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

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Michigan Fishing Report – Jan. 25, 2020

Editor’s note: Ice conditions varied last week from one region of the state to another. There was no safe ice yet in southern Michigan. Conditions improved as you move north, but many of the larger, deeper lakes and bays in the northern Lower were still not safe for foot 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

Skim ice was forming in the bays and canals around Lake St. Clair, but nothing was safe yet for foot traffic. With above freezing temperatures and some rain in the immediate forecast the outlook doesn’t look promising.

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

 

Irish Hills Area

Ice was trying to form on lakes in Jackson County but the weather forecasts weren’t conducive to ice fishing anytime in the near future. Hunting pressure has been light. A few coyotes have been taken. 

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

 

Luna Pier Area

A few anglers were still getting out on the open water of Lake Erie. The walleye bite slowed some, but a fair number of walleyes are still being caught around Bolles Harbor and the state park.

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

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Sturgis Area

There was still some open water in the middle of Klinger Lake and the shore ice was not safe for foot traffic. There was just a few inches of crusty snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been very light.

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

 

Coloma Area

Anglers on the Van Auken Lake channels are catching fish through the ice, but are fishing off the docks. Catching decent numbers of crappies and a few bluegills have been caught. River anglers report catching a few walleyes in the St. Joe River on spawn, spinners, wax worms and beads.

Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522

 

Grand Rapids Area

Light numbers of steelhead have been caught in the Grand River. Those fishing with wax worms, spawn and beads have all had some limited action. 

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

Shore ice was forming on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay, but high winds were blowing the ice around. Most anglers were hoping for colder temperatures in the near forecast to help tighten up the bay before heading out.

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

 

Baldwin Area

There was up to 6 inches of ice on many of the lakes in Lake County, but there was still open water on Big Star and some of the larger lakes. Little Star and Idlewild have been producing a fair pike bite, but extrema caution is urged for those heading out. 

Baldwin Bait & Tackle, (231) 745-3529.

Ed’s Sport Shop, (231) 745-4974, www.edsports.com.

 

Weidman Area

There was between 4 and 8 inches of ice on many of the local lakes in Isabella County. Anglers are catching good numbers of bluegills and crappies on Lake Isabella, Chippewa Lake and Stevenson Lake. A few pike have been caught, too, mostly on tip-ups. Walleye lakes are still “a little iffy” and walleye anglers are hoping for a little colder weather. Coyote hunting has been very good. There was 5 to 6 inches of crusty snow on the ground, but above freezing temperatures were softening the crust.

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

 

Ludington Area

Ice was still shaky in Mason County. Upper Hamlin had about 4 inches of honeycombed ice and that was the most in the area. None of the lakes w ere safe for foot traffic. River fishing has been fair. A few steelhead have been caught in Pere Marquette River but fishing pressure has been light. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground. Squirrel hunting has been very good. Rabbit and coyote hunting have been quiet. 

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

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

There was between 2 and 4 inches of ice along the breakwall on Lake Huron, but warm temperatures were in the forecast. Anglers have been catching perch, bluegills, northern pike, lake trout and whitefish in the harbor. Anglers there are ice fishing off the docks. There was up to 4 inches of snow on the ground. Coyote hunting has been every good. One hunter shot a 45 pounder last week.

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

 

Port Huron

There was still open water on the St. Clair River. Shore anglers are catching burbot and whitefish on emerald shiners. There was just a dusting of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been very light.

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

Ice is in pretty good shape on the south arm of Lake Charlevoix running up to 12 inches thick. The main lake still has open water. Perch, pike and walleyes have been caught. There was about 10 inches of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light. There was 12 inches of ice on the Bellaire Chain of Lakes where anglers report good catches of pike and panfish. A good walleye bite has been reported on Walloon Lake under 5 to 8 inches of ice.  

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

 

Traverse City Area

Ice is covered with heavy snow making the surfaces very slushy. Some of the smaller lakes like Lake Dubonett, Spider and Arbutus have up to 5 inches of ice, safe for foot traffic only. Anglers there report catching decent numbers of bluegills and northern pike (there is no size limit on northerns on Dubonett and a five fish daily limit). River fishing has been fair. Steelhead fishing has been decent on the Boardman, Manistee and Betsie. Jigs fished under a float are producing in the slower waters. There was about 2 feet of snow in the woods. Squirrel and coyote hunting has been very good, but hunting pressure has been light.

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com. 

 

Cadillac Area

Ice was running up between 6 and 12 inches on Lake Mitchell and 6 to 9 on Lake Cadillac. Anglers report catching sunfish and crappies on the west side of Mitchell. Perch and a few walleyes also have been caught on Mitchell behind the state park. Off Kenwood Park on Lake Cadillac, anglers are catching crappies and perch. Good numbers of perch and light numbers of walleyes are also being caught at the west end of Cadillac near town. There was about 10 inches of snow on the lake, more in some areas and less in others depending on the wind. Hunting pressure has been light. 

