The Crappy Fishing Report

blizzard

This weather has shut down fishing and also the fish have quit biting the last few days. It has been really bad this week as fisherman have thrown in the towel until this weather breaks as we are looking for a warm up soon. It is really slow around Northern Michigan but soon the weather will change.

Grand Traverse Bays are still good for whitefish and lake trout, and a few perch off of dock rd. on east bay.

Saginaw Bay: Catch rates are slow and hanging on a bit longer than normal this year, most likely due to the bitter cold temperatures. Underwater cameras are showing walleye and perch but the bite is not there. Some were lucky enough to catch a few perch in 10 feet of water off White’s Beach and walleye in 15 feet before the first pressure crack off the State Park, and out near Spoils Island. Perch fishing off Vanderbilt Park was non-existent. Walleye anglers going off Thomas Road found a few fish in the middle of the Slot. They did better than the guys crossing the Bar and going to the Slot. Bluegill, crappie and the odd pike were caught out from the marina at Sebewaing.

Saginaw River: Catch rates were slow but some caught the occasional walleye on a blue and silver jigging rapala with a treble hook and minnow head. A couple perch were caught off the cement plant at Essexville. Anglers are seeing a lot of fish on their cameras but the fish are ignoring the bait. Water clarity was back to normal.

743777_ice_fishing_in_bad_weather_2
Northwestern Michigan

East and West Grand Traverse Bay are still good for whitefish and lake trout, and a few perch off of dock rd. on east bay.

Green Lake: In Grand Traverse County is producing some smelt and big pike. Smelt have been slow with the arctic front. red spikes, white spikes, waxworms with a hali jig have been the best bet. Ice is good at both landing with many shanties out off the south access .

Skegemog- Perch are biting when the wind not blowing 100 miles a hour Call Jack’s Sport Shop@231-258-8892

Fife Lake- Fishing has been slow but some gills and perch have been biting Lakeside Party @ 231-879-3341 for latest info

Lake Missaukee- Is producing a few perch and crappie. The better fishing is usually along the weed beds on the west side of the lake with a minnow or spike. Pike have started to bite Call Miller Corner@ 231-839-0440.

Crystal Lake: Lobb road has been ok for smelt and perch has excellent smelt fishing at night in 45 to 50 feet of water. Use Hali jigs with wax worms. Look for perch along the weeds in 25 to 35 feet of water. Try tear drops tipped with a minnow or spike.

Lake Cadillac: Crappie anglers are fishing off Kenwood Park. Those targeting walleye have actually caught some nice crappie on tip-ups. For pike and perch, try the southeast side of the lake. Call Pilgrim Village 231-775-5412 latest info

Lake Mitchell: Is another good lake for pike, crappie and bluegill.Is finally producing some bluegills. The better fishing was at the mouth of Big Cove. Call Pilgrim Village 231-775-5412 latest info

Portage Lake: Ice anglers are catching perch and pike. The better perch fishing is usually in 6 to 18 feet of water along the south end between the two camps. Call Osborne’s@ 231-889-3775 for latest fishing report. Also Don’s Sporting Goods@ 231-723-5028

Manistee River: Is pretty much locked up with ice from High Bridge down. A couple steelhead were caught at Tippy Dam.

Hamlin Lake: Was producing some bluegills, crappie and walleye. Early morning or late evening was best. Try 10 to 18 feet along the weed beds with Hali jigs and small spoons with wax worms or cut bait such as the head of a minnow. Hamlin Grocery@(231) 843-2058 and Capt. Chucks @ (231) 843-4458

Pere Marquette River: Has steelhead. Those wading have caught steelhead and the occasional brown trout.

Pere Marquette Lake: The U.S. Coast Guard is warning anglers and other recreational users to use extreme caution due to ice breaking operations. They will be making two trips and stopping at Ludington’s Occidental Chemical Facility. Officials say ice fishermen should remove their ice shanties and equipment from these areas. Recreational users should plan their activities carefully and avoid the shipping channels.

Long Lake, Lake Leelanau has started to pick up this week with walleye and perch.

Big Glen Slow this week too much snow .

Duck Lake by Interlochen Slow this week too much snow

Lake Bellaire has been fair for walleye and pike.

