Michigan DNR Weekly Fishing Report: April 12, 2018

Photo courtesy: Michigan DNR

UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released their weekly fishing report for the Upper Peninsula, along with a new fishing tip.

Little Bay De Noc
Still had ice; however, the edges were getting soft in some spots. The area around Butler Island had opened up, so use caution. Only a few anglers were targeting perch in 30 to 40 feet off Kipling. Catch rates were fair when using minnows or wigglers right on the bottom. Portage Point and south had open water. The Ford River was showing signs of breaking up, but was still not fishable. The Day’s River had open water in a few areas. This week could open up some areas for shore anglers.

Big Bay De Noc
Was entirely ice-covered, but no anglers had been seen, most likely due to the significant snowfall. Fairport is open water, but the marina was blocked because of snow.

Indian Lake
Was producing bluegills and perch.

The bubblers were ice-free, but fishing was slow, with most anglers only getting 1-3 coho per trip. Only a handful of steelhead and brown trout were caught in both the Carp and Chocolay Rivers. Rain and runoff is needed to bring the water levels back up.

Still had ice fishing, but fewer anglers were out because of bad weather. The weather is to remain cold at night, with a low in the teens and only getting to the upper 30’s during the day. Those targeting coho only caught a few as the schools of fish had been moving in and out. Night anglers caught a couple burbot.

Grand Marais
The harbor was frozen solid; however, the ice outside the harbor was moving in and out depending on wind direction, and some massive ice floes were present. Only a handful of local anglers had been ice fishing in the harbor. Most were targeting Menominee, but a few coho were also caught. There was no activity along the Sucker River, as ice floes along with a wall of ice about 15 feet high were reported on the pier. Heavy snowfall in the area has also been a problem.

Two Hearted River
Had difficult fishing conditions due to deep snow in the area.

Manistique Lake
Anglers were getting some panfish.

Cedarville and Hessel
Because of open water and thin ice, there has been no fishing effort in Cedarville Bay, Musky Bay, Government Bay, McKay Bay or Prentiss Bay. The boat launches were snowed in, and no docks were in yet. Hessel still had ice. Those targeting splake did well 25 to 150 yards southwest of the marina breakwall when bouncing a 2-inch orange and chrome spoon off the bottom. The yellow perch action was slow, and most fish were 6 to 7 inches with the occasional larger fish mixed in. Anglers were on the north side of Marquette Island and just east of Cube Point in 12 to 15 feet with a very small orange tear-drop lure and minnow.

Here's your weekly fishing tip.

Fishing Tip: Where to find smallmouth bass this spring
Since anglers can practice catch-and-immediate-release fishing on bass on all year in Michigan, many are having fun targeting this species.

There are plenty of locations throughout the state that offer exceptional smallmouth bass fishing, but check out the list below if you’re interested in finding trophy-sized fish.
1. Lake St. Clair: cover lots of ground if you visit this water body and cast to the edges of weed patches.
2. Lake Erie: the shallow areas of this lake are good places to start, after the water warms up head to deeper water.
3. Saginaw Bay: target around the Charity Islands which separate Lake Huron’s deep water from Saginaw Bay’s shallow depths.
4. Grand Traverse Bays: Look for structure such as drop-offs, sand points, rocks or weed beds at this spot.
Don’t forget! The catch-and-keep season on all waters, including the Great Lakes, doesn’t open until May 26 while the catch-and-keep season on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River doesn’t open until June 16.

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