Fishing activity picks up due to warmer temps
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 03 February 2005 10:17
Angler activity around the state has picked up due to warmer temperatures, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.

Anglers still should use caution, especially when fishing the deeper lakes or areas with currents. Fish should become more active this week.

Southeastern Lower Peninsula

It has been a struggle to find keeper size perch in Lake St. Clair, the DNR said in its report. Some large fish have been caught when jigging Rapalas in 9 feet of water off Metro Beach. Small perch have been caught near Gino's and the ramp at 11 Mile Road. No walleye have been reported.

Some large perch have been caught in front of the barracks at Selfridge in 5 feet of water, as well as near Cotton Road and the Salt River. Anglers need to watch out for the pressure crack that extends from Cotton Road down past Selfridge.

Fish have been caught on mousies, minnows, spike and soft beads and have been found behind both the sheriff's and DNR's offices.

Fishing has been slow in northern Lake St. Clair. Light numbers of fish have been caught in shallow waters 3- to 6-feet deep using teardrops and minnows. Other productive methods include Swedish Pimples, Ken's Spoons or fire-tiger Rapalas. Anglers have been jigging them right off the bottom.

Fish have been caught in 3 to 4 feet of water just south of New Baltimore at Brandenberg Park and off Fair Haven.

Slow fishing has been reported in the St. Clair River. Anglers have been taking good numbers of brown trout at Lexington. Small Cleo's in blue and silver or chartreuse and silver -- tipped with a wax worm, small minnow or wiggler -- have caught fish.

Anglers have caught splake in shallow waters 2 to 3 feet deep on Maceday Lake in Oakland County. A few lake trout and rainbow trout have been caught when jigging in deeper waters.

There has been good walleye fishing from White's Beach south to the Bay City Recreation Area on the west side of Saginaw Bay. Water depths have been 8 to 11 feet at White's Beach and 20 to 25 feet in the Black Hole off Erickson Road. Jigging spoons baited with minnows or minnow heads in the evening have worked best.

Perch fishing has been spotty on the east side. Fish have been caught in 6 to 8 feet of water off Bay Port and Mud Creek.

Anglers fishing near Caseville are reminded that lake trout season is closed. Anglers can legally keep lake trout more than 24 inches long when they are fishing the Pigeon River or the Pinnebog River, as both of these are Type 3 streams. The rivers stop at the shoreline of Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron, not way out near the end of the pier at Caseville.

Some nice walleye have been caught near the Independence Bridge on the Saginaw River at Bay City. Walleye have been caught all the way from the mouth up to the Saginaw area. Most fish have been taken when jigging Rapalas with minnows in the evening.

The Tittabawassee River is not fishable at this time as there is too much ice for a boat, but not enough ice to walk on.

Southwestern Lower Peninsula

Anglers have not been fishing Lake Michigan at St. Joseph as the piers are iced in, according the DNR. Ice flows along the St. Joseph River have shut much of the fishing down.

A few walleye and steelhead have been caught at the dam in Berrien Springs. Most anglers have been fishing the inland lakes. Magician Lake and Round Lake have reported fair to good fishing for panfish. Van Auken Lake still has been producing good catches of bluegill and crappie.

Ice flows have shut down fishing at the Sixth Street Dam on the Grand River near Grand Rapids. There have been reports of an ice jam from Portland all the way to the lake.

There is open water in the Lansing area. Anglers have been fishing for walleye from the west bank near the North Lansing Dam and near the dam at Moore's Park, now that the water levels are down and fishable again.

Fishing on the area inland lakes has been inconsistent. Many have reported that the fish seem to bite in windows of time. Fish have been caught in all depths from right off the bottom to just a foot or two under the ice.

Fair to good bluegill fishing has been reported on Lake Ovid at Sleepy Hollow State Park. Fish have been caught straight out from the beach as well as off the island in waters 8- to 12-feet deep.

Bluegill have been caught in Muskrat Lake, but many have been on the small side. Crappie also have been caught. Small jigs or teardrops with minnows or wax worms have worked best.

Good fishing has been reported in Jackson County. Black crappie, walleye, northern pike and bluegill have been caught in Portage Lake. Walleye, northern pike and redear sunfish have been caught in Vineyard Lake.

Muskegon Lake has been producing fair to good catches of bluegill. Anglers have been fishing in 6 to 8 feet of water with teardrops and wax worms or jigging with wigglers. Northern pike continue to hit on tip-ups with sucker minnows. Walleye and perch fishing has been slow.

A couple steelhead have been caught on the Muskegon River just below Newaygo. Fair perch fishing has been reported on White Lake.

Northeastern Lower Peninsula

Anglers have been fishing for walleye on Black Lake and Mullet Lake, the DNR said. Perch fishing has been slow. Northern pike have been hitting tip-ups and jigs with large minnows.

The perch have been slow and small on Grand Lake. Fish the channel northeast of Grand Island, and straight out from Highland Pines Road. Anglers have been using tip-ups and fishing down 12 to 13 feet in 14 feet of water.

Perch have been caught south of North Whiskey Point in 12 feet of water. Walleye and northern pike fishing has been slow.

The Sportsmen's Club just dropped a 10-foot-by-10-foot fish shelter just off North Whiskey Point. They used a chainsaw to cut a large square hole in the ice. Anglers need to use caution and avoid the area that is marked with three large pine trees.

Closer to Alpena, anglers should be targeting the Thunder Bay River, as good numbers of steelhead have been reported.

Fishing on Long Lake has been slow.

A couple walleye have been caught south of Grass Island. Northern pike fishing has been slow, and the perch have been small. Good walleye action has been reported on Beaver Lake.

Those seeking panfish have reported good fishing at Fletcher's Pond. A few walleye have been caught on Hubbard Lake.

