Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Dec. 8, 2017

Lake St. Clair

The firearms deer season was pretty good when wind and wet weather allowed hunters to get out. Panfish and perch are hitting along the shore on Lake St. Clair. Those using jigs and crappie rigs report a pretty good bite off 11 Mile Road, off Metro Beach and at Harsen’s Island.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

Irish Hills Area

The firearms deer season was decent in Jackson County. Many hunters felt epizootic hemorrhagic disease took a toll on the local deer population before the season opened up. Fishing pressure has been very light on lakes in the area. Most anglers are waiting for first ice. There was no ice in southern Michigan as of last week, but there was colder weather in the forecast.

Knutson’s Sporting Goods, (800) 292-0857 or (517) 592-2786.

Lake Orion

The firearms deer season was hot and cold in Oakland County. There was standing corn in many fields at the opener, and mixed with rain and high winds, hunters struggled early. When they could get out hunting was pretty good. Fishing pressure has been very light on inland lakes in Oakland County. A couple of steelhead have been caught on the Clinton River.

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

Trenton Area

Walleye fishing remains pretty good in the Detroit River. Those jigging with soft plastics report good action, but the bite has been hit-or-miss. The best action has been in clean water.

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

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Allegan Area

The firearms deer season was slow in Allegan County. Standing corn, high winds and rain put a damper on hunting and some hunters reported they just weren’t seeing deer. There were some good reports, however, from hunters in the Allegan State Game Area. Steelhead fishing remains decent on the Kalamazoo River Those fishing below the Allegan Dam with spawn, wax worms, jigs and spinners have all been taking fish.

Webber & Sons Marine and Tackle, (269) 673-6294.

Sturgis Area

The firearms deer season was pretty good in St. Joseph County. Several big bucks were taken and hunters reported seeing good numbers of both young and old deer. Fishing pressure has been very light. Most anglers are waiting for ice to form. There has been no ice or snow in the area.

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

Kalamazoo Area

The gun deer season was pretty good in Kalamazoo County with several nice bucks being taken early in the season. Things slowed down some at the end of the month. No report on fishing activity.

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

Plainwell Area

The firearms deer season was slow with rain and wind putting a damper on action during the early days of the season. Fishing has been slow on Gun Lake and fishing pressure has been light. Steelhead fishing has been fair on the Kalamazoo River.

Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

Boat and shore anglers continue to be limited on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay because of strong winds. Perch are in the river mouths and the cuts. Fish have been caught in the Pine and the Kawkawlin rivers on the west side of the bay and in the Quanicassee and Sebewaing rivers as well as the Thomas Cut on the east side. The perch move in and out, so try a spot for an hour or so and if no luck, move on to the next river or cut. The firearms deer season was pretty good, despite high winds and rain during the early days of the season. Several decent bucks were shot in Saginaw and Bay counties.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Baldwin Area

Gun deer season was good in Lake County. The season got off to a decent start and slowed some at the end of the month. Steelhead fishing has been productive in the Pere Marquette River. Those using crankbaits, spawn and wax worms in the lower river report a good bite. Those fishing in the flies-only area are catching fish on egg patterns and nymphs.

Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.

Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.

Greenville Area

The firearms deer season was slow around Greenville. Deer numbers seemed to be down a little and hunting pressure has been light. Those who did get out reported seeing fewer deer than in past years. Fishing pressure also has been light. Most anglers are waiting for colder weather and solid ice.

AGO Store, (616) 984-5895.

Weidman Area

The firearms deer season was pretty good in Isabella County and the muzzleloader season should be good, too. Deer numbers are in good shape. Fishing pressure has been very light. Most anglers are waiting for ice to form. Goose hunting has been decent, too.

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

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Firearms deer season success was spotty. High wind wreaked havoc with hunters and deer and kept movement to a minimum. Some hunters did pretty well while others struggled. The muzzleloader season should be good. There are still a lot of bucks around. Lake trout are hitting in Lake Huron’s Caseville Harbor and off the breakwall. Cleos, crankbaits, and jigs and minnows are producing good results. Walleye fishing has been good in the evenings and early mornings off the breakwall. Burbot are hitting off the breakwall, too. Anglers report a good perch bite in Caseville Harbor and off Sand Point.

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

Port Huron

The firearms deer season was good in St. Clair County with several nice bucks being tagged. The muzzleloader season should be good, too. There are still a lot of bucks around. Fishing has been outstanding in lower Lake Huron. Limits of good-sized walleyes have been caught on jigs and emerald shiners. Anglers whipping pencil plugs in the St. Clair River at night also report a good bite. Steelhead fishing also has been good.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

Vassar Area

The gun deer season has been very good in Tuscola County. There are plenty of whitetails in the Thumb. The muzzleloader season should be good, too. There are still a lot of bucks in the area. Fishing pressure has been light on the Quanicassee and Saginaw rivers. The walleye bite there has been good, but the fish are running small.

Fred’s Bait & Tackle, (989) 823-8157.

