Your Best Spring Fishing in Michigan

Your Best Spring Fishing in Michigan
Photo by Ron Sinfelt

Whether you're planning on hitting the walleyes or spring fishing in Michigan for smallbouth bass, these are the top places you definitely won't want to miss.


Lake Muskegon


Most years, Miller is still ice-fishing in March. Anglers who want to catch trophy-class walleyes should follow his lead.

"There are plenty of places to catch 8- to 9-pound walleyes in Michigan through the ice but my favorite is Muskegon Lake in Muskegon County. There are many walleyes here and many big fish. We often access the lake at the Conservation Club near the mouth of the Muskegon River. The large pre-spawn walleyes are often staging in a flat not far from the river mouth. I typically catch a fair number of walleyes in a short time on ice that is still safe. There is nothing like catching a large walleye through a small hole in the ice, and Muskegon Lake is the place to do it in March."

Miller prefers using a No. 7 brown trout Jigging Rapala or a fire-tiger Rapala.


Lake St. Clair

Smallmouth Bass

Joe Balog is a professional angler who lives on Lake St. Clair and knows the lake like the back of his hand. In April, he fishes the lake hard for smallmouth bass.

"The third Saturday in April is when the catch-and-release season for bass opens on the lake," said Balog. "The smallmouth fishing is usually good during the last half of April. You have to release them but it isn't uncommon to catch some large fish."

Balog prefers using the Goby Replica bait he markets himself. "The large goby swimbait attracts the large smallmouth bass, and so anglers looking to catch large fish should consider trying the Goby Replica."


Lake Michigan

Yellow Perch

May is when the fishing starts to heat up in Michigan. "The water starts warming up on inland lakes and Lake Michigan," said Balog. "One of my favorite places to fish is out in front of the Bil-Mar Restaurant in Grand Haven on Lake Michigan. I typically fish in about 50 feet of water in an area known as the clay banks.

"The clay in this area tends to hold structure and there are open pockets in the clay that the yellowbelly perch tend to hang out in. During May, this is a great area to fish. Catching many fish in a short time is possible if an angler has a good boat and a graph of some type."

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