Michigan Fishing Report 12-14-2017

Ice is a forming, but unfortunately the snow is a falling




Lyman’s on the Lake Houghton Lake Ice Report 12.14.17
The snow isn’t helping. For most of the lake, areas without snow are measuring 5″ to 6″ and they are mostly along the shoreline about 100 yds out. Areas with snow are measuring only 2″ to 3″ and that makes up the majority of the lake.

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We got about 5 inches a half mile out and it’s only going to make more ice as temps stay near zero. Reports from others got less than 5 inches. It’s still early ice for sure.

Keep in mind—the ice thickness varies across the bay so always test it when venturing further out.

If you haven’t been on the bay—stay away from the shorelines around the islands. There are springs and currents around them and usually bad ice.



We got about 5 inches a half mile out and it’s only going to make more ice as temps stay near zero. Reports from others got less than 5 inches. It’s still early ice for sure.Keep in mind—the ice thickness varies across the bay so always test it when venturing further out. If you haven’t been on the bay—stay away from the shorelines around the islands. There are springs and currents around them and usually bad ice.#munuscongbay #fishon

Posted by Dan's Resort on Thursday, December 14, 2017

Pilgrim Village ICE REPORT: WEDNESDAY 12/13/17

The picture is deceiving there is only about 1 3/4-2″ of ice, there is over an inch of water flowing over the ice making it look more like 3″. The ice is harder then it was Monday but we didn’t really gain anything for thickness. There is anywhere from 5-8″ of snow on the lake and it’s still snowing. THE POINT IS DON’T MAKE ANY PLANS FOR FISHING LAKES CADILLAC AND MITCHELL THIS WEEKEND. Be Safe! More updates in a couple days.

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In my travels the last two days most lakes are froze, but only 1 to 2 inches of ice and a foot of snow on them. THE ICE IS VERY THIN AND TREACHEROUS WITH ALL THE SNOW.
Otsego Lake seems to have the most ice as reports 4 inches of ice.
Black Bass Bay on Grand Lake reports a few guys out fishing.
Hamlin Lake the bayous are froze but they got 18 inches of snow last night.
Skegemog had 2 inches of ice but some parts just froze so they have under and inch with 12 inches of snow.
No ice on portage or Manistee lake as of yesterday’
Green lake by Interlochen froze last night and got 7 inches of snow on one inch of ice.
Margrethe has 1 to 2 inches of ice.
Ice is building on the inland lakes but most did not have safe ice yet. Snow this week will not help as it will insulate the ice and slow the freezing process. Anglers might be able to fish the small shallow lakes by the weekend but remember, first ice is dangerous ice and extreme caution needs to be used.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Some of the smaller lakes have frozen however there was no safe ice yet. Steelhead are in the rivers but angler numbers are down due to the cold weather. Pier fishing may no longer be an option because of icy conditions.

Boyne River: Anglers caught a couple steelhead.

Platte River: Anglers caught coho along with the occasional steelhead and brown trout.

Betsie River: Was producing steelhead but the bite has slowed.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Are now frozen but no safe ice as of yet. There may be some anglers out by the weekend but at this point it is hard to tell.

Big Manistee River: Was producing trout for those using jigs tipped with a wax worm and beads.

Pere Marquette River: Steelhead were caught in Mason County and portions of Lake County.

Muskegon Lake: Anglers were taking walleye and perch.

Muskegon River: Water levels are good. Steelhead can still be found especially in the lower stretches.

White River: Was producing the occasional steelhead up near the Hesperia Dam.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Heavy snows throughout the western Upper Peninsula warrant extreme caution when going out on any lakes that have frozen. On the east end, ice is just beginning to form on most lakes and waterbodies.

Lake Gogebic: Anglers were ice fishing Bergland Bay on the north end of the lake however heavy snows have caused water to push up on the ice causing some safety issues. Anglers will need to use extreme caution especially with the onset of heavy snow in the area.

Manistique River: Anglers were still taking some steelhead in the lower river.

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Alpena: Those spearing whitefish reported slow catch rates.

Thunder Bay River: Had very good Atlantic salmon fishing in the lower river. The best fishing was in the slower water below the 9th Street Bridge. Try the fishing platform near LaMarre Park.

Au Sable River: Has steelhead and some Atlantic salmon in the lower river.

Houghton Lake: Ice is forming however the thickness is not consistent and there were still some areas with open water. A couple anglers were venturing out and fishing in shallow waters only in the East Bay but extreme caution needs to be used.


