Michigan Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – Jan. 4, 2019
Lake St. Clair
There was no safe ice on Lake St. Clair. Boats anglers reported catching decent numbers of walleyes when trolling deep diving crankbaits tipped with a minnow. Good action was being reported off Nine Mile Road. Walleyes were also being caught in light numbers on the Detroit River. Handliners and jiggers were both finding fish. Perch fishing has been good at Belle Isle, Metro Beach and all along the shoreline of Anchor Bay.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Irish Hills Area
There was no safe ice in Jackson County. Most of the lakes were covered, but not safe, and there was unseasonably warm weather in the forecast. Hunting pressure was light. Coyote hunting is just getting started. Knutson’s is holding its 3rd annual Knutson’s Bounty Coyote Hunt. Jan.1 through March 1.
Knutson’s Sporting Goods, (800) 292-0857 or (517) 592-2786.
Most of the inland lakes in Oakland County had ice, but very few were safe for foot traffic. There was 50-degree weather in the forecast so the immediate future did not look bright. Hunting pressure has been very light.
Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.
Klinger Lake was not safe for ice fishing. With rain and warm temperatures in the weekend forecast the start of the ice fishing season is on hold
Klinger Lake Trading Post, (269) 651-2679.
Anglers were walking out on the channels at Lake of the Woods and catching decent numbers of panfish. But with warm weather and rain in the weekend forecast it wasn’t expected to last very long. The St. Joe River is producing a good perch bite.
Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522
There was some ice on Crooked, Pine and some of the other smaller lakes in the area, but with warm temperatures, high wind and rain, the ice wasn’t expected to last long.
Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.
Saginaw Bay Area
Not much to report for now as Mother Nature has given us a swift kick in the pants on Saginaw Bay. Anglers have only been able to access the bay from the launch at the mouth of the Saginaw River. The walleye fishing has been great for those trolling in 14 to 18 feet of water all the way up the shoreline. Stickbaits have produced the best bites.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
There was up to 5 inches of ice on some of the smaller lakes in the area including Six Lakes, Stevenson and Lake Isabella. Anglers reported catching decent numbers of bluegills, sunfish and northern pike. But with warm temperatures, high wind and rain in the forecast, the ice wasn’t expected to hold up much longer. The late archery season was pretty good with lots of hunter participation.
Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.
There was 3 to 4 inches of ice in the harbors and along the shore of Lake Huron. Anglers fishing at Bay Port reported catching pretty good numbers of perch, pike and bluegills while those at Caseville were catching walleyes, lake trout and burbot. The late archery season has been fair but hunting pressure has been light. Predator hunting has been slow to get started. There was no snow on the ground.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
Boat anglers are catching good numbers of walleyes in the St. Clair River, when they can get out. Those fishing with emerald shiners from shore at night are also catching lots of ’eyes.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
Traverse City Area
There was up to 4 inches of ice on some of the smaller lakes in the area, but rain put a damper on ice fishing. Steelhead fishing has been decent on the Boardman River. Jigs and wax worms or wigglers have produced the best results. There was about 3 inches of snow on the ground and grouse hunting has been fair.
WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.
Ice was running between 5 and 9 inches on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Anglers reported catching limits of crappies and good numbers of walleyes, but were having to sort through the smaller ’eyes. Good numbers and sizes of bluegills also have been caught, especially on Lake Mitchell. There was a couple inches of snow on the ground, but with warm temperatures and rain was in the forecast it wasn’t expected to last long.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Houghton Lake Area
There was between 4 and 12 inches of ice on Houghton Lake with open water at the entrance of East Bay. Anglers, using extreme caution, are catching a mixed bag of bass, pike, walleyes, bluegills. Smaller wonder bread or glow jigging spoons have produced the best for the ’eyes. The south shore weedbed has produced good results. There was no snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Ice was running between 4 and 8 inches thick on inland lakes in the area. Black Lake had between 4 and 6 inches, but there also was open water so anglers are advised to use extreme caution. Splake are hitting on Clear Lake, pike and perch have been caught by anglers on Ocqueoc, muskies, walleyes, pike and perch have been caught on Black Lake, and pike, bass and perch are hitting on Tomahawk Flooding. There was just a dusting of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light, but one grouse hunter reported eight flushes.
