FISHNG REPORT: Walleye, pike and muskie season ends Thursday on inland lakes

The DNR reminds anglers walleye, pike and muskie season on all Lower Peninsula inland waters will close at midnight on March 15. Walleye and pike season is open all year on the Lower Peninsula Great Lakes.

In northwest Michigan, there was still some ice fishing taking place but anglers are urged to use extreme caution.

Steelhead fishing in this area has been so-so, the DNR said. Fishermen are getting a few winter fish, but the main spring run hasn’t appeared yet.

“We’ve had guides out every day,” Dave Barkman of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston said. “Steelhead fishing at the Big Manistee River has been good. We expect things to get better as the snow melts.”

The area was hit with eight inches of snow earlier this week.

“Ice fishing has been deemed pretty much unsafe,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston said. “The river fishing for steelhead has been improving. The water levels are medium. Clarity has improved, so that’s good. There seems to be new silver fish coming out of the lake. Prospects are good.”

When anglers were able to get out on boats, they were trolling for trout and salmon and catching brown trout, the DNR said. A few coho were also mixed in, the DNR added. Those vertically jigging in the channel got a few walleye.

Some chrome colored steelhead were taken in the lower section of the Manistee River.

“A lot of guys are going north toward Crystal (Lake) right now,” Kristen Loeffler of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, said. “It’s been crazy with this snowstorm we had. Other than that, people are going off the piers here in Manistee for browns. I haven’t heard of much else. A lot of guys are waiting for the snow to melt.”

At Ludington, boat anglers were getting some nice catches of brown trout and a few coho when trolling along the beach in 10 to 15 feet. Pier anglers were getting brown trout.

At the Pere Marquette River, anglers were getting steelhead but the return of cold weather late this week will slow the bite. Anglers should try fishing the deeper holes until it warms back up the DNR said.

The Betsie River has been producing some steelhead.

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