Fishing action heats up; seasons close in Upper Peninsula
Editor’s note: Anglers are urged to use 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
St. Joseph Area
Boat anglers on the St. Joseph River are catching walleyes and
steelhead between Berrien Springs and the sportsmen’s club. Panfish
action has improved on Magician, Gun, and VanAuken lakes. Coyote
hunting has been good, but hunting pressure has been light.
B.J. Sports (269) 429-8271.
Crappies are hitting shiners and wigglers fished off Curtis
Island on Big Paw Paw Lake and on Indian Lake. Rabbit and coyote
hunting has been fair, but hunting pressure has been light.
Fishing Hole 2 (269) 468-7522.
Perch fishing has been pretty good on Lake Macatawa. Anglers
fishing minnows and spikes near the ‘blue roof house’ and in front
of Beacon’s Landing are enjoying pretty good success. Rabbit
hunting has been very good, but hunting pressure has been light.
Coyote hunting has been fair.
American Tackle Outfitters (616) 392-6688.
Lake St. Clair
Perch fishing has been pretty good along the American side of
Lake St. Clair. Anglers are picking up fish in front of the
Selfridge air base, off Cotton Road left of the access site, at
Brandenberg Park, and in front of Blue Water Bait in Anchor Bay.
Rabbit and coyote hunting has been good, but hunting pressure has
Lakeside Fishing Shops (586) 777-7003, (586) 468-9913.
A few perch have been caught in Lake Huron in the harbors at
Lexington and Port Sanilac. An occasional brown trout is also
coming through the ice at Port Sanilac. Rabbit hunting has been
Great Lakes Archers and Anglers (810) 359-8550.
Perch fishing has been good in Lake Huron off Mud Creek in 4 to
6 feet of water. Walleye anglers report a decent bite 9 miles out
from the end of Thomas Road. A few perch and pike also are hitting
in Caseville Harbor. Coyote and rabbit hunting has been good, but
hunting pressure has been light
Walsh Gun & Tackle (989) 856-4465.
Saginaw Bay Area
Walleye fishing has been very good on Saginaw Bay. The best
action has been coming to anglers jigging spoons tipped with
minnows at the Black Hole in 18 to 25 feet of water. Perch are
starting to move into the cuts and canals around the bay. Coyote
and rabbit hunting has been good.
Franks Great Outdoors (989) 697-5341.
Hoyles Marina (989) 697-4415.
Walleye and perch are hitting in Muskegon Lake. Minnows have
been producing the best results when fished in water between 12 and
20 feet deep. A fair number of steelhead are hitting spawn and
flies fished in the Muskegon River. Coyote and rabbit hunting
pressure has been light.
Angler Archer (231) 744-5992.
Ice fishing for panfish has been pretty good on most area lakes
including Shamrock, Five Lakes, and Crooked. Crappies are hitting
minnows fished late in the afternoon, while bluegills are hitting
wax worms in the morning. Coyote and rabbit hunting has been pretty
Jay’s Sporting Goods (989) 386-3475.
Steelhead fishing has been decent on the Pere Marquette River.
Spawn and egg-pattern flies have been producing the best results.
Ice anglers are catching walleyes and panfish on Star Lake. Hunting
pressure has been light.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop (231) 745-4974.
East Jordan Area
Perch fishing has been good on Lake Charlevoix off Washington
Street. Perch and crappies are hitting on Ellsworth, St. Clair, and
Six Mile lakes. A few decent pike and occasionally a walleye have
been caught in the south arm of Lake Charlevoix. Coyote hunting has
been pretty good.
Tom’s Bait & Tackle (231) 536-3521.
Whitefish are hitting single salmon eggs fished on Elk and Torch
lakes. Perch anglers on Skegemog Lake report a decent bite, and a
few pike also are coming up through the ice. Coyote and rabbit
hunting has been slow with light hunter participation.
Jack’s Sport Shop (231) 258-8892.
A few crappies are hitting minnows and spikes fished near the
causeway and at the east end of Lake Cadillac. Pike fishing has
been good with golden shiners taking fish on both lakes Cadillac
and Mitchell. Occasionally, a walleye also is being caught. Coyote
and rabbit hunting has been fair.
Schaefer’s Bait & Sporting Goods (231) 775-7085.
Houghton Lake Area
Pike fishing has been red hot on Houghton Lake, but anglers are
having to sort to find the keepers. Walleyes are hitting minnows at
the Middle Grounds. Bluegill fishing has been spotty. Hunting
pressure has been light.
Lyman’s on the Lake (989) 422-3231.
Sportsman’s Resort and Marina (989) 366-5471.
Higgins Lake Area
Smelt fishing has been fabulous on Higgins Lake. The best action
has been after dark along the drop-offs in 30 to 60 feet of water.
A few brown trout and some huge pike have been caught, including
one northern that weighed 30 pounds. Perch fishing has been fair.
Coyote hunting has been very good.
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle (989) 821-9517.
Phoenix Party and Bait Store (989) 821-7220.
Hubbard Lake Area
Walleye and perch fishing has been pretty good on Hubbard Lake.
Coyote and rabbit hunting pressure has been very light.
Side Door Bait and Tackle (989) 736-6418.
Angers are reminded that walleye, pike, and muskie seasons ended
Feb. 28 on Upper Peninsula waters.
Sault Ste. Marie Area
Walleye fishing has been pretty good in the St. Marys River at
Munuscong Bay. Anglers jigging spoons tipped with minnows report a
decent bite. Whitefish are hitting wax worms and teardrops fished
in Mosquito Bay. Hunting pressure has been light, but a few coyotes
have been killed by the local hunting crowd.
Hank’s Sport Shop (906) 632-8741.
Perch fishing has been very slow on Manistique Lakes so far this
winter. Predator hunting has been pretty good.
J.R. Sport Shop (906) 586-6040.
Perch are hitting in Garden Bay. The fish are averaging between
8 and 10 inches long and are hitting wigglers and minnows fished in
17 feet of water. Burbot are hitting minnows in the same area.
Snowshoe hunting has been good, and coyote numbers are up.
The Garden Sport Shop (906) 644-2908
Foxy’s Den (906) 644-2817.
Perch fishing has been pretty good on Lake Independence. The
best action has been in the middle of the lake in 25 to 30 feet of
water. A few splake have been caught in Marquette Harbor, but coho,
herring, and whitefish action has also been slow. Coyote and hare
hunting has been good.
Gander Mountain (906) 226-8300
Perch fishing has been hit-or-miss on Lake Gogebic. The best
action has been on wigglers and wax worms fished in 25 feet of
water. Bluegills are hitting on most of the smaller lakes in the
area. With mild temperatures in the forecast, action is expected to
improve. Coyote hunting has been fair.
Maple Ridge Bait & Tackle (906) 575-3545.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort (906) 842-3361.