With high water levels in many of the river systems, boat and shore anglers need to use caution. Anglers are reminded that walleye, pike and muskie season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters and the St. Mary’s River as well as the Lower Peninsula inland waters will close on March 15th at midnight.
The last stand tomorrow for pike and walleye, but most are chasing smelt, bluegill, and crappie now. Lake trout have been biting great on Higgins this week on smelt.
Leroy- Reports are guys are getting out on last ice for crappie and gills. Call Eye’s Have It for latest info 231-768-5653
Baldwin- Ice fishing is winding down but gills are biting on smaller lakes. Steelhead fishing has been great on the PM this week Call Baldwin Bait @ 231-745-3529 or Ed’s Sport @ 231-745-4974
Big Glen- Fishing has been good this week with 10 to 15 inches of ice, they are catching perch, trout and ciscoe’s. Had many reports of guys catching 12 to 14 inchers but there is no pattern on the bite as it has been later in the day and when they bite it last for about an hour. The walking is easy now that the snow is off the lake. Fisherman on the north end are doing good but you need wheels as it is a long ways there but great perch bite. Most are going out till they hit 40 feet of water off the access site and catching some perch and ciscoe’s Call Fishhook@ (231) 256-9496
Little Glen- Has ice the perch are biting fair Call Fishhook@ (231) 256-9496.
Lake Leelanau: North Lake Leelanau has ice and a good perch, lake trout, South Lake Leelanau has a good perch bite in front of the Cedar River. Call Fishhook@ (231) 256-9496 for latest info
Manistee Lake by Kalkaska- Slow fishing this week with perch, pike, walleye and a few gills in the canals ice is 10 to 15 inches Call Jacks Sport Shop 231-258-8892
Spider Lake and Arbutus- 16 to 20 inches of ice, slush on the lake and things have been slow this week Call Roy’s General Store @ 231-946-5633
Duck Lake: They have been catching pike and a few lake trout this week, a couple 40 inchers plus have been reported
Green Lake: is producing bluegill and a few small perch. For pike, try tip-ups off the State Park Is producing a few more smelt. Try off the northeast side near the Music Camp. Night anglers sometimes do better in 30 to 50 feet of water. Spikes and waxworms on Hali Jigs for smelt.
Long Lake: The guys are hitting it hard the last two days before it closes after the 15th. Call MC Sports @ 231-933-6158
Skegemog- They a driving trucks out on the ice and still good perch bite, Also Elk Lake is froze with lakers biting. Call Jack’s Sport Shop@231-258-8892
Fife Lake- A few guys getting out for perch and bluegill, also Spring Lake has picked back up for gills. Call Lakeside Party @ 231-879-4346
Portage Lake- Osborn’s had 20 cars waiting for him to open as guys are back out on Portage big time, The perch have been biting this week. Call Osborne’s@ 231-889-3775
Hamlin Lake- Has had a good bite this week with crappie and gills being caught in limit numbers. Call PM Expeditions@ 231-425-8913 or Hamlin Grocery@(231) 843-2058 and Capt. Chucks @ (231) 843-4458
Bear Lake- Has 18 to 22 inches of ice today with a few getting out catching pike and a jumbo perch bite the last two weeks. Osborne’s@ 231-889-3775
Lake Missaukee- Has been fair with crappie, and gills Call Miller Corner@ 231-839-0440 or Hopkins Outfitters@ 231-839-FISH (3474).
Lake Cadillac: Ice fishing continues. The bluegill and crappie bite has picked up for those using small jigs with minnows, spikes or wax worms.
Lake Mitchell: Still had good ice. Anglers are catching more panfish.
Pere Marquette River: Is producing steelhead. Try flies, spawn or wax worms.
Pentwater: Pentwater Lake is not safe along shore and most are waiting for it to open up for boats. Pentwater River has been great for steelhead this weekCall Pentwater Angler for the latest info@ 231-869-5357
Whitehall: White lake is not safe but a good steelhead bite this week in the White River. Call armstrongs@231–894-6753 or Johnson’s Outdoors @ 231-893-6688
Betsie River: Continues to produce some steelhead.
Big Manistee River: Is fishable and should have a fair to good number of steelhead including some fresh fish. Many are fly fishing below Tippy Dam. Pappy’s Bait is open for the season at Wellston shop hours are 7 to 5 right now call@ 231-848-4142 he gets reports daily on Tippy Dam
Little Manistee River: Is producing steelhead and the occasional brown trout however the river will close to fishing on January 1st and will reopen on April 1st.
