Baitman Fishing Report for Northern Michigan 2/9/2018

The cold front has slowed fishing in most places but some are still having good luck, but it is February and fishing does slow down.

Mark Martin Fishing School on Burt Lake this week was a huge success and they caught big perch, walleye and burbot
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This Saturday (Feb 10th) is a great opportunity to meet the guys from Ice Junkies Outdoors in a rare appearance at Houghton Lake. We have beautiful ice conditions…18′ to 24″ of ice and snow on top.

Lyman’s Weekly Big Pike Contest Winners. Zayne Lytle from Coleman was celebrating his 9th birthday on Houghton Lake and ended up winner the kid’s division with a 21″ pike. He was using a minnow on a green tear drop in the south shore weedbed. Dan Kubicki from HL won the adult division with his 32″, 7 1/2 lb keeper caught on a tip-up on Higgins Lake. Congrats to the winners!

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Houghton Lake: Anglers still need to stay clear of a large pressure crack in the East Bay which runs from the canal on the west side of the East Bay and shoots northeast. Anglers can fish inside the East Bay but do not try to cross over into the main body of the lake as the pressure crack had opened up and could be hard to see especially with the snow cover. There is also a pressure crack at the entrance to the North Bay so use caution.The bite has been up and down depending on the weather. Pike are still being caught. More walleye were still caught after 4pm and were hitting on jigging spoons or rapalas tipped with blues. Orange and glow were still the hot colors. If the walleye and bluegills are not hitting on minnows, try wigglers.

ICE REPORT: Thursday, 2/9/18
Lake Mitchell & Lake Cadillac

There is from 1-4″ of fresh snow on the lake,Lake Mitchell is holding stong with 10-13″ of ice and Lake Cadillac has about the same at 10-12″



Saginaw Bay: Those that want to go out are doing so at their own risk! Anglers are warned to stay away from the pressure cracks and do not try to cross them. There is a bad pressure crack about 1 to 1 ½ miles offshore that runs from White’s Beach all the way down to Newberg Road south of Pinconning. The crack was about 20 feet wide. There is another crack that crossed the bay just north of the Black Hole and anglers should avoid that area. Extreme caution needs to be used. You might not see a pressure crack until you are on top of it and by then it is too late. On the east side, there was bad ice from Rose Island Road north to Geiger Road due to currents in the area. Anglers have fallen through in this area. Bad ice was reported in Wildfowl Bay off Beadle Bay Marina. The ice blew out at the Caseville Pier. Fishing was spotty just about everywhere and perch fishing near shore normally starts to wind down this time of year.

Saginaw River: Ice conditions were extremely variable. One angler went through the ice down near Crow Island. Ice thickness was as thin as 1 or 2 inches in some spots. Fishing was spotty at best.



Newest ice report off of Green road 12-15” The walleye have started to bite .Opening at 7am. Fish on! Call Miller’s Corner @ 231-839-0440 for latest info

White Lake has slowdown and guys were just getting back out Wednesday
Call Armstrong’s on White Lake (231) 894-6753 or Johnson’s Outdoors for the latest fishing info @ 231-893-6688


Around Traverse City Green fishing smelt on Green off the state park access also some nice perch being caught also. Guys out on Long Lake catching walleye, pike and perch. Some nice perch out of long lake on wiggler in 28-30 of water. Spider Lake, Arbutus, Ellis Lake, Lake Dubonnet(mud Lake) also have 8 to 10 inches Call roys for latest info @ 231-946-5633

Lake Skegemog has ice from 10 to15  inches guys were heading catching perch the last few day lots of sorting the lake is in great shape, Manistee lake is 10 to 12 inches with fishing fair.. Bear and Guernsey Lake have a great  trout bite.  call Jack’s Sport@ 231-258-8892

Fife Lake is froze and pike have been biting on the smaller lakes  call Kathy’s Lakeside Party Store 231-879-3341 for latest info

Ice report for the week. Upper Hamlin Lake has anywhere from 12 to 15 inches inches on it. Here Marquette lake has 6-7 inches in most spots. Just use caution out by the shipping lane. Pentwater lake also has 10 -12  inches and has cooled off the last couple days and smaller perch also. Call  Captain Chucks@ 231-843-4458 or Lower Hamlin Grocery @ (231) 425-4420

