Rivers still have some open water fishing
BIG RAPIDS -- Rivers around the state have open-water fishing for the most part, the DNR said.
Colder temperatures over the next few weeks should help with ice formation, especially in the southern reaches of the Lower Peninsula, the DNR stated.
Brad Cox, of Buck's Country Bait in LeRoy, indicated Osceola County lakes in his area had plenty of ice and were doing well on panfish and other species. Rose Lake is among the many having success.
Tanner Havens, of Frank's Sporting Goods, Morley, said "they've been doing good at Morley Pond. A customer told me over the last week they've hd three or four pike on tip ups and one being a spec. They're catching bluegills pretty much anywhere in 8 to 10 feet as water, and even as deep as 14 to 16, for that and the specs as well. There's pretty much safe ice everywhere."
In northwest Michigan, the DNR reports at Thumb Lake, fishing slowed, but anglers were still catching perch along the beach access when jigging minnows or wax worms on the bottom in 8 to 12 feet.
Anglers, the DNR said have seen a few splake off the beach access site but could not get them to bite. The few harvested were taken off the boat launch when jigging minnows. Those fishing off the camp and around the island were targeting splake and some caught perch.
The DNR reminds anglers to be cautious since ice conditions were not uniform, especially in some of the areas that have deep water. Heavy slush has made travel a little more difficult.
The South Arm was ice-covered and fishable at Lake Charlevoix, the DNR said, advising anglers to be cautious near the Jordan River mouth and any streams that flow into the lake.
Traverse City has had no ice fishing, the DNR said. Both the East and the West Bay were open water.
Ice fishing was decent on both lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, the DNR said, with some nice perch and crappies being caught.
The steelhead action picked up at the Manistee River with the mild weather, and those using beads did well, the DNR said.
Fishing observers in Manistee County indicated things are picking up.
Dewey Buchner, of Don's Sporting Goods in Manistee, said ice surface are finally firm enough to provide fishing for anglers.
Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina, Manistee, indicated conditions aren't the best in various places, but noted river fishing remains strong.
"They're getting good steelhead fishing in the river, upper and lower," Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co. said. "There's a bunch of little browns at Tippy Dam. There's not really any size to them. Ice fishing has really picked up on Portage and Chief Lake, and off Ninth Street in Manistee and Penny Park. At Portage Lake, someone speared a 22-inch pike and two days ago a 12-pound walleye. Some nice fishing have been caught;"
Steelhead were caught by those fly fishing at the Pere Marquette River, the DNR reported, adding hot colors were pink, purple and blue.
Steelhead are being caught at Pentwater River, the DNR said.
Fishing Tip: Fishing for walleye and whitefish on Saginaw Bay
Courtesy of the Michigan DNR
Many anglers flock to Saginaw Bay in the winter to target walleye and experience an added perk - the possibility of catching lake whitefish.
To target walleye, many anglers jig with spoons of various colors. You may want to tip your spoon with a minnow to further entice them.
To target lake whitefish, many anglers use spawn or a wax worm on a spoon to encourage bites.
Visit Michigan.gov/Fishing for even more information on fishing for walleye and lake whitefish.