Archived Weekly Fishing Tips

The tips below are archived from the Weekly Fishing Tip provided through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' website.

February 8, 2018: Factors to think about when fishing for walleye in winter
Walleye are a popular target of ice anglers with many jigging for this aggressive species. But did you know weather can play an important role in your opportunity to catch them?

While you might not be able to notice the wind whipping outside your shanty, walleye under the ice notice it. When the wind shifts it impacts things under the water, including the current and silt. This might mean you'll need to change locations on the ice to find what you're looking for.

Fish are very sensitive to air pressure and when it's consistent you'll find the fish can be very active. But if the pressure drops you'll also see a decline in bites.

Along with pressure you'll see changes in activity thanks to temperature. Many anglers gravitate to their favorite spots on warmer days, only to find not much activity under the ice. Temperature drops affect the air pressure which turns many species off.

Check out our Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website for even more information on fishing for walleye.

February 1, 2018: Fishing for walleye and whitefish on Saginaw Bay
Many anglers flock to Saginaw Bay in the winter to target walleye and experience an added perk - the possibility of catching lake whitefish!

To target walleye, many anglers jig with spoons of various colors. You may want to tip your spoon with a minnow to further entice them.

To target lake whitefish, many anglers use spawn or a wax worm on a spoon to encourage bites.

Check out our Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website for even more information on fishing for walleye and lake whitefish.

January 18, 2018: Using a bass technique to target steelhead
Are you a bass angler? A standard technique you use may be perfect for catching steelhead in the winter.

Some experts suggest choosing medium-diving crankbaits (popular colors would include variations of gold or chrome) and be sure to use braided line, which will aid in navigating obstacles under the water. Cast across the current and retrieve just fast enough to get the lure under the water but not so fast that it will snag the bottom. During the retrieve, let the lure swing downstream.

Another successful approach may be to take position directly upstream of a deep hole and cast straight downstream. Retrieve the lure directly through the hole. Again, make sure to retrieve the lure fast enough to get in under the water but slow enough to keep it from snagging up on the bottom. Many times an angler can perform an extra slow retrieve and let the current do most of the wok for them.

Steelhead are one of Michigan's most popular sport fish, don't miss your opportunity to target them this winter! For more information, visit the steelhead page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.

January 11, 2018: Finding panfish through the ice
It may be cold, but it also means you can likely go ice fishing! Are you planning to head out? Then it's time to get prepared to do so safely!

Have you been attempting to target panfish during your ice fishing trips this winter, but aren't having much luck? Consider the following things.

Are the panfish sticking to shallow or deep depths? Are they hanging out in the weeds or on the rocks? Are they suspended or are they hugging the bottom?

Due to the weather much of the state has experienced recently, panfish are likely to be in deeper water to find more oxygen. Keep that in mind when you look for them!

Also keep your presentation efforts in mind. A popular effort includes putting a jig on the bottom and using a twitch-pause-twitch routine with it.

For more information on winter fishing in Michigan, visit

January 4, 2018: Need a last minute gift idea??
It may be cold, but it also means you can likely go ice fishing! Are you planning to head out? Then it's time to get prepared to do so safely!

You'll need some special equipment if you head out ice fishing. Take stock of your spud/auger, skimmer, shelter and apparel to have an enjoyable experience out on the water.

Pick your preferred ice fishing technique and the species you wish to target and brush up on your skills - whether that is hook-and-line fishing for bluegill, sunfish, perch or crappie; using tip-ups for northern pike, walleye or trout; or spearing for northern pike, muskellunge or sturgeon.

You should always stay safe when heading on the ice. These five tips can help: 1) Never fish alone; 2) Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return; 3) Always test the ice with a spud; 4) Take the appropriate emergency items, such as a lifejacket and ice picks; and 5) Take a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help. Keep it in a plastic, sealable bag to make sure it doesn't get wet.

Want more information on ice fishing? Visit