Thursday, January 21, 2016

Michigan Weekly Fishing Report: January 21, 2016

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Weekly Fishing Report

January 21, 2016
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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

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