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Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Michigan Fishing Report – December 11, 2020

Report from the Dock

Fishing pressure generally has been light across the state as we move into that transitional period between open water and hard water. A few lakes in the western U.P. are holding ice safe for foot traffic, but anglers are warned to always use extreme caution. Check the ice as you go, wear a flotation device, and carry ice picks.

 

Steelhead action has been decent in some of the traditional steelhead rivers including the St. Joe, Kalamazoo, Grand, Pere Marquette, and Manistee.

 

Walleyes are still being caught in Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and Saginaw Bay.

SOUTHEASTERN LP

Lake St. Clair

There are still a few boats getting out on Lake St. Clair, when the wind allows. The lake has been stirred up a little, but walleye anglers report catching good numbers of fish on floating Rapalas behind bottom bouncers from the mouth of the St. Clair River to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Bandits, Husky Jerks as well as Flicker shad and Flicker minnows have also caught fish. Those trolling out near the shipping channel have also caught good numbers of fish. Perch fishing has also been pretty good off the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Selfridge, and Metro Beach. A few crappies have been caught, too, along with a northern pike now and then. A few muskies have been taken at the mouth of the St. Clair River.

 

Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.

 

Lake Orion

The firearms deer season was pretty good in Oakland County. Success was good and hunters reported seeing decent numbers of deer. Fishing pressure has been very light, although a few panfish have been caught on Strigy and Lakeville lakes. Most anglers have put their boats up, but those who have not are catching fish.

 

Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.

 

Monroe Area

Walleye fishing remains good in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Anglers trolling Bandits and P10s in 10 to 16 feet of water are catching good numbers of fish between Luna Pier and the Toledo Beach Light House. Good action also has been reported in 26 feet of water between the Fermi nuclear plant and Stony Point. The firearms deer season was good.

 

Domka Outdoors, (734) 244-5240.

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Sturgis Area

Fishing pressure has been very light, but a couple anglers report catching crappies in Kliger Lake. Minnows have been the bait of choice. The gun deer season was good with good reports of success and deer sightings in St. Joseph County. 

 

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

 

Coloma Area

Fishing pressure has been very light. Good numbers of crappies are being caught on Paw Paw Lake. A few steelhead in the Paw Paw and St. Joe rivers, but overall fishing has been slow. The firearms deer season was slow, too. A few hunters reported shooting nice bucks, but overall success seemed to be light.  

 

Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522

 

Hastings Area

The firearms deer season was very good in Barry County. A lot of big bucks were taken and hunters reported seeing a lot of deer. Fishing pressure has been light. Steelhead fishing has been slow on the tributaries, which are running low, but the bigger rivers have been producing good results. Decent fishing has been reported in the Kalamazoo, Grand, and the St. Joseph rivers. Wigglers, wax worms, spinners, spawn, yarn balls, and flies have all been taking fish. 

 

Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.

 

Grand Rapids Area

Steelhead fishing has been good in the Grand River below the Sixth Street Dam. Wax worms, spawn, spinners, and beads are taking most of the fish. Light numbers of walleyes have been caught, too. Hunters reported mixed results during the firearms deer season, but most saw good numbers of deer.

 

Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area

Walleye fishing has improved in Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Those trolling crankbaits in 20 to 24 feet of water report pretty good success. Perch fishing has slowed, but a few nice-sized yellowbellies continue to be caught. The firearms deer season was very good with several big bucks being taken in Saginaw, Bay, and Arenac counties. The crops are down and the late deer seasons should continue to be pretty good. 

 

Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.

 

Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.

 

Baldwin Area

The firearms deer season was good in Lake County. Deer numbers seemed to be down a little from last year, but hunters still reported a good season. A lot more does have been shot this year than in the past. Steelhead fishing has been good on the Pere Marquette River but the water is low and clear. Flies, beads, crankbaits, and spinners are all taking a few fish. Pressure has been light on local inland lakes. Most anglers are waiting for first ice. 

 

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

 

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

 

Weidman Area

The gun season was excellen in Isabella County. Hunters reported seeing a lot of deer including a big 6.5-year-old, 16-point with a 20-inch spread. Fishing pressure has been light. Most anglers have put their boats away and are waiting for ice to form. 

 

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

 

Ludington Area

Overall, fishing pressure has been light in Mason County. Those anglers  still getting out report good bluegill fishing in the shallows on Hamlin Lake. Leaf worms and wax worms are producing the best results. A few walleyes have been caught in the evenings by anglers drifting crawler or crankbaits. Steelhead action is improving in the Pere Marquette River. The gun deer season was decent.

 

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

THE THUMB

Caseville Area

The gun deer season was very good in the Thumb. There were a lot of hunters and they reported seeing a lot of deer. Fishing pressure has been pretty good. Amglers are “hammering the lake trout” – some up to 36 inches – off the wall on Lake Huron in Caseville. Cleo spoons and large walleye minnows have both caught fish. Burbot and whitefish have also been caught. The walleye bite has beel slow.