Northeast Michigan

Black Lake: Pike and walleye have been spotty this week Call Parrots Outpost for the latest ice conditions (989) 733-2472

Mullet Lake- Is producing perch for those using minnows and waxworms call Mullet Lake Party store@ (231) 627-4644 or Topinabee Market@ 231-238-9578

Burt Lake: Slow on walleye and perch.. 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.

Long Lake: Is producing walleye and perch. Call Bucks@ 989-595-2121

Fletchers Pond: Was producing a few crappie for those using minnows, wax worms or spikes. A few pike were taken on tip-ups. They have a fishing derby this weekend call Wild Bills Bait and Tackle@ (989) 742-4874

Otsego Lake- Fishing has been slow on Otsego Perch fishing has been fair on Bradford, chub Lake trout fishing has been good. The sturgeon have been slow this week Call Northern Sports@ 987-448-2014 for latest info

Higgins Lake- Lake trout are being caught on greys. Perch anglers were starting to catch a few bigger ones in 8 to 12 feet of water on the east side of the lake off Maple Hurst Road and Flag Point. Perch were caught south of the Sunken Island by those using minnows, spikes and wax worms. Rainbow trout can be found in the shallows off Big Creek and the Conference Center. Most are using blues. Perch were caught near Big Creek, Treasure Island, or B & B Marina. On the south end of the lake, perch were caught off Sunken Island. A few pike were taken on tip-ups and large minnows. Those spearing were seeing smaller pike. Kelly Beach on the south-end has been great for perch this weekend. I still have not heard of a smelt being caught yet
.Call Erik@ Silver Dollar Express (989) 821-6227 or Dave@Sports Barn 989-821-9511 for latest fishing info.

Houghton Lake- Catch rates for bluegill should pick up with the warmer weather. Walleye anglers were doing well also some jumbo perch. Try along the weed beds in 10 feet or more for walleye. Middle Grounds has been good for walleye as lake conditions improve.

Angelo’s Party Store has shanties call for the latest info@ 989-202-4422

Dave at Four Season Party Store has his shanties out and they were catching fish call Dave @989-422-5230

Lyman’s Shanty rental @ 989-422-3231 says pike walleye and perch have been fair with a walleye once in a while just before dark.

Korbinski’s Shanty Rental call Rod@ 989-366-9500

Pappa’s Bait reporting walleye fishing off the middle grounds on Houghton Lake he also some pike and perch. 989-429-5780

Hubbard Lake: has been steady.

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Lake Margrethe: Is producing some walleye, perch and pike. Above a huge muskie 50 inches was taken there Wednesday. Call Skips Sport@ 989-348-7111 for latest info

Wixom Lake has been slow for gills, pike and crappie but warm weather got some water flowing so things should pick-upIce fishing is great here on Wixom Lake, Gladwin County. Be sure to stop at Sandys Market to get your bait! call Joe (989) 435-9688

Sanford Lake has been fair call Sanford Sport for info on Wixom and Sanford @ 989-687.5161

Secord Lake has been fair for panfish. Sandy’s Market call Joe (989) 435-9688

Wiggins and Sugar Springs have been good for pike and panfish

Lake St. Helen: Catch rates are slow this week. For pike, try tip-ups with large minnows. Anglers will find crappie in waters 8 feet or deeper. They were hitting on small minnows and wax worms. The lake is producing a few perch ranging 10 to 12 inches but no big numbers. Most anglers are fishing First Lake especially the north and northwest side as well as off the boat launch. Call Dave @ Malcomb’s 989-389-2100 for latest info.

Around Baldwin a few pike and gills being caught but ice conditions are good.

Hesperia reports good pike fishing and a few gills but lakes still have lots of snow.

Cedar Lake: About five miles north of Oscoda is providing a fair to good number of perch, bluegill, crappie and walleye.

Van Etten Lake: Ice conditions remain good. Access sites at the park and Air Force Beach are clear of snow. Perch, bluegill and crappie were caught in good numbers.

Tawas: Overall fishing was slow. A few small perch were caught inside the harbor and off Jerry’s Marina. Few pike have been speared and walleye fishing near the tip of Tawas Point was slow.

