Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula

• Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates were hit or miss. Those lucky enough to catch fish found splake, brown trout, coho, lake trout, whitefish or herring when using tip-ups or when jigging. Some were trying for smelt and burbot at night, but no reports came in. Those still-fishing from shore in the mornings had the same luck as those fishing on the ice.

• Little Bay De Noc: Very cold temperatures helped improve ice conditions and access throughout the bay, and anglers could be found across the entire area and as far south as Portage Point. It was pretty much ATV’s and snowmobiles at Gladstone and south. A few walleye were caught between Gladstone and just south of the Escanaba River when using tip-ups with minnows or jigging small rapalas in 30 to 40 feet. While there were still a lot of undersize fish, a better number of keepers were also reported. Perch anglers reported good catches off the ship docks in Escanaba in 35 feet or so and near Gladstone off the east bank in 25 to 35 feet when using minnows. Whitefish were caught near Gladstone when jigging the channel with minnows in 35 feet. Good pike action near the lighthouse in Escanaba when using tip-ups with minnows in 28 to 33 feet.

• Munising: Ice conditions did improve with the cold nights; however, there was unsafe ice at the Grand Island ferry access to Grand Island. Anglers broke through the ice with their sleds, and it will not be safe for those wanting to ski over to Grand Island during the ice fest. Anglers should still avoid Sand Point and the area around Christmas due to pack ice that has skimmed over or open water. Anglers reported that the ice conditions off Brown’s boat launch, the city docks, Powell Point, Anna River access and the Sunset Motel improved. Most are targeting whitefish, splake and coho. Catch rates varied. Whitefish were deeper in 60 to 70 feet and hitting on spawn or single eggs with a combination of natural or artificial bait. The average fish was 12-13 inches. The coho action was very slow, with only a few schools coming through. Try jigging spoons or Swedish pimples. Splake were hitting jigs with minnows, though most anglers were pinching off the heads. Those using tip-ups reported slow catch rates. There have been no reports of smelt activity.

• Cedarville and Hessel: Anglers fishing in Musky Bay caught some perch, but the action did slow. There was no word on pike fishing. There was some fishing activity in Government Bay off Bay Point and in Cedarville Bay in the East Channel; however, success rates and ice conditions are unknown. Fishing slowed in Hessel Bay, but those jigging mousies, wigglers, wax worms and minnows in 17 to 23 feet did find some smaller perch. Splake and pike were caught on minnows. Wilderness Bay just iced over, so ice conditions were unknown.

• Mackinac County: Inland lakes in the west end were producing walleye, pike and panfish.

— The Michigan Department of Natural Resources


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