Monday, March 5, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018 Michigan DNR Weekly Fishing Report

Thursday, March 1, 2018
Weekly Fishing Report

Read below or call: 1-855-777-0908
Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNortheast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportNorthwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportUpper Peninsula Weekly Fishing ReportSouthwest 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

Anglers are reminded that the 2018 Fishing Licenses go on sale starting March 1st and be sure to pick up a copy of the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide. The best ice fishing locations at this time were in the Upper Peninsula. Anglers should use caution and check any ice carefully following the rain and warm temperatures. Those fishing the rivers will need to use caution and watch for floating debris.

Lake St. Clair: The main lake ice is gone. Some marginal ice still remains in the canals and marinas. It is recommended that anglers stay off any remaining ice. The Harley Ensign Boating Access Site is wide open and a few boat anglers were starting to venture out.
  • For a more accurate report on Lake St. Clair I suggest reaching out to the people at Sportsmen's Direct  as their weekly LSC fishing report is usually far more in depth.  Phone: (586-741-6052)
St. Clair River: A few fish were caught off the wall at Port Huron.
Saginaw Bay: Ice fishing season is over as very strong winds blew the ice out of the bay or broke it up. Perch fishing in the cuts and canals may be available in a week or so, but spawning is still a few weeks away. Rivers in the area were either still in flood mode or starting to recede. Most were full of floating debris and were not fishable.
  • For a more accurate report on Saginaw Bay I suggest taking a look at the weekly Saginaw Bay Fishing Report given to you by
Nearby Bait Shops Include: 
Franks Great Outdoors (989) 697-5341
GW's Fishing Lures (989) 684-6431
The Party Dock (989) 684-2150
West Marine (898) 667-2100
Michigan Sportsman Bait & Tackle (989) 893-6550
Live Bait (989) 992-7770
Saginaw River: Had wide spread flooding in the upper river including flooded boat launches. Providing we do not end up with more significant rainfall, it could take another week or more for the watershed to drain out and become fishable. Walleye season on the inland waters is open through March 15th, so anglers will still have a shot at walleye fishing for 10 days or so before the season closes.
Tittabawassee River: Had wide spread flooding in the lower river and flooded boat launches. Like the Saginaw River, it could take another week or more for water levels to come down and the river is fishable.
With the warming trend I'd suggest  reaching out to the local bait shops in southeast Michigan to verify what your best options are.  Below are links to bait shop listings organized by county:

Steelhead were on the move last week before the rapid rise in water levels. The ice is completely off some lakes while others had only partial cover. It looks like ice fishing is done as shorelines have opened up and warm temperatures this week will only weaken any remaining ice. Some have already started boat fishing. A few boats braving the float ice were going out onto Lake Michigan to target lake trout and brown trout.
St. Joseph River: Had some steelhead action.
Kalamazoo River: Also had some steelhead action.
Kalamazoo County Bait Shops: Click Here!
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Steelhead and walleye were caught before the high water levels which have restricted fishing opportunities.
  • For a more accurate report on the Grand River at Grand Rapids I suggest reaching out to the people at Al & Bob's SportsPhone: (616-281-0777)
Grand River at Lansing: Water levels were receding. A couple anglers fishing over near Moore's Park caught a few walleye on minnows or rubber baits and channel cats on liver. Fish were caught both above and below the dam.
  • For a more accurate report on the Grand River at Lansing I suggest reaching out to the          people at Grand River Bait & TacklePhone: (517-482-4461) 
Muskegon Lake: Has open water along the east and northeast end but no boat launches were open. The south half of the lake was still iced over but could break up quickly depending on the rain and wind. Needless to say, there was no fishing action to report.
Muskegon River: Water levels were coming down and steelhead were being caught. Try spawn, flies, beads or wax worms.
  • For a more accurate report on the Muskegon Lake & the Muskegon River I suggest reaching out to the people at Snug Harbor OutfittersPhone: (231-719-0759) 
Mona Lake: Had a couple anglers targeting suckers in open water near the bridges.

