Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report — March 3, 2017

Lake St. Clair

There was no safe ice on Lake St. Clair or in the canals surrounding the lake. With more warm weather in the forecast it’s a good bet that the ice is shot for this year. There was no snow on the ground. Rabbit hunting has been tough but squirrel hunting ended on a good note.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Lake Orion

There was no safe ice in Oakland County and no open water so fishing has stalled for now. Squirrel and rabbit hunting has been decent at the Bald Mountain State Recreation Area.

Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.

Trenton Area

There was still some ice coming down the Detroit River, but boat anglers were able to get out. There have been no reports of walleye action yet, but perch are hitting at the Cross Dyke near Sugar Island, in Airport Bay and in the canals around Grosse Ile.

Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Luna Pier Area

The open water in the Western Basin of Lake Erie has been calling anglers all winter long and the action has been very good. Lately, most of the fish have been caught in Ohio waters so be sure to check your license and location before wetting a line.

Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.


Sturgis Area

The ice is shot on Klinger Lake and other inland lakes in the area and ice fishing has ended for now. Hunting pressure has been very light. There was no snow on the ground last week.

Klinger Lake Trading Post, (269) 651-2679.

Coldwater Area

Warm temperatures and rain have brought ice fishing to an abrupt halt in Branch County and across southern Michigan. With no snow on the ground, rabbit hunting has been tough and hunting pressure light. Coyote hunting has been decent, but hunting pressure has been light.

Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.

Kalamazoo Area

Steelhead fishing has been very good on the Kalamazoo River. Fish have been caught below Calkins Dam and throughout the river. Down on the St. Joseph River, steelhead fishing has been very good. The fish are starting to move upstream and were moving through the fish ladder at the Berrien Springs Dam. Pier anglers fishing in Lake Michigan at St. Joseph report catching chinook, coho and brown trout. Coyote hunting has been fair but hunting pressure has been light.

D and R Sports, (269) 372-2277.

Grand Rapids Area

Anglers report very good steelhead fishing on the Grand River with some  limit catches being taken. Boat and shore anglers are using fresh skein, spawn bags, wax worms and wigglers with good success. A fair to good number of walleyes also have been caught.

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.


Saginaw Bay Area

There was no safe ice on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay and anglers should stay off the remaining ice. Boat anglers are getting out on the Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers. On the Saginaw River, all the boat launches from Saginaw to Bay City are open and useable. There are lots of undersize walleye in the river as many reported catching 50 to 75 short ones in order to get 5 or 6 fish over 13 inches. Most are using bright colored jig heads with shiners or plastic scented tails but some were jigging Rapalas. The best fishing seemed to be in the middle of the shipping channel in the deepest water. Most were vertical jigging but some would anchor and cast. On the Tittabawassee River all of the boat ramps are open including Imerman Park. A lot of shore anglers were also out but the walleye fishing has been very slow. Boat anglers up near the Dow Dam did manage to get a couple of fish. The water is really cold and it does not appear that the spring walleye run from the bay into the rivers has gotten under way yet.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Sanford Area

River fishing in the Tittabawassee River has produced a few northern pike, some small walleyes and occasionally a steelhead. The ice is shot on Sanford Lake and anglers are waiting for the remaining ice to leave. There was still some decent ice on Wixom Lake last week, but the shore ice was starting to fall apart. Panfish and pike fishing has been decent. Hunting pressure has been very light. There was no snow on the ground.

Sanford Sport Shop, (989) 687-5161.

Weidman Area

Ice was in poor conditions along shore of most of the local lakes in Isabella County. There was still up to 16 inches in the middle of some lakes and anglers who have been able to get out report good bluegill fishing on the Martini Chain, Lake Isabella, Six Lakes and Stevenson Lake. There was no snow on the ground. Coyote and rabbit hunting has been slow and hunting pressure has been very light.

Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.

Ludington Area

Shore ice has broken up on Hamlin Lake and ice fishing has stalled. A few small boats have gotten out on Lake Michigan and anglers are catching a few brown trout. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good in the Pere Marquette river. Beads and spawn have both produced good results. There was no snow on the ground last week. Coyote and rabbit hunting have been decent, but hunting pressure has been light.

Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.


Caseville Area

The ice was still holding up in the canals and a few perch have been caught. There was open water on Lake Huron and anglers were catching lake trout and a few walleyes off the breakwall. Bodybaits and spoons are both producing good results. There was no snow on the ground and hunting pressure has been light. Coyotes are mating.

Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.

Port Huron

Fishing has been slow in the open water on the St. Clair River. A few walleyes have been caught by those vertical jigging. Boat anglers are catching lake trout in Lake Huron outside the harbor at Port Sanilac. There was no snow on the ground last week. The squirrel season ended on a good note.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

Vassar Area

There was no safe ice on Murphy Lake last week and ice fishing has ended. Hunting pressure has been very light.

Fred’s Bait & Tackle, (989) 823-8157.


Indian River

Ice fishing remains pretty good on Burt and Mullett lakes. Anglers report catching near limit catches of walleye on Burt Lake in front of Hopper’s Tavern and off Greenman’s Point. A good number of jumbo perch have been caught in Maple Bay. Over on Mullett Lake, the ice was holding up so far, with the exception of the area around the mouth of the Pigeon River. Slush could be an issue until colder weather returns. Fishing has been slow and catch rates were low. The best spots for perch were in Scotts Bay off the Blue Water Shores area in 30 feet of water, in the Humps off Dodge Point in 25 feet of water, or in front of Topinabee in 20 to 35 feet of water. Catches of 10 to 15 fish was considered a good day for perch. A few walleyes were also caught in the same areas. Pike action slowed with only a couple fish caught.

Pat & Gary’s Party Store, (231) 238-6776.

East Jordan Area

Ice was falling apart on Lake Charlevoix but there was cold weather in the forecast so anglers remained optimistic. Call ahead before heading out. Walleye fishing has been good on the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix. Panfish were keeping anglers busy on the Bellaire Chain of Lakes.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

Ice has deteriorated in the Traverse City area and shanties are starting to fall through the ice on some of the lakes including Green. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Boardman and Betsie rivers. Fresh fish are moving in. Lake trout fishing has been good in East Grand Traverse Bay. Those fishing with jigs in 110 to 150 feet of water report good action. A few ciscoes have been caught by those jigging in 75 to 100 feet of water. Brown trout have moved in towards shore on Lake Michigan and anglers trolling crankbaits in the shallows have caught a few fish. There was no snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.

Lake City Area

Pike and panfish have been active on Lake Missaukee where anglers were still ice fishing. Call ahead for an updated report on ice conditions.

Miller’s Corner, (231) 839-0440

Cadillac Area

There was still fair ice on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Anglers should watch for quickly changing ice conditions. The recent bite has been hit-or-miss. Anglers  have managed to catch some bluegills and crappie on Cadillac. Panfish and northern pike have been caught on Mitchell. There was very little snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been very light.

Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.


Rogers City Area

Ice on inland lakes was in pretty good shape in Presque Isle County. Anglers report a good perch bite on Grand Lake. There was a dusting of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

Houghton Lake Area

The ice was holding up fairly well on Houghton Lake. However the lake has lost some shoreline ice and anglers should stay away from the large pressure crack, which has opened up more with warm weather. Bluegill fishing was good but anglers will have to move around to find them. The bigger fish have been caught in 12 to 14 feet of water. Crappies were caught in 8 to 10 feet of water. Pike and walleye fishing has been slow. There was a little snow on the ground but hunting pressure has been light.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Higgins Lake Area

Higgins Lake is losing some ice with the warm weather but anglers were still out fishing. Lake trout were hitting in deeper water and smelt are being caught but not in big numbers. Smelt were being found in 40 to 60 feet of water off the north state park and off the west side launch. Hunting pressure has been light.

Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.

Hubbard Lake Area

The shore ice is starting to break up on Hubbard Lake but anglers were still able to get out. There are a couple of freeze cracks, so anglers should use caution. Those venturing out have been using shiners to catch fair numbers of walleyes and perch in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Side Door Bait and Tackle, (989) 736-6418.