Crystal Lake Has safe ice and a great lake trout bite the last week, also getting out of Lobb Rd. for perch, whitefish and smelt. Chimney Corners for Lakers in 90 to 150 feet of water
Lewiston- Both East and West Twin are froze and perch are biting Call Mid Lakes Market @ (989) 786-3227
Mio- Fishing has been fair around Mio with a few below the Dam.. Call Jig’s Bait Shop@ (989) 826-3467
Lake St. Helen- Fishing has been good with 20 to 24 inches of ice lots with pan fish on the bite . Call Macomb’s Tackle Box @ 989-389-2100
Pratt Lake and Wiggins Lake– has safe ice and many have been doing good on pan fish. Call Chappel Dam@ 989-426-7503
Wixom and Sanford Lake- Reports are the lake is safe and fisherman have been getting out on the shallow bays catching crappie, gills and pike. Call Sanford Sport Shop@989-687-5161 or Sandy’s Market@ (989) 435-9688
Secord Lake has had a great crappie bite this week Sandy’s Market@ (989) 435-9688
Fletcher’s Floodwaters- Those using tip-ups caught some nice pike. Crappies were taken on minnows, wax worms or spikes. Call Bill’s @989-742-4874
Black Lake- Has good ice with perch being caught. Call Parrots Outpost for the latest ice conditions (989) 733-2472
Mullet Lake– Is producing perch for those using minnows and wigglers. Pike continue to hit on tip-ups with sucker minnows. call Mullet Lake Party store@ (231) 627-4644 or Topinabee Market@ 231-238-9578
Burt Lake: Catch rates were spotty with light numbers of perch and walleye taken.Call Pat & Gary’s Party Store 231-238-6776
Grand Lake: Was producing a few perch. Try 15 to 25 feet of water around Grand Island. For pike, try tip-ups in Black Bass Bay or Whiskey Bay. Call
Long Lake: Is producing bluegill and perch. Try a teardrop with a minnow or wiggler. Those using tip-ups with sucker minnows are taking some pike. Call Bucks@ 989-595-2121
Otsego Lake- The ice is safe and many shanties are on the lake. A few sturgeon have been caught off the State Park and good perch, pike and a few walleyes on Otsego Lake. Perch fishing has been fair on Bradford, chub Lake trout fishing has been good. Call Northern Sports@ 987-448-2014
Lake Margrethe- Margrethe has safe ice and perch and gills have been biting this week. Call Skip’s Sport @ 989-348-7111
Higgins Lake- Smeltville is in full force off the west access site with some doing good on the smelt but lights are the key right now. Ice is good but anglers might want to bring cleats for easier travel. Smelt were caught in good numbers including some during the day. Try 20 to 40 feet of water. Catch rates for lake trout were decent with a 25 pounder taken in 30 feet of water as they are chasing the smelt. The perch have started to move in closer to shore, catch rates were better in the evening. Rainbow trout and brown trout can be found off Big Creek. They are hitting on wigglers. Lake trout are just off the bottom in 100 feet of water. Try Swedish pimples tipped with minnows, smelt or minnow heads. Whitefish were caught by those jigging a Swedish pimple with minnows, wax worms or wigglers. For perch, try near the Sunken Island, Main Island, and Big Creek in 30 to 50 feet of water.. Call Phoenix Park 989-821-7220 or Sports Barn 989-821-9511 for latest ice conditions
Houghton Lake- Ice fishing is good on the middle grounds with lots of gills being caught, but the wind has slowed the bite yesterday, but report have been good today. The ice is still good. Bluegill action has picked up with fish ranging 10 to 12 inches being caught. Most are using wigglers and wax worms in 7 to 9 feet of water out by the Middle Grounds.
Lyman’s @ 989-422-3231 the bite has been good around his shanties with guys doing fair off the high school and elks club.. Also Dave @ Four Season Party Store said last night they did good on the walleyes and pike. Call him @ 989-422-5230.
Angelos Party Store @ 989-202-4422 ask for Lou.
Korbinski’s call Rod@ 989-366-9500
Pappa’s Bait reporting great bluegill fishing off the middle grounds on Houghton Lake. 989-429-5780
Lake Avalon: In Montmorency County is producing a few bigger splake.
Van Etten Lake: Is producing some walleye, pike and perch.
Tawas: Those fishing near Jerry’s Marina in Tawas Bay have caught a few perch in 15 to 20 feet of water. A couple pike were speared and a few walleye were also caught. Perch anglers report seeing a lot of smelt down the holes, more than they have seen in years. A big field of ice off Tawas Point broke free and drifted out so anglers are pretty much staying well inside the Point.
Tawas River: Has open water fishing again. Steelhead were caught on spawn.
