Editor’s note: Safe ice was being reported on most lakes across
the state last week. However, there was still a lot of open water
on rivers and the larger lakes in the state. Anglers should use
caution if heading out on the ice. Call ahead for an update on ice
Lake St. Clair
Perch fishing has been so-so on Lake St. Clair. The fish are
scattered, and anglers are having to search for the schools. Those
who are catching fish are having to sort through their catch, as a
lot of small fish have been reported. The best action has been
early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. Beware of ice
conditions, as Lake St. Clair does not freeze evenly.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003, (586) 468-9913.
Ice was running up to 14 inches thick last week on inland lakes
in Livingston County. Bluegills, crappies, pike, and a few walleyes
are being caught on Woodland and Kent lakes. Anglers heading out on
Lake Chemung report catching good numbers of panfish and pike, and
on Island Lake, pike, walleyes, bluegills, and crappies are keeping
anglers busy. There was between 4 and 5 inches of snow on the
ground last week, and coyote and rabbit hunting has been good. The
late goose season has been slow.
Midwest Sport Shop, (810) 227-3141.
Luna Pier Area
A few walleyes are being caught in Lake Erie’s Brest Bay. The
best action at this time of year is usually out in 19 feet of
water, but there was only safe ice last week out to about 15 feet.
Fair numbers of bluegills and a few decent perch are being caught
at Lake Erie Metropark. Coyote hunting has been good. The late
goose season has been slow.
Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
There was up to 6 inches of ice on area inland lakes last week,
and anglers are off and running. Ice flies, spikes, and wax worms
are taking good numbers of panfish on Dayton, Diamond, Eagle, and
Stone lakes. Pike fishing has been hot at the north end of Dayton
and on Eagle Lake, too. Perch fishing also has been good on Eagle,
with some fish up to 12 inches being caught. A few walleyes are
hitting on Lake of the Woods with anglers reporting good success
with both tip-ups and jigging spoons. There was about 16 inches of
snow on the ground last week and coyote hunting has been pretty
good, although pressure has been light. Late-season goose hunting
has been good.
Lunkers, (269) 663-3745.
Grand Rapids Area
There is up to 10 inches of ice on lakes in Kent County, and ice
fishing has been pretty good. The larger lakes connected to Lake
Michigan, like Muskegon and White, still had open water. Crappies
and pike are keeping anglers busy on Reeds Lake. Crappies are
hitting minnows, and pike are being caught on suckers and chubs
fished under tip-ups. Crappies and bluegills are hitting minnows
and wax worms on Morison Lake. A few steelhead are being found in
the Grand and Rogue rivers. Spawn has produced the best results.
There was about 4 inches of snow on the ground as of last week, and
coyote hunting has been good.
Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.
Saginaw Bay Area
Shore ice was running between 4 and 6 inches on Lake Huron’s
Saginaw Bay last week, and a few anglers were catching fish. Perch
and panfish are being caught at Palmer Road, Pinconning Road,
Erickson Road, and in some of the marinas. Walleye anglers are
chomping to get out, but patience is recommended; there was still
quite a bit of open water in the bay last week. Coyote hunting has
been good, and late-season goose hunters report good numbers of
birds in the area.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Pike fishing has been good on Twin and Blue lakes, where there
was up to 6 inches of ice last week. Anglers fishing along
breaklines with tip-ups and live bait report good success,
including one angler who caught a 38-incher on Blue Lake. Heavy
snow and slush are making a mess out of Muskegon Lake. There was
only about 2 to 3 inches of ice last week, and wise anglers were
shying away for a little longer. Late goose season has been slow.
Fox and coyote hunting has been decent. There was about 18 inches
of snow on the ground last week.
Angler Archer, (231) 744-5992.
Shore ice was running between 10 and 12 inches last week on Lake
Huron. Perch fishing has been good at Mud Creek and Geiger Road in
4 to 7 feet of water. Pike are hitting minnows fished under tip-ups
in the harbor and off Mud Creek. Walleye fishing has been decent
off Heisterman Island in “The Slot” in 10 to 14 feet of water.
Coyote hunting has been good. Rabbit and squirrel hunting has been
good, but the local flock of Canada geese has moved south.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
Ice was running at a minimum of 6 inches last week in the harbor
on Lake Huron. Anglers are catching good numbers of perch,
steelhead, and a few brown trout. Minnows and wax worms have
produced most of the action. There was about 6 inches of snow on
the ground, and coyote hunting has been good in St. Clair County.
There are plenty of cottontail rabbits around, and the late goose
season has been good, but hunter participation has been light.
Buck Wild Nation, (810) 359-8550
There was about 12 inches of ice on inland lakes in Cheboygan
County last week and fishing has been great. The talk of the town
has been about a huge muskie that was taken on Burt Lake. The fish
weighed 53 pounds on an uncertified scale and was 55 inches long.
Walleye fishing has been good on Burt and Mullett lakes, and a fair
number of perch are being caught, too. There was about 8 inches of
snow on the ground last week. Coyote and rabbit hunting has been
good, but it will get even better with a little fresh snow.
Pat & Gary’s Party Store, (231) 238-6776.
East Jordan Area
Ice was running between 12 and 14 inches on the south arm of
Lake Charlevoix where ice fishing has been pretty good. Walleye
fishing has been very good, with 20 fish over 8 pounds already
caught this winter. The best action has come to anglers fishing
with tip-ups and suckers. Try the 14- to 17-foot depths between
East Jordan and Ironton. Panfish action has been good on the Chain
of Lakes. Shelf ice has formed on most of the rivers, and steelhead
fishing has wound down. There was up to 18 inches of snow on the
ground last week, and coyote hunting has been good.
Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.
There was 8 to 12 inches of ice last week on lakes Mitchell and
Cadillac. Crappies, bluegills, and perch are hitting at the east
end of Lake Cadillac near the city docks. A good walleye bite has
been reported by anglers fishing off the Four Winds Testing Center.
Tip-ups and shiners have produced the best results. There was 6
inches of snow on the ground, with more in the forecast. Coyotes
are “everywhere,” but hunting pressure has been light.
Schaefer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (231) 775-7085.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
There was up to 10 inches of solid, clear ice on Lake Margrethe
last week. Perch and pike are keeping anglers busy, but walleye
fishing has been on the slow side. Panfish action has been good on
Manistee Lake. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground.
Coyote hunting has been very good, but rabbit hunting has been
Skip’s Sport Shop, (989) 348-7111.
Houghton Lake Area
Anglers are hitting it hard on Houghton Lake where there was
between 10 and 14 inches of ice last week. Walleye fishing has been
very good, with the best action coming to anglers fishing along
weedlines in 10 to 12 feet of water. Jigging spoons tipped with
minnows have been the bait of choice. Pike fishing also has been
good. Anglers report catching a lot of hammerhandles, but some
decent fish have been caught, including a 39-incher. Panfish action
has been slow. There was about 4 inches of snow on the ice last
week with more in the forecast. Coyote hunting has been good.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Higgins Lake Area
Ice fishing has been good on Higgins Lake. Perch are hitting
minnows fished in front of Sam-O-Set Park, where there was about 8
inches of ice last week. Pike fishing has been good, too, with lots
of fish being caught at the north end of the lake. There was still
thin ice at the west boat launch, where two snowmobiles recently
broke through, and in front of Birch Lodge.
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.
Phoenix Party and Bait Store, (989) 821-7220.
There was up to 18 inches of ice on Munuscong Bay last week, and
ice fishing has been very good. Walleye fishing has been hot in the
bay. Minnows jigged in 1 to 6 feet of water are producing good
results. Pike fishing also has been good with several fish between
37 and 40 inches being caught. There are “more perch in Munuscong
Bay than there have been in 25 years.” Lots of fish in the 10- to
13-inch range have been caught. Perch also are hitting in Lake
Huron at Hessel. The best action has come to anglers fishing in 12
to 16 feet of water. There was about 5 inches of snow on the ground
last week, and coyote hunting has been very good. Hare hunting has
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Ice fishing has been good on Manistique Lakes. The best walleye
bite has come to anglers fishing with tip-ups and jigging spoons on
South Manistique Lake, where an angler landed a 9-pounder last
week. The walleye bite has been fair on Big Manistique, but should
improve. Pike spearing has been hampered by muddy water, but those
fishing with tip-ups report pretty good action on both lakes. Perch
fishing has been decent on South Manistique Lake. There was about 6
inches of snow on the ground last week. Coyote hunting has been
good in Luce and Mackinac counties.
J.R. Sport Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Perch fishing has been good on Lake Michigan’s Big Bay de Noc.
The best action has come to anglers fishing minnows and mousies in
Kate’s Bay. A few anglers are starting to spear some good numbers
of northern pike in Garden Bay. Perch-fishing action also has been
good on Indian Lake, but no reports of a magic depth have surfaced.
There was about 3 inches of snow on the ground last week with more
in the forecast. Coyote hunting has been good.
The Garden Sport Shop, (906) 644-2908.
Foxy’s Den, (906) 644-2817.
There was safe ice on the north end of Lake Michigan’s Little
Bay de Noc and anglers there reported a good bite. Perch fishing
has been good at Kipling in 10to 20 feet of water, off the Day’s
River in 8 to 19 feet of water, and just south of the Narrows in 24
to 30 feet of water. Walleyes have been caught in the shipping
channel off Gladstone in 28 to 33 feet of water. Northern pike
spearing was good at the head of the bay in 10 to 16 feet of water.
Several whitefish have been taken in 35 feet of water off Terrace
Bay Inn. Coyote hunting pressure has been light.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle (906) 428-2950.
Fishing has been good in Menominee County. Panfish and pike are
hitting on Lake Ann, Lake Mary, and Hayward Lake. Panfish are
hitting wax worms and mousies, while pike are hitting suckers and
chubs. Walleye action has been slow. The panfish bite has been fair
at Shaky Lakes. There was only about a foot of snow on the ground
last week, but more was in the forecast. Predator hunting has been
MBK Sports Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Martin Creek Sport and Feed, (906) 863-4868.
Ice fishing has been good on Lake Gogebic, where there is 10 to
15 inches of ice covered with up to 12 inches of snow. Walleye
action has been good in 10 feet of water and out in 24 to 27 feet
of water. Tip-ups and suckers, and jigs tipped with minnows, are
both taking fish. The best action has come to those fishing right
at dusk. Perch action has been slow to get started, but is expected
to improve any day. There was about 24 inches of snow on the ground
last week. Snowshoe hare hunting has been very good.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
There is between 6 and 10 inches of ice along the shoreline of
Chicagon Lake, and a few small perch and whitefish have been caught
there. Walleye fishing has been fair on Iron, Sunset, and Emily
lakes. Northern pike are hitting suckers and chubs on Iron and
Sunset lakes. There was less than a foot of snow on the ground last
week. Coyote hunting has been pretty good.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.