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Rain and warmer temperatures deteriorated some of the ice along the Great Lakes. Those out fishing on any large body of water such as Saginaw Bay will need to pay close attention to wind direction.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Detroit River: Had some shelf ice coming down.

Lake St. Clair: Still had ice however the rain and warm temperatures allowed some areas with current and run-off to open up. Fishing reports have not been quite as consistent as previous weeks. Some were having trouble locating the schools of big perch. Catch rates for panfish in the canals and nearshore areas did increase some.

Saginaw Bay: Ice conditions around the Bay are not good as they are changing all the time. Reports are coming in of snowmobiles and ATV’s going through the ice at the pressure cracks. Perch and walleye fishing were pretty good along the west side from White’s Beach south to the Bay City State Park. Perch fishing was pretty good from White’s Beach in 6 feet all the way to Linwood. Most of the perch were coming from 4 to 6 feet off Pinconning, Newman Road, Erickson Road, Coggins Road, and Linwood Road when using minnows or jack-hooks baited with a red plastic bead. Some limits were also reported. Walleye anglers were going to the Black Hole and out around the Spark Plug and getting fish on jigging spoons or a blue and silver jigging rapala tipped with a minnow. Off Bay City State Park, walleye anglers were fishing in the old shipping channel and over the dumping grounds in 20 feet. There was up to 6 inches of water on top of the ice in places near the second pressure crack off Linwood. No one is fishing out near Spoils Island due to poor ice conditions. Most of the activity was at Sunset Bay Marina with walleye anglers going out to mid-bay and also the Slot but watch out for the pressure crack! It would be good to avoid the area off Finn Road and Callahan Road as the Hot Pond discharge seriously weakened the ice in that area. Fishing up the east side from Sebewaing to Caseville was terrible as perch fishing was just plain poor. Mud Creek was also slow but a few were doing a little bit better there. Slow fishing at Caseville because of muddy water in the river and marinas.

Saginaw River: Ice conditions were BAD on the entire river and no one was out fishing. A few were in the marinas near the mouth but nobody was really doing any good. Colder weather this weekend may improve ice conditions.

Tittabawassee River: Had open water from Dow Dam downstream to about Mapleton. One boat went out of Gordonville Road and there were several shore anglers from Mapleton to north of the Gordonville Road ramp, but nobody was catching anything.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

After the rain and warmer temperatures, inland lakes in this area had little snow cover and were slippery. Anglers will want to bring cleats for easier travel. Those out fishing have caught a fair to good number of bluegills, crappie and perch.

St. Joseph River: Was producing some steelhead during the rain and warm weather.

Kalamazoo River: Anglers caught a couple steelhead up near the Allegan Dam.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers caught steelhead and a few walleye below the 6th Street Dam. Steelhead were also found in the Rogue when the shelf ice was gone.

Grand River at Lansing: Anglers caught a few walleye near the North Lansing Dam. Most were using a twister tail grub. The current was high and fast which makes fishing a bit more difficult.

Reeds Lake: Was producing a fair to good number of pike.

Muskegon Lake: Anglers will need to use caution along the shoreline where foot traffic only is advised. Anglers also need to pay close attention to the tug boat traffic off the GT launch and stay back away from that area. Perch have been caught in 42 to 55 feet off the Cottage Grove ramp and behind the old paper mill. Bluegills were caught on the northwest end off the State Park and perch were caught out deeper. Lots of pike have been caught off Heritage Landing and on the east end near Fisherman’s Landing. Walleye reports were few and those caught were taken by perch anglers.

Muskegon River: Water levels were a bit high and the water was muddy after the rain. Those targeting steelhead caught a few fish.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Burt Lake: Walleye fishing was decent for those using tip-ups or jigging in 15 to 20 feet.

Black Lake: Fishing pressure picked up with many anglers getting ready for sturgeon season which begins Saturday February 3rd. Walleye anglers have caught 18 to 21 inch fish in 6 to 15 feet when using blues. Early morning or dusk was best. Anglers were catching perch averaging 6 inches in 10 to 18 feet. A few 28 to 32 inch pike were caught but many were undersize. Anglers need to use caution near the river mouths and the large pressure crack on the southeast side of the lake.

