January 16, 2020
Ice is becoming more stable, especially in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula. The southern regions still had open water. Steelhead rivers are still quite high, and very few were out fishing.
All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.
Inland lakes across the region are producing bluegill, crappie, pike and walleye.
Lake Fanny Hooe: In Copper Harbor was producing splake and lake trout.
Lake Antoine: In Dickinson County was producing some perch for ice anglers; however, the fish were running small.
Little Bay De Noc: With the colder temperatures, anglers were fishing the Kipling area and north to the Days River. Though there is ice, many areas were not safe for travel, so extreme caution needs to be used. Catch rates remained steady, with most getting six to 12 fish with a few jumbo perch mixed in.
The best catches were in 17 to 30 feet with minnows and wigglers, though wigglers were taking more. Walleye catches were spotty, and most fish were undersize. Anglers were targeting 20 to 30 feet while using tip-ups with minnows or jigging raps. A couple anglers were taking vehicles out from Kipling; however, this is very dangerous and should be avoided. The best means of travel was by foot. A few have been walking out at Gladstone and fishing the channel. The Escanaba River and south had been unfishable.
Manistique River: Anglers caught a couple steelhead and coho.
Manistique Lake: Anglers were catching several small perch on Big Manistique. Walleye success did increase but was still slow.
Munuscong Bay: Was producing a fair number of perch and a few pike. Due to unsafe ice conditions in many areas, fishing pressure has been low.
Caribou Lake: Near Detour was producing the occasional walleye.
Cedarville and Hessel: There was no fishing activity on Musky Bay or Government Bay in the Les Cheneaux Islands. Conditions were unknown; however, there was no open water compared to last week. In Hessel Bay, ice conditions on the west side were unknown; however, those fishing the east side caught some 8-inch perch when jigging minnows and wax worms in 15 to 18 feet.
Brevoort Lake: Was producing a few walleye and small perch.
Fishing Tip: A lead alternative you might try
Do you typically fish with lead jigs in the winter? Have you considered trying something different?
Tungsten jigs can be an excellent alternative, and they are heavier and denser than lead options. Although they often are smaller than their lead counterparts, they often produce similar sensations while fishing with them.
The next time you head to your favorite tackle shop, consider picking up some tungsten jigs to add to your inventory.