Strong winds and standing water on many area lakes have increased the risk for ice fishing. Caution needs to be used. Shoreline ice has deteriorated making it difficult to get on some lakes. Surface conditions will require ice cleats or grippers of some sort for easier travel.
Cheboygan River: Was producing some steelhead including some silver fish that were coming in.
Burt Lake: Still had ice however the shoreline ice had deteriorated. Be careful where the river feeds in near the State Park. Anglers will need to watch for pressure cracks, holes where ice shanties were sitting and spearing holes which are all bigger now. Some have caught walleye and burbot. A few pike and small perch were caught on the south end but overall, fishing slowed.
Mullett Lake: Anglers should stay away from the large pressure crack and watch for old fishing and spearing holes as well.
Black Lake: Some were still getting a few perch and walleye.
Ocqueoc River: Was producing some steelhead including some fresh fish.
Grand Lake: Was producing some walleye and jumbo perch along the east shore.
Higgins Lake: Still had ice but some of the shoreline has broken up especially where there are natural springs. Use caution and watch for old spearing holes that are bigger after the rain and warm temperatures. Avoid the area around Treasure Island. Lake trout anglers were walking out. Perch anglers were targeting 30 to 60 feet and were sorting through a lot of small ones. Smelt anglers were getting up to 60 fish or more after dark depending on how long they stayed out. The smelt along with a few ciscos were caught in 30 to 40 feet. Rainbow trout were hitting on wigglers off Big Creek and near the Conference Center. Pike up to 45 inches were taken on tip-ups or by those spearing.
Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops: 
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle: (989) 821-9517 
Sports Barn: (989) 821-9511

Houghton Lake: Still had ice but anglers will need to use caution near the pressure cracks and the Middle Grounds where the ice is very thin over the weed beds. Many of the permanent ice shanties have been pulled off the lake so watch for large holes where the shanties had been sitting. There was no snow
on the lake so bring ice cleats. The bluegill and crappie fishing was good with limit catches reported. The fish were caught in 6 to 7 feet close to shore or in 12 feet in the East Bay and along the north shore. Anglers are using minnows, wax worms and spikes.

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:

Stream steelhead fishing should be picking up with the warmer weather. Many, if not all the inland lakes have seen a significant thaw. It would be risky to go out on the ice right now and warm temperatures through the weekend will only make conditions more dangerous. Anglers should use extreme caution on any remaining ice as the thickness will be variable.
Traverse City: Suttons Bay was wide open after the ice blew out.
Betsie River: Water levels have returned to near normal. Look for steelhead with the warmer temperatures.
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: No anglers were out ice fishing as warm temperatures continue to make the ice dangerous.
Manistee Lake: The ice was pretty much done.
Big Manistee River: Steelhead fishing picked up with the rain and warmer temperatures. Try spawn,
beads and wax worms. Water levels were near normal.
Mason County: Ice on the inland lakes was breaking up.
Pere Marquette River: With the lower water levels, anglers were catching some steelhead again.
Pentwater River: Was also producing some steelhead.

Nearby Bait & Tackle Shops:
Don's Sporting Goods: (231) 723-5028
Tangled Tackle Co.(231) 887-4242
Pappy's Bait & Tackle: (231) 848-4142
Andy's Tackle Box: (231) 477-5737

Keweenaw Bay: Still had ice with snow cover on top however the snow could be gone by the end of the week so anglers might want to bring cleats for easier travel on the ice. Lake trout fishing was fair off of the Whirl-I-Gig. The whitefish bite was slow. Splake fishing was hit-or-miss in 8 to 40 feet. Smelt fishing was great after dark but only fair during the day.
Lake Gogebic: Was producing a few walleye and pike. A few more perch were caught on the north end.
Little Bay De Noc: The ice remains although travel can be hampered by rutted or crusty snow. A few anglers reported good walleye catches down near the Ford River in 20 to 30 feet when jigging rapalas. Other walleye reports remain slow with spotty catches reported throughout the Bay. Fair catches of decent size perch were taken in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor with minnows or wigglers. The better catches were taken around the Kipling flats in 30 feet when jigging minnows or wigglers. Some did well with small rapalas. The quality of fish was great with some huge jumbo perch taken but the number of fish caught was down. Fair perch catches at the head of the bay with minnows and wigglers in 12 to 20 feet. A couple walleye were also caught but most anglers reported good pike action with fish taken between Garth Point and the Day's River when using tip-ups with sucker minnows in 14 to 22 feet. The whitefish anglers reported little action off Sand Point in Escanaba.

A good source of up to date Little Bay De Noc Fishing reports is to follow the this page on facebook: Little Bay De Noc Fishing Reports

Munising: Had high fishing pressure especially on the weekends. Anglers are mainly targeting coho and smelt and reported fair to good catches. The whitefish action was slow with most fish under 12 inches.
Manistique Lakes: Anglers caught walleye and perch. Tip-ups with minnows were the most productive.
Brevoort Lake: Had a fair bite for walleye, pike, and perch.

Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State

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