PM still producing steelhead; pier fishing slow

May 15, 2014

From the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Weekly Fishing Tip: Taking great catch-and-release photos
Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

1. Wet your hands before you handle the fish – that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (aka slime) the fish has coating their body.
2. Remember a fish can not breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.
3. Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water – not on a hard surface.
4. While holding a fish do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills.
5. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.

This tip was adopted from the Take Me Fishing online blog.


Manistee:  Brown trout action has slowed compared to the last few weeks. Those trolling are still catching a few on spoons or body baits. Orange and chartreuse were good colors. Pier anglers caught a couple fish when casting or floating spawn.

Manistee River: 
 Steelhead fishing remains good although the run should begin to wind down soon.  

Ludington:  Those trolling along the shoreline caught brown trout on orange spoons or black and silver body baits. Pier fishing was slow.

Pere Marquette River:  
Is still producing some steelhead. 

Pentwater: Boat anglers caught brown trout and lake trout when trolling. Hot colors were orange, yellow or chartreuse. Pier fishing was very slow. The water is muddy after all the rain.

Charlevoix:  Still no boats were seen on Lake Michigan. Those fishing the channel at night for walleye caught few fish. Water temperature in the channel was 36 degrees. Some are trying to find perch in Lake Charlevoix but no one had any luck.  

Petoskey:  Boat anglers are just starting to head out for steelhead and brown trout but no fish were caught. Anglers may want to target lake trout.  

Bear River:  Continues to flow high and fast. Look for steelhead and suckers at the dam. Fish were hitting on orange and pink spawn bags or fly’s and yarn. The females still had eggs.

Harbor Springs:  The boat launch is currently being dredged.  

Traverse City:  Only a few boats were out on the East Bay. Smallmouth bass were caught in 30 feet but catch rates were slow. Lake trout were caught at various depths. Shore anglers caught a few fish when surfcasting with spawn. On the West Bay, cisco, steelhead and lake trout were caught near the mouth of the Boardman. Boats were trolling shallow water for lake trout. 

Elk River:  Has a decent number of steelhead. Try spawn or jigs with wax worms.  

Boardman River:  The spring steelhead run has likely peaked. A few fish were caught on spawn or wigglers near the dam. Pike, walleye, suckers, and smallmouth can also be found.  

Platte Bay:  Fishing is red hot! Those trolling dark colored spoons about a mile out have caught some big lake trout. Brown trout were caught by those trolling rapalas near the mouth of the river. Black and chrome were hot colors.  

Platte River:  Anglers have found lots of large steelhead just up from the mouth. Fish are on the gravel. White suckers are also here and sitting on the gravel or in the holes up near El Dorado. Walleye were seen below the M-22 Bridge. The area inside the National Park is a favorite spot for women and small children because of the slow flow, the clear water and few obstructions. Near Honor, a good number of suckers are holding downstream of the bridge tubes. The upper stretch near Haze Road still has some dark males waiting for fresh hens to show up.  

Frankfort:  Trolling slow in between the break walls is producing brown trout, walleye and the occasional Chinook. Water temperatures are still cool so browns were hitting on body baits. Black and silver or black and gold were hot colors. Jointed rapalas worked better in the morning.  

Onekama:  Those trolling the shoreline in the morning caught brown trout and walleye on spoons. Try 10 to 12 feet down in 15 to 20 feet of water.  

Portage Lake:  Bass are hitting on spinners, plugs, wax worms or grubs.  

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:  Are good for catch and immediate release bass fishing. Walleye anglers are targeting shallow waters at night. Good pike action for those using suckers, crank baits or spinners. Bluegills were still very slow.  

Kalamazoo River:  
Is producing steelhead and smallmouth bass at the Allegan Dam.  Suckers and catfish are also being caught.  

Grand Haven:  Boat anglers have their choice between salmon or perch. For salmon, most are trolling in waters out to 60 feet deep however 35 to 45 feet seems to produce the most fish when using 3, 5 and 7 color lead core. Set downriggers 20 to 35 feet with orange and gold spoons. Perch anglers are still taking fish in the 60 foot hole just south of the south pier. Try minnows, spikes or wigglers. Pier fishing was slow for those casting spoons.  

Grand River in Grand Rapids:  Steelhead are still being caught at the Sixth Street Dam. Walleye were caught on crawlers and body baits. A fair to good number of flathead and channel catfish have been caught on live suckers, cut bait or chicken liver. A few pike were caught on large sucker minnows, spinners or body baits.  

Rogue River:  Is producing some steelhead at the Rockford Dam.  

Grand River at Lansing:  Still has some steelhead. Those fishing live bait have caught catfish and pike. A few walleye were caught at Moore’s Park.  

Maple River:  Continues to produce catfish and suckers.    

Muskegon:  Boat anglers are trolling for walleye and brown trout in 30 to 70 feet around the piers but the fish were scattered. Try fishing the stained water where temperatures are a bit warmer. Orange and gold spoons or spoons with a gold blade were the ticket. Pier anglers are casting or jigging for walleye but catch rates were slow. The fish cleaning station at the state park is closed because of a water main break. There is no reopen date at this time.  

Muskegon Lake:  The Cottage Grove launch has one ramp that is open for those looking to launch a boat.  

Muskegon River:  Has elevated water levels but anglers will still find a fair to good number of steelhead.   

Whitehall:  Boat anglers trolling for brown trout had little success. A few small brown trout were caught off the pier. Those fishing the channel did manage to catch some walleye when casting plugs. Muddy water has slowed catch rates.


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