They are fishing little glen and some are fishing big Glen and  they are catching the big perch,. Lake Leelanau has turned slowed the last few days Call   Empire Outdoors@ (231) 326-5433 or Roadside minnows 231-944-5229

Portage Lake has been fair on perch and ciscoes, walleye and pike fishing has been slow this week.Call Osborn’s @ 231-889-3775 or Dewey @ Don’s Sport Shop 231-735-5028  Manistee Lake is froze and catching pike, and perch.

Otsego Lake has 15 to 18 inches and good perch and walleye some are fishing Chub lake also has great bite this week on trout, perch and pike. Call Northern Sports @ 989-448-2014 Brian Derminer’s Party Store 989-705-7051 Tony @ Otsego Corner Store 989-7321-8664 for latest info

Higgins Lake good ice over the entire lake, with some areas coming in at 12 inches….no snow on top of ice…..lots of little perch, but they are catching smelt this year and ciscoes, some during the day .Lake trout are ok and a few pike being caught.. Call Sports Barn @ 989-821-9511 or Higgins Lake Hardware Call Brian @ 989-821-6677   Evergreen Park  @ 989-821-5425.

Lake St. Helen has 10 to 15  inches and pike, walleye, and panfish have been biting. Call Mike @ Saint Helen Bait Shop 989-808-1814

Lake Margarethe is froze with 10  to 12 inches and  lots of guys have been fishing with good pike and walleye. perch fishing has picked up. Call Skip’s Sport Shop @ 989-348-7111

Crystal Lake is froze lots of little perch. Call Stapleton’s Corner for latest info 790 Michigan Ave, Benzonia, MI 49616 Phone:(231) 882-4342

Lewiston Report that west Twin has 10to 12 inches. Call Midlakes Party @ (989) 786-3227 for latest info

Fletcher Floodwater has ice 12 to 16 inches Call A1 Party Store for the latest info @ (989) 742-4112

Grand Lake has good ice. Call Adrian’s Sport for the latest ice update @ (989) 734-2303

Long Lake and Grand Lake has ice call Buck’s Bait and Tackle @ (989) 595-2121 for latest ice info

Black Lake is froze and lots of guys fishing the lake this year. pike walleye and perch are being caught Call Parrots Outpost@ (989) 733-2472 Address: 20628 State St, Onaway, MI 49765

Burt Lake: Ice anglers were taking a decent number of perch from Maple Bay which is on the west side of the lake. Try live minnows.

Mullett Lake: Anglers were taking a few perch in front of Aloha State Park and in Scotts Bay.

Hesperia Sport reports that the smaller lakes have ice lots of guys heading out with good gill and pike bite. 8 to 10inches of ice on most lakes. call 231-854-3965

Harrison Has ice and good perch bite on Budd Lake call Ken’s Landing@ (989) 539-3700 and  Mike’s Quick Stop@  (989) 539-1435 Sharps Market (989) 539-9862

Baldwin area some of the guys are getting out but the ice is 7 -9 inches

Wixom, Sanford, Sugar Springs, wiggins, Pratt Lake and Secord have great ice  and the bite has been good for pike and panfish. call Sanford Sport @ 989-687-5161  Chappel Dam Grocery (989) 426-7503   Big R’s Party  (989) 435-2517

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Leelanau: Walleye have been caught in both lakes. Perch fishing was better in the south lake where anglers were fishing in 20 to 30 feet. The north lake was producing some lake trout in 80 to 100 feet. Some smelt were taken along the north end.

Green Lake: Anglers were getting some perch in about 45 feet. Those targeting pike have done well with a fair number of fish taken off the State Park. Some smelt were caught in 40 to 50 feet.

Long Lake: In Grand Traverse County was producing some walleye and perch.

Portage Lake: Ice fishing continues with anglers taking perch and lake herring. The perch were found in 25 to 30 feet especially on the east end. Walleye and pike have also been caught.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Ice fishing continues. The bite slowed a bit but anglers were still getting a few walleye along with bluegills, crappie and a few perch. Those spearing or using tip-ups continue to take pike.

