Michigan Outdoor News Fishing Report – Feb. 1, 2019
Lake St. Clair
Lake St. Clair was freezing before rain and 40 degree temperatures moved in. Anglers had been getting into bluegills and sunfish at the north end out near the Raft Restaurant and the Fair Haven Launch. The areas both in and outside the canals and docks have been the hot spots. Pike have been seen cruising the area and a few have been speared. Yellow perch are abundant but the majority of fish caught near the Raft, Fair Haven and Selfridge were between 3 and 5 inches.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Ice was running up to 6 inches thick on some of the smaller lakes in the area, less on others, before rain and warm temperatures invaded the area. Extreme caution is advised when heading out on all lakes. Frigid temperatures were in the forecast so anglers were hoping the lakes freeze back up quickly.
Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.
Anglers are getting out on some of the channels in the area and catching pan fish, but warm temperatures and rain put a damper on everything. Extreme caution is advised whenever heading out on the ice. Hunting pressure has been very light.
Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522
Grand Rapids Area
Some nice steelhead have been caught in the Grand River down below the Sixth Street Dam. Beads, wax worms and spawn are all attracting attention.
Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.
There was decent ice on the channels and in west bay on Gun Lake and anglers were able to walk out to fish. Panfish, walleyes and pike have been caught. There was still open water in spots on the lake. Extreme caution is advised.
Gillett’s Bait and Hardware, (269) 672-5371.
Saginaw Bay Area
Near Pinconning, ice anglers were heading out on Saginaw Bay up to three-quarters of a mile off Whites Beach, but the perch bite has been slow. A few anglers ventured out from the trailer park near the mouth of the Saginaw River and were targeting 8 feet of water. On the Saginaw River, ice fishing was just getting started. There was no activity at Wickes Park or Rust Avenue, but there were anglers out near Ojibway Island who reported catching a few walleye when jigging firetiger or Wonder Bread Rapalas tipped with minnows. There was some fishing activity off First Street, at various locations along Crow Island, and near Veteran’s Park on M-13, however most anglers caught undersized fish. The ice through Bay City was still sketchy.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
Anglers were using Wilson Hill Park to access Hamlin Lake, though anglers are still being advised to use caution as there may be thin spots in the ice. Catch rates for panfish have slowed with most anglers reporting 10 fish at th most. Though the numbers were down, the size of the fish has been decent, with a few big crappie mixed in with the bluegills. The perch were small at 3 to 5 inches. Those targeting pike had limited success, and many of those caught were undersized. A few walleyes have been caught near the South Bayou, anglers were struggling to find keep.
Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.
East Jordan Area
Lake Charlevoix is giving up a lot of Herring 80 to 100 feet of water. Rattle spoons and jigs are producing good results. Perch up to 14 inches have been caught in the south arm of Charlevoix in 30 feet of water. Walleyes have been caught, too. Muskie fishing has been outstanding on the Bellaire Chain of Lakes including a 51-incher and a 49-incher caught on Intermediate Lake. There was about a foot of snow on the ground with more on the way. Hunting pressure has been light, but rabbit hunting has been good on Beaver Island.
Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.
Steelhead fishing has been fair with a low flow on the Big Manistee and Bear Creek. With the low flow the action has been fair. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground with more on the way.
Pappy’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 848-4142.
Ice fishing has been pretty good on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, especially for walleye and pike. Bluegill numbers were up and down. Walleye anglers were jigging or using tip-ups in 10 to 15 feet of water. Pike are hitting mainly on tip-ups. Kentwood Park on Lake Cadillac was producing some nice crappie. On Lake Mitchell, bluegill and crappie were found out from Small Cove.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
There was about a foot of ice on most lakes in the area. Anglers report catching some nice pike and walleyes on Lake Margrethe and a few perch up to 8 to 10 inches. Minnows and jigs have produced for the perch and walleyes. There was a foot of snow on the ground with more in the forecast. Predator hunting has been good.
