FISHING REPORT: Perch biting on inland lakes, warmer weather should increase catches

MANISTEE — The DNR reports ice fishing is taking place across the state but advises anglers some waters are in better shape after some of the snow cover melts. It’s expected rivers across the state would be fishable by the weekend as warmer temperatures are in the forecast. But anglers need to be careful of changing ice conditions with the warm-up and the rain.

In northwest Michigan, perch fishing was reported as decent at Portage Lake. “Fishing should improve with this little bit of warmer weather,” Matt Barthels of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston, said. “We haven’t had a whole lot of guides out there recently. With the weather this weekend, it should be good.”

“The temperature has broke and there are people fishing the river for steelhead,” Rob Eckerson, of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston, said. “The lower section below Rainbow Bend has been frozen. I don’t know if we have reports on that or not. But the upper river is accessible and they’re catching steelhead there. The inland lakes have benefitted from that warmup and they’re tightening things back up and have tightened up the slush and firmed up the ice as well. Productivity through the ice has been hit or miss.”

Manistee Lake had ice shanties off Penny Lake.

“Manistee Lake, they’re doing good on pike and they’re starting to get some perch at Stronach, Penny Park,” Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee said. “Portage is hit and miss. Hamlin is doing good for pike and bluegills.”

Pere Marquette Lake had anglers catching pike on tipups with suckers minnows. Perch were also being caught.

The DNR adds anglers at Lake Missaukee have been getting panfish, but there’s been no word on walleye. Travel conditions were much better on Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell with less snow on the ice and fishermen were getting crappie off Kenwood Park on Lake Cadillac. Anglers at Lake Mitchell are finding crappie, bluegills and sunfish. Both lakes Cadillac and Mitchell are producing pike. Anglers are having success with sucker minnows.

“The ice average here has been six to eight inches on most area lakes,” George Tharp, of Ed’s Sport Shop in Baldwin said. “There’s a few week spots on a few of them. They’re getting quite a few perch in Big Bass Lake and out of Ludington at the Pere Marquette Lake. They’re getting perch at Pentwater Lake.

“On area lakes, they’re getting some crappies and bluegills, mixed sizes. I’m hearing better numbers of crappies. Pike fishing hasn’t been slow. They’re getting quite a few pike. Most of them aren’t going over 28 inches. They’re doing OK on steelhead fishing. The next few days should be good for steelheads.”

Anglers at Haymarsh Lake in Mecosta County were getting bluegills up to 10 inches in size, the DNR said.

Leave a Reply