Au Gres: Also had slow fishing with only a couple anglers sighted off Booth Road. At Palmer Road, walleye anglers had mixed results at the Catfish Hole. Perch fishing there was very slow.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: The lake herring, coho and perch bite has been slow. Smelt were caught between Baraga and Bucks Marina by those using teardrops with wax worms at night. Lake trout were found in 130 to 310 feet of water off the Whirl-I-Gig, Pequaming, Mud Bank, Koskie Flats or Farmer’s and Big Reef. The bite was good one day but non-existent the next.

Munising: Angler activity has been light especially for those without a permanent shanty or a power auger to get through the thick ice. Walking conditions improved. Those targeting whitefish will want to try bouncing a single egg off the bottom. Most of the fish caught were small. Those targeting splake caught few fish and many were small. The best chance for bigger fish was off Sand Point. Several anglers were marking smelt but there were no reports of fish caught. Trout Bay was still producing the occasional steelhead or lake trout.

Menominee River: Had an ice breaker that came in all the way up to the Marinette Marina. The only activity was up near the Dam. Some were targeting walleye through the ice on the Marinette side. Catch rates were fair for those jigging parts of a minnow. Some caught the occasional lake whitefish. On the Menominee side, anglers are targeting trout in the open water. Most are drifting flies, spawn and yarn or casting spoons.

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions continue to hold however no anglers were out near the Escanaba Power Plant due to ice breakers keeping the shipping lanes open. A few perch and sub-legal walleye were caught in 28 to 35 feet along the Narrows. The better perch fishing was in 24 to 30 feet along the Kipling flats. Try minnows or wigglers. The better walleye fishing was at the head of the bay. Try tip-ups with sucker minnows in 8 to 20 feet. Whitefish action was fair off Sand Point when using minnows, wigglers or spawn in 85 to 90 feet.

Munuscong: Ice conditions remain good but catch rates were slow in Raber Bay.

Cedarville and Hessel: Catch rates were poor on Musky Bay and Hessel Bay. Anglers caught smaller perch ranging 7and 8 inches.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Had decent perch fishing off the Metro Park Marina. Those fishing Brest Bay are taking some walleye.

Detroit River: Does have some ice coming down the river. Catch rates slowed for perch however some were still heading out to Grosse Ile and fishing Airport Bay.

Lake St. Clair: The ice is holding but there are thin spots and patches of open water because of currents. Anglers should not venture too far away from the normal fishing locations. The snow pack melted quite a bit so travel was much easier. Perch fishing was slow to fair however catch rates will improve when it starts to thaw and the perch start moving into shallow waters to spawn.

Saginaw Bay: Catch rates are slow and hanging on a bit longer than normal this year, most likely due to the bitter cold temperatures. Underwater cameras are showing walleye and perch but the bite is not there. Some were lucky enough to catch a few perch in 10 feet of water off White’s Beach and walleye in 15 feet before the first pressure crack off the State Park, and out near Spoils Island. Perch fishing off Vanderbilt Park was non-existent. Walleye anglers going off Thomas Road found a few fish in the middle of the Slot. They did better than the guys crossing the Bar and going to the Slot. Bluegill, crappie and the odd pike were caught out from the marina at Sebewaing.

Saginaw River: Catch rates were slow but some caught the occasional walleye on a blue and silver jigging rapala with a treble hook and minnow head. A couple perch were caught off the cement plant at Essexville. Anglers are seeing a lot of fish on their cameras but the fish are ignoring the bait. Water clarity was back to normal.

Tittabawassee River: Had a little bit of open water up near Gordonville Road where anglers were casting for walleye. None were caught. With the return of cold air, there is too much shore ice again.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Anglers are still ice fishing. The rain did help reduce some of the snow cover making for easier travel. Shallow and weedy lakes are starting to show signs of poor dissolved oxygen. Fish are becoming lethargic and suspending higher in the water column. Try fishing just a few feet under the ice on these types of lakes.

St. Joseph River: Those fishing up near the Berrien Springs Dam have caught steelhead. Boat launches may still be iced in.

Kalamazoo River: Had less ice but the boat launches will still be tricky. Anglers are catching steelhead and some walleye up near the Allegan Dam. Minnows and crank baits were the ticket.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Continues to produce steelhead for those using spawn, wax worms, small spoons or Hot-n-Tot’s. Fair to good walleye fishing for those using bucktail jigs with 3 inch twister tails or a jig and minnow.

Grand River at Lansing: Those looking for pike will want to try a jig and twister tail or a shiner under a bobber below the dams.

