Ice conditions vary greatly on lakes across Michigan. Safe ice
is still forming on most lakes. Anyone venturing out should
exercise extreme caution. Always test the ice as you go because
lakes can freeze unevenly. Wear a life jacket and carry ice picks.
Beware of potentially thin ice around river mouths, currents,
springs, and docks.
Lake St. Clair
Perch fishing is picking up on Lake St. Clair as ice continues
to form. Some of the shallow bays and canals are holding between 2
and 4 inches of ice. Extreme caution is urged. Most of the perch
are running small and anglers are having to sort through them for
the keepers. Deer hunting has been fair, but hunter pressure is
waning. Predator hunting has been good. Lakeside Fishing Shops
(586) 777-7003, (586) 468-9913.
Ice is running between 3 and 5 inches on local lakes around Lake
Orion. Angles are just starting to get out. Bluegills are hitting
wax worms on Prince and Graham lakes in the Bald Mountain
Recreation Area. Hunting pressure has been light, but rabbit and
squirrel hunters report good success. Hook Line & Sinker (248)
Ice was running between 2 and 5 inches on area lakes last week
and anglers were using extreme caution. ’Gills and walleyes are
hitting on most of the smaller lakes in the area. Deer hunting has
been decent. Pheasant hunting pressure has been light. Predator
hunting should be very good.
Knutson’s Sporting Goods (800) 292-0857, (517) 592-2786.
St. Joseph Area
Steelhead fishing has been pretty good on the St. Joseph River.
Anglers are catching fish on spawn and crankbaits. Ice is still
running thin on most inland lakes, but a few anglers are getting
out on the shallow bays and canals. Fair numbers of panfish are
being caught on wax worms. Deer hunting has been “so-so.” Rabbit
hunting has been pretty good.
B.J. Sports (269) 429-8271.
Ice conditions are improving around Kalamazoo and a few anglers
were venturing out as of late last week. At Lake of the Woods and
Gun Lake, anglers are catching panfish in the channels. Main lake
ice is not safe. The Kalamazoo River had a good run of fresh
steelies last week, and anglers are catching them on spawn
downstream from the dam. Deer hunting has been fair with a lot of
does being taken. Rabbit hunting has been pretty good.
D and R Sports (269) 372-2277.
Saginaw Bay Area
Shore ice was forming last week on Saginaw Bay and a few anglers
were catching perch in shallow water. Wax worms and minnows were
producing a fair bite at Linwood in 2 feet of water. Deer hunting
has been decent. Small game hunting pressure has been light.
Predator hunting is picking up as hunter interest improves.
Franks Great Outdoors (989) 697-5341.
Hoyles Marina (989) 697-4415.
Ice was still forming on area lakes last week and was unsafe for
foot traffic. Deer hunting has been fair, but hunter pressure has
been light. Rabbit hunters report good success.
Grand River Bait & Tackle (517) 482-4461.
Grand Rapids Area
A few of the bayous and gravel pit lakes are freezing up enough
to allow foot traffic, but anglers are urged to use extreme
caution. Bluegill action has been good with waxies producing the
best results. Deer hunting has been slow.
Grandville Live Bait (616) 534-8178.
Ice conditions are improving on Lake Huron and a few anglers are
venturing out. Extreme caution is advised. Perch are hitting off
the docks in the harbor in the Pigeon River and in the canals at
Sand Point. A few lakers also are being caught in the river. Deer
hunting has been pretty good, and deer are herding up. Rabbit and
coyote hunting is just getting started.
Walsh Gun & Tackle (989) 856-4465.
There was fishable ice in Lexington Harbor last week with
between 3 and 5 inches in the harbor. A few perch and a couple
steelhead have been caught, but fishing pressure has been light. A
few walleyes have been caught off the wall in the St. Clair River
at Port Huron, but ice floes are slowing action. Rabbit hunting is
just getting started. Deer hunting has been pretty good, but hunter
pressure has been light.
Great Lakes Archers and Anglers (810) 359-8550.
There was no safe ice on Burt or Mullett lakes as of late last
week. Deer and small game hunting pressure has been very light
throughout the area.
