FISHING REPORT: High winds keeping catches down; anglers looking forward to ice fishing

The DNR reports strong winds continue to hamper fishing along the Great Lakes. A major cool down the end of next week should help start the freezing process and allow for ice fishing to start later in December.

Fishing will completely depend on the weather in northwest Michigan, the DNR reported. Moderate temperatures this week means no ice fishing. Lakes in the area have some skim ice but no safe ice. Walleye will bite right up until ice up, so those trolling or casting for late fall walleye could find some fish.

Steelhead fishing should be good in the rivers, the DNR reported.

“A lot of guys are going out Saturday on the Manistee Lake, the Manistee River and the piers,” Kristen Loeffler of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, said. “I’ve heard a couple of guys go to (another area lake) for walleye.”

Surf fishing and pier fishing at Manistee for steelhead should remain good if the weather allows anglers to get out, the DNR said. The Big Manistee River was producing steelhead. Many are holdovers but rain by the end of the week should bring in some fresh fish.

“The water temperature is dropping and we’re getting fresh fish every day,” Chelsea Pete of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston said. “There is a good amount of steelhead in the Little Manistee and Big Manistee. Coho numbers are starting to decrease a little bit.”

Surf fishing and pier fishing for steelhead should remain good at Ludington, The DNR said, while at the Pere Marquette River, steelhead fishing continues with a good number of fish in the river.

“People are more into hunting than anything else right now,” Dan Osborn of Osborn’s Sport Shop in Bear Lake, said. “Rifle hunting has stopped and they’re muzzleloading. This will be the last nice weekend to go fishing. People are at Crystal and Portage lakes. It’s going to be very cold next week and hopefully ice will form in upcoming weeks.

Steelhead fishing continues at the Betsie River. Most anglers are using flies and beads or spawn.

“The water in the Betsie is very low and clear,” Dane Bovee of the Benzie Flycast Shop said. “But they are hitting quite a few steelhead.”

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