BIG RAPIDS \u2014It recently\u00a0was the walleye and pike opener for the Lower Peninsula inland waters. It\u00a0was the DNR statewide trout opener on all Type 1 and Type 2 streams as well as all Type A and Type D Designated Trout Lakes. Anglers can check the DNR website for further information on type streams. In Mecosta County, \u201cit\u2019s been kind of slow this week with the rain we\u2019ve had recently,\u201d Tanner Havens, of Frank\u2019s Sporting Goods, in Morley, said. \u201cFor a few days, we didn\u2019t have much going on in the store here. But it should be a pretty good weekend. It sounds like they should be all over the river as usual for walleye and pike. Streams for the trout will be open as well this weekend. It sounds like the crappies are still hitting really good in the shallower waters. Perch are still hitting. They\u2019re getting some of those. Below Croton, I\u2019ve heard, has been jampacked with walleyes this whole week. They should be getting a few more of those.\u201d The jury has been out on bluegills. \u201cI went out Saturday (April 20) and the warmest temperature I could find in my favorite lake was 50 degrees,\u201d Jeff Greene, of Rodney, said. \u201cNeither me nor the grandkids got a bite. Usually the water needs to be close to 60 degrees for those bluegills to start to move into the shallower water. It was a few days too early on Saturday to do any good on the bluegills.\u201d Activity is picking up in Osceola County, Zach Nicklas, of Buck Country Bait store in LeRoy said. \u201cWe\u2019re getting busy with everybody coming in for trout season,\u201d he said. \u201cIt opens Saturday at midnight and we\u2019ve been busy. The numbers of fish we\u2019re seeing out of the river, like for steelhead, has been phenomenal. We expecting a good turnout.\u201d The DNR reports at Manistee the fish cleaning station is now open and all but one dock is in. Surface water temperatures were about 38 degrees, the DNR said, and those trolling caught brown trout and lake trout with spoons and body baits in six to 12 feet. \u201cThe big Manistee is at its peak for steelhead,\u201d Rob Eckerson of Pappy\u2019s Bait Shop, in Wellston said. \u201cWater temps are 48 and 49. They\u2019re starting to catch some perch out of Manistee Lake.\u201d Small numbers of brown trout and lake trout were caught by pier anglers using spawn. A few perch were also caught off the pier, the DNR reported, and smelt anglers found a few fish off the piers and near the creek mouths. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot of lake trout in 30 to 50 feet of water,\u201d Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co., said. \u201cThere\u2019s a few brown trout being caught in that same depth. It\u2019s a bit of an oddity we haven\u2019t had in years, but they\u2019re dipping smelt. We haven\u2019t had that in 20 years. That\u2019s pretty big news. They\u2019re still getting plenty of trout at Tippy Dam. There\u2019s lots of steelhead.\u201d Steelhead fishing at the Manistee River was a little more difficult due to high water levels, but a few fish were caught. Anglers expect the levels will be down somewhat by the trout opener this weekend. \u201cIt\u2019s pretty busy right now,\u201d Kristen Loeffler, of Don\u2019s Sporting Goods in Manistee, said. \u201cOff the piers, they\u2019re catching smelt, steelhead, browns and lake trout, plus some perch, from what they\u2019re saying. There\u2019s quite a few boats out there and quire a few in Manistee Lake. There\u2019s some guys going up to Portage.\u201d The fish cleaning station at Ludington remains closed and there is still only one dock in. Windy conditions have made fishing complicated. Brown trout and lake trout were hitting spoons and body baits, the DNR said, adding the lake trout were caught south of the port in 45 to 50 feet. A few brown trout were caught on spawn. \u201cFishing is good,\u201d Christine Murphy, of the Frankfort Tackle Box, said. \u201cThey\u2019re catching browns at Betsie Bay. Platte Bay is loaded with walleye. Lower Herring Lake and Crystal Lake are getting perch. At Crystal, they\u2019re also fishing Beulah Beach for rainbow.\u201d Fishing Tip: Want to find fish? Use sonar! Courtesy of the Michigan DNR Avid anglers are constantly looking for tips and tricks to have more successful fishing trips. Many turn to sonar technology to achieve this goal. Although a bit of an investment (units start at $100 and go up), sonar products offer a variety of benefits on the water. Most units can provide anglers with readings on temperature, vegetation and structure in the water, type of bottom below you, fish in the area, depth, current speed of the vessel, GPS navigation, and waypoints for future trips. Some even allow you the opportunity to purchase nautical charts.