Michigan DNR fishing report for May 24, 2018

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Ocqueoc River: A couple steelhead were caught on beads and spawn up near the weir. Anglers also caught suckers, smallmouth bass, and few pike on crank baits, soft baits, and worms.

Thunder Bay River: Anglers are still hooking into steelhead when drifting flies and beads up near the 9th Street Dam. Smallmouth bass were also caught on body baits and live bait. Walleye were caught in the evening when casting off the Yacht Club wall.

Au Sable River: Steelhead anglers did well when drifting flies and beads in the shallow pools behind gravel. The bite was slower but a few were hitting smaller natural flies like the caddis and stonefly nymphs. Most were fairly dark and post spawn however a few chrome fish were also found.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: The trout streams had decent levels and activity on the inland lakes continues to heat up. Bass are starting to spawn, and a few bluegills were starting to bed in the coves where the water is a few degrees warmer. Good walleye fishing continues.

Bear River: A couple steelhead were caught at the dam but otherwise fishing was slow. The number of suckers in the river has dropped. Anglers were using spawn, flies, or artificial eggs at the dam. Some caught the occasional smallmouth bass.

Michigan DNR fishing report for May 17, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Water levels continue to rise in many areas across the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo and Grand River basins. The rivers are expected to crest by the end of the week and into the weekend. Anglers will need to use caution when fishing the rivers.

St. Joseph River: Water levels were very high after all the rain and there is a lot of debris in the river. Boaters should use caution. A small number of steelhead were moving through the fish ladders.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are up and that makes fishing a little more difficult. Anglers caught a few walleye and the occasional steelhead. Panfish anglers continue to target the slow backwaters.

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were up into the low to mid 50’s. Brown trout and some steelhead were caught.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Ocqueoc River: Had light fishing pressure but those using beads caught steelhead up near the weir.

Black River: Those floating spawn for steelhead near the mouth had no luck.

Au Sable River: Water temperatures in the lower river were in the upper 50’s. Atlantic salmon were caught when casting spoons and trolling plugs through the holes in Oscoda. The steelhead bite slowed but there was still a good number of fish in the system. Anglers did well when drifting flies, wobble-glo’s and beads. Yarn eggs, black stonefly nymphs, and caddis nymphs were good fly patterns. Carp and suckers were also caught by those drifting flies but the sucker run has slowed.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Steelhead fishing is slowing down, as most have now spawned and are headed back to the big lake. Inland lake fishing remains good. Walleye were caught in Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Walleye and smallmouth bass were caught in Tippy Dam Pond.

Bear River: Steelhead numbers were high at the dam but the action has slowed. Most fish were caught at the dam when using spawn, flies and artificial eggs. There continues to be a lot of suckers in the river.

Traverse City: In the Elk River, steelhead fishing slowed. On the Boardman River, a couple steelhead were caught but the fish were few and far between.

Manistee River: Steelhead fishing is about done as most fish have spawned and are headed back to the big lake.

Michigan DNR fishing report for May 10, 2018

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers are still getting the occasional steelhead but the fishery is just about done. Walleye fishing will pick up in about a month. Those fishing the backwaters and bayous have caught panfish.

Muskegon River: Water temperatures were up into the 40’s. Anglers continue to catch steelhead and brown trout.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Overall: The water is still very cold and fishing has been on the slow side. Everything is behind schedule this year so anglers will want to plan for it.

Ocqueoc River: Fishing pressure slowed. There were no reports of any steelhead caught. Some suckers were taken on worms at the access site.

Au Sable River: Was warming fairly quickly and temperatures were in the low 50s. Steelhead and a few white suckers were caught when drifting spawn, beads, wax worms and nymph or yarn flies. Those casting plugs have also taken steelhead. Actively feeding fish can still be taken from the holes. Streamer flies and plugs should become more effective as the water warms and fish begin to drop back. Walleye and smallmouth bass were caught in the lower river casting crank baits or drifting minnows.

Black River: Anglers targeting steelhead were casting spoons or floating spawn bags. The skid pier is in.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Overall: Higher water levels made trout and steelhead fishing a little more difficult. There are still plenty of steelhead around, but the action will be winding down soon with the warmer temperatures.

Petoskey: Is ice free and the breakwall was mainly clear of ice and snow. Anglers were targeting steelhead at the mouth of the river, on shore as well and on the D Pier. There were a couple steelhead and some suckers caught down here as well. Planter brown trout were still hanging around the area and being caught. Most were using spawn, wigglers and worms.

Bear River: Was flowing high and fast and a lot of steelhead came up with the high waters. Anglers were hooking a good number of fish at the dam but they were hard to land because of the high water. Many ripe females were caught recently. A lot of suckers were also caught at the dam. Anglers were using mainly spawn, flies or artificial eggs.

