Smaller inland lakes warm the quickest, and the biggest and deepest bodies of water warm the slowest. With waters ranging anywhere from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s depending on which lake, the patterns can vary. From the onset of the season, we like to target smaller bodies of water. Blade baits can be great when the water is below 45 degrees. With a rip and a pause, or a hopping retrieve off of the bottom, a blade bait can really pay dividends with some great bites. As the waters warm above the 45-degree mark and into the low 50’s, a jerk bait really comes into its own. Generally, a cadence involving a combination of long pauses after a few jerks or pulls of the rod tip can be the ticket to getting bites. Smallmouths are sight feeders, and often will inspect a bait for quite some time before deciding to commit. This is a combination of audible and visual presentation. The jerking portion of the cadence creates flash and noise to call a fish in, whereas the pause portion of the retrieve can seal the deal. The colder the water, the longer the pause.
A swim bait can also be a great option this time of year. It’s also a visual presentation, but it’s subtle. For fish that are first moving up onto the flats from their deeper winter and early spring locations, they can be spooky. A subtle bait style like a swim bait can be a deadly presentation, and really shines as the waters warm into the 50’s as the fish truly go on the prespawn feed! When the waters hit the mid 50’s, a spinner bait is another great option for thunderous strikes. But don’t be too surprised if a stray pike or two also finds a spinnerbait appealing!
Grand Traverse Bay is still cold for May, as it is a big body of water that can reach down to depths over 500 feet on East Bay. Sunny days will help warm this body of water, and when we do have those sunny days, the bass will flock to the shallower waters to sun bathe on the sand. Often is the case that the bass fishing is so good on the inland lakes, both for size and numbers, that we at Sport Fish Michigan and Traverse City Bass Guide Service often steer away from the bay altogether until late May.
The past two weeks have been filled with awesome fishing for SFM and clients. The walleye fishing has been on fire throughout the state! Fishing on the Detroit River continues to be red hot, both on the US and Canadian side. 35-48ft of water has held the more active fish. Larger fish are being found on the cleaner side of the mud line in US waters. Lime and antifreeze-colored heads with a black worm are most effective at this time.
Inland lake fishing for walleye in Benzie, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse Counties has been very good. Anglers trolling after dark with floating Rapalas on lighter fluorocarbon line have had great success. Anglers targeting 5-12ft of water trolling at a speed of 1.3-1.9 are yielding good catches.
The lake trout fishing off Frankfort and East-West Grand Traverse Bay has been very red hot. Anglers have also had frequent encounters with salmon in both locations. The most active salmon and trout have been found in 30-70ft of water, feeding on gobies and alewife in warmer temperatures. Finding the warmer water can be critical at this time of the year. Sometimes a 5-degree temperature variation can make all the difference in your catch.
Cisco fishing on Grand Traverse Bays is really starting to heat up as well. Lots of fish are being found in 50-70ft of water close to steep drop-offs. Blade baits, jigging spoons, and trolling lead core have been working very well. Anglers trolling smaller spoons have had good action. The cisco fishing should only continue to get better through the month of May! Get out and catch some of these awesome, hard-fighting fish!
Captain Ben Wolfe of Sport Fish Michigan – AnglingBuzzTV fishing report for early May in Michigan. Walleye fishing – Detroit River, smallmouth bass at Lake St. Clair, cisco on Grand Traverse Bays, and fishing tips.
Mid-May report includes information about Detroit River walleye and white bass, Lake St. Clair largemouth and smallmouth bass, bass fishing in Traverse City and inland lakes, lake trout at Elk Rapids, and river fishing options, including Tippy Dam.
Copyright 2021 North Shore Adventures, LLC | Site Map