NOTE TO ANGLERS: This report is intended to give anglers an idea of fishing conditions around the state. The updates come from a combination of creel clerks and other DNR staff around the state and reflect past fishing conditions over the last seven days. Due to the nature of the Great Lakes, fishing conditions on them can change daily if not hourly based on wind and rain events.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Weekly Fishing Report
Read below or call: 1-855-777-0908
Click in the map above to find your weekly fishing report by region.
Those looking to go ice fishing will need to head north but will still need to use some caution as even some of these lakes reported ice that was not consistent. The Upper Peninsula should be good but slush could make travel on the ice difficult.
Huron River: Water levels were about a foot below the dam at Flat Rock and muddy.
Detroit River: Has a few boat anglers targeting perch near Gibraltar and other areas, look for open water however watch for ice coming downstream.
Lake St. Clair: A few anglers have gone through the ice near the Clinton River Spillway and had to be rescued. Extreme caution is warranted with warm temperatures and rain this week.
Saginaw Bay: Perch fishing was generally slow at most locations with the exception of two, Wigwam Bay between the Pine River mouth and Hale Road and near Quanicassee in the area off Tietz Drain in three to five feet. Minnows were catching more fish and early morning was best. Both areas produced nice catches of big perch however anglers need to use caution and watch for variable ice conditions. There have been reports of four-wheelers going through the ice northeast of Vanderbilt Park, off Geiger Road and Mud Creek. Some reported fair to good perch and a few walleye taken on the right day off Palmer Road. Try for perch in the morning and walleye at dusk. All rivers in the area and associated marinas were reported to be high, fast and muddy to the point of being almost unfishable. Anyone going out on Saginaw Bay should give the river mouths, creeks, and drains a wide berth, as the increased flows will ruin the ice in the immediate vicinity. There's essentially no fishable ice at Port Austin, Grindstone City or Harbor Beach.
Saginaw River: Anglers are cautioned to STAY OFF the ice. The river is running fast and dirty and will only get worse. The fishable ice along the shorelines of the river will be getting thin with the rain and warmer temperatures. We will need a good cold snap to freeze things up again.
Tittabawassee River: Anglers are cautioned to STAY OFF the ice here as well.
Steelhead fishing in this area should be good by the end of the week especially with the warm up. Good rivers to try would be the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon and the White River. Water levels and flow will be elevated.
While the bite improved with the warmer weather, ice on the inland lakes in this region is inconsistent and dangerous. If anglers are heading out they would be wise to fish in shallow waters only.
Cheboygan & Presque Isle Counties: Ice conditions were variable from lake to lake so anglers need to use caution. Some walleye and a fair number of pike were caught in Black Lake. Grand Lake was good for perch and a few walleye.
Burt Lake: Anglers were taking some jumbo perch and walleye in Maple Bay and at the north end near the Robert Road access area.
Mullett Lake: Anglers are urged to use extreme caution as ice thickness is not consistent throughout the lake. A few perch and walleye were taken just south of Dodge Point and around the sunken island. A few pike and walleye were taken off Aloha State Park.
East & West Twin Lakes: In Montmorency County produced a few perch and walleye.
Fletchers Pond: Had many soft pockets of ice that continue to be dangerous. Those using tip-ups have caught some pike.
Higgins Lake: Had ice however anglers are taking it day-by-day. Lake trout were still hitting on greys and some were jigging. Pike were taken on tip-ups on the south end off the State Park in 20 to 40 feet. For perch, try the north end off the State Park, off Big Creek and near the main island.
Houghton Lake: Still had ice but the lake was sloppy with a good inch or two of water on top. Anglers should avoid the area near the large pressure crack which runs from Heights Marina to the DNR Launch. Anglers were taking lots of pike and some walleye in eight to 12 feet with tip-ups. For bluegill and crappie, try the weed beds along the first drop-off with tear drops and wax worms.
