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.

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