Report from the Dock
Fishing pressure has been very light across most of the state. Some anglers report they are catching good numbers of walleyes in places like the Detroit River, Saginaw Bay, and Munuscong Bay but access is limited in most areas as skid piers have been removed and launching is tricky.
Steelhead fishing remains a viable option and reports of good fishing have come from anglers on the St. Joseph, Manistee, Pere Marquette, Boardman, and other rivers up and down the state.
Lake St. Clair
Fishing pressure has been light on Lake St. Clair. Anglers who still have their boats out are catching very good numbers of walleyes on Bandits between 9 Mile Road and the mouth of the Detroit River. Perch fishing also has been good off the Grosse Point Yacht Club and in Canada off The Hump. Some anglers are catching good numbers of bluegills, perch, and crappies in the marinas. There has been some skim ice so anglers are punching a hole through the ice and fishing off the docks. Be sure you have permission to fish as many of the marinas are private. Deer hunting has been good in St. Clair County. Bucks are getting in on some late rutting activity. Waterfowl hunting remains good. Hunters report that divers are moving through and a few local puddle ducks are still being found, too.
Lakeside Fishing Shops, (586) 777-7003.
Fishing pressure has been very light in Oakland County with no ice to report. Deer hunting has been good at Bald Mountain and Pontiac Lake state recreation areas. Hunting pressure has been high. Hunters are reminded that during the muzzleloader season in Zone 3, Dec. 2-11, they can use any firearm that was legal for use during the firearms season. Duck hunting has been good in the area with divers and a few puddle ducks still being found.
Lakes Village Stop/Mobile Gas Station, (248) 693-4565.
Walleye fishing remains good on the Detroit River, but fishing pressure is diminishing with the colder weather. Shore anglers are still catching fish on crankbaits and crawlers when there is no skim ice. Boat anglers were catching fish while jigging with soft plastics or handlining. Good action has been reported near the Ambassador Bridge and in the shipping channel. Deer hunting has been good in rural areas and duck hunting remains good, too.
Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, (734) 379-9762.
Trenton Lighthouse, (734) 675-7080.
Horse Island Tackle, (734) 692-9839.
St. Joseph Area
The firearms deer season was pretty good in St. Joseph County, but poor weather kept some hunters out of the woods. The muzzleloader season should be good. Duck hunting has been good. Steelhead fishing remains very good in the St. Joe River. Anglers back-trolling crankbaits in gold and black, or gold and orange have caught good numbers of fish. Spawn also has been producing good results. A few whitefish and steelhead have been caught in Lake Michigan.
Silver Beach Fishing, (269) 338-3182.
Fishing pressure has been very light on inland lakes in the area. A few anglers have caught good numbers of perch and bluegills on Paw Paw Lake. Worms and waxworms both have produced. The firearms deer season was good when hunters could beat the high winds. The muzzleloader season should be good.
Ellinee Bait and Tackle, (269) 468-7522.
The firearms deer season was very good. A lot of big bucks have been taken and deer numbers remain high. Muzzleloader season also should be very good. Squirrel hunting has been good and numbers are high. Fishing pressure has been very light as most folks are focusing on deer hunting.
Al and Pete’s Sport Shop, (269) 945-4417.
Grand Rapids Area
Steelhead are still being caught in the Grand River. Spinners, spawn, and beads all have attracted attention. The firearms deer season was very good and the muzzleloader season also should be good. There are a lot of deer in Kent County.
Al & Bob’s Sports, (616) 245-9156.
Saginaw Bay Area
Walleye fishing remains good when the wind isn’t blowing people off the water. Anglers trolling with crankbaits in 18 to 23 feet of water have caught fish at the Spark Plug and the Dumping Grounds. Waterfowl hunting has been fantastic on the Bay. A lot of diver ducks are being taken. The firearms deer season was very good. A lot of decent bucks were tagged. The muzzleloader season should also be solid.
Linwood Party and Sporting Goods, (989) 697-3825.
Franks Great Outdoors, (989) 697-5341.
The firearms deer season was very good in Isabella County with a lot of big bucks being taken. Hunters report that they are still seeing some big bucks around and the muzzleloader season should also be solid. Fishing pressure has been very light. Most anglers are waiting for safe ice to form.
Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods, (989) 644-3501.
Perch fishing has been good on Muskegon Lake when the wind allows anglers to get out. Fishing pressure has been light. The firearms deer season was good and there are still a lot of deer in the area so the muzzleloader and late archery seasons should stack up to be pretty decent, too. Waterfowl hunting has been good with a lot of divers being taken.
Fish-on Charters and Bait, (616) 402-4307.
Burbot and lake trout are hitting in Lake Huron off the breakwall in Caseville. Big minnows are catching the burbot, and lakers are hitting spoons. A few walleyes have been caught, too. Perch are hitting perch minnows fished off the docks at Bayport and Bayshsore. The firearms deer season was pretty fair, really. Waterfowl hunting has been quiet. There was no snow on the ground.
Walsh Gun & Tackle, (989) 856-4465.