Tawas: Had a fair amount of fishing activity in Tawas Bay near Jerry's Marina. Those with cameras could see a lot of perch, walleye and other species but nothing would bite. Lots of baitfish were reported down the holes. This was a big year for gizzard shad and with so many out there, it may keep the walleye from getting hungry enough to bite.
Tawas Lake: Had good bluegill fishing.
Au Gres: Anglers here were also seeing lots of bait fish down the holes.
With the January thaw, steelhead fishing should be good this week so anglers will want to try the Manistee, Betsie, and Pere Marquette Rivers. Anglers are reminded that the Little Manistee River is closed to fishing until April 1.
Charlevoix County: Most anglers traveling on the inland lakes in this area were traveling by foot. The ice was layered and not of real high quality. Panfish were biting during the day and those fishing Lake Charlevoix at night were starting to catch walleye. With warmer temperatures in the low 40's this week, anglers will need to use caution.
Benzie County: Ice was thicker but not consistent so anglers should still use caution. Some perch and panfish were caught on Platte and Upper Herring Lakes.
Portage Lake: Was producing perch and walleye.
Lake Cadillac: Is giving up catches of bluegill and crappie although some sorting is required. Good pike catches on tip-ups and even a few walleye.
Lake Mitchell: Is also producing crappie and bluegills. Check out the coves. Those using tip-ups are taking a few pike and walleye.
Lake Missaukee: Was producing decent catches of pike, perch and other panfish. A few walleye were taken after dark.
Hamlin Lake: Anglers reported decent catches of panfish and a few pike on tip-ups.
Pentwater Lake: Numerous perch are being caught but most were small.
Lake Gogebic: Was producing a good number of walleye and perch along the north end of the lake. Many of the walleye were 15 inches or more. Perch were hitting just south of Porcupine Point. Ice conditions can vary greatly with slush and bad ice in some locations.
Gogebic County: Bluegills are being caught on the small lakes. Crappie and perch were taken on Crooked Lake. Several pike have been caught with tip-ups on Lake Lac Vieux Desert.
Lake Antoine: Was producing a few walleye and some perch.
Menominee River: Was producing a nice mix of fish from the 6th Street Slip on the Wisconsin side. Perch, crappie, walleye and a few whitefish were caught by those jigging minnows and wax worms.
Little Bay De Noc: Cold temperatures improved the ice conditions mostly in the northern Bay. The Escanaba River area and south still remains dangerous although iced over. Shipping activity has opened areas in these waters and should be avoided. The northern Bay has ice but warm weather this week could cause problems so anglers need to use caution especially around Saunders Point, the pressure cracks and near the mouth of the rivers. Fishing in general has been very slow. The best walleye catches have come between the Second and the Third Reefs with jigging rapalas or tip-ups and minnows in 25 to 35 feet and straight out from the Day's River in 20 to 30 feet. Perch anglers had little to show but a few fish were taken on minnows near Kipling in 17 to 25 feet and in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor in eight to 10 feet. Pike have been active throughout and those targeting whitefish had fair catches near Gladstone when using minnows or spawn in 30 to 40 feet.
Munising: The bay froze over however the following areas had partial open water or were not safe: Powell Point, Grand Island and access off M-28 near Christmas. The city docks had the most activity with 15 shanties and the ice was better than the Anna River though a few anglers were still out near the Sunset Motel. Catch rates were slow with only a few undersize splake and very few whitefish. Anglers need to pay close attention to the winds which could break up the ice. Anglers and the general public are cautioned that the ice is not safe to access the ice caves on Grand Island.
Grand Marais: The harbor does not have any ice at this time. A few locals fishing the area inland lakes were taking some pike.
Indian Lake: Anglers were taking a few walleye.
Tahquamenon River: Rising water levels were making it very difficult to fish.
Munuscong Bay: Walleye and perch fishing were slow. Travel was slow due to slush.
Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing remains good in Hessel Bay. Wilderness Bay is the place to go for splake. Muskie Bay is still on the slow side for perch but was good for pike. Government Bay has produced some perch. Be extremely careful especially with the warmer temperatures.
Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State at: Michigan.gov/eatsafefish.