Good perch fishing out of PM Lake and Pentwater Lake in boats with bigger fish coming out of PM. Perch shiners and wigglers are working best. Grand Traverse West Bay has been good for perch also.
Ice fishing is coming to a close up north They are still fishing little traverse bay between charlevoix and petoskey on the ice and catching fish photos are from fish today. People were out on Otsego Lake, Higgins lake the ice is 10 to 50 feet off shore on the west side so ice should go in a hurry.
Crappies are showing up at the first fill on Sanford Lake this week, wisdom lake has had some crappie showing up in the canals. Houghton lake still has ice floating around and the canals are still iced in.
Tippy Dam should be good as the water has been stabilized to 40 degrees the last few days so fish are showing up.
Anglers are reminded that on Sunday April 1st, all anglers 17 years of age and older will be required to have a new 2018 Michigan fishing license. Be sure to look at a copy of the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide for new regulations that go into effect on April 1st.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Steelhead fishing was slow on some of the local rivers as water levels were still low and cold. Anglers were still ice fishing on some lakes, but extreme caution needs to used, as ice conditions are questionable.
Lake Charlevoix: Still had ice. Perch fishing was just okay in the South Arm during the morning hours.
Betsie River: Angling activity continues to increase with steelhead being caught. Some brown trout were also caught and released as the season is closed.
Manistee: Pier and boat anglers have caught coho and brown trout. Steelhead were caught by pier anglers.
Big Manistee River: Fishing picked up over the last week as a good number of fresh fish were moving in. Up near Tippy Dam, anglers reported a decent bite that was best in the morning. Those on the north bank did well floating spawn while those on the south bank had luck with beads and flies.
Ludington: Pier and boat anglers have been picking up a few brown trout.
Pere Marquette Lake: Was producing a good number of yellow perch for boat anglers.
Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing is picking up with fresh fish moving in.
Pentwater River: Has steelhead.
Muskegon Lake: Perch fishing was good with boat anglers taking fish in front of the Sand Docks in 40 to 50 feet or in deeper water out from the Milwaukee Clipper.
Muskegon River: Boat and shore anglers are getting some steelhead but the action was still on the slow side with water temperatures in the mid 30’s. A couple anglers tried fishing at the Reedsburg Dam but no fish were caught.
White River: Steelhead fishing picked up with fresh fish moving in.
Steelhead fishing was slow on some of the local rivers. Anglers were still ice fishing on some lakes, but extreme caution needs to used, as ice conditions are questionable.
Cheboygan River: Those using spawn at the dam were taking steelhead.
Pigeon River: Anglers were starting to fish for steelhead but most caught brown trout that had to be released.
Black Lake: There is still ice on the lake however how much and what conditions are is unknown. There is open water near the mouth of the Black River.
Alpena: Thunder Bay has open water.
Thunder Bay River: Is open water and conditions are right for steelhead fishing. The marina is still frozen but the Fletcher Street ramp is open. Not a lot of runoff yet so the river is still pretty fishable. The dam will likely be opened with the first real warm weather we get and that could make fishing more difficult. Up until freeze up last fall, Atlantic salmon were being caught regularly in the old ‘turning basin’ in the river and it is likely they are still there. Try casting from the walkway along LaMarre Park in Alpena.
Higgins Lake: Still had some ice but getting on the lake has been a problem that continues to get worse with open water along the west shore, off Big Creek and near the natural springs on the north end. Fishing here is pretty much done for now.
Houghton Lake: Pretty much all the ice is gone now but no boats have been out. Anglers are now waiting for spring fishing to get started.
Tawas: On the pier at the state harbor, those fishing outside the pier caught some Atlantic salmon, lake trout and a couple brown trout or walleye when still-fishing with minnows or casting crank baits. The marina basin is full of minnows so perch fishing was hit-or-miss. Boats launching at the mouth of the Tawas River and fishing down near Alabaster were taking some nice lake trout when trolling or jigging. The sucker run in the Rifle River at Omer was stalled but the warm rain this week should help.