Saginaw Bay: Ice is forming on the more sheltered shorelines of the inner Bay but was not yet thick enough for ice fishing. Ice has also covered most of the smaller area rivers including the Pine, Pinconning, Kawkawlin, Quanicassee and Sebewaing but again not thick enough for ice fishing.

Saginaw River: Was wide open. Walleye anglers were still taking some fish but frigid temperatures are keeping the boat anglers home.

We are finally getting cold and ice should be next weekend on some shallow lakes

Not much going on this week, Ludington still has a perch bite and they were fishing with all the gale winds so they must be really biting. Grand Traverse Bays still has a good perch bite but the wind has been hampering fishing.

Most are thinking we will be ice fishing some of the small shallow lakes by next weekend, I will keep you updated on where they are going to fish. Some think they will be fishing Black Bass Bay on Grand Lake the first of the week as it is one of the earliest places in Northern Michigan.

Be safe and think safe ice!

Perch are back in Ludington

Had to run perch minnows to Capt. Chucks in Ludington friday as the perch are back in PM lake and they are also catching perch off the pier.

Hesperia reports good steelhead on the white river with waxworms working best.

Cadillac report walleye are biting off the canal at night.

Pappy’s Bait in Wellston reports the steelhead fishing has been fair as they been dealing with high water all week on the big river, Little Manistee  has been good as they  passed a bunch of cohos up the river from the weir  and the steelhead are following the  coho eating the eggs.

Have not heard much this week on Lake Charlevoix perch but we have had gale winds all week.

Happy Thanksgiving Fishing Report

Whitetail Bucks

Not much going on as most are waiting for ice or hunting, the fish are biting but not taking advantage of the bite. Lake Charlevoix was still good for perch, but it has slowed down this week. Fishing was pretty much non-existent over the weekend because of the rain and snow. Strong winds continue to make fishing difficult especially along the Great Lakes.

Whitefish has been great at Tawas and the pier at Whitehall with wax worms working the best. Perch fishing has been good on Grand Traverse Bay by Suttons Bay, Big Glenn, Lake Skegemog, Long Lake by Traverse City, and Lake Charlevoix.

Walleye fishing has been good on Lake Cadillac and Houghton lake as guys are wading out at night throwing body bait or blues on a bobber.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Alpena: Boat anglers were targeting whitefish in Thunder Bay. This is the time of year when the fish come in to spawn.

Thunder Bay River: Continues to produce Atlantic salmon and lake trout especially up near the 9th Street Dam.

Au Sable River: Water levels in the lower river were up a bit after all the rain. Those fly fishing have caught trout and salmon.

Saginaw Bay: Boat and shore anglers have been limited because of strong winds.

Saginaw River: Is still producing some walleye in the lower river.

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rivers in this area are high once again after all the rain. Steelhead fishing was slow because of the higher water and colder water temperatures.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Were pretty quiet on the fishing front. The lakes had skim ice here and there but no safe ice.

Manistee: Strong winds have hampered both pier and surf fishing but when anglers can get out they have caught a few.

Big Manistee River: Water levels are high and the water temperatures are cold. Fishing was very slow with only a couple steelhead taken.

Ludington: Pier anglers and those surf casting have not been able to get out because of the strong winds.

Pere Marquette River: Had higher water levels.

Muskegon River: Water levels are up after the rain. There is still a decent number of steelhead in the river. Boat anglers fishing Hardy Pond continue to take a fair to good number of perch and walleye.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

In the western Upper Peninsula, cold weather has formed ice on most of the inland lakes, although the ice was not safe.

Ontonagon River: Those that want a mid-day break from deer hunting are encouraged to fish the Middle Branch downstream from State Highway M-28 (Agate Falls) which offers good opportunities for lake-run brown trout.

Menominee River: Anglers targeting whitefish reported fair to good catches.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye fishing remained good although even fewer anglers were out. Those fishing the “Black Bottom” found fish in 18 to 25 feet when trolling stick baits. The head of the bay saw the most action with the majority of anglers fishing around the Center Reef and taking good catches. Those fishing during the day were trolling stick baits or crank baits in 24 to 32 feet. Night anglers were much shallower in 8 to 16 feet.

Tahquamenon River: The Dollarville Flooding near Newberry was open in the main channel but most of the bays, backwaters and the boat launches were iced in. The launch at the Dollarville dam was iced in but the one at McPhees Landing had open water. Water levels were high with some ice floe coming down.