Lake Lansing: Was producing some crappie.

Muskrat Lake: Was producing some crappie.

Park Lake: Anglers caught bluegill but had to sort out the small ones.

Morrison Lake: Is producing some crappie.

Muskegon Lake: Has decent ice fishing. Perch anglers had fair catches. The trick is to keep moving to find the schools of fish. Most are using a teardrop or small spoon with a minnow head.

Nolan with a nice Pike

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Nolan is all smiles with his ten pound 34 Inch pike he caught on Manistee lake he almost placed third place in Osborns fishing contest all of us from DONS SPORT SHOP want to thank the OSBORNS For a great contest this year.

Call Dewey@ Don’s Sporting Goods for the latest fishing info around Manistee 231-723-5028

FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL

Don-Hiltz-Jr_low.

FISHING CONDITIONS ON LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL
FROM PILGRIM VILLAGE FISHING SHOP
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Not everyone’s tired of the cold temperatures and gale force winds. Snowmobilers and skiers the conditions are the best they’ve been in years. Ice fishermen could use a little less snow and we may be on the ice longer than the Springs we’re accustomed to. Some are questioning if the ice will be gone for the Spring Walleye opener.

Mixed catches of Crappie and gills were reported on both lakes, mostly crappie. The neighborhoods changed and crappie appear to be pre-dominent panfish. The common pattern seems to be depth. Best size and numbers come from 12 foot and deeper. Many waste their time in the shallow water where they catch them in the Spring. They haven’t been aggressive. Those Dead Sticking usually don’t catch much. Micro jigs on as light of line you can handle help your odds.

Debbie-Eisen

Wind and cold didn’t stop Debbie Eisen from catching
Crappie on Lake Mitchell. Part of her catch was two
12 1/2 inchers.

Scott-Cherven

Scott Cherven holds a 13″ Crappie he caught on Lake Cadillac.

Michigan Fishing Report 2/20/14

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Grand Traverse Bay: Has fishable ice so anglers are heading out for whitefish, lake trout, perch and rainbows. They have been catching ciscos out on the brush grounds on west bay. Lake trout, whitefish have been good off of Bigham, Bluff Rd, Bower’s Harbor. Some perch off of east bay and clinch park.

There is reported a jumbo perch bite on good harbor on lake Michigan but have not found out where but 20 years ago when it froze it was by Shalda Creek

Lake Leelanau: Those using tip-ups have caught some nice pike. Also perch and walleye on the south-end

Long Lake by Traverse City has been good for perch and walleye this week and the slush has tighten up.

Crystal Lake: In Benzie County has decent smelt fishing at night in 45 to 50 feet of water off Lobb Rd,. Use hali jigs with wax worms. Some have caught lake trout just off the bottom. Look for perch along the weeds in 25 to 35 feet of water. Try tear drops tipped with a minnow or spike.

Green Lake: Continues to produce some smelt for those fishing near the Betsie River or the Music Camp at night. Try a teardrop or hali jig with a wax worm.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were hit-or-miss but still being caught 5 to 6 miles off Pinconning Park, 15 feet of water off Linwood and 17 feet off Parish Road. Perch anglers were getting a few in 7 feet off the end of Newman Road and Townline Road, near Pinconning. Perch were also caught in 5 feet off Vanderbilt Park and Hidden Harbor off King Road. Walleye anglers accessing the bay at Thomas Road were going across the Slot, across the Bar, and on out to either Buoy #12 or Buoy #1. The distance to either buoy is miles offshore. At Sebewaing, anglers fishing inside the marina caught bluegill, crappie and perch. Ice anglers at Sebewaing are reminded that on Thursday February 20th, dynamite will be used to break up some of the river ice. It would be best to find someplace else to fish for a few days.

Saginaw River: Fishing was generally slow at all locations from one end of the river to the other however some anglers did very well. There has been a lot of snowmobile traffic which may play a factor in the slower fishing. Walleye were caught near the Zilwaukee Bridge and in 20 feet or more in the Ship Channel. Try fire-tiger jigging rapalas or gold jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads.

