Southeast Lower Peninsula
Anglers on inland lakes were catching pike and bass on tip-ups with shiners. They were also jigging on several area lakes. Many lakes were still producing nice panfish catches. Anglers targeting panfish should vary their presentations by using smaller or larger lures and different baits, vary their depth, along with jigging or dead sticking to find what the fish want to bite. Anglers should use caution as temperatures begin to fluctuate.
Lake Erie: Reports of ice conditions have varied, and anglers should be cautious for the remainder of the ice season. The Metropark in Rockwood produced a bag limit of jumbo perch on one of the last few days where safe ice was present. The ice has completely disappeared near the Fermi power plant.
Lake St. Clair: The yellow perch action was still good in Anchor Bay. The Barracks near Selfridge seemed to produce good numbers of perch for several anglers.
Clinton River: Steelhead and brown trout were caught from shore on the open water.
Saginaw Bay: At Finn Road, about a half mile from the Spark Plug, anglers were catching walleye in 20 feet off water. At Vanderbilt Park, anglers were catching walleye and yellow perch in 8 to 10 feet of water and at Bay City Park, angers were catching walleye in 15 to 17 feet of water. On the east side of the bay, from Sebewaing to Caseville, fishing was slow with only a few anglers out. A few yellow perch were caught in Wildfowl Bay with most fish being small. Anglers need to use caution as there are a few bad spots out from Geiger Road and in Wildfowl Bay.
Saginaw River: There was open water at the confluence at Wickes Park but too much shore ice for boat fishing. Downstream at First Street, a few anglers ventured out on the ice with no success, and they reported that the current was fast and the water was dirty. Most anglers were staying off the river as there was open water around some of the bridges and the fast current didn’t help the ice conditions.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
Grand River: Water levels were very high. The Sixth Street Dam fish ladder is currently open, so migrating steelhead can get past the dam. The other fish ladders at upstream dams are expected to be opened sometime in the next two weeks after flows subside.
St. Joseph River: Fisheries staff performed beginning of season maintenance to ensure all fish ladders on the St. Joseph River are operational for the spring steelhead run. The live fish camera at the Berrien Springs fish ladder is back online. A couple dozen steelhead were in the ladder Tuesday. They all had a little bit of color, but it appeared a few fish were starting to move. River was high, but not too dirty. Some walleye and steelhead were caught.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Tawas: Some perch were caught in 12 to 120 feet of water off jigs tipped with minnows. Pike anglers were beginning to see some pike but not having any luck. There were also reports of anglers seeing smaller walleye and some lake trout.
Au Gres: Some perch and walleye were caught in the river off jigs tipped with minnows. There were a few whitefish and walleye caught just north of the break wall in 10 to 12 feet off spoons tipped with minnows and plastics.
Pine River: Anglers should use caution as the ice conditions continue to change. There were reports of quads and snowmobiles falling through the pressure cracks. There was a large pressure crack at Palmer Rd. There were some perch caught in 5 to 15 feet off jigs tipped with minnows and beaded jack hooks. Several pike were caught or speared in the same depths.
Eagle Bay Marina: There were some good catches of crappies and bluegills in 2 to 4 feet of water off jigs tipped with plastic, wax worms and minnows.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Most of the rivers were starting to see some fresh steelhead move in. The Big Manistee, Muskegon and Pere Marquette rivers all had good reports.
Crystal Lake, Benzie County: There were decent catches of yellow perch around the major points. Some smelt were starting to show up.
Green Lake: There were good catches of smelt and lake trout on the north end of the lake.
South Lake Leelanau: Anglers were catching decent numbers of walleye, mostly smaller fish.
North Lake Leelanau: Lake trout were caught at the north end and walleye were caught along the west side.
Portage Lake: Some keeper perch and pike were caught in 8 to 10 feet of water, mainly in the east side of the lake.
Houghton Lake: Anglers were reporting good catches of black crappie.
Hamlin Lake: Anglers were reporting good catches of black crappie.
Higgins Lake: There were good reports of smelt, perch (good numbers but some sorting for keepers) and lake trout.
Lake Cadillac: Anglers were having decent catches of yellow perch.
Little Bay de Noc: Areas of heavy fishing pressure were between the first and center reef, out in front of Gladstone fishing pier and areas out of the Ford River. Saunders Point produced mostly undersized fish. Smaller numbers of anglers were fishing by the Escanaba River, although most reported very little success. Walleye anglers were fishing out in front of the Gladstone fishing pier and had some success harvesting some nice walleye. Fishing out of the Ford River had been slow but some respectably sized walleye were caught. Anglers reported marking multiple schools of fish throughout the day but struggled to get commitment. Perch angling reports had been mixed. Those that ventured into deeper parts of the bay reported limited numbers, but the perch size had been very respectable. Anglers fishing shallower depths had been sorting through small fish but were make more contacts. Some area perch anglers concentrated in areas between first and center reef, mud flats, just north of Kipling and at the head of the bay.
Keweenaw Bay: Anglers who braved some of the fast winds and snow found a few whitefish, lake trout and the occasional lake herring and burbot. More and more anglers found their way out onto ice closer to Pequaming. Anglers in this area were fishing for lake trout mostly and were successful. In depths from 100 feet to 290 feet, anglers were finding lake trout of all sizes. Anglers used a mix of natural and artificial bait to catch all species but cut bait was the most popular for the lake trout. Deep water had been producing more lake trout with the whitefish still biting on classic ice jigs and rigs. Try sight fishing larger holes for a new experience. Stay vigilant while on the ice and take safety precautions.
Munising Bay: There were some reports of a few coho and splake caught. Over the weekend there were a few reports of possible schools of smelt. Most anglers reported zero catches. Anglers were seeing some whitefish on cameras but no major schools. Burbot fishing continued to be slow and spotty for anglers at night.
Les Cheneaux/Munuscong Bay: A few perch were caught in Hessel Bay, along with a few splake being caught in Wilderness Bay. They were also catching a few perch in Musky and Urie bays. Anglers were catching a few perch at Conley Point, but the fish were mostly on the smaller side. Anglers were catching a few walleye at Dan’s Resort.