MI DNR recreational fishing report
Written by The Associated Press   
Thursday, 09 February 2006 13:32

Anglers looking to go ice fishing need to travel north, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday. Inland lakes in the southern Lower Peninsula have started to form skim ice, but it will take a couple weeks of continued cold weather to make safe ice again, the DNR said in its weekly fishing report.

SOUTHEASTERN LOWER PENINSULA

Lake Erie: Still has open-water fishing. Fair to good yellow perch fishing continues off the dock at Metropark Marina and in the canals. Perch rigs with shiner minnows continue to work best.

Lake Erie: Still has open-water fishing. Fair to good yellow perch fishing continues off the dock at Metropark Marina and in the canals. Perch rigs with shiner minnows continue to work best.

Huron River: Is still running a bit high, but the waters have started to clear up. Anglers have caught steelhead when fishing close to the dam at Flat Rock. A couple small walleye have been caught at night, but it is still a little early for the run. Yellow perch and other panfish can be found when fishing the slow waters.

Detroit River: Boat anglers continue to fish the cuts and canals for yellow perch and bluegill. The bays along the southern end of the river near Gibraltar are usually good places to find northern pike. Try using large sucker minnows under a bobber. Shore anglers who can find access near Wyandotte have caught some nice yellow perch using perch rigs with shiner minnows.

St. Clair River: Boat anglers are handlining or jigging for walleye in the North Channel and near Algonac. A few northern pike have also been caught.

Saginaw Bay: Near Standish, recent strong winds blew the ice out just off Whites Beach and Palmer Road. No fishing activity to report near the Hot Ponds. There was little or no activity to report on the east side of the bay as the ice was gone as of this report. Yellow perch were taken at Sebewaing when fishing along the wall in the early morning. A few perch were also taken in the harbor at Caseville before the weather turned.

Saginaw River: Is running muddy and high after recent rains. Very little fishing action was reported except for light yellow perch and walleye activity taking place near Bay Aggregate.

SOUTHWESTERN LOWER PENINSULA

St. Joseph: Steelhead, brown trout and whitefish were caught in Lake Michigan, but bad weather over the past week has kept most boats on shore. Extreme caution must be used by those thinking of fishing off the piers, as they are slippery due to a thin layer of ice.

St. Joseph River: Water levels have started to recede. Boat anglers continue to catch steelhead using Hot-n-Tot's or flat fish. The better fishing has been between the boat launch at Jasper Dairy Road and the Berrien Springs Dam. Shore anglers are drifting spawn bags. A few suckers are also starting to run.

Kalamazoo River: Higher water levels have slowed the steelhead fishing, especially near the Allegan Dam.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are receding and clearing up. Steelhead have been caught on flies or spawn bags when fishing up near the Sixth Street Dam. Nice walleye have been caught when floating minnows off the bridges.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are receding and clearing up. Steelhead have been caught on flies or spawn bags when fishing up near the Sixth Street Dam. Nice walleye have been caught when floating minnows off the bridges.

Grand River at Lansing: Still has open water. Anglers are trying to fish, but the waters are still running a little higher than normal and fast. There is no safe ice as of this report. Those looking to fish the inland lakes are urged to wait a bit longer because it will take a couple weeks of good cold weather to produce safe ice again.

Muskegon: Open waters continue to provide fair steelhead fishing off the piers.

Muskegon Lake: Boat anglers are trolling for steelhead and northern pike. Launch sites in the Hartshorn Marina and on Cottage Grove Road are open, but boats going in and out during this cold weather will cause the ramp to become ice-covered and slippery quite rapidly. Northern pike could be found in the shallow waters of Snug Harbor near North Muskegon State Park. Some are fishing off the south side of the lake near Heritage Landing.

Muskegon River: Boats are trolling for steelhead from the launch at Maple Island Road upstream to Newaygo. Brown trout were caught near Bridgeton.

NORTHEASTERN LOWER PENINSULA

Black Lake: Heavy snowfall last weekend produced water and slush near the pressure cracks. Anglers need to use extreme caution and stay clear of these areas. Before the cold front, walleye were caught in 10 to 20 feet of water using tip-ups or jigging with lures and minnows. Northern pike have been speared in 4 to 15 feet of water, or taken on tip-ups with large sucker minnows. Several musky have also been speared. Good numbers of yellow perch have been caught on small jigs and minnows, but anglers will need to do some sorting as many of the fish are running small.

Grand Lake: Anglers are ice fishing, but watch for pressure cracks. Good walleye fishing was reported on the west side of Grand Island and around Whiskey Bay. There was good northern pike fishing in Black Bass Bay and Whiskey Bay. Yellow perch can be found around Grand Island.

Fletcher's Flood Waters: Northern pike action is picking up again with anglers bringing in fish 30 inches-plus. The pike are hitting on large minnows just off Lyons Landing along the southwest shoreline. Some nice bluegills and sunfish as big as your hand have been caught on wax worms in shallow waters about 5 feet deep. CAUTION: There is a large pressure crack surrounding the shoreline at the DNR launch site. There is also a small pressure crack in front of Jack's Landing.

Tawas Bay: Anglers were getting a few perch inside the pier and at Jerry's Marina. Pike spearing has improved, but walleye fishing was slow to none.

Au Gres: Very little activity was reported except for a few anglers fishing inside the North Port Marina.

Au Gres: Very little activity was reported except for a few anglers fishing inside the North Port Marina.

