Weekly Fishing Report

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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, February 22, 2018
Weekly Fishing Report

Read below or call: 1-855-777-0908

Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Southeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northeast Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Northwest Lower Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report

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Very few updates have come in this week as few anglers were out. Rain and warm temperatures have many rivers at or above flood stage. Moving ice may also cause additional flooding. Anglers should avoid the rivers until water levels recede. Many inland lakes will no longer be safe.


Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Rivers are running high and the inland lake ice is deteriorating rapidly so few anglers have been out.

Lake St. Clair: Ice conditions were deteriorating quickly and warm runoff from rains this week will melt shoreline ice which will make accessing the ice difficult to impossible. The lake is experiencing heavy river flows, increased current, open spearing holes which will only increase in size, and fog. The safest decision is to stay off the ice.

Saginaw Bay: It is recommended that no one venture out onto the ice because of flooding, rising water levels and quickly deteriorating ice conditions. The rain, warmer temperatures and snow melt are creating dangerous conditions. Those looking to go ice fishing should head to the northern part of the Lower Peninsula or the Upper Peninsula.

Saginaw River: It is recommended that no one venture out onto the ice on this and other rivers in the area because of flooding and rising water levels. Conditions are not safe.


Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Inland lakes in the area have taken a hit after the rain and warm temperatures. Shoreline ice has deteriorated making it difficult to get out to any remaining ice which may not be safe. The rivers are running high and fast. Anglers might want to think about getting the spring and summer gear ready to go.

St. Joseph River: Had extremely high water levels and no one was fishing. It could be a week or so before the water recedes to fishable levels. Look for steelhead up near the dams once it does.

Kalamazoo River: Had high water levels.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: High water levels and a strong current will make fishing very difficult.

Grand River at Lansing: Anglers caught carp, catfish and a few pike before the rain but now the river is extremely high with a strong current and not fishable.

Muskegon Lake: Anglers are encouraged to stay off the ice. All the spillways at the dam are open sending fast dirty water down into the lake. Shoreline ice is deteriorating with 4 feet or more of open water to cross over. Even if anglers can get out in the morning, they may not be able to get back to shore.

Muskegon River: Had ice jams resulting in rapidly rising water near Rogers Dam and near Croton.


Northeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Anglers should still use caution especially after the rain and warm temperatures. The return of colder weather should help to shore the ice back up.

Black Lake: Still had ice but some major pressure cracks were starting to open up including one in front of Zolner Road. Fishing was slow but a few walleye were caught on minnows at dusk. Some perch ranging 8 to 12 inches were caught along the weeds in 10 to 15 feet. Anglers were using spikes, wigglers and minnows with the best luck on minnows. Pike up to 29 inches were caught however most were 20 to 22 inches.

Burt Lake: Still had some shanties out on the ice. Most anglers are targeting walleye and perch.

Mullett Lake: Still had ice fishing and plenty of shanties out.

Higgins Lake: Ice anglers should stay away from the creek mouths due to deteriorating ice conditions from runoff. Anglers are still heading out. Those targeting perch were getting a good number but sorting through a lot of small ones. Lake trout were found just off the bottom in 80 to 110 feet. Good pike action continues. Rainbow trout were taken in shallow waters near Big Creek and the Conference Center. Smelt were hitting in the evening but catch rates were spotty. Be sure to bring ice cleats for easier travel.

Houghton Lake: Anglers are still fishing however extreme caution needs to be used when traveling across the ice. All the fishing and spearing holes have opened up and are much bigger now. Caution needs to be used near the rivers and creeks, near the pressure crack that runs across the East Bay and another one off Long Point near the entrance to the North Bay. Anglers caught crappie, bluegills, walleye, pike and perch on minnows. If the bite slows, try switching to wax worms. The better bite was early morning and again about 4pm. Be sure to bring ice cleats for easier travel across the ice.

Rifle River: Was under a flood warning. High water levels and a strong current are not ideal fishing conditions.


Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report

Ice fishing continues in this part of the state.

Lake Charlevoix: Still had ice. Cisco fishing was hit-or-miss but anglers managed to catch a few if they were patient. Most were taken in 100 feet.

Portage Lake: Continues to produce lake herring. The perch bite was still hit-or-miss. Many were still targeting the waters along the shallow sandbar off North Point and to the west of it.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Ice anglers should avoid the areas where there is flowing water as these deteriorate first. Colder temperatures should help shore the ice back up.

Big Manistee River: Had reports of steelhead being caught.

Pere Marquette River: Also had reports of steelhead being caught after the rain and warmer temperatures.


Upper Peninsula Fishing Report

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was slower. The smelt bite was fair after dark out from the Baraga marina. The whitefish action was slower than normal. Lake trout fishing was fair off of the Whirl-I-Gig. There were very few coho and brown trout caught but no kings or steelhead.

Little Bay De Noc: Ice remains throughout most of the Bay. Saunders Point is dangerous and should be avoided because of the warm water discharge and open water in the area. Overall fishing was slow but anglers are marking good numbers of fish throughout. Spotty walleye catches were reported throughout but the better catches were in the southern waters. Fair catch rates for those jigging rapalas in and around 30 feet just south of the Escanaba River and in 23 to 30 feet in the Stonington area. Bigger fish were caught along the break and 25 to 40 feet down off Portage Point. Many were using tip-ups in the upper Bay but those jigging did better. Perch anglers reported slow but steady catches. Some large perch were caught in the northern Bay. Fair catches were reported from the First Reef to the Third Reef with wigglers on the bottom. A lot of undersize walleye mixed with some keepers and several respectable catches of perch and pike were taken up near the Day's River in 14 to 24 feet. Good to excellent pike spearing was reported in 8 to 10 feet just off Butler Island.

Munising: Catch rates for whitefish dropped slightly. Anglers are mainly fishing with a single egg or wax worm. The coho action was fair to good for those jigging spoons or a Swedish pimple. Catch rates were fair for smelt. Night anglers targeting burbot reported slow catch rates. Many were fishing Trout Bay and Sand Point.

Cedarville and Hessel: Fishing pressure picked up around the Les Cheneaux Islands but the number of fish caught was down. Some days have been better than others. Perch ranging 8 to 12 inches were caught on minnows, spikes and wigglers in 8 to 12 feet. Bigger fish were seen but none were caught. Anglers reported seeing smelt and splake. Pike fishing picked up with most fish ranging 22 to 30 inches. Anglers still need to be cautious of areas with a strong current and or moving ice.


Enjoy your catch! Eat safe fish! Learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from our Great Lakes State at: Michigan.gov/eatsafefish.