January 18, 2018
Ice fishing continues around the state and some of the inland lakes are in better shape after some of the snow cover melted. Rivers across the state should be fishable by the weekend with warmer temperatures in the forecast. Watch for changing ice conditions with the warm up and the rain.
Little Bay De Noc: Had very little snow cover on it. Ice conditions changed some and those heading south of Aronson Island reported much thinner ice. This area is considered dangerous and extreme caution must be used at all times. Pressure cracks have been moving a lot over the last week so please use caution near them. Overall catches were down some but still fair to good. Walleye anglers reported fair catches near the Second Reef in 27 to 35 feet, in the channel south of the "Narrows" in 28 to 34 feet and just south of the Escanaba River in 25 to 32 feet. All were using rapalas tipped with a minnow. Several large fish were caught between Aronson Island and Portage Point when jigging rapalas tipped with a minnow in 27 to 32 feet. Lots of walleye anglers in the upper bay reported a good number of undersize fish which is a good sign for the future. Perch anglers had fair to good catches with wigglers in the Kipling Flats in 27 feet. Fewer fish were caught but the size was 10 to 13 inches. Fair catches were reported in the Gladstone Channel in 28 to 34 feet, out near Brach's Cabins in 17 to 21 feet and out near the shipping docks in Escanaba in 30 feet. Good number of smaller perch and some bluegills were caught in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor in 8 to 12 feet. Pike were active throughout the bay. Best catches of large fish were reported near the ship docks in Escanaba when using a tip-up with a sucker minnows in and around 25 feet. Whitefish anglers reported fair to good catches out in the channel at Gladstone with minnows or spawn in 30 to 35 feet and off Sand Point in 80 to 90 feet.
Manistique Lakes: Walleye were hitting pretty good.
Brevoort Lake: Anglers caught walleye and pike.
St. Marys River: Those fishing the upper river above the locks reported good Menominee and whitefish action. Mosquito Bay is the popular location.
Cedarville and Hessel: Cedarville was producing yellow perch and pike. Perch catches were good but anglers were doing some sorting. Off Hessel, perch were caught around the Les Cheneaux Islands when using minnows, wigglers and spikes. Most were undersize but keepers averaged 10 inches. Be sure to use caution in areas where there is a current.