Portage Lake is still slow but reports a few fish have been caught the last few days. Pike have started to bite but reports there is still lots of snow on the lake but it is starting to settle. Osborn’s Fishing Contest is this weekend

Hamlin Lake is still hard to get around with quads but fish have started to bite the last two days. About a dozen fishing on the lake today. Slush is starting to tighten up. Crappie being caught on the upper lake, minimal pan fish…..smaller in size. Best catch just before dark.

Pentwater seems to be the place as there was 40 cars during the week . It is a easy place to fish as short walk and perch are biting. Call Pentwater Angler for latest info@ 231-869-5357

Northwestern Michigan

East and West Grand Traverse Bay are froze and guys are getting out so this might be the best bet this weekend for whitefish, Lake trout and perch.

Green Lake: In Grand Traverse County is producing some smelt and big pike. Smelt have been slow with the arctic front. red spikes, white spikes, waxworms with a hali jig have been the best bet. Ice is good at both landing with many shanties out off the south access .

Skegemog- Perch are biting Call Jack’s Sport Shop@231-258-8892

Fife Lake- Fishing has been slow but some gills and perch have been biting Lakeside Party @ 231-879-3341 for latest info

Portage Lake- Slow this week Call Osborne’s@ 231-889-3775 for latest fishing report. Also Don’s Sporting Goods@ 231-723-5028

Hamlin Lake- Slow this week too much snow hard to get around Hamlin Grocery@(231) 843-2058 and Capt. Chucks @ (231) 843-4458

Lake Missaukee- Is producing a few perch and crappie. The better fishing is usually along the weed beds on the west side of the lake with a minnow or spike. Pike have started to bite Call Miller Corner@ 231-839-0440.

Crystal Lake: Lobb road has been ok for smelt and perch has excellent smelt fishing at night in 45 to 50 feet of water. Use Hali jigs with wax worms. Look for perch along the weeds in 25 to 35 feet of water. Try tear drops tipped with a minnow or spike.

Lake Cadillac: Crappie anglers are fishing off Kenwood Park. Those targeting walleye have actually caught some nice crappie on tip-ups. For pike and perch, try the southeast side of the lake. Call Pilgrim Village 231-775-5412 latest info

Lake Mitchell: Is another good lake for pike, crappie and bluegill.Is finally producing some bluegills. The better fishing was at the mouth of Big Cove. Call Pilgrim Village 231-775-5412 latest info

Manistee River: Best kept secret Steelhead is f great at Tippy Dam. Below High Bridge the river is iced up and not fishable.

Pere Marquette River: Has steelhead. Those wading have caught steelhead and the occasional brown trout.

Pere Marquette Lake: The U.S. Coast Guard is warning anglers and other recreational users to use extreme caution due to ice breaking operations. They will be making two trips and stopping at Ludington’s Occidental Chemical Facility. Officials say ice fishermen should remove their ice shanties and equipment from these areas. Recreational users should plan their activities carefully and avoid the shipping channels.

Long Lake, Lake Leelanau has started to pick up this week with walleye and perch.

Big Glen Slow this week too much snow .

Duck Lake by Interlochen Slow this week too much snow

Lake Bellaire has been fair for walleye and pike.

Northeast Michigan

Black Lake: Pike and walleye have been spotty this week Call Parrots Outpost for the latest ice conditions (989) 733-2472

Mullet Lake- Is producing perch for those using minnows and waxworms call Mullet Lake Party store@ (231) 627-4644 or Topinabee Market@ 231-238-9578

Burt Lake: Slow on walleye and perch.. 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.

Long Lake: Is producing walleye and perch. Call Bucks@ 989-595-2121

Fletchers Pond: Was producing a few crappie for those using minnows, wax worms or spikes. A few pike were taken on tip-ups. They have a fishing derby this weekend call Wild Bills Bait and Tackle@ (989) 742-4874

Otsego Lake- Fishing has been slow on Otsego Perch fishing has been fair on Bradford, chub Lake trout fishing has been good. The sturgeon have been slow this week Call Northern Sports@ 987-448-2014 for latest info

Higgins Lake- Lake trout are being caught on greys. Perch anglers were starting to catch a few bigger ones in 8 to 12 feet of water on the east side of the lake off Maple Hurst Road and Flag Point. Perch were caught south of the Sunken Island by those using minnows, spikes and wax worms. Rainbow trout can be found in the shallows off Big Creek and the Conference Center. Most are using blues. Perch were caught near Big Creek, Treasure Island, or B & B Marina. On the south end of the lake, perch were caught off Sunken Island. A few pike were taken on tip-ups and large minnows. Those spearing were seeing smaller pike. Kelly Beach on the south-end has been great for perch this weekend. Jays reported that a group of guys fished Higgins Wednesday and slammed the big perch. I have not heard of a smelt being caught yet
.Call Erik@ Silver Dollar Express (989) 821-6227 or Dave@Sports Barn 989-821-9511 for latest fishing info.

