Thursday, January 28, 2016

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report: January 28, 2016

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Weekly Fishing Report

January 28, 2016
buy your fishing license button
fishing mapSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSoutheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report
Now that ice fishing is pretty much statewide, angler safety is important.  Always wear a flotation device, use the buddy system, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return, take a cell phone and always check the ice thickness with a spud.  Use extreme caution near pressure cracks, inlets and outlets.  

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake St. Clair:  Has more ice on the lake but there is still a lot of open water offshore so anglers need to be aware of wind conditions and the possibility of ice shifting and pressure cracks opening up.  Anglers are out fishing the usual places off Fairhaven, Brandenburg, Cotton Road, South River Road, the Metro Park and the Spillway Access Site.  Ice thickness is variable at these locations so anglers need to use extreme caution.    

Port Austin and Grindstone City:  Each had a few ice shanties in the harbor that were close to shore.  

Saginaw Bay:  Ice conditions did improve around the Bay but it is still “iffy” out there in spots.  There arefish to catch without crossing the pressure cracks which is much safer.  Palmer Road near Standish was very busy with a lot of anglers on the ice.  They caught eight to 10 inch perch in two to three feet of water.  Walleye were caught in the evening in eight to 10 feet.  White’s Beach had a few anglers targeting perch but the fish were small.   Perch were caught at Pinconning and down off Newman Road.  Walleye were found three-quarters of a mile off Erickson Road but anglers need to be aware of all the pressure cracks out there and use caution.  There are active pressure cracks off Linwood as well.  The occasional walleye was caught in eight feet off the Bay City State Recreation Area and from the shipping channel near Spoils Island.  A few perch were caught near the range light off the river mouth.  Perch fishing was spotty from Sebewaing to Bay Port.  Some managed limit catches while others had none.  Keep moving until you find an active school of fish.  Walleye anglers were in the Slot and around North Island.  Caseville was slow.      

Saginaw River:  Still had patches of open water here and there and anglers are cautioned to stay well away from those areas.  Anglers need to beware of thin and treacherous ice along the river especially with temperatures well above freezing by the weekend.  Anglers were marking lots of fish however they did not want to bite.  That was the rule from Saginaw to the mouth.  Walleye were caught but not in large numbers.  Most were jigging rapalas tipped with minnow heads.  Hot colors were blue and silver, black and gold, purple or perch colors.  Fishing activity started near Wickes Park and Ojibway Island.  A number of anglers were at the Frist Street turning basin at the north end of Saginaw and strung out north and south of the Zilwaukee Bridge.  Be very careful of the ice near any of the bridges.  The ice was not good near the Boys & Girls Club in the south end of Bay City.  Anglers were fishing downstream of the Independence Bridge near the U.S.S. Edson but catch rates were spotty.  

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Anglers are ice fishing on the inland lakes however snow and slush may make travel on the ice a little more difficult.  Be sure to use caution and watch for soft ice.  Anglers are catching panfish, pike and walleye.    

Kalamazoo River:  Steelhead anglers are taking fish below the Allegan Dam.  Try spawn, plugs or a jig and wax worm.     

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Anglers are still out there and catching steelhead including a fair to good number of chrome colored fish.   

Lake Lansing:  Had fair to good bluegill action but anglers are sorting out a lot of small ones.  Crappie were also caught.  

Morrison Lake:  Is producing fairly well.  Anglers are taking bluegills, perch and some decent size crappie.    

Muskegon River:  Continues to produce a good number of steelhead especially in the lower sections.  Those floating spawn have done well but those fly fishing have also taken fish.  

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Fletchers Pond:  Pike anglers using tip-ups are taking a good number of fish.  Those seeking panfish have done well with minnows, wax worms and spikes.  

Higgins Lake:  Anglers were starting to walk out on the south end where they were catching lake trout in 50 to 60 feet.  Rainbow trout were caught in shallow waters three feet deep near the west shore boat ramp.  Anglers need to use caution and check the ice ahead of them.  

