Fishing Report: 01/05/2017
Ice is forming on the inland lakes and along protected waters. Anglers will need to use extreme caution and watch for pressure cracks especially with the windy conditions. Remember to never fish alone, tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return, test the ice ahead of you with a spud and wear a life jacket because it could save your life.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Steelhead fishing in the rivers was good during the recent thaw. The Pere Marquette, Manistee and Betsie River would all be good choices. Ice is starting to build on the inland lakes including South Lake Leelanau and Little Glen Lake.
Long Lake: In Grand Traverse County was producing walleye and pike.
Long Lake: In Benzie County was producing a few perch.
Lake Cadillac: Had ice anglers using tip-ups for walleye and pike. Catch rates for pike were good. Some panfish have also been caught.
Lake Mitchell: Ice anglers continue to target the waters on the west end including Big Cove for bluegills and crappie. Those using tip-ups reported good pike fishing.
Lake Missaukee: Ice anglers using tip-ups have caught walleye and a few pike.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Due to poor ice conditions and snow in the region, anglers are just starting to venture out on some of the inland lakes.
Fletchers Pond: Fishing was good for pike and bluegills however ice conditions were variable and extreme caution needs to be used.
Lake Margrethe: Had ice but also received 10 inches or more of snow. A few anglers were out with portable shanties but no machines were on the ice.
Higgins Lake: Had no ice. The rain and strong winds opened the lake up again.
Houghton Lake: Has ice however anglers will need to be careful around the pressure cracks. The largest one runs from Heights Marina to the DNR Launch. There are other smaller ones throughout the lake. Anglers are taking pike on golden shiners and the walleye bite has started for those using blues. Bluegills and crappie have been caught.
Tawas: A few anglers were fishing in the north end of the bay near Jerry’s Marina however anglers should consider the ice in this area highly unstable because of the strong winds.
Tawas Lake: Bluegill fishing on the first ice was very good.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Few were out because of the arctic blast and strong winds but those braving the elements have taken some nice catches of bluegills, crappie and pike. Anglers were ice fishing on the smaller shallow lakes in the area. For the most part, ice on the bigger lakes was not uniform and anglers would be wise to wait a bit longer before venturing out. Stay away from inlets, outlets and pressure cracks.
Rogue River: Had a couple steelhead caught before the cold front moved in. If you can keep the ice off your line, you should find a few fish.
Grand River at Lansing: Not many were out but those fishing near the North Lansing Dam have caught a few pike and walleye.
Muskegon River: Is producing steelhead and the occasional brown trout. Water levels were up a bit after the rain and snowmelt. Anglers are using streamers and sculpins or a jig and wax worm.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake St. Clair: Had some ice in the canals and marinas. Those using silver spoons, worms and spikes caught bluegills and perch. A few anglers went through the ice on the north end of the lake. No ice on the lake should be considered fishable at this time. Anglers should wait for conditions to improve before venturing out.
Saginaw Bay: Shoreline ice around the bay has blown out. Winds 30 to 40 mph are changing ice conditions drastically. Anglers would be wise to stick to the sheltered marinas such as Eagle Bay Marina near Standish, Linwood Beach Marina near Linwood, Sunset Bay Marina near Unionville, and the Caseville Marina.
Flint River: Anglers were starting to see some nice walleye.