LANSING (AP) - As Michiganians move into the start of the holiday season, most anglers are hunting or waiting for ice fishing, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Steelhead action is good in the major river systems, the DNR said in its weekly fishing report. It said whitefish action will continue to get better as the fish spawn and then go into a feeding frenzy. Anglers were advised to check out the cuts, canals and backwaters for bluegill, crappie and perch.
Little Bay De Noc: Had few anglers as the firearm deer season is under way in both Michigan and Wisconsin. Walleye anglers fishing at night and into the early morning hours reported fair to good catch rates when trolling crank baits in 10 to 26 feet of water between the Narrows and the Third Reef. Those fishing during the day reported good numbers of fish in 30 to 40 feet of water but few fish were caught. Water clarity was very good, which is why those fishing at night did better. No perch reports this week as anglers are waiting for ice. Cold nights have water temperatures dropping fast and creating ice along the shoreline and in the shallows, so ice season is just around the corner.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Shore anglers will want to try the Metro Park Marina and Sterling State Park for bluegill and crappie.
Huron River: Anglers are still waiting for that big push of steelhead to come up into the river. Water levels will come up with the rain this week. Boat anglers are catching fish in the deeper holes between Huroc Park and I-75. They are back-trolling with flat fish in bright colors or floating jigs with wax worms. The backwaters are still good for crappie and bluegill.
Detroit River: Walleye anglers are fishing in the Trenton Channel. They are trolling, hand-lining or jigging. For perch, concentrate around Sugar Island and the north end of Celeron Island.
Lake St. Clair: Has been quite with few anglers out. Wind and rain caused muddy water but there should still be some decent perch and muskie fishing available.
Lexington: Had very good steelhead and brown trout action until the winds shifted. A few fish were caught on minnows or crawlers but the majority were taken on crocodiles, cleo's, and body baits in a variety of colors. Perch fishing was slow.
Port Sanilac: Also had good steelhead and brown trout action using the same baits and lures as Lexington. Perch were slow and no word on whitefish.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
St. Joseph River: Is still producing steelhead. Check out the deeper holes if you are not seeing fish.
Grand Haven: Pier anglers fishing early morning or late evening have caught steelhead and whitefish. Those surfcasting have also caught some fish.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Continues with good numbers of steelhead being caught between Fulton Street and the Sixth Street Dam. For panfish, check out the smaller cuts and canals.
Grand River at Lansing: Boat and shore anglers have caught steelhead over at the Webber Dam, which is between the Portland Dam and Lyons. Most are using spawn or wax worms. For bluegill and crappie, check out the backwaters.
Muskegon Lake: Is usually good for perch between now and ice out. Good spots to try are between the Hartshorn Marina and the Muskegon Yacht Club or near the main channel and the Black Lake Channel. This is a good time of year to catch walleye.
Muskegon River: Is producing some nice steelhead below Croton Dam. Some are casting small spoons or spinners while others are floating spawn or flies.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Alpena: The whitefish bite has picked up as usual for the second half of November. Anglers are doing well on the reefs in Thunder Bay early morning and late evening. The fish being caught are bigger than usual. Brown trout can be found at the end of Partridge Point and the West Dock near the Lafarge Plant. Northern pike were fairly abundant close to shore.
Thunder Bay River: Steelhead can still be found and good numbers of fish have been caught up at the Ninth Street Dam. Some brown trout were also taken near the dam. Shore anglers caught small perch in the lower river.
Harrisville: Is producing steelhead in the harbor. Try casting small cleo's, body baits or rapalas.
Au Sable River: Has a good number of steelhead and some brown trout being caught by those using floating spawn and wax worms or casting flies. Whitefish in the lower river were caught on wax worms.
Tawas: Those fishing off the state dock have caught whitefish as they move into the shallows for spawning. Try minnows or wax worms on a single hook.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Inland Lakes: Have excellent walleye fishing right now, but few anglers choose to go. This is also the time of year when anglers catch bigger bluegill, crappie and perch. Skim ice has appeared over the last few days so that window of opportunity could be closing soon.
Betsie River: Continues to produce steelhead. Try flies, spoons or spawn.
Manistee River: Has good numbers of steelhead all the way up to Tippy Dam. Boat anglers are back-trolling with spoons or plugs. Some are fly fishing while others are drifting small jigs with spawn or wax worms.
Little Manistee River: Is producing steelhead.
Pere Marquette River: Has plenty of steelhead for those fly fishing with streamers as well as those using bright colored spoons, yarn or spawn.