The firearms deer season was good in northern St. Clair County with a lot of nice bucks being shot. The muzzleloader season should be good, too. There was no snow on the ground. Walleye fishing remains good in the St. Clair River. Night anglers are whipping and day anglers are jigging, but both are catching fish. Atlantic salmon and steelhead are hitting at Lexington Harbor and good numbers of coho salmon have been caught at Port Sanilac. Spoons, spawn, minnows, and twisters are all catching fish.
Anderson’s Pro Bait, (810) 984-3232.
East Jordan Area
The firearms deer season was decent with a lot of does being taken along with a few nice bucks. Heavy snow and high winds had a bit of a negative effect on the early part of hunt. Skim ice is starting to form on some of the inland lakes but it was not safe for foot traffic yet. Anglers are waiting for solid ice to form and hoping for an early ice season. No word from steelheaders on the local rivers.
Tom’s Bait & Tackle, (231) 536-3521.
Traverse City Area
The firearms deer season was good with a lot of successful hunters. Several decent-sized bucks were taken along with a lot of does. Heavy snow up to 16 inches put a bit of a damper on the early part of the season and high winds moved in during the second week of gun hunting. Perch are hitting in West Grand Traverse Bay off Suttons Bay and off Lee Point. The best action has been in 45 to 75 feet of water. Steelhead fishing has been good on the Manistee and Boardman rivers. Wigglers and wax worms have been the bait of choice as opposed to spawn. Inland lakes remain open, but fishing pressure there has been very light.
WildFishing Guide Service, www.wildfishing.com.
Hunters reported mixed results during the firearms deer season. There was up to a foot of snow for the opener. Muzzleloader season should be decent. Skim ice was starting to form on some of the lakes, but high winds keep breaking it up. Steelhead and a few coho have been caught on the Manistee River at Tippy Dam.
Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop, (231) 775-5412.
Houghton Lake Area
Houghton Lake remains open, but fishing pressure has been nonexistent. Stone flies, jigs, and wax worms under floats are catching steelhead on the Manistee River and the Pere Marquette rivers. The firearms deer season was pretty good in Roscommon County with several really nice bucks being taken. Hunters had good tracking snow early but it all melted by the second week. The muzzleloader season should be good.
Lyman’s on the Lake, (989) 422-3231.
Higgins Lake Area
The firearms deer season was decent with a lot of does tagged. There was snow on the ground for most of the season but it was gone by the end. The muzzleloader season should be pretty good. Skim ice was forming on some of the smaller lakes in the area but high winds broke it all up. A few rainbows have been taken on the northwest end of Higgins Lake by shore anglers fishing with spawn.
Sportsman’s Barn, (989) 821-9511
The firearms deer season was good with a lot of nice bucks killed in Chippewa County including several big ones. There was snow on the ground throughout the season but it has all melted by now. The muzzleloader season should be good with more cold weather in the immediate forecast. Walleye fishing has been very good on Munuscong Bay, but all the public docks have been pulled out so launching is an adventure. Skim ice is starting to form on some of the smaller lakes but nothing safe for foot traffic quite yet.
Wilderness Treasures, (906) 647-4002.
There was no safe ice on Manistique Lakes but with cold temperatures in the forecast, anglers there were hoping for an early ice season. The firearms deer season was decent and hunters were looking forward to decent action during the muzzleloader and late archery seasons.
Mick’s Bait Shop, (906) 586-6040.
Ice was starting to form on some of the smaller lakes in Marquette County but none of them were safe enough for foot traffic. Warmer temperatures in the forecast did not bode well for an early ice season. The firearms deer season was fair with high winds making hunting difficult. The muzzleloader season should be good if the weather settles down just a little bit.
Jonny’s Outdoors, (906) 235-2894.
There was no safe ice on Lake Huron’s Little Bay de Noc, but skim ice was forming and ice anglers had their fingers crossed that safe ice was in the near future. The firearms deer season was good with several big bucks being taken in Delta County. Muzzleloader and the late archery seasons should be good, too.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Ice is forming on the inland lakes and anglers are hoping to get out fishing on safe ice soon. A few anglers are catching splake on spawn while fishing from shore in Keweenaw Bay. The Baraga side of the bay has been the best. The firearms deer season was good early on and hunters tagged several nice bucks. The action slowed considerably after that. The muzzleloader season should be decent if the weather cooperates.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Heavy snow put a damper on the early firearms season, which turned out to be a fair season overall. The muzzleloader season should be decent if the weather cooperates. Ice was forming in some of the bays on Lake Gogebic and anglers there were hoping to get out fishing soon.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
The firearms deer season was fair on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Some hunters reported decent success and others said it was slow. Heavy snow early and high winds late put a damper on hunting success. Hunters are hoping for better weather for the muzzleloader season. There was no ice yet in the Keweenaw Peninsula and warm temperatures are not cooperating with ice anglers.
Northwoods Sporting Goods, (906) 482-5210.
The firearms deer season was pretty slim in Ontonagon County. Heavy snow hindered deer and hunter movement. Very few big bucks were taken. The muzzleloader season should be good if hunters can get out. Skim ice is starting to form when the heavy snow arrived so ice making has slowed.
Grieg’s Taxidermy & Tackle, (906) 884-2770.