Muskegon Lake: Already has a good 4 to 6 inches of snow and more is coming by the weekend. The deeper snow makes travel a bit more difficult. Yellow perch have been caught along the drop-offs on the west end or between the black buoy and the Bear Lake channel. Perch were also caught in the northeast corner off Second Street in 30 to 40 feet. Walleye were caught in 20 to 25 feet. Pike anglers have done very well off Heritage Landing and out from Hartshorn Marina.

White Lake: Had good perch fishing on the north end in 30 to 50 feet.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Black Lake: Anglers need to be cautious near the river mouths, any pressure cracks and old spearing holes especially after the lake sturgeon season last Saturday. Fishing slowed. Walleye anglers jigging minnows in 15 to 20 feet had little luck. Those that were caught ranged 18 to 21 inches. A few pike up to 36 inches were caught in 15 feet.

Higgins Lake: Those spearing pike have done well including one fish that was 46 inches. Lake trout anglers are using trout minnows in 80 to 100 feet or deeper. Some nice perch were caught in 15 to 50 feet around the Main Island but anglers need to keep moving around to find them. Smelt were caught in 30 to 50 feet off the North State Park, Big Creek, the west launch and to the south of it. A few rainbow trout were taken on wigglers in a foot of water near the Conference Center.


Tawas: Some lake trout and walleye were caught around the artificial reef in northern Tawas Bay. Some perch were caught in 15 to 20 feet in the same area. This was the only area where we didn’t get reports of bad pressure cracks, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any out there. Caution needs to be used.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Ice in the Bay was building on a daily basis and anglers were venturing further out. Smelt fishing after dark was good. Lake trout fishing was fair off Sand Point and the Whirl-i-gig. The whitefish action was fair but the coho, splake and brown trout bite was slow.

Little Bay De Noc: Snow storms made travel on the Bay a little more difficult with many getting stuck. Anglers need to be aware of a large pressure crack out from the Terrace Bay Inn which has been moving some as the weight of the snow increases. Overall fishing slowed some. Walleye anglers reported fair catches in the Kipling flats and north to the Vagabond Resort when jigging rapalas with minnows in 27 to 35 feet, out from the Terrace Bay Inn in 35 feet and near the Escanaba River in 25 to 30 feet. A few anglers were fishing out by the Ford River but no reports have come in. Perch catches were slow. Anglers are catching some nice jumbo perch but fewer fish total. Best spots were the Kipling flats in 27 to 35 feet, Gladstone Beach area in 30 feet and good numbers of smaller fish in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when using minnows or wigglers with halo’s. Whitefish anglers reported fair catches in Escanaba off Sand Point with spawn or minnows in the deep water drop-off. Bigger fish were caught in 35 feet in the Gladstone area. A lot of pike continue to be caught throughout the Bay but most were undersize.

Munising: Ice was holding in the bay but the ice beyond Grand Island was not safe and Trout Bay was not safe as northwest winds shifted a majority of the ice. There is a large pressure crack near Rock 67 by Grand Island. Those on snowmobiles should not cross the lake as it is not safe. Several sleds went through the ice near Grand Island. Fishing has varied as some anglers report decent catches of whitefish up to 15 inches and others reported poor catch rates. The splake action was fair but most fish were undersize. Most were using Swedish pimples and assorted jigs, mousies, spawn, cut bait or fathead minnows. Some have caught the occasional young rainbow trout or brown trout. Some smelt along with young coho were caught off Sand Point. Lake trout anglers fishing the west channel reported slow catch rates.

Cedarville and Hessel: Those fishing around the Les Cheneaux Islands reported slower fishing. Anglers were seeing lots of smelt, perch and splake with little to no harvest. Some perch about 8 inches were caught on minnows, wax worms wigglers, spikes or artificial soft baits in 10 to 15 feet. Splake were seen in 15 to 20 feet but no word on fish being caught. Anglers need to use extreme caution near any pressure cracks, moving ice and in areas where there is a current.