small number of steelhead.

Ocqueoc River: Steelhead were caught on spawn, artificial baits and spinners.

Au Sable River: Anglers caught steelhead when drifting or floating spawn bags, beads, and wax worms or when casting plugs. Despite the warmer weather, melting snow has kept the lower river temperatures around 38 degrees. Most fish were still pre-spawn and found in the holes. Atlantic salmon and a couple young Chinook and coho were caught by those drifting spawn or casting plugs in the lower river.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Steelhead fishing continues. The remaining fish should run and spawn fairly quickly so anglers may find more steelhead for the trout opener this weekend. Conditions for the opener depend on how much rain we get this week.

Bear River: Had higher water levels as warmer temperatures melt the deep snow. There were quite a few steelhead up near the dam but anglers had a hard time landing them because of the high water levels. Most were using spawn bags and flies.

Boyne River: More steelhead were starting to come in.

Traverse City: On the Boardman River, a couple steelhead were caught on spawn and wax worms. Suckers had also moved in.

Betsie River: Was producing some decent size steelhead. Anglers were catching both dark fish and some fresh fish.

Big Manistee River: Steelhead fishing continues and the fish will run and spawn quickly now that it has warmed up. Fish should also be found in the Little Manistee.

Pere Marquette River: Has a good number of steelhead as well. Trout anglers will want to check out some of the major tributaries including the Middle and the Little South Branch as well as the Baldwin River.

Upper Peninsula

Grand Marais: Had no report. Steelhead action was slow in the Sucker River. Access to the river mouth will be limited due to ice jams along the shoreline.

Two Hearted River: Steelhead are steadily moving into the river and the big push of fish has not really occurred yet. Many fish in the river are dark.

Newberry: For trout waters in the area, expect snowpack on all roads heading into area trout lakes and many streams. Despite the warmer temperatures, the heavy snowpack still exists and will likely make travel into any of the trout waters difficult and limited to foot traffic or snowmobile. Inland lakes will most likely be ice covered. Extreme caution should be used by those deciding to venture out as ice conditions have deteriorated and rain this week will only make conditions worse. Water levels in the streams were low but are beginning to rise with the snowmelt.

Michigan DNR fishing report for April 19, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: A lot of steelhead were moving through the Berrien Springs ladder after the rain. The river was high and turbid.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: There was a good push of fresh steelhead resulting in a good number of fish in the river over the last week.

Muskegon River: Water levels were up after the storm. Turbid and stained water made fishing a little more difficult.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Overall: Rivers will rise over the next couple weeks with the daytime melting and the snow will definitely be around until May. At this point, conditions for the trout opener next weekend do not look good.

Ocqueoc River: Before the winter storm hit, a couple steelhead were caught on spawn. Fishing pressure declined with the onset of colder weather.

Thunder Bay River: A couple steelhead and Atlantic salmon were caught before the storm. Fishing is slow and the spring run has not even begun yet. We need warmer weather and an increase in water levels.

Au Sable River: Snow, cold air, and ice on the ponds have kept river temperatures about 38 degrees. Flow has increased but the water stayed fairly clear towards Foote Dam Pond. A couple steelhead were caught in the deeper holes as well as up near Foot Dam when drifting spawn bags, flies, and wax worms. These and other natural looking baits continue to produce in the cold water.

Black River: A couple steelhead were caught by those floating spawn.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Rivers in this area will rise over the next couple weeks with the daytime melting. Some lakes were still ice covered however deep snow makes it impossible to tell what the ice conditions are like.

Bear River: Was flowing at a higher level. Steelhead were caught on spawn bags, flies or wax worms. A few suckers were also caught.

Big Manistee River: Steelhead fishing continues, and will for a while.

Pere Marquette River: Had good steelhead fishing.

Michigan DNR fishing report for April 12, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Dowagiac River

Steelhead were caught at the Pucker Street Dam in Niles.

St. Joseph River

Steelhead anglers have caught fish up at the Berrien Springs Dam.


Kalamazoo River

A few limit catches of steelhead were reported by boat anglers fishing up near the Allegan Dam.


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 temperatures.

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 River

Steelhead fishing was average but should pick up with the rain and warmer temperatures.


White River

Had fair to good steelhead fishing.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

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 overflow.

Ocqueoc River

Fishing pressure was slow at times, but anglers have caught steelhead averaging 15 inches. Try spawn and spinners.


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.


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 bags.



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.

Northwest Lower Peninsula


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.


Traverse City

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 quickly.


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.


Pere Marquette River

Has a mix of winter run steelhead and a few fresh fish.






Michigan DNR Fishing Report for April 5, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: Had a few anglers out targeting steelhead but the bite was slow once again. We need rain and warmer temperatures.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Catch rates slowed but a few anglers were still finding some steelhead.

Muskegon River: Has some nice steelhead however cold water temperatures have slowed the bite. Try fishing the deeper holes until it warms back up.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Snow and cold water temperatures are delaying the primary steelhead run. We need warm weather and rain as water levels were low and clear.

Betsie River: The steelhead bite slowed with the onset of snow and cold temperatures.

Big Manistee River: Has fresh fish but the bite has slowed with the cold weather. Target the deeper holes until it warms back up.

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