Parrott’s Outpost, (989) 733-2472.
Bluegills and northern pike are hitting on Grass Lake and Fletchers Pond where there was between 4 and 6 inches of ice. Some of the deeper lakes like Avalon and McCormick still don’t have safe ice. There was about 4 inches of snow on the ground. The elk season was very good with 84 successful hunters. Late archery season has been good. The deer are still in the acorns. There is a late antlerless season in Alpena County on private land south of M-32 running two weekends in January. Coyote and fox numbers appear to be way up. Bobcat trapping was very good.
Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.
Walleye fishing has been fantastic in Munuscong Bay where there was at least 8 inches of ice. Good numbers of perch and northern pike also have been caught. There was between 8 inches and a foot of snow on the ground and plenty of cold weather in the forecast. Coyote hunting has been very good so far this season. Bobcat numbers are up.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Ice is still forming. About 8 inches at the north end of Rutland Island in Scotts Bay. A few perch have been caught. There was a foot of ice in the shallows and anglers are catching good numbers of northern pike. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. Bunny hunting has been decent. Coyote hunting has been good.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
Fishing has been pretty good on Manistique Lakes, but anglers should always use extreme caution when venturing out on the ice. Anglers are catching good numbers of pike, walleyes and bluegills on South Manistique and taking perch walleyes and pike on Big Manistique.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
There was 5 to 10 inches of ice on most of the inland lakes in Marquette County, but anglers still need to use caution. Bluegills and crappies are hitting on most of the smaller lakes. There was no ice in Lake Superior’s Marquette Harbor. There was about 4 inches of snow on the ground and more in the forecast.
Gander Outdoors, (906) 226-8300.
The north half of Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc, north of Gladstone, had between 4 and 6 inches of ice. Anglers were starting to walkout, but extreme caution is advised. Fair numbers of perch, walleyes and pike have been caught. The best action has been on the east side of the upper bay in 20 to 30 feet of water. There was a dusting of snow on the ground but rain was falling. Colder temperatures were in the forecast. Hunting pressure has been light.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.
Iron Mountain Area
Ice was running between 6 and 10 inches on some of the smaller lakes in the area. Anglers were walking out on Cowboy and catching bluegills, crappies and northern pike. Anglers have been sneaking out on Lake Antoine and having some success. Bluegills and pike also have been caught on Little Badwater. Crappies and some bluegills are hitting on Gene’s Pond. There was 5 inches of snow on the ground, but more was in the forecast. Hunting pressure has been very light.
Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.
Anglers report up to 6 inches of ice on some inland lakes and thin ice on others. Good reports have come from those fishing for bluegills, crappies and northern pike on Otter, Burns, Alberta, Roland and Parent lakes and catching. There was a couple inches of snow on the ground, but there was rain in the forecast, followed by colder temperatures and more snow.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Lake Gogebic ice fishing is off to a good start. Early ice and little snowfall have made for some good conditions. Early ice anglers have been successfully targeting walleye in the bays using sucker minnows. Anglers are still working the same areas in 8 to 12 feet of water using tip-ups and jigs. Others are moving deeper, fishing 21 to 26 feet of water. Not many reports on perch just yet as anglers are just starting to work the deeper areas of the lake with wigglers and spikes. Expect ice thickness to vary from 4 to 12 inches with light snow cover. Reminder that reports are on angler activity and do not guarantee ice safety.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
Ice was running up to 10 inches thick on some of the smaller lakes and only 3 or 4 inches on the bigger lakes like Hagerman, Ottawa and Chicagon. Walleye and perch fishing has been pretty good on the smaller lakes. Rain then snow followed by temperatures in the teens were in the forecast. Hunting pressure has been light.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.