Houghton Lake:  Fishing has started to pick up with walleye caught along the drop-offs in deeper water.  Look for the weed beds.  Fish were caught at sunrise, mid-day and at sunset.  Pike anglers are doing well as the fish are everywhere.  Bluegills and crappie were caught off the DNR launch on the south end.  There was a report of a quad that broke through the ice about 500 yards or more from the Middle Grounds.  Anglers should use caution in this area. 

Tawas:  Most ice fishing activity was still up in the “armpit” off Jerry’s Marina.  Perch were caught in 15 to 20 feet and walleye in 20 to 22 feet but success was spotty.  A brown trout, a few lake trout and whitefish were caught on a spoon with a minnow. Those fishing inside the state harbor caught a few pike and perch.     

Au Gres River:  Anglers were taking a few walleye.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Deep snow and slush continue to make travel more difficult on the inland lakes.  Anglers should still use caution and be sure to check the ice when heading out.  Rivers in this area of the state continue to produce a good number of steelhead.   

Traverse City:  Any ice on the bays was questionable.      

Lake Cadillac:  Catch rates were a little slower but should pick up.  Anglers are taking panfish.  Try a teardrop with a small minnow, wax worm or spike.  Pike anglers are spearing or using tip-ups with large minnows.  

Lake Mitchell:  Ice anglers fishing the coves were catching panfish over the weed beds in 10 to 12 feet.  The Big Cove was producing more crappie while the smaller cove was good for bluegills.  The occasional perch was also caught.  Those using tip-ups are targeting pike and walleye.  Those spear fishing have also taken a couple nice pike.  

Manistee River:  Continues to provide some good steelhead fishing.  Fish have been caught throughout the river.  Anglers are getting bright colored fish as well as plenty of fresh ones.  Those fishing below Tippy Dam have done well with spawn or jigs and wax worms.   

Upper Peninsula

Lake Gogebic:  Had deep slush on the ice which is not ideal for vehicles especially those with wheels.  Please do not drive any truck into the Bergland boat launch.  The snow pack is soft and too many have gotten stuck.  Perch fishing was slow with only a few caught in 22 to 25 feet.  Walleye fishing was fair during the day but much better after dark in eight to 12 feet in Bergland Bay.  During the day, fish were caught in 15 to 18 feet.  Try tip-ups with shiners and suckers or jigging rapalas and assorted spoons tipped with a small minnow.

Menominee:   A WARNING TO ANGLERS:  The U.S. Coast Guard will conduct ice breaking operations in northern Green Bay between Marinette-Menominee and Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin on January 29-31, 2016.  On Friday, January 29, a tug and its barge will be escorted from Sturgeon Bay to Marinette.  The vessels will travel north and east of Green Island, approaching the Menominee Entrance in the Michigan waters of Green Bay.  On Sunday, January 31, the tug and barge will be escorted back to Sturgeon Bay following the same path through northern Green Bay, remaining north and east of Green Island.  All ice fishermen should remove their ice shacks and equipment from these areas; especially from the Menominee Entrance Channel and areas near Marinette Marine Corporation.  Snowmobile, ATV operators, and other recreational users of the ice should avoid the shipping channels, plan their activities carefully, and use extreme caution in this area.  

Menominee River:  Had one gate partially open at the Hattie Street Dam and the ice blew out near the dam.  The 6th Street Slip was producing some nice walleye.  

Little Bay De Noc:  Ice conditions improved some from Gladstone north to the head of the Bay but again the ice thickness this year varies greatly in any given area.  Anglers need to use caution when traveling on the Bay.  Anglers have gone out as far south as the Stonington area but this is not recommended and considered VERY DANGEROUS ice.  The Bay had very little snow cover.  Several large pressure cracks have made travel a bit more difficult so please use extreme caution when traveling all areas.  Walleye catches remain fair to good although tapering off a bit.  The Gladstone Beach area and out from the State Police Post were best reporting good catches using tip-ups with minnows or jigging rapalas in 20 to 34 feet.  Catches were also reported off the Second and Third Reefs when using the same in 17 to 30 feet.  Perch anglers reported better catches especially between the Second and Third Reefs with minnows in 13 to 19 feet.  Northern pike catches were reported throughout the Bay and anglers spearing northern pike have reported a very good season so far.  Whitefish were caught off Gladstone with dead minnows in 27 to 35 feet.  


