Captain Ben Wolfe of Sport Fish Michigan – AnglingBuzzTV fishing report for late April / early May. Detroit River walleye fishing, river steelhead report, and the impact of spring waters being colder than usual.
It’s hard to believe that May is already coming to an end. Fishing in northern Michigan has been spectacular this month, and things looks great leading in to June. The weather has created many of the good fishing opportunities in the area – we have had some warmer days and colder nights, building a gradual increase in lake temperatures. This is exactly what we wanted for our area!
Grand Traverse Bay has been incredible for cisco, trout, and whitefish in 25-60 feet of water. If you haven’t yet gone fishing for these species this year, you should! We are having great results casting gold-colored blade baits in a 3/4 ounce size along the steep breaks of East Grand Traverse Bay. Water temperatures in the bay have been bouncing back and forth between the mid- to low-40s. This is an optimal temperature zone for lake trout and cisco to cruise the shallows in search of alewife and gobies. Salmon fishing has also been fairly decent in Grand Traverse Bay. Anglers are finding active fish in 50-100 feet of water, high in the water column. Trolling lead core and slide divers with spoon presentations has been a productive technique. Trolling smaller spoon presentations at a speed of 2.4-2.7 mph is a good way to target the multiple available species available.
Bass fishing on most northern inland lakes is on fire! Due to the way water temperatures are setting up, the prospect of a longer spawning season is very good. Smaller inland lakes are maintaining temps in the mid- to upper-50s, with some even reaching into the low-60s. The last full moon brought a good push of males in to make beds, and females searching for the right spot to settle on for spawning. A lot of fish are being caught on the shallow flats adjacent to spawning grounds, and fish are very active both in and around beds. The larger inland lakes are still in an excellent pre-spawn condition with larger fish being found on weed- and rock-covered flats and drop-offs. Swim baits on darter jigs, drop shot rigs, and tubes have been working very well, but don’t hesitate to try covering some water with a spinner bait when the water presents the right opportunity.
Get out and enjoy the awesome fishing Michigan offers, it will not disappoint!
Captain Ben Wolfe of Sport Fish Michigan – AnglingBuzzTV fishing report for mid-May in Michigan. Salmon, brown trout, and perch fishing in Michigan – tips and techniques.
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!