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Gone fishin’

December 23, 2011
By The Associated Press , The Mining Journal

There is no safe ice to report at this time, so anglers might want to use the next few weeks to get all the ice fishing gear together, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported Wednesday.


Borderline temperatures with freezing and thawing are not a good combination when it comes to ice formation. There is ice in this region of the state, however it is still too early to call it safe ice.

Chocolay River: A few folks are bank-fishing for brown trout and steelhead at the M-28 roadside rest-stop and downstream from the park.

Two-Hearted River: Had reports of good steelhead action by those wading in the open waters.


There is no safe ice to report in this region of the state. Constant warming and cooling can cause honeycomb ice, which is not safe ice.

Thunder Bay River: A few people are fishing when the weather permits. Perch measuring 7 or 8 inches were caught in fair numbers. There are occasional steelhead, brown trout, and whitefish being caught below 9th Street Dam.

Au Sable River: Steelhead fishing is still good and should remain that way until winter temperatures cool the river down.

Tawas: Pier fishing is winding down but a few anglers are still trying for perch, brown trout or whitefish.


Some of the lakes are starting to freeze however there is no fishable ice as of this report. Anglers will most likely be waiting until after the holidays to start ice fishing. The major river systems still have plenty of steelhead.

Betsie River: Still has a good number of steelhead for the taking. Warmer temperatures this week will provide ideal fishing conditions.

Lake Cadillac: No fishable ice here yet. The lake did re-freeze but the ice was not safe. Anglers need to be patient and wait a bit longer.

Manistee River: This should be another good week as steelhead fishing remains strong with lots of fish in the river system. Those fly fishing have done well but those casting small spoons have also caught a few fish. There are still plenty of chrome fish in the river.

Little Manistee River: Steelhead fishing remains strong here as well with anglers taking good numbers of fish when floating or drifting flies, spawn or wax worms.

Pere Marquette River: Should be good for steelhead fishing with the warmer temperatures and so many fish in the river. Those fly fishing in the lower river have done well.


Lake Erie: A few perch and crappie were caught off the Metro Park boat launch. Try wax worms or shiner minnows.

Huron River: Steelhead are still being caught near the dam at Flat Rock as water levels downstream were still a bit high. Try a black or white jig with a wax worm or spawn.

Detroit River: Has good shore fishing for bluegill and perch off Ballenger Park. Perch were also caught in the canals around Gibraltar.

Lexington: Fishing pressure has been light with few anglers out. No fish were caught because the harbor is full of emerald shiners right now. No perch to report.

Port Sanilac: No fish were caught here either as the harbor if full of minnows. No perch to report.

Saginaw Bay: Perch fishing is still available in the cuts, river mouths, and marina basins. Success will be limited, so be willing to move about every half hour if the fish are not biting. A few walleye were caught by those trolling crank baits or deep diving stick baits east of the Saginaw River.

Saginaw River: There has been no word on walleye action however there should be some fish in there.

Quanicassee River: Was producing perch and you might get enough for a meal.


There is no ice to report in this area of the state. There may be skim ice with the low overnight temperatures, but certainly no safe ice. Steelhead fishing on medium sized streams would be the best option for anglers right now as the large rivers have high water levels.

Galien River: Would be a good option for steelhead fishing until water levels go down on the bigger rivers.

Dowagiac River: Would be another good option for steelhead anglers.

St. Joseph River: Has no report due to the high water levels.

Paw Paw River: Is another medium size stream that would be a good place for anglers to go steelhead fishing.

Kalamazoo River: Has high water levels.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Is experiencing a great winter run of steelhead. Fish are hitting on white jigs with wax worms, yarn or spawn. Water levels are up so anglers are fishing by boat or shore only. Those in boats will need extra weight to keep their boat in place. Walleye are still being caught by those using bucktail jigs, rapalas or husky jerks.

Grand River at Lansing: Is producing steelhead and pike. Water levels seem to be fluctuating on a daily basis. Those fishing Moore's Park are wading and casting spinners. In Prairie Creek, they are drifting yarn eggs or bright colored beads above the hook. For pike, try Moore's Park or the point where the Grand meets the Red Cedar while casting orange spinners.

Rogue River: Is another medium sized stream that would be a good choice for steelhead fishing right now.

Muskegon River: Water levels are up after all the rain but anglers are still fishing for steelhead. They are boat or shore fishing and most of the fish were caught on flies.



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