Munuscong Bay:  Has ice fishing however the ice east of Roach Point towards the deeper water and the Dumping Grounds is NOT safe so avoid this area.  Walleye fishing was good off Grassy Island and north of Pine Island.  Perch fishing slowed which is usual for this time of year.  

Cedarville and Hessel:  Both Hessel Bay and Muskie Bay have picked up for perch.  Muskie Bay has been very good for pike.  Ice thickness is variable so be extremely careful.    

Fishing Tip: Four tips for targeting northern pike in winter

Now may be the time to learn some tips and tricks for heading out onto this winter’s ice – how about four tips for fishing for northern pike?
1. Consider using a fluorocarbon leader that will be practically invisible to any pike, as opposed to a steel leader. 
2. Keep your bait lively, both by using a well-aerated bait container and very sharp hooks to minimize injury.
3. Consider using something flashy with your bait, such as a small spinner blade, to entice pike in murky water.
4. Don’t be afraid to keep some slush around your hole in the ice to prevent pike from being spooked by your opening.

The Weekly Fishing Report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from DNR Fisheries seasonal and field staff, and DNR Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report: January 21, 2016

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Weekly Fishing Report

January 21, 2016
buy your fishing license button
fishing mapSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSoutheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report
With the deep freeze, most of the state is now ice fishing.  Anglers will still need to use caution especially along the west side after all the snow.  Reports coming in say the pike are hungry and hitting hard and the panfish action has turned on.  Those targeting walleye are also taking some fish.  Ice fishing season is finally here! 

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Lake St. Clair:  Has ice in some locations but open water in other areas.  Windy conditions have prevented the lake from freezing.  This results in highly variable ice thickness ranging from open water to maybe six inches in some areas.  Anglers need to be extremely careful and check the ice.  Those considering using an ATV to get around on the lake need to be extremely careful as the ice thickness can vary dramatically in a very short distance.  Anglers fishing Anchor Bay at Fairhaven were getting some perch up to 12 inches but they are sorting through a lot of small ones.  The bluegill and crappie fishing has been good.  Ice cover is very limited at the Selfridge access site, near the mouth of the Clinton River and the Metro Park.  


St. Clair River:  Has open water so shore fishing would be an option.  Anglers could find some rainbow trout and brown trout.  

Lexington:  Ice anglers have been targeting brown trout, steelhead and Atlantic salmon.      

Saginaw Bay:  Had lots of fishing activity off Palmer Road where yellow perch including many small ones were caught in one and a half to six feet of water.  The keepers were running seven to nine inches.  A couple walleye were also taken at night.  A few were fishing off the mouth of the Pine River but most were concentrated off Palmer Road.  A good number were fishing off the Pinconning Park in waters up to four feet deep where the occasional limit catch of eight to 10 inch perch were caught.  Some were catching small perch inside the Linwood Beach Marina.  

Fishing was slow at the Hot Ponds.  At Quanicassee, anglers fishing inside Lindy’s Marina off the river and caught bluegills and crappie but no perch.  Some are starting to venture out from Vanderbilt Park but the perch fishing was spotty.  No activity off Thomas Road.  From Sebewaing north to Bayshore Marina, most of the activity was off Geiger Road but perch fishing was spotty.  A few did well but they had to work hard for eight to 10 fish measuring seven to nine inches.  Fishing was slow off Mud Creek with only a few perch and one pike taken.  At Caseville, a few lake trout were taken in the river near the pier however the ice was still questionable, especially out near the end of the pier.  The ice was still questionable at Port Austin and Grindstone City with just a few shanties appearing at both harbors. 