Onaway Area

Ice in the main lake is holding up on Black Lake but shore ice is starting to break up. Those heading out are catching walleyes in water from 17 to 30 feet deep. Some guys are doing good; others not so much. Pike are also being caught on Black and anglers report a good perch bite on Clear Lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. There was no snow on the ground. Rabbit and coyote hunting was been decent when there was snow, but hunting pressure has been light. The bobcat hunting season wrapped up on a good note.

Parrott’s Outpost, (989) 733-2472.

Oscoda Area

Pier anglers reported good brown trout and lake trout fishing in the open water on Lake Huron.

Wellman’s Sport Center, (989) 739-2869.


Pickford Area

There was still up to 10 inches of ice on Munuscong Bay but some areas are a little soft and anglers are urged to use extreme caution. Walleye and pike fishing have been very good and perch fishing has been fair. Pike fishing also has been very good. There was still a few inches of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Ice was running up to 16 inches thick in Scotts Bay but there was some slush on top. Anglers report catching perch up to 13 inches on minnows. Pike spearers also report good action. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. Rabbit and coyote hunting have been quiet.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

Ice was running between 10 and 16 inches thick on Big and South Manistique Lakes. There was some water and slush on top. Anglers are advised to use extreme caution whenever heading out on the ice. Anglers report catching walleyes, pike, perch and bluegills. Walleyes and perch are hitting shiners. Pike are hitting suckers and chubs and the gills are being caught on wax worms and spikes.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.


Munising Area

Ice conditions on Lake Superior have deteriorated and were not safe at the Grand Island Ferry Access and the Munising Public Launch. The city docks, Sand Point and Christmas access areas were holding somewhat fishable ice but anglers need to use caution. For splake, those using cut bait or minnows with jigs or tip-ups did best. Small perch were caught near Sand Point. Smelt catches in the same area were fair. A few coho and light numbers of brown trout have caught. The Anna River dock is open and anglers can fish from the dock but the water was somewhat muddy.

Curly’s Hilltop Grocery, (906) 387-3056.

Escanaba Area

Unseasonably warm weather has impacted ice conditions on Lake Michigan’s Little Bay De Noc. Areas around Escanaba and Saunders Point in Gladstone had open water. The area near the Escanaba River was considered dangerous and should be avoided. Anglers were still fishing the north end of the bay. Call ahead for updated ice conditions. Walleye anglers reported a few nice catches in deep water off the Second Reef when jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow or using tip-ups with minnows in 32 to 35 feet. Perch anglers did best near Kipling with minnows or wigglers fished in 17 to 30 feet of water and off the Day’s River in 14 to 26 feet of water. Those looking to travel to the area might want to call the local bait shops for updates on ice conditions.

Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.

BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.

Menominee Area

The Menominee River was producing a few brown trout and steelhead up near the Hattie Street Dam. Anglers were using small spoons, stickbaits, streamers or nymphs.

Waterfront Sport Shop, (906) (906) 424-4108.


L’Anse Area

The ice blew out on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay and the bay was open for trolling. Boat anglers have opportunities for brown trout, splake, and lake trout off the Sand Point Lighthouse on the west side and the Falls River at the village of L’Anse. A few coho were caught by anglers casting spoons from shore near the Sand Point Lighthouse in Baraga. Anglers putting in small boats at the Sand Point beach had limited success for coho and lake trout. Hunting pressure has been light.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Fishing on Lake Gogebic was very slow with only a few good reports. Main lake conditions are good with an average of 20 inches of ice. The meltdown has allowed ATV travel once again on most areas of the lake. There are some locations that have deep slush on top, so be aware.  Use extreme caution near shoreline areas that have creeks, rivers and streams flowing in as all of the runoff has created open water near these locations. Colder temperatures are in the forecast.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.

Iron River Area

Ice was melting fast but there was still about 12 inches on most area lakes. Fishing pressure has been pretty light. When anglers do get out try targeting walleyes and pike in Chicagon, Ottawa and Golden lakes. There was about 5 inches of fresh snow on the ground last week with more on the way. Hunting pressure has been light.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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