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Lake Michigan fishing report for April 1

April 01, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Indiana DNR

  Coho salmon


        Members of the pacific salmon family, the chinook or king salmon and the coho salmon can be found in Lake Michigan and its tributaries in northern Indiana. Pacific salmons do not feed during spawning, but will strike a lure during their runs. Cohos will spawn in the fall in their third year of life and die, while chinooks will spawn in the fall, winter or spring in the fifth year of life, allowing them to grow larger. The teeth of the coho salmon are set in light color gums. The coho salmon has black spots on the upper lobe of a slightly forked caudal fin with 12-15 anal fin rays.

      Bait: Lake: Bodybaits, D & F combos, spoons Shore: N/C, shrimp, squid, wobbler type spoons
      Depth: Lake: 9-18’ down Shore: 4’ to bottom

      Comments about fish:

        Anglers continue to catch limits, especially in Indiana’s western portion of LM. Cohos have been caught out front of the E Chicago Marina entrance E to Buffington Harbor, along the Inland Steel Wall & over in the Indiana Shipping Canal on a variety of lures including bodybaits, D/F combos & spoons fished anywhere from 9–16’ down. MC boat anglers are also doing well, especially out front of Trail Cr & heading E. Bodybaits & spoons are the top producing lures fished 12-18’ down.

  Lake Whitefish


        Distributed throughout the Great Lakes, the lake whitefish is a subfamily member of the salmons that spends most of its time in the deep waters of Lake Michigan. This cold-water species moves into shallower waters during early spring and fall to spawn, becoming more accessible to anglers. A popular foodfish, the whitefish has a subtle pearl color on its back and sides and averages 2-5 lbs in size.

      Bait: small chunks of skein, pieces of nightcrawlers
      Depth: Bottom

      Comments about fish:

        Anglers continue to catch whitefish off the MC Lighthouse Pier. Top baits include chunks of skein or pieces of N/C fished right on the bottom.

  Rainbow or steelhead trout


        Ever popular among Indiana anglers is the trout family, which includes the brown, lake and rainbow or steelhead trout. Many fisherman can be spotted on the shores during spawning season when the trout begin their runs into the tributaries. Rainbow or steelhead trout have a white mouth, teeth and gums and small black spots on their backs, sides, and caudal and dorsal fins. The caudal fin margin of the rainbow or steelhead trout is square and the fish has 9-12 anal fin rays.

      Bait: Lake: Shrimp Tribs: Shrimp, spawn bags, spinners
      Depth: Lake : 4-8’ under a bobber Creek: Deeper holes & runs

      Comments about fish:

        Shore anglers fishing the MC area have seen an increase in the amount of steelhead caught over the past week inside the harbor & off the MC Lighthouse Pier. Top bait for steelhead is shrimp suspended 4-8’ underneath a bobber. Nice catches have been reported in the middle/upper reaches of Trail Cr over the past week. Slow action reported on Salt Cr with just a few caught in the upper reaches. Action picked up on the E Br of the Little Cal, especially in the lower reaches. Top producing baits were egg sacs or shrimp fished just off the bottom in the deeper holes & runs. In addition, spinners with black, brass or silver blades can also be effective for aggressive fish as water temps warm.

Comments about body of water:

  Surface water temp in the harbor of MC is 44F°. Water temp of Trail Cr at Friendship Gardens was 43 F°. Just a reminder to all anglers that a portion of Trail Cr & the E Br of the Little Calumet River will be closed to all fishing from April 1 through June 15. This closure allows recently stocked fish to safely migrate downstream to LM. The closed season applies to: The E Br of the Little Calumet River in Porter Co. from US 12 upstream to US 20 & Trail Cr from the Franklin Street Bridge upstream to US 35. Mixsawbah SFH stocked 36,300 brown trout into Trail Cr on 3/30/2011. Fish averaged almost 3”.

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