Rapid ice development on rivers and streams may result in ice jams and limit access.

Heavy snowfall on the inland lakes will make the ice softer and deep slush will make travel on the ice difficult. Fewer anglers have been out, so reports are limited.


Lake Charlevoix: Those targeting cisco have done well on the main basin when fishing off Hemingway Point.

Grand Traverse County: Ice conditions are not as great as they were a couple of weeks ago on lakes in the Traverse City area due to snow cover resulting in quite a bit of slush which is making it difficult for anglers traveling by foot. The perch action on Duck Lake near Interlochen was steady but the fish were small.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Both lakes had very light fishing pressure with the extremely cold weather. The next warmup should help get more anglers out and improve the bite.

Manistee River: Is running low, clear, and very cold. Those putting in the time have found the occasional fresh steelhead in the deeper holes. A couple walleye along with some crappie and bluegills were caught on Tippy Dam Pond.

Hamlin Lake: Ice anglers were targeting bluegills in the bayous. Crappie were found along the drop-offs.


Burt Lake: A few burbot were taken in 20 to 40 feet. A couple walleye were caught on the south end in 25 to 30 feet. Panfish were caught in the bays.

Au Sable River: Northern pike are being speared or taken on tip-ups on Mio Pond. Panfish were deeper because of the cold water. Those jigging were targeting walleye.

A few perch were caught on minnows.

Higgins Lake: Has just a couple inches of snow on the ice. Watch the pressure crack between Point Detroit and Flag Point. Lake trout can be found in 80 feet and deeper when using tip-ups or jigging with golden shiners or smelt. Rainbow trout can be found in the shallows between Big Creek and the Conference Center. Smelt anglers can be found between West Street and the North State Park however anglers may find smelt anywhere in 40 feet or less.

Tawas: Fishing has been slow with a few small perch caught on minnows or wax worms in 10 to 14 feet. A couple walleye and burbot were caught out near the artificial reef with lures or jigs tipped with minnows in 14 to 20 feet.

Au Gres: Small walleye along with the occasional keeper were caught on lures and jigs with minnows in 8 to 10 feet. Perch were caught along the south side of the breakwall. Those heading out from Booth Road and Santiago Road caught walleye and whitefish near Pt. Au Gres with lures and jigs tipped with minnows in 10 to 20 feet. A few limit catches of perch came in from Hale Road and Sagatoo Road in the Standish area when using jack hooks or jigs with minnows in 5 to 12 feet. Pike fishing at Northport Marina was slow. Eagle Bay Marina was producing pike along with small bluegills and crappie.

Au Gres River: Anglers were getting small perch.


Conditions in this region of the state have been brutal with temperatures anywhere from -15 to -25 degrees, strong winds, and whiteout conditions. With the extreme weather, fewer anglers have been out.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers recently had better success with catching fish each trip out. Most were catching splake along with the occasional coho, brown trout, lake trout, whitefish and burbot. Anglers have reported seeing smelt but very few have been caught during the day.

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions improved, and anglers were fishing all the way down to Escanaba. Lots of anglers are walleye fishing however catch rates have been spotty. Yellow perch fishing was fair to good.

Munising: Fewer anglers have been out due to bitter cold temperatures. Those that have gone out reported nice catches of coho and quality size splake. Whitefish numbers were low. Those targeting lake trout were starting to head out. Schools of smelt were scattered off Sand Point and the Anna River.

Cedarville and Hessel: Ice conditions off Cedarville were unknown. Anglers were seen in Musky Bay, Cedarville Channel and Government Bay. Catch rates were unknown. Off Hessel, anglers are fishing in the bay however there are some areas that do have considerable snow drifts. Perch fishing slowed but some were still able to find fish up to 10” when jigging minnows, wax worms and spikes in 14 to 17 feet. No word on splake or pike being harvested.

SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULALake Erie: Ice anglers are getting walleye in Brest Bay and off Stony Point in 18 feet. Most are using a #7 jigging rapala or a Swedish pimple with a walleye minnow. In the Metro Park Marina, anglers are getting some keeper size yellow perch along with a few crappie and bluegills.

Detroit River: Those fishing the Gibraltar canal are getting perch, crappie and bluegills on minnows, wax worms, and spikes. Some nice yellow perch were caught at the south end of Grosse Ile in Airport Bay.

Lake St. Clair: Anglers are reminded that there is no parking allowed in front of or on the boat ramps at the boating access sites and there is no parking allowed in posted no parking zones within the access sites. The reason behind this is to keep these areas open for rescue personnel in case of an emergency out on the waterbody. Anglers are using all the normal access points to get on the lake. There are some rough ice conditions around Lake St. Clair Metro Park and Harley Ensign due to windblown ice pack. As stated previously, ice conditions are incredibly variable and extreme caution should always be used. Perch fishing reports have been better than average from the north end of the lake.

Saginaw Bay: On the west side, there are at least five open pockets of water and machines have gone in so extreme caution needs to be used. There is open water straight out from Linwood, an area south and a little east of the “Black Hole”, up near Pinconning, off Cody Esty Road, and straight out from Whites Beach. On the east side, there is open water off Callahan Road. Cracks are everywhere so anglers need to use extreme caution as the pressure cracks are changing depending on wind direction and speed. There is a lot of rough ice, jagged cracks and large snowdrifts making travel much more difficult, especially for quads. A couple walleye were caught off Linwood Road in 22 feet and yellow perch were caught in 3 to 4 feet. Near Pinconning, pike were speared in 5 feet. Walleye were also caught in the Blackhole off Erickson Road. On the east side, walleye were caught about nine miles out from Finn Road in 23 feet. Yellow perch are finally starting to show up at Vanderbilt Park and were caught in 8 to 10 feet. Pike were speared in 4 to 6 feet. Perch fishing was inconsistent along the east side as anglers are sorting through a lot of small ones between Sebewaing and Bay Port. Fish were seen in Wildfowl Bay, but the bigger ones did not want to bite. No word on walleye, pike, or lake trout.

Saginaw River: Has had a good number of anglers. Walleye fishing was slow overall with only a few areas producing some smaller eating size fish. Most are doing a lot of sorting. Catch rates were not significant with only 2-4 keepers if lucky. The better spots were the Zilwaukee access site, Crow Island on the north side of the Zilwaukee Bridge in 24 feet, and at the mouth in 23 feet. Mornings were best with an orange or clown colored jigging rapala.

Tittabawassee River: Was mostly ice covered at this point, but no one was venturing out on it.

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA{span class=”print_trim”}

The inland lakes have ice however it is now covered with over 10” of snow in some areas of the region. The deep snow and slush will make travel on the ice much more difficult. Pike seem to be the most active right now. The panfish bite has been slow.

Kalamazoo River: Perch and panfish were being targeted in the backwaters.

Lake Lansing: Anglers are getting pike when using tip-ups with golden shiners.

Clinton County: Fishing was slow. Those heading out on Lake Ovid, Muskrat Lake and over at Motz Park have caught a small number of panfish.

Muskegon Lake: Those braving the cold have caught walleye when jigging. Perch are being caught but anglers were sorting through a lot of small ones. Pike anglers could be found off Heritage Landing.

Muskegon River: With the cold water, steelhead fishing was slow. Panfish and walleye anglers were fishing Croton and Hardy Pond.

White Lake: Pike anglers were on the east end near the Narrows. Some are using tip-ups while others are spearing.

Trending Video

Recommended for you