Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report — March 17, 2017

Lake Orion

There was open water on Lake Orion and other lakes in Oakland County but with no docks in and everyone’s boat still stored for the winter, fishing has stalled. A few rabbits have been taken at Bald Mountain Recreation Area but hunting pressure has been very light. Shed hunting and turkey scouting have moved to center stage.

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

Trenton Area

Perch fishing has been good on the Detroit River. Anglers dunking minnows at the Cross Dyke, east of Grosse Isle report a decent bite in 8 to 12 feet of water. A few resident walleyes have been caught, but there are no fresh fish entering the river from Lake Erie yet.

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

Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.

Luna Pier Area

Walleye fishing remains pretty good in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. The best action has been near and in Ohio waters.

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

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Sturgis Area

Fishing pressure has been extremely light in St. Joseph County. Inland lakes are completely open, but boats are still in winter storage so no one was getting out. Hunting pressure has been very light, too.

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

Coldwater Area

Fishing and hunting have stalled in Branch County. Lakes are open but no boats are getting out. Now is a great time to hunt for sheds.

Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.

Kalamazoo Area

Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the St. Joe River below Berrien Springs. Anglers using red spawn reported limits of steelhead. With the river temps approaching 40 degrees, the steelhead are becoming more active. Anglers fishing below the Sixth Street Dam in Grand Rapids have also reported good numbers of steelhead in the Grand River. Bottom bouncing trout beads has proven to be the most effective method to catch those chromers. Some bluegill success was reported by shore anglers on small shallow lakes and channels. These areas are the first to warm up and can be quite productive. Perch fishing has been good on Barton Lake in 18 to 22 feet of water. Try using minnows under a slip bobber or small Slider Grubs.

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

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

The few boats able to get out on Saginaw Bay were having a hard time finding clean water. Perch fishing was hit-or-miss but worth pursuing in the ditches and rivers along the south end and the east side of the bay including Finn Road, the Quanicassee River, Garner Road, Kirk Road and Thomas Road. The Saginaw River was running high and fast.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

Baldwin Area

Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Pere Marquette River, especially with the rain and warmer temperatures moving in. Anglers were taking fish on spawn, flies and wax worms.

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

Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974

Ludington Area

There was no ice at Ludington. A few anglers are hitting the Pere Marquette River and catching decent numbers of steelhead on spawn, spinners and flies. A couple of smaller boats have been running the shoreline on Lake Michigan and picking up light numbers of brown trout. Coyote hunting has been decent, but hunting pressure has been light.

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

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Perch are moving into the canals and cuts and anglers report very good action. There was no safe ice on Lake Huron. Whitefish, brown trout and lake trout are being caught off the breakwall in Caseville.

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

Port Huron

Overall, fishing has been fair. A few walleyes are hitting in the St. Clair River and light numbers of coho are being caught in the river down at St. Clair. There was very light boat traffic on Lake Huron.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

NORTHWESTERN LP

Kalkaska Area

Ice melted off Skegemog Lake last week and fishing has stalled there. Some of the smaller lakes in the area still had up to 10 inches of ice including Bear Lake where anglers are catching trout and light numbers of perch. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the Boardman, Manistee and Little Manistee rivers. There was still a couple  of inches of snow in the woods. Coyote hunting remains pretty good and a few rabbit hunters are still getting out.

Jack’s Sport Shop, (231) 258-8892.

Traverse City Area

Steelhead fishing is heating up on the Boardman and Betsie rivers. Spawn, flies and wax worms all were catching fish, especially between the mouth and Sabin Dam on the Boardman.

WildFishing Guide Service

Cadillac Area

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell still had ice but it was in poor condition. First ice and last ice are the most dangerous. Some anglers were still going out but extreme caution needs to be used.