Snowy Fishing Report


We are getting some crappy weather today as this will cool off the lakes.  The perch fishing has been awesome in some places, but this weather will slow it down.

Lake Charlevoix was still awesome monday for perch but they are getting hammered with this storm so conditiond really suck for being in a boat.

Perch fishing has been great around Suttons Bay, Bowers Harbor and Northport with perch up to 16 inches reported. They are using big blues to get the bigger perch. Skegemog was really good monday for perch as photo above shows the catch, not as big as the bay but nice. Portage lake has been good but just a handful fishing. Crystal, Big Glen, and Little Glen have been fair.

Roadside  minnows reports that South Lake Leelanau on the north-end has had a good perch bite also with wigglers and minnows working great.

Captain Chuck’s reports PM lake has been slow this week but guys have been trying with wigglers and minnows.

Amstrongs and Johnson’s reports a few perch from Lake Michigan are coming into White Lake, and whitefish and walleye are being caught off the pier.

Pappy’s at Wellston report a really good steelhead bite on the big river.

Houghton Lake reports shore anglers caught walleye on shallow diving crank baits at night. The better fishing seemed to be when the lake was nice and calm and not choppy. Orange was a hot color. Decent size crappie were caught in the canals.

Saginaw River has been awesome this week for walleye with blues being the go to bait.

Most other places are waiting for the ice to form

Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Steelhead fishing is full on in all the area rivers. Salmon are pretty much done, except for a few coho that are still around. Walleye fishing is excellent this time of year, although few target them.

Lake Charlevoix: Was producing fair to good catches of perch.

Traverse City: The West Bay was still producing some nice perch in Bowers Harbor. Most fish were taken on minnows. In the Boardman River, steelhead were still being caught below the dam and down from the Union Street Bridge.

Long Lake: Boat anglers were getting some perch.

Platte River: Was still producing some coho.

Frankfort: Pier anglers were still taking a few fish when casting crank baits or spawn. Those surfcasting have also taken fish.

Betsie River: Anglers were still getting some salmon but the fish were dark.

Manistee: Pier and surf-fishing for steelhead should be good from now until freeze up.

Big Manistee River: Had good steelhead action up near Tippy Dam.

Ludington: Should also have good pier and surf-fishing for steelhead.

Pere Marquette River: Water levels are good and water temperatures are dropping. The river had a good number of steelhead move in after the rain. Those fly fishing did well with egg patterns and nymphs. Good steelhead fishing should last well into the winter months.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan River: Continues to produce some salmon. Try crank baits, spoons or spawn bags.

Thunder Bay River: Water levels remain high and fast but those fishing right below the dam have caught Atlantic salmon, steelhead, brown trout and the odd Chinook. Boat anglers working the lower river were casting or trolling crank baits or jigging soft plastics for walleye.

Au Sable River: The steelhead action is heating up in the lower river. Try egg patterns. Atlantic salmon have been in the river for over a month and were still being caught on streamers.

Houghton Lake: Shore anglers caught walleye on shallow diving crank baits at night. The better fishing seemed to be when the lake was nice and calm and not choppy. Orange was a hot color. Decent size crappie were caught in the canals.

Au Gres River: A few more steelhead were caught down near the Singing Bridge. Try spawn, spoons or beads.

Saginaw Bay: When boats can get out, a few were targeting perch just north of Spoils Island. Quanicassee is usually a good spot to try this time of year.

Saginaw River: Walleye are apparently biting in the lower river from the Independence Bridge downstream to the mouth. Up to 30 boats were reported around the bridge and the U.S.S Edson.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Lake Gogebic: Walleye and smallmouth bass were still being caught.

Keweenaw Bay: Still had open water and was providing opportunities for lake trout, splake, and brown trout.

Menominee River: Anglers caught walleye, brown trout and steelhead from the US-41 Bridge to the Hattie Street Dam. Some very nice fish were caught on live bait, spoons or crank baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Had good walleye catches for those trolling stick baits and crank baits at night from the First Reef north to Garth Point. The better catches were in 10 feet but fish were also taken in waters up to 30 feet deep. Day anglers reported fair catches when trolling stick baits in 18 to 34 feet between the First and Third Reefs. A few dock anglers could still be found in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. Those using minnows straight off the dock reported fair to good perch catches.