Perch fishing has been slow in Tawas Bay. Northern pike spearing has been slow as well. Those seeking brown trout have been marking good numbers of fish, but the bite has been slow. Brown trout anglers have been catching and releasing quite a few lake trout, as the lake trout season is closed.

Near Au Gres, anglers have been venturing out about a mile off the mouth of the Au Gres River and catching walleye in 25 feet of water. A few walleye have been taken through the ice on the Au Gres River, but many of the fish have been sub-legal. Northern pike have been speared south and west of Point Au Gres. Perch fishing has been slow.

Anglers have been taking smelt on wax worms after dark on Higgins Lake. Perch have been caught off Evergreen Park and Sunken Island in 35 to 45 feet of water. Many of the fish have been running on the small side, so anglers need to do some sorting.

Lake trout have been caught on tip-ups set about a foot off the bottom in 100 to 120 feet of water. Live or dead smelt fished right on the bottom also have caught fish. Whitefish have been caught on wigglers, wax worms, minnows or a single salmon egg in 90 to 100 feet of water.

Rainbow trout have been caught on wigglers in front of the Conference Center.

Anglers have reported good numbers of northern pike from Houghton Lake. Walleye catches have been slow, but some large fish have been caught in 8 feet of water off the weed beds. Crappie have been hitting on minnows, and bluegill on wigglers and small minnows.

Northwestern Lower Peninsula

Both the East and West bays at Traverse City have open water, the DNR reported. But there has been no angler activity to report, as most anglers have been ice fishing the inland lakes.

Steelhead fishing has been good in the Boardman River. Elk Lake has been good for lake trout when using Swedish Pimples or Sand Kicker Jigs. Whitefish have been caught on wigglers and Swedish Pimples in 55 to 70 feet of water.

Caution still should be used when fishing the large inland lakes, especially the deep ones. This would include Crystal Lake, where the center of the lake still has open water or unsafe skim ice.

Lake trout have been caught on large tube jigs or Swedish Pimples. Whitefish have been in 50 to 70 feet of water. Fair to good numbers of smelt have been taken. Perch fishing has been slow.

Smelt have been found in Cedar Lake and Green Lake. Lake trout have been caught in Big Glen Lake. Most fish have been taken on large tube jigs or Swedish Pimples when fishing near the bottom in waters 85 to 120 feet deep. Perch have been found in both Big Glen and Little Glen Lakes.

Anglers have been taking good numbers of northern pike using tip-ups in Manistee Lake. Those spearing have been doing well in shallow waters along the weed beds. There have been no reports this week on the Big Manistee River.

Anglers have been catching walleye, perch and northern pike on Portage Lake. Good pike fishing has continued on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell.

Near Ludington, northern pike have been caught in Pere Marquette Lake using tip-ups with minnows in 20 feet of water. The lower stretch of the Pere Marquette River has been frozen.

Bluegill fishing on Upper Hamlin Lake has been fair to good. Crappie have been caught after dark. Walleye have been caught in Lower Hamlin Lake when jigging spoons and minnows in 15 to 20 feet of water.

Upper Peninsula

Perch fishing on Lake Gogebic has been touch and go, but some nice fish have been caught, according to the DNR.

Good catches of northern pike were reported on tip-ups on Lac Vieux Desert. There has been good northern pike fishing on Squaw Lake.

Good fishing has been reported in both Peavy Pond and Michigamme Reservoir. Some nice walleye have been caught in the early mornings in 8 to 15 feet of water with sucker minnows 5- to 7-inches long.

Ice conditions near the Michigamme River have been poor and dangerous. Anglers should avoid the river.

Anglers have caught bluegill and crappie in 4 to 10 feet of water along the Menominee River. Anglers have been still-fishing or jigging wax worms or minnows.

Northern pike have been taken when jigging minnows in 8 to 10 feet of water near the launch site at 18th Street. This area has good weed beds, which attract pike.

Near the Grand Rapids Dam, northern pike were very active from the dam to upstream one half mile. Use the access site at the dam, located on the Wisconsin side of the river. Extreme caution needs to be used both above and below the dam, as there has been no safe ice to report.

On Little Bay De Noc, anglers reported good ice formation from the Terrace Inn north up to Garth Point. Many anglers have moved south of Aronson Island out to Portage Point, but the ice varies greatly in that area. Several anglers have broken through the ice in various locations.

Walleye fishing has been spotty, but should improve by the weekend. Fish have been caught when jigging minnows in 22 to 35 feet of water on the Second Reef just south of Aronson Island. Others have been jigging minnows 20 to 35 feet down along the break. Splake have been caught in 25 feet of water.

There have been a lot of small perch caught near Butler Island. Jumbo perch have been caught when jigging large perch minnows in 4 to 6 feet of water. A few whitefish have been caught when jigging in 65 to 75 feet of water off Sand Point.

North of Sault Ste. Marie, whitefish catches have been good in the waters of Mosquito Bay and Ashmun Bay. Watch the channel ice due to the occasional Coast Guard traffic.

In Munuscong Bay, good catches of walleye have been reported on jigs with minnows in shallow waters up to 5 feet deep. Some large perch have been caught, but the fishing was slow.

A few northern pike have been taken east of Grassy Island and near the rock pile just north of Pine Island.

Anglers who have been spearing have taken good numbers of herring along the southern end of Raber Bay. Whitefish have been caught right off the bottom along the north end.

Angler activity has picked up near Cedarville and Hessel. Some perch have been caught in Musky Bay. Good numbers of northern pike have been caught while perch fishing. Wigglers, wax worms and small minnows have worked best. A few small perch have been taken from the Moscoe Channel. Watch for thin ice around the points.

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