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Hook & Hunting

Where the fish are biting this week, March 14 report

Make sure you have your license for the season

The new fishing license and regulation season kicks off April 1, so anglers need to be sure they have purchased a new license for the fishing season in order to enjoy Michigan’s great fishing opportunities. The 2024 fishing licenses are valid through March 31, 2025.

Fishing licenses can be purchased at or by downloading the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app and purchasing your license on the app.

Here’s how fishing looks this week in the Northwest Lower Peninsula, Northeast Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, according to the latest report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.


Northeast Lower Peninsula

Au Gres: Heavy rain along with strong winds caused perch fishing to slow down in the Standish area. Forecasted nice weather should help fishing pick back up again for anglers. Catches were reported to be decent when fishing for perch at the park along the river in Au Gres.

Oscoda: Fishing remained fair to good in local waters. Oscoda pier anglers did well on steelhead when fishing with fresh spawn. Fish cooperated on and off throughout the day. Anglers using blues or greys caught a few lake trout and walleye. Weather permitting, boat anglers reported success trolling the shallow waters. A hand full of brown trout, lake trout, and steelhead were caught when using spoons and body baits. Golds, greens, and oranges were productive colors.

Au Sable River: The recent rain brought good numbers of fresh steelhead into the river. Fresh spawn, beads, and wax worms worked well. Boat anglers using fresh spawn and plugs had success throughout the day. A few anglers who targeted walleye had the best results coming from jigs tipped with minnows and plastic swim baits. There were a few large northern pike caught by anglers using large spinnerbaits and swim baits. There were no reports of smelt.

With spring trying to come early this year trout are coming out of their winter stupor and getting hungry. Streamers have been productive in the flies only water and crank baits in the gear restricted water. Cloudy days were reported to provide anglers with the most successful trips.


Tawas: The state park dock continued to see some lake trout action when using larger baitfish and Cleos. Steelhead were reported to be caught at Singing Bridge, more so in the river rather than the surf. Fresh spawn seemed to yield the best results.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Lake Michigan: Unfavorable weather kept anglers off the piers and beaches. Rain, snow, and north winds continued to keep water temperatures cold. Anglers fishing inland reported moderate catches of yellow perch.

Manistee: A mix of steelhead, coho salmon and brown trout were caught by anglers off the piers while using spawn. High winds kept boat anglers off the lake.

Manistee River: Chinook salmon fishing was reported to be at its peak, with many fresh Chinook entering the river daily. Coho salmon and steelhead were also reported to be caught. Anglers found success when fishing with floats and skein eggs. Using long leaders with pencil weights, and dark flies were reported to work well when fishing for spawning salmon.


Pere Marquette River: Decent rain raised the water level of the river. Fish were reported to be in the system, but still far from peak numbers.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Anglers trolled and jigged open areas. However, windy conditions and ice floes made fishing difficult. Anglers reported tough fishing, with few bites yielding quality fish. Northern pike anglers caught fish when trolling or casting artificial baits. Perch anglers planning to target the upper bay were still waiting for the remaining ice to melt.

Le Cheneaux Islands: The bays were reported to be just starting to open up in the Cedarville and Hessel area. Little to no fishing activity was reported while the ice was going out. There were a few anglers casting off the marina, however they did not have success.

Marquette: Anglers fishing on Lake Superior were reported to be fishing the lower harbor due to skim ice in the mornings. Anglers had good success when fishing for coho salmon on the breakwall and trolling alongside it. Those who have been fishing the Chocolay River were reported to have had success catching steelhead and brown trout. Anglers also caught decently sized steelhead when trolling in the middle of the harbor. The Carp River was reported to be producing nice steelhead as well. When fishing for steelhead, spawn and wax worms seemed to yield the best results in both rivers. Trolling blue and silver spoons and tiger striped patterned Rapalas did well for coho salmon in the harbor.


Keweenaw Bay: Anglers fishing from boats had luck catching coho salmon, lake trout and lake whitefish. Angling trips where lake whitefish were the target were done mostly while jigging, with the occasional lake trout picked up during these trips as well. Trolling boats found mostly coho salmon with some lake trout and other fish caught at a variety of depths. Coho salmon were reported to mostly be near the top of the water column while lake trout were found throughout. Anglers fishing from shore had success catching coho near deep drop-offs. Splake and rainbow trout were caught near river mouths and in shallower water. Rainbow trout were mostly caught using natural baits, whereas splake were caught with artificial baits. The most successful trips were reported to have taken place in the morning.

Munising: Anglers reported catching mainly coho salmon jacks with most averaging around the 15-inch size class. However, there were some larger coho salmon caught which averaged around 17 to 18 inches and around two pounds or bigger in size. Some incidental catches of splake were reported, with most being around 21 inches and three to four pounds with some up to six pounds in size. Anglers trolled the bay mostly to Sand Point and into Trout Bay with a few boats going out towards Five Mile Point and up to Mosquito Falls. These boats trolled in 20 feet of water or shallower. Pier action was slow, and water levels were reported to be extremely low.

Grand Marais: Anglers reported catching limits of coho salmon along with a few lake trout up to 11 pounds and steelhead around eight pounds mixed in. The coho were assorted in size with some up to 19 inches. Anglers mainly trolled outside of the harbor entrance and east in about ten feet of water towards the Sucker River as well as towards the Blind Sucker River. Anglers also had success casting with shallow running crankbaits. Pier anglers were limited due to ice cap on the pier, however there were areas where a few anglers fished for whitefish in Menominee. Action for whitefish was reported to be spotty. Anglers had the best results when fishing with red worms. A few coho salmon were reported off the pier. Angler activity at the Sucker River was spotty, however a few fish were reported offshore. Water levels were reported to be extremely low.

Fishing tip: Storing ice-fishing equipment for next season

Here is a checklist of things to do when storing your ice fishing equipment:

  • If you have an auger, check for any damage and dry all the blades before storing it. You may want to consult your power auger’s manual to know how to appropriately handle any leftover gas and how to protect the engine.
  • Remove batteries from any electronics to prevent any potential damage from leaking batteries.
  • Make sure your portable shelter is completely clean and dry before storing. You may want to put some moth balls in it or hang it to keep pests at bay.
  • Take a full inventory of your rods, reels and tackle to see what you might need/want next year. Also remove all bait or line from your hooks and lures for storage and make sure everything is dry.

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