Ice fishing continues but heavy snow cover will not only make travel on the ice difficult, but will also make it harder to see areas with pressure cracks and other dangers. Slow down and watch for snow drifts. Use extreme caution.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie – Walleye have been caught but reports were spotty. Anglers are still heading out near the Banana Dike. Bluegills were caught in the Metro Park Marina and Lake Point Marina. Try small tear drops with red spikes or mousies.
Detroit River – Airport Bay is still good for perch and bluegills for those using spikes, mousies and minnows. Gibraltar was good for jumbo perch 8 to 12 inches. Shore anglers are fishing off docks and boat anglers were fishing the canals.
Lake St. Clair – Ice fishing is going strong with mixed reports coming in. Perch fishing was fair at best. Heavy snow in the forecast will create slush and make travel on the ice difficult, especially for ORV’s.
Lexington – Fishing pressure was light however a few rainbow and brown trout were caught by those jigging small spoons with minnows or wax worms.
Port Sanilac – Is producing some brown and rainbow trout. Try 16 to 20 feet of water with minnows or wax worms.
Saginaw Bay – Cold weather continues to hamper catch rates. Deep snow is beginning to make travel more difficult for all-terrain vehicles. Anglers need to use extreme caution when traveling across the pressure cracks. Watch those areas closely especially after strong winds this week. Those with cameras are seeing fish but had a hard time getting them to bite. A few perch were caught anywhere from 1 to 6 miles off Pine River and Palmer Roads. Watch out for the pressure cracks. Perch were caught in shallow waters off White’s Beach, but the fish were small. Walleye and perch anglers are going out 5 miles off Pinconning Road. Walleye anglers were 7 miles off Erickson Road and 8 miles off Linwood. Perch were still caught in 5 to 7 feet of water off Vanderbilt Park. At Thomas Road, anglers are heading out 10 to 12 miles across The Bar to fish waters 30 feet deep. Few anglers were perch fishing between Sebewaing and Rose Island but those spearing pike did well in the marina in Sebewaing. Some are looking for walleye out near the Slot. A few more were perch fishing at Bay Port and Mud Creek. Catch rates were spotty so move around until you find a school of fish. Lake trout were caught at Caseville.
Saginaw River – Lots of sublegal walleye have been caught between Saginaw and the mouth of the river. Those fishing just past the Independence Bridge did manage to catch a few keeper walleye and some perch. Again, those with cameras can see the bigger walleye down there but can not get them to bite.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph River – Weather permitting, steelhead have been caught. Watch for shelf ice on the colder mornings.
Diamond Lake – In Cass County is producing some bluegill. Try a tear drop with wax worms or spikes.
Coldwater Lake – Had a good number of ice anglers. The bluegill bite was best in the morning or evening.
Gun Lake – Is also producing some bluegills in the early morning or evening. For walleye, try jigging rapalas off Murphy’s Point. For pike, try tip-us with sucker minnows.
Kalamazoo River – Steelhead were caught up near the Allegan Dam. Watch for shelf ice.
Duck Lake – Had good reports of panfish action, mostly bluegills.
Grand River at Grand Rapids – Steelhead fishing was slow but a few walleye have been caught near the 6th Street Dam and the bridge at Fulton Street.
Grand River at Lansing – Is still good for northern pike at both the Moore’s Park Dam and the North Lansing Dam.
Lake Lansing – Is producing a lot of pike on tip-ups with sucker minnows. Most of the fish are running small but anglers were still having fun catching them.
Muskrat Lake – Had some good reports on panfish but more crappie than bluegills.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Mullett Lake – Anglers still catching perch on minnows and wigglers in 20 to 45 feet of water. Spearing action was still slow but those fishing hook and line did manage to catch a few pike. Cisco and walleye fishing were slow.
Higgins Lake – Catch rates are slow with cold weather. A few jumbo perch were taken in 18 to 40 feet of water and pike spearing was good. Try tip-ups for whitefish and lake trout. Smelt action was slow and will be until it warms up.
Tawas – Catch rates for perch, walleye, and pike were slow. Fishing pressure was light due to deep snow.
Au Gres – Anglers were traveling way out to waters 32 feet deep and beyond. Effort was light and success was spotty.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Lake Missaukee – Is producing a fair to good number of bluegills.
Lake Cadillac – Is producing some crappie along with a few perch and bluegills. Pike action continues for those spearing or using tip-ups.
Lake Mitchell – Is still producing a good number of pike.
Manistee River – Boat anglers are still taking some steelhead all the way up to Tippy Dam. Fish the deeper holes when the temperatures drop.
Keweenaw Bay – Yellow perch and smelt were caught out from the Baraga Marina in 30 to 40 feet of water. Best time to fish was sunrise to 10:00am. Lake whitefish and lake trout were caught in 80 to 115 feet of water east of the Baraga Marina. Coho and lake herring were caught between the lighthouse at Sand Point and south or west towards Bucks Marina. Be sure to check the ice ahead of you in this area. Coho, herring and a couple rainbow trout were caught out from the Fall’s River in L’Anse. Watch the ice, especially near the open water at the mouth of the river.
Little Bay De Noc – Ice conditions were good north of the Escanaba River however south of the river is still dangerous due to shipping activity. Anglers have started looking for whitefish off Sand Point, but no reports have come in. Walleye were caught near the head of the bay when using tip-ups in 13 to 20 feet of water and off the Center Reef when jigging rapalas with minnows in 22 to 28 feet of water. Some are also fishing near the mouth of the Escanaba River in 25 to 30 feet of water. Anglers have started fishing down near Portage Point. Those taking motorized vehicles out are reminded of the dangers in this area; extreme caution needs to be used at all times. Perch fishing was slow but some nice fish were still reported between the Center Reef and the Second Reed when jigging minnows in 18 to 25 feet of water or off the beach at Gladstone in 25 feet of water. A good number of northern pike were reported off the mouth of the Day’s River in 13 to 19 feet of water when jigging for using tip-ups with sucker minnows.
Indian Lake – Ice conditions are still poor near the mouth of the Indian River, just north of Silver Creek as well as north and south of the boat launch in Lange’s Bay. These locations will have poor ice all season so anglers need to stay away from them. The big pressure crack is still out there in the middle of the lake. More walleye have been caught near the rock pile in the middle of the lake in 5 feet of water but many were sublegal. Try tip-ups with 2 inch minnows or jigging a Swedish Pimple with or without a minnow. A good number of perch were caught along the northeast shore and in Lange’s Bay. Some were over 9 inches but most were smaller.
Munuscong Bay – Walleye are scattered so catch rates were still slow. Look for perch in shallow waters 3 to 6 feet deep.
Cedarville and Hessel – Cold weather helps the ice but slows the bite. Those willing to put in the time are catching perch along the west and east end of Hessel Bay. Try wigglers and minnows in 6 to 14 feet of water. Musky Bay had a limited number of anglers catching a few perch in 10 feet of water with wigglers, wax worms or minnows.