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Michigan fishing report

January 13, 2010 at 09:43 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Ice fishing is well under way on greater Saginaw Bay, but anglers are cautioned to be very careful about expansion cracks, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday.

Ice conditions should improve with continued cold weather. Anglers are advised to use caution when going out on the ice and always test the ice thickness with a spud, the DNR said in its weekly recreational fishing report.

Lake Erie: Ice anglers in Brest Bay are marking and catching walleye on shiner minnows, Rapalas and spoons. Perch are being taken around Banana Dike and Point Mouillee on teardrops with shiner minnows. Perch are also being taken in the main channel heading into the Metropark Marina on wigglers and minnows. Bluegill are being caught on wax worms and spikes in the dock area.

Detroit River: Anglers are taking yellow perch in Airport Bay at the south en d of Grosse Ile on teardrops with shiner minnows. Anglers are catching yellow perch and bluegill by the boat launch at Gibraltar.

Lake St. Clair: While there is safe shore ice there are still many unsafe areas of thin ice, some with snow cover, and many quads and snowmobiles have gone through the ice over the past week. With warmer temperatures forecast later this week there will continue to be thin spots. Anglers have been catching lots of small perch with a few larger perch mixed in. The areas being fished the most are Gino’s, Crocker, the Spillway, Selfridge and Fairhaven.

Lexington: Has a lot of fishing activity, but the catch is mostly small perch.

Port Sanilac: Anglers are just starting to fish the harbor, but the water is still very turbid.

Saginaw Bay: Perch fishing was good in 3 to 7 feet of water in Wigwam Bay, with most anglers getting on at Hale Road, the mouth of the Pine River or Palmer Road. Walleye anglers were also fishing at these si tes at night. Some perch were also being taken off Pinconning Park and in the basin at Linwood Marina. Some good catches of 8- to 10-inch perch were also reported near Buoy 22. Many of the access sites along the west side of the bay were not being used due to numerous expansion cracks offshore. Some perch are being taken from 5 feet of water off Vanderbilt Park near Quanicassee. A few walleye were taken about 2.5 miles out. There is sporadic perch action from Sebewaing to Bay Port in 5 to 10 feet of water, mostly inside the islands. Ice conditions are uncertain outside the islands. Watch the cracks.

Saginaw River: There is a lot of angling activity on the lower river from the Independence Bridge downstream to the mouth and out into the bay. There are many sublegal walleye in the river and a lot of sorting is necessary. There is little fishing activity upstream between Bay City and Saginaw, since ice through that reach is still iffy.

The ice in southwest Michigan varies. Some lakes in the region such as Gull Lake still have open water or skim ice only. Anglers need to use extreme caution and travel only by foot when going out on the ice.

St. Joe River: Boats were still trolling for steelhead and walleye.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Anglers are picking up steelhead on white jigs and wax worms. Walleye are being taken on bucktail jigs.

Reeds Lake: Anglers are catching perch on glow-in-the-dark jigs with spikes or wax worms and minnows. Bluegill are hitting on orange and brown teardrops tipped with spikes or mousies. Crappie are in 30 feet of water, fishing 15 feet down. Pike are being taken on golden shiner minnows and suckers in 20 to 30 feet of water, 3 to 4 feet off the bottom. On the east end of the lake, anglers are spearing pike in 6 to 10 feet of water.

Lake Lansing: Pike fishing continues on tip-ups with pike minnows.

Muskrat Lake: Anglers are fishing for panfish.

Muskegon Lake: Anglers are targeting pike in the narrows, Snug Harbor and in shallow areas and bays. They are waiting for better ice to get into deeper water where the perch fishing is usually better.

White Lake: Fishing for perch and pike has been slow.

Gun Lake: Anglers are finding bluegill and black crappie.

Gull Lake: Anglers are taking smelt at night on the south bay. The rest of the lake may not be safe yet.

Mullett Lake: Anglers are starting to catch a few perch, but overall activity has been slow. A few perch are being caught with minnows at both ends of the lake. Ice thickness varies. Ice has just formed within recent days in the middle section of the lake.

Thunder Bay River: There is ice in the turning basin and marina. Catch rates are still slow.

Hubbard Lake: Ice anglers are reporting good catches of walleye, b ut there are still open spots so use caution on the ice.

Au Sable River: Some steelhead can be found from the mouth to Foote Dam. Fishing should pick up with warmer weather.

Higgins Lake: Ice anglers are catching rainbow trout in the shallows. Some smelt and a few lake trout have been taken.

Houghton Lake: Pike are being caught lake-wide. Walleye are being taken in East Bay and the north shore. Bluegill fishing has been spotty and a few crappie have been caught.

Au Gres: The ice isn’t safe yet, so most fishing activity is in the river. Anglers there are getting a few walleye, with a fair number of sublegal fish to sort through.

Tawas Bay: Some pike are being speared in 10 to 15 feet of water. Walleye fishing is still spotty, with evening fishing being the best. Walleye anglers would like to get out to deeper water, but the ice out there isn’t safe yet. Perch fishing is slow, with almost nothing but small perch being caught.

Traverse City: Both the East Bay and the West Bay have shoreline ice only.

Lake Missaukee: Ice fishermen are out targeting panfish.

Lake Cadillac and Lake Mitchell: Some nice northern pike and panfish are being caught.

Manistee Lake: Fishing has been slow with a few small pike and perch being caught.

Manistee River: Still producing some steelhead but has slowed with the cold weather.

Pere Marquette River: Has a fair number of steelhead.

Green Bay/Menominee River: Ice conditions on the bay are still poor but are improving with the cold temperatures. Anglers have been fishing between the docks in the marina for panfish, northern pike and trout. Pike and trout fisherman are jigging and using tip-ups.

Little Bay de Noc: Ice conditions from just north of Saunders Point to the head of the bay are reported to be stable wi th a few exceptions. Extreme caution should still be used. Saunders Point, the edges of Butler Island and the mouths of the rivers should be avoided. South of the Narrows the ice extends just past the Terrace Inn with most of the area considered unsafe. Open water remains from the Escanaba River south as the ships have been keeping this area open. The best walleye catches were in the Gladstone area jigging Rapalas in 25 to 35 feet of water in early morning or at dusk. Anglers also reported good catches of whitefish. Fair to good catches of perch were reported in the Kipling area with best catches in 10 to 12 feet of water jigging glow teardrops with spikes. There are also good catches of perch at the head of the bay jigging wigglers in 8 to 13 feet of water. Anglers spearing for northern pike reported seeing better numbers of fish with several large ones harvested.

Cedarville/Hessel: Cedarville is seeing more action, but fish overall are small. Anglers on Musky Bay are fishing minnows, wax worms and wigglers in 12 to 14 feet of water. Legal perch catches are fair, with many undersized perch and pike being thrown back. Anglers fishing on Hessel Bay are fishing in 12 to 14 feet of water catching 9- to 13-inch yellow perch on wigglers. Walleye fishing has been good at Munuscong in 3.5 feet of water. Walleye are averaging 15 to 19 inches with anglers jigging with minnows on the west end of the bay. Some anglers targeting walleye are also reporting nice catches of perch and pike.

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