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

NORTHEASTERN LP

Houghton Lake Area

Houghton Lake still had ice however anglers cannot get out to it. Strong winds have blown the ice out anywhere from 50 to 100 feet from shore.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

Higgins Lake Area

Higgins Lake still had ice, however the shoreline ice has opened up. No anglers were out because of the strong winds.

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

Oscoda Area

Boat and pier anglers were still getting some lake trout on Lake Huron when trolling spoons, bodybaits and Rapalas near the mouth of the Au Sable River. Pier anglers casting spoons have also caught some lakers. Good steelhead fishing with limit catches has been reported on the Au Sable. Anglers have done well with spawn and wax worms fished between the mouth and Foote Dam.

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

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

There was up to 12 inches of ice on Munuscong Bay but anglers are advised to stay away from the islands, where it is starting to break up. Perch fishing has been very good with anglers reporting a good bite in the shallow water. Teardrops and spoons tipped with a minnow have produced the best results. Coyote hunting has been very good. Houndsmen and those using calls are both reporting good results.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

There was between 16 and 20 inches of ice in the bays around Drummond Island. Perch fishing has been good in Scotts Bay when fishing minnows in 6 to 8 feet of water. The perch are averaging 9 inches with many running up to 12 inches. There had been 20 inches of snow on the ground, but warm temperatures and rain late reduced it to a dusting. Rabbit hunting was pretty good when there was snow on the ground but pressure has been light.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300. 

Curtis Area

Ice on Manistique Lakes was starting to deteriorate. There was 6 to 10 inches of ice with water and slush on top so travel has been slow. The shore ice is breaking up. Extreme caution should be used. Perch fishing has been very good on both Big and South Manistique Lakes. There was still some snow on the ground but a recent rainstorm melted most of the snow.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Escanaba Area

Ice was running up to 14 inches thick on Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc, north of Gladstone. Recent rain melted the snow, but didn’t hurt the ice much. Perch fishing has been decent around Kipling and near First and Second reef in 10 to 20 feet of water. Wigglers have produced the best results. Anglers are having to sort through the smaller fish but catching a dozen 8- to 10-inch yellowbellies has been the norm. There was very little snow on the ground. Hunting pressure for rabbits and coyotes has been light.

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

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

Iron Mountain Area

Ice was running up to 12 inches thick on inland lakes in the area. Fishing pressure has been light, but some bluegills and perch have been caught on Lake Antoine and on Badwater Flooding. Overall, the bite has been slow and fishing pressure has been light. There was not much snow on the ground in Iron Mountain but there was still a good amount farther north. Whitetails look to be in pretty good shape heading into spring.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

A few anglers are fishing the Falls River and catching decent numbers of steelhead. Spawn and yarn balls have produced the best results. High wind blew out all the ice in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. A few anglers are casting Swedish pimples off Squaw Beach and catching a fair numbers of cohos. Orange and white have been the hot colors. There was a dusting of snow on the ground. Coyote hunters have been out in force but hunting has been fair at best.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

The fishing report for Lake Gogebic has not changed much. Anglers continue to work 20 to 30 feet of water for both perch and walleyes. Sucker minnows on tip-ups have been producing the best for walleyes with a fair amount of success being report. Wigglers and spikes have produced the best results for perch, but overall action has been very slow. Some fishing in 10 to 13 feet of water for walleyes have reported fair results during low light conditions. Ice conditions remain very good with an average of 15 to 18 inches of ice. ATV travel is possible in some areas but not all over, snowmobile would be best. Reminder to use extreme caution near shore as all of the creeks, streams and rivers have been flowing in for weeks. Stay away from those areas.

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

Iron River Area

Ice was running up to a foot thick in Iron County and should hold up with more cold weather in the forecast. Fortune Chain of Lakes was producing some good crappie and bluegills fishing as are some of the smaller lakes in the area. Perch fishing has been good on Chicagon Lake where minnows and jigs are producing the best results. Wax worms taking some fish, too. There was a dusting of snow on the ground. Coyote hunting has been pretty good.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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