FISHING REPORT: Melting snow means rivers will be high for April 28 trout opener

MANISTEE — Strong winds have been hampering fish conditions and catch rates have slowed but should pick up by the next week and continue into the following week, the DNR said.

The northern sections of the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula are digging out from heavy snowfall, the DNR added, and it’s going to be awhile before all the snow melts.

In the northwest Lower Peninsula, the DNR reports rivers in the area will rise over the next couple of weeks with daytime melting. Some lakes were still ice covered but deep snow is making it tough to determine how thick the ice is.

“The trout opener is April 28,” Chelsea Pete, of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston said. “The Manistee (river) is clear and a little bit high. It’s been very productive the last week. The Little Manistee is slow, still. They haven’t seen any fish yet.”

At Manistee, surface temperature readings were near 38 degrees. Brown trout and lake trout are being located by anglers trolling in the basin and around the pier heads after the recent storm. The southern period has a large hold near the 45-degree turn and is still closed, and the DNR advises anglers to stay off the pier.

“Fishing is starting to pick up after that phase we had,” Kristen Loeffler, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee said. “We had a couple of guys go to Manistee Lake for perch. We’ve had a couple going in the river for steelhead. A couple of guys are out in boats right now out by the piers. A lot of guys are going to Rainbow Bend for suckers.”

Steelhead fishing continues in the Big Manistee River.

“They’re getting a few brown trout when you can get out,” Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina said. “There’s some pretty good perch fishing going on in Lake Manistee. In the river, it’s been kind of so-so.”

The Pere Marquette River has also had good fishing.

The piers were closed at Ludington but should be open by this weekend.

Frankfort has had no fishing, the DNR said, and the breakwalls were covered in ice and snow.

“Crystal Lake still has ice on it, but probably with the sunshine, it’s melting,” Christine Murphy of the Frankfort Tackle Box said. “We’re still ice fishing up here. There’s steelhead in the river. Only one brown as caught this week off the pier. But we have another ice day with the sun, it will be good.”

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