Houghton Lake- Catch rates for bluegill should pick up with the warmer weather. Walleye anglers were doing well also some jumbo perch. Try along the weed beds in 10 feet or more for walleye. Middle Grounds has been good for walleye as lake conditions improve.

Angelo’s Party Store has shanties call for the latest info@ 989-202-4422

Dave at Four Season Party Store has his shanties out and they were catching fish call Dave @989-422-5230

Lyman’s Shanty rental @ 989-422-3231 says pike walleye and perch have been fair with a walleye once in a while just before dark.

Korbinski’s Shanty Rental call Rod@ 989-366-9500

Pappa’s Bait reporting walleye fishing off the middle grounds on Houghton Lake he also some pike and perch. 989-429-5780

Hubbard Lake: has been steady.

Lake Margrethe: Is producing some walleye, perch and pike. A huge muskie 50 inches was taken there Wednesday. Call Skips Sport@ 989-348-7111 for latest info

Wixom Lake has been slow for gills, pike and crappie but warm weather got some water flowing so things should pick-upIce fishing is great here on Wixom Lake, Gladwin County. Be sure to stop at Sandys Market to get your bait! call Joe (989) 435-9688

Sanford Lake has been fair call Sanford Sport for info on Wixom and Sanford @ 989-687.5161

Secord Lake has been fair for panfish. Sandy’s Market call Joe (989) 435-9688

Wiggins and Sugar Springs have been good for pike and panfish

Lake St. Helen: Catch rates were good last weekend fish have been caught. For pike, try tip-ups with large minnows. Anglers will find crappie in waters 8 feet or deeper. They were hitting on small minnows and wax worms. The lake is producing a few perch ranging 10 to 12 inches but no big numbers. Most anglers are fishing First Lake especially the north and northwest side as well as off the boat launch. Call Dave @ Malcomb’s 989-389-2100 for latest info.

Around Baldwin a few pike and gills being caught but lots of snow.

Hesperia reports good pike fishing and a few gills but lakes still have lots of snow.

Cedar Lake: About five miles north of Oscoda is providing a fair to good number of perch, bluegill, crappie and walleye.

Van Etten Lake: Is also producing panfish, walleye and pike. The better fishing is usually along the west end of the lake and off the YMCA Camp.

Au Sable River: Rea Road and Whirlpool were open enough to launch however you will need four-wheel drive. Steelhead are in the holes but ice on the banks will make it difficult to get to them. The gas line was productive for those using small spoons, wax worms, spikes or spawn. Be sure to watch for snowmobile traffic on the trails. Many are out riding because conditions are excellent.

Tawas: Perch were caught inside the harbor and off Jerry’s Marina. A few walleye were caught in 20 feet out near the tip of Tawas Point. Those spearing managed to take a couple pike.

Au Gres: Perch action was spotty in 6 to 8 feet off Palmer Road. Those targeting walleye were going out five miles or more.

Au Gres River: Walleye anglers were catching mostly sub-legal fish.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Is producing some smelt for those fishing at night with a teardrop and wax worm between Baraga and Bucks Marina. The bite was slow for coho and lake herring. Catch rates for lake trout were hit-or-miss. Anglers are fishing out from the Whirl-l-Gig and Pequaming or on Newton’s, Farmers and the Big Reef. They are using ¾ to 1 ½ ounce jigs with smelt or cut bait.

Marquette: Ice anglers fishing the Upper Harbor have reported incidental catches of diving ducks when using tip-ups with minnows. Anglers are advised to fish as far away from open water where waterfowl have congregated. This will help to minimize the chance that foraging birds will get caught on a hook or tangled in fishing line. If a bird is caught, the best course of action is to reel it in, remove the hook/line and then release the bird. Retrieving the bird through the ice is preferable to simply cutting the line. If a bird is badly injured, anglers are encouraged to contact a local wildlife rehabilitator for assistance. Licensed rehabilitators are listed online at www.michigandnr.com/dlr/.

