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Gone fishin’

April 1, 2011
By The Associated Press , The Mining Journal

Michigan's change of seasons has created ice hazards on some rivers and lakes, the Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday.

The DNR said in its weekly report that warmer weather in the southeast Lower Peninsula has made some ice thin. Ice has been thicker and harder in some spots to the north.

The department also said updated Michigan fishing licenses will be required for anglers 17 years and older beginning today.

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Marquette: The better fishing has been in the early morning for coho, chinook, brown trout, herring and whitefish. Try near the bubblers using jigs tipped with a twister tail or cut bait. Hot colors were orange, green or pink. The few boats trolling near the Upper Harbor had no luck. Access sites were limited because of high winds pushing ice in closer to the shore. Ice has been moving in and out near the Carp River and the coal docks.

Munising: More anglers are showing up as catch rates increased. The surface ice is very slippery so anglers are advised to wear cleats and be careful. Coho fishing has picked up with most getting one or two fish, but some landing three or four. Try jigging rapalas or Swedish pimples 10 to 20 feet down in 40 to 60 feet of water. Most fish are averaging 15 inches. Whitefish were caught in shallow waters when bouncing a single egg just off the bottom. Good perch fishing in 30 to 40 feet of water with minnows and wigglers. Most average seven or eight inches; however, a few jumbo perch were also caught.

Au Train: Anglers need to be aware of wind and weather conditions as the ice was shifting and could be dangerous. A few were still fishing out from the Rock River and the AuTrain River. Coho were caught out from the Brownstone landing at the mouth of the AuTrain River. Try fishing early with jigs, spawn or silver spoons.

Keweenaw Bay: Those ice fishing reported limit catches of coho, a good number of lake herring as well as a couple chinook, rainbow trout and whitefish. Hot spots were Perch Corner, just north of Linden Creek, off the Falls River and Sand Point. Try Swedish pimples or teardrops with wax worms.

Little Bay De Noc: Is now in between seasons. The recent cold snap is only delaying the inevitable. Angler participation was low due to ice conditions. Rivers in the area are still frozen except for the Escanaba River.

Lake Gogebic: Still has ice fishing as cold temperatures have been making ice over the last week. A few perch were caught in 25 to 27 feet of water. Try wigglers one to three feet off the bottom in 25 to 27 feet of water.

Indian Lake: Those thinking about heading out on the ice need to use extreme caution. There are areas with soft ice and open water. A few are ice fishing for perch along the north end in Lange's Bay. Try minnows in five to seven feet of water. Most of the fish were running on the small side.

Munuscong Bay: Only had a few anglers fishing near Grassy Island and off Fowlers Bay.

Cedarville and Hessel: Ice was holding however a few of the points were starting to open up. Those fishing in Musky Bay are using minnows, wigglers and wax worms in five to 10 feet of water. Catch rates around Little Joe Island were starting to pick up.


Burt Lake: Still had good ice fishing opportunities.

Mullett Lake: Is producing a few perch in Pigeon Bay and around Needle Point. Minnows and wigglers work best. Cisco were found in deep water. Ice fishing should hold for another week or so. The two pressure cracks have started to open up.

Indian River: Has ice and the waterway is locked up ice and the waterway locked up tight.

Thunder Bay River: Boat anglers are trolling for steelhead and brown trout.

Higgins Lake: Anglers are mainly smelt fishing, and many are going off the west boat launch. The ice is holding but this could be the last week for ice fishing if rain comes next week. There was about six inches of snow on the lake so some are taking quads or snowmobiles out.

Houghton Lake: Still has good ice, just be careful near the inlets or outlets. Those out fishing say the bluegill and crappie bites are picking up.

Tawas: There's still some fishable ice near Jerry's Marina. Walleye were caught near the edge in 20 feet of water in the evening. Pier anglers fishing in open water have caught a few lake trout, brown trout or steelhead. Some are casting lures while others are using minnows and spawn bags. Those wading just off the mouth of the river caught a few walleye.

Tawas River: Is producing a light number of steelhead.

Au Gres: Still had some ice fishing north of the breakwall, but success was spotty.

Au Gres River: Steelhead and brown trout were caught near the Singing Bridge.

Rifle River: Sucker runs are just getting under way as a few have been caught in Omer.


Below freezing temperatures over the last week is keeping ice on the inland lakes.

Elk River: Has some steelhead for those able to brave the cold temperatures.

Betsie River: Should also have some good steelhead action in the next few weeks.

Lake Missaukee: Still has ice and is producing bluegill and crappie.

Lake Cadillac: Ice fishing is still going strong however anglers are no longer driving out on the ice. Crappie are still hitting in the early morning or late evening.

Lake Mitchell: Still has ice and fair to good crappie fishing.

Manistee River: More anglers are turning to steelhead fishing. Boat and shore anglers are casting flies or jigs with wax worms and wigglers.

Pere Marquette River: Should have steelhead.


Lake Erie: The daily possession limit for walleye in the Michigan waters of Lake Erie will be five from April 1-30 and six from May 1 through April 30, 2012.

Huron River: Anglers are out fishing for steelhead and suckers.

Detroit River: Boat anglers are still trolling for walleye. The new walleye possession limits for Lake Erie do not apply to the Detroit River. The daily possession limit here will continue to be five fish.

Saginaw Bay: With the colder weather, it looks like the fish runs will be anywhere from one to two weeks later than normal this year. There's still some ice fishing activity in the isolated or sheltered areas, however the shore ice is bad so anglers will need to wade out to the fishable ice. Walleye were caught at night in four to six feet of water. White's Beach had good catches of perch in three or four feet of water but many were small. Boats are launching off the mouth of the Saginaw River where the skid piers are located. The marina in Sunset Bay is producing small bluegills and sunfish. At Sebewaing, anglers caught perch but there is honeycomb ice so be careful.

Quanicassee River: Shore anglers caught a few perch at the public access site and the old State Road Bridge. Mornings are best but ice forming overnight has hampered fishing. Some fish are running six to eight inches but most were smaller.

Sebewaing River: Shore fishing is possible later in the day. Overnight freezing hampers fishing efforts in the morning.

Pigeon River: A few shore anglers were out but catch rates were slow.

Pinnebog River: The sucker runs have not started yet.

Port Austin: Bird Creek was still iced over, so nothing to report yet.


St. Joseph: Boat and pier anglers were catching limits of Coho.

St. Joseph River: Had good steelhead fishing. So far, more than 4,000 fish have been passed at the Berrien Springs ladder since March 1. Sucker runs have started.

Kalamazoo River: Had exceptional catch rates for steelhead below the Allegan Dam.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Continues to provide good spring steelhead fishing.

Grand River at Lansing: Steelhead slowly are moving into the area with a couple fish caught over at the dam at Moore's Park. A few fish were also seen near the Brenke fish ladder, which is closed to fishing. Some are looking for catfish.

Muskegon River: Boat anglers are getting some nice steelhead when floating spawn or flies. They reported a good mix of females and males.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.



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