Here is a deer video as they play in the snow this afternoon



Northern Michigan Fishing Report 11/2/17

Skegemog perch




Fish above were caught out of Lake Skegemog yesterday with most running 9-10 inches nothing huge. Talked to a guy fishing Long Lake and has been catching his limit every day when he can get out with some big ones being caught.

We have had cold, windy and some places snowy weather this week. What few guys are getting out the fish have been biting. Perch have been fair on Long Lake by Traverse city, Bowers Harbor, Lees Point, Wallon Lake, Lake Skegemog, Portage lake, Lake Charvevoix and Green Lake. Also this time of year big Glenn, and Big Platte have a good bite.

Some browns being caught out of Bear Lake by Kalkaska on Blues.





Photo above is between Mancelona and Kalkaska today.

Steelhead fishing at Tippy Dam has been good this week with one guy bring in a 17 pound steelie. I saw another guy with three wednesday running from 3 to 5 lbs.

Walleye fishing has been good on Burt Lake the last week with most fish are big fat keepers.

Some browns and rainbows in shallow on Higgins Lake by Big Creek with blues working best.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Petoskey: The docks at the boat launch have been removed. Those fishing from the piers and the docks around the marina caught the occasional steelhead on spawn. The Bear River was still quite high and stained so not many anglers were fishing the dam. A few salmon were still up near the dam but the run is pretty much done. Most were fishing down near the mouth where they caught a couple lake trout and steelhead. Anglers are reminded that lake trout season in the Bear River is open but the season is closed in Lake Michigan. Try spawn, flies or artificial eggs.

Charlevoix: Had no angler reports. The docks were still in at the launch and the fish cleaning station was still open but not for much longer. Operations at the Medusa Weir wrapped up last week. Total fish for the egg take was 2,081 Chinook and 143 coho.

Traverse City: Windy conditions have limited reports in the East Bay. The Elk River was slow except for a couple steelhead and lake trout taken at the dam in the early morning. In the West Bay, perch fishing was good in Bowers Harbor and north of Marion Island. A few nice ones were caught south of Elmwood Marina but anglers were sorting through a lot of small ones to get a few keepers. Along the Boardman River, some nice steelhead were caught below the dam and down from the Union Street Bridge along the boardwalk. Lake trout moved into the river and were caught at the dam and at the out-flow tubes.

Manistee: Strong north winds cooled the surface water to 52 degrees. Angler activity is slow. Small numbers of steelhead were caught off the north pier when using fresh spawn. The fish cleaning station is closed but the restrooms were still open. The docks were still in at the launch.

Big Manistee River: Had good reports of steelhead being caught.

Ludington: Surface water temperatures dropped to 55 degrees. Angler activity was very low. The Loomis Road launch still had a dock in.

Pere Marquette River: Is also producing good catches of steelhead. Higher water levels increased the number of fish in the river but also made fishing a challenge.

Muskegon: Anglers were taking a fair to good number of walleye, some nice perch and a few smallmouth bass in both Croton and Hardy Pond.

White Lake: Still a good gill bite but no perch to report, some steelhead also

Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Cheboygan: Had no reports. The fish cleaning station was still open but not for long.

Cheboygan River: Had good fishing. The water levels were very high after all the rain. All the gates were open on the dam making it hard for anglers to float spawn. A few Chinook were taken on skein, spawn bags, artificial spawn, crank baits, and spoons. Crank baits worked best in the high water. The fish averaged 10 to 15 pounds.

Presque Isle: Before the weather turned, a few Chinook, steelhead and Atlantic salmon were caught in 65 to 90 feet. Look for the baitfish and use green, blue, orange, black and white or glow spoons.

Rogers City: Windy conditions have scattered the fish and slowed the bite. Surface water temperatures dropped below 50 degrees. A couple boat anglers went out but caught no fish.

Alpena: Had very little angler activity. Walleye were caught by those casting from the pier or trolling crank baits near the mouth of the river in the evening.

Thunder Bay River: Several gates were open at the 9th Street Dam and high water levels have brought a push of pre-spawn Atlantic salmon up into the river. The fish ranged 4 to 10 pounds. Atlantic salmon, brown trout, steelhead and a couple Chinook were caught at the dam when casting spoons, spinners, and shallow diving crank baits as well as when drifting beads or spawn. The water was high and turbid so use bright colors. Walleye were caught in the lower river when casting or trolling crank baits or jigging soft plastics. A few small yellow perch were caught in slow water when floating minnows or crawlers.