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

The firearms deer season was slow in Charlevoix County. High wind and rain really kept deer movement to a minimum. The muzzleloader season should be good. There are still a lot of deer around. Perch fishing has been phenomenal in Lake Michigan off North Point. Fish up to 14 and 15 inches are being caught regularly in 90 to 120 feet of water. Steelhead fishing also has been outstanding on the Jordan and Elk rivers. Overall, fishing pressure has been light, but those who are getting out report very good success.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

Traverse City Area

The firearms deer season was good in Grand Traverse County. Deer numbers are increasing slightly due to back-to-back mild winters. The December grouse season should be fair. Bird numbers were not what they appeared earlier in the year. There was no snow on the ground as of last week. Steelhead fishing has been fair in the Boardman, Betsie and Big Manistee rivers. Perch fishing remains good in West Grand Traverse Bay’s Bowers Harbor. Anglers fishing minnows and wigglers in 45 to 75 feet of water report good action.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.

Cadillac Area

Firearms deer season success was spotty. A lot of nice bucks were taken, but other hunters struggled. Deer numbers seem to be good in pockets. Fishing pressure has been light, but the evening walleye bite in the canal between lakes Mitchell and Cadillac and near the city dock on Cadillac has been very good. Several Master Angler fish have been caught. The panfish bite has also been pretty good.

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

NORTHEASTERN LP

Houghton Lake Area

A few walleyes and panfish have been caught in the canals on Houghton Lake, but fishing pressure has been light. Duck hunting has been “amazing” on Houghton Lake with thousands of ducks on the water. The gun deer season was pretty good in Roscommon County with some nice bucks being taken. Deer numbers appear to be in good shape and the muzzleloader season should be good, too.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Atlanta Area

The firearms deer season started slow but picked up steam after the first few days. Deer numbers are improving in the area. Fishing pressure has been very light. Most anglers are waiting for ice to form. Fletcher Pond has been loaded with ducks.

Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.

Alpena Area

Gun deer season was pretty good in Alpena County. Deer numbers are making a bit of a comeback. Atlantic salmon are hitting in the Thunder Bay River at the Ninth Street Dam. Good action has come to those fishing spinners, spawn, gold Cleos and other gold spoons. A few steelhead and walleye are also being caught. Whitefish spearers did very well, but the fish have moved back out into Lake Huron.

Clem’s Live Bait & Tackle, (989) 354-2070.

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Gun hunters reported seeing more deer than in recent seasons, but overall numbers are still down from historic averages. Walleye fishing has been good on Munuscong Bay. Good numbers of big muskies and pike have been caught, too. There was no safe ice in the area as of last week.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

The gun deer season was fair on Drummond Island. Hunters reported seeing a lot of does and young bucks, and a few hunters did take big bucks. Fishing pressure has been very light around the island. Most are waiting for first ice to form. With temperatures in the 40s, first ice was still a couple of weeks away at best.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

Curtis Area

The firearms deer season was pretty good this year. A few decent bucks were tagged and hunters reported seeing a lot more does and fawns than in the recent past. Perch are hitting minnows fished on Big Manistique Lake and light numbers of bluegills have been caught on South Manistique. Skim ice has been forming overnight, but nothing has stuck yet. Warmer daytime temperatures and high winds haven’t helped much.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Marquette Area

The gun deer season was better than it has been in the recent past, but deer numbers are still on the low side. Steelhead fishing has been fair on local streams, but fishing pressure has been light. Skim ice is beginning to form on some of the smaller lakes in the area.

Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Firearms deer season was pretty good in Delta County. Deer numbers are improving in the area. Decent catches of walleyes were reported by anglers fishing in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. The best catches were in the northern parts of the bay. Night anglers trolled stickbaits in the shallow waters with best catches in 9 to 20 feet of water. Day anglers did best a little deeper with crankbaits and stickbaits fished in 24 to 35 feet of water. Most reported a good mix of large and small fish. The early ice season should be good when it gets here.

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Firearms deer hunters reported seeing more does, fawns and yearling bucks than in the recent past, but not too many big bucks. Hunting pressure was down, too. Nobody is fishing yet. Ice started to form on some lakes in the area last week, but warm weather moved in and the ice went away.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

The gun deer season was pretty good in Baraga County. Hunters reported seeing more bucks and does than in recent years and several nice bucks were tagged, including a 191-pound, 10-point. Fishing pressure has been light. A few anglers are still catching browns and steelhead in the local rivers including the Silver and Huron when using spawn bags or yarn eggs. Brown trout and splake have been caught off the docks on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay, too.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Walleye fishing has been fair on Lake Gogebic and fishing pressure has been light. Those casting sucker minnows from shore are still catching fish when there is no skim ice on the lake. Deer hunters had snow on the opener, but it quickly melted. Hunters reported seeing more deer than last year across the Gogebic range. Early ice may not be too far off if weather conditions return to winter-like temperatures.

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

Iron River Area

The firearms deer season was pretty good in Iron County. Deer sightings were up this year over recent seasons and hunters enjoyed pretty good success. Fishing has been very good for walleyes on some of the smaller local lakes in the area where there was up to 6 inches of ice.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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