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

NORTHEASTERN LP

Houghton Lake Area

There was 12 inches of ice on Houghton Lake and anglers there are catching lots of pike and panfish. Walleyes are coming in, but they’re nosing the bait and swimming away.  Anglers are cautioned to stay away from the pressure cracks and river mouths, where a couple vehicles and snowmobiles have broken through the ice.

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

 

Hubbard Lake Area

Safe ice is still forming on Hubbard Lake. There was about 5 inches on the north end with up to 8 inches of slush on top. Anglers are getting out to 20 feet of water and catching perch and walleyes. East Bay had up to 10 inches of ice with slush on top and there was 6 to 8 inches of ice, with slush on top, at the south end of the lake. Fair perch and walleye fishing has been reported, but pressure has been light. There was about 10 inches of snow in the woods. Hunting pressure also has been light.  

Side Door Bait and Tackle, (989) 736-6418.

 

Onaway Area

Ice was forming on Black Lake where there was between 5 and 8 inches of ice. Fishing has been fair with a lot of smaller perch, walleyes and northern pike being caught. There was 3 inches of snow in the woods. Coyote hunting has been good.

Parrott’s Outpost, (989) 733-2472.

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

There was over a foot of ice on Munuscong Bay and anglers are enjoying a good season so far. The walleye bite has been very good for those fishing minnows on a white or pink jig. Anglers report catching a lot of 3 pounders and a few fish up to 5 pounds. Down on Lake Huron at Cedarville, pike and perch are keeping anglers busy, again on jigs and minnows. Muskie Bay has been the hot spot. There was up to 18 inches of snow in the woods, with a crust of ice on top. Beagles have been chasing rabbits on the crust. 

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

 

Drummond Island Area

There was about 10 inches of ice in Scotts Bay, but nothing safe beyond Ashmun Island. Fair numbers of perch have been caught and spearers report decent pike action. Better perch fishing is expected when anglers can finally get out to deeper water. There was over a foot of snow in the woods. Coyote hunting has been good with a lot of ‘yotes on the island. 

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

 

Curtis Area

Ice was running between 8 and 18 inches thick on Big Manistique and South Manistique lakes and there was about 6 inches of snow on top. Anglers report catching a mixed bag of walleyes, pike and perch on both lakes. Fair numbers of bluegills and crappies also have been caught on South Manistique. Walleyes are hitting jigs tipped with a minnows. Bluegills, perch and crappies are hitting minnows, waxies and wigglers. There was 6 inches of snow in the woods with crusty ice on top. Coyote and rabbit hunting has been decent, but hunting pressure has been light. 

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Escanaba Area

Ice was getting better on Lake Michigan’s Little By de Noc. There was 12 inches or more north of Gladstone and the perch fishing has been pretty good in that area. Walleye action has been fair with a lot of undersized fish being caught. Good action has been reported by anglers fishing in 30 feet of water around the river, 35 feet of water at Gladstone and 25 to 30 feet of water at Kipling. A few anglers have been walking out on the ice off the Escanaba River, but the ice was still thin around Escanaba. Anglers should always use extreme caution because the thickness varies. There was about three inches of snow on the ice and more was in the forecast.

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

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

Ice conditions are improving on Keweenaw Bay and anglers are catching fish on Huron Bay. There has been 8 inches of ice or more on Huron Bay for a couple of weeks. Anglers fishing off the park report catching a mixed bag of browns, splake, burbot and walleyes on jigging Raps and Swedish pimples. The ice is stiffening up on Keweenaw Bay and anglers are starting to walk out at the top of the bay where there was about 4 inches of ice. A few browns and splake have been caught. There was a foot of snow in the woods, but very little snow on the ice. 

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

 

Bergland Area

Lake Gogebic fishing and travel conditions remain good. The lake surface has been firm and excellent for travel. With recent snowfall of about 20 inches it will restrict travel to snowmobiles only. Perch anglers have been doing well in 24 feet to 29 feet of water. Wigglers fished over the mud have been producing a good bite and a few walleyes have been mixed in with the perch. Most of the better walleye reports have come from anglers fishing 8 foot to 12 foot depths during low light periods. A few northern pike have been caught,  but no specific patterns have been reported.

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

 

Iron River Area

Ice conditions are pretty good in Iron County where there is between 8 and 12 inches of ice on most lakes. The problem is that there was 12 to 18 inches of snow on the ice with more in the forecast. Some anglers on Chicagon Lake have reported to taking snow blowers out and making trails on the ice to get out to their fishing spots. 

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

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