Fishing activity remains low on area rivers
BIG RAPIDS - Fishing remains relatively slow with anglers having some success in the rivers and others having put their poles away until there's enough safe ice.
Most were targeting walleye, pike, muskie and panfish, the DNR said, adding calm winds allowed pier anglers to get out this week.
A spokesperson at Triggertime Outfitters, in Big Rapids indicated fishing and hunting activity has been extremely light.
"They've been catching some steelhead by Croton," Tanner Havens, of Frank's Sporting Goods said. "They've been catching those on wax worms, mainly, and beads as well. Walleyes, they've been getting down by Croton."
In northwest Michigan, while the inland lakes were starting to freeze over, there is no safe ice to report, the DNR said last week. With light winds this week, pier anglers have been able to get out and target steelhead and whitefish, the DNR said, adding steelhead can still be found in the rivers.
Surface water temperatures were in the mid to high 40's, the DNR said, adding pier anglers should find some steelhead.
Steelhead in the Manistee River were in the deeper holes through the cold front, but the bite should pick up with the warmer temperatures this week and most were fishing below Tippy Dam, the DNR said.
"They're still fishing for steelhead and brown trout at Tippy Dam," Rob Eckerson, of Pappy's Bait Shop, in Wellston. "They have had fair success, using wax worms, beads and spawn bags, as good choices.
"The Little Manistee also had some steelhead and late-run coho, at pretty much the same offerings. Perch fishing has been slow because of the weather. We've had way too much wind."
Others agree with Eckerson.
"Fishing has slowed down a lot because of the high winds we had last week," Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangled Tackle Co., in Manistee said. "The beach is full of logs and debris. The beach fishing has slowed down. The stretch of the river I think has been slow in the big river.
"They're telling me they're getting fish up by the dam with steelhead and at the mouth of the Little Manistee River."
"There's barely no fishing at all and the hunting is pretty much all over with," Dan Osborn of Osborn's Sport Shop, in Bear Lake, said.
Tabitha Throop, of the Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia, said fishing was slow in her area.
The Pere Marquette River continued to provide steelhead and the fish were bouncing back after the cold spell so the bite should be decent for the next week or so, the DNR said.
"Things are very slow around here," Doug Loomis, of Ed's Sport Shop in Baldwin said. "We had one guy in earlier today who got a doe just yesterday. On fishing, people are going out and haven't reported back. There's fishing on the river, but as far as the lakes are concerned, it's questionable whether or not there is safe ice."
Fishing is slow "but there's a few people on the river," Jennifer Tulk of Pere Marquette River Lodge said. "(Friday morning) a guide and his teen daughters went out with another guide."
Jay McMillon of Baldwin Bait & Tackle concurred steelhead fishing remains successful.
"A lot of guides are using flies for them,"
McMillon said. "There's a lot of bait and lure fishermen are having success. Trout fishing is continously picking back up. A lot of guys are using flies."
Havens said it's been a good year for him in terms of hunters bringing bucks into the store.
"There's a lot of big bucks being taken and a few does," Havens said.
"Deer hunting has still been pretty good going on," McMillon said.