Marquette: Anglers are ice fishing however caution needs to be used because ice thickness varies from one area to the next. A few ice anglers were targeting menominee and splake out from the Lower Harbor but catch rates were poor. Some are fishing near the bubblers, however few fish were caught.
Chocolay River: The wayside on M-28 is plowed. The river is frozen however ice thickness is not uniform because of the current. Anglers typically fish for steelhead and brown trout this time of year.
AuTrain: A few anglers were targeting coho and steelhead out from the Rock River, but few bites were reported as ice fishing was slow. No activity to report from the Brownstone Launch or the AuTrain River. All areas are iced in and the launch areas are not plowed.
Munising: Ice in the bay is very thick and may be a challenge for those without a power auger. Anglers are targeting whitefish, however catch rates were slow. For splake, catch rates were slow and the vast majority of fish were sub-legal. Those fishing in Trout Bay caught coho along with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. Small perch were caught at Sand Point.
Little Bay De Noc: Angler participation was down as deep snow is making travel difficult. Catch rates for walleye were fair with Portage Point and Second Reef the hot spots. Anglers used tip-ups with minnows or were jigging rapalas in 24 feet on the Second Reef and 40 to 50 feet near Portage Point. Some fish were suspended 10 to 12 feet from the bottom. Sand Point was producing a fair number of whitefish in 75 to 90 feet and off the Terrace Bay Inn in Gladstone in 30 to 45 feet. Minnows and spawn work best. Perch fishing was slow but a few fish were taken in 14 to 17 feet near Kipling. A few jumbo perch were caught in the Kipling Flats in 23 to 30 feet.
Menominee: Anglers are still targeting whitefish off Henes Park and Red Arrow Park. They are using a jig with a small piece of minnow or wax worm in 30 to 40 feet. Catch rates were fair.
Menominee River: Those targeting panfish are jigging wax worms off the Menikaunee launch or behind K-Mart. Catch rates were still a bit slow however some bluegills were caught. Pike are still being marked off the Mystery Ship launch but few were caught. Anglers are jigging rapalas or using tip-ups with large minnows. For walleye, anglers are fishing through the ice on the Wisconsin side near the Hattie Street Dam. Catch rates were fair to good with the occasional whitefish also caught. Most are jigging a piece of minnow or wax worm. Some are targeting trout in the open water on the Michigan side but no fish were caught.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Au Sable River: Has steelhead in good numbers. Anyone making the effort to get to the open areas on the river should be successful when using spawn, wax worms or small spinners. There is ice built up along the banks but open water areas up river between the Whirlpool and the dam. Parking is at a minimum in most places. You may be able to launch at Whirlpool and Rea Road, but launches have ice built up so you may have to break through to launch a boat. The snowmobile trails have been very active so use caution if walking on the trials.
Higgins Lake: Some are taking smelt at night. Those heading out are catching lake trout in deep water. Try greys just off the bottom. For perch, try near the Sunken Island, Detroit Point or Flag Point. For rainbow trout, try up near the Conference Center and Big Creek.
Houghton Lake: Catch rates for bluegill were slow but should improve as the weather warms. Try along the weed beds in 10 feet or more for walleye.
Lake St. Helen: Catch rates were slow but fish have been caught. For pike, try tip-ups with large minnows. Anglers will find crappie in waters eight feet or deeper. They were hitting on small minnows and wax worms. The lake is producing a few perch ranging 10 to 12 inches but no big numbers. Most anglers are fishing First Lake especially the north and northwest side as well as off the boat launch.
Tawas: Perch were caught off Jerry’s Marina and inside the harbor. Most fish were six to eight inches but a few were up near the 10 inch range. Walleye fishing was active out near the edge of the safe ice but catch rates were slow. Pike spearing was also slow.
AuGres: Most of the fishing activity was down near Pointe Au Gres off Booth Road. Perch were taken at the edge of the drop-off in eight feet and some walleye were taken out further. Down off Palmer Road, walleye anglers are getting a few fish from the Catfish Hole at dusk. Catch rates for perch about a mile offshore were spotty in six feet of water.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Grand Traverse Bay: Has fishable ice so anglers are heading out for whitefish.
