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Michigan DNR - Weekly Fishing Report - Northern Lower Peninsula - April 26, 2023

Largemouth bass, also known as black bass, are one of the most popular game fish in North America, and are sought after by anglers for their strong fight and acrobatic jumps. They are native to freshwater habitats across the United States and can be found in a variety of environments, including lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Presque Isle: A handful of steelhead and a couple Atlantic salmon were caught off the pier while using spoons. Best results occurred early and late in the day with blue/silver, green/silver, and orange spoons.

Rockport: A few boats ventured out weather permitting. Lake trout with the occasional Atlantic salmon were caught from straight out south to Middle Island. Waters 30 to 60 feet deep were productive. Best results were with spoons and crankbaits on lead core for Atlantic salmon and deeper sets of flasher/spin glows for trout.

Alpena/Thunder Bay River: Steelhead were caught at the 9th Street dam while drifting beads and spawn. Suckers were caught on crawlers throughout the river as well as bass, pike and the occasional walleye. Anglers are reminded that pike and walleye need to be released until the season opens. A number of brown trout, pike, bass and walleye were caught off the pier early and late in the day. Crankbaits in a variety of colors were most productive. Offshore anglers were targeting trout and Atlantic salmon near Thunder Bay Island while running spoons and crankbaits off lead core and copper lines. A handful of brown trout were caught with gold, orange, and chartreuse being the most productive colors.

Cheboygan River: Steelhead fishing was slow. They appeared to be in a spawning mode which slowed down the bite. Anglers were casting spoons and body baits. Anglers were also drifting fresh spawn bags, bottom bouncing or under a bobber. Beads were also being used. Suckers were also starting to come in. Anglers were encountering a lot of walleye in the river system. Reminder: Walleye must be immediately released as the season is currently not open.

Ocqueoc River: A few steelhead and suckers were coming in. Steelhead were caught in the deeper holes while drifting fresh spawn bags or beads under bobbers.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Rowboat sunset bass fishing pond clear water

Manistee River: Steelhead upriver were still in the system; however, the suckers started

their major push throughout the entire river. Anglers near the dam were primarily catching steelhead and brown trout fishing with yellow and orange beads, as well as black and brown flies. A combination of bottom bouncing and drifting bobbers were the most effective. Anglers targeting suckers caught primarily redhorse suckers with some common white and longnose suckers mixed in using crawlers on the bottom. Some walleye, smallmouth bass, and pike were reported. Surface water temperatures were steady between 47 to 52 degrees throughout most of the river.

Manistee Lake: Inconsistent weather temperatures and winds kept anglers off Manistee Lake. Anglers going out were primarily targeting perch while fishing with wigglers and minnows in 20 to 25 feet of water. Rock bass, bluegill, and black crappie were reported. Some anglers were also targeting bass throughout the southern end of the lake using various swim baits and plastics. Largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported in good numbers with the occasional pike. Water levels fluctuations throughout the week have caused some boat launches to be underwater.

Ludington: Brown trout and coho were caught off the piers while using spawn and smelt. Anglers targeting spring Chinook started to catch a few south of the projects toward Pentwater, both near the shoreline and out deeper. Lake trout were also caught when fishing in 60 to 80 feet of water. Brown trout fishing slowed down, but a few were still caught while trolling the coastline. Smelt was a great bait in Lake Michigan for pier and shore fishing.


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