Northland Sports Co. (231) 238-9382
Traverse City Area
Ice is forming on area lakes and some are fit for foot traffic.
A fair number of walleyes have been caught in the shallows on
Intermediate Lake. A few steelies are being caught in the Boardman
River. East and West Grand Traverse Bays are wide open and high
winds have kept anglers off the water. Deer hunting has been slow.
Heavy snow and high winds have kept small game hunters out of the
Wilderness Guiding Services www.wildfishing.com
Ice was forming on lakes Mitchell and Cadillac, but was very
uneven. There was up to 5 inches in some areas and open water in
others. Good numbers of pike and a few walleyes have been caught by
anglers fishing with tip-ups. Jigging also has produced a few
walleyes. The best bite has been during the last hour of daylight.
Deer hunting has been slow. Predator hunting is just getting
started. Grouse hunting pressure has been very light.
Schaefer’s Bait & Sporting Goods (231) 775-7085.
Houghton Lake Area
Ice was running between 4 and 6 inches last week on Houghton
Lake. Anglers report a good pike bite and a good walleye bite in
East Bay and at the Middle Grounds. Tip-ups and jigs tipped with
minnows are both taking fish. Hunting pressure has been
Lyman’s on the Lake (989) 422-3231.
Sportsman’s Resort and Marina (989) 366-5471.
Higgins Lake Area
The skim ice that was forming on Higgins Lake blew out last week
and the lake remains open. Deer hunting has been slow. Predator
hunting should be good with lots of coyotes in the area.
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle (989) 821-9517.
Phoenix Party and Bait Store (989) 821-7220.
Ice is running between 4 and 6 inches in East Bay of Hubbard
Lake and anglers there are dialing in on a decent walleye and perch
bite. Anglers are catching fish on minnows fished in 10 feet of
Side Door Bait and Tackle (989) 736-6418.
Ice is running from 1 inch to 4 inches on Otsego Lake. A few
perch are hitting minnows, but anglers are having to sort through
them. Deer hunting has been very slow, but predator hunters report
good numbers of coyotes in the area.
Don’s Sport & Marine (989) 732-4157.
Ice is running up to 6 inches thick on Munuscong Bay. Anglers
are catching good numbers of jumbo perch on small spoons and
teardrops tipped with minnows. The hot spot has been around Barbeau
Point. A few walleyes also are being caught. Deer hunting has been
slow. Hunting pressure has been very light.
Wilderness Treasures (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Up to 8 inches of ice is covering the bays around Drummond
Island, but very few anglers are venturing out. Deer hunting and
rabbit hunting have both been productive. Predator hunting has been
slow to get started, but should be good with lots of coyotes
Johnson’s Sport Shop (906) 493-6300.
Ice is running up to 8 inches thick on the Manistique lakes, but
fishing action has slowed. Walleye fishing has been fair. Anglers
report a decent bite in 3 to 6 feet of water on minnows fished
under tip-ups. Deer hunting has been slow and small game hunting
pressure has been very light.
J.R. Sport Shop (906) 586-6040.
Big Bay Area
Ice is running up to 5 inches thick on Lake Independence.
Walleyes are hitting minnows fished in Elder Bay in about 19 feet
of water. Deer hunting has been spotty at best.
Big Bay Corner Store (906) 345-5098.
Ice is safe for foot traffic on Lake Michigan’s Big Bay de Noc.
Perch fishing has been pretty good, but walleye action has been
slow. Perch are hitting minnows fished in Garden Bay in 10 to 12
feet of water. Anglers fishing on Indian Lake also are catching
good numbers of perch in 6 to 7 feet of water. Deer hunting has
been slow. Grouse hunting has been fair.
The Garden Sport Shop (906) 644-2908
Foxy’s Den (906) 644-2817.
Ice is running up to 6 inches thick on Lake Gogebic’s Bergland
Bay. Walleyes are hitting minnows fished on tip-ups in 5 to 10 feet
of water in the bay. A few perch also are being caught on jigging
Rapalas. Deer hunting has been decent. Predator hunting should be
good with lots of coyotes in the area.
Maple Ridge Bait & Tackle (906) 575-3545.