Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Michigan Fishing Report – Jan. 10, 2020

Editor’s note: Ice conditions varied at last check from one region of the state to another. There was no safe ice in southern Michigan. Conditions improved as you move north, but many of the larger lakes in the northern Lower were still not safe for travel. Always use caution when heading out on the ice. Call ahead for an update on ice conditions. Test the ice ahead of you with a spud. Never fish alone. Wear a life jacket, and carry ice picks and a rope.

 

SOUTHEASTERN LP

Lake St. Clair

There was no ice on Lake St. Clair.Water clarity is poor with the windy conditions. Those trolling crankbaits in the southwest corner of the lake were still finding some walleyes. Shore anglers were catching bluegills and pumpkinseeds in the marinas when using ice fishing techniques off the docks.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

 

Irish Hills Area

There was no safe ice on inland lakes in southern Michigan.

Knutson’s Sporting Goods, (800) 292-0857 or (517) 592-2786.

 

Luna Pier Area

Open water on Lake Erieis producing a decent walleye bite. Anglers are trolling Bandits 50 to 80 feet back off Bolles Harbor, Fermi and Sterling State Park. Panfish have been found in the canals and marinas.

Luna Pier Harbour Club, (734) 848-8777.

 

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Allegan Area

Both the St. Joseph Riverand the Kalamazoo Riverwere running high. A few steelhead have been caught but catch rates were very light.

Webber & Sons Marine and Tackle, (269) 673-6294.

 

Sturgis Area

There was no ice on Klinger Lakeand most boat owners have their rigs stored for the winter so fishing pressure has been negligible.

Klinger Lake Trading Post, (269) 651-2679.

 

Kalamazoo Area

There was no ice on inland lakes around Kalamazoo and fishing has stalled in the region. Most anglers are hoping for a cold spell to stiffen up the lakes, but there was little hope of that in the immediate future.

D and R Sports, (269) 372-2277.

 

Grand Rapids Area

Water levels were still high on the Grand River, but anglers are finding a few steelhead when using a jig and wax worm, spawn, or beads near the dam. Some big brown trout were also caught. The Rogue Riveris also producing light numbers of steelhead.

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

 

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

Saginaw Bayremained ice free. Boat anglers reported catching walleyes when trolling crankbaits in 18 to 20 feet of water out near the Spark Plug, and 2 miles northeast of Spoils Island. The average size was 3 to 5 pounds. Perch fishing was very slow, with only a few caught at Finn Road and in some of the cuts along the east shoreline. The fishery should improve if we ever get some ice

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

 

Weidman Area

Ice was forming on local inland lakes, but recent rain showers greatly deteriorated the ice along shore. Rabbit hunters said bunny holes were a filling up with water and it was tough to get a rabbit to run. Coyote hunting has also been poor.

Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.

 

Ludington Area

Hunting and fishing has stalled at Ludington. There was no ice on any lakes and rivers were running high and muddy. Hunting pressure has been very light with no reports of success for rabbits, squirrels or predators.

Captain Chuck’s Fishing, Hunting and Archery, (231) 843-4458.

 

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

Ice blew in on Lake Huronat Caseville, but all it will take is an east wind to blow it right back out. Anglers reported catching good umbers of lake trout, whitefish and burbot when casting Cleos or minnows into the open water off the breakwall in Caseville. Coyote hunting has been pretty good. Squirrel and rabbit hunting has been good, too. A recent squirrel hunting tournament netted over 100 bushy tails.

Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.

 

Port Huron

Hunting and fishing have been slow. A few anglers have been able to get out in a boat and are catching decent numbers of walleyes in the St. Clair River. Most anglers are jigging with emeralds shiners and jig heads. Hunting pressure has been light other than a few squirrel hunters, who reported good success.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

 

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

Ice has forming on Lake Charlevoixbut it was not yet safe for foot travel. There was rain in the immediate forecast so anglers there were not very hopeful. There was up to 7 inches of ice on some of the lakes in the Bellaire Chain of Lakes. Anglers were catching fair numbers of bluegills, pumpkinseed sunfish and crappies. Anglers are urged to use extreme caution because the lakes do not freeze evenly. Always check the ice with a spud as you go. There was about 5 inches of snow on the ground.