Munising: Trout Bay was producing some limit catches of coho, lake trout and a few herring. A few small whitefish and splake were caught off Munising.

Menominee: Few anglers were on the bay however some were targeting panfish near the pilings by the lighthouse.

Menominee River: Anglers are being warned that an “ice breaker” is scheduled to come in soon. It will come in from the bay and move upstream to the Marinette Marine to help a ship with its departure. The local paper has advised anglers to stay clear of the bay and the river in that area. A couple bluegills were caught near the Menikaunee launch and behind K-Mart. Pike and walleye were targeted near the Mystery Ship launch. Those fishing the open water on the Michigan side caught a couple steelhead when drifting flies, spawn and yarn or casting small spoons and rapalas. Walleye fishing through the ice on the Wisconsin side was slow but a few were caught in the late evening when jigging a piece of minnow or wax worm.

Little Bay De Noc: Still has good ice however travel conditions were not good. Those taking motorized vehicles out were getting stuck in deep drifts. Some have removed their ice shanties because of the conditions. Catch rates were fair for whitefish in 75 to 85 feet of water off Sand Point. Perch fishing was fair off Kipling. They are using wigglers in 10 to 23 feet but many were small so they were released. Most of the walleye caught near the Second Reef or Gladstone were sub-legal. Ice shanties near the Escanaba Power Plant have been removed because of ice breakers opening the shipping lanes.

Indian Lake: In Schoolcraft County was producing some perch and walleye.

Munuscong: Catch rates were fair along the shipping channel in waters 20 to 27 feet deep. Anglers can see fish but the bite was slow.

Cedarville and Hessel: Have lots of ice. Anglers say the best travel method is by snowmobile. Perch fishing in Cedarville, Musky Bay and Hessel Bay was fair for those using wigglers in water 10 feet or deeper.

Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Erie: Perch have been caught off the Metro Park Marina however anglers will need to sort out the small ones. Bluegills were hitting off Sterling State Park.

Detroit River: Pike anglers were concentrating around Grosse Isle. For perch, check out the canals around Gibraltar when using minnows, wax worms or spikes.

Lake St. Clair: Catch rates were not good as the fish were scarce or very small. Thick ice and deep snow are not helping. Anglers are hopeful that warmer weather this week will reduce the snow cover and have the fish feeding again.

Lexington: Had ice anglers targeting steelhead and brown trout. Catch rates were hit-or-miss. A couple pike were caught.

Port Sanilac: Also had anglers out targeting steelhead and brown trout.

Harbor Beach: Had a couple anglers spearing pike in the marina.

Saginaw Bay: Walleye were hit-or-miss but still being caught 5 to 6 miles off Pinconning Park, 15 feet of water off Linwood and 17 feet off Parish Road. Perch anglers were getting a few in 7 feet off the end of Newman Road and Townline Road, near Pinconning. Perch were also caught in 5 feet off Vanderbilt Park and Hidden Harbor off King Road. Walleye anglers accessing the bay at Thomas Road were going across the Slot, across the Bar, and on out to either Buoy #12 or Buoy #1. The distance to either buoy is miles offshore. At Sebewaing, anglers fishing inside the marina caught bluegill, crappie and perch. Ice anglers at Sebewaing are reminded that on Thursday February 20th, dynamite will be used to break up some of the river ice. It would be best to find someplace else to fish for a few days.

Saginaw River: Fishing was generally slow at all locations from one end of the river to the other however some anglers did very well. There has been a lot of snowmobile traffic which may play a factor in the slower fishing. Walleye were caught near the Zilwaukee Bridge and in 20 feet or more in the Ship Channel. Try fire-tiger jigging rapalas or gold jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads.

Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Inland lakes continue to produce some bluegills in the morning and evening. Yellow perch action picked up on sunny days. Northern pike are becoming more active as it gets closer to spring.

St. Joseph River: Steelhead activity should pick up with the brief warm up. Those fishing near the Berrien Springs Dam have caught fish.

Kalamazoo River: Has shelf ice but those fishing up near the Allegan Dam have caught the occasional steelhead and walleye.

