2018-05-14 / Sports

Cooler waters could affect openers


Walleye, northern pike and muskellunge season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters and the St. Marys River will open on Tuesday, May 15. The openers could be on the slow side until the waters warm up.


Lake Erie: Walleye fishing slowed on the south end with only a few fish caught around Turtle Island when jigging crawlers in seven feet. Moving north, walleye were caught around the Banana Dike when trolling in 16 to 20 feet, the Dumping Grounds when trolling a gold crawler harness in 18 to 20 feet and in Brest Bay while jigging purple hair jigs tipped with minnows. In Brest Bay and off Stony Point, good numbers of fish including limit catches were taken by those trolling a purple, orange, pink and yellow or perch colored crawler harness with a bottom bouncer. Try 18 to 22 feet or more and run baits and lures 15 to 20 feet down. Walleye were also found around Fermi in 17 to 21 feet and the River Raisin in 16 to 18 feet with a purple crawler harness. Large-mouth bass were caught while casting a green pumpkin with a blue swim jig in eight feet near Toledo Beach. A lot of white bass were caught by those trolling or casting around Stony Point in three to 10 feet with shallow running crank baits or a silver spoon.

Huron River: Anglers have caught white bass, white perch and walleye.

Detroit River: Good walleye fishing continues throughout the river including down near the mouth and in the Trenton Channel. Most are using a jig and minnows. The white bass action is just getting started.

Lake St. Clair: Bass fishing slowed quite a bit but a few were still being caught. Hard plastics such as jerk baits seemed to work best. Fishing off the Mile Roads seemed to be better than the middle or the north end. Unfortunately, walleye are nonexistent in the lake but reports from the rivers remain very positive. Panfish including perch, crappie, bluegill and pumpkinseed were also slow even in the It should not be too much longer before the bite picks up.

St. Clair River: Continued to have good walleye fishing.

Lexington and Port Sanilac: Those trolling did well with body baits in 15 to 30 feet taking a good number of coho and lake trout as well as the occasional walleye, whitefish, steelhead, Atlantic or Chinook salmon. Some boats were heading deeper to 60 feet but did not do any better. Pier fishing was a bit slow.

Harbor Beach: Boat anglers did well when trolling in 20 to 30 feet with a good number of coho and lake trout caught. Some also caught steelhead, Atlantics, whitefish, walleye and the odd Chinook salmon. Pier fishing was slow.

Saginaw Bay: Good numbers of walleye including limit catches were taken off Gambil’s Marina near Pinconning. Boats were trolling body baits off planer boards in four to six feet. A purple flicker-shad was the hot lure. Walleye were also being taken off Linwood in 18 to 22 feet, around Spoils Island, and off the mouth of the Kawkawlin River. Some walleye were caught in the Quanicassee River in eight to 10 feet. Shore anglers on the river caught a mix of catfish, freshwater drum, sunfish, crappie and the odd perch. Walleye fishing was spotty off Sebewaing and in Wildfowl Bay.

Saginaw River: Walleye were still being caught in the lower river from the mouth upstream to the Coast Guard Station by those trolling or vertical jigging. Shore anglers at Smith Park caught a mix of catfish, freshwater drum and small-mouth bass on crawlers. The river was a bit fast and muddy after the rain last week.

Tittabawassee River: Fishing was good with walleye and white bass being caught. Rain in the forecast will once again raise water levels and slow fishing for the weekend.


Overall: Chinook salmon fishing is off to a great start in the far southern portion of Lake Michigan. Some limit catches including fish over 20 pounds were reported. The fishery will continue to move north as the waters warm. Inland lakes are producing panfish including some limit catches of crappie.

St. Joseph: Boat anglers caught lake trout and a fair to good number of Chinook salmon. Most were trolling spoons in 80 to 100 feet. A few coho were also caught. A couple pier anglers managed to catch a few brown trout and coho on spawn.

South Haven: Had decent fishing with a good number of lake trout and the occasional Chinook salmon and steelhead taken. Fish were caught in 45 to 70 feet with magnum spoons. Pier fishing activity was low but a few coho and brown trout were caught. Those using spawn did best. No perch to report.

Holland: Boats trolling just outside the piers caught trout and the occasional salmon on spoons. Pier anglers casting spoons and rapalas were also targeting trout and salmon. Boat anglers caught a few perch in 40 to 50 feet.

Lake Macatawa: Had some good perch fishing.

Gun Lake: In Barry County is producing some panfish including crappie.

Grand Haven: The south pier is closed from the first lighthouse to the end due to construction. Pier fishing for brown trout was slow. Those trolling caught a few Chinook salmon 25 to 60 feet down in 50 to 100 feet and a decent number of lake trout 90 to 180 feet down in 170 to 230 feet. Yellow and green spin-glos worked best.

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.

Grand River at Lansing: The smallmouth action continues for those using crawlers, minnows and small crank baits. Panfish were hitting on worms and minnows.

Lake Ovid: Continues to produce some crappie, bluegills and sunfish. A couple large-mouth bass were caught and released.

Muskegon: Boats trolling the shoreline reported slow brown trout action. Those heading out to 160 to 230 feet and fishing 60 to 160 feet down found some lake trout and coho. Lake trout were hitting on yellow spinglos and the coho on orange spoons.

Muskegon Lake: Anglers were getting some walleye including a few limit catches. The panfish action improved greatly with the warmer weather.

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

Whitehall: Those trolling did well for brown trout with orange or purple body baits in five to 15 feet. Pier anglers caught walleye early and late on body baits and soft plastics.

White Lake: Was producing some walleye for those trolling or jigging. Panfish were caught in the shallows on sunny days.


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.

Cheboygan River: All the spillways are open so the water was stained and the current was strong. Anglers have caught walleye between 15 and 20 inches. They were caught on crank baits, floating worms or when jigging soft baits. A few Atlantics were caught on spoons. Anglers caught suckers while drifting worms and pike were caught on minnows and crank baits.

Hammond Bay: Lake trout were caught in 60 feet with dodgers near the bottom.

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