Au Gres River: On the East Branch, Whitney Drain and the Singing Bridge was not fishable as it was still iced over.
Upper Peninsula Report
Newberry- Has good ice on most the small lakes with pike biting fair.
Munuscong Bay –Dan’s Resort in Pickford reports : Perch fishing picked up with warmer weather. Walleye were caught in 10 to 20 feet of water in Raber Bay and off Rocky Point. Call Dan’s Resort @ (906) 647-8753
Manistique– Ice is good on Indian Lake and Big Manistique and the Call Top O Lakes Sport@ 906-341-5241
Slush has become an issue on most of the inland lakes.
Keweenaw Bay: Lake trout fishing was slow off Jentoffs, the Center Reef, Whirl-I-Gig Road and Pequaming. Those moving around in 120 to 270 feet of water did manage to catch a few. Some were caught in 100 to 150 feet of water off Newton’s Reef, Farmers Reef and Big Reef or the south end of Big Reef in 260 feet of water. Coho, lake herring and smelt were slow but should pick back up.
Marquette: Most of the area is covered with floating pack ice. Boats now have access from the beach. Jigging for coho was slow. A couple anglers were fishing from the coal docks in the Lower Harbor but caution needs to be used. Strong winds will cause the ice to shift.
Chicagon Lake: Is producing a good number of small perch. The few walleye that were caught were taken in waters 25 feet or deeper. The slushy conditions are worse than they have been all winter. Don’t drive on it if it is not plowed.
Iron Lake: Fishing was slow with only a few small pike and some bluegills caught. Deep snow and slush make for difficult travel.
Groveland Mine Ponds: Still have ice however slush is making travel more difficult. Island Lake is producing a lot of small bluegills for those jigging wax worms. Perch and crappie were also caught. West Lake was producing bluegills and perch out in the middle. Anglers on South Lake were fishing near the boat launch but catch rates were slow for perch, crappie and bluegills.
Lake Antoine: Still has ice but slush is making travel difficult. Both the south end and the east side of the lake have produced some perch. Many were small but anglers still managed to catch some ranging 8 to 10 inches. Bluegill fishing slowed but a few were caught in the middle. Anglers are jigging wax worms or still-fishing with tip-ups and minnows. Pike spearing was slow.
Little Bay De Noc: Has ice but travel has become difficult after the rain and heavy wet snow. Walleye catches were fair at best with the majority of anglers north of the “Narrows”. Most of the fish caught were females measuring 25 to 30 inches. Walleye were caught in 3 to 6 feet of water around Garth Point when using tip-ups with sucker minnows. Even though scattered catches were reported all along the reefs the overall harvest was much lower than this time last year. Perch fishing was best along the Kipling Flats and the “Narrows”. Most are jigging minnows and wigglers in 19 to 30 feet of water. At Sand Point, anglers need to use caution and watch for areas where the ice is breaking up along the pressure cracks.
Au Train: Still had some ice beyond Au Train Island. Anglers need to use caution as some of the ice has started to buckle. Anglers were jigging for coho off the mouth of the river but catch rates were poor. The Brownstone launch had an average of 2 or 3 feet of snow.
Munising: Ice conditions changed as heavy wet snow and drifts were difficult to navigate. There continues to be 6 to 12 inches of snow and slush in some areas. Anglers are widespread throughout the bay with fishable ice from the West Channel near Christmas to Sand Point. The whitefish bite was slow and the keepers were typically 9 to 14 inches. Splake were still scattered and size ranged anywhere from sub-legal to 20 inches. A few perch ranging 7 to 10 inches were caught at Sand Point. Those targeting lake trout in the West Channel reported slow catch rates. Those spearing for herring did best in the early morning. Some are picking up a few smelt. Trout Bay had fishable ice but catch rates were slow. Always use caution in this area as ice conditions can change rapidly.
Cedarville and Hessel: The better perch fishing was in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay and Government Bay. Try 10 feet of water with minnows, wigglers and wax worms.
Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Lake Erie: Rumor has it a few walleye were caught in Brest Bay. Perch were caught off the docks in the Metro Park Marina.
Huron River: Is producing steelhead between the dam and the mouth. Anglers are using small hair jigs or spawn. A couple walleye were also caught.
Detroit River: Anglers need to be careful and watch for ice flows. Boat anglers were catching perch up near Gibraltar and off South Gibraltar Road. Most are using perch rigs with minnows or a piece of crawler.
Lake St. Clair: Ice fishing here is done. Nearly all the ice is gone and ice along the shoreline is no longer safe. Boat fishing will be day-to-day until flow ice from southern Lake Huron passes through.