 

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

 

Port Huron

The firearms season was good in St. Clair County. Deer numbers are up and several nice bucks were killed in the area. Walleye fishing has been good in the St. Clair River. Those jigging with large minnows at the mouth of the Black River are reporting the best luck. Light numbers of cohos, Atlantics, and steelhead have been caught in the harbor on Lake Huron at Port Sanilac.

 

Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.

NORTHWESTERN LP

East Jordan Area

Fishing pressure has been light and the bite has been slow on Lake Charlevoix. A few perch have been caught on Walloon Lake. The firearms deer season was a little slow in Charlevoix County.

 

Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.

 

Traverse City Area

The firearms season was mixed in Grand Traverse County. Some hunters struggled to find deer and others put venison in the freezer. Skim ice is forming in the mornings on some of the lakes. Perch fishing has been very good in Long Lake. Minnows fished in 22 to 28 feet of water are producing good results. Perch action has been spotty at Northport bit a few have been caught in 50 to 100 fet of water.

 

WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com. 

 

Cadillac Area

The firearms deer season was fair in  Wexford County. A few decent bucks were killed but deer sightings were down. Skim ice was starting to form in the bays on lakes Cadillac and Mitchell and fishing there has come to a stad-still. Fair numbers of perch, walleye, steelhead, and brown trout all have been caught below Tippy Dam on the Manistee River.

 

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

NORTHEASTERN LP

Grayling Area

The gun deer season was “quieter than usual”. Sightings and kills were down a little this year. Fishing pressure has been very light. Skim ice has formed on Otsego Lake, Lake Margrethe and some of the other lakes in the area, but nothing thick enough to walk out on. 

 

Skip’s Sport Shop, (989) 348-7111.

 

Old AuSable Fly Shop, (989) 348-3330

 

Houghton Lake Area

Skim ice was forming on Houghton Lake and fishing has stalled. Anglers are hoping for safe ice soon. The firearms deer season was slower than normal. A few hunters tagged nice bucks, but not as many as usual.

 

Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.

 

Atlanta Area

The firearms deer season was slow in Montmorency County. Deer sightings were down and the weather didn’t cooperate much with hunters.  Skim ice is forming on inland lakes, but nothing safe for foot traffic, yet.  The December elk season should be good. There are good numbers of elk across the range.

 

Elk Country Outfitters NEMI, (989) 306-0720, www.ElkCountryOutfittersNEMI.com.

 

Rogers City Area

Ice is forming Black Bass Bay in Grand Lake. The firearms season was mixed. Some hunters took some big bucks and others said sightings were light. A few steelhead have been caught in the lower stretch of the Au Sable. 

 

Adrian’s Sport Shop, (989) 734-2303

EASTERN UP

Pickford Area

Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.

 

Drummond Island Area

Rick Johnson -Owner

 

Johnson’s Sport Shop, (906) 493-6300.

 

Curtis Area

The firearms deer season was slow in western Mackinac and eastern Schoolcraft counties. Hunters reported low numbers of deer. Skin ice is forming on Manistique Lakes but nothing safe for foot traffic just yer. There was cold weather is in the forecaston so anglers are hopeful that safe ice is on the way.

 

Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.

CENTRAL UP

Munising Area

Ken or Cindy

 

Curly’s Hilltop Grocery, (906) 387-3056.

 

Escanaba Area

The firearms deer season was fair in Delta County. Some hunters reported good success and several nice bucks were tagged. Others struggled to find whitetails. Skim ice was forming on a coup[le of the shallow bays on Lake Michigan’s Little bay de Noc, but safe ice is still a ways away.

 

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

WESTERN UP

L’Anse Area

The gun deer season was slow in the Keweenaw area. Only 16 of 90 entrants returned for the buck contest at Indian Country Sports.  Deer sightings were down across the board. Some of the smaller lakes in the area have about 3 inches of ice and anglers are strting to get out. Perch anglers are targeting Vermilac Lake, Alberta Pond, and Laws Lake. There was no snow in the area or in the forecast.  The water is starting to cool off in Lake Superior’s Kewenaw Bay where some skim ice is forming in the mornings. Light numbers of brown trout are still being caught in the Huron, Silver and Falls rivers. 

 

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.

 

Bergland Area

Anglers have been fishing in the shallow bays on Lake Gogebic where there was up to 4 inches of ice. The main lake is iced over, but not safe for foot traffic. Fair numbers of walleyes have been caught. There was a couple inches of snow on the ground. The firearms deer season was slow. A few local hunters took nice bucks, but overall hunting pressure was light and harvest was down. 

 

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

 

Ontonagon Area

The firearms deer season was slower than usual. Hunting pressure was very light. A few of the locals took nice bucks. Ice fishing is starting on Crooked Lake and Lac View Desert,, and Lake Roland where there was up to 3 inches of ice. There was no snow on the ground.

 

Greig’s Taxidermy & Tackle, (906) 884-2770.

 

Iron River Area

The gun season had mixed results. Some hunters tagged out and others coundn’t find a shooter. Ice ios forming on some of the smaller lakes in the area. There was nothing safe for foot traffic yet, but cold weather was in the forecast.

 

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.

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