LAPEER COUNTY – It is time to put away the ice fishing gear and get the open water tackle ready to go! Any remaining ice by the weekend will be extremely soft and dangerous. Anglers are reminded that walleye, pike and muskellunge season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters, St. Mary’s River and all the Lower Peninsula inland waters will close at midnight on Tuesday, March 15. Walleye and pike season is open all year on the Lower Peninsula Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Shore anglers were
catching perch near the Metro
Huron River: Anglers have caught a
couple trout and walleye.
Detroit River: Water temperatures
were still on the cold side so walleye fishing was slow. Perch fishing was starting to pick up.
Lake St. Clair: Still had floe ice and
some shore ice in a few places
but nothing fishable. It should all
be gone by the end of the week
and boats could be launching from
the DNR ramps. The skid piers
are in at the Harley Ensign and
the Selfridge access sites. The
piers should be in at Fairhaven
sometime next week. The Clinton
River Cut-Off site has (1) pier in
the water. Anglers will have to pay
close attention to wind direction
and speed as floe ice may be moving down from Lake Huron. The
access sites and shore fishing
locations can change quickly if the
wind shifts and pushes the ice
St. Clair River: Floe ice has been
coming down from Lake Huron
and limiting access at times.
Anglers should call ahead to local
bait shops to check on day-to-day
conditions. Early spring weather
should get the spring salmon and
trout fishery going.
Saginaw Bay: While the bay had
some ice, there is no longer any
safe ice. It is time for open water
fishing. A few anglers walking out
to the Hot Pond caught mainly pike
and carp. Most anglers are fishing
the rivers right now. Steelhead
can be found in the Tawas, East
Branch of the Au Gres, the Rifle,
Tittabawassee and the Chippewa
River. Water levels will be elevated and the currents will be strong.
Saginaw River: Anglers are reminded that walleye fishing on the
inland waters and that includes
the Saginaw River will close at
midnight on March 15 and not
re-open until April 30 this year.
The river had a lot of anglers and
it seems everyone was getting
a few fish but no limits. Most
were vertical jigging a ¾ ounce
chartreuse jig head with a twister
tail and live minnow in the deepest part of the shipping channel.
You need a heavy jig to get to
the bottom in the strong current.
With the snow melt and run-off
this week, the water is going to
get faster and dirtier. About a
dozen boats were fishing around
the U.S.S. Edson. Just about
all the boat ramps are open and
useable with the exception of
the Patterson Road ramp at the
mouth which was still iced in.
Tittabawassee River: Has had a
large number of boat anglers targeting walleye. The better action
was up at the Dow Dam and right
below it but anglers were working
hard to catch them. Most were
casting pink or chartreuse jigs and
twister tails tipped with minnows.
There was not much success
downstream of Gordonville Road.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Use caution when walking near the
riverbanks as they will be unstable
after the snowmelt. Water levels
will be up and the currents will be
St. Joseph: Pier anglers have caught
some steelhead and brown trout.
St. Joseph River: The steelhead run
is picking up so anglers should
do well. Try spawn, beads, jigs
and wax worms. All the fish ladders are open and steelhead were
reported at Berrien Springs. The
online Fish Cam is currently not
available however staff is hopeful
that it will be back in service soon.
Kalamazoo River: Look for steelhead below the Allegan Dam.
Grand Haven: The piers are open
and those out fishing have caught
some steelhead and brown trout.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: All
the fish ladders are open. Anglers
should find good numbers of steelhead. Try spawn, flies, beads, jigs
and wax worms.
Grand River near Lansing: All the
fish ladders are open. A steelhead
was caught below the Webber
Dam. Some decent pike and walleye were caught on minnows near
the North Lansing Dam.
Muskegon River: Water levels were
up and spring fish were moving
in. Anglers caught winter fish and
some nice chrome ones. They are
using spawn, beads, jigs and wax
worms or fly fishing with sculpins
White River: Also has some fresh
steelhead moving up into the river.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Ice of the inland lakes is deteriorating daily. Anglers were still heading
out on a few shallow lakes
only. With the snowmelt and rain
this week, those fishing the rivers
will need to use caution when
walking near the riverbanks. Water
levels will be up and the currents
will be strong.
Higgins Lake: Ice fishing is done.
There is open water out in front
of Big Creek and the shoreline
ice is deteriorating. With the
rain and warm temperatures, the
ice is rapidly becoming unsafe.
Time to get ready for open water
Houghton Lake: Still had some
ice fishing however there is open
water in the East Bay in front of
Denton Creek so avoid this area.
Anglers heading out on the west
end are catching crappie, bluegills
and a few nice walleye. Some
pike are still hitting on tip-ups.
This will most likely be the last of
Tawas River: Anglers should find
some steelhead. The higher water
levels will bring fish in but will also
make fishing a bit more challenging. Try spawn, beads, jigs and