Skip’s Sport Shop, (989) 348-7111.
Old AuSable Fly Shop, (989) 348-3330
Houghton Lake Area
Fishing has been hit or miss on Houghton Lake. The East Bay has finally tightened up. The lake had about 6 inches of snow on top. Anglers still need to use caution near the creeks and rivers. Also watch for multiple pressure cracks. Bluegills are still hitting wigglers and wax worms, and crappie are hitting small jigging spoons tipped with a minnow. Glow lures seem to work best. For walleye, try jigging spoons or jigging Raps tipped with a minnow head. The fish are moving around the lake so anglers shouldn’t be afraid to move to find them.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Higgins Lake Area
Anglers reported good success on Higgins Lake. Perch have been caught in 20 to 40 feet of water near the Main Island and the Sunken Island. Good pike action with a few fish over 20 pounds has been reported off Sam-O-Set Road and the South State Park. Lake trout have been caught by those jigging or using tip-ups with minnows in 80 to 100 feet of water. Rainbow trout have been caught in front of the Conference Center and off Big Creek when using wigglers in shallow waters. A few smelt were taken off the west launch, Big Creek and the North State Park in the late evening.
Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.
Walleye fishing has been fantastic on Munuscong Bay. A fair number of perch also have been caught. Anglers are catching a lot of 3- to 6-pounders and a few even larger. Ice was running up to 18 inches thick, with slush on top in some pockets. Down on Lake Huron, anglers are catching very good numbers of perch at Hessel in 12 to 14 feet of water. Splake also have been caught. Coyote hunting has been very good.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
Ice is running between 14 and 18 inches in Potagannassing Bay where anglers report catching (and spearing) good numbers of northern pike. Decent numbers of perch also have been caught. There was about a foot of snow on top of the ice. Coyote and rabbit hunting has been slow to get started.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
There was over a foot of ice on Manistique Lakes, but caution is always advised. Beware of pressure cracks on all the lakes. Walleyes, pike and perch are hitting on Big Manistique and walleyes, pike and bluegills are hitting on South Manistique. Those jigging and setting tip-ups are all catching fish. Predator hunting has been fair.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Ice conditions improved on Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc with the cold temperatures, moving anglers as far south as Portage Point. The Portage area was still considered dangerous. The head of the bay had drifted snow cover. The pressure cracks are large and were noticeable, but may become covered with additional snowfall; use caution. Walleye fishing picked up, with fair to good catches reported near Portage Point when jigging Rapalas or using tip-ups with minnows in 30 to 50 feet of water. The Escanaba Power Plant area, Gladstone Bay as well as the second and third reefs also produced fair catches in 27 to 50 feet of water. Pike were speared in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor using live decoys, and a fair to good number of pike were caught off the Escanaba Beach in 25 feet of water. Perch anglers reported spotty catches with the best action along the Kipling flats.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.
Fishing has been very good on Keweenaw and Huron bays. Anglers report catching good numbers of walleyes in Huron Bay along with a couple splake and burbot. In Keweenaw Bay, the ice is still forming in the middle of the bay but anglers are fishing off the Falls, the Willow Tree and at the head of the bay by the Red Rocks. A lot of splake have been caught, most are between 15 and 16 inches. Tip-ups baited with shiners are producing good results. Predator hunting has been decent.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Overall ice conditions and travel remained good on Lake Gogebic, but fishing pressure was light. Walleye anglers are working jigs and tip-ups with minnows in 12 to 16 feet of water and also in 24 to 28 feet of water. Perch reports have been excellent for some with others marking lots of fish but not catching the finicky biters. Wigglers, spikes and waxies worked well when fished in 23 to 29 feet of water.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Iron River Area
There was plenty of ice on lakes in Iron County and anglers there report pretty good action. Panfish and walleyes are hitting on most lakes in the area including Chicagon, Hagerman and the Michigamme Reservoir.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.
The DNR contributed to this report.