FISHING REPORT: Better weather means better fishing this weekend


MANISTEE — A warm up by the weekend should help fishing conditions.

Windy conditions have kept anglers off the Great Lakes, the DNR said. Many rivers are running high and fast. Anglers will want to exercise caution on the rivers and when walking along the river banks.

“We had fresh fish (Thursday) in big numbers off Bear Creek and Tippy Dam in Manistee River,” Gordon Park, of Andy’s Tackle Box, in Brethren said. “There’s a lot of fresh steelhead moving in. The rains a couple of days ago brought us more fish.”

Manistee has had a few anglers but surface water temperatures were about 40 degrees, the DNR said, and docks are in at the boat launch but the restrooms and the fishing cleaning station are still closed.

“There’s guys along the shore getting a few browns, cohos,” Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina, in Manistee said. “It’s not a lot but a few. There’s a few fishing out of Manistee Lake and getting some perch and crappies.”

Steelhead fishing is in full swing at the Manistee River and the run should peak sometime in the next week, the DNR said, while the warm up this weekend should be prime time.

Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston confirmed that fishing was going strong in the river around Tippy Dam.

“The Little Manistee still has the weir in and we have not passed any fish,” Eckerson said. “The intent is to test sample them this coming week around the 11th. They haven’t passed any new fish. All of the new fish are going to be below the weir. Big Manistee is in full swing. At Bear Creek, the fish have been on the beds for awhile.”

Surface water temperatures were near 41 degrees at Ludington. The docks are in at the city marina but the restrooms and the fish cleaning station are still closed, the DNR said. Angler activity was low but those trolling along the shoreline caught a few brown trout, the DNR added.

“They’re still catching perch at Manistee Lake, and Portage Lake, wind permitting,” Eckerson said. “We’ve had a lot of wind so that’s been a tough sell.”

Frankfort has had a little activity, but Betsie Bay is clear of ice and the boat ramp is open, the DNR said. Anglers should look for good steelhead action into next week.

“Brown trout fishing is still pretty darn good if you get out and it’s not too windy,” fishing observer Dave Romine of Frankfort said. “The perch fishing has slowed down a little bit but I expect that to pick up usually around Mother’s Day.”

The Pere Marquette should have good steelhead fishing by the weekend and into next week as the run peaks, the DNR said.

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