Oscoda: Pier anglers casting crank baits or jigs with soft plastics caught a couple walleye and smallmouth bass in the early morning or evening. Lake trout were also caught when casting spoons or crank baits. Catfish were taken by those drifting spawn bags or still-fishing with crawlers.

Au Sable River: Water levels were high. A couple steelhead, smallmouth bass, and Atlantic salmon were caught between Foote Dam and the Whirlpool Access Site. Try spoons, spawn bags, and deep diving crank baits. A few walleye were caught by those casting crank baits or jerk baits throughout the river.

Tawas: Boats trolling around Buoy #4 were still marking fish but not catching very many. Pier anglers caught the odd walleye, pike or rock bass on minnows and artificial baits.

Tawas River: Walleye were caught on artificial lures in the early morning or at night.

Au Gres River: Those still-fishing with spawn or using spoons caught a couple small steelhead down by the Singing Bridge.

Saginaw Bay: Some perch were caught on the north side of Spoils Island in 15 feet, in the old shipping channel and in the first set of buoys past the Island. A few walleye were caught incidentally. Small perch and bluegills were caught off Finn Road. Minnows appear to be in all over but anglers were not seeing good perch fishing. A few were taken off Quanicassee and very few in the cuts at Sebewaing and Bay Port. Anglers were working all day for a dozen keepers. At Caseville, a few fish were taken from the Pigeon River.

Saginaw River: Those fishing Smith Park caught a few perch, bass, channel cats and freshwater drum. There were rumors of a few walleye in the river but none were seen.

Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Menominee River: Walleye, brown trout and the occasional Chinook or steelhead were caught below the Hattie Street Dam and down to the Interstate Bridge with live bait such as minnows, plastics, or spoons.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye fishing picked up some north of the “Narrows” when trolling stick baits or a crawler harness in 18 to 30 feet between the Second and Third Reefs. The better catches came out from the Days’ River when trolling stick baits in 8 to 10 feet at night. A few perch were taken off Kipling in 20 to 30 feet. Those fishing the slip docks in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor caught some nice perch when jigging minnows. Pike were active throughout the bay with several large fish caught in the area around Garth Point when trolling stick baits.

Manistique River: The salmon run is about done but the steelhead action has picked up and most anglers are targeting them between the bridges when fly fishing or when casting beads, spawn, yarn or flies. The steelhead action should remain good well into the winter season.

Marquette: One of the docks in the Upper Harbor has been pulled. The Lower Harbor still had both docks in. Only a few anglers were out and caught lake trout in the harbors and near the river mouths. Slow river fishing with only a couple coho or steelhead taken.

Au Train: The Brownstone boat launch is currently closed due to washout from last Tuesday’s storm and no word on when it will re-open. A couple steelhead were caught by shore anglers near the Rock River.

Munising: Strong north winds dropped water temperatures to the upper 40’s. Shore and pier anglers picked up the odd steelhead or splake with spoons and spawn sacs.

Grand Marais: Before the storm last week, a couple steelhead were caught on spawn sacs at the mouth of the Sucker River. Waves reaching 25 feet and moving sand changed the mouth of the river which now runs along the shoreline. There was some damage by the pier as the force of the water pushed all the rocks and other debris towards the museum. Anglers should be careful in this area.

Tahquamenon River: Had very few anglers, but a good number of trappers and duck hunters. The few that did fish caught a handful of perch near Mud Lake with minnows and worms.

St. Marys River: A few walleye were caught on the north end of Lake George near Hay Point with a crank bait or crawler harness in 5 to 20 feet. In the lower river, few anglers were targeting musky in Munuscong Bay. Most caught at least one fish when trolling large stick baits behind planer boards or when casting large bodied soft swimbaits near places like Moon Island. Most fish were small about 30 to 38 inches but one as large as 52 inches was caught and released. Some nice pike and smallmouth bass were also caught. Anglers tried trolling stick baits or a crawler harness for walleye but had no luck.

Cedarville and Hessel: High winds and rain kept the fishing effort down throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands. A few pike were caught by those trolling spoons or drifting chubs in Urie Bay, across from Musky Bay, and off Conner’s Pointe. The fish were running bigger at 28 to 30 inches now that the water temperature has cooled to around 48 to 50 degrees. Gusty winds have kept anglers off the water in Hessel Bay and off the west shoreline of Marquette Island.

St. Ignace: Had no reports. The fish cleaning station is now closed. The Pine and Carp Rivers had no reports as all activity has been duck hunters. Water levels were very high with debris coming down the river so boat anglers need to use caution.