Kirstie Kelly Wakeley with a rainbow from Higgins Lake
They are catching steelhead on the PM up to Baldwin and the Manistee has been good with spawn, flies and waxworms working best. Some fish in the Boardman River. Perch have been biting on Manistee Lake, PM Lake and Pentwater as fish have moved in from Lake Michigan this week but very few fishing
They are still catching smelt off of Lobb rd in 40 to 60 feet of water with red spikes and hali jigs.
Saginaw Bay: Ice angling continues with lots of people out fishing. Cold nights continue to sustain the ice but driving trucks out there is not a good idea. The snow cover is gone, so bring your cleats. Rivers have yet to open up so steelhead and sucker fishing are pretty much on hold. On the West side, only a couple walleye were caught because of dirty water. The occasional perch and walleye were taken in 6 to 8 feet off Townline Road and Newman Road. Those fishing off the Bay City State Park caught walleye in 15 to 17 feet. Fish were also taken in 9 feet off Parish Road, 14 feet off Killarney Beach, and 4 to 10 feet off the trailer park near the mouth of the Saginaw River. Most are heading out about 6pm and fish until after dark. On the East side, fish were caught in 14 feet off Thomas Road and Sunset Bay Marina. At Sebewaing and Caseville, the water is getting dirty and the river ice is getting bad as runoff starts to erode it.
Higgins Lake: NO SMELT!!!Ice anglers are still getting some perch along the North end near Evergreen Park, the church camp and Sunken Island. For rainbow trout, try wigglers near the Conference Center. The lake trout bite has slowed and no word on smelt.
Traverse City: Those fishing the East Bay have caught lake trout in 80 to 150 feet off Deepwater Point. Most are jigging sand kickers or white Swedish pimples. The West Bay had slower catch rates but lake trout, cicso and whitefish were caught in 96 feet near the pressure crack which is out from the boat launch on M-22. Perch are being caught north of Lee’s Point up to Northport. There are more schools and guys are hunting hard but the results are huge perch.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
The area has more snow and continued frigid temperatures which is making ice, not melting it! Ice fishing continues like it has for the last four months.
Traverse City: Those fishing the East Bay have caught lake trout in 80 to 150 feet off Deepwater Point. Most are jigging sand kickers or white Swedish pimples. The West Bay had slower catch rates but lake trout, cicso and whitefish were caught in 96 feet near the pressure crack which is out from the boat launch on M-22. Long Lake has been fair for perch this week.
Boardman River: Anglers are starting to see some steelhead.
Lake Cadillac: Cold temperatures and more snow are not the signs of spring that most anglers are looking for. Very few have been out and trying for panfish. The ice is still thick. Anglers are using extensions on their augers or looking for pre-drilled holes.
Manistee River: Has steelhead but we are still waiting for that big push that comes in the spring. Anglers caught fish on spawn, wax worms and wobble glows.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing is viable for those hardy enough to endure the January like conditions. The spring push has not yet started but fresh fish are starting to trickle in.
Hamlin Lake has been fair but very few fishing.
Portage Has been slow as no perch have moved in yet.
Big Platte Lake guys are waiting for last ice for the big perch to bite.
Lake Missaukee has been fair for crappie and gills and Miller’s Corner has bait and Beer.
Lake Skegemog has been good for perch with nice ones reported with minnows and wigglers working best
Baldwin has fish in the PM, ice fishing is slow.
Lake Margrethe has been very slow
Otsego Lake has been slow also.
Lake Charlevoix has been good for perch with minnows and wiggler working best.
Torch Lake they are still catching whitefish, lake trout and atlantic salmon
Burt and Mullet are report slow bite
Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Au Sable River: Is open and accessible for shore and boat anglers. The launch at Rea Road was the most open as ice was still built up at the Whirlpool. Steelhead were caught near the gas line and the mouth. Try spawn, wax worms, small spoons, body baits or flies.
Higgins Lake Perch
Higgins Lake: NO SMELT!!!!!Ice anglers are still getting some perch along the north end near Evergreen Park, the church camp and Sunken Island. For rainbow trout, try wigglers near the Conference Center. The lake trout bite has been fair. Kelly beach is still producing nice perch.
Houghton Lake: Is still locked up tight with ice and those heading out are catching bluegills, perch and crappie. The bluegills were caught in 5 feet of water.
Tawas: A few nice perch were caught in 18 feet off Jerry’s Marina however anglers were throwing back a lot of small ones. Quite a few were fishing inside the harbor but the fish were small. A few walleye were caught out past the end of Tawas Point in water at least 20 feet deep.
Au Gres: There were lots of anglers fishing off Palmer Road. They’re getting both walleye and perch from 6 to 8 feet of water. No limits but some nice fish were caught.
Au Gres River: Steelhead anglers hoping to fish the East Branch will have to wait a bit longer because Whitney Drain near the Singing Bridge is still iced in.
Rifle River: Dip net season opened on March 20th however anglers will be waiting a while as the river was still iced in.
Fletcher’s Pond has been fair for perch, gills and crappies
Black Lake has been fair for perch.