Saginaw Bay: Ice conditions on the bay and the river are deteriorating but those fishing near shore in a few locations are starting to get some nice perch. Palmer Road was producing perch in 5 to 10 feet of water and some walleye were caught in 10 to 12 feet. There was good perch fishing off White’s Beach in 6 to 8 feet and off Cody-Estey Road and Newman Road in 5 to 7 feet. Try minnows or minnow heads on small spoons. Catch rates were better during the week, too many people on the ice during the weekends. Those fishing at Bay City State Park reported seeing lots of walleye through the ice, but they did not bite. Anglers need to use extreme caution as the strong west winds have caused the sheet ice to break off and blow out about a mile offshore from the beach at the State Park. On the east side, perch were caught off Tietz Drain in 4 to 7 feet of water but the weekend crowds seem to shut fishing down. Anglers were ice fishing in the marinas at Sebewaing and Caseville but only small perch were caught. The shore ice is breaking up. Be especially cautious of the ice off Mud Creek and into Wildfowl Bay. Honeycomb ice can be found throughout the bay.
Saginaw River: Had lots of anglers launching at Rust Avenue and catching good numbers of walleye down as far as Zilwaukee. Most were vertical jigging with spoons or jig heads baited with minnows or Gulp baits. The ramp at Zilwaukee is ice free. Those launching have caught walleye as far down as Cass Avenue. The ice in Bay City is dangerous and should be avoided. Water levels are rising and becoming more turbid after all the rain and snow melt. Anglers are reminded that walleye, pike and muskie season closes on March 15th and will re-open on Saturday, April 27th.
Tittabawassee River: Has high water levels and is over the banks at Midland. The high muddy water will make fishing very difficult. Before the rain, boat anglers fishing just upstream of Gordonville Road were taking walleye on a white twister tail or a spoon. Those launching off Center Street caught walleye near the M-46 Bridge.
Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
St. Joseph River: The Fish Cam at the Berrien Springs fish ladder was restarted last week. Only a few fish were moving through last week however with rain and snow melt, steelhead movement has increased. The fish ladders at Berrien Springs, Buchanan, and Niles are open.
Kalamazoo River: More steelhead are showing up. Try jigs with wax worms and spawn or flies under a bobber. Those fishing below the Allegan Dam have caught some walleye.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has a good push of steelhead and walleye coming into the river. For steelhead, try jigs with wax worms or spawn and peach cobbler wobble glows. Those fishing off the east side boat launch are using a 6 to 8 foot leader with flies and yarn. Pink and chartreuse were good colors. Those fishing off the wall were using jigs and wax worms or wobble glows. In the lower river, boat anglers are plugging the holes or back bouncing with spawn. For walleye, try jigs and minnows, husky jerks, floating rapalas, and twister tails. Off Fulton Street, try ½ to ¾ ounce bucktail jigs with walleye minnows.
Grand River at Lansing: The fish ladders at Lyons, Webber, Portland and Grand Ledge are all open but no steelhead to report this far up. Those out for last minute pike fishing have done well below the dams. They are floating golden shiners under a bobber or fishing them right on the bottom. The occasional walleye was caught.
Red Cedar River: A small section of the river that passes through the MSU campus is now open to fishing. The downstream boundary is a fence that designates a wildlife protection area and the upper boundary is the bridge near the Sparty statue.
Reeds Lake: Anglers say the ice is holding. For crappie, try 15 feet down in 40 feet of water just before dark with minnows and glow lights. Bluegill and perch were in 8 to 40 feet of water. The pike action was still good.
Muskegon River: Water levels are up and steelhead are being caught as fresh fish move up into the river. Try jigs with wax worms or flies under a bobber.
White River: Is producing steelhead.
FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL
It’s March. Expect extreme weather changes. The mild temperatures and rain is melting the snow.
There’s plenty of ice. Both Lake Cadillac and Mitchell still are in the 16 to 18 inch range. Don’t put away your power auger.
The lakes look empty since most of the permanent shanties have been removed before the March 15th deadline. A prudent move because there’s enough ice for those who drive their trucks, quads and snowmobiles on the ice.
Only a few days left before pike and walleye season closes on the 15th. Most of us will have withdrawals but must give the pike and walleye a rest.
Crappie have been suspending and at times are just under the ice. Most are just eaters in the 8/9 inch range.
Better numbers of bluegill have been caught lately. Tiny jigs tipped with spikes or wax worms are effective.
SMELT – Finally catching smelt on Crystal. Told of good numbers and larger size than the other smelt lakes.
Green Lake – average numbers seem to be in the 60/80ty range. Some brag numbers over 100.
The Karlin Boat Launch is popular and parking can be difficult if you don’t get there early.