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Hook & Hunting

Where the fish are biting this week, April 4 report

Plus, tips on where to fish for steelhead

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: Poor weather resulted in slow fishing. Anglers primarily saw only small perch come out of Eagle Bay Marina.

Oscoda: Good numbers of lake trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon were reported to have been caught off the pier and by boat anglers. Fishing fresh spawn was reported to be the top producer for steelhead, with fishing early in the day being the most productive. Minnows fished on the bottom, along with crankbaits and spoons, all produced lake trout. Trout were reported to be caught on and off all day long. Oranges, greens and blue/silver baits worked well. Atlantic salmon started to show up more, mixed with a few coho salmon. Minnows with a slip bobber and spoons in gold, orange and green/silver all caught fish. Weather permitting, boat anglers had success trolling bright-colored spoons and crankbaits behind short lead cores. Depths of 15 to 30 feet both north and south of the pierhead were productive.


Au Sable River: The Au Sable River had solid numbers of fish throughout the lower river all the way to Foote Dam. Most steelhead were caught on fresh spawn and jigs with wax worms. Early and late in the day were most productive, with clear water conditions. Boat anglers had success drifting plugs and casting spoons in the deeper sections of the river. A few Atlantic salmon were caught in the lower river while trolling plugs. Plugs in green, gold and orange had the best results.

Tawas: Boat anglers reported catching lake trout, brown trout, steelhead and walleye. Those fishing off the pier caught lake trout, an occasional brown trout and whitefish. Anglers fishing around Singing Bridge saw some steelhead as well.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Frankfort: Cooler temperatures kept activity low; however, anglers fishing the piers reported landing a few brown trout and steelhead. Anglers trolling the shoreline reported low numbers of brown trout when fishing with body baits. Overall, orange spoons and body baits seemed to work best.

Manistee: Pier anglers caught a mix of steelhead and brown trout when using fresh spawn. Those trolling outside the harbor picked up very few brown trout and steelhead, as water temperatures were still in the 30s along the beach.


Onekama: Anglers trolling the shoreline in 15 to 25 feet of water reported some action, with brown trout hitting in the morning hours.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Most of the public access docks are in, although angler pressure was low. Cold water temperatures slowed down activity for perch anglers.

Marquette: Due to poor weather conditions, recent fishing for coho salmon on the break wall seemed to slow. There were also very few boats that attempted to go out this week. Those who were able to make it out ended up with few fish. Anglers who floated down the Chocolay River did well when fishing for steelhead and brown trout. The Carp River slowed down a little but was still producing some steelhead. Spawn and wax worms on jigs worked well for steelhead in both the Carp and Chocolay rivers, along with orange beads. Trolling blue and silver spoons, as well as tiger-stripe-patterned Rapalas, seemed to be popular for catching coho salmon in the lower harbor. Buckeye jigs were reported to have done well on the break wall.

Au Train: Winter weather kept boats off Lake Superior. Those that made it out prior to the poor weather reported catching steelhead and brown trout. Reports indicate that the cold weather slowed the numbers of coho salmon caught. Blue and silver spoons did well for coho. Tiger-striped or bright orange and gold, double-jointed Rapalas worked well for brown trout and steelhead out by the northwest side of the island.


Keweenaw Bay: Angling pressure was sparce due to cold temperatures and inclement weather. Those who were able to fish found some rainbow trout around river mouths when casting from shore, and splake all along the shoreline of Keweenaw Bay. Catch numbers were reported to be low, but with rising temperatures moving into spring, activity should begin to pick up. In the coming weeks, begin looking for smelt moving close to shore, along with trout and salmon that will be feeding on them!

Le Cheneaux/Detour: Anglers fished for splake from the pier at the marina in Hessel. They reported catching a few while using smelt and spoons. There were also a few boat anglers trolling Wilderness Bay who reported catching a few splake as well.

Fishing tip of the week

April is often a perfect time to fish for steelhead in Michigan’s rivers. Did you know our state is thought to offer some of the best steelhead fishing in the country?

A variety of techniques can be used to fish for this aggressive species, including live bait, artificial lures and flies. Rivers all across Michigan provide access for steelhead fishing. Some better-known rivers include the Betsie, Grand, Little Manistee, Manistee, Manistique, Pere Marquette and St. Joseph rivers in the Lake Michigan watershed, the Au Sable River in the Lake Huron watershed, the Huron River in the Lake Erie watershed, and the Huron and Two Hearted rivers in the Lake Superior watershed.


Want more information on spring fishing in Michigan? Visit!

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