Tawas River: Those drifting crawlers and spawn sacks were getting some steelhead.
Au Gres River: Steelhead anglers fishing at the Singing Bridge did well when drifting spawn sacks in the lower river. Surf fishing was nearly impossible due to the strong east winds.
Saginaw Bay: Perch were still not in the cuts and river mouths yet. Boat fishing for walleye has been difficult because of windy conditions. There has been very little fishing activity from Pinconning to the mouth of the Saginaw River. A couple walleye were caught out near Spoils Island but nothing much over 15 inches. Moving east, a few nice perch were caught on a tiny tube jig in the open water at Finn Road. Not much to report on the Quanicassee River or at the Thomas Cut and Allen Cut except for a few small perch taken. Bluegills, crappie and small perch were caught in Sunset Bay Marina. The Sebewaing River and marina along with Mud Creek were slow as those trying for perch did not have much luck. The Caseville Marina was slow but pier anglers were taking a few lake trout on minnows or when casting hardware. Rain this week should help bring water levels and water temperatures up in the rivers and that should get the perch and sucker fishing going.
Saginaw River: Perch fishing in the lower river was pretty good with most boats in 30 feet along the shipping channel from the mouth upstream to the Bay Aggregate cut and also in front of Bay Harbor Marina. Crappie were caught in the tributaries.
Lake Gogebic: Perch fishing started to pick up on the north end.
Keweenaw Bay: Fishing continues to be slow for lake trout, splake, and salmon. Smelt are still biting all day and night off Sand Point and out from the Baraga Marina. Splake and coho were seen off the Falls River but they did not want to bite.
Menominee County: Perch fishing was good on Hayward Lake. Lake Mary and Lake Ann have been slow; with little to no luck on bluegills. Shakey Lake was slow.
Little Bay De Noc: The cold nights have helped the ice some but the edges are getting rough in areas. The only anglers south of Gladstone were a few whitefish anglers off Sand Point that reported fair catches when jigging minnows or spawn along the drop-off. Angler participation has dropped and those out were primarily perch fishing off Kipling in 24 to 40 feet along the Second and Third Reefs with minnows or wigglers. Some were still getting the occasional jumbo perch. Those that still have ice shanties out are reminded that they need to be off the ice by midnight of March 31st.
Marquette: Coho fishing was slow at the bubblers with most anglers only getting one or two fish per trip. Those dragging boats across the ice need to use extreme caution. Water levels were still extremely low in both the Carp and Chocolay Rivers. Very few fish other than a couple brown trout have been caught.
Au Train: Coho fishing through the ice was hit-or-miss at the Au Train River mouth. On the good days, anglers were getting limit catches but on the slow days they were lucky to get a couple fish. A few coho and whitefish were caught through the ice at the mouth of the Rock River.
Munising: Still had ice and it should hang around for a few more weeks. Anglers continue to report good catches of smelt especially in the afternoon when the schools of fish were more active. Night anglers for burbot have done very well throughout however the best areas were off Trout Bay and Sand Point. Coho fishing was slightly better with one or two fish caught in the morning. Weekend fishing pressure was very high with nearly 100 anglers and the increased noise factor with sleds coming and going may have slowed the bite. In general, there is a lot of food in the bay with an abundance of smelt. The splake and whitefish action was poor with only a few fish caught.
Two Hearted River: Access to the river would be by snowmobile only as there are no open roads in that area right now. Anglers interested in steelhead fishing would need to access by snowmobile as heavy snowpack still exists in the area.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing slowed around the Les Cheneaux Islands. Many of those caught were undersize but some did manage to catch the occasional 8 to 14 inch fish with minnows, wigglers, spikes, and small lures. Some have caught splake up to 8 pounds with minnows. The ice was holding but some bays now have open water. Anglers still need to use caution especially near the points and areas with a strong current.