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Gone fishin’

A rundown of the region’s best fishing holes

February 25, 2011
The Mining Journal


Munising: Strong winds blew the snow off the ice so it is slippery. Anglers are advised to wear cleats when heading out. Catch rates for whitefish were fair but some nice fish were caught when bouncing a single egg or wax worms off the bottom in 50 to 80 feet of water. Those spearing reported slow catch rates for lake herring. A few more splake were caught but the overall action was slow. Weather conditions have hampered lake trout fishing.

Keweenaw Bay: The ice has broken up and there are between 20 and 30 ice shanties floating on the broken ice. On some, all you can see is the very top. The area of danger is from the Falls River west toward the Baraga Marina and then a wide sweep to the northwest and north to just inside Light House Point. There was still ice near the Baraga Marina to the head of the bay, but it is not known if the ice will stay or break up. Extreme caution needs to be used! Be sure to check the ice yourself and check with other anglers in the area before heading out. The bite was slow for all species except smelt, which have been caught at night. The ice broke up between Sand Point, the Tribal Station and across the bay to the Whirl-I-Gig. The ice was moving up and down about 3 feet or so off Jentoft's Dock and Sand Point, and shoreline ice was broken up about 30 feet out. Those traveling on the ice should also watch for debris from ice shanties. Strong wind the end of last week sent several ice shanties flying, and some fell apart as they tumbled across the ice.

Little Bay De Noc: Warm weather created some problems with ice conditions, especially near the pressure cracks, islands and power plant discharges. Melting snow is making for difficult travel across the ice, so bring some cleats. Walleye fishing was still slow. Most are fishing the head of the bay with tip-ups and sucker minnows in 14 to 32 feet of water. The Narrows and south by the Escanaba River produced a few fish however most of the shanties were removed after the warm spell. Whitefish anglers were removing shanties from Sand Point as catch rates were fair at best for those jigging minnows or spawn in 75 to 85 feet of water.

For perch, try the Second and Center Reefs in 20 to 33 feet of water with minnows or wigglers. Extreme caution needs to be used as several vehicles have gone through the ice.

Indian Lake: Walleye anglers did manage to catch some fish on the far north end of the lake when using tip-ups with large minnows. A few walleye were caught during the day however the fish were more active in the late afternoon and evening. Perch were also caught but many were small. The warm spell, high winds and refreeze did some damage to ice shanties so be careful when traveling across the ice. The large pressure crack is also an issue at this time. Anglers should enter from either the east end at Danielson's Landing or the west end from launch at Lange's Bay. Access from the park was possible now that the snow drifts are gone.

Munuscong Bay: Is still producing a few walleye in 17 to 30 feet of water. A good number of small pike were also caught. Perch activity increased in Fowlers Bay when using wigglers in 3 feet of water. Good perch action was reported between Kemps Point and the Moon Islands.

Cedarville and Hessel: Hessel Bay is providing a lot of catch and release activity for anglers with an abundance of undersized perch. Some reported fair catches down toward the east end and along the south shore. Perch action in Musky Bay has picked up. Anglers are fishing the middle of the bay, or the west end in 10 to 12 feet of water with minnows or wigglers and taking a fair number of 9 to 13 inch fish. Moscoe Channel has also picked up for those able to get out there. Catch rates were spotty but the fish were bigger. The ice is very slippery with no snow cover, be sure to wear cleats.


Mullett Lake: Perch fishing was slow however a few nice ones were still caught. Small pike were taken on hook and line and cisco could be found in deep water. There is no snow on the lake so bring your cleats.

Higgins Lake: Was still producing a few lake trout in 100 to 110 feet of water out from Amvets Lodge. The better smelt action was off the North State Park in 25 to 50 feet of water in the evening. Smelt were also taken off Birch Lodge but the fish there were spooked easily.

Houghton Lake: Has snow on the ice which makes for easy travel. Anglers are still taking a few walleye and bluegills were starting to hit on wax worms and spikes. There are pressure cracks but anglers were still able to cross them.

Tawas: Walleye were caught in the evening in 20 feet of water near the edge of the ice however extreme caution needs to be used. Perch fishing was slow. Anglers can see them but the bigger ones did not want to bite. A few pike were speared and a couple lake trout were caught.

Au Gres: Walleye anglers were fishing a hole in 8 to 10 feet of water just north of the breakwall or heading out to 32 feet of water which requires them to cross several pressure cracks.


Crystal Lake: Is producing smelt for those fishing at night with minnows or spikes.

Green Lake: Smelt were caught between the camp and the Betsie River. Best action was at night. A few pike have been caught in the shallows by those using tip-ups with sucker minnows.

Manistee River: Steelhead are still being caught however higher water levels did not bring good numbers of fish into the river. Catch rates should only get better as we move closer to spring.

Lake Missaukee: Is producing pike and panfish.


Lake Erie: Perch were caught in 12 feet of water in Brest Bay.

Huron River: Has opened up and steelhead have been caught.

Detroit River: Ice anglers are still heading out and catching perch and bluegills. The canals around Gibraltar were the hot spots.

Lexington: Produced some perch, rainbow trout and even a couple large lake trout.

Saginaw Bay: The thaw last week did not help ice anglers in mid-Michigan.

Conditions deteriorated and waters in and near the mouth of the rivers became turbid. Fishing picked up at one point but shut down with the snow storm. A few walleye were caught in shallow waters off Pine River and Palmer Roads. Areas of open water were reported off Linwood and the mouth of the Kawkawlin River. Some perch were caught off the Bay City State Park, the trailer park at the end of Patterson Road, and off Vanderbilt Park. Fish shallow, 5 to 7 feet of water. Fishing off the east side of the bay was light. Ice near the mouth of creeks is not good and Wildfowl Bay had a lot of bad spots. Lake trout were caught off Caseville before muddy water from the Pigeon River shut it down.

Tittabawassee River: Has been rendered unfishable until the ice jams at the boat ramps thaw out enough to move downstream. Ice conditions are not safe.

Saginaw River: The recent thaw coupled with heavy snowfall has produced dangerous ice conditions.


St. Joseph River: Boat anglers did catch a few more fish up near the Berrien Springs Dam. Most are using flies.

Gull Lake: Had fair to good smelt fishing at night.

Kalamazoo River: Anglers should be able to find some fish in the deeper holes between the mouth and the Allegan Dam.

Grand River at Lansing: Pike and walleye were caught at both the North Lansing and the Moore's Park Dam before the storm hit.

Park Lake: Is producing some panfish.

Muskegon Lake: Has open water on the east end. Boat anglers are looking for walleye and taking a few pike. Deep snow has slowed angler activity.



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