Little Bay De Noc: Very cold temperatures, snow and high winds means fewer anglers and travel on the ice has been difficult. The pressure cracks are expanding and caution is a must when trying to cross them. Walleye catches were spotty throughout however the southern bay was still the most productive. Anglers out from Aronson Island reported fair catches when jigging rapalas with minnows 35 to 45 feet down along the break and 30 to 40 feet down near the Escanaba River. Whitefish action was fair to good when jigging minnows or spawn in 35 to 40 feet of water at Gladstone or 75 to 85 feet at Sand Point. For perch, anglers were taking good numbers of small fish but few keepers. The best spot for jumbo perch was out by the green buoy just north of the “Narrows”. Try minnows or wigglers in 23 to 30 feet.
Menominee: Anglers caught whitefish off Henes Park or Red Arrow Park out of Marinette. They are jigging minnows in 20 to 30 feet of water.
Menominee River: On the Wisconsin side near the Hattie St. Dam, they are still marking walleye through the ice and some fish were caught near dark. Most are jigging minnows, wax warms and rapalas. Those seeking northern pike are marking fish but only a few were caught at the Mystery Ship launch. They are jigging rapalas or using tip-ups with minnows.
Munuscong: Walleye fishing has improved. Fish were caught by those jigging or using tip-ups with minnows in 20 to 27 feet north of Pine Island and Steamboat Island.
Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers are out fishing despite the cold and snow. Perch fishing was fair in 8 to 10 feet near Rice Point and up along the west shoreline. Wigglers were the bait of choice. Some bigger perch were caught in 10 to 14 feet in Hessel Bay however there is a lot of snow on the ice so use caution.
Black Lake: The 2014 lake sturgeon fishing and spearing season will begin at 8 a.m. on February 1st. All anglers must register with the DNR to participate. They must also possess a lake sturgeon tag, which can be obtained for free at any license vendor.
Fletchers Pond: Was producing a few crappie for those using minnows, wax worms or spikes. A few pike were taken on tip-ups.
Au Sable River: Fishing pressure was down. Access to the river is good since there hasn’t been a lot of snow accumulation. If walking the snowmobile trails be sure to watch for sleds as they may not be looking for you. The Rea Road launch is usable but you will need 4-wheel drive and check the ramp for ice as you may not be able to get back up into the parking lot. Parking is limited and there is not a lot of room to maneuver. Whirlpool was the best launch for now as it was plowed, sanded and salted from River Road to the launch. The River Store is plowed with parking, but with the cold, ice flows may stop anglers from launching. The Boy Scout Camp and other spots along the river are not accessible as the two tracks are snowed in.
Higgins Lake: Lake trout and whitefish are just off the bottom out deep. Perch were caught off Treasure Island and Big Creek.
Houghton Lake: Fishing has been steady. Walleye have been caught in 8 to 10 feet of water. Try tip-ups or jigs with minnows. Pike have also been caught. Anglers will need to use caution and watch for pressure cracks and deep snow drifts.
Tawas: Was producing some perch in 15 feet off Jerry’s Marina. Anglers were taking about 15 fish per trip but the keepers were only 7 or 8 inches. A few walleye were caught in 20 feet. There were reports of a whitefish and one brown trout caught. Inside the harbor, anglers caught a few perch and a couple pike.
Au Gres: Walleye anglers going off Santiago Road were heading south and fishing in 20 feet of water. No activity at the mouth of the Pine River; the road into the access site was drifted shut.
Northwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Green Lake: Is the lake for winter smelt. Most anglers set their ice shanties up near the Betsie River and off the Music Camp. For pike, try off the State Park.
Long Lake: In Grand Traverse County can be a good spot for yellow perch and the occasional walleye.
Fife Lake: Is producing some perch. Most are fishing off the access site in 10 to 30 feet of water.
Lake Cadillac: Anglers were few and far between but those braving the elements have caught pike along the weed beds when using tip-ups with large minnows or spearing. Panfish were slow.
Lake Mitchell: Is also producing pike. The bluegill and crappie bite were hit-or-miss but should pick back up by the weekend. Try teardrops with small minnows, wax worms or spikes.
Lake Missaukee: Is producing a few perch and crappie. The better fishing is usually along the weed beds on the west side of the lake with a minnow or spike.
Manistee River: Those brave enough to fish in artic temperatures are taking steelhead. The trick is to fish the very deep holes.
Pere Marquette Lake: The U.S. Coast Guard is warning anglers and other recreational users to use extreme caution due to ice breaking operations. They will be making two trips and stopping at Ludington’s Occidental Chemical Facility. Officials say ice fishermen should remove their ice shanties and equipment from these areas. Recreational users should plan their activities carefully and avoid the shipping channels.
Southeast Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Lake Erie: Anglers are still taking some perch in the Metro Park Marina. The key is to switch up your bait and use minnows, wax worms or spikes. Brest Bay is the hot spot for walleye anglers when using small spoons tipped with a minnow. A few pike were taken on tip-ups with sucker minnows.
Detroit River: Airport Bay continues to produce perch. Anglers are using small minnows, spikes and wax worms. Perch were caught off Bellenger Park which is up near River Rouge.
Lake St. Clair: Has a good amount of ice however there is still some open water and areas with very thin ice. Those taking motorized vehicles out need to be extra careful. Perch fishing was spotty.
Harbor Beach: Ice anglers caught a few lake and brown trout near the Edison Cut.
Saginaw Bay: Up near Pinconning, anglers are getting a few perch in 5 feet of water off Newman Road. Many walleye anglers are going four miles off Linwood or off the Bay City State Park and fishing in 17 feet. On the east side, those going off Thomas Road and Sunset Bay caught walleye in the middle of the Slot in 14 feet. Drifting snow along the east side is making access and travel difficult. At Mud Creek, local perch anglers were averaging 12 to 15 fish per trip. Most fish were 8 to 9 inches long. Pike spearing was slow.
Saginaw River: Fishing was slow at Wickes Park but the occasional keeper was caught downtown off the St. Mary’s Health building. Catch rates were slow between the Zilwaukee Bridge and Bay City. Anglers did manage to catch a couple fish near the Middle Grounds and Cass Avenue or downstream of the Veteran’s Bridge. A few perch were caught off Smith Park at Essexville. Fishing at the mouth was slow.
Southwest Lower Peninsula Fishing Report
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Steelhead were in the deeper holes and hitting on jig and wax worm. A few walleye were caught below the dam. Try rapalas, bucktail jigs or a 3-inch white twister tail.
Grand River at Lansing: Those heading out the end of this week will want to target pike and walleye below the dams.
Morrison Lake: Some were crappie fishing but catch rates were hit-or-miss. Pike anglers are using tip-ups or spearing.
Reeds Lake: Anglers have caught bluegill, crappie, a few perch and some pike.
Muskegon River: Continues to produce steelhead especially for those fishing the really deep holes with small spoons, spinners or wax worms or anything that looks like a goby. Watch for ice coming down the river.