Ice finally improving in north as river steelies turn on

Ice conditions vary greatly on lakes across Michigan.
Unseasonably warm weather deteriorated ice in most of southern
Michigan. Safe ice is still forming on many lakes. Anyone venturing
out should exercise extreme caution. Always test the ice as you go
since lakes can freeze unevenly. Wear a life jacket and carry ice
picks. Beware of potential thin ice around river mouths, currents,
springs, and docks.

SOUTHERN LP

Lake St. Clair

There is no safe ice on Lake St. Clair. A fair number of
walleyes are being caught in the North, South, and Middle channels
at the mouth of the St. Clair River by boat anglers launching at
Deckers. Launching is risky with slick conditions on the ramp and
no docks out. Anglers are urged to be cautious.

Lakeside Fishing Shops (586) 777-7003, (586) 468-9913.

Pontiac Area

There was no safe ice in the area as of late last week, but
freezing conditions had anglers crossing their fingers. A few
steelhead are being caught in the Clinton River. Rabbit and coyote
hunting have been fair with light hunter participation. Squirrel
hunting has been good.

KD Outdoors (248) 666-7799.

Monroe Area

A few boat anglers are getting out on Lake Erie and catching
good numbers of perch in the open water. Anglers also are catching
fish on minnows fished off the docks at the Lake Erie Metropark
marina and in the local canals. The fun may end soon as colder
weather was forming skim ice late last week. Steelhead are hitting
spawn and flies fished below the dam at Flat Rock on the Huron
River.

Cook’s Sportland (734) 242-0774.

St. Joseph Area

There was no safe ice on inland lakes around St. Joseph last
week. Steelies, browns, and whitefish are hitting in Lake Michigan,
but freezing weather has made boat access difficult. Ice has all
but shut down pier fishing. Steelhead are hitting plugs, flies, and
spawn on the St. Joseph River at Berrien Springs. A few suckers
have moved into the river. Hunting pressure has been light, but
coyote hunting has been pretty good.

B.J. Sports (269) 429-8271.

Kalamazoo Area

Smelt are hitting in the bay near the marina on Gull Lake, which
is the only area of the lake that has safe ice. Steelhead are
hitting spawn on the Kalamazoo River. Catfish also are hitting.
Rabbit hunting has been pretty good, but movement has been light.
Coyote and fox hunting have been good.

D and R Sports (269) 372-2277.

Saginaw Bay Area

Fishing has stalled on Saginaw Bay. High winds blew out what
little ice there was in the bay, and boat access has been
difficult. A few walleyes have been caught by boat anglers fishing
in the Saginaw River, but action has been light. Predator hunting
has been good. Rabbit and squirrel hunting have been decent, but
hunter participation has been light.

Franks Great Outdoors (989) 697-5341.

Hoyles Marina (989) 697-4415.

Grand Rapids Area

A few steelhead and walleyes have been caught in the Grand
River. Steelies are hitting spawn, and walleyes are hitting plugs
and minnows. Hunting pressure has been very light.

Grandville Live Bait (616) 534-8178.

Caseville Area

Ice is holding up fairly well in Caseville Harbor, but not on
the Pigeon River. Anglers in the harbor report catching good
numbers of perch and a few lakers. Caution is urged due to uneven
freezing and open holes. Coyote and fox hunting have been very
good, and rabbit hunting has been good.

Walsh Gun & Tackle (989) 856-4465.

NORTHERN LP

Baldwin Area

Steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette River at Baldwin has
been slow. Hunting pressure has been very light.

Baldwin Bait & Tackle (231) 745-3529.

Ed’s Sport Shop (231) 745-4974.

Ludington Area

Steelhead fishing has been good in the lower stretch of the Pere
Marquette River. Spawn and flies have been taking the most fish.
Pier fishing on Lake Michigan has shut down with icy conditions
keeping anglers on shore. Ice anglers report a good bluegill bite
on Upper Hamlin Lake, but high winds have made fishing difficult.
Coyote hunting has been steady, but hunter pressure has been light.
Rabbit hunting has been slow, but should improve with a little
snow.

Pere Marquette Sport Center (231) 843-8676.

Indian River

Perch and walleyes are hitting minnows fished in Burt Lake.
There is still some open water on Mullett Lake causing anglers to
shy away. Coyote hunting has been pretty good, while rabbit and
hare hunting has been slow.

Northland Sports Co. (231) 238-9382.