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

 

Manistee Area

Fishing has been decent on the Manistee River. Those fishing with spawn or beads report a pretty god steelhead bite. Predator and rabbit hunting pressure has been light. Those who have been out report fair success.

Riley’s, (231) 723-3354.

 

Cadillac Area

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchellhave stiffened up and anglers are out in force. There was heavy fishing pressure on Lake Mitchell, but the shore ice was in poor shape on Lake Cadillac. Those who were getting out reported good fishing for panfish, and pike and fair success for walleyes. Predator hunting has been fair. Rabbit hunting has been slow.

Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.

 

NORTHEASTERN LP

Houghton Lake Area

Houghton Lakehas ice and anglers are getting out. However, use extreme caution and stay away from any inlets or outlets where there is moving water. Anglers could be found on the East Bay, off the south DNR launch and off Flint Road. A couple walleye were taken on blue spoons or Do-Jiggers. Pike anglers report a good bite. Most are using tip-ups with blues. Bluegills and a few perch were caught off the south launch and Flint Road by those using wax worms, spikes and mousies. Coyote, squirrel and rabbit hunting has been pretty good.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

 

Higgins Lake Area

Higgins Lakestill had some open water and anglers there were waiting for safe ice to start fishing. With cold weather in the forecast, the hope was that anglers would be able to sneak out soon.

Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle, (989) 821-9517.

 

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Lots of perch and good numbers of walleye have been caught in Munuscong Baywhere there is between 9 and 12 inches of ice. Anglers jigging with minnows are enjoying the most success in 5 to 6 feet of water. There was about a foot of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

 

Drummond Island Area

Ice was running up to about 7 inches in Scotts Bay, but anglers are restricted to fishing close to shore. Some of the other bays still have open water. Pike and perch have been caught including a pair of northerns that were 38 and 40 inches long. There was about 10 inches of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

 

Curtis Area

Walleyes, pike and panfish have been caught on Bigand South Manistiquelakes. Fish have settled into their winter patterns. There was 6 to 14 inches of ice with a several inches of snow on top, but no reports of slush. There was up to 20 inches of snow in the woods. Hunting pressure has been light.

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

 

CENTRAL UP

Escanaba Area

Ice conditions were not the best on Little Bay de Noc. The ice at Gladstone and to the south was broken and there was open water. Anglers were fishing the north end of the bay between Kipling and Garth Point. Most are walking out. Extreme caution is advised. A few machines have gone through the ice and drifts have caused problems for ORVs. There was still open water at the Narrows. Light numbers of jumbo perch have been caught on minnows and wigglers fished in 30 feet of water near the Kipling Flats and the Third Reef. Walleye anglers report very good numbers of small fish near the Second and Third reefs in 28 to 40 feet of water.

Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.

BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle, (906) 428-2950.

 

Iron Mountain Area

Fishing pressure remains light with marginal ice conditions on area lakes. There was up to 6 inches of ice on many lakes, but snow has piled up and there making travel difficult and insulating the ice. There was more snow in the forecast, followed by rain. Crappies and bluegills have been caught on Cowboy and Little Bad Water and some decent pike have been caught on Little Bad Water, too. With about 20 inches of snow in the woods hunting pressure has been very light.

Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters, (906) 774-9009.

 

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

There was no ice on Keweenaw Bay, but some of the inland lakes are iced over. Anglers report catching fish in Dollar Bayand Chassel Bay, but there is a lot of slush. Anglers report catching a mixed bag of pike, crappies. There was 20 inches of snow in the woods. Hunting pressure has been light. Rabbit hunting has been good.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

 

Bergland Area

Travel conditions have improved on Lake Gogebicto near excellent and fishing has picked up, as well. Low temperatures at night have frozen the lake surface, allowing anglers to move around easily. Reports are of two layers of ice with the surface being good travel. Anglers are picking up good numbers of both perch and walleyes in 23 to 28 feet of water.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.

 

Iron River Area

Ice was stiffening up around Iron River. Most of the lakes are safe for foot traffic and sleds, but no trucks yet. The slush has dried up but there is a layer of soft ice between the top and the good ice. Anglers report catching a lot of northern pike, a few walleyes and a few panfish on Chicagon, Hagermanand Fortunelakes. There was up to three feet of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light, but a few rabbits have been killed.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

The DNR contributed to this report.

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