Saginaw River:  Was in transition, with too much ice for boat fishing but not enough for ice fishing in most places.  A couple anglers were fishing on the basin behind Ojibway Island in Saginaw and a few were slowly heading out from First Street but the ice is not all that thick yet and anglers need to use extreme caution.  There might be five or six inches in one spot but only an inch thick a few feet away.  There was nofishing activity from Saginaw to the mouth.  

Tittabawassee River:  Was just not fishable due to colder temperatures making a lot of floating ice.  

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Anglers are getting out on lakes in the south and central part of the state that received less snow over the weekend.  This includes lakes in the counties of Jackson, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Branch, and St. Joseph.  Try fishing the small shallow lakes.  Bluegills, crappie and pike were being caught.       

Kalamazoo River:  Steelhead anglers are still getting fish up near the Allegan Dam.   

Grand River at Grand Rapids:  A few anglers were still targeting steelhead.  These diehards are still taking a fair number of some nice fish.

Kent County:  Anglers were fishing on Lime Lake, Long Lake, Reeds Lake and Wabasis Lake.  

Lake Lansing:  Pike anglers reported slow catch rates.  Try targeting bluegill and crappie instead. 

Muskrat Lake:  In Clinton County is producing a few crappie. 

Morrison Lake:  In Ionia County has ice anglers targeting panfish. 

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Lake Margrethe:  Had ice however still use caution near the deep water.  

Higgins Lake:  Finally froze over late Monday night however the ice was not safe yet.  Continued cold temperatures should shore the ice up soon but for now anglers will have to wait.  Snow cover was very light and will not hinder the freezing process.  

Houghton Lake:  Has ice and is producing fish.  Anglers still need to use caution around Long Point and the areas where there are inlets and outlets.  Anglers are taking good numbers of pike on tip-ups with minnows.   Try blues, golden’s or suckers.  The walleye have been really picky.  They see the bait, they swim toward it and as soon as the anglers start to move it a little bit the fish swim away.  Anglers are catching some bluegills and a few crappie.    

Tawas:  Finally had some ice cover back in the “armpit” of Tawas Bay and up inside Tawas Point.  Those heading out from the access road next to Jerry’s Marina were getting some perch during the day and a few walleye in the evening in 18 to 20 feet.  There was no activity inside the harbor at Tawas.  

Au Gres River:  Anglers were out and taking a few walleye in the evening.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Deep snow and slush is making travel difficult on the inland lakes.  Anglers should avoid the bigger and deeper lakes as they take longer to freeze and with deep snow now covering them, it will slow the freezing process.    

Kalkaska County:  The inland lakes had ice however the ice may not be uniform.  Use extreme caution and watch for areas of soft ice.    

Lake Cadillac:  Anglers are ice fishing however use caution especially along the east side.  Check the ice as you go.  Panfish were caught on wax worms, spikes and small minnows.  The pike are very active and hitting on tip-ups with minnows.  

Lake Mitchell:   Ice fishing is on!  Anglers can be found in the coves and near the State Park.  Pike fishing was good for those using tip-ups with blues.  Decent catch rates for bluegills and crappie when using spikes and wax worms.  The occasional perch was caught on minnows.  Walleye anglers found fish just before dark.  

Lake Missaukee:  Has ice and anglers are out catching panfish, pike and the occasional walleye. 

Manistee River:  Those able to brave the cold are taking a fair to good number of steelhead.  There was an ice jam along M-37 at Sherman. 