West Branch and St. Helen has been fair for gills and Crappie.
Wiggins and Pratt have been fair for panfish.
Wixom Lake has been good for crappie and gills.
Secord Lake has been producing crappie the big slabs should be biting soon when the weather get in the high 30’s
Lake Margrethe has been slow
Lewiston been fair on west twin for perch
Upper Peninsula Fishing Report
Keweenaw Bay: Overall fishing was slow but some lake trout were caught a few miles north of Pequaming. A couple lake trout were caught in the bay. There is a lot of slush near Sand Point and to the south.
Menominee: The U.S. Coast Guard will be conducting ice breaking operations in Green Bay between the Marinette/ Menominee harbor breakwall and the Rock Island Passage to allow access to commercial vessels coming into the harbor. These operations will likely occur on Saturday the 29th and Sunday the 30th of March and will continue throughout the remainder of the 2014 shipping season. Anglers should remove ice shanties and equipment from the area and all recreational users on the ice should stay clear of the shipping channels.
Menominee River: At the Hattie Street Dam, anglers are trout fishing in the open water on the Michigan side. Rainbow trout and brown trout were caught by those drifting spawn, flies and yarn near the rocks or casting off the Catwalk.
Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions remain the same. If you have an extension for your auger you might want to bring it. Perch anglers had mixed results. A majority of fish were caught from the Second Reef in Kipling to just south of the “Narrows”. Deep water 30 to 40 feet is best for jumbo perch. Those fishing in 10 feet of water on the east side of Butler Island caught lots of small fish. Whitefish were caught in 35 to 40 feet off Gladstone however the better catches were off Sand Point in 75 to 85 feet.
Munising: Angler numbers and catch rates were down. The thick ice is almost impossible for those without a power auger. A couple salmon were caught between Sand Point and the Anna River. Try jigging spoons 20 to 30 feet down. Some say the bigger whitefish were moving towards shallow water. Anglers will want to try bouncing eggs off the bottom. Splake action was slow. Try minnows off Sand Point and the City Pier for bigger fish. Anglers are marking smelt but catch rates were poor. Catch rates for burbot have increased. Herring were caught near the river mouths. In Trout Bay, catch rates were spotty.
Munuscong: Some perch were caught near Grassy Island and west of Dan’s Resort.
Cedarville and Hessel: The perch harvest has been slow. It looks like catch rates will not pick up until spring not only arrives, but stays.
Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Lake Erie: Perch are still being caught in the Metro Park Marina. The launch is now open and boats are heading out. Be sure to watch for ice coming down the river. Perch and walleye were caught near the Banana Dike.
River Raisin: Was not fishable. Ice jams down near the mouth were causing water levels to rise over the banks.
Huron River: Water levels were up some. Anglers fishing near Labo Park are catching steelhead.
Lake St. Clair: Still has a lot of ice however the lake is beginning to open up especially where there is a current. Be careful near the river mouths, creeks and ditches where warm water enters the lake. Pressure cracks are also starting to thaw so there is a possibility of the ice shifting. Anglers will need to use caution so they don’t find themselves taking a ride on a sheet of ice.
Clinton River: The cut-off channel (Macomb County) from the spillway weir to the Harper Road Bridge is under new fishing regulations beginning April 1, 2014. Please note the printed version of the guide on page 36 did not specify “from the spillway weir to the Harper Road Bridge” as it should have. The online version will be updated with the change soon.
Saginaw Bay: Ice angling continues with lots of people out fishing. Cold nights continue to sustain the ice but driving trucks out there is not a good idea. The snow cover is gone, so bring your cleats. Rivers have yet to open up so steelhead and sucker fishing are pretty much on hold. On the west side, only a couple walleye were caught because of dirty water. The occasional perch and walleye were taken in 6 to 8 feet off Townline Road and Newman Road. Those fishing off the Bay City State Park caught walleye in 15 to 17 feet. Fish were also taken in 9 feet off Parish Road, 14 feet off Killarney Beach, and 4 to 10 feet off the trailer park near the mouth of the Saginaw River. Most are heading out about 6pm and fish until after dark. On the East side, fish were caught in 14 feet off Thomas Road and Sunset Bay Marina. At Sebewaing and Caseville, the water is getting dirty and the river ice is getting bad as runoff starts to erode it.
Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Ice on the inland lakes was holding but the problem may be getting on the lake as the shoreline ice becomes soft. Watch for honeycomb ice which can be very weak.
St. Joseph River: Steelhead fishing has been good below the Berrien Springs Dam. Water levels continue to rise which makes wading difficult. Many are floating wax worms and wigglers but some did well with spinners.
Kalamazoo River: Catch rates for steelhead were good below the Allegan Dam. Those wading will want to keep a close eye on water levels.
Grand River in Grand Rapids: Anglers are catching steelhead below the Sixth Street Dam.
Grand River at Lansing: No word on steelhead however rain and warmer temperatures should start to push some fish up this way.
Looking Glass River: Water levels are up.
Maple River: At Maple Rapids has high water levels.
Muskegon River: Has good steelhead fishing. Anglers are concentrating on the deeper holes until the weather warms up.