Kalkaska Area

Ice conditions are in pretty good shape around Kalkaska. Smelt
are hitting in good numbers on Big Twin Lake. Perch and northern
pike are keeping anglers busy on Skegemog Lake, and very good
numbers of perch are being caught on Fife Lake. Coyote hunting has
been pretty good. Rabbit and squirrel hunting also have been good,
but hunting pressure has been light.

Jack’s Sport Shop (231) 258-8892.

Houghton Lake Area

Tip-up anglers are catching good numbers of pike along the
weedbeds all over Houghton Lake. Walleyes are hitting jigging
spoons tipped with minnows or the heads of minnow and fished in 8
to 12 feet of water. Anglers are urged to avoid the area at the
mouth of Denton Creek on the southeast shore of the lake because of
open water and poor ice conditions. Fox and coyote hunting have
been fair. Rabbit hunting has been slow.

Lyman’s on the Lake (989) 422-3231.

Sportsman’s Resort and Marina (989) 366-5471.

Higgins Lake Area

Ice anglers are starting to get out on Higgins Lake and are
catching good numbers of smelt near Big Creek. A fair number of
brown and rainbow trout are being caught by anglers fishing minnows
in the shallows. Anglers report that lake trout are hitting jigs in
water 100 to 120 feet deep. A fair number of perch are being caught
on minnows and wigglers fished along the north shore drop-off.
Hunting pressure has been light, but there are lots of coyotes in
the area.

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

Phoenix Party and Bait Store (989) 821-7220.

Hubbard Lake

Perch and walleye fishing have been good on Hubbard Lake with
the best bite coming to anglers fishing at the south end of the
lake. Perch are hitting minnows, waxies, and wigglers fished in 10
to 15 feet of water. Walleyes are hitting blue and grey shiners
fished in 20 to 25 feet of water. Hunting pressure has been very
light.

Side Door Bait and tackle (989) 736-6418

Cheboygan Area

Walleyes, pike, and muskies are keeping anglers busy on Black
Lake and on the Black River. Good numbers of perch also are being
caught. Predator hunting has been pretty good, but hunting pressure
has been light.

Outdoor Adventure Store 231-627-5273.

UPPER PENINSULA

Pickford Area

Perch fishing has been pretty good on Lake Huron around the Les
Cheneaux Islands. Anglers are fishing with teardrops tipped with
either wigglers or wax worms. Some of the best action has been in
Muskie Bay. Walleye fishing has been fair on Munuscong Bay where
anglers are using jigging spoons tipped with minnows. Perch fishing
also has been decent. Hunting pressure has been slow with up to 2
feet of fresh snow on the ground.

Wilderness Treasures (906) 647-4002.

Curtis Area

Walleye and pike fishing have been pretty good on Big Manistique
Lake. One angler speared a 46-inch northern. Perch fishing also has
been decent on Big and South Manistique lakes. Predator hunting has
been fair. Rabbit hunting has been poor.

J.R. Sport Shop (906) 586-6040.

Marquette Area

Blowing snow and heavy slush have made access difficult on many
inland lakes around Marquette. A few northern pike are being caught
on Harlow Lake, and perch and pike are keeping anglers busy on the
Greenwood Reservoir. Predator hunting has been pretty good, but
rabbit hunting has been slow.

Gander Mountain (906) 226-8300.

Escanaba Area

Perch and walleye fishing have been decent on Little Bay de Noc.
Perch are hitting wigglers and minnows fished around Butlers Island
and near the Red Buoy in 14 to 16 feet of water. Walleyes are
hitting around the reefs. During the day, walleyes are being caught
in 30 feet of water, but they’re moving on top of the reefs in the
evenings. A fair number of pike also are being taken. Hunting
pressure has been light.

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

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

Menominee Area

Anglers are catching bluegills, crappies, and perch in the
Menominee River. The best action has been off the Menekaunee boat
dock. A few steelhead and browns are being caught on spawn fished
between the Hattie Street Bridge and the First Dam. Predator
hunting has been good.

MBK Sport Shop (715) 735-5393.

Martin Creek Sport and Feed (906) 863-4868.

Bergland Area

Heavy snow has made access difficult to some parts of Lake
Gogebic, but anglers report good success when they can get out.
Walleye action has been decent with the best bite coming in the
mornings. Perch are hitting throughout the day, with shiners and
wigglers producing the best results. Hunting pressure has been
light.

Maple Ridge Bait & Tackle (906) 575-3545.

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