FISHING REPORT: 2017 Spring fishing seasons start today

MANISTEE — The walleye, pike and muskellunge opener on the Lower Peninsula inland waters is today. It’s also the statewide trout opener on all Type 1 and 2 streams as well as all Type A and D designated inland trout lakes.

The DNR reports most of the smaller trout streams should be fishable but may still be cold, while many of the large rivers are coming down and clearing up and should be in good shape barring a lot of rain.

“The trout opener is here and that’s a big deal here,” Chelsea Pete of DLoop’s Outfitters in Wellston said. “After having an excellent trout bite lately, look for fish to start smolting out.”

Those trolling to the north at Onekama, caught brown trout in 10 to 15 feet with black and gold body baits, the DNR said, while some whitefish were also caught.

“It’s probably the last weekend, for sure, with any steelhead fishing,” Gordon Park of Andy Tackle Box in Brethren said. “Conditions are looking good for the trout opener. All the creeks are ready. The water’s not high. Everything should be ready to go.”

Perch anglers at Portage Lake are trying minnows and wigglers but most of the fish caught were small, the DNR said, while bass anglers have seen largemouth in the shallows. Water temperatures were still cold.

“There’s a little bit going on,” Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee said. “They’re getting a few fish on the shoreline there…a few browns a few salmon and lake trout. There’s some pan fishing at Lake Manistee with perch, crappies and bluegills.

“On the big lake, there’s a few boats going out along the shoreline.”

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell’s water levels were high but were coming back down. Crappie, bluegill and bass are being targeted by anglers who may find some fish, although the water is still cold.

Fishermen at Lake Missaukee were starting to catch crappie and bluegills in the shallows.

Surface water temperatures at Manistee were up near 50 degrees.The fish cleaning station and the restrooms were still closed, the DNR reports.

Perch fishing off the pier was slow but steelhead and brown trout were caught, the DNR reported. Lake trout are also showing up, but those trolling have caught a couple chinook, coho, and brown trout.

Steelhead fishing is still going at the Manistee River, the DNR said, and should continue while float fishing has been good with streamers.

Surface water was 50 degrees at Ludington. Lake trout are starting to heat up off the projects, the DNR said, while brown trout, coho and a few Chinook have been caught. Pier fishing was slow, the DNR reported.

A few smaller boats at Platte Bay were able to get out from the Platte River launch. Those trolling or jigging caught some lake trout, the DNR said, while steelhead are still being caught in the lower Platte River.

Those trolling around the piers at Frankfort have caught a couple brown trout but catch rates were hit-or-miss, the DNR said, while most anglers were using black and silver body baits.

“We’ve had all that wind,” Christine Murphy of the Frankfort Tackle Box, said. “They’re catching brown trout. When it’s calm they’re four of the pierhead. Crystal Lake, they’re surf fishing on the Beulah side for rainbows. There’s some nice bass being caught with the reminder it’s not bass season yet, just catch and release.”

Pere Marquette River should have good trout fishing for the opener, the DNR said. At Pentwater, those trolling caught brown trout in five to 15 feet and lake trout in 25 to 60 feet. There have been some occasional Chinook, while pier anglers netted brown trout while still-fishing with spawn near the bottom.

Shore and boat anglers at Pentwater Lake got perch in 10 to 25 feet on perch rigs with white spikes or cut bait.

Leave a Reply