By The Asscoiated Press
As the state goes through the transition between open-water fishing and ice fishing, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment is reminding anglers that first ice is dangerous ice, and snow cover will slow the freezing process.
Lakes and rivers are starting to freeze, but the ice is not safe yet, the agency said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.
Little Bay De Noc: Docks have been pulled out at the public access sites as boats are no longer going out. Open water fishing is pretty much done as it is starting to freeze up rather quickly with the onset of cold weather. The north end of the bay is starting to freeze over and ice is forming along the shoreline just south of Gladstone. There is no safe ice to report at this time.
Alpena: The peak of the whitefish action is pretty much done for this year.
Thunder Bay River: Is freezing over and the launch ramp next to the Alpena Research Station is iced in. Shore anglers were catching small perch along with the occasional whitefish, steelhead or brown trout.
Au Sable River: Steelhead are still available for those willing to brave the cold temperatures. The lower river is still best for those floating spawn.
Tawas: Whitefish were still being caught off the state dock however catch rates were starting slow.
Au Gres: Still has whitefish but it won't be long and this fishery will be done.
Petoskey: Steelhead fishing continues for those surfcasting especially. Most are floating spawn bags in shallow waters.
Boardman River: Had rumors of steelhead hitting on spawn or wax worms.
Frankfort: Those surfcasting in the shallows have caught steelhead.
Manistee: Surfcasting is the way to go in windy conditions. Look for steelhead in the early morning or late evening.
Manistee River: Steelhead are still available for those tough enough to brave the arctic conditions.
Lake Missaukee: Has ice however no safe ice to report. Remember; first ice can be dangerous ice. Snow cover will insulate and slow the freezing process.
Lake Cadillac: Had ice however no safe ice to report. Cold weather this week will help the freezing process however heavy lake effect snow in the forecast will not.
Lake Mitchell: Also has ice, but no safe ice. No anglers were out yet but that could change by the weekend. Those anxious to get out are advised to fish in shallow waters only.
Pere Marquette River: Look for steelhead in the lower river.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Detroit River: A few walleye were caught in the lower Trenton Channel. Anglers were jigging a large minnow near the hot water discharge off Gibraltar. For perch, no big numbers were caught but some nice fish were taken around Rat Island.
Lake St. Clair: Ice is starting to form in the canals however there is no safe ice.
St. Clair River: Has good musky fishing especially in the North Channel. Most anglers are jigging but a few were using sucker minnows if you can find them.
Saginaw Bay: Ice is just starting to form however no safe ice has been reported. Anglers might want to try fishing the shallow cuts and canals or off the docks in the marinas for perch. Boat anglers heading out to Spoils Island were catching walleye and perch but open water fishing may not last much longer.
Kawkawlin River: Last weekend, anglers were open water fishing for perch but the river has just frozen over.
Quanicassee River: Is also starting to freeze.