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Michigan fishing report

February 18, 2010 at 07:39 AM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Midwinter weather conditions still demand that anglers pay close attention to ice conditions, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says.

Bigger panfish are being caught in deeper waters, while those seeking pike have done well with tip-ups or when spearing, the DNR said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report. Walleye action continues statewide and steelhead can be found in many of the major river systems.


Lake Erie: The ice was holding for foot traffic only, especially beyond the large pressure crack. Walleye were caught in 15 feet of water in Brest Bay in the evening or early morning. Walleye have been caught near the Banana Dike for those fishing off Sigler Road and Roberts Road. Yellow perch were caught in the Metropark Marina, but no big numbers yet. Try wigglers or spikes.

Detroit River: Perch have been caught in the canals around Gibr altar. Perch action in Airport Bay has slowed some, but some big fish were still being caught. More pike have moved in as well.

Lexington: Had lots of activity but catch rates were slow with only a few perch and a couple northern pike taken on minnows.

Port Austin: Has a few shanties out in the harbor. Most are only catching small perch or spearing the occasional pike. Lake trout can be seen throughout the harbor, but the season is closed at this time.

Saginaw Bay: Anglers need to use extreme caution when venturing out. Ice rescues are still taking place on the east side of the bay after people, machines and even a dog went through the ice. The west side of the bay has anglers crossing two major pressure cracks. A few perch were caught in 8 feet of water off White’s Beach. Walleye anglers were going out from Erickson Road and off Linwood to waters 18 to 22 feet deep. No word on ice conditions at those locations but it’s safe to assume there are active press ure cracks. A few walleye were caught out by Spoils Island and off the mouth of the Saginaw River, but the action has since slowed. Look for perch off Vanderbilt Park near Quanicassee. Some walleye anglers were heading out 10 miles off Callahan Road and Thomas Road. At Sebewaing, water in the marina remains cloudy. A few nice perch in the 9- to 11-inch range were caught near Bay Shore Camp and in front of the sugar plant. Perch were caught using jigging beads in 4 feet of water near Lone Tree Island and Defoe Island, but catch rates were not consistent. Anglers need to pay close attention to the pressure crack running from Defoe Island to Pap’s Place; anglers trying to cross it have fallen through. New pressure cracks along with areas of open water have been reported between North Island and Sand Point. At Caseville, a few walleye were caught after dark from the marina and out along the breakwall. Be careful on the ice past the Christmas tree along the breakwall because it h asn’t had time to firm up since the thaw and high winds a few weeks back.

Saginaw River: Did not have much activity due to questionable ice conditions. In Bay City, most anglers were fishing from the Independence Bridge down to the mouth. While they are catching a good number of sublegal walleye, they are still getting enough keepers to make it interesting.

Tittabawassee River: Boat anglers using jigs were catching some decent walleye below the Dow Dam. Those launching at the Caldwell Ramp south of Midland will need to punch their way through the ice before they get to open water.

St. Joe River: Try steelhead fishing below the Berrien Springs Dam.

Kalamazoo River: Look for fair to good steelhead fishing below the Allegan Dam.

Holland: There is no safe ice around the piers.

Grand Haven: Also has no safe ice around the piers.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is low an d clear. Anglers need to be careful near the center run and the quarry hole by the dam. Anglers are walking down with smaller boats but those over 14 feet most likely will bottom out. Boat and shore anglers are catching fair to good numbers of steelhead. They are jigging the center run, along the east side and above the coffer dam with 4-inch pink or red worms under a bobber. Those fishing near the Sixth Street Dam also caught steelhead using half a crawler or dead salted shiners. Walleye were hitting on bucktail jigs or twister tails near the Fulton Street Bridge and the east wall.

Grand River at Lansing: Walleye and northern pike have been caught at Moore’s Park and the North Lansing Dam. Moore’s Park is producing more fish while North Lansing is producing bigger fish.

Morrison Lake: Anglers were catching bluegill and crappie in deeper water.

Duck Lake: In Calhoun County is producing some big bluegills and walleye in 15 to 25 feet of water. For walleye, t ry tip-ups in the early morning or late evening.

Muskrat Lake: Is producing some crappie. Try deeper water just off the launch site along the west side of the lake.

Reeds Lake: Perch can still be found in 35 to 40 feet of water. Pike were taken on big shiners or sucker minnows in 10 to 40 feet of water. Many are spearing. Crappie can be found in 30 to 40 feet of water.

Muskegon Lake: The west end is producing some perch. Bluegills were biting near the state park campground. Anglers are gaining access off Harbor Town south of the channel. Those fishing off Heritage Landing caught some large pike along with a few steelhead. Pike, walleye and perch have been caught along the east end of the lake.