Gull Lake: Was producing a better number of smelt for those fishing in deeper water at night. The better perch and pike fishing are usually around Island Park.

Gun Lake: Has bluegill, crappie, perch and walleye.

Duck Lake: In Calhoun County was producing some pike for those spearing.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has a good number of steelhead. Anglers are using a jig and wax worm, spawn bags or Hot-n-Tots. Walleye can be found from the dam all the way down. They are hitting on white bucktail jigs and 3 inch twister tails. There was no ice coming down the river at this time.

Reeds Lake: Was good for perch, bluegill, crappie and pike.

Muskegon River: Is full of steelhead. Anglers have taken limit catches right along with the occasional brown trout.

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Ashley Rae is a multi-species angler

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With the recent temperature drops and wind chill reaching lows of minus 30 C, most people are huddled indoors by their fireplace avoiding the outdoors altogether. You will still find loads of anglers out on the ice taking advantage of the early ice season with so many fishing opportunities in the region.

I have been one of those crazy people out on the ice, baring the elements to chase fish and create some new memories. Each year I strive to spend time targeting new species, or fish that I haven’t fished for as frequently. This season I have stepped back from walleye a bit, and have been spending some time in pursuit of trout.

The Land O’ Lakes Region offers year-round trout fishing opportunities, as there are several stocked lakes. Be sure to check the Ontario Fishing Regulations booklet to find out more about these opportunities. These stocked fisheries, often referred to as ‘put-and-take lakes,’ can be great for catching numbers of fish and also offer some decent-sized catches. Whether you’re fishing for a meal or a trophy, it’s a great way to get outside in the winter and get your fishing fix.

As always when I talk ice fishing, I must mention safety. A spud, ice picks and a flotation suit are must-have items when venturing out onto the ice. Flashers and GPS devices as well as head-lamps, propane heaters and portable shelters make life much easier in the cold, and way more comfortable. Why suffer and shiver when you can fish in comfort? It’s a no-brainer.

My first lake trout outing this season was on New Year’s Day. I fell asleep before midnight on the couch on New Year’s Eve, and then rang in the new year targeting lakers. These fish are the most aggressive that I have caught through the ice. They are a cold-water species and thrive in low water temperatures. Most fish become lethargic during the winter, but lakers really get fired up. They roam deep holes in search of smelt to feed on, and can be found suspended or on bottom.

A steep drop in 50 feet of water was my first spot to try. I marked two fish but neither were very interested in my presentation. I tried a variety of lures but still no action from the trout.

I made a move further towards the drop and set up in 60 feet of water. Right off the hop I was marking fish and could tell on my MarCum LX-9 flasher that I was on a very steep slope. Several fish were passing through and had some interest in my Rippin’ Rap. Some fish were rising off bottom and rushing towards it, but then stopping and slowly slipping away.

I felt that the flash and fast action was bringing them in, but maybe the rattle was too much. I switched to a blade-bait and let it drop all the way to bottom and began lifting and creating a fluttering action. It wasn’t long before a fish spotted it and rushed it. This time there was no question about it — the laker crushed it and I landed my first fish of 2014!

My next day off brought me back to target lakers again. I started off with the Rippin’ Rap to see if there were fish in the area. This lure is one of my go-to fish locators that I typically use to call fish in. My technique is dropping it slowly to bottom and lifting slowly and then switching it up to quick rips a few feet off bottom until I start marking fish on my flasher.

I tried several presentations on my latest outing but found success on the Luhr Jensen Krocodile spoon. I dropped it to bottom and began lifting and fluttering about eight feet off bottom, when I had a fish shoot right up to it. I continued to lift the spoon away from the fish. It backed down twice but came back up and finally on the third lift it ate it. This spoon has a great fluttering action and has also worked well for me on walleye. It’s thick with a hard finish so it doesn’t get chipped on these aggressive fish.

My goal this ice season is to land five different species of trout: lake, brook, splake, rainbow and brown. I will keep you up to date on my progress.

Ashley Rae is a multi-species angler from the Bay of Quinte area. Follow her fishing adventures through her website and social media. http://www.SheLovesToFish.com

This is Why there are No Wigglers

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They have been working two days trying to get a hole in the ice so they can dig and you can see it really is bad how much ice they have to move. We have had a stretch of a month that it did not get in the 20’s so they can try and finally the last two days they are giving it the college try