Traverse City: Smallmouth bass were caught in the East Bay near Acme. Lake herring and a few lake trout were caught around Deepwater Point. In Elk Rapids, lake trout were caught by those trolling out from the harbor. On the Elk River, steelhead fishing picked up at the dam for those using spawn in the early morning. In the West Bay, lake herring and lake trout were caught when jigging out from the mouth of the Boardman River and north of Bryant Park. Early morning was best. Perch fishing in Northport slowed. On the Boardman River, a couple nice brown trout and some steelhead were caught early morning.

Upper Peninsula

Overall: The lakes in the western part of the Upper Peninsula are now ice free and the streams were within the banks and dropping. Trout fishing in the streams has been good and there should be some good fishing on the inland lakes as it warms up.

Marquette: Fishing was very slow. Ice has been moving in and out of the bay making it impossible to fish some days. Those trolling the Upper Harbor or jigging on the bubblers struggled to get a couple coho. Splake and coho were caught at the mouth of the Chocolay River. Not many steelhead were caught on the Carp and the Chocolay Rivers. The fish had not shown up yet as the runs are behind this year.

Munising: The ice is out and the docks are in at the public launch. There is still some ice floating in the bay so boat anglers should use caution. Anglers were mainly fishing near shore in the Bay Furnace area and at the Anna River. Water levels on area streams are low. Catch rates were hit-or-miss but a few splake and coho were taken on spawn or when casting spoons and stick baits.

Grand Marais: The ice here is pretty much gone except for the ice on the last section of the pier. Conditions could change as there is still substantial ice floe out in the lake which could blow back in. The area had moderate fishing pressure with most boat anglers taking fair to good catches of coho, brown trout and steelhead when trolling east of the port and near the mouth of the Sucker River. Most are using stick baits in shallow waters less than 30 feet. Pier anglers caught coho and brown trout. The brown trout are a young year class and have a missing adipose fin. Those targeting whitefish caught a couple Menominee. Shore anglers at the mouth of the Sucker River caught a few coho and steelhead on spawn.

Two Hearted River: Was about two feet higher than average for this time of year, however the water was not turbid which means it is dropping.

Newberry: All the area inland lakes in Luce County will be open water by the end of the week. Snowpack in the woods from Newberry to Lake Superior was 99.9% gone with only a few snow piles and drifts left. County Road 423 to the river mouth was good except for one spot about a mile north of County Road 414 which had a large drift and water hole which should be gone by the weekend. County Road 414 from County Road 407 in Pine Stump to the east at County Road 500 was in great shape.

Michigan DNR fishing report for May 3, 2018


Southwest Lower Peninsula

St. Joseph River: Had good numbers of steelhead going through the Berrien Springs fish ladder.

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

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers were still getting a couple steelhead. Look for walleye up near the dam and around the bridges. Those fishing the Rogue River were getting a couple steelhead. Look for more fish to move into the tributaries with the warm weather and warm rain in the forecast. Bluegills and crappie were caught in the shallows.

Muskegon River: Those streamer fishing did well catching some large steelhead and some brown trout. Water levels were up so watch for floating debris. Those fishing Croton and Hardy Dam Pond did catch some walleye.


Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan River: Steelhead fishing was slow with no fish harvested. A couple walleye were caught when casting artificials.

Ocqueoc River: Steelhead were caught on spawn. Some were also using spinners and artificial baits.

Au Sable River: Atlantic salmon were caught by those fishing the holes between Mill Street in Oscoda and the mouth. Drifting or still-fishing spawn bags and minnows took Atlantics up to eight-and-a-half pounds, walleye and suckers. Pyramid sinkers in two ounces or higher were required in the current. Those trolling plugs also caught Atlantics. A few good walleye catches at Foote Dam for those casting jerk baits. Steelhead were taken when drifting wax worms, wigglers, beads, flies, and spawn bags. Both chrome and winter fish were caught but high water levels from an open gate at the dam had the fish scattered. Most steelhead were pre-spawn.

Au Gres River: Down at Singing Bridge, surf anglers fishing late in the evening are catching quite a few walleye which seem to be feeding on gobies as they were full of them. A couple steelhead were also caught.

Northwest Lower Peninsula


Bear River: Water levels at the dam were high and fast. Steelhead fishing was pretty good but mornings seemed best. Quite a few fresh fish were up near the dam but they were hard to land because of the fast water. Anglers are using spawn bags and flies.

Traverse City: In the Elk River, catch rates were hit-or-miss but steelhead were caught at the dam when using spawn in the morning. A couple nice fish were caught at the kid’s pond. The Boardman River is producing steelhead in the early morning or evening with spawn or a jig and wax worm. A few nice brown trout were caught at the dam.


Big Manistee River: Was still producing steelhead. Fish were hitting on spawn, spinners, crank baits, flies and beads.

Pere Marquette River: Has a good number of steelhead as well. Warmer temperatures along with the warm rain should produce some very good catches along the river and its tributaries.

Upper Peninsula

Marquette: On the Carp and Chocolay Rivers, the steelhead run has not really started yet but a few were caught. Water levels have come up on both rivers so anglers should expect a good run soon.



Proudly powered by Tight Lines Digital

Up ↑