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay De Noc:  Ice conditions have improved however there was still open water from the Escanaba River to the south.  Ice cover was noted from Gladstone to the north.  While some are using snowmobiles and 4-wheelers for travel, driving a full size vehicle out on the ice would be very dangerous and is not recommended.  Pressure cracks have started to form out from the Terrace Bay Inn and Kipling from the center Masonville gate road leading out to Butler Island.  Walleye anglers reported fair to good catches throughout the Bay with the better catches from the Third Reef when jigging raps or using tip-ups with minnows in 13 to 30 feet and at Gladstone in 26 to 30 feet out from the State Police Post.  Perch fishing was spotty.  Good numbers of smallfish were reported near Kipling but few were kept.  Northern pike were very active and caught by walleye anglers throughout the Bay.  Those spearing did best around Butler Island in five to 10 feet and north of the Day’s River in seven to 10 feet.  Several whitefish were caught along with walleye in Gladstone. 

Munising:  ATTENTION ANGLERS: Authorities have issued an ICE WARNING for Munising Bay. A fishing boat left the bay early Wednesday morning and broke up the ice in the area. There is a lot of snow, slush and now open water a few hundred yards out especially towards Sand Point.

Munuscong Bay:  The best fishing has been around Grassy Island, east and north of Barbeau Point and off the Birches where anglers are taking perch and walleye.  Be extremely careful when moving around because the ice is not uniform and varies from one spot to the next.      

Cedarville and Hessel:  Ice conditions have improved significantly.  Some perch and a few splake have been caught in Hessel Bay and some perch were taken in Musky Bay.  Anglers should still continue to use caution when traveling on the ice.  

Fishing Tip: Book a camping trip & enjoy some fishing

There are many locations where you can participate in outdoor recreational opportunities within the state of Michigan, including at state parks or recreation areas. Many of these locations feature great fishing.

Many state parks and recreation areas also have great camping available. And now may be the time to schedule your summer camping and/or fishing trip by reserving a spot through the DNR’s reservation system. Visit to make a reservation up to six months in advance.
The Weekly Fishing Report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from DNR Fisheries seasonal and field staff, and DNR Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that sectio

Friday, January 8, 2016

Bear Archery Reverse Limb "Bear X" Crossbow

So I've been considering getting a reverese limb crossbow for the last few years.  Ever since I had the opportunity to use one of Horton's original reverse limb bows a few years ago.  Since then Horton has went out of business and been acquired by tenpoint which shocked me considering how l long Horton has been around.  I figured with the acquisition by Tenpoint the price point of reverse limb bows would go up from what Horton originally had as an affordable bow option.  

Well, I'm happy to say that there is a new option for reverse limb bows out there.  The "Bear X" made by Bear Archery.  I'll be looking into this one for sure this year since I've had nothing but good products from Bear products.  In fact my first bow was a Bear Epic which I still have and hunt with til this day.  Here is a quick video of the "Bear X" produced by Grand View Outdoors.   Also photo credit is to Grand View Outdoors. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

What's In Store for 2016!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  We made it to 2016 and with the coming of the new year I've diceded that I want something more out of my outdoor addiction.  Where in the past few years I've been hunting and fishing for fun and relaxation I've decided that this year I'd take my time afield more seriously.  So instead of just taking time away to fish, from this point forward this my time afield will be not just fun but filled with challenge and adventure.

For starters I'll be challenging myself to catching and recording master angler class fish from each of Michigan's game fish species.  Not only do I want to do that but catch master angler class fish with both traditional spinning gear as well as fly fishing tackle.  This will be great challenge for me because I consider myself to be nothing more than a novice at fly fishing.

As well as working to catch master angler class fish, I'll also be challenging my creative abilities by getting better at fly tying and lure making.  Currently my fly tying and lure making have much to be desired in the beauty department.  As well I'm pretty limited in the amount of flies that are in my tying arsenal.  So as I practice and get better I'll be posting the flies and lures in addition to their recipes here on the blog.

Lastly this year will be one of exploration for me.  I'll be exploring as many of the lakes and rivers here in Michigan as I can as well as branching out into Ohio.  These trips will be highlighted here on the blog as well as on my youtube channel, which I'll be getting started on again. Hopefully many of these trips will be Kayak camping trips as well so look out.

Tight Lines and Happy New year!


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