Higgins Lake: The lake is slippery with only a dusting of snow on top so anglers might want to bring ice cleats for easier travel. Caution should still be used near the creek mouths. The bite slowed some but anglers were still taking a few whitefish. Perch were caught but anglers were doing a lot of sorting to get a few keepers. Smelt were caught along the drop-off in 30 to 60 feet in the evening however the bite was not consistent. Those spearing or using tip-ups with large minnows have taken some pike.

Houghton Lake: The DNR launch ramp on the east side of the lake is temporarily inaccessible as the cement planks have buckled. Anglers can still walk out from the access site but will not be able to take vehicles out at this site. Anglers should be aware of a pressure crack in the East Bay and at the entrance to the North Bay. The lake had about an inch of snow on top but anglers may still want to bring cleats for easier travel. Anglers are getting lots of pike. The bass became active and the bluegill bite was decent in the morning. For walleye, the better bite was between 4pm and sundown. Anglers are using jigging spoons and rapalas tipped with blues. Orange and glow were the hot colors. Some were also using shiners or sucker minnows on tip-ups.

Tawas: Walleye fishing was kind of slow over the last week. One group fishing over the artificial reef off Jerry’s Marina caught a few walleye and some lake trout while another group out near the tip of Tawas Point did not do quite as well. Several pike were speared in Tawas Bay but the perch fishing was slow.

Au Gres: A few anglers fishing north of the breakwall were seeing walleye but none were caught. Those fishing south of the breakwall caught some perch and walleye. The area near the Pine River mouth had muddy water and poor fishing after the thaw but the bite did pick up so walleye were perch were found in 8 feet. Anglers need to beware of the pressure crack out there and avoid it as most were not crossing it.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Ice fishing is still going strong in this part of the state. Lots of anglers have been out targeting pike, walleye, and panfish.

Manistee Lake: In Kalkaska County was producing some crappie for those using a jig tipped with a minnow. Those spearing pike can be found in the southeast corner.

Fife Lake: In Grand Traverse County was producing a fair number of pike just east of the boat launch. A few smaller perch were caught in 15 to 30 feet.

Portage Lake: Perch fishing continues but anglers were still sorting through a lot of small ones. Those fishing in deeper water were still taking some lake herring when using a Hali jig.

Lake Missuakee: Anglers have caught bluegills and crappie. A couple walleye were taken by those jigging near the drop-offs.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: The ice was slippery with not much snow on top. Be sure to bring some cleats. Those using tip-ups have caught some decent pike. The crappie fishing was very good with limit catches reported. A good number of bluegills and sunfish have been caught on both lakes.

Manistee River: Steelhead were caught during the warm spell but as we head back into a deep freeze, fishing might not be all that great by the weekend. Most were using spawn, jig and wax worm, beads and flies.

Pere Marquette River: Anglers were steelhead fishing after the rain and warmer temperatures. The shelf ice upriver cleared out so anglers were able to throw small eggs and nymphs.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Strong winds broke up the ice which left many areas unsafe. Anglers were found at the head of the Bay and out in front of the Falls River in L’Anse. A couple anglers went through the ice on the Baraga side when walking out to the whitefish hole. With snow in the forecast, always check the ice with a spud as you walk out. Fishing for splake and brown trout was fair in 20 to 50 feet when jigging shiners or using tip-ups. Spawn was also productive.

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions worsened a bit with the warmer temperatures. Drifting snow made for difficult travel in some areas. Pressure cracks also presented problems so please use caution in those areas. Those fishing off Portage Point caught some walleye but the area was considered dangerous and extreme caution must be used. Out from the Terrace Bay Inn and south to the Escanaba River was also good for walleye when using tip-ups or rapalas in 30 to 35 feet. Perch anglers reported fewer catches with the best area in the Kipling Flats with wigglers in 28 to 35 feet or near Brach’s Cabins in 18 to 27 feet. Whitefish anglers reported fair catches off Sand Point with spawn or minnows in 80 feet. Northern pike have been active throughout and most catches were reported by walleye or perch anglers. If you like to spear pike good areas to try would be near Butler Island, the Day’s River mouth, off the coal piles in Kipling and the Escanaba Yacht Harbor.

Cedarville and Hessel: Near Hessel, the ice is black and clear but there has been a lot of movement along the west side of Hessel Bay. Be cautious of pressure cracks, moving ice and areas with currents. Perch fishing picked up around the Les Cheneaux Islands. Many are still catching lots of small ones but a few 7 to 11 inches have also been caught when using wax worms, spikes, wigglers and minnows. Anglers have spotted some pike and splake but no harvest reports yet.


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