Higgins Lake: Anglers were ice fishing, but use caution. Smelt were caught on jigs with wax worms fished just off the bottom in 60 feet of water in front of Big Creek. Lake trout were taken when fishing off the bottom in 100 to 120 feet of water. Brown trout and rainbow trout can still be found in shallow waters. Yellow perch were caught near the drop-off along the north shore.

Houghton Lake: Good numbers of northern pike have been caught on tip-ups. The fish are running small, but some large fish ranging from 33 to 37 inches have been caught. Walleye are hitting in 8 to 12 feet of water. Try small tear drops or Swedish Pimples with minnows as the bite is light. Bluegill fishing slowed, but should pick back up. CAUTION: Anglers should avoid the area near Denton Creek on the southeast side because of open water.

NORTHWESTERN LOWER PENINSULA

Elk Lake, Antrim County: Still no ice to report on Elk Lake as of this report. No open-water fishing to report.

Walloon Lake, Charlevoix County: Fair to good ice was reported on most of the lake. CAUTION: Anglers should be wary of the Narrows on the West Arm and the Narrows on the North Arm. Both locations have thin ice and anglers should avoid taking sleds or four-wheelers through these areas. There was good yellow perch fishing off Sumner Road, Stolt Road and the access site off Indian Garden Road when fishing with perch minnows and wax worms in 10 to 60 feet of water. Anglers will need to do some sorting as the fish range from 4 to 12 inches. A few smelt were taken in 60 to 70 feet of water off Sumner Road.

Traverse City: Both the East Bay and West Bay have open water. No fishing action to report. Strong winds have kept boats on shore and anglers at home.

Lake Leelanau: Anglers are ice fishing. CAUTION: Anglers need to stay clear of the middle because of open water. Some are jigging minnows and wigglers for walleye and yellow perch.

Crystal Lake, Benzie County: Still had open water as of this report.

Green Lake: Still has open water in the middle of the lake. Light numbers of smelt and yellow perch have been caught. Northern pike are hitting on tip-ups.

Big Manistee River: Water levels are back to normal. The river should have a good number of steelhead in it, but arctic temperatures this week are sure to hamper fishing efforts.

Big Manistee River: Water levels are back to normal. The river should have a good number of steelhead in it, but arctic temperatures this week are sure to hamper fishing efforts.

Lake Cadillac: Ice fishing continues to be strong. Northern pike have been caught on tip-ups with large minnows near the weed beds. The walleye and bluegill bite slowed. Yellow perch can be found in 8 to 15 feet of water.

Lake Mitchell: Ice fishing continues with good catches of northern pike. Use tip-ups with large minnows along the weed beds in shallow waters. Crappie and smaller yellow perch are hitting on minnows.

Lake Missaukee: Is still providing some excellent ice fishing. Bluegill fishing slowed this week, but crappie and yellow perch have been caught in 8 to 15 feet of water when using minnows or wigglers.

Ludington: Lake Michigan still has no ice. CAUTION: The piers are ice covered. Anglers are encouraged to stay off these structures because of extremely slippery conditions. No boats have been out recently.

Pere Marquette River: Has open water, and levels have come down. Steelhead should be plentiful, but the cold arctic air will slow the bite.

Upper Hamlin Lake: Blowing and drifting snow has kept most anglers off the ice. Bluegill fishing has slowed because of the recent arctic blast. Continue to avoid the areas near the pressure cracks.

UPPER PENINSULA

Keweenaw Bay: No ice fishing as of this report, so anglers are boat and shore fishing. Some reported catching coho, steelhead or lake herring.

Portage Lake: Catch rates have been spotty. Swedish Pimples or spoons tipped with minnows have caught the most walleye. Those using tip-ups with smelt or sucker minnows have caught northern pike.

Lake Gogebic: Additional snowfall has made access to parts of the lake difficult. Yellow perch have been caught using shiners or wigglers. Those fishing in the morning have caught more walleye than those fishing at night. Shiners and wigglers worked best.

Lake Gogebic: Additional snowfall has made access to parts of the lake difficult. Yellow perch have been caught using shiners or wigglers. Those fishing in the morning have caught more walleye than those fishing at night. Shiners and wigglers worked best.

Menominee River: Anglers are catching bluegill, crappie and yellow perch in the lower river. Better catches have come off the Menekaunee Boat Dock when using minnows or wax worms. Slow trout fishing with the occasional steelhead or brown trout taken on spawn sacks between the Hattie Street Bridge and the First Dam.

Green Bay: No ice fishing activity as the bay has open water.

Harlow Lake, Marquette County: Not many anglers were out because of blowing and drifting snow. Most of the slush that was present has frozen. Northern pike fishing has been slow, and the fish are running small.

Goose Lake, Marquette County: Anglers are fishing, but strong winds have been a problem.

Greenwood Reservoir, Marquette County: There was fair fishing for yellow perch on minnows and wigglers. Northern pike are hitting, but most of the fish caught were less than 24 inches.

Big Manistique Lake: Walleye anglers have had success. A nice 46-inch northern pike was speared.

Munuscong Bay: Fair to good ice conditions reported in this area. CAUTION: East of Roach Point, the ice is still very thin and has many slush pockets. Additional snow on the ice has created poor wet conditions in certain areas. Not much success for perch or walleye this week. Try shallow waters 3 feet deep or less with minnows.

Cedarville-Hessel: Perch catches have slowed down, but some were caught using wigglers and wax worms in 14 to 16 feet of water in Musky Bay. In Cedarville Bay, yellow perch could be found in 3 to 5 feet of water.

 
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