FISHING REPORT: Ice fishing officially over for the season

MANISTEE — Anglers are reminded that the 2017 Fishing Licenses went on sale starting this past Wednesday.

Fishermen now have one month to purchase their new license before they are required to on April 1. Anglers should also hold on to your current copy of the Michigan Fishing Guide as it covers the rules and regulations for both 2016 and 2017.

Portage Lake and Manistee Lake are both completely opened up and ice fishing was halted, the DNR said.

“They’re doing steelhead in the river,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co., said. “The pier fishing has been back up. I don’t know what they’ve been doing the past couple of days. The river has been very good.”

“They’re getting browns and steelhead off the pier,” Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Spring Goods in Manistee said. “They’re strtding to get some perch off the boats at Portage and Manistee Lake. The river is doing good for steelhead.”

Manistee River had good steelhead fishing, the DNR reported, while anglers were using jigs with a wax worm or spawn and beads.

“We’ve got high water flows due to the recent rain and snow meltoff,” Dave Barkman, of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston, said. “The spring steelhead run is beginning in the local rivers. The Big Manistee has been fishing very good for steelhead below the Tippy Dam. We’re looking for an early spring run.”

In Lake County, the Pere Marquette River was producing good steelhead fishing with the warmer weather. A good number of fish were reported near the Custer Bridge, the DNR said, where anglers were getting some limit catches.

The DNR reports that Crystal Lake in Benzie County had a couple anglers go through the ice.

“They have been hitting a few steelhead in the Betsie, but really that’s about it,” Dane Bovee, of Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia, said.

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