Lake St. Clair
Walleye fishing has been very good in the open water on Lake St. Clair.When the wind dies down and the water is clear, anglers report catching fish from the Grosse Point Yacht Club all the way down to the mouth of the river. The best action has come to those using large-lipped crankbaits in 14 to 15 feet of water early in the mornings. Good numbers of perch also have been caught early in the mornings by anglers fishing from shore.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Ice was forming on area lakes including Lake Orionand anglers were hoping for safe ice soon. Deer hunting pressure has been light.
Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.
Luna Pier Area
The Metro Park launch on Lake Eriewas still open at last check and had docks in. When they can get out, boat anglers were catching walleye in Brest Baywhen trolling crankbaits. Those looking for panfish were using wax worms in the canals and marinas. A few steelhead were hitting in the Huron River. Small spoons and spinners were working best.
Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.
Walleye anglers are having some success on the St. Joseph River. The fall steelhead run is nearly done, as very few fish were observed at the fish ladders. The ladders will remain open throughout the winter, however, past research has shown that few fish move upstream after the water temperature drops below 40 degrees.
Webber & Sons Marine and Tackle, (269) 673-6294.
Ice was forming on Klinger Lake but was not recommended for foot traffic.
Klinger Lake Trading Post, (269) 651-2679.
Skim ice was forming on most inland lakes in Branch County and it shouldn’t be long before it is safe for foot traffic. Deer hunting pressure has been light. A few are out hunting with their muzzleloaders.
Hoskins Bait House, (517) 369-1330.
There was no safe ice on inland lakes at last check, but a few steelhead were being caught in the Kalamazoo River. Spawn, wax worms, beads and spinners were all attracting attention. Deer hunting has slowed and pressure has been fair.
D and R Sports, (269) 372-2277.
Grand Rapids Area
Water levels were up again on the Grand Riverwith increased flow. Steelhead fishing was spotty. Those using beads were still getting a few fish. Try fishing the deeper holes.
Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.
Most inland lakes in Lake Countystill had open water. A few anglers were getting out and catching a few perch and bluegills. There was about an inch of snow on the ground. Muzzleloader season has been fair. Light numbers of steelhead have been caught in the Pere Marquette River.
Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.
Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.
There was a couple of inches of ice on some of the smaller inland lakes in Isabella County and with cold weather in the forecast, anglers were hoping to get out soon. A few muzzleloader hunters have been out, but heavy wind has hampered deer movement.
Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.
Skim ice was forming on Lake Huron. A few guys were fishing through the ice off the docks in the harbor at Caseville and catching light numbers of perch, lake trout and northern pike. Muzzleloader deer season has been decent, but some bucks are starting to lose their antlers.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
Good numbers of walleyes have been caught in the St. Clair River. The fish are holding in the deeper water and boat anglers are catching more than shore anglers. A fair number of Atlantic salmon have been caught in Lexington Harbor. Hunting pressure has been light for the muzzleloader season, but a few big bucks have been taken by those braving the cold.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
East Jordan Area
There was no safe ice in the area at last check and about 6 inches of snow didn’t help the skim ice that was forming. Anglers are hoping for cold weather to stiffen up the lakes. Decent numbers of steelhead have been caught on the Jordan River. Spawn has worked best. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.
Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.
A few steelhead are still being caught in the Manistee River. Anglers using egg flies or beads have reported decent success. Light numbers of fresh fish have moved into the river. Hunting pressure has been light for the muzzleloader deer season.
Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.
There was between 2 and 5 inches of ice on lakes Cadillacand Mitchell. There was some safe ice, but anglers are cautioned to use a spud and check the ice as they go. Walleyes, bluegills and a few crappies have been caught. Live bait seemed to produce the best results. Hunting pressure has been light.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Houghton Lake Area
There was no safe ice on Houghton Lake; there was still open water off the north shore and the Heights. The North Baywas wide open. Those fishing the open water at Reedsburg Dam have caught light numbers of crappies. Muzzleloader deer hunting has been slow.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Hubbard Lake Area
There was no safe ice on Hubbard Lake. With cold weather in the forecast anglers there are hoping for the ice to tighten up soon. Hunting pressure has been light.
Side Door Bait and Tackle, (989) 736-6418.
There was no safe ice on inland lakes in Montmorency County. Most lakes had frozen over until rain came and melted it away. New ice was again forming. There was about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.
Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.
There was up to 6 inches of ice close to shore on Munuscong Bayand anglers were just starting to sneak out. Walleyes and perch have been providing pretty good action. There was 18 inches of snow. The muzzleloader deer season has been slow with few deer sighted.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
Drummond Island Area
There was between 2 and 4 inches of shore ice in the bays around the island. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ice, but the weatherman was forecasting above freezing temperature. Rabbit hunting has been pretty good. Muzzleloader deer hunting has been fair.
Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.
There was between 4 and 8 inches of ice on Manistique Lakes, but it was topped with slush and several inches of snow. A few anglers have been walking out, but extreme caution should be used. Bring a spud and check the ice ahead of you. Walleye, pike, perch and bass have all been caught. Live bait has worked the best. There was about a foot of snow on the ground. Muzzleloader deer season has been slow with all the snow on the ground making access difficult.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Nochad about 3 inches of ice in the shallow water up at Kipling. A few anglers were sneaking out on foot, but extreme caution is advised. Hunting pressure has been light. There was about 5 inches of snow on the ground.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Iron Mountain Area
There were a couple of inches of ice on most inland lakes, then a couple of snow storms came through and at last check, there was about 14 inches of snow on top of the ice. Hunting has been tough for the muzzleloader season with all the snow in the woods.
Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.
Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Baywas starting to ice over but wasn’t safe for foot traffic. Anglers are eagerly awaiting safe ice. Some of the inland lakes are starting to firm up and anglers were starting to sneak out on Vermilacand Alberta Pond, but extreme caution is advised. Ice is thin and it’s still early. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground. The muzzleloader deer season has been pretty good.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Solid ice was still forming on Lake Gogebic. A few anglers were sneaking out on the shallow bays and catching a few walleyes. Extreme caution is advised. The lake does not freeze evenly. Bring a spud and check the ice as you walk out. Check locally before heading out.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Taxidermy & Tackle, (906) 884-2770.
The DNR contributed to this report.