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Michigan fishing report

January 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Ice fishing conditions across Michigan continue demanding that anglers must remain cautious, the Department of Natural Resources says.
Shoreline ice may not be safe, and anglers should avoid areas near pressure cracks and where creeks or streams flow into a lake. Water levels were up in some rivers after the rain and snow melt, the DNR said Wednesday in its weekly recreational fishing report.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Doesn’t have much to report since the ice is no longer safe in Brest Bay or around the Banana Dike. Colder temperatures this week will help but it is going to take some time to shore the ice back up. Those fishing the channel in the Metropark Marina were taking a few perch and bluegills.
Detroit River: Boat anglers were catching a few perch in the canals around Gibraltar. Airport Bay was still producing some perch.
Lake St. Clair: Anglers are urged to stay away from pressure cracks and keep a watchful eye on the strong west-northwest winds. Fishing remains the same with a few perch caught. Some access sites were questionable after the thaw and damage by vehicles.
Lexington: Had a fair amount of fishing pressure for perch, but catch rates were slow. Water in the harbor was stained after the recent rains.
Saginaw Bay: Anglers are cautioned to be careful with ice conditions deteriorating. The pressure cracks are very active, causing the ice to buckle and pile up in places. Strong southwest winds may cause the ice to separate near the pressure cracks, increasing the possibility of anglers being stranded on ice floes. A number of anglers fell through the ice near Linwood last weekend. A few perch were taken east of Quanicassee off Vanderbilt Park, the marina at Sebewaing and near Rose Island in 3 feet of water.
Saginaw River: Ice conditions have deteriorated rapidly, especially south of Bay City. Wat er levels were up on both the river its tributaries, which will further erode the ice. A couple legal walleye along with many small ones were caught between the Independence Bridge and the mouth. Extreme caution needs to be used.
Tittabawassee River: Has no safe ice to report. Boat anglers fishing from the launch at Gordonville Road south of Midland were taking some walleye on jigs and minnows. Boat fishing may become more difficult this week if ice in the Chippewa River breaks up and heads downstream.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joe River: There are steelhead below the Berrien Springs Dam.
Kalamazoo River: Look for steelhead below the Allegan Dam. Try floating spawn.
Gun Lake: Yellow perch action was fair to good off the west side near the park. The ice has softened up with the warm spell so be careful along the edges.
Gull Lake: Smelt fishing picked up in the South Bay. Pike have also been caugh t.
Crooked Lake: Bluegill action was fair to good in the early morning or late evening.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Higher water levels have steelhead on the move. Fish were taken by those floating or bouncing bigger spawn bags, Hot-n-Tots or spinners off the bottom. There was good walleye action for shore anglers and those fishing off the Fulton Street Bridge. Try casting bucktail jigs, paddle tails and rapalas.
Grand River at Lansing: Had good walleye fishing at Moore’s Park when using curly tail grubs or live minnows. Those fishing near the Lyons Dam caught walleye and steelhead on curly tail grubs.
Lake Lansing: Some nice pike have been caught on tip-ups.
Reeds Lake: Still had good fishing but ice conditions warrant extreme caution.
Muskegon Lake: Shoreline ice has deteriorated with the rain and warm spell. Watch for soft ice and avoid the area where the barge went through last weekend. It might be a good idea to stay off the ice and wait for things to freeze up again. When conditions improve, try 50 to 60 feet of water for perch.
Muskegon River: Water levels are up and steelhead were caught near Bridgeton. Walleye have been caught in the lower end of the river.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Mullett Lake: Anglers are catching a few perch in 12 to 25 feet of water when using minnows or wigglers. A couple small pike were taken on tip-ups. Anglers are staying close to shore.
Long Lake: Has been yielding a few jumbo perch along with the occasional northern pike. Ice conditions are marginal so caution needs to be used.
Higgins Lake: Still has good ice and good fishing. Good numbers of smelt have been caught in 25 to 50 feet of water. Try hali-jigs with wax worms, spikes or minnows. Perch have been caught but anglers will need to move around to locate schools of fish. Good numbers of whitefish and limits of lake trout have been caught in 90 to 100 feet of water.
Houghton Lake: Reports good ice and fair fishing. Those jigging shiners in the North Bay, the Middle Grounds and the East Bay caught fish. Pike are hitting on tip-ups all over the lake. Not much on panfish yet.
Tawas Bay: Perch fishing has been very slow. The walleye action picked up some but extreme caution needs to be used. A good share of ice in the outer section of the Bay blew out so more fish were concentrated under the remaining ice. Pike spearing also picked up.
Au Gres: Perch fishing in Wigwam Bay was slow, but a few walleye were caught in 5 to 7 feet of water off Hale Road.
Au Gres River: Anglers were still catching a good number of sub-legal walleye.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Torch Lake: Did not have safe ice.
Elk Lake: Did not have safe ice.
Traverse City: Still has open water in the East Bay and the West Bay.
Lake Leelanau: Is producing perch and wal leye. A few smelt were caught on the north lake.
Crystal Lake: The ice is building. Most anglers are fishing closer to shore.
Green Lake: Ice anglers are catching smelt at night.
Cedar Lake: Pike are still hitting on tip-ups. Smelt can be caught during the day and at night.
Lake Cadillac: Has good pike fishing and some nice walleye have been caught.
Lake Mitchell: Is also producing pike, walleye and panfish.
Manistee River: Steelhead are showing up in decent numbers.
Pere Marquette River: Look for a fair to good number of steelhead.
Pentwater Lake: Opened up from the river to the boat launch.
UPPER PENINSULA
Green Bay: The bay itself has terrible ice conditions. A few anglers were set up inside the walls of the marina for trout and yellow perch, but no fish were caught. Cold weather should help form new ice, but anglers will still need to use extreme caution.
Menominee River: Open water and pressure cracks are making for dangerous ice conditions. A few anglers were targeting panfish off the Menekaunee Access site but only a few small bluegills were caught.
Little Bay de Noc: Ice conditions have worsened amid warm temperatures and rain and several vehicles have gone through the ice. Ice shifting near pressure cracks has created some barriers and should be avoided. Anglers also should avoid river mouths. Anglers were still heading out for walleye. Good numbers of fish were caught in the flats near Kipling, but most were on the small side. Try rapalas or tip-ups with minnows in 25 to 35 feet of water. Anglers jigging wigglers and minnows were catching a few perch in 10 to 17 feet of water out from the Day’s River and south toward Kipling. There was good pike spearing east of Butler Island in 10 feet of water on natural and artificial decoys.
Munuscong Bay: There have been fair catch rates for walleye averaging 15 to 19 inches in s hallow waters on the west end of the bay. Most anglers were jigging minnows. Those targeting walleye have also caught some nice perch along with a few pike.
Cedarville and Hessel: A few yellow perch in the 10- to 13-inch range have been caught in 8 to 10 feet of water in Hessel Bay. Wigglers worked best. Those fishing Musky Bay caught perch and pike but many were sublegal. Cedarville Bay and the waters around Little Joe Island were producing a few more legal-size perch.

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