Green Lake: Continues to produce smelt for those fishing near the Betsie River or the Music Camp at night. Try a teardrop or hali jig with a wax worm.
Crystal Lake: In Benzie County has decent smelt fishing at night in 45 to 50 feet of water. Use Hali jigs with wax worms. Some have caught lake trout just off the bottom. Look for perch along the weeds in 25 to 35 feet of water. Try tear drops tipped with a minnow or wiggler.
Lake Cadillac: Anglers are catching pike and crappie.
Lake Mitchell: Is another good lake for pike, crappie and bluegill.
Lake Missaukee: Is producing a fair to good number of panfish for those using minnows and spikes.
Manistee River: Steelhead can be found up near Tippy Dam. Below High Bridge the river is iced up and not fishable.
Pere Marquette River: Has steelhead. Those wading have caught steelhead and the occasional brown trout.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Is producing walleye in Brest Bay. Try 12 to 20 feet of water with Swedish pimples, small Cleo’s or jigging rapalas tipped with a big minnow. Those fishing off the Metro Park Marina caught perch and bluegills.
Detroit River: Perch have been caught in the canals around Gibraltar. Try shiners, spikes or wax worms. Those heading out to Airport Bay are getting perch. Anglers will have to park at Groh Road and then take the half mile walk down Frenchmen’s Creek to get out to the Bay.
Lake St. Clair: Still has a lot of snow on the ice and that makes travel more difficult. Despite the cold temperatures, there are still some areas with open water so anglers need to use caution. Perch fishing was spotty with mainly small fish caught.
Harbor Beach: Had a few anglers fishing in the boat channel off the Edison Plant and some off the discharge channel. There were rumors of perch being caught but the only fish recorded was a brown trout.
Saginaw Bay: A few walleye were caught in 20 feet of water off Linwood and the Bay City State Park. A couple perch were caught in six feet off Newman Road. Those wading at the Hot Pond caught a few pike. Those heading off the end of Callahan Road caught some nice walleye about eight miles out. Near Quanicassee, perch anglers did well off and on at Vanderbilt Park. They were fishing out near the first pressure crack. Walleye anglers continue to fish about 10 miles off Sunset Bay Marina and Thomas Road. Catch rates were hit-or-miss.
Attention Anglers: The Village of Sebewaing is planning to use dynamite to break up some of the river ice to prevent flooding. This action will take place on or about February 20. There are signs posted to alert the public. For now, anglers are fishing off the VFW, Rose Island and Geiger Road. Most are likely fishing the Slot or crossing the Bar to deeper water. Perch were spotty at Mud Creek.
Saginaw River: Walleye fishing was slow at Wickes Park, Middle Grounds, Cass Avenue, Veterans Park and Smith Park. A few fish were taken south of the Zilwaukee Bridge near the grain silos in 23 feet or downstream of the Liberty Bridge and out to the channel in 23 feet. Some five and six pounders were taken between I-675 and First Street but those fishing near the mouth off Patterson Road caught many sub-legal fish.
Tittabawassee River: A couple walleye were caught through the ice downstream of the Center Road Bridge. This area is close to open water so anglers use caution.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph River: Has shelf ice and the ramps are extremely icy. Anglers have caught a couple steelhead on the warmer days.
Kalamazoo River: Is still iced up with shelf ice. Look for steelhead fishing to improve as the temperatures warm up.
Gull Lake: Anglers have caught a few smelt, northern pike and some lake trout on the north end of the lake.
Gun Lake: Was producing bluegill, black crappie, walleye and perch.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Has shelf ice along the banks. The better steelhead fishing will be down near the dam. Walleye can usually be found near the dam or under the bridges.
Lake Lansing: Some bluegills were caught in 15 feet of water. Try a tear drop with a wax worm or spike.
Muskegon River: Catch rates should increase as temperatures warm by the end of the week.