Mullett Lake: Some bigger perch were caught on minnows and wax worms. Pike fishing was slow. A few cisco were caught in deep water.

Burt Lake: Still has a few perch and walleye.

Higgins Lake: Perch can still be found in 20 to 40 feet of water during the day and switch to smelt in the evening and after dark. Be ready to sort out the small perch. Lake trout action has been very good with fish caught on blues and greys in 85 to 100 feet of water. A nice 45-inch pike was caught recently.

Houghton Lake: The bite has picked back up and so have catch rates for walleye and bluegills. Anglers will want to target waters 12 feet or deeper to find the bigger fish. Good numbers of pike have been caught on tip-ups, but few were keepers.

Tawas: Pike spearing was slow because of cloudy water conditions. Walleye action was slow with only a few fish taken in 15 to 20 feet of water when fishing at night. A few nice perch in the 7- to 9-inch ranges were caught but not in big numbers.

Au Gres: The ice offshore is not safe. In Wigwam Bay, perch and walleye were caught off Hale Road, but anglers were crossing active pressure cracks to get to where the f ish were biting. Extreme caution needs to be used. Perch fishing was slow off Pine River Road and Palmer Road.

Au Gres River: Walleye anglers are taking more small ones than keepers.

Elk Lake: Lake trout have been caught in the north end of the lake in 80 to 100 feet of water. Spear anglers are looking for muskie along the southern end of the lake. Perch were caught but not in big numbers.

Traverse City: Has drift ice only which is not safe.

Crystal Lake: Smelt anglers are still taking fish at night on jigs with wax worms or spikes. Perch can still be found, but the fish are running small.

Big Glen Lake: Perch fishing was hit-or-miss. Look for bluegills and crappie along the south end of the lake in 15 to 25 feet of water.

Green Lake: Anglers are fishing for smelt in the northeast corner of the lake between the Music Camp and the Betsie River. For pike, try the shallo ws off the State Park.

Lake Missaukee: Is producing bluegills.

Lake Cadillac: Some nice pike have been caught on tip-ups but the action is hit-or-miss. The bigger crappie were caught on minnows and wax worms in the early morning or evening. Bluegills were starting to bite, but most were small.

Lake Mitchell: Is also good for some big northern pike and crappie.

Manistee River: Trout anglers will find a fair number of steelhead.

Hamlin Lake: Crappie and bluegills are moving to deeper waters. Try 15 to 30 feet in the early morning or evening. Try the Narrows for perch and walleye.

Keweenaw Bay: Limits of lake herring were caught in 40 to 70 feet of water. Most were fishing 8 to 10 feet down during the first hour of daylight then dropping down 20 to 25 feet. Try fishing Light House Point and south to the L’Anse Marina, then west to the Baraga Marina. Whitefish were caught on the bo ttom in 80 to 105 feet of water. Fishing isn’t recommended at Sand Point, where the ice has broken up and there was open water in recent days.

Menominee River: Small bluegill and yellow perch were caught at the Menekaunee slip when jigging minnows. Sixth Street had good ice but not many anglers were out. A few northern pike were caught on tip-ups near the Mystery Ship. Trout anglers wading and casting off Boom Island caught brown trout on flies. Walleye were caught through the ice at the Hattie Street Dam. Try jigging with or without minnows or tip-ups. Most fish were caught in the later afternoon or evening.

Green Bay: Ice in the bay is improving, but few anglers were out. Lots of small perch have been caught in the marina.

Little Bay de Noc: Ice conditions remain about the same with most anglers fishing between the Escanaba River and the head of the bay. Some are fishing as far south as Portage Point, but the pressure cracks have made the ice dangerous an d should be avoided. Lots of fish were marked throughout the bay, but catch rates were slow. A few walleye were caught near the Escanaba River on tip-ups with minnows or jigging rapalas in 25 to 35 feet of water. Some large walleye and a few perch were caught at the head of the bay when using tip-ups with minnows in 10 to 23 feet of water near the Day’s River. Perch anglers were marking good numbers of small fish in the Butler Island area in 6 to 12 feet of water. Some large perch were caught south of the Narrows when jigging minnows in 20 to 33 feet of water. Good numbers of whitefish remain in the flats by the Terrace Bay Inn, but few anglers were taking advantage.

Munuscong Bay: Catch rates were slow everywhere.

Cedarville and Hessel: Perch fishing has picked up and so has the size of fish caught, even though a lot of undersized perch and pike are still present. Anglers are using wax worms and minnows in 6 to 12 feet of water. The Moscoe Channel and Government Bay were hit-or-miss, but bigger fish were caught when the bite was on. Pike were speared in Musky Bay.

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