Due to the upcoming holidays, this will be the final report for 2020. The report will not be updated again until the week of Jan. 4, 2021. Very cold temperatures have kept most anglers from open water fishing. Most are now waiting for ice fishing season to get started.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
While the smaller lakes were starting to get skim ice, there was no safe ice anywhere in this region of the state. With the colder temperatures, there was not much steelhead activity.
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Though the lakes are partially iced over, there was still no safe ice to report. Cold weather this week may help but there was 8-10 inches of snow in the area and warmer temperatures are expected next week.
Pentwater Lake: A few anglers were either trolling for steelhead or perch fishing.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Thunder Bay River: Yellow perch were caught in the river and in the marina. Those braving the cold may still find the occasional steelhead near the 9th Street Dam. Lake Besser which is the first reservoir above the dam had skim ice forming but there is no safe ice to report.
Au Sable River: A few anglers have been out fly fishing for trout. Walleye and burbot were caught near the mouth.
Houghton Lake: Shore ice is starting to form however most of the lake had just skim ice and no safe ice. When they could, walleye anglers casting crankbaits near the mouth of the channels did catch the occasional fish at night.
Lake St. Helen: Recently froze over but still no safe ice. Fishing will be shut down until good ice conditions exist.
Tawas: Those venturing out on the bay can find respectable catches of walleye and lake trout. Most are casting or trolling body baits.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Anglers have caught walleye including some limit catches taken on the Michigan side by those using color bandits in and around Brest Bay. A few limit catches of panfish were reported in the Metro Park Marina and the Downriver Marina near the mouth of the Huron River.
Lake St. Clair: All docks have been pulled from the boat launches. Heavy winds have silted in the Clinton River Cutoff launch, so boats are not able to launch. Skim ice has been forming in the canals and marinas at night, but often is melts by the afternoon. Angling activity has been low. Muskie and walleye anglers have done well trolling in the southern portion down near the Delphine Channel
St. Clair River: Had good reports for walleye in the upper river for boat and shore anglers. Boat anglers are vertical jigging. Walleye anglers are also picking up a few scattered steelhead and salmon.
Saginaw Bay: When they can get out, anglers have caught a few perch. Most were small but a few big ones have started to trickle in. Walleye have also shown up.
Saginaw River: A few walleye anglers were getting some fish.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Dowagiac River: Anglers are reminded that the Losenski Park boat access site near the Pucker Street Dam will be closed until further notice due to ongoing construction.
St. Joseph River: The fish ladders will remain open all winter but upstream movement of steelhead is low when the water temperature is below 40 degrees. The live Fish Cam at the Berrien Springs ladder has been shut down and will be back up and running around March 1, 2021.
Grand Haven: On the calm days, those heading out for perch were getting some limit catches.
Grand River near Grand Rapids: The fish ladder at the 6th Street Dam will remain open all winter. Closer to Grand Haven, perch fishing picked up near the bridges at Petty’s Bayou and Smith Bayou.
Grand River near Lansing: Anglers are reminded that the fish ladders at Portland and Grand Ledge are closed for the winter, but the Webber Dam will remain open.
Muskegon Lake: Perch and walleye are being caught.
Muskegon River: Steelhead were caught near Croton Dam.
White River: A couple steelhead were caught from Happy Mohawk Canoe Livery to the Podunk launch.
First ice is great for pike and panfish; however, ice thickness is variable on most of the inland lakes and many still had unfishable ice.
It is not recommended to venture out on any ice that you are not familiar with or without a plan in case you break through.
Manistique River: Anglers were still getting some steelhead.
Two Hearted River: Had fair to good steelhead fishing.